Run Through The Woods and Turkey With Friends

We did something REALLY different for Thanksgiving this year.  In keeping with our new fit trend and lifestyle for this year, we woke up early and joined our friends for the Run Through The Woods in The Woodlands, Tx.  Something really different?  We had to wake the kids up to get there in time! 

The view on our early morning drive. God's glory on this Thanksgiving morning!
There were several events going on and this was truly our first experience at races.  There was a 1 mile fun run which their son Noah did.  A 3 mile walk which allowed strollers .. that was Stephanie and I with the 4 little ones and Noah after his race.  A 3 mile run and also a 5 mile run which Justin and Matt ran in.  

Before the race

5 mile runners getting ready to head out 

Just playing in the trees with our buds

The Padilla family before the race 

5 mile runners heading out 

When's my race mom???
Once Noah was back and the 5 milers headed out, the 3 mile walk got started.  I didn't know how the boys would do but they had a blast.  They had been "training" for the race all week.  I have been running with them in the stroller and dad joined us a few times.  They also went out and did sprints with dad!  There were so many people and the atmosphere was so joyous.  I loved the opening prayer before we headed out.  The speaker said something that really resonated to my heart. ."what would thanksgiving be without a God who is good?  without a God to thank?"  As we were walking I was enjoying the beautiful morning and my heart was full of thanksgiving for all our blessings.

Heading out on the walk 

The boys were ready to get out and run with Stephanie

Max as saying "Eli come back Eli come back"
he wanted to hold hands and run 

thirsty runner grabbing a water bottle on the way by

Look mom, I'm fast like Daddy

Beckett running after 

We see Daddy!! Go boys!

Beckett said " I see it!! I see the finish line mom!!"
After crossing the finish line we all got medals 
What could be better than finishing our "race"? The pancake breakfast of course!  

very deserving of their pancakes

While we were eating, they called out the winning times for the race and guess what?  Justin won 2nd place in his division for the men's run.  He ran 5.1 miles in 34:58.  We could not get over and could not stop grinning about the transformation from a year ago.  And Justin can't stop griping that he got beat by 4 seconds!

How handsome is my man in his running gear?? WINNER!
After a great morning we headed home to get ready for the big turkey day feast.  The boys barely made it home without falling asleep and went down for a good long nap as soon as we got home.    I was able to get most of our preparations done the day before and while they slept.  It helped that my sweet Ma made my dressing and brought it to me for the freezer a couple of weeks ago.  It's not Thanksgiving without her dressing!  The week leading up to Thanksgiving I worked on and off on my decorations and crafting. 

My original inspiration was this picture.  I just love the natural look of it.  You will have to click the link HERE to see because I couldn't "borrow" the picture over.  And I was going to tie in all kinds of natural touches on the table and garland.  Then I was at Target and found this table cloth.  

 I tossed it around in my mind a few days but when I found this Fall Leave Garland on  Pinterest, it sealed the deal.  

A colorful Thanksgiving it would be.  And I LOVE how it turned out.  I love how budget friendly it was.  Yep, those are green apples. On sale this time of year.. and I got to eat them after Thanksgiving. Score!

Pre decorating jars. Justin thought I was crazy at this point!

So with the table set and the food prepped.  It was time to hang out, enjoy the beautiful sunshine, and a glass of fall sangria.  

Fall Sangria and Baked brie on the back porch
gorgeous afternoon sunlight
Shortly after nap, the Padilla's arrived for the fun.  The boys played and played, had a tiff or too, then played and played some more. 

Eli said a "monster truck parade"

I really wish I had more pictures from the boys playing but between refereeing them, waiting on the big boys :-), and prepping the meals we had our hands full.  Sure did miss the grandparents extra hands!  But at last, it was all done and time to eat!


Ma's Famous Thanksgiving dressing and
Paula Deen green bean casseroal

My favorite?  Trisha Yearwood crock pot mac and cheese!

Justin's smoked turkey 

My first pumpkin pie and pecan pie I ever made!

The rolls, Stephanie's stuffed mushrooms, and my roasted brussel sprouts
The boys sat at their own little table.  Except Beckett. He snacked way too much plus he has a huge molar coming in and really hasn't been eating well, he skipped the dinner.  The other 3 boys laughed and joked and had a great time eating their Thanksgiving.

And of course, the adults had fun at their table too!

yep, thats my plate right there. And I finished every last bite!

I know I have blogged many times about my personal favorite blog A Holy Experience by Ann Voskamp.  She wrote a post a few days before Thanksgiving that resonated with my soul.   I read it during my daily "quiet time" I think she puts it so beautifully.  The One Holiday that God Demands All Year Long.  Isn't it really Thanksgiving?  I love this quote.

Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightening.”  ~Barth

She goes on to say that "God gives grace and ours is to give thanks and in the midst of full days, this is God's unconditional demand: That we live thankful" I love this!  "When you live in the covenant of grace you can help but live in the covenant of gratitude".

How can we not live a life of thanks?  After all He has done.  Even in the storms, even through the struggles, of course in the good times, HE is faithful, He is good.  All the time.  Every day. All year long.  For that, I am thankful.

Thank you Lord. 

The Riley's

The Riley FamilyComment