Thanksgiving Weekend 2015

The past few weeks have been so, so busy! Finding balance among my psychology work, my photography business, and family life has not been easy, but so many good things have happened in all three areas. Now that I'm finished with all my client work for 2015 (and am relaxing in Kentucky for Christmas), I can finally catch up on blogging personal photos.

We had the most wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! It sure was different than last year! My parents came to Mississippi again, and Alex's parents came to meet Afton for the first time! It was great having all four of her grandparents around to love on her. (Not sure how Sweet T managed to evade the camera!)

cute baby girl with grandparents

We decided to fully embrace cajun culture by trying our first turducken (turkey/duck/chicken)! I did virtually none of the cooking, which freed me up to take pictures of it instead. :) I'm much better at that, anyway.

Thanksgiving dinner preparations
silver serving utensils and pouring wine into glasses

Our dinner was delicious!

Thanksgiving Dinner in dining room

It was so special to have our family gathered in our home. Afton's outfit really summed up my feelings about the day. 

Thanksgiving Family Portraits

The fun continued the next day. While the boys went shooting, the girls ventured to Bellingrath Gardens

women and baby at Bellingrath Gardens

Alex and I saw the Christmas lights there last year, but this was my first time visiting during the day to see the beautiful flowers.

blooming flowers in bold colors
festive Christmas flowers (red and white hibiscus, poinsettia)

This place is a photographer's paradise! And I am so glad I chose to bring my macro lens. 

Bellingrath Gardens
Bellingrath Gardens fountain, bee, flowers
Bellingrath Gardens landscape and architecture

The guys met up with us for dinner, then we walked around the gardens again after dark to see the fabulous lights.

Christmas lights at Bellingrath Gardens
Colorful Christmas Lights

We rested up on Saturday to recover from all this excitement and prepare for the big day on Sunday: Afton's baptism! She wore the same christening gown that I wore for my own. It belonged to my grandma and is now 97 years old! It is very fragile now, but I am so glad she got to carry on the tradition.

antique christening gown with lace and pink ribbon

Another personal detail was the water, which my parents dipped from the Jordan River on their trip a few years ago! Pastor Scott shared these tidbits with the congregation and even made some references to our wedding five years ago! It was such a joyful way to officially welcome Afton into our church family.

infant baptism at First Presbyterian Church in Ocean Springs (baptismal font, water pitcher)
parents with baby girl in christening gown

I look forward to showing her these pictures someday so that she will know all her grandparents were present for this milestone. 

family portraits at church after infant baptism

We have much to be thankful for, indeed.