We Came. We Ate. We Conquered.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, friends, and what a holiday it was! We met some of Chris’s family in Gainesville on Thanksgiving day and ate until we couldn’t ate no more.

This is me before I stopped ate-ing. I have pecan pie in one cheek and chocolate cake in the other. Like a chipmunk.


It was really nice to see Chris’s family. We haven’t spent a holiday with them in a while. This is Chris’s Grandma and Granddaddy Brown. You should meet them. They are what we call in the South “the salt of the earth.” Granddaddy Brown is a farmer and fisherman, and Grandma Brown is one of the best cooks you can find.


We also got to see Chris’s Aunt Neely and Uncle Randy and their way too old son, Severin. I remember the first time I met Chris’s family, Severin wasn’t even 10 years old yet and now he’s in college. Way to make me feel old on the day before my birthday, Brown Family… The Brown family are Gator fans. Isn’t that sweet and optimistic?

Let’s have a moment of silence in honor of the beat down that the Seminoles gave them this weekend.




Thank you.

Neely and Randy have a house in Gainesville that they use for football weekends. Since Severin was at school and couldn’t get away for the holidays to come home to Pensacola, the family used the football house for Thanksgiving this year. Their house is fully stocked, but Grandma Brown brought a van full of her cooking supplies anyway. She was rocking and rolling in her borrowed kitchen!



Our kids are pretty well behaved anyway, but on Thanksgiving this year they were absolute ANGELS. Seriously. Those turkeys played quietly with their bag of activities and games we brought them all afternoon. Grandma Brown gave them little treats to play with, too, and they were in heaven! It was so nice to be able to catch up with family and not have to worry about how the kids were acting. Those kids are keepers, I tell you!


We headed home late in the afternoon on Thursday and made it back just in time to tuck the wee ones into bed. Chris’s mom, Jackie, and her partner-in-crime, Charles, came into town that night, too, so we got to hang out with them a little bit. The kids were so excited to have Grandmomma and “Chahhhles” in town! We spent the rest of the weekend with them, shopping and eating and watching football until our eyeballs were numb. And, do you know, I did not get ONE picture?!?! That must show what a good time we had! Not even time to pick up a camera! That’s what holidays are for, isn’t it?

I missed seeing my own family this Thanksgiving. My mom was in Atlanta with Ginny’s family, and I called them every few hours this week, just to make sure I wasn’t missing out on anything fun. But it is nice to be with Chris’s family on holidays, too. They are my family, and I miss them when I don’t see them for a while. We all do.

Tomorrow is my birthday. The big 3-1.


But I’m so distracted by work tomorrow that I haven’t even really thought too much about my birthday. I accidentally scheduled my formal evaluation for tomorrow. Your formal evaluation is where your administrator comes to watch you teach for an entire class period and evaluates you. That evaluation is always important, but this year it feels even more important because I have a new administrator, so I’m not sure what he’s going to be looking for when he comes in to observe. It is also more nervewracking because it will be the first day back from a week off school, so I fully expect my students to be sleeping with their eyes open all day tomorrow. Never what you want on an observation day.

All of this is to say that if you could send prayers and good thoughts my way tomorrow around 11:00, I would GREATLY appreciate it. Chris and the family are taking me out for margaritas and Mexican food tomorrow night to celebrate the fact that I am aging (ouch), but I will also be celebrating that my observation is done! Ole!


Dear Aunt Neely – Sorry I stole all of your iPad pictures from Facebook.  That was very stalker-creepy of me.  I’ll send you payment for copyright in the form of cookies at Christmas.  xoxo

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4 Thoughts to “We Came. We Ate. We Conquered.”

  1. Michelle

    I am an alumna of Georgia Southern University…so when I hear the whole Brown family roots for the Gators, I can’t help but chuckle, Bless their hearts and Hail Southern. 😉 The kiddos look great! Have a wonderful birthday!!

  2. I just wanted to say Happy Birthday!!! It’s my birthday too, and we have Michael’s the same age, so that basically makes us best friends, right? 🙂 I’m sure your evaluation will go great tomorrow, but good luck all the same, and enjoy the celebratory feast afterwards!

  3. HeatherM

    Happy Birthday! And good luck on your formal evaluation tomorrow! You will do great! My husband is a tenure-track college professor, and he has to do three formal evaluations every year. They wreak havoc on our home life this time every year, so I know what you are facing. Then every January he has to give a presentation to his department about everything he has done that year (educational service, committee work, and research and publications), and then they vote on whether he gets to keep his job for another year. Then the sixth year, they vote on whether he gets tenure. Then he still isn’t off scotch free, he just gets a year off before starting the whole six-year process over again to go for a promotion. Just take it one day at a time, be your awesome engaging self during your evaluation, and you will do fine.

  4. kat

    you crack me up 🙂 and I totally feel the same way about Jon’s cousins. When I met them way back when they were all little kids and now they’re in college and one of them is graduating from college this winter! how does that happen?!

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