Nora and I flew into New Orleans on Friday, Nov 21st. We were both exhausted from a day of traveling, so we didn't do much but enjoy some delicious food and time with my family! Saturday I was able to have breakfast with two of my best friends from college, Kate and Corrie. That afternoon, I had the joy of watching one of my oldest friends, Nick Missios, marry the girl of his dreams. It was a beautiful wedding and gave me the opportunity to see so many friends from Lakeview (our church in NOLA). Saturday night Jonathan arrived from Knoxville and the entire family enjoyed a delicious New Orleans meal of fried shrimp poboys and seafood gumbo. We spent most of the day Sunday in Baton Rouge visiting my grandmother and aunts and uncles on my mom's side of the family. We hadn't seen them since June, and I was particularly excited for my grandmother to see how much Nora has changed in the past five months. Monday my mom treated me to a manicure and pedicure---which was DIVINE---and then she and I got to spend some quality time together shopping! We found a great deal on a beautiful Christmas dress for Nora...thanks Nana! I know Nora will look like a doll this Christmas.
Nora absolutely had a blast visiting at my parents' house. There was much to explore and Nora was definitely intrigued by the dogs. My mom and dad recently added a new pug puppy named Phoebe to their brood of dogs (3 total now). Nora was scared at first by all of the licking and barking, but she quickly warmed up and started calling for "Feee be." I also was so blessed to spend time with my baby sister, Hillary. She has grown up so much in the past year and is driving now--which totally weirds me out! I am really looking forward to Christmas when Emily, Hillary, and I will all be in town to spend some rare time together.
My sister, Hillary, and neice, Lindsay
Me, Nora, and My Grandmother Gloria
Lindsay and Nora playing and giving kisses
We arrived in Jackson on Tuesday. Later that afternoon, some family friends arrived from Austin, TX, to spend Thanksgiving with us: Dean Kolb, and her daughter and son-in-law, Kristen and Matt Powers. Dean and Kristen have been like family since before Jonathan was born, but this Thanksgiving was really my first opportunity to spend quality time with them. They are such wonderful people! They fell in love with Nora and were so patient with her and played with her. Nora and Dean became best buddies by the end of the trip, and Nora became fascinated with Matt...we're not sure if it was because he was bald or what!?
We had some wonderful food while in Jackson. On Wednesday, Amy and Kristen made homemade (I'm talking FROM SCRATCH) chicken 'n' dumplings. They were amazing! On Thanksgiving Day, Ms. Joyce provided her usual spread of turkey, ham, chicken'n'dressing, butter beans, sweet potato casserole, rolls, and like 4 desserts! We were so stuffed! On Friday, I was able to get together with my friend Suzanne for a few hours over coffee! We had such a good time talking and catching up. We watched several football games over the course of the week, and most nights Jonathan, Amy, Matt, Kristen and I would gather at the kitchen table for some competitive games of cards and Take Two. Good Times!
Nora and Dean reading books
Great Aunt Hazel and Great Aunt Hettie
Suppertime with Daddy
Baking at the Bradshaws
Nora and Granna
Nora and Kristen playing
Nora talking to Hazie
Nora and her "Mamy"
We left shortly after breakfast on Saturday morning and made the 8+ hr drive back home to Knoxville. Nora was great! The last hour or so was a bit rough, but honestly, we all wanted to get out of the car, so I can't blame that girl for being a bit fussy.
We have so much to be thankful for! We were so blessed by safe travel, wonderful time with family and friends, and a beautiful, healthy daughter! Thank you Lord for all of the ways you bless us beyond our deserving!