Thursday, November 29, 2012


I've said it before, and I'll say it again and again, I'm so thankful for my family.  All of my family.  I'm really thankful for my mom's side's Thanksgiving tradition.  This one dates back as long as I can remember.  The entire side (my mom is 1 of 6 kids) gathers on Thanksgiving, it's like one big family reunion every year.  As big as we are, we are very close.  Many of my cousins I consider to be some of my closest and best friends. The venue has changed over the years.  It used to take place in Columbia at my parents house back in the 80's.  Then it was moved to Savannah at Aunt Paula's, then to Hilton Head at Aunt Cindy's, where it's stayed since about 1993.

Thanksgiving then

Unfortunately due to Blakely's second (yea, second) spay surgery, we didn't get to make the trip this year.  I was totally crushed and bummed out as Thanksgiving is the biggest deal EVER in my family.  You just simply do not miss unless you are at death's door or something to that affect. Unless you want to catch the wrath of all my mom's sisters, which just take it from me, you don't. :)  You get the point.  In any event, here are some of the things that makes my family's Thanksgiving so special.

The day (and let's be honest, the night before, too) starts off with HOT NOW Krispy Kreme donuts and coffee.  ALWAYS.  I think Aunt Cindy started this trend, but the rest of the fam caught on that's for sure.  I insisted on feeling somewhat like Thanksgiving this year, so I had to run out and get my own that morning.

We all gather round and eat, lots and lots of food.  There's about 60 or so people on my mom's side when you count the aunts, uncles, first cousins, and second cousins.  I'm not kidding when I say my family is BIG.  I know I always say that, but I don't really think anyone understands the magnitude until they enter Thanksgiving.  Mark admits to me it was pretty overwhelming his first go-round.  I think he's finally learned everyone's names at least, 6 years later and all.

We always get a group shot of the cousins.  We've been doing this since we were all in diapers, which is pretty hilarious to look back on all the pictures through the years.  And to see how many family members have been added now with first cousins getting married and having babies of their own.  Crazy!

All the babies born in the last year with their mamas.  Brooke with Jackson, Stacy with Cal, Mindy with Brady, Christy with Addison, Betsy with Watts , Megan with Annie.  Just missing Rachael and Lily!  Yea they just had babies, note the skinny genes, please God tell me I got those.

And we have a tradition of receiving money from grandparents.  My great-grandparents started this tradition.  My great granddaddy would give each cousin an envelope of money and Sweet 16 donuts (you even got to pick whether you wanted powdered or chocolate).  My great-grands have passed away, but my Meemaw and Deedaw have carried on the tradition for us.  You receive money until you have your own kids who would receive in your stead, so a lot of my first cousins are out.  Mark and I don't have kids yet, so we still get the loot.  Heehee :)

the look on Tate's face getting his money envelope is priceless

It used to be that after we ate, got our picture made, and received our grandparent money, we'd ALL go to a movie together.  Back then Hilton Head only had one movie theater, and it was TINY.  So, we literally filled up an entire theater.  Ha! I'll never forget- the first movie we all went to as a family was Home Alone.  Others I remember seeing were Mrs. Doubtfire, Flubber, It Takes Two, Sister Act, and Father of the Bride. We also use to wear out the Disney movie "The Witches".  If you haven't seen it, you should.

my dad, Ali, Steph, and Mandy watching The Witches

I love my family so very much! Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and lots to be thankful for.


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