And here we are late, late one night, basking in the opportunity to catch up one-on-one with this family we love.
By the end of Thanksgiving break it looked like this:
Love it so much!
We also got things framed and finally done on our walls. I’ll have to do a whole post about some of these things some time, because there is some good meaning to some of them and I’m really particular about what we hang on our walls (see this old post HERE and a follow-up HERE), but for now I’ll just say we love this friend who insisted on coming over to help us get things hung.
So grateful for good friends.
We also finally put up some pictures in the game room. Here they are laid out on the floor as I tried to figure out the right placing…
Here they are hung by doors in that room…one door:
Up a little closer:
The other door:
Up a little closer:
Oh how I love that middle one of Max hugging his sisters!
We also got this game room wall ready for our family wallpaper which we’ve been working on for almost a year.
It is seriously one of my favorite things ever and it will take another post to explain it, but we are in love with it.
…only to find there wasn’t a light box so I had to have another guy come do that, and then I put on the crystals after midnight the night before Thanksgiving…which made quite the good mess…
(By this time Dave’s sister had left to go stay with their mom, and Dave’s cousin and family had moved on in…that’s Zoe up there, love her!)
My cousin/dear friend is so awesome at decorating and she brought all this great stuff for us to decorate the tables with:
She is the best! We were up all night laying all that stuff out.
Amidst all this, Elle came home.
Yes, she wasn’t going to come, but Dave and I looked at each other after she left that first time and confessed that we needed to find a way to get her back. Life is so interesting when kids leave home. You just don’t know when you’re going to get them back, so we figure we better take advantage of every time we can get her. A mission or study abroad may make her unable to be here for the Turkey Trot and all the hoopla next year so we were so grateful to have her, especially since we couldn’t have Max.
We loved soaking her up for the few minutes we actually got her at home.
This “quad squad” was all in town (cousins), so they sure lived it up together:
I couldn’t make it since I had so be at Brainfood, but she sure loved being with those guys, especially this one who was her roommate last summer in Provo:
…all the ones we didn’t get to the night before with all the cousins:
Dave and his “team” did a bunch of prep work too to make sure everything was ready…
Claire did an “ad” for her newspaper class getting ready for the big run:
Ha! Love that Taylor Swift had such nice things to say!
And I spent a while trying to get our Families Fighting Blindness back into shape in between table prep:
After a few hours of sleep we headed over to the Turkey Trot and I wrote all about that yesterday.
As soon as we were done at the Turkey Trot we raced over to see my new little teeny nephew who was born just in time for Thanksgiving. Grace had gone home with someone else so she missed out, but I wasn’t going to let one more moment pass before I held that sweetie pie. My brother and his wife had their baby within a couple hours of this one. How crazy is that? Gave me a serious case of IWAN to see the little videos and pictures come through to us.
Yes, we had every one of Dave’s siblings there in town, but one made an early exit from all the hoopla to give birth to the sweetest little guy!
(Pretty good excuse not to make it for the other Thanksgiving festivities, don’t you think?)
I’ll post about Thanksgiving dinner/dessert/evening tomorrow, but I’m posting the aftermath of everything here too so I can have it all in one spot.
On Friday we got up and played some tennis.
…and got walloped I might add…
Elle and Grace also played against Zoe and Claire which was a pretty sweet match I must say.
Although Lucy was swimming with Zoe’s little brothers (in ice cold water!) she claimed she needed a tennis shot as well 🙂
We went out to dinner with Chris & Sam as well as our friends in town from Texas that night, and then Dave’s brother heated his pool the next day which the cousins were over the moon about.
They also enjoyed this human elastic on the side…
On Sunday we had two farewells of Elle’s friends, so happy she got to be here for a couple of them, and send them off. Here’s Grace with one of Elle’s friends on the way to one of the farewells…
Our tradition is to watch Elf as we put up Christmas decorations…some were more distracted by that than others. Ha!
That was quite a week and I don’t think I’ve ever been as exhausted in my whole life as I was when Dave and I settled in to bed that night. We are still trying to recover a little from all that hoopla, but December feels so good so far. Maybe it’s the #LIGHTtheWORLD thing we are loving so much!
Your entire family is adorable, so may I give a special shout out to Grace? She gets more beautiful every time you post pictures of her!
Yes that Grace shines light and enthusiasm wherever she goes. Love her!
(and thanks for your sweet message about her)
What an amazing time for your family! I really love all the additions to your home. This is totally nosy, but would you mind sharing where you got your area rug, coffee table, round mirror and new sofa? I love them and the peaceful feeling it gives to your living room. 🙂
area rug is from overstock
coffee table is from overstock as well I think…
round mirror and sofa are from RH
What is the paint color in your entryway?
it's just whisper white from Dunn Edwards
Shawni, today's light the world challenge is to help others see as Jesus helped them see. After reading your blog for all these years the first person I thought of was Lucy. Is there somewhere we can donate today? Or is there another way to help out? Just asking because she is the cutest little light and it breaks my heart to hear of her struggles.
I had the same thought! She was the first person I thought of too. Please let us know how we can help and where the best place to donate might be. We love Lucy!
Thank you so much for these thoughts! I forgot these comments were here! I hope you found the directions in the other post on ways to donate but if not, go to familiesfightingblindness dot org and there is a red donate button on the right. Those funds go directly to Families Fighting Blindness. Sending love and gratitude your way for thinking about Lucy!
I'm just thrilled to know that you'll be explaining your word wallpaper!!
Your picture hanging above your new entryway table really caught my eye! LOVE it!! Do you happen to know the artist's name?
We purchased that from a little hole-in-the-wall art gallery in Bali. Unfortunately I do not know the artist's name.
I really love it too! 🙂
This is so awesome! so I had a question and i know you have no idea who I am but I wanted to ask how do you decide which countries you want to visit? there are so many awesome ones its hard to narrow it down! also have you ever considered visiting Finland? They say the North Pole is there and they have a whole village and everything, just wanted to share that with you!
I'd love to go to Finland! Lots of factors have gone into where we have visited…books we've read that inspire us, friends or family who live there, etc.