Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Somehow, I took exactly zero pictures of either of our familial gatherings this year! I guess I was too focused on cooking, eating and napping after turkey!

We have enjoyed the same family traditions every year (with maybe one or two exceptions) since we were married. Thankfully we have family who understand it's less about an exact date and more about being together. In our growing-up years, Thanksgiving was Mike's family's BIG holiday and Christmas was my family's. So, we decided our very first year as Mr. & Mrs. that we would make a point to spend Thanksgiving Day with his family and Christmas Day with mine. It's worked well for us and I'm thankful we have family who are just happy we get to be together sometime over the holidays!!

So, as I was saying, we spend Thanksgiving Day with Mike's side of the family at our house. I make the turkey and dressing and a number of other goodies! And everyone brings whatever their little heart's desire to go along with the birdy. We never go hungry and enjoy each others company immensely! It's been a lot of fun these past couple of years with two new babies being welcomed into the Williams gang. I'm so thankful we all love each other and have loads of fun together. I know it's a rare blessing. And, to sweeten the deal, Mike's baby sister has a birthday on or near Thanksgiving, so we get to celebrate her then too!

On the Saturday following T-Day, we gather at my parents' house and do it all over again! We love being able to retreat to the country and turn the girls loose in the woods. We eat like royalty and revel in good conversation until late! Outside of the three people the Lord has placed in my little family, my Momma, Daddy and Brother are far and above my favorite people. I love them like crazy!

One of the most fun things for me about Thanksgiving this year was having Gracie in the kitchen with me. She has spent the past few holiday seasons helping and watching, but this year she picked out her own recipes, made her grocery list and prepared them all herself! It was the tiniest glimpse of her 10....let's make it 15 ;)....years from now as she and her own family gather to celebrate Thanksgiving with us! I definitely don't want to rush into that season, but there was something beautiful and comforting to me to know that just because she won't be little forever doesn't mean we can't still enjoy these holidays and times together as Mother and Daughter. She is such a beautiful blessing to me. She made several different things. She's like her Daddy in that, she loves to bake and create sweet treats. A few of her delicious offerings: Cranberry Pie, Apple Cake, & Pumpkin Bread.

Autumn has only a small interest in the kitchen happenings so far. She's far happier romping around outside with her little cousins!

I do regret that I don't have any pictures, but at least I have the memories!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Attic Man...

Having sweet skills like: electrical, painting, (ah hem, bow staff) and such usually means you are called upon in times of electrical and painting need. This day was no different.

But when it's to help your friends, there's bound to be a little fun going on!

Attic Man. Oh yes, he's going into that attic. And those wires are never gonna know what clipped 'em!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Spontaneous Daddy Daughter Lunch Date...

Gracie and I were spending the day together doing a little Christmas shopping. So, Autumn was hanging out at work with her Daddy. I had packed her a little lunch, but he surprised her with a lunch date!

These are the pictures he sent me. Autumn with her hero and Mike with his! :)

I'm sad I didn't get any pictures of Gracie and I together. We had a great time though. We got to check out some new local shops along with several other favorites. As much as I miss the season with tiny tots at my feet, I also love this sweet time together. I am blessed to have my three most favorite people with me each day. It doesn't get any better than that!

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's Snowing! Well Sort Of...

It's the first snow of the season. At least, I think it's snowing...

You see it too, right?!?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Family Fun Day...

We had a unique opportunity to get away together as a family this past Sunday. We love worshiping with our family and friends. It's the highlight of our week. And we rarely aren't there. But, on occasion, it's nice to sneak away and find an adventure together!

We usually have an undeniable bend toward getting outside, on the trail, or at least into the country. This time we chose something outside our norm, but it ended up being a ton of fun! We decided to do some pre-Christmas window shopping. We had to check out the aquarium in the mall. I don't have pictures, but while we were there the Marine Biologist was feeding some of the fish. It was pretty cool! I had to laugh...I remember saying to Mike several years ago when I was making a decision about college: "Well, Marine Biologists just aren't needed in TN!" Who knew...

We ended the day with some delicious Mexican food. All in all, a great time!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

October Glory and A Photo Shoot...

October in TN is like why people live here.

It's stunning. Usually, the weather has gone from the deep, smothering heat of summer to the cool kiss of Fall. You're met with gentle breezes and perfectly blue skies. The leaves float through the air like little golden and crimson sailboats. The days are dwindling into the onset of winter and holidays, but for a few short weeks, it's absolute perfection. My Daddy always calls it "free weather", meaning the windows are open and the bugs are dead!

So, outside of spending every spare second in the yard, starting up a good evening bonfire, and picking the perfect pumpkin, what are Octobers made for?

Why, a photo shoot of course!

Here's my attempt (with a lame camera and not a single photographer's gene in my body) to snap some fun pictures of my two sweet girls...

Gracie (12 years old)

Autumn (9 years old)



Ok, Mom. We're done...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Wizards, and Elves, and Parrots, Oh My....

Halloween 2014 brought a fun mix of characters our way!

Gracie was Hermione Granger this year, inspired by her time reading through the Harry Potter book series for the first time.

Autumn was Turiel, a woodland elf in the new Hobbit movie.

We have celebrated the past several years with our friends in their neighborhood. It has become such a fun tradition. This year, however, they were in the middle of a move. Staying with us in fact until they close on the new house. So, we had to find a Plan B. We've never really lived in a place where we could walk from house to house, but we always find somewhere to go and this year was no different. The girls got dressed and we headed out to a local neighborhood to trick-or-treat. The weather was unusually COLD! We all pretty much ran from house to house and laughed the whole way. Although the invitation was for our entire congregation to meet in the Hickory Wild area, we must have missed most of them because we ended up doing the rounds by ourselves. We ran into a couple of friends along the way, but no one was particularly excited to stand around. It was FREEZING! So, after an hour or so we packed up and headed to see our little niece before calling it a night.