our thanksgiving, 2018!

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thanksgiving 2018 was as chaotic and delicious and loud and filling as you might expect it would be, with 7 adults and ten kids/babies and so much good food. gosh, i loved it. we hosted friends and i’m certain it’s the very best thing to do when it’s a year you aren’t able to get together with any family. we kept handing babies around the table while we took turns eating bites while things were still warm (i use that word very loosely, my two babies really wanted to be nursed to sleep juuuuuust as we sat down to eat. yay! babies! i’m still thankful for you, cold meal and all.)

my husband josh has loved taking on the role of cooking thanksgiving dinner since the very first year we were married. he cooked his first turkey before i even knew him while he lived in italy (a 30 pound bird because he accidentally ordered it in kilos) but somehow that experience didn’t scar him forever and he sincerely enjoys being in the kitchen, dressed in his tie and apron like always. that is josh davis to a T and i so love him for it. he’s taught our boys to love being in the kitchen cooking and helping many days each week just as much as their sister, eleanor, and it’s another reason i love him.  a man in the kitchen seems absolutely right by my book. same with a man doing the dishes. or folding a load of laundry on occasion. obviously each partnership looks different from the next. some men and women are pulled away from the home for extensive hours every day working their butts off for their family. some stay home full time working for their family. and some juggle working from home and also working for their family, whatever it be, it’s all work. and it requires a lot.  i sometimes hesitate to share how josh and i split our roles and the load that comes with working for ourselves, coparenting and managing the day to day (and night to night that often feels 3x longer than the day shift right now). it’s not because i’m not open to discussing it, i willingly will! sometimes it’s just hard to convey correctly without offending someone whose partnership looks and feels different. ours certainly is not perfect, and it feels like we’re both treading water this year trying to juggle staying on top of a lot of outside projects in addition to the adjustment of life with twins. and if i’m being really honest here, it’s also because it’s always difficult when someone interprets what josh contributes over here with “concern for all this man does for me.” but i mean, i just love being at the spa all day every day, so of course i make him do and take care of everything around here. ;)

but this is a thanksgiving post. not a venting post and most certainly not a post to complain in. i’m getting away from where i was going with this. josh, i’m just thankful for you. i’m short tempered right now because i am running on the lowest energy levels i’ve known, and you get the worst of it because you’re my partner. i appreciate you. and all you do. more than you know. and by golly were we ever blessed this year with the birth of our twin girls. it’s their 6 month birthday today and every day i am thanking my father in heaven that they are here and healthy and that i get to spend so much of my day with 5 bright and sweet and silly and loud and imaginative and creative and daring and beautiful children. sometimes i want to run away from them and just stand outside on the city corner. even with an ambulance siren blasting past along with other cars, people passing and random city noises, it feels quieter and calmer than it often does in my own apartment, but those feelings don’t last for long. i love my family. and am thankful for them. and still can’t believe how well i scored with this forever family of mine.

some iphone photos from the day….

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we did an adult table and a kid table this year since our main table didn’t have space for everyone. we pulled the kids art table in from the playroom and eleanor and samson took the lead with setting it, deciding where everyone sat and also making it extra festive with some hand drawn turkeys on the craft paper we used as a table cloth.

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just like their papa, in ties in the kitchen. :)

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purple potatoes, who knew!? (maybe you all did and i’m just late to this game because i am not a huge vegetable eater.) they were good.

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the cheese plate to the right was one samson put together while we made the bigger board in the kitchen. his was very popular, as you can see by the fact that all the crackers, blackberries and most of the cheese was already consumed from his cheese plate before anyone touched the other one. way to go, kid! you’re a natural.

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this beautiful spread! friends brought a lot of the deliciousness you see here like those deviled eggs, homemade rolls and homemade stuffing. we made josh’s classic raspberry applesauce jell-o (it’s raspberry jell-0 but made with applesauce and a lot of real raspberries thrown in) and since i am stubborn and can’t count that as a cranberry dish, we made another cranberry sauce, too. then some brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes, because those have become staples year after year at our house.

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mugs for homemade wassail my friend amanda brought over and i neglected to take a photo of. have you guys ever had it? it’s one of the best things about the holidays, i think.

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it wasn’t until i was looking at this photo after thanksgiving that i realized conrad was able to pull a fast one on us and literally only ate raspberry jell-o for his meal. we’re such on the ball parents these days! ;) dropped the ball on remembering to get a photo of all of us adults together and i’m still bummed about it. next year?!

