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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving Whirlwind

This year was our "Henderson" Thanksgiving year.  At the beach this summer, we decided it would be fun to travel somewhere.  Pap and Tappy were generous enough to take us to Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee in Georgia.  All I knew about it was that Carrie Underwood had gotten married there, so I was sold:)
It was fabulous!
Kate and Jay had stayed there before, so they were able to help us navigate
The view from our balcony - each night you are able to make s'mores at that fire pit
Look how peaceful!  
Soon after we checked in, we found this little train to ride around in and check out the property
Cannon, Kristin and Knox
Loving the train - sadly it was all full so I had to wait in the warm hotel for them to return:)
Before dinner, we went out back for the tree lighting.  Pap and Tappy gave all the kids Auburn hoodies while we waited!  My boys don't have a lot of hoodies, so they are OBSESSED!
As it got darker, Santa's elves came and brought all the kids light-up rings to play with

The lighting happened while we were seated in the restaurant directly behind the tree.  It was delicious and while we ate we were able to see fireworks and Santa drive up on a motorcycle.  By the time we made it outside to check him out, though, Santa had already been swept away inside!  The whole scene really reminded me of New York City or something out of a movie.  So beautiful and the kids were in heaven!!
After dinner, we heard Santa was taking pictures in one of the ballrooms.  So we ran to the room for a quick change and found him.  This was as close as Collins would get!
Santa was SO kind and let the boys talk his ear off!  Turner woke up at 4:00 that morning and whispered to me "Mommy, I LOVED seeing Santa Claus tonight."  They are still talking about it.  Thank you, Ritz.  You know how to do it right!
The next morning we got up and ready for a Thanksgiving brunch like no other
(Dear Turner, about that face...still working on genuine smiles)
Picture of my turkeys in front of a life-size real gingerbread house...with a moving train circling it.  Of course.
The "big kids" about to enter the ballroom
A shot of our table.  Seated with all 17 of us together!  The buffet was no joke and one of the most delicious meals I have ever had.  In the background they had an Iron Chef competition between 2 of the chefs on property, and John Burke was mesmerized by the chocolate Christmas tree they were carving.  So fancy!  We tried to be extra appreciative to the servers - surreal that we were eating so fancy and they were working on Thanksgiving, but they assured us they were being paid very well and it helped their Thanksgiving cheer!
After lunch, we headed out side to play for a little bit.  There was a playground right down from the Lodge, and the boys found a football to throw.

Aunt Kelly found a really fun swing 
The kids loved the hammock...and met a little girl in green who photo bombed us:)
We had a great couple of days with family time, 
smiles and kisses,
puzzles, movies (in their cinema room!), ice skating (thankfully my boys feel the same as I do about the hazards of ice skating and we just watched a little bit)
And snuggling with cousins!  What a treat and fun place to celebrate all we are thankful for!
On Friday, the girls woke up early and headed into Atlanta for Black Friday shopping.  These crazy kids stayed at Jay and Kate's house and played.
We even had a quick family birthday celebration for Turner, who turns 5 this week!
Then Saturday we were up at the crack of dawn (literally woke our kids up willingly!) to head to Auburn for the Iron Bowl
We took the kids on campus for a while and let them tailgate, and then our sweet babysitter Sarah and her friend swept the kids away for an adventure at the lake.  We couldn't waste valuable tickets on these crazies...or expose them to all the real crazies!
Heath and I were able to tailgate again without the kids (thankful for Sarah and Arden!!) and then head into the intense but exciting stadium.  Tried to get a shot right in the sun of the all orange shakers throughout the stadium
And in direct contrast to the Alabama fan behind me who yelled in my ear "Miracles don't happen 2 weeks in a row" one time when they scored...pretty sure one did!!  What a fun game to witness!!
WAR EAGLE!!!  (one second)
The field.  So crazy and exciting to watch, but oddly I was not tempted to join!  We did, however, float through campus on the way to the car and sing and dance and cheer with 100,000 other excited fans.  So so fun!!
Then on Sunday we decided we had to take the kids back to Toomer's (and eat Big Blue Bagel, of course)

We temporarily lost her hoodie.  That would have been nice for this picture.  But it is found now!
It really did look like it had snowed
And of course we had to teach them how to roll a tree
The perfect ending to a wonderful holiday!  Thanksgiving was especially hard 2 years ago with the loss of Heath's mom that day, so it was such a gift to make new and wonderful memories this year for the holiday!  Thank you, Lord for all of our blessings...far bigger than Auburn's win! 

1 comment:

  1. Seriously. That sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving weekend. That is the way to do it! And meeting the babysitter in Auburn to take the kids to the lake? Genius.