Can I tell you how much I love an “early” Thanksgiving? We just arrived home yesterday from my favorite week of the year- a whirlwind of family and good food across the southeast. And I am grateful to have what feels like a bonus week to get my feet under me before we are full on in Christmas season. I’m hoping to spend this bonus week completing my Christmas shopping, finishing the details of our Christmas decorations, tying up some school lessons, and carting the girls around to activities (basketball has begun!).
Thanksgiving 2023 Rewind
But before we hit the ground running on this Monday morning, I wanted to share a few highlights from our Thanksgiving week. It began Monday when the girls, Finley, and I loaded into the car and headed to Georgia. The drive went smoothly and we arrived at mom’s early afternoon, which left us plenty of time to take a long walk, set up and decorate her Christmas tree, and cook dinner together.
Tuesday morning my sister in law brought my nieces out to join us and the cousins all celebrated getting this bonus time to play together. Mom and I took the girl squad to the movies, where we saw Journey to Bethlehem. They certainly took some creative liberties in the film, but it was engaging and the girls loved the music. We went for Mexican afterwards before tucking in for the night.
More Family Time
Wednesday, as tradition dictates, we drove into the country to my Nannie’s house to help prep for Thanksgiving. I’ve been coming to “the farm” for Thanksgiving since I was a kid and it’s such a special tradition. My aunt, cousin, and her kids joined us. Nannie is 90 and while she still chops up pecans for pie and celery for dressing, she also acted as overseer to a chaotic kitchen. I appreciated that all the kids wanted to help, but I know I forgot to add milk to at least one pie and who knows what else didn’t go exactly according to the recipe. It was fun though!
After prepping pies, and dressing, and sweet potato souffle, and turkey, we visited my aunt and uncle’s place next door. It was a gorgeous day and wide open spaces like rural Georgia sure do make my heart sing. We returned back to mom’s late afternoon, where David was finishing up trimming trees for mom. The kids all ran off to play and the adults poured drinks, prepped dinner, and chatted it up.
Mom had set up a craft table and everyone joined in to make pinecone Christmas trees! It was a cute craft H had found in one of her craft magazines where you hot clue half a champagne cork to a pinecone, then paint the edges with glue and sprinkle with salt to make it look like snow. Then we wrapped fairy lights around each one. They turned out SO cute and we packed them up to use for the centerpieces the next day.
Thanksgiving morning we headed back to Nannie’s for the main event. There were 22 of us this year, and everyone was trickling in by 11:00. We ate our big meal of the day around 12:30/1:00, then cleaned up and ventured outside to enjoy the fresh air.
The kids hiked through the woods and played freeze tag and we all took turns with Hailey’s bow and arrow set. By early evening, we all started to go our separate ways and once again I was left wishing we all could get together more often. Why is it so hard to make it happen?
David, the girls, Finley, and I left Georgia and headed to South Carolina to spend time with Mema and Grandpa. On Friday we visited Traveler’s Rest, a cute little town outside of Greenville. We did some exploring and had a late lunch before heading back. It was such a beautiful day to spend outside!
We spent Saturday at their local club getting in some exercise (for the first time in a week and I felt it…) and having lunch. We returned home for the afternoon where Hailey taught Mema how to shoot her bow and played outside until the sun went down and football came on.
Then we spent a cozy evening grilling burgers, watching some great rivalry games, and watching Georgia overcome the Yellow Jackets. It’s tough watching the game in a house of Georgia Tech fans, but I manage. 😉
We took off Sunday morning, David to the cabins to Tennessee to check on some things and the girls and I back to North Carolina to grocery shop and start laundry. To the girls’ delight, our elf, Star, had returned, right on time! David made it back home late evening on Sunday and phew- we all crashed hard into bed. What week!