charlotte : thanksgiving weekend.

first can we talk about how it's december?


what? i'm pretty sure the only reason i actually pause to remember how old i am (twenty four) is to remember that, october happened already, right? yeah, then i'm twenty four.

forget how old i am. what month is it?

last night, a guy called the restaurant where i am a hostess and told me he wanted to make reservations. for tonight? i asked. "no, for december actually. i need to book in advance."

...uh, sir? it is december. today.

but let's go back to november for a minute. i liked november. november brought my family back together, all of us, for almost five whole days. the last time that happened was last november, last thanksgiving, when we first found out that T was going to have a baby. and now, a year later, here we are. luca, too. so much has happened, so much has changed, so much time has been spent and life has been lived without each other. to be honest, part of me wondered how it would work, if we would still fit together in the same ways we used to.

but we did. of course we did.

the thing about my family is that we actually like each other. a lot. we don't just put up with each other or get together on holidays out of obligation, because we're family. we're like the bravermans. we like to be all together and all in each other's business. we love and laugh and support each other like nothing else. these people are home to me.

reunited with my boy! he's so much bigger, you guys. it's only been five weeks since i saw him last, but he grew so much!

i drove to charlotte a day early so i could watch my brother graduate on wednesday. so, so incredibly proud of him! he had excellent attendance, was on the director's honors list (13 or so times), was nominated to the alpha beta kappa national honor society, and was student of the course (5 times). he didn't just go to school and pass his classes, he rocked it.

heather and i during josh's graduation. prime time to take a few selfies.

these were taken at josh's 'graduation party.' heather put streamers and homemade signs up around the apartment and we had cake. just us, but that's always a party.

he always sighs and claims to hate photo shoots, but somehow i always end up with a string of these photos. ^ the one on the right was after i said to make an "i just graduated face." when i asked why he made that face, he said, "that's what it feels like!"

for some reason my dad went with the hand-in-front-of-his-face look for these, but i'm kind of surprised he even let me take any at all so i'm calling it a win.

luca likes to have his space sometimes. on the floor, he has room to kick his feet and roll around. if you want to talk to him, you have to sit down next to him and lean over. which happened a lot. we had lots to catch up on, you know.

dancing with nana.

this is probably the best shot i got of his "my first thanksgiving" shirt. that boy always has his hands clasped together, they're like little magnets, and he always has them up to his mouth. he likes to suck on his fingers and often tries to fit both fists in his mouth at once.

lee (and heather) put together his high chair on thanksgiving so he could sit with all of us. let's all take a moment to appreciate how teeeny he looks in it.

this year i was all about the sweet potato casserole. and not just for the layer of brown sugar deliciousness on top. we also added homemade mac and cheese to the spread, per lee's request. so good!

thanksgiving episodes of friends are my favorite. especially the one with the rumor, aka brad pitt in his prime. "oh come on will, just take off your shirt and tell us."

i am obsessed with him (and his baby feet!). i'm glad to know he feels the same way, as evidenced by his need to look at me instead of drink his bottle.

i decided to play some christmas music and somehow we ended up having a dance party. it was so much fun and he loved it. he was most smiley when dave barnes' christmas songs came on.

HAHAH. that face! it kills me. auntie sarah is crazy sometimes. (crazy and awesome.)

here's a story. while picking up josh's birthday cake and some other items we needed, heather and i decided that since we didn't have 24 hours to order a custom cake, we would just design our own. we were going for a batman theme and searched all aisles of target, sifting through an array of spiderman things to find the few batman things they had. i don't know how long we were there for, but we had a lot of fun and at one point, i was laughing so hard that i was crying and makeup was running down my face.

the final product. that little batman figurine kills me.

we all played apples to apples and josh won because it was his birthday. and also because he just had the best cards. these are the three i won.

it was my dad's first time playing and it was hilarious to hear his commentary. he's a very literal player, which i made a mental note of for the times he was the judge, based on the fact that every time someone else would read a card i submitted, he'd say, "what does that have to do with anything?" exactly. i'm not a literal player.

this morning, heather and luca and T and i hung out for a bit in bed. i'm pretty sure heather and T were singing to him when i took this.

one time when i was watching EL, ellie was talking about how you know babies are ready for solid food when they start showing interest in the foods you're eating. so, i'm pretty sure luca is ready for solid food, specifically pizza, on account of how he barely took his eyes off my piece the whole time i was eating it.

and then there was that morning T and lee left early for work and i got some sweet one-on-one time with luca and it was maybe my most favorite moment from the entire trip. how is it even possible to love another tiny person so much?