Happy Thanksgiving! {2019}

{A sneak peek of our fall family photoshoot – the rest will be up soon!}

I wanted to stop and wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! Even though life has seemed crazy and chaotic recently, we are SO very blessed to have friends & family, a warm & comfortable home, and access to healthy food (and the list goes on).

I also wanted to share the obituaries for two women who have recently passed away, but will be very much missed by the Lower family! First is Aaron’s (paternal) grandmother Eileen Lower (whose service he attended last weekend), and second is Aaron’s step-grandmother Doris Overdorf. We are sending lots of love to all of the family & also remembering what amazing women we had the pleasure of knowing.

Happy Thanksgiving!


my thanksgiving week in pictures.


{On Monday afternoon, we picked up Eloise from school and headed out of town for the week. Eloise made this adorable Thanksgiving turkey and also had a killer owie on her nose from falling on the concrete stairs at school… It looked worse than it was and she was so tough about it!}


{Eloise in-flight. This was her first time having her own (paid for) seat and she wasn’t so sure. She kept saying that she wanted to be on Mama’s lap, but we made it thru the flight without too much hassle! Thanks to Amanda for letting us borrow this awesome CARES harness; we will definitely be getting one!}


{My happy six month bump! I celebrated by getting my hair done and manis with girlfriends!}


{Grammie got out my old dollhouse for Eloise to play with and she was in love. It was so crazy to see her playing with it since I have so many memories of this house!}


{Eloise decided she needed to carry around my new sweater… yep, there were two holes in that bag by the time we got to the car!}


{We got to have a reunion dinner with all of these mamas and their babies (& their husbands!) which makes my heart so happy. My very best friends since we were all teenagers. Love you girls!}


{My mama’s beautiful Thanksgiving table!}


{Eloise insisted on wearing her turkey costume all Thursday morning (but then refused to once company came in the afternoon!) and loved all of the attention from Paga (Grandpa).}


{I celebrated my first Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday with The Petite Flag Shop with a sale! If you haven’t shopped already, there’s still time. Sale ends Monday night – 15% off with code SHOPSMALL16, plus, I will randomly select orders to receive free shipping!}


{Eloise loved painting with Grammie all week long! Look at that smile.}


{When Grammie and Paga offer to watch Eloise, you take them up on a date night! We headed out to see the new Harry Potter movie Fantastic Beasts and it was pretty good. Especially since it has probably been a year since we have seen a movie in a theater. So were the Raisinets. I would have taken a selfie, but Aaron hates them, so here’s me, the bump, and my candy!}


{We flew home on Saturday morning and were excited to see a Husky plane! We didn’t get to fly on it, but were still on a high from the big win in the Apple Cup!}


{Eloise did so much better on our flight home. She didn’t mind the seatbelt and harness, loved the safety information card, and even used the lavatory. Plus, she got her own cup of ice water and pretzels – a dream for a two year old!}


{Even though Thanksgiving is over, I am still loving all things pumpkin. So pumpkin bread it is!}


{Amazingly, the Christmas cards I ordered from Minted came at lightning speed! I am so excited about our cards this year and thankful for a few weeks to get them together before they go out early next month! Hooray for Christmas!}

We had such a fun and memorable Thanksgiving week with my parents in Boise. We had time to catch up with some friends and family, and enjoyed so much delicious food! It doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving is over (or that we are at the end of November) but I know Christmas is just a few short weeks away! Ahh!

How was your Thanksgiving week?


a {late} thanksgiving turkey!

So I know it is December & Christmas is in the air, but I had to share this adorable shoot of Eloise dressed up as a turkey. We dressed her up in this costume for actual Thanksgiving, but since she wasn’t feeling well, we thought we should give it another shot!

And for those of you wondering where this costume came from, it is from Aaron’s sister Cari who dressed her three kiddos in it & has saved it over the years! Thanks Aunt Cari!


The sweetest turkey ever, right?


happy thanksgiving!

I just wanted to pop in & wish you & yours a very happy thanksgiving! We are spending the week with my family & are enjoying all of the family & friends!

Last week we did our family photo shoot (for our holiday cards) & we just got them back – LOVE! You can see the pictures on The Happy Film Company’s blog, & the little video/slideshow below.

Happy turkey day!


friendsgiving 2015.

This past weekend Aaron & I had the pleasure of hosting a Friendsgiving with some of our closest Seattle friends. It was our second time getting all together (see last year’s festivities here) & I definitely think this is a tradition in the making!

Jess hosted last year, but since she just got married, she asked me to host this year &, of course, I obliged. I LOVE hosting parties & we haven’t really hosted a big dinner party at our house before. I had so much fun planning & hosting Friendsgiving this year!

As you know, I am a big fan of snail mail, & specifically mailed invitations. I briefly perused my usual e-invitation sites (Paperless Post, TinyPrints, & Minted) before I sat down & designed my own in Illustrator.


One of the first things that I do when party planning is start a board on Pinterest. I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest though; I love it because I am super visual & love all of the images, but I hate it because I think it sets completely unrealistic expectations about what a simple dinner party should look like. I was able to find some cute ideas (shared below!) & pick out a fun theme: pumpkins & gold!

Our final guest count was 13 adults, 1 child, & 3 toddlers, so even with the addition of three leaves to extend our dining room table, we still had to rent an 8 foot table & chairs. {Locals: we used Aurora Rents.} I also decided that since we were having a somewhat fancy event, we should use real plates, silverware, & glasses. So I busted out our brass flatware to mix with our everyday flatware, & my late grandmother’s crystal. We don’t have nearly enough plates, so I ordered these re-usable plastic plates (which we can wash & reuse again next year!). But, because we did use “real” place settings, it means we had to wash all of it too, & the kicker was that the brass flatware & crystal glasses have to be HAND washed! Oh well, it was worth it!

