Happy Thanksgiving!


Wow!  I can’t believe it is already that time of year.  Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about cooking - that’s right - my mom does it all - every single year!  I am going to confess something right now that I am so embarrassed to tell all of you - I don’t even know how to cook a turkey - NO CLUE!  See, we go home to Minnesota every year for Thanksgiving and we just pretty much show up and eat. Sure I bring easy things to store in a car for 6 hours, like wine bottles, a veggie tray (Costco), olives (Costco) and pickles (Costco again) and that is pretty much my responsibility.  Lord help us if we ever have to host it here in Chicago and I actually have to cook it all.


We have been going home to Minnesota for Thanksgiving for as long as we have lived here in Illinois and we have a lot of fun traditions that we have done over the years.


For many years we headed out to my Aunt Bonnie’s farm and had Thanksgiving dinner in one of her heated garages that normally holds a tractor.  Once dinner was over, we would clear the tables and play bingo. Then there was a time when the kids were little and we actually had Thanksgiving dinner at the local hotel lobby that had a pool.  The hotel would let us take over their lobby area with our family and then the kids would go swimming in the pool. Most recently my brother has hosted Thanksgiving in his new house - still waiting for the indoor pool to be installed :)


But one of our FAVORITE traditions during this holiday break is going to Mall of America for some Black Friday shopping.  I remember when the girls were little my mom and I would head out and we would conquer pretty much everything on my shopping list while my dad and Jason took the girls on all of the rides at the mall.  Now the girls join my mom and I for a day of shopping and lots of Starbuck’s (Emily still does not like to shop - don’t worry sweet girl, you will have your mama’s shopping gene soon enough).

And then on our last day of break, we would head to the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre to see one of the holiday plays and then off to the 8th floor of Macy’s to see Santa.  


Life just does not get any better than this.  All of these memories, all of the love, all of the craziness, all of the lines at the mall, all of the coffee.  


Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We are so grateful you have all joined us on this blogging journey and look forward to filling your inboxes with many more memories :)


~Jen

This Thanksgiving I am so thankful for so many things in my life! Just stating my family, friends, and Bryce isn’t even close to everything I’m thankful for! As I’m moving on in my senior year, I am starting to realize more and more things. 1) My senior year is a Thanksgiving break and 3 weeks and finals away from being halfway done 2) we graduate before my birthday, I’ve never not had school on my birthday 3) I flipping got in to college already, why am I stressing about my test grades and whether or not I turn in my homework assignments on time 4) I need to figure out how to survive on my own 5) there’s more to life than football games and homecoming dances. Most of these realizations have to do with the fact that I’m going to be in college in a year and I personally don’t know how I’m going to survive without my best friends, supporting family (thank you mama llam for always heating up my dinner when we all know I can), and incredible boyfriend all in a range of 20 minutes from me.


But, with these realizations, I found that I need to be more in-the-moment with my life. For example, I spent this past weekend with my soccer friends and it was amazing. I didn’t worry about what was going on back home or the school work I needed to finish in order to feel accomplished in the class. I was happy and worry-free and that’s what made my weekend so enjoyable!

Every year for Thanksgiving my family and I go to Minnesota and celebrate with my nana and papa and aunts/uncles and cousins. I live for this trip! When we were younger, we used to go to a children’s play every year that was the best part of the trip! Now I look forward to the incredible Black Friday sales going on at Mall of America! Even though I liveeee for the thrill of sprinting throughout Mall of America to try and find my mom to try and convince her that I need a new pair of lululemon leggings, I love love love spending the quality time with my family so much more. Since most of my mom’s side of the family lives 6+ hours away, this thanksgiving meal always brings everyone closer together (as Thanksgiving meals should) so we can catch up and enjoy our time. I can’t explain the amount of laughter and giggles that come out of my mouth when my papa is telling one of his famous jokes. I can’t help but smile and laugh when I’m surrounded by my hilarious and loving family!!

This thanksgiving is also very very special because Bryce and I are celebrating our one year! I honestly don’t even know how to describe the amount of love I have for him! I got so lucky to be able to be his girlfriend! oh, he’s so wonderful and one year isn’t even close to how long I know we’ll be together!

I’m just thanking God for what he has provided for me in my life. This thanksgiving is the best one yet!


~Elsa