okay i'm ready to talk about thanksgiving.

now that i'm back in charlotte, and it's practically christmas, let's recap thanksgiving. or the parts i can still remember, because it's been like three weeks.

this is what our thanksgiving table looked like this year. with lee's mom, without H.

props to lee for being the only grown man at the table being cooperative with my need to document the holiday.

props to luca for being adorable one hundred percent of the time.

it was a pretty great weekend. other than feeling H's absence, and that incident i had while running (or, attempting to run) (let's not talk about it), it was pretty solid. i got wednesday off of work this year, and it took very little convincing on T's part to push me to make the drive on tuesday after work, instead of wednesday morning when there was potential for bad weather.

generally, bad weather isn't something that's a real cause for concern, considering "bad weather" means something different in tennessee than it does in connecticut. but, waking up in charlotte on wednesday morning by my nephew? always.

we went out to lunch and the hostess gave luca crayons, which he doesn't fully know how to use yet, but it was fun for me to try to teach him how it works. and fun for him that he wasn't strapped into a high chair. also fun for me to have easy access to smooch those cheeks.

we stopped at staples for something i can't remember now, three weeks later, but the important part is that luca sat in almost all of the display chairs lined up in the aisle (because, why not?), and he'd wave to me as he spun around in them like it was a carousel ride.

he was not, however, willing to cooperate in any photos. but, like that stopped me from taking them anyway.

forever in love with his baby toes.

in connecticut, the thanksgiving day road race is a thing, and i think there are a few in charlotte but we weren't really able to participate in any official ones, so we made our own bibs and went for a short run.

T sometimes runs with luca, so he knew what we were doing and wanted to come with us. he kept standing by us, or walking over to the door and putting his hand on it, like he didn't want to be left behind and miss all the fun or something.

i wanted a photo. he didn't really want to take one. the good news is you can see what the side of his kiss face looks like. not pictured: the way he makes the "mmmmmmm" sound when he leans in with that face.

these crack me up, mostly because my dad is eating pie in the background.

we discussed this mustard yellow sweater. how i brought mine, and how both of us were thinking of maybe wearing it on thanksgiving. we just kind of looked at each other and then moved on to another topic of conversation, without caring enough to clarify who would be wearing the sweater.

we both ended up wearing it, and kind of just shrugged it off. because it's hilarious and completely on point. we think the same way, we often say the same thing at the same time, and we have the same clothes.

high maintenance bailey sleeps with his head on a pillow.

the christmas tree went up the day after thanksgiving and luca was SO excited about it. he kept touching the lights and pointing to it and making sure everyone in the room knew it was there like HAVE YOU GUYS SEEN THIS THING IT'S SO MAGICAL.

this day, we ran errands and stopped at my mom's office, which apparently has a mirror wall that's fun for selfie taking.

luca love to help. he likes closing the cabinet doors and pushing the "start" button on the coffee maker and holding the hand mixer. not to the point where he fusses until you let him help, or "help," but if you're holding him while doing anything, he wants to be involved.

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies in the making.

on this day, i was doing makeup in T's bathroom when she got dressed and my jaw dropped (as if matching each other is a rare occurrence). "stop. you're seriously wearing that today?"

i only brought so many outfits, but of course they matched what T also had planned to wear.


the thing you need to know about luca is that he LOVES motorcycles. my dad and his dad both have them, and they're both parked in the garage where they live, but there has never really been a lot of overexcitement shown from any of us regarding the motorcycles. what i mean is, he didn't learn to love them or get excited about them, he just did.

i don't know exactly how it happened, or the first time he said "mo," but it's definitely a thing. he likes cars and trucks and tractors, but he gets the most excited about motorcycles. i mean, it's a mood-changing excitement when he's reminded that they even exist. it's a bonus that he has a toy motorcycle that makes noise and goes, plus the two real ones sitting in the garage––which he frequently like to visit and wave at.

he gets this look on his face when he spots his toy motorcycle from across the room. his mouth forms and "o" shape and he says "mo" over and over. he points to them in books or on the side of his water bottle, in the midst of pictures of other cars and trucks.

the way he feels about, looks at, and gets excited over motorcycles like ISN'T THIS THE ABSOLUTE GREATEST reminds me a lot of the way i feel about, look at, and get excited over him. he is the absolute greatest.

J got this shirt for his birthday and i took advantage of his excitement about it and seized the opportunity to take another twin photo. denim on denim on denim.

also, thumbs up for that beard, and for looking like billy mays.

in case anyone ever wonders where i get my smiling squinty eyes from.

my dad hates taking photos more than anyone else i've ever met. he's constantly scoffing at the photo shoots T and i have, and pushes back every time we ask for a photo with him.

"but why? we already


 photos together. why do you need another one?"

if we get him in the shot without his hand over his face, the chances of getting a good smile from him are slim. but i'll take what i can get. candid photos, silly photos, whatever.

for me, photos are memories. they're moments, facial expressions, attitude, personalities, frozen in a single frame. i love looking back on them. i know photos can't possibly capture the good and the beauty and the moments i want to hold onto, but they help me remember.

here,  i said, "let's take photos of just half of our faces." he was cooperative and non-serious and that was exactly the point.

(side note, he saw me editing these and sighed audibly, but made no comments about not wanting to see them on facebook––his usual request, as if i ever post things to facebook––so i'll take that as a sign that he kind of maybe a little bit enjoyed it too.)

on this day, we went to the park and took photos. for fun, i guess. and it was,


 much fun.

we didn't get the photo we wanted here, with all of us even looking (forget smiling), but there's this one. i kind of love it, because it's the in-between moments like this that make my heart feel so full. this is us, being us. (and luca, being cute and holding T's hand.)

luca was fascinated by the ducks and wanted to watch them swim around the whole time we were by the pond, so that's what we did. we looked at the ducks.

twinning all weekend long. it's how we roll, apparently.

the thing about this series of photos, the last bit of photos that were taken from this trip, other than that luca is THE CUTEST, is that i wasn't actually planning on staying that long in the day. usually, i plan to leave around three, start to move towards the door around four, and get on the road closer to five. goodbyes are the most dreaded, and the most delayed.

but this weekend, my roommates and some friends who were also in north carolina for thanksgiving decided to meet up at a christmas tree farm on the way home to get christmas trees. my original plan was to meet up with them, but i changed my mind and decided to stay in charlotte for the few extra hours.

it turns out, i made the right choice, because otherwise i would've missed this, watching him sit on the floor, excitedly mixing whatever he was pretending to mix in that bowl. i would've missed the way he came over and sat on my lap for as he continued to play with them. and i would've missed him turning around and handing them to me, the look he got on his face when i pretended to eat a bite, and the way he leaned forward when he was ready for a bite.

for christmas, we are ALL together. and it's pretty safe to say we're all stoked about it.