The company was so great {it is so good to see everyone all together!} & the food was so delicious! Jess cooked the turkey (at our house) & everyone else brought something to share {potatoes – au gratin, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes; Brussels sprouts; salad; cranberry sauce; stuffing;, green bean casserole; gravy}. It’s nice to have a potluck style dinner when there are so many people!

{prepare for picture overload! I was slightly obsessed with the tables…}


{Jess made the cutest turkey appetizer!}


{Both tables. We had eight adults at our dining room table, plus two toddlers, & six at the other table, plus one toddler.}













{crayons & coloring pages for Jaz – she’s 7!}


{leftovers boxes & stickers!}



{thank you Jess for the family photos!}


{all the babies!}

This was such a fun event to be a part of & it feels like Thanksgiving is already over (even though it’s still two weeks away!). I am trying to stay in the Thanksgiving-mode & not just jump right into Christmas (but see what I am up to in that department here!).

Happy Friendsgiving!


Source List: white pumpkins: Target (old) {tip: buy them before Halloween!} // gold mercury glass votives: Michael’s // gold leaves & berries: Michael’s // gold pinecones: DIY // placemats: DIY {here}  // leaf placecards: DIY {spray painted fake leaves & write names with black Sharpie} // white tablecloth*: Linen Tablecloth // white napkins*: Linen Tablecloth via Amazon // pilgrim hat crayon holder: DIY // coloring pages: here, here, here // cake stands: Crate & Barrel (old) // polka dot banner: DIY (leftover from E’s first birthday) // give thanks flag: DIY // thankful napkins: Michael’s // leftover labels: DIY // leftover boxes: Sweet Party Shop}

*Note: it was cheaper for me to buy tablecloths & napkins than it was to rent them!

this post contains affiliate links.

aloha! {our trip to hawaii}

{I know I promised photos last week, but I blinked & the week was gone. did that happen to anyone else?}

as I mentioned in weekend in pictures post two weekends ago {here} we spent our thanksgiving {& the week after} in hawaii, just the two of us. while we originally had ambitious plans to visit more than one island on our trip, we ended up sticking just oahu & splitting our time between town {honolulu & waikiki} & the north shore.

we didn’t have much on the agenda to be honest which was a great way to go into a vacation that you want to relax on {there are so many vacations – all of them – that we come home so exhausted that we need another vacation!} so we fit things we wanted to do into our days once we got there & spent the rest of the time being spontaneous! {I am telling you that I had to have been in vacation-mode in order to get thru so much spontaneity!}

here is a random sampling of our trip.  enjoy!


{at ho’omaluhia botanical garden in kailua // with our friends hannah & russell // start of hike up diamond head // enjoying shave ice after our hike // aaron with the huge banyan tree in waikiki}


{me with the duke kahanamoku statue – he is known as the father of surfing // out to dinner in waikiki // the climbing of the coconut tree for the shower of flowers at a luau // climbing diamond head // aaron throwing a spear // waikiki // thanksgiving dinner at duke’s in waikiki}


{at the luau // aaron learning the hulilau hula // the kalua pig coming out of the imu (oven) at the luau // more hula // hula // hukilau hula on the beach // hula // fire dancer at the luau}


{me throwing a spear // me at mokulua island // honolulu from the air // a kayaking break at lanikai beach // lanikai beach – spectacular! // pearl harbor memorial // inside the uss arizona memorial at pearl harbor}


{the first draft of roosevelt’s date that will live in infamy speech // kuhio beach park in waikiki // hawaiian-style spam // hawaiian suns – lived on those! // toes in the sand // the pink hotel – the royal hawaiian // waikiki beach from the top of diamond head}


{dukes for thanksgiving dinner // mai tai happy hour // a plant that looked a lot like a guy with a mohawk // mmm… cheeseburger in paradise // sunset on thanksgiving // aaron shaving after movember // sushi is the best in hawaii // the triple crown of surfing at sunset beach}


{signs at the luau // on the bus ride to paradise cove for the luau // triple crown at sunset beach // sunset beach // the whole island had a downpour of rain the day we went to the north shore // triple crown at sunset – surfing way off the point in the distance}


{triple crown at sunset beach // drinking lots of coffee to keep us warm while we watched surfing in the pouring rain // the finals of the second jewel of the triple crown at sunset beach // the best pineapple I’ve ever had // shave ice // matsumoto in haleiwa has the best shave ice in the world // the soap factory in wailua}


{walking on the beach in wailua // the beautiful flowers everywhere // tiny islands off the coast of oahu near kaneohe // driving by kualoa ranch – where jurassic park was filmed // rubber duck at the soap factory // aaron enjoying his first ever shave ice from matsumoto // the flag flying high at the uss arizona memorial at pearl harbor}


{kailua beach // landing on mokulua island via kayak – a sacred bird sanctuary // mokulua island // strong current at pipeline // pretty flat waves at pipeline // sunset in haleiwa}


{pineapple fields near the north shore // the uss arizona’s final resting place // oil leaking from the uss arizona // how the memorial sits over the uss arizona // crossroads of the pacific // iolani palace in honolulu // king kalakaua’s phone from the 1800s // the likelike highway – pronounced leaky-leaky // the court house in honolulu – also the hawaii five-0 headquarters}


{the original supreme court chairs // the beautiful carpet in iolani palace // the entry of the palace // my old apartment building in honolulu // aaron walking near the ala wai canal // shouldn’t every street in hawaii being named aloha street? // waikiki beach & diamond head // soaking up the vitamin D in waikiki // kuhio beach park // I will take that weather in december anytime}

have you been to oahu or another hawaiian island – what’s your favorite thing to do?