A MOPS Monday was a great kickstart to the week. We had Dr. Emma Blackmore of UF Health talk about mood disorder during pregnancy and postpartum and other helpful mental health information. I loved the atmosphere of the meeting: like we were sitting around a living room talking. I spent that afternoon packing and prepping for our trip to Blue Ridge, GA. My dad rented cabins up there for all of us for Thanksgiving! Tuesday was busy. Abigail had her 9 month appointment. She's 27.5 inches long and 17.4lbs! So, she's beefing up, which is nice! The other girls got their flu shots so hopefully the good health fairy stays with us. Then, we headed over to story time with Ms. Bell- and our friend William came too on his visit from South FL. Then, we met mom, Suzanne and Alex at the Yacht Club for lunch. The rest of the afternoon I spent doing laundry and packing up the car. Phil was stressed with a big closing at work. We were thrilled when everything went though and he even came home earlier than I thought. We got on the road at 6pm headed to Atlanta. I thought driving at night would be easier with the kids. We stayed in Aunt Susan's condo downtown to break up the drive a bit and maybe do something fun on Wednesday morning before heading up to Blue Ridge. Well, the kids were AWFUL in the car. Abigail seemed to be uncomfortable after her shots that morning (although she was fine when we left) so we stopped to get her meds. Marly threw a few tantrums and finally unbuckled herself and walked around the van. Lots of screaming and crying. I was about the loose it. Luckily, Phil drove for almost all the of it. We arrived at the condo at midnight with 3 wide awake girls. It took us another 2 hours to get everyone to sleep since they were so excited to be there. After a brief 'nap'- (the big girls were up at 6am!) we hit the road again. We decided to go to Ikea, since they have childcare while you shop. We really needed a break! We got back on the road and headed up to the cabins in Blue Ridge. The Kerkezi's were already up there, so was Aunt Susan, Bill and their friends, Suzanne and Tim, the librarian. Mom and Dad drove up that day and picked up Katie and Erik from the airport. We thought Katie could use some love so I made shirts with her picture for everyone in the family. I think she loved it! It snowed on our way in. The kids loved it, but it was COLD! We took turns hosting dinner. Wednesday night was Aunt Susan. We went up to their cabin for beef tenderloin and shrimp- YUM! Thanksgiving was at my parent's cabin. My pal, Elizabeth gave me this recipe for mashed potatoes that were awesome. Lots of eating, drinking and merriment! We stayed up and had a hilarious game night playing, What. Friday we went into town and rode the Blue Ridge Express and met Santa. We went to this feed store that my dad contrived as a fun pet store for the kids, then had lunch in town. Then, we went to the Mercier Orchards and tried their famous fried apple pie! We were in charge of dinner that night so Phil grilled burgers and dogs then we roasted s'mores. The kids loved the s'mores (so did I :-) Later, the ladies got in the hot tub then we went back for a game of poker. Phil put me all in, real quick. Saturday we packed up and watched the first half of the FSU-UF game. Then, we did the long drive home. It took us 10 hours! Not as bad as the drive up, though. We needed a day to recover. Yesterday we went to mass, then got our Christmas tree. The girls helped me decorate the house. Lots of unpacking, laundry and cleaning. So, we had a great trip. I loved catching up with my siblings and seeing the cousins play together. Blue Ridge was a nice change from our usual T-day. We are so thankful for the wonderful friends and family in our lives! And now the partying begins!