Giving Thanks and Black Fridays

As crazy as they always seem to be, I love the holidays.

This year was the first Thanksgiving Sam and I shared as a married couple, trying to spend time with both of our families, and guess what? We survived! It was actually a really wonderful day. We had 17 people at my parents' table (more like tables stuck together). It's beautiful to see our family growing. We joked a lot about renting out New Seasons' kitchen next year and hiring a chef... but I think everyone loves bringing their own special dish to add to our melting pot of wonderful deliciousness too much to do that!

I spent the entire day prior making gluten-free and dairy-free Monkey Bread--a dish I have always LOVED, but until yesterday wasn't able to eat under my dietary restrictions. Everyone liked it and didn't seem to notice it was GF/DF.

Sam & I brought some of our games from home, but Grandma Betty (yet again!) had her games prepared... everyone's favorite being some sort of mystery person game where the answer is almost always Audie Murphey!

It's fun laughing at how ridiculous our family is. "I guess every family has its skeletons in the closet," said Grandma. But each and every one of us (17, actually) found one if not many reasons to be thankful as we shared around the dinner table.

After dinner with my folks, we headed over to Sam's Aunt Beth and Uncle Randy's house to have dinner with his family. It was much smaller and I very much enjoy the change of pace. We had a wonderful time visiting with his cousins (one just had a baby, me in my third trimester, and another in her first!).

Dinner was lovely, even though I was too stuffed to have any (there isn't a whole lot of room in my stomach these days... actually, there isn't a whole lot of room for my stomach these days! haha).

It was beautiful to hear Sam's mom and dad share the goodness of God in their lives during this rough time for them in struggling with unemployment. Very encouraging.

Then it was back to spend the night at my parents' house and rest up for the early beckoning of Black Friday. At about 6am, Sam & my dad headed of to Sears to take advantage of the sales on tools and I journeyed by myself to Fred Meyer to buy socks. I have to say, I extremely enjoyed shopping by myself and Fred Meyer was WONDERFUL. There was hardly anyone there! I parked right up front, walked in, got what I needed, didn't even have to wait in line at the checkstand, and walked out! I thought, that was a sinch! And decided to venture over to Target with my newly acquired confidence.


Fred Meyer was nice and quiet because EVERYONE ELSE was at Target. My first red flag should have been when I pulled into the parking lot and a lady almost ran into my car with tons of shopping bags and Target Cafe food & drinks in her hands, and then proceeded to mouth nasty words and send ugly looks in my direction. When I finally found a parking spot, I walked in the doors and down a ways until I noticed that the line for checkout wrapped around the ENTIRE back of the store. I walked right back out.

Mom & Autumn went to Freddie's a bit later and then we all reconvened at Starbucks to recoup and share our goodies. Sam's Aunt Beth gave him some birthday cash with which he finally bought himself a LEGO set (he's been wanting one for so long)! My mom found an adorable onesie that is quite perfect for her to give our daughter. It says "What happens at Grandma's stays at Grandma's). Ha!

Piper was waiting for us back at their house. She spent the night, too, and was so excited when she woke up and there was another dog to play with! I'm not sure if Kobe felt the same way, but she sure is content. I know he loves her, though. I snuck up on them taking a nap together... pretty darn cute :)

The best thing about Thanksgiving weekend is that even though we have spent today and yesterday running around like crazy, we still have another two days of weekend left! Tomorrow we will be home decorating our tree and relaxing. Thank you, Lord, for another beautiful Thanksgiving weekend!


  1. Sounds like you had a lovely Thanksgiving!!

  2. Your celebration sounds wonderful, and your pictures are beautiful! Are you doing something different with them? new camera? Maybe it's the nice way to dressed them up around the edges, but it seems the color and contrast are so perfect! Makes everything, even a couple of shopping bags, look like a work of art. Very nice!

  3. Thanks, Kathy! I was actually using my dad's external flash. I'm getting one this week so I was trying it out. It really enhances the photos a whole lot because you can move the flash to bounce light off the walls and ceiling.


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