December 1, 2013

The best road trip souvenirs and a family fun farm run

This was my top Thanksgiving of all time, and I'm not exaggerating. Maybe it's because we had an extra week (date-wise) to build up to the turkey extravaganza. Maybe because of how well the kids played together. 


Maybe because it was finally cold enough to pull out the winter gear, in all the colors of happiness. 

Happy colored scarf.

Rainbows-forever gloves.

Not everyone got the correct gear though. Twin problems, two right feet. 

And not everyone was happy about cold weather. 

My hands are on cold fire.

And maybe the happiness was from seeing the creativity of kids on a farm. 

Homemade bow and arrow set.

Maybe it was the prospect of no-shave November coming to an end. But not really because I like Amory with  a beard. 

Amory with his brother, dad, and twin nephews (no, they aren't identical). 

Maybe it was all the hugs from grandma Skeeter. This one should be at the top of the list.

Maybe it was the family fun run -- four miles in the fresh country air while dodging combines. 

We tied family, food, love, farm life, beards, pretend weapons, running, and cousins all up in a glittery bow and made it into the best Thanksgiving present we could have ever wished to order from Amazon (because there is no way in heck that I am shopping on Black Friday). Except I almost wished for no running and was content with that, until my nephew Shelvin started asking around about whether or not we were going to do a run this year like last year. And since I pose as a lover of running on the internet, I had to keep up my image and agree to run. But the country roads were so peaceful with air as fresh as some hot Krispy Kreme donuts, except much colder than those donuts, that it truly was fun and not at all hated.  

After we drove home (with one busted alternator and being stranded on the interstate with four kids and zero husbands in the middle of the night -- so not totally uneventful), we plunged right into Christmas. This late Thanksgiving business had me really itching to throw stockings and candy canes all over my house before Thanksgiving, which is totally unacceptable in my OCD holiday mind. So I was so happy to finally be released from the pre-Thanksgiving-Christmas-decorating taboo into the red and green (with blinking lights and glittery ornaments) fire.

Ten seconds at the lot, and we had a tree.

Tree scraps.

It's impossible to be sad with a Christmas tree strapped to the top of your station wagon.

Finally, finally, finally, I got to pull out all of the ornaments that I purchased on our cross-country trip this summer. Ornaments are absolutely number one on my list of perfect souvenirs to purchase on a trip. They don't take up much room (very important for car trips), and every year at Christmas, you get to think about all of the adventures that came with that miniature version of the amazing place you visited.

And wouldn't it be fun to turn medals into ornaments? Now that I'm thinking/writing this, I have to do it. 

The only other decorating rule I have is that we have to clean everything up and be 100% finished with all other decorating before we put the star on the tree. 

Ezra got the job of star placer this year, although he was too scared to actually put it on. It is always more unstable than you think it will be, especially because our plastic star is so heavy. 

Now that all of that fun has been accomplished, I can get back to the fun of running again. Pinky swear that I will kick up leaves on a trail this week. 

Do you have any firm holiday decorating rules? 

What are your favorite family traditions for this time of year? This year I'm going to try and start a new low maintenance (read: less presents) Christmas plan where we try and add in more service. I'll let you know if the kids totally revolt. 

What is your favorite travel souvenir? Other than ornaments, I like collecting food that I can't find at home. Just got my Mennonite jam fix while in Kentucky this weekend. 


  1. I LOVE this. We're about to head home from our cabin in Tahoe where we spent Thanksgiving - Thanksgiving is my very favourite American invention! It's just perfect and Tahoe was soooo beautiful.

    YES to buying Christmas ornaments when travelling. When we did our month-long bike trip through Europe, I carried glass baubles across the Alps in my panniers - bought 7, only broke 1. Result!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Yo Momma.

    1. That is amazing that you only broke one! I soooo wanted the bauble from Zion's park, but I was terrified of breaking it.

  2. What a lovely time you all had! I love Christmas ornaments that are souvenirs of fun times or special places. So fun to revisit them every year when you decorate. And I am a big fan of bright colors on gloomy days, too.

  3. What a beautiful Thanksgiving! We totally do the same thing with ornament souvenirs, and have done it for years. Putting up the Christmas tree is always so much fun because we can remember all the trips we've taken.

  4. We tend to pick up ornaments when traveling, too!! And, 2 of my beachy Santa ornaments came out of the box broken this year so I think it is time for another trip to the beach!!!

  5. Once again, I'm oohing and aahing over your Family Farm Holiday pictures. You are truly blessed.
    Brilliant idea re: ornaments as souvenirs, too! My favorite (not that you asked) is the colorful camel(?...llama?) Very cute!!

  6. i always get ornaments on my trips and race trips!! i'm missing a few and trying to play catch up from the ones i missed. love the traditions yall have!


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