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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Day...

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"Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world."

Susan Lieberman, New Traditions

It has been a long standing tradition in my family to spend Thanksgiving Day at my Aunt Karen's house.  When my Uncle David was alive, he and my Aunt Karen began hosting our family's Thanksgiving back when I was in high school (almost 25 years ago....geeze how time flies!).  I can remember fondly getting to spend this day with my great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins....so many special memories were made over the years.  I always look forward to this special holiday when we are able to gather as a family and celebrate this season of thanksgiving.  I was especially grateful this year to be able to attend because for the past three years, we have not been able to make it due to work commitments and living outside the state.  I'm so thankful that my aunt has kept this tradition going for our family.  As we all know, hosting a family holiday dinner is not an easy task, it can be pretty stressful in fact, so we are all so very grateful to my aunt (and my cousins Laura and Rachel) for hosting it again this year in their home.

We always eat around 1pm each Thanksgiving and so upon everyone's arrival, our first order of business was blessing the food and then digging right in to eat our Thanksgiving meal.  As always, the food tasted amazing and let me just say that my waistline is still paying for it! :-)

Thanksgiving 2011 trip part 2

My cousin, Laura, made this amazing kale salad---I made sure to go back for a second helping of this tasty salad....
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Afterwards, we turned on the Cowboys football game and everyone enjoyed hanging out together....
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Brent with his daughter, Kinsey

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The Bishop girls

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My dear grandmother, Nanny, enjoying her Thanksgiving meal while visiting with her niece, Kay Lynn. 

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Aunt Karen's sweet mother traveled down from New Jersey to spend the holidays with her and the girls.  I haven't seen her in a few years, so it was nice to visit with her while I was there.

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My dad's cousin, Doug, and his family traveled down from Wisconsin to be there...it's always great to see them.  I can't believe all his kids are now grown.

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Aunt Wendy (Sheri's younger sister) spent the day with us as well....she always enjoys holding the babies.  Here she is with Baby Otto.

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My brother, Brian and his wife Katherine

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My nephew, Beck taking a moment to pose for me

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Mom and I posing for the camera...notice mom doing her supermodel pose---too funny!

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Me with my beautiful cousin, Rachel...she is knee-deep in dental school in Houston right now, so I enjoyed talking with her about that and all her future plans.

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Beck and Noah looking for more "stuff" to get into...these two always have so much fun when they get together.

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We let the kids use their mama's big cameras....they enjoyed taking some pictures of the family.

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My niece, Ava, taking a picture of her mama with Noah

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My brother Brian and I with Rachel and Laura...

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It's hard to believe my cousins (Rachel and Laura) are so grown up now....aren't they beautiful!!???  I always enjoy catching up with them and hearing all about their exciting lives...they are both talented and intelligent women.  I know my Uncle David would be so proud of them and all that they have accomplished. Rachel is on her way to becoming a dentist and Laura is an accomplished vocalist and musician.  Unfortunately, I didn't inherit any of these talented genes...  :-)


At one point during our family get-together, we made an attempt to try and take a nice family picture with just the three of us and well, as you can see below, it was pretty much a failed effort--(Argh!!) Our little man was really not in the mood to sit still for a family picture....he wanted to continue playing with his cousins.   I can't say I blame him.  :-)

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This is about as good as we could do.


And then, sadly, after a wonderful meal and getting to hang out with so many of our extended family,  it came time to say good-bye to our loved ones and head back to my parent's house.  The kiddo's were getting restless and ready for naps.  And well, the adults were too, I think.  All that food had settled nicely in our tummies and we were all in need of a good nap.

My mom and my brother Brent with the kids outside about to load up in the car....

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Thanksgiving 2011 trip part 21

I thoroughly enjoyed our Thanksgiving Day celebration with my family. We laughed, we joked around and even cried a little (all happy tears though) and enjoyed the warmth of each other's love.  How thankful I am this season for the family I have been given.  I feel a great sense of gratitude for my dear great-grandparents, grandparents and parents who have all set the course and foundation for the special family bond that we all share now.  While I will always miss our loved ones who are no longer here  with us to celebrate this special day, I will forever cherish the memories that we made as a family over the years as we have celebrated Thanksgiving.  

XOXO...

Jennifer

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