Sunday, November 27, 2011


Thanksgiving this year was INCREDIBLE.  I have SO.MUCH. to be thankful for.  A few weeks ago, it became obvious that we were going to be able to celebrate thanksgiving meal with our very best friends Paul and Ann Coakley.  Paul and I have been friends since our freshmen year of college.  As life has continued on, some friends fade away, some I barely keep in contact with.  Some friends I have hurt and some have hurt me.  Spouses have been added who either bring us closer, or who divide.  With Paul and Ann, our bonds have only grown tighter.  Our families have meshed together and I feel so blessed to have them in our lives.  As our babies played together and I heard their son instructed to call us, ‘Aunt Mary and Uncle Aaron and Grandpa Buckley’, (referring to my dad, which I just thought was SO wonderful)…I was overwhelmed with the plan God has for each of our lives.  That was a highlight of our weekend, here were some others…
The Coakleys and the Buckleys

Wednesday Night
This was the night Paul and Ann arrived.  We had invited a few people over and it ended up being several friends from college and a couple of new people J  We just talked and laughed. It was so lovely and a few times I said, ‘there are so many people I love in this room’.  It is amazing that God has protected and strengthened our friendships through the years, we now have spouses and babies, significant others and seminarians!  Laughter was contagious.

Gross Turkey
Thursday- Thanksgiving
I cooked my very first thanksgiving meal (but cheated and did Turkey breasts instead of a whole turkey).  We had Aaron’s parents, my parents, Aaron’s brothers and nephews and the Coakleys over.  Ann helped to encourage and instruct me as we made turkey breasts, wild rice stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, Cheesy broccoli, green bean casserole, homemade gravy and rolls.  MAN was it delicious.  Being that I am a ‘new’ cook, I have a lot of kitchen insecurities.  Hearing everyone say they enjoyed what we created made me SO happy.

A lot of food 
Friday- Frankenmuth
The day started with Tony’s, a restaurant near Frankenmuth Michigan that brags of it’s huge portions (a pound of bacon as a side--- yes, I said a pound of bacon).  As one review said, ‘The food is disgusting, so if it is large portions, it is just large portions of disgusting’.  LOL.  BUT, so disgustingly good!  Aaron and our friend Mario were a bit skeptical, but they ended up eating and love it.  We then went to Bronners, a huge store of Christmas Merriment.  We shopped and stared and stared and shopped.  It was quite wonderful.  After, we enjoyed a late afternoon in Frankenmuth.  This is where Aaron and I got engaged, so it was super special being back with our son.  If you have never gone, make this one of your destinations to check out during the Christmas season.  After, Mario, Aarons and I left a big early because I was quite tired and needed some sleep.
loving him some Bronners

Covered Wagon

The dude and I

So blessed
I love my tight little family!

We said goodbye to our dear friends after breakfast, Paul and Ann were Wisconsin bound.  Aaron and I got ready for our next visit, his very good friends from college.  We had fun hanging out with them and sharing in life updates.  They left around seven and with the exception of Mass, I have been in pajamas ever since!

A few reflections…
My husband is a prince.  He helped me host Thanksgiving so well, forgave me when I snapped at him, cleaned the kitchen and did the laundry.  He is playing a video game right now, it is much deserved and I just love him so darn much! 

The friendships that are like family must be guarded, cared for and nourished, and NEVER taken for granted.

God giggles at our plans sometimes but usually has something MUCH better in store!

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