The first thing Jeff said when we saw our new house for the first time and walked into the back yard was that the patio needed a farmhouse table. One that would seat at least 20 people. Nothing less would do.
So he built one. One that fits 20 people.
He also built a dining table. One that fits 8 people, but we've already crammed 14 friends around the sides, pulling in every chair that we own from around the house and the backyard. We could have fit more, but the dining chairs were too wide.
Thanksgiving in many ways felt like a culmination of this past wonderful year. In July, we moved from the suburbs to a new house closer to the city, closer to our new photography studio, closer to all of our friends, and closer to our LIFE. Our new house is everything we've always wanted - a place where our friends gather for random dinners, one-on-one hangouts, projects in the garage, or impromptu movie nights. It's US and I have tears in my eyes as I think about how perfect this change has been and the beautiful impact it's had on our relationships.
So it only made sense to host an over-the-top Thanksgiving at the new Casa de Youngren this year as well as a massive Friendsgiving dinner that weekend. We invited Jeff's family over for Thanksgiving day and 19 of our friends for Friendsgiving the Saturday after, and I cooked three and a half turkeys, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, and all the fixins. In true Youngren-fashion, we totally overdid ourselves! Ha! A huge thank you goes out to my girlfriends for bringing their plates, dishes, and wine glasses to contribute to the table and to Keary Dee for making the world's cutest chalkboard name cards - check them out in her Etsy shop, Milo & Me. Love!
For Thanksgiving day, my favorite part was pulling out the china from our wedding, the candlesticks from Jeff's parents' wedding, and the napkins I purchased on sale last week. But the day was even more special because we were sitting around our brand new, hand built dining table for the first time, and I know we'll be sitting around this dining table for the next 50 Thanksgivings telling the story about how Jeff built it in our very own garage with his bare hands.
Prints from our trip to Paris line the dining room walls, and silver candlesticks from Jeff's parents' wedding 39 years ago lined the table the my sweet hubby built for me. I'd say that this room is filled with a lot of love!
Best advice I've ever received regarding mashed potatoes - nothing but lots of butter and lots of gouda. SO YUM.
Thanksgiving is a big holiday for my family, so when Jeff and I got married my mother made sure to give me all of the essentials for a grand holiday table including a crystal butter dish and a gold rimmed gravy boat. The butterflies and flowers on the gravy boat are totally not my style AT ALL, but I'll always cherish the decked out dish because of what it represents - the many Thanksgiving dinners that I made with my mom growing up.
After Jeff conquered building our dining table, he jumped into building our ginormous 12-foot farmhouse table for Friendsgiving the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
He also decided to build an exact replica of the farmhouse table, except half the size for a kids' table. *swooooooooon*
Every time I think I can't feel more loved by Jeff, he spends all night every night for a week building me a dream table so I can be a dream hostess. There were many late nights sitting up with him in the garage, watching him assemble the pieces.
Finally in place!
Friendsgiving was one big love-fest of food and friends. I cooked three turkeys, cornbread stuffing, and chipotle gravy, and everybody brought a dish and wine to share.
Decorating the table was nothing short of delightful for my inner wanna-be-decor-goddess, and a HUGE thank you goes out to Keary for making these gorgeous name cards. Her etsy shop, Milo & Me, is FABULOUS and I would totally recommend these name cards for weddings and events. We're going to use them again every time one of these friends comes over, and we're writing the date and memory on the back. So fun!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and may your holidays be bright!