Though it was hard to take photos of our Thanksgiving because I tried to have either a baby or pie in my hands at all times, here are some glimpses of our time in Indiana with James’ side of the family. //Reunited with my amazing sister-in-law! Love this woman, this MOTHER, and I am extra thankful for her this year. About a month ago, as in, when she still had a newborn in her arms, doctors discovered an almost plum-sized tumor in her leg. The surgery left her on crutches for a couple weeks and then we waited for two weeks while they ran tests. Finally, despite medical odds, the tumor came back benign and we all hugged each other extra tightly this year knowing what could have been.// // At the Gingerbread Festival, wherein my youngest brother-in-law took home a prize. Unfortunately, my photos turned out blurry, so you will just have to trust me on the greatness of his gingerbread house. // //Let’s be real: baby William was the star of the entire week. We spent a lot of time like this, just marveling at his chubby thighs and big smiles. A lot of time was also spent cheering him through tummy-time and watching his little self struggle through turning over. BABIES plus HOLIDAYS equals BEST EVER.// // Not too far from where James grew up, there is a little town called Harlan, Indiana. There is nothing in Harlan. Nothing, that is, except the world’s best donut shop. At the Harlan bakery you will not find donuts topped with bacon and carmelized whatever, you will not munch on $4 creme brulée donuts, you will not come away with artisan pastry creations. As you know, I love donuts, but I am scared they are quickly going the way of the cupcake: over-priced, overworked, and under-tasty. At Harlan, these donuts are what they should be: simple, huge, cheap, and delicious. I look forward to my pilgrimage every visit, dragging anyone who will come on my donut train and overwhelming the poor Harlan Donuts employee with my enthusiasm. Y’all, that entire box of fresh donuts below cost me $8. // // There is nothing I love more than family stories. James jokes that my family could spend a weekend together, do one thing Friday night, and then spend the rest of the weekend reliving it and think it was a perfect weekend. He is absolutely right. I just feel like family stories do more than anything else to weave us together, to make us understand the experiences that are sown into our lives and our beings. Late one night we got James’ dad on a role telling us stories from a motorcycle trip he did all across country when he was younger. He spent over a year traveling on his bike and living on the road, and hearing about those adventures was one of the highlights of our time in Indiana. // //Just what is the point of having the whole family together if we can’t force everyone into coordinating clothes and make them stand around in the cold for family photos? I mean, that’s what my side of the family does every year, dragging it out into an hour+ affair where we are all deeply annoyed by the end (see here, here, and here). While James’ family is less photo obsessed, we do have a bigger family than the last time we were all together, and that demands a photoshoot. Thus, we put on our best lumberjack-inspired wear and trekked out into the cold and mud for some pictures. In a true Thanksgiving miracle, we actually managed to get two were everyone was looking at the camera and smiling.// //I’m so thankful to be a part of this tribe, and most thankful of all for the man who made me a part of it, who drove almost all of both legs of the lonnnggggg drive from DC, who let me stop for bathroom breaks nine million times, and who patiently stood in the cold long before everyone else so that I could get the tripod and camera settings just right. He’s a keeper.//
- "Art rediscovers, generation by generation, what is necessary to humanness. " -John Gardner
Lately, on InstagramIt’s been the desperately whispered encouragement for the past couple months, exhausting months where parenting and adult responsibilities left us little energy to just be Us: staycation is coming. We went a whopping two miles away for a decadent 2 nights together... and it was everything. Rest and laughter and time to remember, hey- I loved you before I loved the family and life we have built together. Beyond thankful for the past couple days . (And shout out to the grandma who made it all possible -@angiecolemanstone. She’s the real MVP)Went out of my way this week to pass this cemetery a couple times, because I can’t get over this display of beauty and life in the midst of death. That’s the painful beauty of Holy Week, the uneasy blend of sorrow and joy that leads us to Easter, passing through death on the way to life.