Last Tuesday, John and I headed to North Carolina for our third annual Thanksgiving with the Shack/Wells families. It was another wonderful time of reconnecting with family, eating delicious meals, sitting by the fire, hiking, and of course some competitive games in the mix.
Tuesday: On Tuesday, we arrived in the afternoon and relaxed, catching up with my parents and John's sisters and parents.
Wednesday: On Wednesday the fun began as John's aunt, uncle, two cousins and grandparents arrived bringing the attendance to a grand total of 14! I spent the morning making our traditional Thanksgiving dishes with my mom before spending some time relaxing by the fire and playing Scattergories with the rest of the family.
Thursday: On Thanksgiving our feast began at 1pm, and before eating John's dad read a great quote on gratitude by William Faulkner: "Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all." I love the idea that gratitude brings a sort of electric energy to life, brightening the day. And I am so thankful for families who enjoy spending holidays together.
Our Thanksgiving meal was complete with smoked turkey, oven-roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green beans, the Wells shiitake mushroom gravy, traditional gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, bread rolls, and our choice of 5 different pies - complements of Grandma Shack. I also contributed my gluten free pumpkin bars to the mix. After our delicious feast, we needed some exercise so we headed outside in the beautiful weather to throw the football and for a competitive game of Bocce ball. After two rounds, Mom and Dad were named the champs!
That evening, John and I headed back to my parents' cabin, where we were also staying, to play Scrabble. The winner this time? John, who finally upset my Scrabble wins!
Friday: On Friday, we got up for a 9:30 hike with John's parents and uncle. It was another sunny day with a gorgeous view at the top of Rock Mountain. We arrived back around 1pm for a some lunch and relaxation before dinner that night. My parents had everyone over for an Italian meal of grilled vegetables, smoked mahi mahi, and pasta. Emma then performed an amazing concert for us with songs she's written, and afterwards we played a couple games.
Saturday: I worked on Student Launch Pad (after sleeping in!) while John headed into Asheville with some of his family to see the new Lincoln movie. Everyone returned in time for us to cheer Florida State on, and thankfully we had a delicious meal to look forward to after a disappointing loss.
For dinner, John's cousin Abby made us a wonderful Southern meal of pulled pork, green beans, balsamic tomatoes, potatoes, and mocha chocolate mousse with caramel brittle... yum! We all hung out after dinner, working on a puzzle, talking, and watching Home Alone.
Sunday: John and I ate a big omelet breakfast that my dad made for us before heading to Buck's Coffee Shop with Amy and Emma. We headed back to Atlanta after lunch and began decorating for Christmas... one of my favorite activities!