Celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas

I wanted to take a blog post and dedicate it to the holidays that we just celebrated! I know that most of my followers won’t be that interested, but I wanted to throw it all together so I at least have it to look back on!

First up: Thanksgiving!

This Spring, my cousin Seth was drafted to play for the Cleveland Browns! Because of his rigorous training schedule, he had to be in Cleveland over the holidays, and the rest of the family came to him! We haven’t celebrated a holiday with our extended family in a long time, but since we were only three hours from Cleveland we decided to drive up for the day.

We left pretty early and hit the road, since we knew we had to stop at least once to feed Kiah. We arrived right around noon and the entire extended family was there! The house was large, but it was still a tight fit for all of us!

At one point, we had all four brothers, their wives, all 13 of us cousins, plus 7 spouses and 8 of our kids in the house!

My Aunt Laurie did an awesome job hosting Thanksgiving while staying in an Air Bnb! We had tons of food, and tons of pies!


We snagged some family pictures while we were all together, too.

My cousin Jacob and I are one month apart…and now we have sons who are two months apart! It’s crazy to realize that we are the grown ups around here now, not the kids anymore!

Kiah at 6 weeks old, sleeping through Thanksgiving

This was the best we could do for a group family photo! We are missing a few people, but it’s not too bad, considering how big the family has gotten!

My brother and I:

Some cousins!

All the wives! We have had all had babies within the last year!

Katie and I with our sons. When I first arrived back to the States after leaving everything I knew in Africa, Katie was incredible about befriending me and including me! She’s pretty great 🙂

After that jam-packed day, we loaded back up and drove home. Tera hadn’t taken a nap at all and so she fell asleep in the car at 6 pm as soon as it got dark out. We tried to get some dinner on the way home, but everything was closed for Thanksgiving. Good for them, but we arrived home STARVING and it felt like it was midnight although it was only 7:30 pm. Haha! We crashed early and on Friday, we celebrated Christmas!

This year we decided to do a “secret” Santa and each only pick one person. It’s amazing how expensive it gets when you try to buy simple presents for each person in the family!

This is the first year that Tera has actually understood presents, and she was so excited about all the presents under the tree!


My Mom and I worked hard all day to put together our traditional Christmas meal: finger foods and appetizers!


Breadsticks with pizza dip, cheese & cracker tray, shrimp with dip, nuts and M&Ms, quiche, stuffed mushrooms, chicken weings, fruits & veggies, pie and chocolate caramel squares! It was a feast!


It was so beautiful and cozy to just be with family. Kiah and Memaw thought so, too!


We ate our delicious food and then Theo led us in a short devotional from Hebrews.


Tera had way more fun handing out the presents and helping EVERYONE open theirs than in opening her own. Of course, she somehow had the biggest stack of presents even though the rules were ONE present per person.


Uncle Dan just had to buy Tera a poop pillow. She runs around yelling about her “purple poop pillow” all the time now. Ha.


Even Kiah got some presents!


My Dad was the last one to get a present, and to get his present he had to go on a scavenger hunt around the house. It turns out the hunt ended under the tree where the first clue had been. Haha!


They were having so much fun with the hunt…


Tera got a nice Melissa and Doug wooden truck set, and then some bath toys from the dollar spot. She LOVES both toys, but has carried these rubber bath toys EVERYWHERE for the last few days.



The next morning we said a sad goodbye to my parents. I’m so thankful we got to celebrate BOTH holidays together while they were here!


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