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their first thanksgiving! they ate a few bites of mashed potatoes (we’ve started introducing them to a few solids here and there) and madalena loved them. beatrice spit every bite out. she’s more of a sweet potato kind of girl i am learning. :)

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thankful for them. thankful for you. thankful for this holiday season and such a wonderful start to it all! happy holidays, friends! hope your thanksgiving was a good one if you celebrate this day!

  1. ellen patton

    #ovenenvy (and I was at the same Thanksgiving with the Boston McNaughtons!)

  2. Rebecca Yu

    First, the food looks amazing! Yum. Second, thank you for sharing! Family life, partnerships, they all look different for each person and family. I think it’s brave and wonderful to be vulnerable and willing to share what works for your family. We all get to choose how we live but there’s still a lot we can learn from each other and gracefully respect the rest. Even though I don’t know you or your family, I love to read your posts and see your pictures!

  3. Cindy

    Thank you for always being so honest with your feelings in all of your posts! I admire the parenting style you and Josh have and its such a great example for me. A woman’s work is never done, but neither is a man’s. My husband and I strive for a true partnership too, and its truly the best.

  4. Melanie Martin

    Um, YEAH girl. These relatable posts give me life. I have a 5 yo, 3 yo, and 10 month old and on the odd occasion tell my husband I’m having the itch to sprint – i.e., I want to run out the front door and just sprint away from this house as fast as I possibly can. Those moments are raw but fleeting, and thank goodness they pass :) The sleep deprivation is the hardest! Props to you for doing it all with 3 big kiddos and baby twins!! Side note, long time friend and college roomie of Virginia (Ginny to me :). Been following y’all for the longest time, love seeing your sweet family grow! Thanks for keeping it real. [fist bump]

  5. Amy

    I need to know more about Josh’s raspberry jello with applesauce! Recipe please!

  6. Sandy

    Awesome spread, but always looking for your red footed cake plate! Has it been retired? Beautiful family!

  7. Gina

    Beautiful! I just love how your posts here and on social media have been really real lately and a bit more raw than usual. Keep up the amazing work!

  8. Whitney

    Oh Miss Taza!
    You and your beautiful, happy family fill me with so much joy, happiness and inspiration it brings me to tears! Can we just be best friends already?
    I’m going to be a first-time mama in June and I have been looking up to you for so long in so many ways as a guide to help me raise my little one, but you also make me want to be better, do better and be happier and you help me to see the positive, the good and the wonderful! I hope I can raise my little one like you have raised yours: to be creative, imaginative, loving, sweet, fun little ball of love just like your beautiful munchkins. Just wanted to let you know, you and your family are so full of happiness it is contagious! Every time I have a bad day I can read your blog and see the good in life, thank you for keeping this platform so positive, encouraging and happy! And you’re seriously doing an amazing job at being a great mama, you got this girl! As a twin girl myself, my mom tells me it was hard but so worth it and i love that you see that!
    Lots of love and happiness and Merriest Christmas to you and your family!
    Whitney

  9. Rachael Bailey

    I think this is my favorite post ever that you’ve written! Perfectly captured the feeling I had today when I snuck out for a run with a friend (I have six kids and my husband is in Germany for work right now) and I could hear my toddler yelling for me as my teenager led him away from the door. Ah, parenting. The best of the best and the worst of the worst! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and thank you especially for sharing that photo of simply delicious baby thighs which made me miss my baby days so much!!!

    I would also love the recipe for the raspberry jello—and I keep crossing my fingers that I’ll run into at church sometime when I’m visiting NYC! 😂

  10. would love these recipes. :)

  11. Dee

    This first paragraph is so well observed! I also find myself being a bit obscure about how the balance works in our house because it’s impossible to talk about without offending those whose balance is different. I also think that whilst we of course get some choice, often our choices are limited by our circumstances, by all the other choices we made before we were parents, and by His plan for us (which if you are anything like me is still a complete blinking mystery!) And yes, the ‘you are so lucky all he does for you’ comments make me wanna scream too!!? Love you and yours for the season.

