Five on Friday – Flashback Friday edition

I have been absent these past few weeks on the blog, but for good reason.  I was soaking up a whole TON of family time and eating my weight in pie and stuffing.  Pecan Pie.  Stuffing.  I think I gain a pound every time I even think about it.  No lie. Life since Thanksgiving has been pretty much a whirlwind going 90 mph.  We just got home from a 2,200 mile road trip which I will be recapping all next week on the blog – so stay tuned!  Back to Thanksgiving – we had the blessing of having two Thanksgivings this year.

{ONE}

 Our first Thanksgiving we went camping at the old Rusk Train Depot.  It was our second year to do this so I think we can officially call it a tradition.  Rusk is hands down one of our favorite camping spots.  It is BEAUTIFUL ya’ll.  The spots are great, there is so much open area and woods for the kids to play in. There is a stunning a lake and a few playgrounds.  PLUS – the tracks.  There is nothing more magical than train tracks to play on {don’t worry they aren’t working tracks anymore so there were no trains coming through).  The trees are abundant and the shade is perfect.  We LOVE Rusk and highly recommend it to any campers!  Andrew’s aunt and cousins that live near the area joined us, and it was SO nice to see everybody and catch up.  It had been such a long time since we last visited with them.  It was so nice to see the kids running around playing together as well.  Really good memories right there.

upon arrival we were greeted by this group of stray kittens. Apparently Corbin is an animal whisperer – they loved him. Patches here and one of her sisters was rescued by Andrew’s mom, Nana. I am NOT a cat person, but little patches won my heart over.

{TWO}

Last year, the whole reason behind us camping at the Rusk Depot was to ride the Polar Express in Palestine, TX.  We rode again this year and it did not dissapoint. Corbin really enjoyed it this year and got up to dance and got SO excited when Santa came into our train.  Some of our best friends and their 3 kiddos joined us this camping and on the Polar Express and that made it extra special.  We got all the kiddos matching PJ sets and they looked adorable.  We even had a little cold snap come through on the weekend we were there, so it even felt a little more like Christmas outside and not the typical Texas 80 degrees in November.

signs of a successful day

{THREE}

We Celebrated actual Thanksgiving day with my family this year.  I love the traditions at my parent’s house.  When I was growing up all of our extended family lived in New York and we were the only ones in Texas.  Because of that, I am used to very small quiet holiday gatherings and what not.  Every year at my moms it remains just my parents and my siblings but we keep adding grand kids and spouses and the crowd is growing and it is SO much fun! My sister got married this past October and it was a joy to have her new husband and his parents join us this year.  My mom always decorates the table settings so beautifully and it makes it feel just right.  Every year when we walk in the door my dad is hovering over the turkey and all the smells just smell so familiar and good.  I love that it is always the same.

snapchat fun on the ride to mom and dad’s house
Bubba eyeing the pies, Ubie teaching how dish duty goes and the beer pong tourney.

{FOUR}

My brother and I got into a heated debated back at our sister’s wedding about who was better at beer pong.  Mature, I know.  We decided to hold an official tournament to decide once and for all who wears the beer pong crown in our family.  We held the practice round Thanksgiving night and the real tournament is on Christmas Eve.  The loser has to keep the others kids for a weekend.  A KID FREE WEEKEND is on the line folks.  Lets just say during the practice round Andrew and I pretty much dominated.  It has been years since either of us has played and apparently our skills are still fine tuned.  It was such a fun, silly way to end the night and I look forward to round 2 come Christmas {and my kid free weekend}.

{FIVE}

We didn’t take official Christmas card pictures this year – fail.  BUT, don’t worry we captured this gem of a photo when we were camping in Rusk and I just couldn’t resist turning it into our Christmas card.

Too country?!  Maybe, but I don’t care.  This is US.  Merry Christmas ya’ll!  Follow me next week as I remember our Christmas road trip!

xo,

j