Giving Thanks

It took me until naptime, but I did finally get our pictures uploaded and ready to go. You can see the whole album by clicking here.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, we had a suprise visit from Grandpa Karl & Marty. Chris’ grandfather & his wife live in the D.C. area, and though we’ve sent pictures, they had never met Jonas in person. We’d talked about a visit this fall, and finally this weekend presented itself as a good time for them to get away. Chris’ dad and stepmom decided that they wanted to be here to see the introduction of Jonas to his great-grandpa, so they came up to visit at the same time!

It was so great to have a house full of family. Jonas took a little while to warm up to Grandpa Karl, but once he did, they had so much fun together. The giggles were non-stop, I tell you!

Friday night, I made a roast with mashed potatoes, corn, & carrots. I’d built a new table leaf for our little table (which we got from Sharon Ellis a million years ago back when we were neighbors at the little apartments in Rome, remember that!?) with some phone consulting help from my dad, so the kitchen was full to bursting with all seven of us crowded around the table. What a wonderful feeling, to have all that laughter and conversation and a nice meal together.

We went out for breakfast on Saturday morning, and then ran over to Home Depot (it’s always something, isn’t it?) before coming home to put Jonas …and Nonna!…. down for their naps. 😉 Chris and Karl went out to the mall to shop for my birthday gift, and when they came back, Donna and I went over to Jo-Ann’s for some felt and embroidery thread for my latest project. (More on that another time!) Grandpa Karl and Marty were there when Jonas woke up, and we played and took more pictures for a few hours.

It was really important to us to take a “Four Generations” picture of the Nebel guys. Here’s Karl Wendell Nebel, Jr (Grandpa Karl); Karl Wendell Nebel, III (Poppa); Thomas Christopher Nebel (Daddy); and Jonas Patrick Nebel together. Aren’t they a fine-looking bunch?

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Grandpa Karl & Marty treated us all to a delicious dinner at Hoggy’s, a local barbeque place, that night. We celebrated his birthday and mine (we share the day! And, as a funny coincidence, Chris and Grandma Marty share a birthday, too! What are the odds of that?). Jonas got a balloon, and we all got totally stuffed! That’s a good night in any book.

The next morning, everyone had to leave – Chris for a day/night on-call, and all the grandparents for their homes. Jonas I headed to church, and the house felt SO empty when we got back home.

I spent Monday cleaning and cooking – I made a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie to freeze for Thanksgiving. They turned out beautifully!

Tuesday was my birthday. It was a really nice one. Chris got me a beautiful faux shearling coat from Lands’ End, and I got several giftcards from friends. My mom and dad sent a beautiful stair basket, stuffed with goodies to pamper me. And I got two new charms for my Pandora bracelet from Dad & Donna. The three of us went to dinner at Carraba’s, which was yummy and a lot of fun… until Jonas dumped my water glass all over himself. (You should have seen him – eyes as wide as dinner plates, and a little voice saying, “Oh….” At least we were almost done anyway.) We got our dessert to go, came home to change Jonas out of his wet clothes and get him to bed, and then shared that delightfully chocolatey, brownie-and-mousse concoction. Mmmmmm.

On Wednesday, Jonas & I drove up to Dayton to pick up Chris’ mom and sister from the airport. Traffic was wretched and the rain didn’t help…. so it was a long drive. But they made it here safe and sound, and we treated ourselves to Chinese takeout for dinner when we finally got home. Jonas was so happy to see them! He has trouble saying “Mimi” and “Aunt Andrea” but I think we did get it out of him once or twice before they left.

We got up Thursday morning and made a pot of coffee, started cooking our 14-lb bird, and turned on the Parade. It was wierd to not be at my Grandmama Maxwell’s house. I always miss my family so much on Thanksgiving. For some reason, being away from everyone on Christmas doesn’t bother me as much – maybe because we did Christmas so many different ways when I was growing up (sometimes at our own house, sometimes spread out over a week while we visited both grandparents’ houses) but Thanksgiving was almost always in Thomasville. Plus, this year was the first year my brother has ever brought a girlfriend for Thanksgiving, so I was really sad that I missed that. And she even got to go shopping the day after with my mom & grandmama! (Pout, pout! I really wish I’d have been there with them!). But anyway….

Chris got out of work pretty early for being post-call, and in a true Thanksgiving Miracle, they hadn’t had any trauma cases overnight so he was pretty well rested! That was a nice bonus, since it gave him more time to spend with his mom & sister instead of sleeping.

We ate our dinner around 2:30, and it was pretty good. Definitely not “Grandmama’s cookin’!” {you have to say that in my cousin Kaitlin’s voice to get the true effect, sorry, non-Maxwell readers} but not too bad.

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If I cook my own Thanksgiving meal again next year, I’m halving the green bean casserole and I’m on the search for a new stuffing/dressing recipe. And I’m going to figure out how to make a small dish of my grandmother’s sweet potatoes with the crunchy topping. And I’m going to remember the rolls. But other than that, it was okay.

On Friday, we woke up to the first snow of the year! It was a light accumulation – maybe a quarter-inch – and it flurried most of the morning, then melted off by the time Jonas woke up from his nap.

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We went out for a late breakfast and just snacked for lunch, and then I made oven fried chicken, baked mac & cheese, and corn for dinner. It was the perfect comfort food for a cold day! We had a really nice day, just relaxed and laid-back and time for Jonas to be with his aunt & grandmother. I love seeing them play together!

I started getting out the Christmas decorations, and did a little bit at a time. Right now I have most everything out. There are a few things that just don’t seem to have a place they “fit” in this house, so I’ll probably add them to my yard sale pile in the garage; and there are a few things I’d like to have that I never needed before (like garland for the half-wall and the stair bannister, and outdoor lights) which I still need to buy. But it’s really beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

Chris was on-call again on Saturday, and we had to take Mimi & Aunt Andrea back up to Dayton for their flight home. The weather was cold, but clear, which made the traffic a WORLD better than our drive on Wednesday! The round-trip took about 3 hours, and Jonas was a perfect angel. He slept the whole way up, woke up to say bye-bye, and then played with his toys, read his book, and ate his snack on the way home. I chatted with my mom for a good 45 minutes (she was on the road home from Thanksgiving in Thomasville) — thank goodness for Bluetooth! — and came home to an eerily quiet house!

It was a really busy couple of weeks, but it was wonderful to see everyone who came up to visit. I owe a few people phone calls, so if you’re reading this and you know who you are, I’m sorry! I’ll do my best this week. 😉

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Meet the author


I write uplifting women’s fiction woven with threads of faith, grace, and Southern hospitality. My blog is where I share a glimpse of my life, and I hope you’ll find the thoughts here encouraging!






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“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

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