  12. Amy

    Naomi, I have been following your blog for several years and these “from the heart” posts are the ones I can relate to the most. You’re entitled to feel overwhelmed, exhausted and a bit burned out. I don’t know how the heck you do it. I have 3 kids (ages: 11, 6 & 23 months), jammed in a tiny 2-bedroom apartment that we outgrew years ago, and my patience runs thin when I’m running on lack of sleep, hoping that everyone gets fed 3 solid meals a day, making sure everyone is bathed, homework is done, all while being a full-time working parent. No complaints here, because it was my choice to be a parent and I adore my kids and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat if I had to. But it’s ok to admit that our kids wear us out and that we need a break from them time to time. This does not make us horrible parents. This makes us real human beings. You actually have a more diverse audience than you think you have. Ones who aren’t easily offended by your heartfelt words and actually sit here cheering you on and applauding you for opening up a bit more and keeping it real. You and Josh and rocking it!!!

  13. Verity

    Your point about people misconstruing your life is spot on. I work full time out of the home, my husband is at home with our boys full time. Because he does the majority of the cooking/cleaning/childcare all I ever hear is, ‘you’re getting it easy’, ‘you just relax while hubby does it all’ – NO!

    My husband would not hear this if the roles were reversed, in the more traditional configuration, why should I?!?

    Apart from that, it looks like a lovely day :)

  14. You know, I am not a mother, yet, and it offends me people assume Josh just takes the reigns while you’re at the spa. What I see is this is your perspective of life through your eyes. Yes, it’s a family blog with Josh, but it’s your thoughts and feelings, etc and you get to share when you have time to yourself! From my perspective I see a really amazing partnership holding down the fort of life. Your family dynamic is so inspiring, especially for someone who wants kids in their lifetime. I love seeing you and Josh support each other and take care of each other and allow each other to have ‘me’ time. I think it’s so important, whether you have kids or not. So keep taking those spa days, girl! You deserve ’em!

  15. Amy

    Oooohh, I’d love that Brussels sprouts recipe! Looks delish!

  16. Ellen

    As someone also in the thick of raising three babies, it’s really refreshing to read this post from someone who also is in the thick of things. Makes me feel less alone in the crazy that is kids. I definitely relate to that “need to run away for a little while feeling. Even though I’m so grateful for my healthy happy kids, there are a lot of needs that can be overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who is so positive and encouraging and in the same boat here!

  17. J

    Lovely post! I am the same way about posting
    about my personal life on social media, although
    it has become your job, I don’t know if it will help
    But I always say my partner is my safe place, my home away from home and you don’t invite everyone in to judge your taste. If your first instinct is to protect your relationship, you’re right. I think your marriage speaks for itself, it is love-a working love. We all hope to be as lucky.

  18. Greta

    You guys are such an inspiration! With all the things you manage to do despite running your own business and taking care of 5 (five!) kids. And with all the things you admit you fail to do – it’s so good to know that my husband and I aren’t the only ones who can’t get it right every single time. Hugs from Brussels

  19. Jaana

    Hi Naomi!
    I love your little family! I’ve been following your blog since basically the beginning. I remember showing Eleanor’s picture to my mom way back then because she was the smiley-est baby I’d ever seen. Her smile is infectious! Samson is such a little man, and so like his Dad! Conrad only eating jello is my nephew to a T, and your baby girls are absolutely out of this world cute. While I don’t have kids I do have seven siblings and there were many times that my mom would jump in the car and take off for a little while because she’d had enough of the craziness. If mom isn’t happy, no one is! :)

    P.S. How you and Josh balance your workload/roles is really no one’s business… but I think you’re handling it beautifully!

  20. Kayleigh

    Thank you for the honesty. <3 I don't know you personally and have no idea what your life looks like beyond these blog posts, but based on what I do know I'm certain you're doing the absolute best you can while raising your family of five children.

    I was always uncertain about the idea of "doing the best you can" because I (personally) always felt I could do better. It wasn't until recently I learned that "doing the best you can" is different from "doing the best you're capable of." And that sometimes doing the best you can is partnered with a lot of self-compassion and self-patience and self-love (and celebrations for the little wins!). So don't worry if doing the best you can looks different from the best you're capable of right now. :) Because you're still doing it!

    Lots of love to you and yours. <3

  21. Ashley

    Oh Conrad I love him so much, seeing that plate of jello for dinner, what a clever sneaky monkey! So great.

  22. Laura

    I get a lot of those types of comments too-people assuming I must do nothing because I have a husband who contributes to the house and childcare. EYEROLL.

  23. I have no words for posts like this one. What a beautiful family and wonderful living, everytime!

    The meal looks amazing too. :)

  24. Jennie

    This may sound silly, but can you share the recipe for the rasberry jello- cranberry concoction? I’m so intrigued!

  25. Adrianna

    Super! :)

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