Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Back Off Christmas! November 19, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 12:28 am
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I’m just going to throw this out there.  It isn’t time for Christmas yet.  Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet.  There will be plenty of time for Christmas trees, snowmen, stockings, and Christmas music.  Right now it’s time for turkey, pumpkins, pilgrims, and giving thanks!  I cringe when I see Christmas lights up, I have to avoid 93.9 on the radio, and my Christmas boxes will continued to be stored in the closet until at least November 28th.

fallIt drives me nuts every year that Thanksgiving gets skipped over.  Guys, it’s a holiday based around eating an amazing meal {and hanging out with people you love}!  I just don’t get it.  I suppose I understand how you might be a bit confused.  We’ve hit negative wind chills here in Chicago and of course there has been a little bit of snow blowing around, but that’s no reason to rush it, okay? There will be plenty of time for Christmas in December.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Christmas.  I just hate the idea that Thanksgiving is skipped over when it is such a quality holiday.  I’d actually have to say it’s my favorite.  Getting to spend time with family, eating great food, not to mention having time off work.  These are all great things about the day.  The older I get, the faster time seems to go.  I’m just trying to live in the moment and not rush things.




2 Weeks November 20, 2012

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 9:45 pm
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Tomorrow is my last day of work at my current job.  I’ve been in my current role for 2 years and in total I’ve been at the company for 5 and a half years.  Tomorrow I have to say goodbye to co-workers who I’ve spent time with every day- more time than I spend with my family, friends, and even Dave.  The problem is I’m not very good at goodbyes.  Tomorrow I have over 100 goodbyes to give.  Needless to say I am not looking forward to it.  Sometimes I think it would be easier if I was leaving on bad terms!  Okay I’m not serious about that.  I’m glad I am leaving on a good note.  Giving two weeks notice and preparing/training my boss as much as possible so she can train my replacement (when they are hired), these are the professional and right things to do.  I’m happy to give these.

Since this was my first job out of college I haven’t been in this situation before.  Being in the Human Resources field, I had a pretty good idea of what was proper, but I researched anyway {sounds about right}.  Most of the advice is basic:

  1.  Give two weeks in person
  2. Prepare a resignation letter- yes a real letter!
  3. Be professional when you leave

That last part is in caps because that is the main advice people give.  I have followed this advice to a T and am still feeling a bit worried.  I’m racing to get all the things that need to be completed or handed off done and there will still be things undone or unexplained when I leave tomorrow.  I pushed myself hard these past two weeks because I didn’t want anyone to blame me for things after I was gone.  Ultimately I’ve decided that it probably will happen and that is okay.  It’s easy to blame the person that is no longer there.  Hopefully I’ve prepared them enough that it won’t happen that often, but I am in an accepting place now.  Besides, I’ve been blessed with so many ‘best wishes’ , ‘sad to see you gos’ and even a few ‘there is no one like yous’.  It makes it easier to leave {and at the same time a little harder}.

So on the week that the whole country celebrates Thanksgiving…I want to say that I am thankful for the people I’ve worked with for the past five years of my life.  If I could I would tell each of them how much of an impact they have made not only my professional career, but my personal life.  I have learned so much and wish them and the company all a bright future.  I am also thankful for the new opportunity I am about to start.  Can’t wait to meet all the new people who will impact my life during the next piece of my career!


Thanksgiving Came Early November 22, 2011

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:18 pm
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Thanksgiving came a bit early for my family this year and we celebrated this past Sunday.  For someone so obsessed with tradition it actually didn’t bother be to change it up.  In fact it ends up working quite well because now I will get to see the other side of my family on real Thanksgiving.  The more the merrier!  And did I mention I now have an excuse to be a piggy twice in one week?

Yeah I’m not complaining.  So for Thanksgiving Part I, my sister and I were in charge of desserts.  My cousin who organized everything asked us to ‘think outside the box.’  We went back and forth on Gchat with tons of different ideas, but one thing was for sure, we had to make a trifle {my sister was very excited to use her brand new trifle dish my cousin got her for her birthday}!  If you don’t know what a trifle is I will show you:

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle

Basically it’s a layered dessert that usually includes cake, whipped cream, and some sort of pudding.  This one was a gingerbread cake, pumpkin vanilla pudding, and whipped cream.  We pretty much made everything from a box, but we used real pumpkin. Doesn’t it look pretty?  We also decided to make apple donuts.  Mostly because my sister wanted to use her donut pan {does anyone else see a pattern here?}, but also because apples are in season and not something you’d traditionally think of at a Thanksgiving feast {remember we were thinking outside the box}.  She was worried when the dough was cookie dough texture instead of liquidy, but in the end they turned out very well and got even better once we brushed them with butter and dipped them in cinnamon sugar.  Sorry I don’t have a finished product picture, but here is the batter in the cute donut pan ready for the oven:

Apple Donuts

Lastly, but certainly not least we decided we need a dessert involving chocolate.  I decided some type of bar would be easy to make.  I found this recipe for chocolate peanut butter crunch bars on Smitten Kitchen’s website and the search was quickly over.

