Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend 2014

We went to South Carolina for Thanksgiving again this year. After I got off work on Wednesday, we drove up, missed all the traffic, and got there in about 5.5 hours with two short stops. We arrived in the early afternoon and hung out doing projects with mom and napping (Carson). Granddaddy called to invite us for dinner over there, so Carson, Dad and I went over, ate dinner and played games (Carson played, we observed). 

My parents hosted Thanksgiving for both my dad's and mom's sides of the family. Scott joined me in wrapping the tables with kraft paper and created an incredibly politically incorrect portrait of the first Thanksgiving. 

As with any family holiday, there were lots and lots of pictures taken. Here's one of the four Norman kids and Grandmama's sister Aunt Joan.

Somewhere in there we ate. There isn't a table big enough for all of us (34 this year), so we were spread out in different rooms. I ate in the dining room and enjoyed stories of my dad and his siblings growing up, courtesy of Uncle Mark.

After we feasted, people spread out to talk inside, go on walks, play football and play cornhole.

I joined the group that went to visit my brother's goats. It's like a zoo right there in the woods.

They all have names: Archie, Lucy, Linus, Studly... (can't recall the other one)

The four "little girl" cousins.

The "big three" oldest cousins

All seven of us Norman girl cousins

Aaaand one with Grandmama. I love that someone thought to take this picture; I don't think we have another one.

They were still playing corn-hole when we emerged from the woods.

Then family portraits began. There is never a camera shortage at family gatherings.

Morgan and Caleb tried for some stunning Christmas card pictures; I'm sure these are winners.

Carson and I already have Christmas cards, but I made him do a photo shoot anyway.

Here's Mom's side of the family.

We're now a family of seven, which is strange to think about.

We took a Norman family picture too... mine turned out blurry so here's that.

And here's one from Dad's camera.

Norman family cousins.

My mom and her brother. They were psyched to take this picture.

After everyone left, Scott began to shoot pumpkins, because I guess that's what you do when you live in the middle of nowhere. Carson looked on and admired.

That night, we were going to watch Home Alone, but the DVD player didn't work, so we watched Frozen instead. Dad had me bring Mom's birthday gift down from the attic while the movie started... a disco ball. It seemed super strange to me, but I guess she mentioned wanting one sometime and he remembered. She loved putting it in the sun in different places all over the house to see the reflections.

On Friday, Carson and I went Black Friday shopping with Caleb and Morgan. We were out for about three hours and in that time we also sat down and ate breakfast, so we were clearly not those people knocking down store doors and elbowing people in the face. It was fun to be out there though, and the outlets in Bluffton weren't too crowded. Poor Morgan came down with a cold and couldn't stop sneezing, so we all enjoyed going home early and napping.

We had the annual family oyster roast that night. Scott has officially taken over the role of official fire-starter, and what better way to make a fire grow than to use a leaf blower.

Oyster eating. Grandaddy, Uncle Mike and I think a few cousins trudged out into the marsh to get these little guys, and they were certainly enjoyed by those that ate them (there are a fair amount of family members who don't share the hype).

Scott and Stuart decided to make the fire larger by throwing huge palm fronds onto it, which shot the fire way into the air. Every year we discuss the possibility of catching the tree that hangs over the fire on fire and every year it doesn't happen, but this year it was close. We all stood back because it did get really large.

A video of the second time this went down, thanks to Dad's phone.

We returned in from the cold to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers, pecan pie and football. I don't know about your family, but pecan pie is the clear favorite in this group of people.

The next day, we took it slow. Mom and I worked on a few secret Christmas projects and Scott and Carson entertained Oscar outside. He was thrilled.

That evening, we hit a couple of thrift stores before meeting Becca and Thomas for dinner at the Mellow Mushroom in Bluffton. We were seated in the perfect spot to watch the Ohio State/Michigan game and the Florida State/Florida game as we ate. Florida State won by the way, ending the season with a 28 game winning streak, which isn't bad considering they didn't seem to be playing well the entire season.

Dad had to work because it was the last day of the month, but the rest of us had a great time celebrating Mom's birthday.

After church the next day, Carson and I met Jillian, Gary and Graceanna for lunch at Fat Pattie's in Beaufort. They'd been before and were correct in informing us that it was great food. After we ate, Jillian and I chased Gracie around while our husbands talked. 

When she was handed to "Aunt Lindsay" for a picture, poor Graceanna decided that she'd had enough of photography.

We headed back after that, surprisingly not hitting traffic at all once again! Had we been heading the other direction, it would have been a different story.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because I get to see so much family and spend time with dear friends who are like family. It was great to see everyone and so nice to be "home" for the holiday.

Want to see past Thanksgivings?
Here's 2013 (Beaufort), 2012 (Cleveland), 2011 (Olympia), 2010 (Spokane), 2009 (Spokane, when we were engaged) and 2008 (first year in Spokane, pre-Carson)

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