we spent a lovely thanksgiving holiday with my extended families in memphis this year.  not only were both of my sisters and my cousin in town with their families in tow, but also some of our nearby family members met arden for the very first time on thanksgiving day!  it was so fun to watch her soak up the love, all while sucking on her fist and fingers.  she seemed determined to prove that she can fit her entire fist in her mouth, but she settled for showing off her two brand new front teeth to everyone!

we unashamedly stuffed our schedules with family time and our bellies with turkey.  there are so many things for which i feel blessed this year: mostly, our beautiful baby girl, our loving family and wonderful friends, that jason still has a job doing what he loves, that i am able to work part-time from home with the baby and that we all have our health.  during this tough time for america, there is not a day that goes by that i am not grateful for these things.

our 2009 thanksgiving memories, as with any good year, revolved around….

really, really good FOOD:

CONVERSATION, especially among the ladies:

and fun with FAMILY:

my favorite thanksgiving activity was taking arden to the ‘enchanted forest’ for her first time.  when i was a child, my family attended this magical landscape of moving animals and singing elves each year right before christmas.  at the end of the journey through the forest, it was time to sit on santa’s lap and nervously tell him what i hoped he would bring me for christmas.  so for me, the enchanted forest (which has been going strong for nearly 50 years!) is a great way to conjure up that warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feeling while anticipating the arrival of christmas and the new year.  i hope that arden will, one day, love this event as much as i do.  this year, she mostly slept, but also spent a few waking moments soaking in the bizarre sights and sounds.  she even sat very still and lady-like on santa’s lap for a picture with cousin lee!