Side Note- For some reason any recipe that requires a candy thermometer intimidates me and also knowing that neither my sister or me owns one we quickly made an alteration to the recipe.  We ignored her instructions for the rice crispy bottom and using another a simpler rice crispy recipe by Smitten Kitchen.

This was my most favorite recipe to make and my sister pointed out that it was the only one that required no actual baking.  Haha, my true feelings are revealed!  Anyway we forgot to take a final picture, but here are all the ingredients we used and you can look at Smitten Kitchen’s website…ours looked very similar.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispy Bars

I was worried I’d hear complaints about the missing pumpkin pie, but I didn’t hear a peep.  In fact I think people were too busy enjoying their desserts.  I think we succeeded at thinking outside the box, don’t you?


A Reflection on the Forgotten Holiday December 1, 2010

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 9:00 pm
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You could say I’m a bit of an angry Pilgrim. Following in the footsteps of Eric and Kathy’s mission to restore the forgotten holiday of Thanksgiving, I’m a firm believer that you and I should not be subjected to the following before the big turkey day (unless strictly on a volunteer basis):

  • Hearing Christmas music
  • Seeing Christmas decorations in the stores, strung up on peoples porches, etc.
  • Watching Christmas movies on TV
  • Creating holiday cards
  • Present shopping

Every year it seems that Thanksgiving is becoming more and more the forgotten holiday. As people recover from their Halloween candy coma, their focus switches to Christmas before their mini Twix wrappers have even hit the trashcan. Out go the costumes, carved pumpkins and ghosts decorations. Down come the Christmas lights from the attic, the tree, and boxes of ornaments.

But wait, what about the other holiday? The one that falls on the fourth Thursday in November? Where the tables are decorated with warm colors of red, orange and yellow, featuring an abundant selection of turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, mashed potatoes and the beloved crescent rolls?

Around that table, or tables, families are gathered together from near and far sharing past stories and creating new memories together.

This holiday offers a time of reflection for the life we have been given – an opportunity to give thanks for the time we’ve been given, our possessions, our family and friends.

Thanksgiving is a celebration that has its’ conception in the mid 1600’s. It holds a special meaning that deserves more than becoming a reference point for Black Friday.

So for next year, enjoy the moments you have with the people you care about around the table, sharing a meal made with love without entertaining thoughts of mistletoe.


Turkey Season Has Begun November 9, 2010

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 10:08 pm
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Hey Y’all… sorry I’m late with my post this week. I had a little bit of a hectic week! There’s nothing fun about waking up for a 6:00 am phone call with the Netherlands, working a full day and then going to an executive meeting all evening. Regardless, it’s Turkey Season and I am SO excited!

Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday. Who doesn’t like an entire day that’s all about eating… well, and family and giving thanks. My mother makes the most phenomenal dinner that includes a delicious turkey, potato dumplings (we’re Polish), tons of veggies, homemade bread and a homemade apple pie. The excitement would grow as I woke up and helped prepare the table for our guests and then waited in anticipation for my father to carve that delicious bird while I “tested it to ensure it was safe for our guests to consume.”

So since I’ve begun living on my own, I’ve begun my own tradition for Thanksgiving. It’s called, “Always having turkey in my fridge for 2 consecutive months.” I stick by this rule pretty diligently and when I went to the store this past weekend, to my delight, the turkeys had arrived. I was quick to pick a 12 pounder and begin the defrost process at home. I’d now like to depict my Sunday:

9:06 am – Wake up. First thoughts: I am so hungover.

9:07 am – Turkey Day!!!

9:08 am – Why does my cell phone say 8:08 and my bedside clock says 9:08… Oh wait, we “fell back” this weekend.

8:09 am – Turkey, turkey, turkey…. Turkey!

8:30 am – Get out of bed to prepare turkey

9:09 am – Turkey enters the oven.

I then continue to check the turkey, Hollice and Kevin come over to eat our turkey with us… we make mashed potatoes with fresh rosemary, thyme and spinach and some green beans. The turkey thermometer strikes 180 degrees for 15 seconds at 1:45 pm.

1:46 pm – Eric and I begin the turkey carving… and of course, I begin the taste testing.

1:50 pm – “Can you stop eating the turkey after I carve it? You look like you’re shoving your face over a trough.”

1:51 pm – I sneak another bite when he’s not looking.

2:10 pm – We sit down for turkey. It is quite good. All is well because Turkey Season has begun. Sadly, I bought a pre-seasoned turkey, which is quite possibly the worst idea to prep turkey that I have ever heard of. This mistake will never happen again.

So after my wonderful turkey day Sunday… I will be eating turkey every day from now until Christmas. Possibly longer if they are still available in stores.


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