Every year, Bobby and I decide which side of the family we’re going to spend the holidays with. My parents live in Florida, Bobby’s mom lives in Minnesota and Bobby’s dad and stepmom in Virginia. And of course, we have siblings, cousins, and friends all over the place! This year, we are scheduled to go to Florida for Christmas, and since we already visited Minnesota in August, it seemed appropriate to spend our Thanksgiving in Virginia.
Thanksgiving day started at Bobby’s aunt’s home in Purcellville. It is a BEAUTIFUL farmhouse perched on a hill overlooking the Blue Ridge. Bobby’s grandparents from Minnesota were visiting. They didn’t know we were coming to Thanksgiving dinner, so it was a nice surprise for them! We felt pretty lucky to have seen them in-person twice this year.
Bobby’s aunt let us indulge in some of his grandmother’s outfits. I got to see one of her maternity dresses, her first $100 dress, an 80-year-old bathing suit, and her wedding dress!
After a small plate at Bobby’s aunt’s house, we headed over to Bobby’s dad’s house for round 2 of dinner.
Bobby’s dad celebrated his 60th birthday the Friday before Thanksgiving. During dinner, Bobby’s stepmom surprised him with an overnight trip to Shenandoah National Park. We’ve known about these plans for a while, so we were thrilled to finally share our excitement. Shenandoah is a special place for Bobby and I. We got engaged there 3 years ago! Obviously, it’s a special place for Bobby’s dad, so we were excited to all go together.
On Friday we headed to the mountains! Along the way, we stopped in Warrenton to grab a quick lunch and posed for a photo in front of the church that Bobby’s dad and stepmom were married in.
When we finally got to the entrance of Shenandoah National Park, we saw that the Lodge was closed. We found out that, even though we had reservations, the impending inclement weather forced the park to close at 6pm. It was a blustery cold day, and they were calling for snow flurries and ice that night. Although bummed, we ate our lunch on the picnic bench and went for a short hike around Big Meadows. We were able to stand in the exact spot Bobby proposed at!
Even though we couldn’t stay the night, we had a great time listening to Bobby’s dad tell stories about his adventures in Shenandoah. Plus, I was able to listen to music and catch up with my in-laws on the car ride.
On Saturday, we drove out to Winchester to see my grandma. I haven’t seen her since her 90th birthday party last November, so it was important for me to see her this trip. We reminisced and shared our favorite memories. She pulled out a book that my aunt wrote in 1989. It was a short story about my great grandfather (my grandma’s father), called “The Polka Dotted Tie”. It was really special for us to hear that story of her father but from my aunt’s perspective.
My grandma makes a Christmas cookie that is nostalgic to my family. When you think of my grandma, you usually think of her Christmas cookies. Well, I’ve always wanted her to handwrite her recipe so I could frame it. When I asked, she said her handwriting wasn’t as nice as it used to be, so she pulled out her recipe binder and gave me her original copy! This was one of the greatest things she could have given me. I framed it and added it to my holiday decorations.
Saturday night, we invited some friends over to Bobby’s dad’s house for pizza and beer. It was a full house! We were so happy everyone came out and we were able to catch up.
Sunday morning, we drove out to Vienna to meet Bobby’s newest niece, Melody. What a sweet little girl! She’s a tiny peanut with a head full of hair. And Willow is such a helpful big sister! She loves to kiss her and pat her back. We are so blessed to welcome another baby into the family!
Bobby and I always have a tough time leaving Virginia. We never feel like we are able to see everyone we want to. Our trips are getting few and far between as we continue to build our life in Raleigh.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!