Such a fantastic Thanksgiving- quite easily one of the best I've ever had (the best was when Jon's parents invited my parents come share the day so that I'd have my family with me and wouldn't have to spend my first holiday without them).
We went to be with Jon's sister. She now lives in the house where they all grew up- and there are so many memories of holidays past. Lolo loved a party and she would have loved this day! Kathy is great at including everyone and is amazing at handling a crowd. Final count was 21 and the family tree was sprouting like crazy!
Kathy, Mike, Wade & Katie
Me, Jon & Cooper
Kathy/Jon's cousin Cindy (on their dads side), her husband and 3 kids
Mike's mom and her boyfriend
Mike's sister and her boyfriend
Mike's aunt and uncle
Jon/Kathy's aunt and uncle (mom's sister)
Niki- Joe's daughter (Kathy/Jon's brother in Arkansas)
Wade, Katie & Leslie
Cooper, William, Elena & Natalie
I love this one of Cooper & Niki!!
Cooper's place mats and turkeys were a big hit and the food was delicious. The whole house was filled with so much love and laughter- it brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion.
Elena & Natalie told us that on the way to Kathy's they had been talking about things that they were thankful for and the one that they were most thankful for was being included in our family celebration- because otherwise, they would have been alone. I'm certain that when we all sang America the Beautiful in the kitchen that they did have their doubts- but I'm SO glad they were there!!
And that's what this day is all about. Being with people, celebrating our relationships and the countless reasons that we have to be thankful. I felt so blessed to be be a part of this family and to be able to share that gift with Cooper. It is incredibly important to me that he experiences "family"- not just us, but the extended family and the love that comes with them.
The day was filled with smiles, love, good food and so many reasons to be thankful (which do not include the part where Jon let Cooper climb up a 10ft ladder by himself to adjust the target that they were using to shoot bb's....but that's a story for another day).
It was almost perfect- I wouldn't have changed a thing!