Our Thanksgiving

My dad, sister and aunt do basically all of the family holiday cooking. I am given two jobs when it comes to Thanksgiving cooking: green bean casserole and Grandma’s rolls. For several years, I would spend the night at grandma’s the night before Thanksgiving to help with the rolls. We’d make them at night while we ate pimento cheese and crackers. The next morning she’d wake me early to punch them down, and then I would pour Grandpa’s super thick whole milk on my cheerios. The dough would rise again and then we’d punch them down, form rolls, let them rise, bake and enjoy with the meal. My grandma passed away on Mother’s Day in 2008. I miss her most every Thanksgiving.

I guess I am going to have to pass down the roll tradition to the next generation of girls….

Eric, my brother-in-law, caught a snake. I thought the boys would be the most excited. It turns out the little girls liked it the most.

Watching the snake….

A few from our Thanksgiving….

Little One still has a lot of food hurdles she is working through so she missed out on this year’s meal. She much preferred playing with her toys over sitting at the table with us. I have a feeling next year will be a lot different…

It was their first Thanksgiving. I attempted to get a shot of them both looking and smiling. That did not happen, but I don’t mind. Oh, and Little One’s hair looks pretty awesome with this headband/bow….such stylish hair she’s got going these days.

I had two helpers trying to evoke some smiles.

The background.

And an attempt with all the granddaughters.

My immediate family: Us, my parents, my sister’s fam.

This year was such a sweet time to celebrate with Little One and my baby niece. It was so very different from last year and yet similar in some ways. In the sorrow and the rejoicing, I want to live a life of thankfulness and gratitude. A life that doesn’t take for granted how richly I am blessed.Β  A life that pauses daily to give thanks to those around me and to my Savior. A life not of entitlement, but of deep gratitude. I want to live Thanksgiving every day. I wouldn’t mind Thanksgiving dinner every day too!

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  • Kerry - 1.So much sweetness in one place.
    2.You and your sister bear such a strong resemblance!
    3.Little One’s Indian boots are super.
    4.Love the mix of dishes (we have many of the same!)
    5.Our group of kids caught a snake on Thanksgiving, too! =)

  • seriously sassy mama - I love when family can get together and be family. Great pics as always!

  • Amy G - What a beautiful day! I love the way your pictures capture the love and joy in your family. It’s beautiful!

  • Midwest Magnolia - Melissa Lewis - I have to say it again, the feeling of love just oozes from your post’s Ashley! Amazing to me how genuinely happy we can be for a family we never met, to have Little One there, finally a part of the family God created her for.

  • Alice H - You and I have the exact same jobs!! I love green bean casserole. Your rolls look better than mine. Maybe you will share the recipe someday??

    Love the pictures! That tablecloth is so pretty. How far apart are Little One and Ava? How tall is Eric? He towers over all of you guys! LOL!

    Glad you had a great Thanksgiving!!

  • DawnF - Girl, you like a big breath of fresh air! πŸ™‚ I always love to read your posts ~ they are so inspiring and full of gratitude. I love to see your pics (you are seriously talented) and I love to read your stories. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us! You are a strong and amazing Christian woman ~ your family is so blessed to have you. I hope you have a spectacular day! πŸ™‚

  • Amy at Fig Milkshakes - Thanks for sharing! Firecracker looks so grown up in some of these pictures. I appreciate and agree with your sentiments on living Thanksgiving every day. Bless you.

  • Suzette - You are so beautiful in mind, spirit, and body! I am always inspired by you and your family!

  • Sharron - I love the story of you and your grandmother. I miss my grandmother so much! Our Kate was 11 mos. when we brought her home, had no teeth so no solid food, it was 6 mos before she would put any solid food into her mouth! She’s rather picky at 6yo, but getting better all the time. She will eat things now I thought she would never be willing to.

  • Cynthia - Love the pictures, especially the last one. I need to start capturing a group shot each year.

    Question: Did you set this up on tripod or did someone actually take the shot?

    Thanks so much for sharing your lovely stories.

  • Michelle - Beautiful family

  • Heather - When will darling little lady have her lip repaired?

  • Lynn - Looks like a wonderful Thanksgiving for you and your family! Love the pictures of the two little ones…..so cute!!
    Lovely family picture!!

  • Cheryl - You have such a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  • Ellie - mmmm!!! your rolls look so good! It might be a family secret, but if you don’t mind sharing that delicious old fashioned recipe, I would love to have it!

  • Raeanne - any chance we can get that roll recipe! Looks amazing!

  • Tracy A - Her hair is awesome! Growing in so cute…I can hardly wait to see it long and thick and dark! Beautiful…what a fun way to watch the passing of time!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - All I can say is “YUM”!

  • Linda - Good to know that our little one wasn’t the only one not partaking in Thanksgiving dinner. We got him in January and are still working through LOTS of food issues. We’ll get there. Next year will be different by the grace of God.

    Love your site… pictures, creativity, use of color, etc. Hoping to take a photography class in 2013, when life slows down.

  • AshleyAnn - Cynthia – I pulled a porch table over and set it up on that, used the self timer….

  • AshleyAnn - Heather – she’ll have her lip repair surgery as the start of January

  • rebecca - Thanks for the peek into your family traditions! I too am the roll girl! πŸ™‚ Such great blessings and memories! Love to read all your posts Ashley!

  • rebecca - oh and I LOVE and echo your last few statements! ” A life NOT of entitlement but of DEEP GRATITUDE!” THANKFUL for the many blessing our Savior bestows on us! <3

  • Mary@ Finding Healthy Hope - these pictures are just precious!
    what a difference a year makes.
    love your thankful heart, girl.

  • Denise - I love reading your blog!! Would u mind sharing your grandma’s roll recipe?

  • Sophi Belle - Ahahaha, I LOVE your ‘attempt’. Seriously now, that is the best photo. It has personality! πŸ˜‰

    That food and that bread basket, omg omg. πŸ˜›

  • Natalie - Hey- hope you know how thankful many of us are for you and this blog. Truly an inspiration.

  • Kirstin - It is a wonderful treat to be able to see the sweet transforamation that is happening with your Little One. Her beauty is only becoming stronger. You can see her inner light beginning to shine forth more brilliantly. What a wonderful gift you have given this precious child of God.

  • Renae - This post brought tears to my eyes… We had a really similar tradition in my family, all the granddaughters would spend the night at Grandma’s before Thanksgiving to help make the rolls and decorate the table the next morning. And she would make pancakes for breakfast in the morning. My grandma just passed away this May, this Thanksgiving was really hard without her. Thank you for sharing pictures of your beautiful family!

  • We’re lucky we didn’t all get sick and die — Thanksgiving Traditions of a Northern Illinois Family « Wildflower Picks Photography – Dixon Illinois Newborn, Baby, Children, and Family Portrait Photographer - […] to make my cry and inspire me in all things. Β Both have recently posted about their Thanksgivings (see Ashley’s hereΒ and Kelle’s here). Β I took a shiz ton of pictures Thanksgiving weekend and seeing their […]

  • elizabeth H - i know your heart must have been bursting w. THANKFULNESS that Little One was home this year!!
    SO, SO happy for you Ashley!
    We hosted Thanksgiving for our family this year {in laws, two sisters/brother in laws & 18 kiddos. LOVE all the FAMILY!!}