This year's Thanksgiving was one of those holidays you look back on and just sigh with pleasure. I don't know that one thing could have made it any better. It was simply perfection.
The amazing weekend was preceded with Libi coming to stay with Josh and me in Destin for the week. We had a jolly good time just being sisters under the same roof, which hasn't happened in, oh, four years.
Wednesday night Josh, me and Lib loaded up the Silverado and headed to Jacksonville like a little redneck family, with me in the middle (fun times).
Thursday started off the way any Thanksgiving morning begins - cooking! Me, Mom, Libi and Josh spent hours cooking and prepping. The fam started trickling in late that afternoon. 8 Cottrills, 4 Halperins, 1 Woodhams, 4 Chandlers 1 Berg and 1 Lane made up our table that night. (Did I mention this was the first holiday my divorced grandparents of 30 years spent together? It was.) We did the usual tradition, going around the table sharing what we're most thankful for. Everyone's honesty made my heart so glad. It was just the beginning to what turned out to be one of the most refreshing evenings. I got so much clarity that day that just freed me.
We also found out that we are going to be an aunt and uncle this summer! Josh's sister Ashley and her husband Derek are expecting their first baby in July! We are so excited!!
And we can't forget the line-up!
Friday morning I had my first Black Friday experience. Ever. It was...early, overwhelming, and not extremely productive...that is, until 7 am when we walked into American Eagle and I found the bridesmaids dresses! I had some picked out that were much more expensive than I wanted to pick, but I really loved them. This dress I found at American Eagle fit perfectly and I knew as soon as I saw them that they were it! Not to mention, they were only $47! A whopping $113 less than the original dresses I had picked out. So, within an hour, 8 dresses were purchased and life was good.
So, although I'm not really a fan of Black Friday, I do have to thank the holiday for my awesome find. I think of myself as someone who likes to try everything at least once, but I'm not sure it's going to be a priority in years to come.
Josh got to go fishing with Ren that day which really was the cherry on top of his weekend, I'm sure. I'm really glad he got to have fun while I was off doing girly wedding stuff.
Friday night was a family dinner followed up Just Dance 2 at the Tagnipez casa. My new favorite game/work out. Check it out - it's amazing!
Saturday was filled with dress fittings and wedding shopping. Not gonna lie, I was more overwhelmed than excited when it came to deciding on the exact shades of teal and coral that is going to be used for the wedding colors. Finding wedding shoes for myself or the bridesmaids wasn't as easy as I thought. I couldn't decide on any jewelry I liked. I didn't want to look at any more decor ideas or decide on a centerpiece. I thought this was supposed to be the most exciting part of getting married - picking out the details. Well, I just want to get it over with so I can be Gili Woodhams - Josh's wife and PIC. Is that so much to ask for?
Moving right along...Saturday night was filled with Christmas cheer as we got my parent's tree decorated, listened to Christmas music, and drank coffee and hot chocolate with Kahlua. Best part was that I got to hang out with two of my oldest girl friends, Katy and Ashley. We were the three muskateers back in '99 and were reunited once again (this time with fiances and husbands - we're old!). It was fab.
Sunday was bitter-sweet. I can't even explain how incredible this day was, and how sad I was to go home. Sunday was so special because I got baptised with my brother, sister, step-sister and two girls I've known practically their entire lives. It was so amazing to experience this with so many people I love - both from my past and the present.
Redeemed by Your mercy, consumed by Your grace. Now I live for You.