Thanksgiving Day

Sorry Ruth, I know you won’t like this photo– but those of us who love you always think you are beautiful.

As a little girl, I often envied my friends with loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. I often clung to the edges of their family parties, watching and wishing…
But as an adult, I realize I hit the grand slam jackpot in calling my best friend my sister. Our families truly love each other; crave time together and pull together an amazing Thanksgiving dinner.
In fact, just days before we drove to San Diego, Erik teased Mary by saying, “I traded in my Skymiles for tickets to Hawaii– we’re going there for Thanksgiving instead.” 
Mary burst into tears, “I don’t want to go to Hawaii! I want to see my cousins!” That’s how much we love each other.

Poor Lizzy had a terrible virus and felt miserable. So the kids pulled chairs into the kitchen, provided her with a bell to call for help and entertained her while making pies.
Ruth possesses an amazing ability to create large events without feeling stressed. Pies were made the day before and on Thanksgiving morning the kids played games, soccer at the park and went on long walks.
mary took this photo– impressive, yes?
After soccer, everyone pitches in to get dinner on the table. Erik mashing potatoes (after a crew of little boys peeled dozens of them), Ben created stuffed mushrooms, Bill stirred gravy, Xander made the stuffing and a crew of little kids set the table.
Folding the napkins correctly is serious business.
We always dress up for Thanksgiving dinner; but I let them determine what dressing up means.
all the cousins– sans Lizzy who’s stuck in bed with a rotten sore throat (and on Thanksgiving Day!)
trying to cheer her up.
Sweet Zoey has grown impossibly lovely.
Arranging persimmon leaves on the buffet.
Another favorite tradition– we fill rose colored glasses with cranberry ice– a kind of sorbet served in my mother’s family for generations. It’s perfectly acceptable to empty your glass while waiting for everyone else to sit down. We listened to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s rendition of “O Light of Life” from Heavensong: Music of Contemplation and Light
on repeat during the entire meal. I’m convinced this song can cure all the ills of the world.
I set my camera aside during dinner– but simply had to get a shot of my adorable nephews at the end of the table.
After dinner, a walk on the beach. The boys ran ahead while I enjoyed watching Mary and Zoey. Can you blame me?
Mary’s dress: Ruum, Zoey’s: Madewell both are marked down right now. I’m just noting this because I’d want to know if I were you.

Here come the boys…

Ending the day with more blessings than we can possibly count.
Happy Thanksgiving! 
December 4, 2013



  1. Noémi Kereki

    December 7, 2013

    Michelle, these photos are seriously amazing! Ruth’s family is so lovely and I see that sense of beauty is a shared talent of yours. 🙂
    Lemons, sandals, walking barefoot on the beach? DREAM vacation!
    Now I’ve heard about those stuffed mushrooms twice, can you share the recipe? It sounds delicious.
    (I’ve checked the girls’ dress!)


  2. Cath

    December 7, 2013

    What a lovely Thanksgiving. The beach pictures! Ah! So glad you and Ruth were together. Sweet treasure of family. Love you. Will visit next week. Promise. xo

  3. Lisa

    December 8, 2013

    Norman Rockwell has nothing on your Thanksgiving…seriously beautiful images and memories! And yes…Mary’s photo was impressive!

  4. Kerri

    December 9, 2013

    So lovely. Family that cherishes each other is priceless. What a fun Thanksgiving!

  5. Kerri

    December 9, 2013

    So lovely. Family that cherishes each other is priceless. What a fun Thanksgiving!

  6. Lettie B.

    December 15, 2013

    These are the relatives we share, and for that alone I love this post. However, the picture of Zoey and your description of her were my favorites. And not only is she lovely to look at, she is even more lovely inside.

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