Ever since I met Eric, I have been hearing about the great family tradition of Thanksgiving in Waycross.  His family has been going down to his aunt's in southern GA for probably over 15 yrs now, but we were never able to go.  Until this year.  It was originally the plan to spend Thanksgiving with Rachel's family and Christmas with Eric's, but all his sisters are also alternating holidays and were doing Thanksgiving in Georgia this year.  Combined with the fact that Rachel's brother is getting married in Phoenix at Christmas and it made sense to switch.  So last Wednesday we loaded up the car and drove nine hours through just a little bit of holiday traffic to Waycross, along with about 30 other relatives from his mom's side of the family.

It was quite a holiday!  First, the McLaughlin siblings did a little ornament and gift exchange in the hotel.  Pretty ironically, every kid preferred someone else's gift to the one they received.  No tears, though!

 Our niece Sierra:
 And nephew Liam:
We were really surprised to receive an awesome gift of an accordion from Eric's sister Jena and her husband Brian.  Brian's grandma had left him three, so they gave us one.  Should be fun to learn how to play!

Thursday night was an awesome seafood feast of crab legs, shrimp, fish tacos, fish stew, two kinds of cake, etc.  That wasn't even the Thanksgiving meal!  The big meal was celebrated Friday afternoon.  First, we dressed up the girls in their matching cousin outfits.
 Then it was time for family photos.  Mimi made matching pajamas for all the grandkids.

  While the meal was cooking, Maggie and Sierra enjoyed playing with some window decals.
 Ben and Liam grabbed each others' toys.
 And Grammy and Papa got a picture with all five great grandkids, aged 2 1/2 to 4 months.
 Daddy and his kids!
 Finally, the meal!  It featured no less than 17 dishes, like corn casserole, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole...well, you get the idea.
 32 people sat around the table!
 One of Eric's cousins made the name placesettings.  Look at Ben's cute little leaf!
Then on Saturday after a feast of leftovers, we headed back to Nashville.  A long drive, but great to finally be a part of this family tradition!


Uttz Family said...

Must say that was the most effective way to share the long weekend quickly! Fun times!!!!
Love, Mariah

Megan Shirley said...

Wow! Love that table! Very inspiring for big family get togethers! By the way it is "South Georgia" - don't ask me why but it is ;)