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Matthew and I got back to Nashville last night after a lovely Thanksgiving week. We got to see a bunch of friends and family and relax a bit. (Neither of us got as much work done as we probably should have, which makes the transition back to real life much harder. But I certainly do not regret it.)

We got home the Saturday before Thanksgiving in time for a gathering with my immediate family, my aunt and uncle and their two boys, and two other families who have been family friends for a long time. In all, there were 9 kids at my house ages 12 and under. There was a lot of screaming and running but the kids all got along really well, the adults got some time to themselves, and fun was had by all. Oh and I made the spicy garlic and lime black bean enchiladas. I think they were a hit. :)

The never got all the kids in one photo, but I got a few of them here and there.

While I was home, I also got to spend some time with my precious nieces. I don’t get to see them very often, so I’m always excited when they are in Birmingham at the same time as me. My older brother and his family couldn’t be there for Thanksgiving, but I got to see my sister-in-law and their kids earlier in the week.

They both love playing the piano like I did as a kid! (Kasza likes playing it with her feet, apparently.)

Matthew taught Isis how to play basketball, and he quickly became her favorite person there. It was adorable.

Whew! Playing air hockey will wear you out!

Sweet Kasza is kind of a wild child. Doesn’t she look like she’s up to something?

Aren’t they just the most precious girls??

I spent all day Wednesday cooking and preparing food for Thanksgiving Day.

On Thursday morning Matthew and I drove to Atlanta to have Thanksgiving lunch with his family. We got to see everybody, watch some football and eat delicious meal #1 of the day.

Then we got back in the car and headed back to Birmingham for Thanksgiving dinner with my mom’s family. I look forward to seeing all of my families for Thanksgiving, but I have to say that the one with mom’s family is what feels like “real” Thanksgiving to me. My mom’s family is small and really close. (My 3 cousins on that side are more like siblings to me.) Plus, with my mom’s family we make all of my grandmother’s recipes that I have grown up eating on Thanksgiving. As a lover of tradition, I always look forward to this the most!

Of course, my oldest cousin, April, is married with a baby now, and Baby Jackson has pretty much become the focus of all family events.

Isn’t he a cutie??

I just love spending time with everyone so much. :) And by the way, I’m hoping to do a whole separate post about the food and maybe even post some recipes.

Last but not least, we went over to my dad’s house on Friday night to see my dad, step-mom, step-siblings (minus Elizabeth who is spending the whole year in Italy), my grandmother, and my aunt and uncle. My aunt is having a baby girl in February, and I can’t wait to meet her someday soon!

We had barbecue, watched my uncle’s team (Syracuse) win a basketball game, and just hung out. Matthew taught my little brother a bit about computer programming. It was adorable.

Thanksgiving number 4 was supposed to be with my step-dad’s family on Saturday. Unfortunately, my sweet little cousin, Christian (he’s the one in the santa hat in the picture at the beginning of the post), came down with hand, foot, and mouth disease, which is¬†contagious. Sadly, we had to cancel.

My mom and I did get to watch the Georgia/Georgia Tech football game on Saturday followed by the Iron Bowl¬†(only like the biggest football rivalry ever! okay, maybe not ever. but it’s a pretty humongous deal in my state.) Luckily both games ended the way I wanted them to, and now my Bulldogs are heading to the SEC Championship game next weekend and Alabama is hopefully headed to the National Championship game.

We also started putting up some Christmas decorations! (!!!) So exciting! I brought some back to Nashville and plan to make our little apartment as festive as possible. I promise to post pics once I get the decorations all set up.

So, after a wonderful week, it was hard to leave. But we are glad to be back in our little home together. And if I can make it through the next 3 weeks (ahh scary!), we’ll be heading back home again!