Every year we bemoan the long drive, every year we consider staying home because two days of driving, three days at my sister’s? It doesn’t make sense. And every year we walk in her front door and know it was worth every cramped minute in the car. This year Lizzy drove with us since she’d flown into town the weekend before for Hans’ birthday. I don’t think anyone else could stand to be with us that long in such close quarters and subjected to so many dumb jokes, but Lizzy made the drive a pleasure.

I’ve been known to bemoan my lack of extended family– but God gifted me with the most wonderful sister I can imagine.

Even though we arrived after midnight, my sister cheerfully met us at the door, escorted everyone to their rooms where she’d placed chocolates on every pillow, stacks of books on the nightstand and a basket of treats in the corner. She’d removed everything from her schedule so we could do nothing but play and enjoy each other’s company for the next three days.

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Because we all cook Thanksgiving dinner, no one feels burdened or overworked. Rather, we turn up the music and dance through the kitchen.

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At the last minute, we picked up the table and moved it outside. With the lights strung across the garden and balmy San Diego temperatures, we basked in the almost surreal peace and beauty.

After dinner, we left the dirty dishes on the counter and escaped to the beach for a sunset walk.

Waiting for pie.

Zoey clearing the table and looking like a movie star.

Twenty one pies. Possibly a new record.

Next year, when I’m dreading the long drive to San Diego, I’ll pull up the pictures, or maybe just this one and remember… it’s worth it. Every minute.

December 2, 2014
December 11, 2014



  1. Cath

    December 8, 2014

    I don’t think a thanksgiving day could be lovelier. You have made such a beautiful life. xoxo

  2. Jeanelle

    December 9, 2014

    There is so much happiness exuding from these pictures!!! Glad you take the time and make the effort to give all of the kids magical memories of special times together. What a gift! And seriously…those pies??? Dying.

  3. ellen patton

    December 22, 2014

    i want a sister. or to be adopted into your amazing family. 🙂

    is that mary in jeans? she looks so cute.

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