Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Full Bellies, Full Hearts

Like a festive Thanksgiving feast spread, our holiday weekend was full of diverse, lively, nostalgic and delicious experiences. From sitting down to two beautiful dinners, to bowling, to decorating ginger bread houses and a return visit to the stables for horse back riding (whew!) our weekend was made memorable.

Stuffed in between the merry making, I hauled out the Christmas decorations, swapped decor and dusted; which was scary as I realized the full measure of my neglect in some areas of my home. Yikes! On Friday, the kids were on car cleaning duty with Dad. Andrew also silenced the screaming banshee who once haunted the engine of my car and worked in the yard while I prepared for the lesson I taught on Sunday. The kids did their fair share of complaining over their work related duties, but knowing the fun waiting for them around the corner, I didn't feel bad about it one bit. Work is healthy, yes?

Here's the photo rundown:

Can I begin by acknowledging whose been on top of each of our thankful lists?  

We're pretty thrilled that this little guy joined our family this year. I included Lottie and Forrest's car seat in the collage as the pair of them giggle at each other while we are out and about picking up kids from school each day. I'm thankful that Forrest, along with my other kiddos, continue to grow strong and well. Sometimes when I scoop him up and smother him with kisses, I grow lovesick. It's the best kind of sick there is. I'm just in love with this baby. He's my fourth, but as I've said before, falling in love with your children is a new, fresh experience each time. I am rich because I have them. They are my treasure. Andrew too. Oh, I'm sorry. I think I heard you just gag a little.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, we gathered with the Mays crew for dinner. Nana had a fun 'decorate your turkey' activity waiting for the kids. Lottie wasn't feeling her best, but she definitely had fun participating. And when I say "participate," I mean stuffing huge bites of cupcake in her mouth while I arranged her 'tail feathers' on a toothpick. 

It was great having the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off from school. I love slow mornings. I tried to appreciate the moment. "Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Your kids are alive with excitement. Savor this." But like that last slice of pumpkin pie, the moment passed in a blink!

Thanksgiving Day began at my parent's home where my Dad took a few photos of my family. I couldn't help but request that I take a few too.

In keeping with tradition, we met a few of my siblings, parents and a part of the Jones family for a morning of bowling. Poor Andrew couldn't bowl as he's still dealing with consistent back pain. Yes, he's in therapy three times a week and seeing his doctor regularly. Poor Ali. She's the most inconsistent bowler on planet earth. In between her THREE strikes, were gutter ball rolls.
 Following our fun morning, we were off to the Flegal's to help prepare the day's feast. 
My kids are very fortunate to have cousins close in age and proximity. Going to Nanna's is a mini-vacation as the children disappear into the land of happiness with their cousins. 
I used to pride myself on making sure I took photos of everyone and everything. I've slacked off big time. I blame the cute baby.

Black Friday shopping isn't worth mentioning. Except for the fact that I should probably remind future self that going alone is lame and sad! My Mom and I did have a good experience at Michaels, but later that night I braved Target by myself. It was a waste of gasoline. I'm craving a solid girls night out, I think.

Friday we worked and decorated (yay!). Saturday we went to the stables to ride horses, hit Shivers for lunch (enter the nostalgia) and the kids decorated ginger bread houses.

(Shhh! Don't tell Henry I don't have a photo of him on the horse. I do have some great video of him trotting though.)

When I asked my Mom earlier this month what she'd like for Christmas, she replied:

"Andrew." It turns out his handyman skills are in high demand. So while the kids went to town on their gingerbread houses, Andrew helped my parents with a few projects. I'm his lady pimp, sending him to work on other people's projects while I receive the credit for the "gifting of his services." I'm such a snake! Seriously though, it worked out well as my Mom and Dad were super appreciative and Andrew, Captain Frugality, would much rather give a gift of his time. 
It was a great way to kick off the holiday season.


rachel garber said...

When did you cut your hair? It is so darn cute!

Audra said...

What is growing on your husband's face? Wow! I hope Santa puts a razor in his stocking! Just kidding!