Following the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning we had 52 over here for dinner.
They brought ALL the food, we just brought the place to gather...and my cousin and I (mostly her) set up all the tables...
...along with our cute girls who did all the name tags:
Finishing touches to the food prep:
Here's where the teenagers and kids sat:
The married couples sat here:
We made a funny configuration of tables so we could get all the adults together like we did last year. This is after a few left, but I wanted to have a picture to remember...everyone expressed something this year has given them a new appreciation for.
One of my favorite moments of the whole evening was when our friends from Hungary came to join us for dessert. My friend Edit brought her parents who speak Romanian and no English.
Look at them up there. The woman on the left and they guy next to me...do they not just shine with light? They were so beautiful from the inside and it's hard to explain but it was the BEST feeling in the world to sit there and actually be able to have a [very fragmented sometimes needing to call their daughter to help] conversation with them. I SPOKE ROMANIAN!! It was kind of exhilarating! Not sure if that's because I was speaking Romanian or because they were just glowing with so much goodness trying to help me through all the words I was stumbling over, but I just loved that little corner of the evening with all my heart.
It was so interesting to pull out a map and have them show me their part of Romania that used to be Hungary and to hear their perspective. I asked what people there thought about our crazy election over here and I felt like he (Edit's dad) was speaking to my heart when he said something along the lines of "people's goodness has to come from within, no matter who their leader is, we need to reach out and help each other sometimes in spite of our government." It was like we were just right in sync because that's so how I feel.
Our Thankful Tree was a little sparse this year.
Not for lack of gratitude, just for lack of energy and time to keep everyone going on those leaves!
But it will suffice :)
(Leo is Lucy's "pet" stuffed lion who is basically part of the family.)
Speaking of that Max (what Lu wrote in that last picture), he was over in Taiwan having his own kind of Thanksgiving at KFC with his companion:
He says he's at one of the happiest times of his mission right now and his letters, although short, convey that excitement.
And that's a Thanksgiving wrap!