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Thanksgiving 2019

We had the most wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Both sides of our family came to us this year and we were so excited to host everyone in our home! My heart could explode from how happy it made me to have the people we love most seated around our dining table.Photo Nov 28, 9 29 39 AM-2

On Thanksgiving morning I popped a breakfast casserole in the oven that my sister and I prepped the previous day. It was excellent (and is one of my go-to casseroles). After breakfast we went Uptown to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade. The kids absolutely loved it. IMG_0709-2

Matt’s parents arrived shortly after we got back home from the parade and my mom and I whipped up a ton of appetizers for everyone to graze on throughout the afternoon. Almost everything was from Trader Joe’s and we just popped it all into the oven — bacon wrapped scallops, bacon wrapped goat cheese stuffed dates (omg — so ugly looking yet SO delicious), french onion soup bites, mini brie puff pastry brie bites, cranberry sauce & cheese stuffed fillo bites, cheese & crackers, my favorite hot corn dip and a few other goodies!Thanksgiving Appetizers (5)-2

I also really stepped out of my comfort zone this holiday and did something that is downright horrific in my family — in addition to serving a bunch of frozen Trader Joe’s appetizers, I ordered our entire Thanksgiving dinner from Publix. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous to pull out the oven safe plastic containers stuffed with pre-made casseroles for my side of the family who loooooooooooves a homecooked from scratch meal (my mom literally preps Thanksgiving food for like a week). And trust me, cooking is one of my biggest passions, so this felt strange!!!

But I decided it was more important for me to spend the morning at the parade and as much quality time with my family outside of the kitchen as possible.

And you know what? I wouldn’t change that for the world in hindsight.

My mom helped me manage all the timers and temperatures for each dish…and I got to enjoy the entire day bouncing around our home spending time with family! Photo Nov 28, 2 25 14 PM

To make the island a little more festive, I spread a gorgeous 18 foot fresh cypress garland that Lynch Creek Farm sent me down the center. It looked so pretty! Thanksgiving Appetizers (4)-2

My sister and I decorated the cutest (& simple) kids table together using fresh eucalyptus, pumpkins, colored pencils, coloring activity place mats, and a delicious pie matt’s mom brought! Lindsey and Jackson really got in to the coloring contest…IMG_0737-2IMG_0763-2.jpg

The kids had the best afternoon playing together in the backyard and lounging around the house. Per usual, Thomas was glued to his grandad!IMG_0817-2

Lindsey and I dusted off my crystal wine glasses for the holiday. And yes, we did Thanksgiving in leggings!!! And yes, I know we look like twins…I’ll gladly take the compliment — because I’m two years older…and a lot less fit! Photo Nov 28, 2 24 35 PMmy outfit: leggings/ sneakers/ sweater

Our attempt at a “let’s hold Ian up for a picture”…I’m still dying over this…IMG_0808-2After so many tries, we gave up and went with a normal sibling photo (plus Caroline)…IMG_0813-2

One of my favorite moments of Thanksgiving was once we got ALL the casseroles in the oven, the turkey in the fryer and a refill on all the drinks…we gathered the courage to do a (biodegradable — don’t yell at me!!!!) balloon send-off in honor of dad’s 62nd birthday. It was a bittersweet moment for us all and one that I’m so thankful we were able to have together for dad’s first heavenly birthday. IMG_0842-2Caroline was very concerned about whether or not Heaven has grass. And if so, wouldn’t the balloons pop on the grass as they enter heaven????? Good point, Caroline. IMG_0862-2IMG_0863-2After the balloon send off we gathered around to watch Ryan pull the turkey out of the fryer! Every single year Ryan begs for a fried turkey. And thanks to my girlfriend for loaning me her turkey fryer last minute (thanks Abby!), I was able to come through for my brother-in-law with a fryer so he could make his turkey dreams come true! Ryan fried up the most delicious fried turkey I’ve ever had in my life. It was truly incredible and he was SO proud of himself. And we were all proud too.Turkey (1)-2

I do have to give Pubix some serious credit — their Thanksgiving meal was delicious! I ended up serving two of their Thanksgiving meals — the turkey meal and the ham meal. Both came with several sides and everything was delicious!IMG_0882-2I was thrilled with how my tablescape turned out. Almost everything came from Amazon (including the gorgeous candle holders!!!) and I went with disposable flatware and disposable plates which made clean-up a breeze! For the centerpiece I layered a few types of fresh eucalyptus and added some mercury glass votives. And at each placesetting, I busted out my old calligraphy pen and made place cards. Thanksgiving Table (6)-2.jpg

Once we were all seated, we prepared ourselves for the blessing.

A few years ago, when I learned our time with dad was limited, I started recording him saying the blessing at every meal I was present for. And with Thanksgiving being our first holiday without him, I sought permission from each family member to play a recording of him saying the blessing as a way for us to incorporate him.

It was incredibly painful yet beautiful all at the same time to hear dad prepare our hearts and bless our Thanksgiving meal.Thanksgiving Table (8)-4sources: candles / candle holders / gold chargers / black napkins / mercury glass votives / disposable flatware / disposable platesThanksgiving Table (10)-2After dinner we surprised the kids with matching jammies! IMG_0909-2.jpgAnd that’s a wrap on our Thanksgiving Day!

Previous Thanksgivings: 2018 Florida | 2017 Florida | 2016 Tryon | 2015 Tryon | 2014 Winston | 2013 Charlotte | 2012 Winston

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Thursday 12th of December 2019

What a beautiful and very special Thanksgiving!!!


Thursday 5th of December 2019

Before fully opening this blog I thought your sister was you but then thought well who is on her shoulders? I looked around to find your kids then saw the real you next to your sister and thought oh.....well wait! Huh?!!! Ohhh ok so the first girl I saw HAS TO BE her sister! :) My sister and I get asked if we are twins all the time also & I am also 2 years older hahah She now has brown hair so we don't get it as much, but even my youngest once was staring at me and said you look a lot like Nana (My sister's name is Tanya). :) Your gatherings are always so elegant. You sure know how to put on a good time!! I love your attention to detail with incorporating your Dad into your day in so many ways. Very sweet!

Lauren @ Life as a Wife

Wednesday 4th of December 2019

What a beautiful day!! I love that you prioritized time with family - it all looked delicious regardless of who cooked it ;) You're a wonderful hostess!


Wednesday 4th of December 2019

Thank you, Lauren!!! That means so much! xo

Susan Foster

Tuesday 3rd of December 2019

Kudos to you for focusing on the important still had a delicious meal, and Trader Joe’s apps are always a good choice! ❤️😊


Wednesday 4th of December 2019

Thank you so much, Susan!!!!

Cristina Pennington

Monday 2nd of December 2019

Okay, my heart is on the floor and currently looking for tissues. How amazing to hear your dads voice at Thanksgiving. I have started saving voicemails from my grandfather so one day, when the day comes I can still hear him.


Wednesday 4th of December 2019

So smart of you to save these messages! If you haven't already, I highly recommend purchasing a recordable story book of The Night Before Christmas so you can hear him read it for many years ahead!