filled to overflowing, actually ....

Wow …. just came off 5 days of Turkey-day traveling … and my, was it nice!

We left at o’dark-30 on Wednesday morning (ok, it was 4:15a.m., but whose counting?). The kids slept … dh drove … and me? Well, I knitted, of course. Using the new Beam-n-Read (review to follow) light, I knitted until the sun came up (and since we were heading south-west, it took much longer than normal). After a quick stop for breakfast at Mickey-D’s, we hopped back in and arrived in SC by 1:00. Not bad (of course the kids groaned everytime we had to stop for a potty break ….) when you’re traveling with five folks, two of whom are getting old!

Hot Rod's last night before turning NINE!

Wednesday evening, we celebrated HotRod’s 9th birthday … with many loved ones (including my step-daughter up from Charleston).

Kit particularly enjoyed playing with, helping with, and generally cuddling her second-cousin …. 21-months old and just a delight! I tried to get her to say what a turkey says (after all, she was wearing that CUTE turkey shirt) … but all I got out of her was “boom, boom, boom”. I’m figuring she just really wasn’t interested in performing!

Kit and cousin

Thursday, altho technically HotRod’s birthday, was of course filled with prepping for the BIG meal … we only had 15 people but we certainly had fun and all walked away from the table with filled bellies as well as filled hearts for the love present at that table was palpable.

good thing the tables are strong to hold all the food!

It’s fun to prep food at someone else’s house (especially since my SIL has every conceivable bowl, cutter, ingredient necessary to really put on a feast.

Friday was the big event … the reason we’d driven 9+ hours. We had a surprise early birthday party for my MIL. She will turn 80 in December and we wanted to show her just how much love we have for her. And boy did we surprise her … and quickly had to get my FIL out of trouble as she had told him she DIDN’T want a surprise; but since we never told him … and she never told us … we were golden.

My SIL made an amazing apple cake (with an interesting glaze) while I did up “Nanna … the heart of the family” with all the little hearts of her offspring … three kids (and their spouses) … twelve grandkids … and six great-grandkids. My niece did the fiddly cutting and taping the hearts on toothpicks and we almost didn’t have enough room for all these folks. We gave her a digital frame and pre-loaded it with pictures of everyone (except my oldest …. who is camera-shy, I’m thinkin’). She loved it!

Nanna ... the heart of the family

Where it all began ... and looking pretty good for 80 and 81, eh?

Friday was also the day LSU finished a perfect season … beating Arkansas 17-41! Even my SIL and her first grandchild enjoying watching the Tigers whup-up on the Razorbacks!

My beautiful SIL with her first grand-baby!

Saturday, we headed from SC to NC to visit with dear friends and enjoy some birthday celebrations … their second-to-youngest turned 4 on Sunday.

MayMay turns 4 ...

We love visiting this family … who we have known since our Raleigh time (we lived across the street from each other) … and who have kids our kids’ ages. It’s amazing to see their college-age boys (who are HUGE) and their little ones, too. What a gift God has given us in this family. An added bonus is the chance for us to one of our favorite priests, Msgr John, and participate in the First Sunday of Advent Mass (and the use of the new translation). Hard to image a better spot for us to have been on Sunday, November 27th!

Home again, home again, jiggety jog: five hours of driving thru Virginia countryside on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Any idea why I consider my heart overflowing? God has given me so very many blessings … and this past week was a GREAT example of just some of His many gifts to me and mine.

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