christmas eve

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Brian and I drove down to his family's home Christmas Eve and were welcomed with a delicious seafood dinner, with specialty bruschetta made by Sarah (which Bill hilariously called garlic bread). Christina made white chocolate and dark chocolate peppermint pretzels and I'm pretty sure I ate the vast majority of the peppermint ones over the course of the weekend. SO good.

We added our pile of Christmas gifts to the already overstuffed space under the tree, and there were rumors that other gifts were still waiting to be wrapped! The rush of being last-minute keeps the excitment going. ;)

siblings

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The four brothers – Samuel (19), Matthew (29), Conor (22), Brian (34)

What a great day! Brian and I drove to Bill and Maura's on Sunday for a pre-Christmas celebration. Matthew and Kristen flew in the day before in order to spend the week leading up to Christmas with the Smith side.  All the other "away" siblings were back from college, so it was a full house.

naples florida

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What does one do when they have a spare weekend? Fly down to Naples to see Granddad and Carol, of course! It's an especially compelling plan with the Polar Vortex sweeping snow, ice and frigid temperatures through the entire country. Florida was missed almost completely, and so we spent a 70+ degree weekend seeing the sights. Martin and Carol had a full itinerary for us – touring the neighborhoods of Naples, driving through the Everglades, trying fried alligator and freshly caught stone crabs, going out to fancy restaurants for dinner, touring spec homes in a newly developed community, and hanging out at the poolside cabana. 

weekend with family

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Thanksgiving was pretty busy this year between meal preparation, getting our pictures taken, helping Mom digitize her photo albums, and going shopping (Mom and me) or to the gun range (the guys). We had the photo shoot right after our Thanksgiving meal, which was probably not the best order, but we made it work. It forced us to not overindulge, but then we rewarded ourselves with lots of pie after we got back! So there was no lack of food consumption.

thanksgiving 2016

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Happy Thanksgiving! Bear with me, this post has a lot of photos. It's a rare occasion when the five of us are able to get together at the same time. Thanksgiving has always been a special holiday for my family, so we made it work! Mom surprised us all with a last-minute professional photo shoot, so we coordinated with a "denim and whatever I packed in my carry on" look. I think it turned out great. Thanks so much to Sarah Mesa for scoping out a pretty location and braving the cold in order to take these photos! (You wouldn't know by looking at us, but the temperature was in the low 40s.) Also – how cute are my parents??


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