A Texas Thanksgiving

Howdy, and happy Monday! I hope you all had as great of a Thanksgiving as our little cowgirl! We spent Turkey Day this year in Texas Hill Country where Sean’s uncle has an awesome house, and it was so much fun! We ate barbecue, soaked in the outdoors, had an amazing Thanksgiving meal, ate more barbecue, and spent time with Sean’s whole extended family.

Penny was, naturally, the star of the show, hehe.

 

Penny did great her second time flying (well, at least, she did great on the flight THERE), and I learned the reality that is packing for a week away with an infant (apparently 2 adults + 1 baby = 3 checked bags and 3 carry ons, not including the stroller and carseat.) Even though I’ve traveled with Penny before, going to see my sister and her kiddos is a bit of a different affair when it comes to packing. That big blue suitcase picture above? That’s JUST Penny’s crap, and I still didn’t pack enough burp cloths. -_-

It was all more than worth it though, of course! Sean’s uncle’s place is located in Dripping Springs, Texas, and happens to be a mere stone’s throw away from one of the best barbecue places in aaaaaall the realm: The Salt Lick!

 

This place is pretty famous for its deliciousness (just ask its almost 3,500 Yelp reviews!) and for good reason — their barbecue is serious gold! It’s so good, in fact, that we ended up going twice during our stay, hehe.

Now, I’m sure this comes as a HUGE SHOCK to you all, but I am not exactly what you’d call a country gal. That said, this city slicker can certainly appreciate the beauty of the great outdoors every now and then, and this was definitely one of those times! Sean’s uncle’s house sits on a huge slice of land with walking trails and a great lake and whatnot, and it was really nice taking Penny around the property — I mean, even if she did just sleep through it all, at least she was getting lots of fresh air.

Sean’s brother is a photographer, and snapped tons of great shots in addition to the zillion I have on my phone, so we definitely have our first REAL family trip appropriately documented!

And it was definitely a special week indeed, because aside from it being Penny’s first Thanksgiving, it was also her first time meeting all of Sean’s extended family — her great-grandmother included! She did awesomely meeting so many people and experiencing so many new sights and sounds. Everyone kept telling us what a good baby she is, which we are very aware of and is definitely one of the things we are super thankful for (in addition to, you know, just being thankful for her existence in general!)

 

Yep, that makes for four generations of Foxes represented at the Thanksgiving table. 🙂

And speaking of Thanksgiving itself, let’s talk about the fooooood!

There were TWENTY-FOUR people altogether for Thanksgiving this year, which made for a crazy amount of food. The spread was so intense and impressive that I didn’t even remember to take a picture of the entire smorgasbord, which included not one, not two, but THREE different kinds of turkey (roasted, smoked, and deep-fried, heheheheheh.) I did, however, at least manage to snag some snaps of the three dishes that Sean and I contributed: maple & bacon roasted brussels sprouts, mac ‘n’ cheese, and loaded mashed potatoes.

  

There was also stuffing, bourbon glazed carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, Irish beer rolls, and pies galore: apple, chocolate, coconut creme, pumpkin, and pecan if I’m not mistaken. I KNOW. My mouth is literally filling up with saliva just thinking back on it all. ::drool::

Sean’s aunt, who was crazy generous with us all weekend (she gifted us with the amazing cowgirl outfit pictured above, amongst many other amazing things to honor Penny’s quarter-Texan roots, heh), also thought to bring a reclinable high chair to the ranch so that Penny could join us at the table on Thanksgiving.

 

Turns out, Penny found the chair so comfortable, she napped straight through the meal in it! Kiiiinda makes me want to buy this specific highchair for her now, even though we totally already have one. Because what we need is more baby junk, right?

But hey, turns out some of that baby junk was absolutely ESSENTIAL on this trip! After getting to 5-6 hour stretches of sleep pretty regularly at home, I was convinced that it would all go to hell and Penny would sleep horribly on the trip. I mean, with the travel, being in a new place, there being so many new people, etc, who would’ve blamed her, right?

But it turns out our fears were all for nothing. In addition to the high chair, Sean’s aunt was also kind enough to bring a pack ‘n’ play up to the ranch for Penny, so we just tucked her into her Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit, and she slept like a rockstar! She didn’t sleep quite as long as she had been at home, but she did 4.5 hours the first night and then 5-5.5 each night after that, which was far better than I could’ve hoped.

 

We also brought the DockATot with us, and I was really glad we did even though she didn’t sleep in it at night. It was soooo convenient being able to tote it around the house and be able to have a place to put her down. After all, we were without all the rest of our baby containers — her swing, her floor seat, her activity gym — so it was great to just be able to bring the DAT with us from room to room as needed.

 

So yes, a fabulous trip where Penny was able to get in touch with her Texan roots and I was able to eat my bodyweight in various kinds of meat. A successful trip, wouldn’t you say?

 

Alas, the fun had to stop at some point, and Penny was unfortunately a lot fussier on the plane ride home from Texas than she was on the way there. I also developed quite a nasty cold on the last day of our trip, and sadly it looks like Penny has gotten sick too! She is quite congested and has a runny nose that I’ve been NoseFrida-ing like crazy, and she had a low-grade fever last night. This morning she’s back to her happy little self and her fever’s back down though, so fingers crossed things remain that way…!

Hope everyone has an easy week getting back into the swing of things work-wise. I have just under three weeks until I’m back at work myself! Hopefully I can kick this cold soon so that I can enjoy every last minute of my maternity leave. And at least if I have to be going back to work, I’m going back during the BEST TIME OF THE YEAR!

Yep, we had a great trip, and Thanksgiving is fun and delicious and all, but let’s be real: in the end isn’t it really just the final barrier standing between me and Christmas?

So let the holiday music play, folks, it’s CHRISTMAS SEASON! And I gotta tell you, if you thought I was being extra with Penny’s first Thanksgiving or Halloween… just you wait, just you wait.

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