We had such a treat for Thanksgiving this year: FAMILY!! It was our first time celebrating this holiday with family since we moved to Quito. Kora, Mark and the girls opted to fly through Quito for a quick, three day trip on their way back from a conference in Cancun and we were delighted to have them. They are about the easiest guests to have and we would have kept them another week if they'd had the time! Lu played so well with Canaan and Eden and the three roamed the house with imaginations bursting.

 

We opted to have Eden's birthday party two days after Thanksgiving. While this was ambitious for me to do the two events close together I loved the idea of her being able to celebrate with cousins for the first time. Kora and Mark were super kind as I put everyone to work nightly and daily to have all the food and decor ready! Because it was a quick trip we didn't do much sightseeing. Instead we opted for time together. We had icecream at Crepes & Waffles where Emi scarfed down her ice cream and then tore into mine & Kora's as well. We did a trip to Bicentenario park to play. One of my favorites was the few family soccer games in the backyard while dinner was cooking. Both older kids got really into playing with all the parents while the two little girls toddled around the slide. There was an unfortunate incident where Kora's pregnant tummy took a hard hit but that didn't stop her and it still gets talked about to this day. We had one night where we were all awake enough to play a game. And we had time to listen to what the last year has been like for Mark and Kora, what they learned at the conference, and more. Those moments are the best!

 

Thanksgiving Day we made Bacon Focaccia Stuffing (yum!), a savory Sweet Potato Gratin (yum!), mashed potatoes with shallots, Ritz broccoli casserole and turkey and gravy. My friend Gina joined us to help with the gravy at the end. A few hours later we headed over to the Passmores to share dessert with their group ... but their group had gotten hungry and eaten early. We enjoyed remnants of their pumpkin pies and some devoured the Midnight Pumpkin Layer cake I brought. We enjoyed chatting with Phil and Elizabeth, who know Mark and Kora well, before heading home for kids bedtime. 

 

Saturday morning I got up early and started party decor. Everyone helped and then we headed over to squeeze a quick hour in at the Quito Tenis Christmas Party, where the kids went up in the crane to hang their ornaments and then tired quickly in the bouncy house with the bright, bright sun shining in. The party happened (separate post to come) and it was super special to celebrate with Lu and Emi. Then we threw the kids into bed for naps, left the house a confettie-filled, chip-and-cake crumbs everywhere disaster in favor of enjoying the last hours before Mark and Kora flew out. Actually one of my favorite moments of the trip was after naps ended and parents were packing when I laid on the rug tickling Emi over and over while she giggled hysterically. She is about the most precious, gentle, sweet little girl you'll ever meet. (Nate was totally in love with her the whole trip! which is why this was one of my first moments with her.)

 

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