Thanksgiving in Austin

We are home from Austin and our hearts {and bellies} are so full! I didn’t realize how much Cory and I needed a little break to escape the craziness of everyday life and couldn’t think of a better place to retreat than Austin with Caleb and Anna.

Even though we picked the worst possible time to visit, what with their busy work and school schedules, we are so thankful for the time we had.

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We headed to Atlanta Wednesday afternoon to catch a flight and what better way to pass the time  than with a little Elf, which is my favorite Christmas movie.

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We landed in Austin late that night and the airport was deserted! We couldn’t believe how empty it was the night before Thanksgiving.

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We didn’t check any luggage {Queen of Over-Packing over here} and somehow I got everything in my carry-on! I was extremely proud of myself and had to share my packing skills.

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We woke up Thursday morning and I Facetimed with my family while Cory and Anna started cooking.

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This picture just cracks me up. My Nana wanted to show me the new carpet in her bedroom and apparently Taylor was enjoying the softness. I promise it’s not a dead body!

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Cory and Anna did the majority of the cooking sooo…Caleb and I were just in the way a lot.

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Our poor ugly hard boiled eggs. None of us had ever made deviled eggs but apparently, we did something very wrong.

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But Cory did a great job on the ham…it was as tasty as it looked!

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Our impressive spread! Makes me want a plate just looking at it.

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The deviled eggs were actually really good, even though they look horrendous.

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Caleb, you had ONE job. Just slice the cranberry sauce. One job!

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But he totally redeemed himself with his awesome center piece.

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Caleb’s friend Josh joined us for dinner, since none of his family lived close. The guys had a good time discussing comic books and movies with him and he fit right in!

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I must say that I really enjoyed not going to five different places on Thanksgiving. We love all our family and hate not seeing them on holidays but as you can see, I didn’t even fix my hair because I knew we’d be hanging around their apartment all day.

I wouldn’t hate it if every Thanksgiving was as laid back as this one.

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After dinner, the boys went outside to play a little football City-Style–in an empty parking lot down the street.

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We ended the night with a little football watching until Cory and I decided to venture out for a little early Black Friday shopping. I was so excited for Cory to get to “experience” Black Friday but when we walked into Target at 10:30pm, there were no lines, no crowds and plenty of items still on sale.

What the heck?

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Friday morning Cory and I slept in while Caleb and Anna headed their separate ways for work and school projects {Anna’s in grad school at the University of Texas, in case I haven’t mentioned that}. Cory and I headed for lunch at Ross’ Old Austin Cafe for some chicken-fried steak on my Dad’s recommendation.

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Well thanks, Dad–it didn’t disappoint!

Funny story, Cory had filled up on leftovers before we left so he wasn’t that hungry and got a grilled cheese. When the server bought out our food, he said “I’m just gonna guess here” and set my plate in front of Cory.

Negative, Ghostrider–I’m the big eater today! It was as good as it looks and I finished the whole plate.

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We took a plate to Caleb for lunch then headed to downtown Austin to see the Capitol.

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I busted Cory taking a selfie.

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Said selfie.

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Paige the Pioneer woman. Ha!
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We spent the rest of the afternoon driving around and getting lost because Google maps did not want to work in Austin. I can’t tell you how many U-turns we made over the course of four days.

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After Caleb got off work on Friday night, we headed for mexican at Amaya’s.

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And I had the best tacos of my life.

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The next day, Cory got up early to hit some comic book shops around town that Caleb recommended. Apparently they turned out to be some kind of nerd Mecca like Cory had never seen. Also, please note the 27 selfies {not really} that my husband took. He said he wanted to “document” his part of the trip for the blog.

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Well done, Cory. Well done.

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Now we may not have bought season tickets this year, but that doesn’t mean we stopped bleeding orange. Clemson was playing their arch-rival and bitter enemy South Carolina on Saturday so no matter where we were, we had to find it on TV. Cory and Caleb had made plans to watch it online, but Cory couldn’t get the ESPN website to work.

Insert Panic Attack Here.

After fighting it for what seemed like hours, we gave in a went to a sports bar around the corner from the apartment. It turned out well though, because we were able to watch three games at once with all the TVs around us. Plus I got some killer wings and Cory had what he called the “best chicken and waffles he’d ever had”.

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The best part was that Clemson FINALLY won after a five-year losing streak to USC {last time we beat them, I was on the field cheering}! Seeing a win like that made all the frustration worth it.

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Our “Clemson finally beat USC” faces.

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Cory got a call from Caleb saying that his boss was letting him leave work early, so we picked him up and went out to his favorite street in downtown Austin for the evening. Everywhere we went was so unique and fun! The environment was so relaxed with live bands and fire pits and we had a blast just walking around, enjoying the evening with Caleb. Poor Anna had to stay behind and work on a project she had due.

