It was a jam-packed Thanksgiving day, so bear with me on all these pictures to remember it all!

You see, when you decide to have a sealing the day after Thanksgiving, people come.

And you squish in a lot of things in a short amount of time because those days of gathering are just as precious as can be.

I loved that because of Elle and Carson’s sealing, Carson’s family was with us for Thanksgiving.

Mine too.

It was like a day-long pre-sealing party and looking back at these pictures makes my heart all drenched in gratitude over again.

(In the middle of all the hoopla, my heart was a little foggy I have to say, but man alive, every time I turned around and saw someone I loved, I was just so grateful!)

So we started the day off with the Turkey Trot (last post).

Once we packed that up, we came home to finish some prep we had begun the night before.

The cooks in the kitchen like busy bees:

The finishing up of the hanging of the disco balls for the party the next night:

(much more in depth than we anticipated but those two brothers-in-law worked some magic)

The cousins working on place-cards for the tables:

Oh wait, what’s that?

More disco ball finalization 🙂

And once that was done we got all the tables set up:

We had 17 adults at this “make-shiftedly” extended table:

My kindest-ever friend made me up these questions for each table setting (mostly different questions at each spot), which I loved so much for our gratitude dinner conversation:

The tables outside:

These guys got to sit under the disco balls.

Lucky 🙂

My sister had some fun little crafts for the kids to do at the inside kids’ table:

Love these parents of mine with all my heart:

(my dad is doing his traditional “thankful list” on a receipt that we could hang up like we did all those growing-up years.)

We had some fun babies to ooogle over:

And some excellent chefs:

Got it all lined up and ready to go…

And then it was time to begin.

Lots of married couples out here (Carson is the youngest of six kids and it was so great to get to know them all and their kids better):

The “young adults” here:

More adults squished in here:

I loved sitting with all of Carson’s family, feeling so much more bonded with those awesome people.

Also, I LOVED getting this picture of Grace’s Thanksgiving in the middle of all the hoopla going on around here.

SO happy to see that smiley face.

My friend happened to be in Austin visiting her daughter for Thanksgiving (who is in Grace’s ward…small world), and she and her daughter gathered all those missionaries like mother hens and took such great care of them!

Love that we got to talk to our girl in the middle of all those festivities too:

Love her!

The moms and the daughters after dinner…

…aw snap, should have had Charity’s baby Evie in there with those big girls.

Post-dinner naps:

And THEN, it was time for this:

Rather than try to cram in a luncheon after the temple the next day, or a family dinner the night before (kind of an all-day dinner because of Thanksgiving), we decided to gather everyone for Thanksgiving dessert.

And when I say “everyone” I mean a LOT of people. We had 57 at our house, and Dave’s family, rather than coming here like they usually do, had their Thanksgiving at his brother’s house to spread everyone out a bit more. There were 44 there I think, so all together we were right at the hundred mark.

Yikes, that’s a lot of family!

Look at these two awesome moms of ours ready to help serve that pie:

Here’s a partial look at all those good people gathered together:

Some of the cutest-ever couples all joined together:

After dessert, we gathered all the adults in here to give a little tribute to Elle and Carson:

We never got a chance to do this officially when they got married, and I loved getting to bask in this awesome couple.

I had been a little worried about encroaching on Thanksgiving for this sealing-celebration, but as my sister-in-law remarked, what a better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than turning our gratitude to the beauty of marriage and sealings.

So grateful that these two chose each other.

And that they have been preparing for this big day for a while now.

Judy (Carson’s mom) put together a funny “Newlywed game:”

And the families had the opportunity to say a few words, as well as Elle and Carson.

We finished with this video Sadie (Carson’s sister), put together that brought me to tears:

Oh I love those two!!

After things were cleared from that, somehow it morphed into this “One and Done” game with everyone gathered around the tables before they got put away:

It was hilarious and had some “triple doubles” included which led to this kind of excitement:

Ok sorry, we’re going to have to go ahead and watch the video for that one:

Yes, it was exciting 🙂

And nerve-wracking as Dave lined everyone up outside to see who the loser would be (consequence was jumping in the cold pool fully clothed this time around):

It happened to be one of the cousin’s new fiance, and he took it like a champ. Ha!

And THEN, it was on to late-night temple sealing prep, making sure we were ready for that grand event coming in the morning.

And THAT, is finally, a Thanksgiving 2021 wrap!

If you are still here, congrats on making it through.

Links with more details:

Games for a crowd

(Includes instructions for the “One and Done” game we played on Thanksgiving, just scroll to near the end of that post.)

The Turkey Trot

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  1. Apologies for leaving a completely unrelated comment on this lovely post.

    I thought you might be interested in a series of articles that has been recently published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) disability affairs reporter Nas Campanella that deal with parenting and blindness. Nas lives with multiple disabilities including blindness and is expecting her first child. She has produced a number of stories about her experience as well as interviews with other parents living with blindness. While I know this is a long way off for your Lucy, I was very moved when Nas talked about how challenged she felt having to give up some independence to be able to accept help and thought that might resonate with you?

    I also thought Lucy might be interested in some of her earlier pieces in which she talks about her career. For many years, Campanella was a newsreader on the ABC’s national youth radio station. She has openly discussed the discrimination she encounters as well as her dogged determination to succeed and highlight that our communities and environments are not ‘fit for purpose’ for all people.

    The ABC website is searchable, and all stories by Nas can be found through either a search on her name as journalist or subject ( Here is a link to her recent publications: And here is a link to an earlier story about her career:

    Holding thumbs that these aren’t geo-locked but if they are, I know you can find her on social media and she shares a lot there too.

    Thanks for always sharing such joy 🙂

  2. Congratulations to Elle and Carson!
    You’ve mentioned the one and done game a couple of times – would love instructions!

  3. How is it possible that all that happened??? AND that you somehow captured all that on your camera, in addition to engineering it all?. I saw you eat because you were at our table, but I can’t imagine how! Congrats on not only surviving but thriving through this once in a lifetime collection of celebrations! It was a memory that will never fade for any of us! Thanks so much for your amazing capacity to create these memories!

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