We had a lovely Thanksgiving this year!  Much different than our celebration last year, we spent this year with our family.

I got to make a few appetizers to bring to the party so I chose potato skins, spinach artichoke dip and bruschetta.
The potato skins are another Simply Recipes favorite of mine.

Spinach Artichoke dip made in the crockpot is super simple.  Tip: buy bulk spinach instead of boxed spinach, it's about half the price! 

A nice simple bruschetta via Tasty Kitchen!

The appetizer table.

One carved turkey

Lots of bread and delicious homemade strawberry jelly!

Side dishes galore made by my mom and grandmother

Stuffing straight from the bird!

Brussels sprouts for dinner too, these are fantastic!

Poking around having some fun.

Sitting around watching football and chatting!

There were also lots of pretty decorations up. 

Beautiful chandelier.

Tasty tasty fruit (not really, it's fake)

There were lots of great desserts, but somehow I forgot to take pictures of the desserts; we were probably too busy eating them up!

Another Weekend, Another Trip

I love that we've gotten to travel to so many foreign destinations, but sometimes the best trips have nothing to do with foreign countries and everything to do with being around family.

One of the many blessings in my life is an amazing extended family who works so hard to stay connected and involved as we get older.  In yesteryear, we always had certain holidays to look forward to, knowing we would all be together.  These days we have to try a lot harder to get it to work with everyone's complicated schedules, but two weeks ago we finally got together for the first time since Steve and I got home.

Words don't really adequately describe how lovely it was to spend time with everyone and it was so sad to have to leave to drive back to Michigan.

Poor Allie spent a serious portion of the day immersed in homework even though she was on fall break.  The constant busyness is something I often miss and simultaneously do not regret leaving behind from my college days.  (Sidenote: what do you think of the size of the portraits vs landscapes? I can't decide if I like the portraits or if they're just too big for most normal screens)

Part of Allie's homework was taking photos for one of her film class projects, but unfortunately the film in her camera wasn't advancing so she ended up with a lot of nothing.

A new forming tradition at our get togethers is a few rousing games of catchphrase, which always results in much hilarity watching everyone describe and guess clues.

Everybody brought a little of something to the party and we had more than enough to eat.  I brought desserts (more deets tomorrow!) as there is no better way to make five desserts without worrying about promptly eating them all.

To top it off, we all got to drink out of awesome skull cups in celebration of the upcoming holiday.