I’m going through something in my life right now. I’m not in a place to share about it, so you may be wondering why I am even bringing it up. I’m telling you this because despite how silly it may sound, I truly feel like I’m writing to a friend in this space and as a friend, I’d want you to know that as I share these fun, joy-filled pictures from our Thanksgiving getaway, there is an unseen ache behind them.
I know that in this season of excitement, love, and joy that I am not alone. Everybody has a pain, a battle, a loss, a struggle, or an ache of some sort that they are either currently facing or perhaps something they are still licking their wounds from. Nobody goes through life unscathed and while the holidays are truly magical, it can create a complex mix of emotions for many (here is a beautiful and helpful post from Lindsay on the topic). It’s just another reason to solidify my belief that we can always be kinder than necessary. You really never know all the details of what may be going on in someone’s life.
With where I am right now, I’m focusing more than ever on all the things I am grateful for. An attitude of gratitude is wonderful, but I find it to be more effective when it’s in practice. As I looked through these pictures to share with you, it’s abundantly clear that I have SO much to be grateful for and I am, I am truly appreciative for so many things. Among those things is you and this space, so thank you. I really mean it.
So about Thanksgiving… the girls and I headed down to Georgia on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
We arrived at Nana and Papa John’s house around lunch time and the girls barely doled out hugs before begging to drive the Cadillac. The fall weather in the south this week was incredible, a chill in the air with beautiful sunshine, so we played outside for a long while before coming in. It’s no secret the girls love Belle so after months and months of asking to see the “real” Beauty and the Beast, we cuddled up on the couch (their matching pajamas are on super sale today!) to make it happen.
I had high expectations and I can tell you that the film surpassed them all. The sets were breathtaking, Emma Watson nailed it, and the whole movie was just plain enjoyable.
We also played Rumikub, toured a Southern Living home, did crafts with Grandma Betty, and confirmed that Mom and I are food twins. Her fridge is full of roasted vegetables, lentil hummus, and other goodies that are easily thrown together for a tasty lunch.
Midweek we packed up and headed over to my Nannie’s house, which is outside of Athens, GA. Every time we head that way I say I’m going to go early and spend time wandering around my alma mater, but alas, I always get pulled in by the country and Nannie’s homemade vegetable beef soup and skillet cornbread instead.
David joined us on Wednesday as we cleaned out Nannie’s gutters and prepared last minute Thanksgiving goodies. Oh let’s be honest, there is never much to really help with food-wise because my Nannie is the queen of organized preparation!
Thursday morning we wandered over to my uncle’s house to scour for pecans.
The girls loved filling our bucket and cracking them open, asking all the while if we could turn them into spiced pecans like Nannie does (the answer is yes, definitely). The crisp air made for the perfect Thanksgiving weather!
As usual, the main meal event was right around 12:30. The house was full and the food was hot (minus the turkey that apparently we didn’t let thaw quite long enough!).
I devoured all the southern vegetable goodness (okra and tomatoes! collards! black eyed peas! sweet potato casserole!).
As tradition goes, we headed out after the meal to a local Christmas tree farm.
Several people in our crew cut down trees and all of us took turns chasing the kids through the aisles and aisles of trees. Needless to say, my girls slept like logs that night (in their new Christmas pajamas!).
Friday morning we hugged Nannie goodbye and took off for South Carolina.
It’s really wonderful that a lot of my family all live within driving distance, which makes these road trips possible. After a brief two hour drive we arrived at Mema and Grandpa’s house! The girls couldn’t believe their luck- more cousins to play with! I think Hailey told me more than once that she was fine if we didn’t go back home because she was just having so much fun with all her cousins.
It’s crazy that we are at a stage now where all the kids can just go play, leaving the adults time to hang out and talk. My niece is now 11 years old and is basically a babysitter for Kaitlyn (a great one too!) so it’s easy to kick back and just enjoy watching all the fun. Also, if you don’t already own this Jumbo Sequence game, you really should; it’s great for kids of all ages!
We always end up with David’s side of the family (all yellow jacket fans) for the GT vs UGA game. But you know who you can always count on for support? David’s mom! She found the most perfect shirt to wear to show how much she loves both her daughters-in-law, the red and black bulldog AND the yellow jacket. Talk about a Mema divided…
This year, I (and half of Mema ;)) ended up on the winning side of this good old fashion hate game and I won’t lie, I enjoyed it! GO DAWGS (and bring on that rematch against Auburn!). The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, playing outside, eating David’s Famous Chili, and just spending time together .
We packed up Sunday morning to head home after our whirlwind week of a getaway. It was really wonderful to see so much family; I feel truly blessed with such a loving one. As we neared home, we stopped by Josh’s Farmers Market to pick out our tree. We chose one then realized we had to have them deliver it because it wouldn’t fit on our car. At that point we wondered if we might have gotten a little too big for our Clark Griswold britches…
but that’s a story for another day!
what is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
or better yet… your favorite Thanksgiving food?!
I hope my US friends all enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday and that we all having something in our lives to be thankful for <3