Friday, December 2, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

We followed our typical tradition this year and went to Nana's house in Georgia for Thanksgiving. This year, however, we were able to stay all day on Friday as well and left on Saturday morning, which gave us more time for family. 

Our family Thanksgiving feast was even bigger this year than it has been in previous years. SO MUCH FOOD. And so, so good!

Here's a picture of our Thanksgiving buffet!

We had a great time hanging out with everyone and the weather was so warm, we got to eat outside again this year.

Stokes with Nova

Get a plate and get your dinner!

Jamie and Ryan reading a new book

Two sweet fellas

Fresh air and good food!!

William with his plate

Stokes and William - ready to eat Thanksgiving dinner
 After dinner was over and we had some time to digest and hang out, we once again went to Nana's friend's house with the fun Christmas lights. Our snafu was that Stokes and William both fell asleep on the way (since they didn't have an afternoon nap) and when we got there and woke them up, they were a do I put this...GRUMPY. We took one pass through the lights and had to get them back in the van to head home and to bed.

Stokes and William in awe

Look at the tractor!

Yep - this sums it up.
Tired and cranky Stokie

I tried to get one picture of all 3 of them. Don't they look
happy and excited to be there?!?!?

Ryan with Dada - he was still being a sweetie!

William holding Nana's hand

William with Mama in front of the snowman

William with Dada

and with Kacie
Since we didn't have to leave on Friday, it made for a much more relaxing day. We got to watch some football and just chill out.

The boys watching Paw Patrol in Nana's bed
We had Ryan in a pack n play in our room (that sleeping arrangement isn't going to last much longer because Ryan is almost too big for it now!), Stokes slept in our bed with us and William slept with Nana and Papaw. William slept in a little later than normal, which was awesome, and it was really sweet because when he woke up, he called out for Nana. It made her day!!!!

During the morning, we got to do a little Christmas exchange with this side of the family since we won't see them again during the holidays.
Dada and Ryan

Nana and William

Time to open some gifts!

I believe his exact words were, "Mama, you can open it?"

Nana helping Ryan unwrap a present

So fun

Nana was having a blast

Stokes started playing with his new cars immediately 
We have more stuff to open!

After gifts and a leisurely morning, we ate some yummy leftovers for lunch and then headed out for an adventure! There is an old tunnel that was dug for a railroad back in the 1850s. It's no longer used, but they've turned in into a little tourist spot with tours on golf carts and everything! We opted to skip the tour and just walk through the tunnel and it was awesome and so fun. It was just the thing we needed after consuming so much delicious food.

Train props for a photo!
William (and yes, he is wearing an Auburn hat,
thanks to Kacie)


Ryan (Thomas is back there holding him up)

Kacie and Stokes in the covered bridge

Mama and Stokes on our way to the tunnel

A look at the tunnel. My flash really
brightened it up because it was actually
pretty dark in there!

Stokes at the beginning of the tunnel

My Uncle Jay standing in a man area where people could go
if they were in the tunnel and there was a train coming. SCARY!

I got Stokes and William to stand in
one but couldn't get a picture fast enough before
they were on the move again.

A plaque on the other side of the tunnel

I thought you might be able to read this a little better - ha!

Michael and Stokes

The girls and the boys:
Marla, William, Kacie, me, Stokes, Kelsea and Ryan

Making a path to look at the nearby
current train tracks
These train tracks and this tunnel are basically parallel to the
tunnel and path where we were and are still in use
Michael, the daredevil!
William being silly in the kudzu
Potty time!!
My cousin Marla was so sweet and offered to take my camera and do some family pictures for us while we were out at this cool location. There were several different areas that we thought would make a good background and I so appreciate her offering to do this! I love how the pictures turned out!

That's all from the far side of the tunnel. We took more family pics on the other side when we were heading back to our cars.

Dada and Stokes in the tunnel

Hanging out and waiting on the golf cart tour to pass us

These guys climbed up to the top of the tunnel and sat
on the edge. I was OK with hanging out below and watching
Jacob, Michael, Kacie and Kelsea

This gives you an idea of the size
of the tunnel and of how high up they were
 More family pics!

This one of all of us!!

Our tunnel adventure was awesome but it wore us out and we were all a little tired, so we went back to Nana's house for some "quiet time" for the boys before we had our evening outing.

Later that night, I was so excited - we went to Rock City Enchanted Garden of Lights. It's basically a really amazing Christmas lights display. You walk through different areas and see all sorts of lights and Christmas themed displays and such. I thought the boys would just marvel at seeing all of it. Rock City is only about 30 minutes away from Nana's house so it was a no-brainer since we stayed an extra day.

It's on an actual mountain and it was pretty cold up there so I was glad that I brought hats for the boys. I wish I had thought to bring my selfie stick so we could have gotten a picture of our whole group, but I'm realizing that I didn't get many pictures and we had a large group there! It turned out to take a bit longer than I had anticipated, and the boys eventually started acting up, so we didn't make it all the way through Rock City, but we had a good time nonetheless.

Nana with Ryan

Stokes, the stinker!

Kacie and William

Marla with Ryan

Nana with Stokes

So CUTE in that little hat!

Dada with Ryan and Stokes

Nana, Tim, Stokes, Ryan, Thomas and Whitney

Dada with Ryan

Kacie and William

Nana and Michael
In front of the Nativity
By the time we got home it was almost 9 pm (well past their bedtime) and we sat down to eat a quick bite of pizza for dinner before putting the boys to bed. They were just so tired and their behavior was starting to deteriorate.  I don't think Thomas and I stayed up much later than they did!

Saturday was game day for our Tigers to play our big in-state rival, the Gamecocks, and although the game was at 7:30 PM, we wanted to get on the road fairly early so we could make it back in plenty of time. We had breakfast and just a little playtime before getting on the road to come home. I really enjoyed being able to stay for an extra day this year and loved our outings that the extra time afforded us. Hopefully we can make a Saturday departure more of a tradition!

Jacob pushing William on the swing

Jacob and Whitney with Stokes

Ryan was shaking Uncle Jay's (Papaw) hand!!!

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