We thought only Grace was going to be able to come home for Thanksgiving.

But in the end, EVERYONE was able to make it.

Claire because volleyball ended early (and they decided not to do one last tournament they were eligible for), then Max and Abby called and said they really wanted to make it happen and could drive down with Claire, and then, just a week before Thanksgiving Elle found out everyone was going to be here (I thought they knew before and we didn’t want to push them because Carson’s school is SO crazy busy right now), but they got to work and found that Carson could do some things online and found a super cheap round trip flight from Florida. WooHoo!

So, one by one, every child of mine showed up. And my heart knows by now to not take things like that for granted.

Let’s start with reunions with Bo Jangles, because everyone knows reunions with a shaggy dog are the most important.

Ha! I think it’s so funny how this dog knows “her people” even when they’ve been away a while. And they get SO excited to see her too!

Grace came first, along with her sweetie-pie cousin who she drove down with, with a quick stop in Las Vegas:

Of course, we work out together when we get together…

And all the other things too.

Then along came Claire fresh from the end of volleyball (so much more to say about that soon):

There is nothing quite like having college kids home I tell you!

I just wanted to hold them close forever!

We had our friend come over and fix our hair up (Aubrie is the BEST!)

Our house started to fill right up with kids and cousins and friends too…

Next came Max and Abby…

My heart was so full looking over at this duo during our workout:

Then along came Elle Belle:

(Carson didn’t arrive until late that night.)

…and Bob (Dave’s brother too:). We hadn’t had a chance to hang out with him in forever so we loved having him around a little…best question-asker in all the land.

Dave and I got to go on a little lunch date with him.

Claire was back to her Bo antics…can you tell how much Bo loves that?? She’s just trying to make it through all that unwanted attention. And I prepped for the Thanksgiving hosting…

Dave took us to Hobby Lobby one night to buy canvases and paints so we could paint together, and I HAD to take a picture of that:

(I don’t think Dave has ever set a foot in Hobby Lobby!)

Also stuff like this…ha!:

THEN it was time for Turkey Trot packet pick-up as the sun went down:

Luckily there was a spot to get a craving taken care of nearby for our pregnant girl…

And a little break in between shifts…I love that Abby caught this…look how happy Lucy is with all those siblings around.

Loved being with this crew (and everyone else) as the sun sunk low and the excitement rose with all those ready to race the next morning:

Meanwhile back at the house:

Grace got to reunite with these high school friends:

I put together as much as I could for the Thanksgiving tables the next day:

…and basked in this togetherness.


After that it was the TURKEY TROT.


But those have their very own posts coming up this week.

We’re just talking about before and after for today.

Because sometimes, those “little things” are really the big things.

The day after thanksgiving having the house overflowing with so many people we love, more came over to hang in the AZ winter sun.

We had one day after the Thanksgiving hoopla with our whole family together so we decided to take it to the lake.

The met on the dock with the cousins who had taken the boat out in the morning and passed it off to us.

Was it cold at the end of November you might ask?

And the answer is yes, yes it was.

But we sure didn’t mind wrapped up together with all that desert surrounding us.

(Max in deep contemplation up there…ha!)

We raced, still in our swimsuits, to Dave’s sister Carol Lynn’s 50th birthday celebration with so many family members:

Love this woman with all our hearts and so grateful for the chance to celebrate her.

I didn’t get a picture of the book Elle put together for her filled up with so many letters and pictures for everyone, but I sure should have!

After that, we bid goodbye to Max and Abby who headed back up to Utah to spend some time with Abby’s family, Elle and Carson took a road trip up to Las Vegas to meet up with Carson’s family (who were gathering there for two baptisms and a baby blessing), and we were down to these two visiting college girls who we took to lunch to talk deeper about how life is going for them:

Grace and I got to head to the temple with my parents (who yes, they were here for Thanksgiving too but we hardly got to see them!) and Jonah’s family since their daughter Ana was going through the temple.

(For some reason my computer won’t upload the picture of them, so I’ll have to come back and load it soon.)

We went to the Cinematic Pop concert to watch our favorite: McKenna Breinholt sing:

(A post of it’s own coming for that because too much to say…)

Hugged up the end of these girls before we had to send them off:

And they headed off on that long road trip with cousins.

THEN, Elle and Carson got back from Las Vegas:

In the middle of our game night:

And we got to have them for one more day.

They helped decorate the tree:

And celebrate Dave’s birthday.

And boy howdy, this just scratches the surface of all that happened, but there’s a wrap for now!

Turkey Trot and Thanksgiving soon, before December takes it’s hold!

Happy Monday!

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  1. I love learning about the Mormon religion and culture in your blog. Could you elaborate on a sentence for me? What does “Ana was going through the temple” mean exactly?

    Thank you!

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