It happened to be Bo Jangles second birthday (as Lucy continually kept reminding us, so what a better gift than that??)
Sleepy Claire and Grace joining in the hugging and excitement, something so good about four sisters reunited.
We left there early to get over to the pre-wedding dinner for my nephew (Smith) who was getting married the day after Thanksgiving. Here are his parents I love who hosted:
(Dave’s brother and his wife)
They did this cute game (kind of like the newlywed game) where Smith’s uncle asked questions (mostly things like “who is more likely to…) and they had to guess by putting up the face of who fit the answer best. (Am I making sense?)
All the friends and family guessed as well:
And then there were sentimental things shared about those two. Loved it. And loved having cousins together.
Love our cousins so so much! It gave me a few butterflies in my stomach to think that this would be Max and Abby in a little less than a month from then (two weeks from this very day!)
On to the Turkey Trot. I didn’t have this picture when I posted all the Turkey Trot details (back HERE), but these guys are the whole reason for all that hoopla. I like to call them the Dream Team:
They are amazing and work their hearts out for this thing.
It was a cold morning on Thanksgiving, pulling girls from bed before dawn, doing hair, packing up, lugging all our “Families Fighting Blindness” paraphernalia to our designated “spot” and getting everything set out and ready for the crowds to arrive. Dave and his “team” had been there past midnight the night before and hours before we got there that morning, those guys work so hard!
Here we are before “the wall” was gradually filled to the brim.
I got to run again this year, (plenty of people helping at our “booth”), this time with Elle and her friends. They changed the race course this year so things were spread out a lot more but the feeling was the same, so much goodness and what felt like magic floating through the air with all that generated snow floating down on so many families and people we love, and thousands we don’t. I loved seeing our stickers dotting the backs of so many as we ran and mingled in the crowds. Loved that Amy and her family (another BBS family) helped us this year. It was good turnout once again, even more growth from last year and we packed up after the crowds went their own ways with such full hearts.
Felt so good to be “connected” somehow even though we couldn’t be together.
Over and over and over again leading up to
Thanksgiving I sent up silent prayers to God that I wasn’t hosting 50 people at
our house for dinner like we have the last few years. My bandwidth is shrinking. My capacity is shriveling. And I just felt so much love for Dave’s mom that I
wasn’t up all hours the night before setting tables and ironing napkins.
I was in charge of the rolls and a couple pies. I did have one mini freak-out about burning a pan of my rolls and the girls not being on top of their pie I assigned them for the dinner, but we made it!
(As a side note, my sister-in-law shared with me how she does rolls to make them ahead of time so she doesn’t have to worry on the big day…make them up and freeze them before they raise the last time, then you just have to set them out to rise early in the morning, say, before you leave for a Turkey Trot and voila! They are ready to stick in the oven when you get home. Maybe that tactic is common knowledge but it was a good new trick for me to learn this year!)
We’re not big traditional pie lovers around these parts (our family) so we usually opt for grasshopper ice cream pie:
Loved being able to SLOW DOWN with the families who were there at Dave’s mom’s house, younger ones with little boys bouncing off the walls. Lucy shared a table with all eight of them 🙂
Traditional Thanksgiving football:
At first it was just the boys, but then Claire and Hallie joined in.
Then everyone else (other cousin families) joined in for pie and we played a few giant rounds of cards before our family packed up and took off, dance party in the car to Queen.
Got home around nine, everyone spilled out to greet delighted Bo and have a big dance party in our driveway to all those Queen songs the girls are loving right now pumping out of the car stereo.
These are out-takes of a video so sorry they’re blurry but I think they capture a little of the effect.
Spur of the moment we went to a late movie, all six of us, me very bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, but so filled up with love.
I love my family.
Such a beautiful day!
Lots of dancing and jubilant celebration.
Grace even caught the bouquet 🙂
Meanwhile back at home we were scrambling to get wedding invitations addressed. We spent one afternoon while Elle was in town hand-addressing those suckers. Mine looked horrible compared to my girls, so grateful for their artistic abilities. And for this sweet friend who came and helped finish the list one night:
Of course, card games were in order as well…
Sometimes I can hardly stand how beautiful the desert is.
And how grateful I am for this crew:
Including Lu who opted out, and Max and Abby who were having their own adventures.
We enjoyed these flowers all weekend. Dave gave them to me and they really deserve their own whole post because seriously, it was pretty sweet and uniquely thoughtful.
Another one of Elle’s friends came home from a mission, and it was good to see so many of her great friends filtering in and out all weekend.
Our friends (this great family we met in China and who moved to the desert) surprised us and showed up at the Turkey Trot. We love them and have missed them since they moved to Boston. They came over one night to catch up.
Meanwhile, check out this awesome family Max gets to join:
Seriously, lots of love right there. We are thankful every single day these days for them and their goodness and love. Love them so much, can’t wait to meet the kids in person.
Then, sadly, Elle Belle left back to her little island.