What I will remember most from Thanksgiving 2012...
*So much family time. We stuck with tradition - my family gathering on Thanksgiving day last year, Cody's family gathering on Thanksgiving day this year. It's an every-other-year deal that we've made, and we're sticking to it. It's too hard to eat and run!
*Grandma Grayce and all of her great-grandkids. Randy and Lisa and their family. Cassi, James and Ella. While at the Ubben Thanksgiving, Cassi told everyone that I was the one with the "soccer mom" camera so I was enlisted to take requested family photos on the front steps. I might want to take up a side job in photography with all that free time I have...
*Unseasonably warm temperatures on Turkey Day. Instead of sitting and letting all of that food settle at the bottom of our stomachs, we immediately walked to the nearest park. It was SO nice out.
*Thanksgiving night... the Panthers on TV... our boys in bed... my Mom and Dad came over to watch the game. To me, it doesn't get any better than ending a holiday by watching you favorite team on the NBC Sports channel.
*Black Friday... since my shopping is already done, we slept in a little. I woke up to the sounds and smells of Cody cooking eggs and bacon in the kitchen. When I got out of the shower, cartoons were on, and the boys were devouring their breakfast. Daddy even surprised them with chocolate milk. And we stayed in our pajamas until noon.
*Decorating. It has been tradition in my family that the Friday after Thanksgiving is always reserved for a date with the family Christmas tree. This year was especially special because it was the first time that both of our boys were really old enough to contribute to the tree trimming. They did SUCH a good job. And while our Pandora Christmas mustic station played, I sat there taking pictures and watching them organize the branches for Daddy in a pile on the floor. All of them worked so well together, and I got tears in my eyes and sniffles in my nose. Brandon kept shouting, "It's Merry Christmas time!" It was the perfect moment and one I know I will always hold on to.
*This was the first year that every single strand of our lights worked again after being pulled out of storage boxes. That in itself is a Christmas miracle!
*Placing our new 2012 ornament in a prime spot on the tree. A tradition I started when we got married. I buy one new special ornament for the tree each year. Just one.
*Looking through old Christmas cards. I've been saving most of them for two years now and put my Pinterest-browsing to good use this year by making a coffee table booklet out of them. I can't wait to add to these little books.
*Friday night pizza at Papa Bob and Nana Nancy's and the unveiling of their brand new Christmas tree and the popular Christmas train. The boys were giddy excited that Papa had set it up for them.
*Holiday Hoopla downtown Cedar Falls. It was SO cold... but this event is too beautiful to miss. Who can say no to Santa's Workshop, Chipmunks singing on stage (the boys' absolute favorite), an old-fashioned Main St. filled with lights, fireworks over the water and a visit from the jolly man himself? I adore our town and appreciate it even more this time of year.
*Friday night movies under the Christmas tree... and a Christmas bedtime story read by tree light. We snuggled up directly under the tree, turned off all the other lights and read The Christmas Story under the twinkling lights.
*Saturday... we put up the tree in the boys' room, put the finishing touches on the decor in the living room and met at Cassi's house for another family Thanksgiving. I made a Cool Whip Chocolate Pudding Pie and oreo crust that was heavenly, and Brandon found the perfect spot to sit himself right by the munchies. Oh yes... and there was Raspberry wine.
There was Brandon's first "shiner", the cousin's band, a "tip jar" and this picture:
I died when I found him sitting like this.
*A perfect Sunday morning church service. Christmas trees filled our church home, and we learned the true meaning of contentment in our souls without always feeling the need for "more."
*A trip to one of my favorite stores - coupons in hand. My house now smells like Peppermint Mocha, Marshmallow Fireside, Vanilla Bean Noel and Jolly Gingerbread... depending on which room you walk into.
*Brandon's excitement every time we drive by a house decked out in lights. "Ooooohhhhh those lights are PRETTY!"
*Sunday night. Finally nowhere to be. Toys in front of the tree and Home Alone on the TV. After three-hour naps!
Wrapping up a weekend of Thanksgiving with much to be grateful for. All is calm. All is bright.
Wishing you and yours the most Merriest of Seasons. :)