Friday, December 1, 2023

December. But First Thanksgiving.

Just doing my usual post Thanksgiving post. In December because that's how I roll. 

First things first...the little brown dog is doing very well. He celebrated Thanksgiving in the Animal Hospital following his belly surgery and is happy to finally be home with his person. 

fyi-his person is the hubs. Daughter1 is his second favorite, followed closely behind by my sister-in-law. I think I'm number 4 lol. 

This is his second time around with belly surgery, and hopefully his last!. This one has gone much more smoothly than the procedure two years ago, he's healing well, and the only real challenge is keeping him 'low-key' for a while. 

Because the pup had to stay in hospital for a few days we were able to travel to daughter1's more or less as planned. We left Tuesday morning and what should have been a seven hour drive max, ended up taking ten. It was raining which didn't help, and the traffic was insane. There's a part of the highway near Asheville that hubs and I swear has been under construction since my oldest started uni in 2006. True story. 

We finally arrived safe and sound sometime after dinner, but before the boys went to bed so there were hugs and squeals and whew, so glad to be here. We didn't see Little Miss until Wednesday morning as she'd already gone to sleep. 

Yes. I'm going to give an absurd level of detail because details help make the memory. 

Wednesday my son-in-law had to work, but the rest of us piled into the car around noon to grab lunch out. Let it be noted for the record that I climbed in and out of the third seat of a minivan at least eleventy million times during our visit, which is no small thing. Grandparenting is not for sissies. 

We went to lunch in a cute little place not far from their home, then ventured into the city to see the model train exhibit at Union Terminal. 

Later the Mancub and I kicked off a five day UNO tournament (the mancub came out on top), then daughter1 and I started prepping food for Thursday's feast. 

One of the things I most look forward to and enjoy about any holiday is spending time with my girls in the kitchen. We all like to cook and bake and it's always a sweet time of chatting and just being together. 

Thursday the men kept the littles entertained while we cooked and then we cooked some more and then there was more cooking. That's Thanksgiving, right? My daughter invited another couple and their children to join us for dinner and they arrived around 3 PM with the most delicious baked brie appetizer and a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. 

The entire meal was wonderful, and we had so much fun that at the end of the night my daughter said, 'Mom! We didn't take a picture of us in the kitchen!' Or at the table either for that matter, so we grabbed the phone and recreated our pretty mimosas to snap one for the books.  

These were yummy-pomegranate juice with a small piece of orange, some cranberries and just a smidge of rosemary, frozen together in an ice cube tray, then topped with champagne when ready to serve. 

Friday we stayed close to home until my son-in-law got home from work. Then we bundled up and went to the Cincinatti Zoo to see Zoo Lights.

It was cold but lots of fun. We got there before dark so were able to see some of the animals, and enjoy the lights too. 

Little Miss just goes with the flow and is pure sugar. She has grown so much since last we saw her, and it was especially fun to have lots of time to get to know her better. 

On Saturday hubs, daughter1, Little Miss, and I left the boys home with Daddy so we could meet up with some friends from 'the Maryland years' who live in Cincy now. 

We had the best time catching up in person and again, Little Miss was good as gold. 

Sunday we went to church followed by brunch right after. Then it was home to decorate the Christmas tree, open new pj's and ornaments from Nana and Pawpaw, and start amping up all the excitement little ones bring to the month of December. 

After 34 hands of UNO it was time to go. We were up early Monday to make the trek home with just one quick pit stop at the Animal Hospital to collect the little brown dog. The drive home was thankfully a breeze and while it's always hard to leave it's nice to come home too. 

And now here we are. Advent. The season where we prepare our hearts for Christmas. Honestly the other day I had a moment of anxiety about all there is to do then caught myself when I realized it was still November. Everything starts so early and is so full on and so buy this!-don't miss that!-do all the everythings!-that it's easy to lose sight of what it is we're actually preparing for.

I saw a quote recently that said, 'Let's approach Christmas with an expectant hush, rather than a last-minute rush'. Not an easy thing in the times in which we live, but I know I want to try. 

Wishing all the weary souls in this world peace in this season of hope and Advent.


  1. So happy to hear that your dog is doing well. Road work never seems to be done. Yes, those back seats are something else. That train looks awesome. How wonderful cooking in the kitchen like that. I hope to do that with Amber the next time we visit. We want to make a Thanksgiving dinner. How wonderful that you went to the zoo. I'm loving all the photos. Little Miss looks so cute. So glad you had such a wonderful time.

  2. Ahh, so sweet to see Little Miss growing as fast as she should. Uno...I'm going to have to introduce Addy to that game and see if she likes it. Happy belated Thanksgiving and happy December Advent season to you and yours.

  3. Joyce, I so enjoyed reading this post - every little detail!! Great photos and it is so great that you got to go and that Hunley is doing okay. Why do animals eat things that are not supposed to be eaten!! Advent is here!! Hang on to all the blessings!

  4. I love reading your detailed posts! Glad you had a lovely time. Grandkids are the best.

  5. LIttle Miss is so cute, as are the boys! I'm so glad you had a wonderful time!!