Shortly after we arrived in California, my sister’s friends began thumbing through picture books of our last few Thanksgivings. Despite the fact every photo was taken by me, I felt intimidated– how could I possibly take photos as lovely as I had before?
Silly me. Beauty abounds and overflows. And although I may never capture the three little boys giggling in one bed together or Erik and Stefan swinging kids on the beach, surprises and delights lurk behind every corner– especially when people who love and laugh gather together.
Thanksgiving morning we did just a bit of dinner prep then headed out the door to a four-family soccer game.
Do I have a single photo of the game? No way. I was too busy racing up and down the field, pretending I knew what I was doing. And I did get an assist on one goal. Didn’t I, Hans? You could scarcely have won without me.
Erik forgot to pack any shirts for the trip, so we bought him a Captain America tee at Target. Of course, Stefan and Hans needed one too and soon we were known as the Captain America team.
darling Lizzy– my boys tease her mercilessly. It’s always a bit of an adjustment for her when we come to town.
Home again, everyone dove into dinner prep. Music blastes through the kitchen and yard, where we chopped, stirred, filled, squeezed, washed and sweet Zoe cranked the cranberry ice by hand– “It’s not hard,” she said when I offered to help. “It only takes and hour and a half or so.”
hmm, guess who’s flexing in this photo?
ready with time to spare
C’mon John. Everyone’s smiling but you.
Writing grateful lists on the buffet table.
my beautiful boys
Almost ready– cranberry ice doled out, persimmon place markers.
only one naughty child in this photo
Look! I was there too.
so many people I love in one photo
filling plates is serious business
We leapt from the table and rushed to the beach for the last hour before sunset.
The fur scarf– the perfect beach accessory.
It was COLD. Only the littles and Stefan ventured into the water.
Warm and clean again, friends (and most importantly baby Weston) joined us for games.
the sack game: take a paper sack, any kind and set it on the floor. Grasp the sack between your teeth and tear off the part that touched your mouth. As the game progresses, the sack shrinks closer to the floor. Always good for laughs– and one of the few games where littles have an advantage.
Time for pie! Really, we only made the bare minimum: two chocolate cream, two pecan, five pumpkin, two apple crumb, two cherry, one boysenberry, two lemon, one key lime and only one lone white chocolate banana cream (should have made three of those).
Nineteen, if I counted correctly. But the blessings of the day? Far too many to count.