03 December 2009

Still Thankful

Every Thanksgiving affords a great opportunity to stop and reflect on what we are thankful for, this year has been no exception.

Being back in the U.S. during Thanksgiving after being away for the last two was extra special. We are grateful we had the chance to be here. It was the first time our entire immediate family was together since Mark and I were married. I think we figured the last time we were all together on Thanksgiving day was about a week after Mark and I started dating 8 years ago!

And if that wasn't enough, my Grandma and her husband, Marv came to visit from Missouri for a whole week. This was my Grandma that had triple bypass heart surgery this summer so we were all incredibly thankful that she was doing well enough to make the long trip. We had a great week together, including some time at Opryland Hotel. Here are some shots of our trip.

Two shots of the inside of two of the atriums. And these weren't even the two largest ones!

 There was this nice waterfall with a little bench so we all stopped to get photos (this was the day before my brother arrived that's why he isn't pictured)
My new favorite photo of us :)

There were tons of different orchid varieties, as well as many other flowers. I could have spent a very long time photographing in there!
 Aren't Grandma and Marv cute?!
And finally, Nessy is visiting Nashville this Christmas too!

Another fun time was taking photos of my single, hot bro. Let me know if you have a good, Christian girl wanting to meet him :) Go here to see those shots. I had fun not only taking those shots with him, but editing them. And in case anyone wonders what the haze is in some of the photos (like the first one), we were going for some fun sunflare shots, but it was an added bonus that some neighbors (we took the shots in my parents' neighborhood) must have been burning leaves so there were small particles floating adding a funky texture/ambiance to the photos.

Other fun family times included playing Apples to Apples (I forgot how fun that game was!), playing Smith Family Cut Throat Spades and watching Nacho Libre. And of course being entertained by Yafi. Sadly I haven't taken many shots of him yet. Keep watching this space.

Mark's been studying hard in my parents' bonus room. I've been impressed he's kept working so diligently. But not too much that he hasn't been able to enjoy being here. Don't worry, he's been taking breaks too!

Monday I got to take a long walk with a friend, Avery, we met in NC at my parents old church. Her parents and my parents have been good friends for years now. It was her parents that put my dad's name in the hat to come and be their pastor here. Avery and her husband (and 4 year old son) are missionaries in Cambodia, so it was great to catch up with her. On our walk I saw this sign that I enjoyed.

Last night we got a call from my Uncle Harry who lives in Chicago saying he was flying down for business in Nashville, so we met up with him for dinner. It had been about 4 years since I'd seen him (5 for Mark we decided) so that was a special treat as well.

All in all we have felt and continue to feel incredibly blessed and thankful for this chance to be home during this time.


3 for Me! said...

So glad that you've gotten to spend time with so much of your family... very special when you've been so far away:)

And great job with the family and couple pictures:)

melissa said...

How great to have your family together, and amazing that it's been so long. Love that sign pic, too :).