I also got a chance to really reflect on how much has changed over the past few years. My brother spent the whole day with us Thursday (which we loved) and we were talking about how growing up, holidays were really different for us... we came from a small family in general but all of our relatives live abroad. Even before my parents divorced, it was only 4 of us, and afterwards 3 no matter what our plans were. It is so cool to see how we went from sorta lonely holidays to almost 30 guests coming to the home I share with my husband. I realized again how incredibly the Lord has blessed me (and my brother) by getting to marry Ben. It's totally changed my holiday experiences. I share this in hopes of encouraging you that if the holidays this year carry any amount of sting for whatever reason.. the worst thing is never the last thing.
We started the week with grocery shopping for the holiday! It went extra smoothly this year. Funny note: I purchased those white fudge oreos to style in a clear cookie jar and it ended up that they are almost gone from all of the guests passing through our house. Haha!
One of the sweetest parts of our week has been lots of time with our niece, Megan. She's getting so big and we love her so much.
On Tuesday night we drove north to Denison, the hometown of one of our best friends who was home from Nashville. It was a sweet night with friends, and Collin's family dog pictured below. On the way home my friends were the ultimate troopers.. my morning sickness medicine wore off and let's just say it wasn't at all pretty. It made me realize just again how grateful I am to have such genuine friends in my life. They weren't at all deterred and I love them.
Thanksgiving prep was in full swing starting on Wednesday! I mentioned here that I tried to make a pie with pastry art.. I tried again and this time took a photo before it was baked so I could at least pretend it would stay pretty.
I ended up getting a surprise though.. it actually worked! Using egg wash as glue was essential.
I ended up using this dressing recipe last minute.. and loved it!
This year I craved a relaxed holiday. We love hosting.. but I wasn't feeling the extra fluff of tablescapes and linens and china this year. And you know what.. that's okay. I will always love those things, so maybe next year! This year we ended up moving all our furniture around to accommodate extra tables.. I'll cherish these photos in the years ahead. One day when we can live in our dream home, built for entertaining, I'll remember how we used to move furniture to allow people in every spare inch!
This year, Ben helped with the turkey more than ever. He did more of it than I did. There is no feeling like the pride and joy involved with making a turkey haha! :) It never gets old. It's a lot of work, but once a year we'll take it!
I snapped a few pics of our full spread once all the guests arrived.. we have some seriously amazing cooks in our family!
A really fun part of the day was tracking alone with people who had used our turkey recipe this year, most especially my good friend Nicole. We were texting all day about our birds and various other things haha. :) It may sound crazy but I almost teared up when I saw Nicole's finished product!
Although I will note that I wasn't as good at recording as she was.. We had mentioned sending plate pics and when I got hers this is what I was looking at, haha!
Before I cover Black Friday, I'll note that there is an awesome sale going on at Lara Casey shop. This would be a great time to pick up some goodies. We love this team!!
The whole weekend was pouring rain all over North Texas. So so cold and yucky. But cozy when we were at home. On Friday Ben and I both left early. I had breakfast plans with the girl cousins on one side of the family (so fun!) and then was determined to get my Black Friday on. This sounds crazy, but it's kinda fun to be a part of the hubbub.. and we had two photo sessions to shop for at the end of the weekend. Especially with my growing bump, I was really pleased to find a few things that made me feel pretty, and I loved that they were non-maternity and just a size bigger than usual. I'm hoping this will work for a while longer in my pregnancy so that I'm not feeling like I'm throwing away money on clothes I can only wear for short seasons of life.
Of course Anthropologie (and their 25% off everything deal!) hit the spot. I had some blackberries and pound cake from this little spread, too! I snagged three sweaters and a dress that will work for at least another few months of pregnancy.. victory!
This is so random.. but worth a watch! It's long.. but especially if you're a high school musical fan skip to around 8 min.
To finish out the fun week, we had TWO photo sessions on Sunday. Yikes! The first had been on the calendar for awhile, a fun project that you'll see on Friday. We loved working with the amazing Dyan Kethley on this! And after that we had a short session for Ben's parents' Christmas card. The color theme for the family was black, red, and gray. Our outfits are pictured below!
Like I mentioned above, I feel like my bump really popped this week so I'm glad this dress still worked for pictures. Choosing what to wear was quite the ordeal!
And now it's Christmas time! Yay for the holly jolly season! :)