Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Cheers to...Hump Day, So Long, November Edition

Hello and goodbye, November! Good Lord, you came and went quickly! I'm guessing it's because these last two, seasonal months of the year are chock-full of seasonal events, but man, I can't believe we're already kissing November goodbye. That being said, here's a recap of what some of our last two weeks have looked like. Things we've been saying CHEERS to: 

School feasting. This year, neither Banks' nor Raleigh's Thanksgiving celebrations at school included invitations for us ol' parents. However, Harrison did, and our little chief was SO excited to celebrate with mom and dad. :) 

Basketball. Winter sports are in full swing, with Banks starting basketball last week. His first game is this Saturday, and the kid is get his jersey and find out his team name. Ha! And I am so excited that one of my sweet friends' son is on the same team. Win-win!
Compassion Experience. We took our lil' trio to an event called The Compassion Experience recently, which is an immersive event that allowed us to learn of the stories of children “suffering under the crippling weight of poverty.” We walked through the exhibit room by room (one depicting a tattered home, another a school house room, etc.) while listening, via iPhones equipped with headsets, to the stories of a child's life. Although the end goal of the exhibit was to elicit sponsorship for any of a number of children whose files were available for viewing, it was a really moving experience to get a very small glimpse into international poverty and the impact of faith. 

Thanksgiving with family. As we have done each of the 12 years since we've been married, my hub and I (and our kiddos, of course) feasted with both "sides" of the family for Thanksgiving. First, we ventured to Aiken, South Carolina, to my "in-laws'" home, where there were lots of cousin laughs and lots of grown-up laughs: 

Then, we ventured back home to the Mill, where my "side" of the family came up to visit, where there were lots of cousin laughs and lots of grown-up laughs: 

Black Friday shopping. We also continued the tradition of girls' Black Friday shopping Friday morning (which always includes my momma, grandma, aunt, and whoever else is still in town and able to join in the fun) followed by lunch, and then golfing for the guys that afternoon. 

I was also able to sneak in a tennis lesson and match with the best tennis player I know, my momma (and my tennis partner, V, and her hubby). :) 

Doubles. Oh, and speaking of tennis, V and I managed a win...our very last match of the season. :) We had the BEST time playing and will be playing regularly in a weekly tennis clinic so that we can be ready to take on our opponents next season. 

Noonday. One of my sweet friends and neighbors recently hosted a Noonday party, and we were all able to buy some GORGEOUS jewelry while supporting artisans from around the world. And because Noonday was originally founded as an adoption fundraiser, 10% of the party sales are given to an adoptive family of the host's choice. I was so, SO thankful that Lauren so kindly offered these funds for our fundraising efforts. Jewelry for a good cause with a side of girl time? Yes, please!

Clemson Tigers. My hub and I were able to sneak away for a day/night to one of our favorite places to cheer on our Tigers to a 56-7 victory over our rivals, the Gamecocks. We had all day and night and now are hoping for a similar outcome when our Tigers head to the ACC Championship game in Orlando this weekend. And our kiddos had a blast hanging with several aunts and uncles, cousins, and Bammy and Digby in Columbia. A good weekend for all! Go Tigers!

Santa. We did something different for our Santa visit this year. My friend (hello again, V), is an incredibly talented photographer with a strong faith and huge heart. So. She partnered up with a local, adorable children's boutique and offered "Santa sessions," which allowed individual families to reserve a time slot where they would have an abundance of time with Santa, all the while having (gorgeous!) photo after photo taken by the one-and-only, Volree Photography. And then? She donated ALL proceeds to Haiti relief efforts. <3 And I cannot WAIT to get our photos back and see the Christmas magic! I snapped one quick shot of my trio on our way back to the car after we were done (and the dress Raleigh is wearing was MINE when I was a little girl! <3 )

Favorite Things Party. It is my MOST favorite party of the year! And it is tonight. Yahoo!!!

Tree hunt. Oh, Christmas tree, Christmas tree...where for art thou, Christmas tree? ;) We traveled to the same tree farm we visit each year to cut down our own tree. We just LOVE traipsing around the farm, in search of the perfect tree! Only this year...the perfect tree was nowhere to be found. :( There was a significantly smaller amount of trees available, and those that were tended to be small and sparse, due to the significant lack of rain this year. So. After venturing around for a bit, we decided that we would have to go elsewhere for our tree this year. :( And FOUR stops later, we finally found it. :) We promptly went home and decorated that bad boy and then drank our hot chocolate, of course


Cookies. My kitchen has been in overdrive lately and will continue the next few weeks. I have been cranking out all kinds of cookies in nearly every spare minute. Whew!

And that's all, folks! Well, all I have time to include for now that is - there are cookies to bake, outdoor decorations to hang, shopping to finish, gifts to wrap, Christmas cards to address, birthday parties to plan, laundry to finish, a certain elf's arrival to anticipate, kiddos and a hub to love on, etc. And that's just this week - ha! 

I hope that y'all, too, are enjoying these full, busy days. See you back soon for a fun, festive post!

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