Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Give Thanks::2011

"O Lord, who lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness."

This year's Thanksgiving season was rich with family, bustling with excitement, and abundant in blessings to be thankful for.

First on the agenda the week before Thanksgiving, was a trip to Little Rock to call the hogs to a win against Mississippi State.

{Tailgating a War Memorial}

Why, yes! We do the dougie at Razorback tailgates.

I'd had enough waiting. I couldn't WAIT for the game to start!

I think there is something beautiful about Tusk. Maybe only a Hogs fan would say that, but...

We saw Joe Nichols, Arkansas native, on the way into the stadium.

He led our first HOG CALL of the game. Wooooo PIG Sooie!

Our boys entered the field for game time. The last game our #88, Garrett Uekman, would play. He died the next morning.

God bless his team and his family.

Second on the agenda, was Sean's Dad's family's Thanksgiving at our house. Thankfully, my first go at dressing was a success. It was so nice to have family dining at our house, in the dining room that seemed to not have chairs for an eternity and in a kitchen that was forever a work in progress. In October, we had lived in our home for a year so it has come a long way since then.

Thankfully, the weather was pleasant and the family was able to romp in the backyard with wiffleball games...

And even grade-school jump rope games! Initiated by the 10 year old, but soon attempted by many of the adults.

{Mrs. Pam}


{Long Legs McGee}

I would say I highly recommend grabbing a jump rope at your next family event for entertainment like none other! A few of the visuals had me laughing out loud that night while trying to go to sleep:)

Third on the agenda, was apparently for me to become deathly ill on Monday and make my 2nd trip to the MD's waiting room in 2 months, on Tuesday. Maybe it was the 4 hour wait, maybe it was the accompanying migraine or maybe it was the 2 shots, but passing out, throwing up all night and taking a sick day was not the Thanksgiving break I had hoped for!

But I am thankful for good medicine, time off, and a somewhat resilient immune system.
That night, while doped up on so many meds I couldn't see straight, I had to manage to paint quarter round and stain t-molds...In preparation for our living room hardwood installation!! SOOO thankful that the carpet is gone. And to have a husband who would stay up til 1am ripping up the carpet alone because I was incapacitated. I am thankful for that boy!

I couldn't exactly sleep all day like I would've liked...what with the repetitive banging, sawing, and hammering going on in the living room...but the beautiful result was so worth it.

I searched and searched for reclaimed wood to use but it was very hard to find. I chose a dark, wide-plank antique hickory with the distressed nicks, scrapes, and knots that I love. We are so happy with it and cannot wait to have the rest of the floors stained to match...One day.
Thursday was a whirlwind of family time, first with Sean's Mom's family then at Nonnie's for my family.

For the first time in all my 25 years, Nonnie was not there. She was in the hospital and did not come home until a few days later. But we are thankful she is a fighter and we pray for her health daily.

Not a family to stray from tradition, everyone gathered at Nonnie's for the most comforting of holidays. In holiday get-togethers of a family so close, so big, and so deeply rooted in tradition, everyone stays all day and late into the night, without even noticing. Classic stories were shared...again. Kids ran in circles from one room to the next, and everyone scouted the ads for Black Friday deals and devised plans for shopping together. We all wish Nonnie could have been there, but continuing the customs in the family she started was comforting.

{Sean and Bella chillin}

{Phillip and Gabe making the rounds}

{And horsing around}

{Puuure Happiness! Cutie Pie Emry}

We all filtered out in shifts, each making our way to the hospital to visit.

Family made sure Nonnie was ready to cheer on the Hogs against LSU Friday!"

As we pause to thank Him for the blessings of the past year,
we must not forget to thank Him for the lessons we have learned through our difficult times.
We are not to be thankful for just the pleasant, easy things, but ALL things."
~Millie Stamm

After things settled down, we stoked the Christmas spirit a little by starting with decorations.

The house lights are done!

And Baby Avery helped Seany set up the train for the tree.

And picked up and placed her wipey as it came around the track...only about 20 times:)

The days until December 25th pass far to quickly. But I'm thankful for each and every fleeting moment.

With Love and Thanks,
The Grays

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