Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019


Every year, my dad's side of the family gets together for Thanksgiving in Minneapolis, and we always have such a great time! It goes by in a flash, but it's so worth it to see everyone. This year, the drive seemed a bit long with four kids in the van, but we were very grateful to dodge two big snowstorms on the way there and the way back home. Thanks Wisconsin and Minnesota for knowing how to plow your roads! :)


These are a few photos from the days leading up to our trip. 

Junia is happy and content when Daddy plays guitar for her!


Working side by side on some schoolwork.


First bites of solid food - rice!


She wasn't a fan and spit it all out.


She might be smiling, but our days of her being content in the carseat at the store are pretty much over.


I love this sweet, sleeping profile!


We can count on Nolan when Junia needs entertaining.



It's always fun to get to run an errand with just one kid! 



A few years ago, Steve found this dresser waiting for the garbage truck on the side of the road. Right after Junia was born, he fixed the broken drawers, added new knobs, and painted it white. It's perfect for tiny pink clothes! I also love this rack, both as a space saver, and also so I can see some of my favorite outfits of hers that she's already outgrown. :)


 We did our first 1,000 piece puzzle as a family - and the boys loved it.


Okay, now for Thanksgiving! Ephraim and I had breakfast together at the hotel in Rockford on our way to Minnesota! Behind Ephraim was a TV with the Weather Channel warning us of the foot of snow we were about to drive into.


There was almost a distinct line in northern Wisconsin of no-snow and then a foot of snow. But the air was clear, and the roads were dry! It was a beautiful winter wonderland, and my phone camera couldn't do it justice.


Meeting Aunt Karen & cousin Laney (and lots of other family members!) at my cousin Emily's house on Wednesday night.


Pumpkin cake and special K bars. . . mmm!


Thanksgiving morning, I took a moment to think about how thankful I am for this little one in her pack-n-play.


On this trip, she met Great-Grandpa for the first time, and it was so special!



My cousin Katie had Baby Audrey in July, and we couldn't wait to get our girls together!


Trying to pull up on Great-Grandpa's shoes :)


My cousin Chloe and her boyfriend Jackson made quite the fan club of kids!


Grandpa & lifelong friend Eileen. She was my grandma's maid-of-honor in 1949!


Chloe & Mackenzie



She tends to be unhappy when I'm eating. . .


Our amazing hosts, Aunt Karen & Uncle Roger.


Filling up the three-car-garage with forty-some people!



Aunt Yvonne and Uncle Dan let the six of us stay with them for the weekend - and it was wonderful!


 Aunt Meg & Uncle Brian


 We wear plaid on Thanksgiving Day.


Trying on Uncle Roger's fire helmet.

 

Sam & Junia


August was having the time of his life with Chloe!


After dinner, we had Aunt Meg's pottery lottery! I got to go home with a few gorgeous pieces!


I didn't get a great photo of them on Thanksgiving Day, so we took this one Friday morning next to Aunt Yvonne's pretty decor. August loved counting the turkeys in her living room!


Black Friday is Lefse day in our family. Aunt Evie and Sarah are rolling out the lefse. It's tradition to eat it with an unhealthy amount of butter and brown sugar. :)



Junia & Audrey - 7 months & 5 months.


Junia is envious of Audrey's hair.



Before Audrey went home to Nebraska, we got these cute shots of them in their matchy Burt's Bees jammies!


Sweet blue-eyed girls!


 Aunt Meg & Junia


On Saturday, several inches of snow were headed for Minneapolis, so we started our drive home. It always feels like there is more to see and do up there, but being back home for Steve's work on Monday morning is priority. We stopped by Grandpa's apartment before we left town.


I wish we could visit him all the time! I asked him if he wanted to come with us to Indiana, but he declined. :)


Both May babies, he's 90.5 years, and she is .5!



When in Wisconsin. . . Culver's! We had some rainy weather all the way to Madison, spent the night, and then made our way home through Chicago on Sunday.


I think our older two boys are starting to grasp how blessed that we are to have all of the family that we do - so many uncles and aunts and cousins and grandparents who love us and want to be a part of our lives. The distance is always unfortunate, but we continue to put in the effort to be together throughout the year.

Christmas is only two weeks away, and I'm trying to both emphasize and celebrate the traditions and also not stress about what doesn't get done this year. Having a very active baby (who doesn't sleep through the night) is a pretty legitimate excuse, but I still have lists of things to bake, things to craft, books to read, movies to watch. Here's to focusing on Jesus this season, and letting the excess fall away.

xo
Rachel

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