I’m pretty sure Thanksgiving week wins as my favorite week of the year. Not only is there that buzz in the air around the holiday season and anticipation of Star, our elf, making his annual appearance, but I get to spend a whirlwind of a week seeing all the people I love most.
The girls and I left the Sunday before Thanksgiving to head down to Georgia. We spent a couple days with my mom, dad, and brother, then spent the night and Thanksgiving at my Nannie’s house, and finished out the week in South Carolina with David’s side of the family. The girls were on cloud nine with all the cousin time they were able to soak up, and I felt very much the same way.
The first stop, like I said, was Mom and Dad’s house. My brother was having some housework done so for the first time in a long time, just the four of us were under the same roof. It was a ball! Just like growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, but this time, with martinis at cocktail hour. 😉 We spent time playing Rumikib with my 98-years-young Grandma Betty, listening to 60’s music on the back porch, roasting pecans (using this rosemary and brown sugar recipe), gawking at the Christmas decor at the nearby Ritz Carlton hotel, juicing celery, decorating for Christmas, and overall just enjoying each others’ company.
On Wednesday morning, Mom and I took the the girls to Nannie’s house to meet up with my Aunt Lynn, cousin Mya, and her kids to help get ready for Thursday’s festivities. The kids took off tromping in the woods while I sifted through Nannie’s recipe box, a favorite past time of mine. We helped make pie, but mostly we just hung out and chatted.
Every Thanksgiving since I can remember, I have spent at Nannie’s house in the country. The event has grown and now there are 17 of us adults, and 6 kids running around. It’s quite possibly my favorite day of the year.
We woke up Thursday morning to put on the Macy’s Day parade, stick the turkey in the oven, and wait for the crew to start arriving. The day was filled with walks to the creek, plenty of good, southern food, riding through the fields in the back of trucks, admiring my Aunt Cynde’s new art hobby, and catching up on what everyone has been up to. I felt particularly overwhelmed with the spirit of thanks this year as I looked around at all the people I love, Dad carving the turkey, and the kids all giggling and running around together.
The fun wasn’t over yet. We hugged everyone on Thursday night and took off for South Carolina. I feel pretty lucky to have so much family within driving distance. A short two hour drive later, we were pulling into Mema and Grandpa’s house! My nieces and nephews were ready to greet us and hearing Hailey and Kaitlyn shriek with excitement while pulling into the driveway sure was sweet.
My favorite thing about our family is that everything is pretty relaxed. I know how rare that can be and appreciate that our time together is spent working on puzzles, roasting s’mores in the outside fire pit, going on walks, playing pickle ball, playing cards, eating chili, and watching football. Side note: GO DAWGS! …and did anyone else stay up to watch that LSU/Texas A&M game?! Holy moly! Mema kicked up the excitement factor, too, with a “southern sleigh ride” and a visit to the fire station to meet, who I am certain is, the real Santa!
Please tell me you noticed David’s brother’s shirt? 🤣
We packed up and gave extra hugs on Sunday morning before heading back home. Though it always feels good to get back in a routine, I was surprised I wasn’t particularly run down for once after a week bouncing around the southeast. Instead, I felt the spirit of Thanksgiving- a ton of gratitude for the people and love in my life.
I am aware that this recap plays out like a cheesy Hallmark movie, but I can’t help it. I hope this full-hearted feeling lasts the entire season and that you feel it, too. The holidays can be messy and emotional for a host of different reasons, but I figure the more we can focus on the highlights, the better.
And now we’re beginning a week back in full swing, only to be topped off by hosting our annual Christmas party this Friday. Time to get a tree! Fa-la-la-la-La-la-la-laaaaaaa
Sending you all a season full of love! ❤