Monday, November 30, 2015

The Thanksgiving Feast

I love that every year our Thanksgiving is so different from the previous year - but no matter where it is or who we spend it with, it is sure to be fun and I am always overwhelmed by feelings of thankfulness for the abundance of love and joy that surrounds us. Cheesy, I know. But, I truly do feel this way and certainly never want to take it for granted.
After Declan I returned home from the Turkey Trot to the smell of a turkey cooking in the oven, we enjoyed a leisurely morning and even caught the tail end of the Macy's Day Parade. Despite the fact that Nate got into my mascara and did a little furniture/clothing painting with it (cue in big wet spot on his shirt), we even had time for a quick family picture before heading out to the Abbotts! Pinch me -this never happens! 

 We had a family movie night the evening before and watched Big Hero 6. The kids thought the knuckles, "la la la" part was hilarious and were doing it to each other all day. They especially loved how into it Nate was! 
Off to the Abbotts for an absolutely beautiful Thanksgiving! It was a full house, but put together so nicely by Kristin you wouldn't even know it. It truly was a wonderful day. 
 Mike working hard in the kitchen

 The ladies
 It was a special treat to spend some time with Aunt Joyce!
 The boys and their swords

 Looking daper
 and sassy

 The fact that Nate slept in the Ergo for a couple of hours certainly made my day easier! 
 An empty glass and smiles, says it all!

 Even got a picture with Adam (thanks Aunt Jen!) - never happens! 
 Look who woke up!
 This just kills me!
 The kids table, minus Nate
 The kids table, plus Nate and Ryan
Some end of the night romping around 
Thank you Abbott Family for all of the hard work you did for us to enjoy such a special day!!

The kids were ecstatic to arrive home and find Duncan waiting for us. He usually doesn't show up until the day after Thanksgiving, once the house is decorated. But he came a little early this year bearing Christmas PJs and a fun Christmas book. They were so surprised and over the moon. They kept talking to him and telling him he needs to land high so that Nate doesn't touch him. Nate even picked up on the excitement. I have to say that elf is a lot of work, but he adds so much to our Christmas season, I don't even mind. It is so fun to wake up each morning to the gleeful faces of these kiddos. It's like a mini-Christmas morning every day. He's been on a roll this year. I can't wait to share some of the elf shenanigans going on at our house. But for now, a few pics of his joyous arrival!

the turkey trot

Every Monday and Wednesday at Declan's school they do a little thing called "Fast Feet" which is basically the kids running laps. Declan loves it because after every lap, they mark a line on his hand and they do a countdown in the classroom for every 100 laps. It's all very motivating. I love it because every Monday and Wednesday it is one of the things he is so excited to talk to me about when I pick him up from school. His average has gone up from the beginning of school too. It used to be around 6 laps, now he is in the 7-9 range. Anyway, at the beginning of November he came home talking about the Turkey Trot (which they were advertising at school). He was very excited because it was a chance to earn a medal and immediately started begging me to participate. Being a runner myself, I knew we would do it - I just had to figure out the logistics. At first I thought I would sign him up for the kids 1/4 mile run. But, it began at 10:15 and that just seemed inconvenient and late. I started playing with the idea of he and I running the 5K together. When I figured out we could take the Sprinter to the race instead of driving that pretty much sealed the deal. I asked Adam and Lexi if they were interested in joining us. It was a hard no from both of them. They much preferred a morning in jammies watching the parade (which I totally get). So Thanksgiving morning, after preparing the turkey for Adam to put in the oven later that morning, Declan and I rushed to get our running gear on and catch the 7:40 train. Except that I didn't take into account the holiday train schedule (second train blunder of the week), so we rushed and then waited at the train station for the 8:10 train! When the train arrived at the Oceanside station we had to run to make our 8:30 wave. Despite that little hiccup - it was such a fun morning! Cold, and cloudy, perfect for running. I absolutely loved the opportunity to do something special just with Declan - and running of all things! One of my favorite past times. 
Excited at the train station
 Finally! That was a long, cold wait. Also nerve racking because I knew we were going to have to rush once we got there.
 turkey trot bound
 And, we're off!

 He didn't let go of my hand the entire time, except when I made him to take a video of him running

Lots of fun outfits to look at along the way

The first mile was the toughest. He would literally "run" two feet then walk "four" and kept asking if we were close to the medals. Ugh!

 We hit mile 2!
 The last mile was the best - not only because it was the last, but because it was along the ocean and the waves were huge! It was definitely a wet last mile, but it was fun and exciting at the same time.

Absolutely gorgeous morning

 And sandy!
We finished!
 He was waiting for it!

We had about an hour to kill before our train so I asked him if he wanted a hot chocolate. He chose ice cream instead. ☺

 And asked me to take a picture of his medal while we waited in line.

 Best Thanksgiving morning ever! I am thankful for this little guy and his competitive spirit. 

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