Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving Thanks

So--this Thanksgiving came with a big first for me--the first time to host my entire family for a holiday! It was so much fun! There are around 30+ of us, so I thought it might be stressful, but it really wasn't. In fact, it was a great impetus to get those last few boxes unpacked that have been nagging at the back of my mind. (Ok, so maybe the very last few we just shoved into a closet at the last minute, but hey, we're almost done! Really!).

I was so excited because my mom's sweet friends, Jen and Pam, came over the day before Thanksgiving, while I was gone to school, and basically rearranged my house--mostly the den/living room. Jen has a home staging business with her sister-in-law and is really great at what she does, and Pam is just plain talented--I told her she should start a business too! I love arranging things in my house, but I just don't have a knack for it like these ladies do. So they sweetly volunteered to come help me, since they knew I was having all these people over for the first time. It made me feel so proud of our home!

But now...on the the Christmas decorations!! And I'm all on my own for this one. Minus the tree of course--Taylor will have to help me on that one. But I think this weekend while he's gone I am going to put out all the other Christmas things. Speaking of this, I will go ahead and tell you the reason why Taylor is gone this weekend. Ok--so I knew when I married into this family that the "menfolk" have a DEEP-rooted hunting tradition. Which I love, really I do. I think it's wonderful that they are so close to each other, and much of it is because of the time they spend together, man-to-man, down at the deer camp. I love that Taylor knows so much about the outdoors, and about wildlife, and that he respects it. I love that he will one day teach our children, Lord willing, about these things as well. But there are downsides. Like, for example, the weekend after Thanksgiving. At about 5 pm on Thanksgiving Day, all the Sledge guys load up in their trucks and head down to the deercamp, taking all the leftovers with them. Leaving us poor women to cry into our pumpkin pie. "Hunting widows", we call ourselves. And yes, I know we are not alone. Women all over the south (and other places, I'm sure) find themselves in the same predicament. But--even though I really miss him on the holiday weekend (and the other weekends he is up at the camp), I do my best to be positive about it--because he loves it so much! And because it is really a wonderful thing--I just have to get past my bit of selfishness over wanting him to be around all the time! The poor guy deserves a break. And he is so wonderful about making sure everything is taken care of at the house before he heads out of town. When all of the other guys in his family left, he came back to the house with me to help clean up and make sure everything was in order.

I will leave you with a few pics of our families. I was so excited that all my cousins were here so we could have a pic that included almost everyone!

Here are all the first cousins!

my bro and sis

taylor and me

Since Taylor's parents live right around the corner from our new house, we were able to head to his house for an hour or two while my sister held down the fort at our house. Here are a couple of pics from his house:

Taylor and his grandfather, C.B.

Taylor's parents

I LOVE the Christmas/Thanksgiving season...I hope that Christmas break will hurry up and get here! I have 2 or 3 weeks of school until then. And speaking of that, I need to start studying. We have a huge test Monday. Bummer, huh? Who gives a test the Monday after Thanksgiving?! Wish me luck!