It's Thanksgiving today! (The REAL one!) As I woke up early this morning to clean up the playroom that I was too tired to clean the night before, and get some things straightened up for my in-laws to arrive, I paused briefly to remember what this holiday is really about.
The harsh realities of life that we are often shielded from as children, are so painfully clear as an adult, and to be honest, it kind of stops me in my tracks. It's a lot harder to prepare a feast when you know that people we know are out there sick or dying, that people are alone with no one to sit around a table with. There are people who've lost loved ones and are still reeling with the absence of these people at their tables. I think about children in foster care who don't even know who or where their families are.
It's hard to think only about what temperature the oven needs to be and how long to cook the green bean casserole when these issues are so prevalent. It makes me grateful, that's for certain. Don't get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving, but even more than the meal, I appreciate traditions and the little things that make the day memorable.
Like.....Littles sprawled across the floor on their bellies playing dominoes.
Brian's family came down to celebrate from Phoenix and as usual, they never come empty handed. They are always, always, always thinking of ways, big and little, to brighten their grandkids day.
Hence, the dominoes (CARS themed, nonetheless).
Not exactly sure they're playing by the rules, but they were totally having fun!
Another of those traditions is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Even if I don't actually watch it, I love knowing it's on in the background.
And then there's Bella. I told you they didn't come empty handed :)
Such a sweet puppy (yes, puppy). So great with kids and people but not so much YET with other animals. As such, Bella has spent the day in the backyard, watching the action through the glass. Truth be told, it was nicer outside today than it was inside!
And yes, there was food to be had. And many hands helped prepare it.
With Bella out back, Piper had to go pee out front. And where Piper and Daddy go, so does Hunter. And so does Colton. :)
3 of the 4 loves of my life.
Brian and my sister-in-law, Kristen.
That's Kristen with a t-e-n. And she is. A ten, that is.
Just look at her.
Ethan Bradley and his Papa, Bradley. Ethan is showing him how he can make a video on my phone and blow him up with missiles! (Isn't Papa showing great interest in this photo?) I love it.
And now back to Bella. If you couldn't gather from the photo above, Bella is not tiny. At all. She can be a little daunting to kids. Colton and Hunter love her but are much less willing to engage her in any type of 'play.'
Ethan, on the hand, comes marching out to the backyard calling, (always in twos) "Bella Bella! Come and git me me! Come and git me Bella Bella!" And then they chase each other until Ethan reaches my legs, which he must've deemed "base." These two are so cute to watch.
Look at him. No fear.
"I'm gonna gitchoo Bella Bella!"
Unfortunately, on one of the last rounds, as Ethan was headed for 'base' (no more than 6 feet from me), He got caught up underneath Bella and fell HARD, his forehead meeting the concrete pavers in the most violent kind of way. Kristen and I watched it happen and can still hear the THUD that his head made when it hit the ground. Poor dude. The bump on his forehead was almost unable to be remedied, UNTIL I suggested a bandaid. Perfect. :)
He proceeded to sleep on the couch for the next few hours, poor guy.
But even in the midst of tragedies like Ethan's head, beauty must go on. Auntie Kristen is graciously painting Hunter's nails a beautiful Turquoisy color.
And there's snacking...
And chatting....while wearing princess clothes, of course.
And more chatting.
And Papa is gracious enough to help cut off the stray strings from her princess dress.
I see nothing wrong here.
Love these two.
Princesses can jump on the trampoline too, you know!
Hunter is helping Nana clean Bella's ears.
And one of my 3 clean, freshly bathed children. :)
And all good nights end with Dominoes on the floor.
And relaxing, watching TV and just being thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope that happiness found you today!