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Please excuse the grainy iPhone photos.

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I was with boys the majority of the weekend and they could care less what I had on. I had to take advantage of a full length mirror even if it is a bathroom selfie. #noshame

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I promised myself years ago that as long as Cory keeps making stupid faces in photos, I’ll keep posting them hoping he will stop with embarrassment. It hasn’t worked yet, obviously.

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One of the best things about Austin: FOOD TRUCKS. Everywhere you go, there are food trucks and the food is phenomenal. If you ever make it out there, be sure to try some.

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Caleb’s degree is in Film, so he always knows the best place to see a movie. He told us we had to catch a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse, so on Sunday afternoon we went to the matinee to see the new Hunger Games movie. The Alamo Drafthouse is a really cool 50’s retro-styled place that shows current movies as well as older movies and independent films. While you watch, they serve food and drinks from a really professional menu. Definitely on the recommend list as well!

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This guy was selling ugly Christmas sweaters by the side of the road. Yes, please!

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We took the rest of the afternoon just strolling around and hanging out in Zilker Park, which is where the Austin City Limits Music Festival is held. It’s a beautiful park where people go to play frisbee, rugby, soccer, or just hang out and the dogs roam free!

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Don’t tell Einstein but Cory made a new friend named Petunia. And now I want a French bulldog.

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I’d never trust my crazy dogs to just run free without a fence. I’d be in constant fear that they would run into the street but all the dogs were so well behaved.

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We spent most of our time just people watching and saw some crazy yoga happening.

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I think they were showing off at this point.

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Pink ears- we’ve got to dye Einsteins ears sometime.

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We went out for our last dinner with Caleb and Anna at another cool place called The Punch Bowl in a shopping district called The Domain. Inside the restaurant/bar is an eight-lane bowling alley, arcade, pool tables, ping-pong tables, and a few other games.

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And of course I did some more extraordinary packing.

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So there you have our Thanksgiving trip to Austin! We had a fun time and it was great to get to see Caleb and Anna, but I’m glad to be home in my own bed with my pups!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We made it to Austin late last night and started our Thanksgiving day with a little parade watching and cooking. This will be the first time Cory and I have cooked a Thanksgiving meal so wish us luck! Hopefully, we don’t ruin the meal for Caleb {Cory’s brother} and Anna.

Since returning from Rwanda, I feel like Cory and I have made a conscious effort to recognize how truly blessed we are every day but today is a special day  to remember everything I am thankful for year round. To name a few…

Jesus. He died so that we could live and we are so undeserving of his unfailing love. Without my relationship with Christ, I would be utterly lost.

Cory. Love of my life, best friend, my travel companion, my rock. I am thankful, everyday, that God chose Cory to be mine.

Family. We are surrounded by the most supporting, loving family. Maybe I’m biased, but they are the best.

Our Home. It may not be much but it’s ours and happens to be my most favorite little place in the world.

My pups. If you know me, you know that Einstein and Hampton complete our little family. Their love and loyalty makes my little heart so full.

I could go on and on but this post would take days to get through. Instead, I’m gonna spend this time preparing lunch with my love and enjoying our time with Caleb and Anna.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Sloans!

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Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!

I hope everyone is enjoying their day so far. I love Thanksgiving morning because it’s the quiet before the chaos starts. I woke up extra early this morning to make a pumpkin roll and work on some wreaths I’m trying to finish up. Cory and I are snuggling the pups a little and watching the parade before I start getting ready. I’m so thankful for a peaceful morning to spend with my sweet little family.

By chaos, I mean traveling all over three different counties in a car loaded with food. Have I ever mentioned that Cory and I both have large families? We both have four siblings and my mom also has four siblings. See, the problem with both of us having large families is trying to make it to four different places on Thanksgiving. After we got married, we decided it was too much and we would rotate years between my family and his. This year is his year but it worked out to do his mom’s side on Saturday, freeing up the afternoon to make it my families celebration. 
 
We are starting the day off at Cory’s grandparents to do lunch with his dad’s side of the family. From there we will make the hour drive to my aunts house and have an early dinner with my dad’s side. After dinner, my mom and I will head to her parents house in Greenville. They will probably be done with dinner but for the past couple years, we’ve stayed the night with them so we can start shopping early {as in 3:00 am!}

Chaos, I told you!

After all the festivities today, we will be hosting one more Thanksgiving on Saturday for Cory’s moms side of the family.  

I can already feel the exhaustion setting in but we are so blessed to have such large families to spend time with on the holidays. I wouldn’t have our crazy Thanksgiving any other way. 

Since today is the day to give thanks, check out my Five on Friday {Thankful November} to see what I’m thankful for! 

I hope everyone has a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!