Skip to Content

Thanksgiving 2023

We had the most memorable and happy Thanksgiving!

Matt’s parents came in from Winston, his sister came in (with her cute puppy) from DC, and my brother, sister-in-law, baby niece, and mom came in from Orlando! We ended up hosting family in our home for a little over a week. It was a tremendous amount of work, but I felt so grateful to have everyone together for our first Thanksgiving in our new home! It has been a dream for me and Matt to have enough space for everyone to be able to stay together (this was among our top reasons for moving to the burbs) and our home felt so full of love (and food!) all week!

I made a hydrangea + magnolia leaves arrangement for the kitchen island and had my NEST Holiday Candle lit the entire holiday break which really set a cozy and festive vibe.

The pajama fairy visited at the beginning of Thanksgiving break and surprised the kids with their Christmas pajamas! They LOVED them and wore them every single night until we finally convinced them to let us wash them!

Turkey Trot

On Thanksgiving morning we walked the Turkey Trot in our neighborhood! We have definitely never been a turkey trot family before, but our neighbors put on a huge race through our neighborhood with donuts, coffee and mimosas at the finish line!

There were two routes, a 4K race and a shorter kid-friendly route (1.3 miles) that met up with the 4K. The kids ran. The adults walked. And Caroline took home a ribbon!

We spent most of the afternoon doing what I called “Low Energy Hours” which meant everyone could relax or do whatever they want — nap, play football outside, read, drink espresso martinis, play Rummikub, etc.! It was a GREAT afternoon! And there was plenty of snacks, apps and cocktails flowing all day!

Our Thanksgiving Table

In the past, I’ve set a separate table for the kids for Thanksgiving dinner, but this year I really wanted everyone to sit together. My dining table only seats 6 so I knew that wouldn’t work. It took some creativity but we decided to host Thanksgiving dinner in our sun room off the back of the house!

As y’all know, we have been so stumped on how to use this awkward and narrow space. But after hosting our Chili Cook Off Party the weekend before in this same room, I thought it would be fun to give it a shot at hosting a seated dinner for 11 — and it was perfect!

Is this space officially our new entertaining venue? Perhaps!

I loved how our Thanksgiving tablescape turned out this year! I really, really, really wanted a bright and colorful table and even though it took me 3 grocery stores to get everything I needed (very challenging finding bright colors this time of year), I was so happy with how it all came together!

But the best part of the table was Caroline’s place cards. She has been teaching herself cursive (they don’t teach it at school!) and was excited to put her penmanship to work making all the place cards. I love them so much!

Dining Room Table Sources: Tablecloth (Color: Clover) / Dinner Plates / Goblet Wine Glasses / Bamboo Flatware / Bamboo Napkin Ring Holder / Embroidered Napkins / Cane Wrapped Vases (SIMILAR + SIMILAR) / Candle Holders / Tapered Spiral Candles

Thanksgiving Dinner

Words cannot even express how thankful I was to have mom here helping me make the Thanksgiving dinner (in addition to all the other non-Thanksgiving meals she whipped up for us too)!

Over the past few years, I’ve outsourced the entire dinner so I wouldn’t be stuck in the kitchen all day. But this year, with mom’s help I decided we’d go homemade. And mom ended up making almost all of it if I’m being honest! I spent most of the day replenishing appetizers and whipping up cocktails!

Here’s what we ended up with on our Thanksgiving menu:

Our Thanksgiving Menu

Everything was SO good, minus the um…turkey…which exploded in the deep fryer. We were really focused on making sure the turkey was completely thawed, and it was. The problem was the turkey was TOO big for the amount of oil in the fryer, so as soon as Matt dropped it inside the fryer the oil overflowed, hit the flame and WOW. Thankfully Matt was able to quickly respond and turn the propane tank off. But it definitely is a memory we’ll never forget (and one that I happened to get on video)!

While the turkey didn’t look too bad when Matt and Ian pulled it out, it was completely scorched inside with very little edible meat. Somehow, Matt was able to salvage a few pieces of meat…and everyone was so nice to pretend like it tasted good too.

After dinner, Matt’s mom taught us all how to play Left Center Right! It was the first time playing for most of us and we had the BEST TIME EVER. What a fun and easy game that is easy to play as a large group!!! Caroline was thrilled to win the pot of money (which she immediately announced she’d be spending at Starbucks)!

Matt’s family headed back to Winston the next morning. My family stayed for a few more days before heading back to Orlando.

It was such a wonderful Thanksgiving break, minus the turkey fire and taking Mabel to the vet after she injured her shoulder jumping off the couch and landing on the coffee table while zooming around with her best dog pal, Solomon. She’s fine, but limping around a bit!

And before everyone left, I remembered to have them sign our Marcellino Holiday Memories Book!

Previous Thanksgivings: 2022 Charlotte | 2021 Charlotte | 2020 Quarantine | 2019 Charlotte | 2018 Florida | 2017 Florida | 2016 Tryon | 2015 Tryon | 2014 Winston | 2013 Charlotte | 2012 Winston

You'll also love

Toni :0)

Wednesday 29th of November 2023

Oh no, the Turkey fiasco sounds crazy and I immediately thought of Christmas Vacation! 🤣🤣🤣 Glad everyone was okay and nothing was damaged. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Family is everything. 💝


Tuesday 28th of November 2023

I’m sorry about the turkey but I had to smile because we just watched our favorite movie with the kids for the first time and a similar thing happened to them. If you haven’t watched it put it on the list! National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation


Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Sweet Mabel! Is she doing better now??


Tuesday 28th of November 2023

OH MY LORD the turkey!

Morgan Runge

Tuesday 28th of November 2023

I love this! Can you talk more about the holiday memories book?