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Not Our Usual Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a tad unusual for us this year and very extraordinary. It was also my Momma’s birthday. A big birthday. A very big birthday. So in the same manner in which we celebrated for my dad’s big birthday a couple of years ago, we also rejoiced over the very special woman in our lives. My parents generously treated our family and Mac and Julie to five days at the Lost Pines Resort. Momma was lavished with love and the rest of us were able to partake in the spoiling.

It never seems to fail that at least one of our kiddos is sick when we spend time with my family. The Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving I was rushing to get out the door to pick up Mac and Julie at the airport and get things set up at the hotel. Kensie decided it was the day she’d sleep in until 8 a.m. which in and of itself is actually worth giving Matt a high five over, but on this day, it was because the most putrid smell seeped from her room. A mix of vomit and diarrhea made a most unwelcome visit that morning. And we dealt with it the first few days of our trip, as well as a bronchial nuisance in the form of a cough that kept me and Brennan up through the night. Aside from dealing with those unpleasantries in close quarters, we had a grand time!

I was able to add some extra touches to the weekend starting off with flowers and gift baskets in the rooms.


While I got the rooms set up, the rest of the gang experienced a true taste of Texas.



Despite my kids’ sicknesses, Popsie and Mees were quick to welcome the germ-infested carrier monkeys anywhere.


Wednesday night we had a welcome picnic. The Lord blessed us with a gorgeous evening. I found a fun website that gave me some inspiration. We started off with wine, cheese and crackers, and then inside each of the picnic boxes, I had containers of broccoli, grape and pasta salad, winter fruit salad, and molasses-spice crinkles (my new favorite cookie).




One of the great things about this unusual Thanksgiving was that we didn’t have any cooking or cleaning up to do! A highlight from the day were games of tetherball that literally had us keeling over from laughter. No one wanted to play the 6’5” tall guy who ruthlessly kept the ball spinning above our heads. We also discovered that Momma had a tetherball set in her yard as a child and she was pretty good!



On our way down to fill our bellies with an out-of-this-world Thanksgiving Day buffet! I had a simple prayer: that neither kid would get sick at the table. We left right as Kensie had a diaper blowout, so I consider that prayer answered. Popsie was in charge of Brennan’s plate, and he ended up eating French toast for Thanksgiving. And he spoke of it all weekend long <grin>. The food y’all. How we can be blessed with so much good food astounds me.


This dude loves riding his bike!


That night we had German chocolate cake, champagne and opened presents. There was obviously a lot of R&R this weekend, too. Half our celebrating took place on Popsie and Mees’ bed.


Look what we woke up to on Friday morning! Elves were at work during the night and a life-size gingerbread house was on display as well as all of their other Christmas decorations. Wouldn’t that be awesome if it worked like that in our own homes?


Friday the boys took the kids and played hard while we girls were treated to some amazing spa time! For hours we sat in the spa in our robes next to a fire visiting, munching on snacks, and getting pampered with a massage or facial. We walked around very relaxed and sedated the rest of the day.

Brennan became very attached to the donkeys, that humorously we heard bray every morning at 7 a.m. On the last night of our trip, Brennan thought his Uncle Mac and Aunt Julie were going to buy him a stuffed animal donkey in the gift store. Upon discovering he was mistaken, the kid fell down on the floor in a fake crying fit. He wasn’t even fully recovered the next morning, whimpering on the way to church about how much he wanted the stuffed donkey to sleep with. The one redeeming factor is that he’s going to be a donkey in the Christmas pageant, and he’s thrilled! It did take some effort, however, to explain why we weren’t bringing the costume home.


A stay at Lost Pines isn’t a complete stay without s’mores by the fire!


Saturday was quite leisurely with more visits to see the donkeys.


Then we had to revisit the tetherball pole for a family championship game. This girl took home the prize.


Our first couple of days there the weather was swim-worthy. It cooled down our last few days, which was more welcome given that it was the end of November! The cooler temps, however, didn’t keep the guys from diving into the lazy river. Whatever Popsie and Mac do, Brennan will do. The little guy didn’t even wince!



Finally, he’s sleeping!!


Saturday night we went to a restaurant my parents have wanted to try for years: Fonda San Miguel. The talking parrot was the highlight for the kids. And the food was pretty tasty, too!

My beautiful Momma, who in my humble opinion, hardly looks like it’s a very big birthday!


Julie has the cutest little baby bump and we are thrilled to find out the twins’ genders this week!


Personally, one of the most precious things about our Thanksgiving was to see all the hard work and creativity my Daddy put into our time together. Whether it was the creative notes and invitations he sent us all months ago or the personalized gifts he arranged for Momma to receive the last month, he poured his heart out into all of it. He did a fabulous job setting the tone and making it extremely special. And well, I think they are simply the cutest.


This picture taken outside in the dark with my phone didn’t result in the greatest picture but I love it.


Some nights, Mac, Julie, Matt and I would stay up playing games and watching football. They’re pretty cool to hang out with, even if they beat us game after game.

We packed up on Sunday morning, went to church and then out for a final lunch before having to part ways. We had the best time together last week, and there is so much for which we are thankful. Our times together are strongly anticipated. The next time we’re all together there will be two more little babies and we can’t wait!

If you ask me, this unusual Thanksgiving is more than welcome to become the usual.


What a wonderful time together - you are so blessed to have such a close family! I totally know what you mean about the kids always getting sick...mine used to get sick every holiday! Even on the trip to San Diego we took in October...our first stop after we touched down was to the pharmacy for cold meds for Alex!

You look beautiful!

Fun, fun, fun! What a great time. I agree that your mom looks amazing. Can't wait to hear about what Mac and Julie are having!

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