A Texas Thanksgiving

I’ve had a few non-traditional Thanksgivings before. When I was younger, my family would take advantage of the off-season and I had my earliest European travels during my Thanksgiving break from school.

Then when I went off to A&M my family so kindly held a couple belated Thanksgivings since I would miss the actual holiday for some good ol’ college football.

But this year, the family got together on Thanksgiving day for a big, long lunch (we were literally eating for 4+ hours!).

family photos

my cousins, Joe & Juddie

family photos

my niece, Cady with my Auntie Em

While the last of the dishes were simmering and guests were mingling, it was of course, time to celebrate the holiday. My cousins and I wasted no time  before busting out the champagne.

champagne champagne pouring

Now that my sister, Gabby, and my cousins Joe and Juddie, and I all live in different cities, having the chance to all get together to catch up over a few drinks is rare, but very welcome.

family photos family photos family photos family photos

Champagne can count as an appetizer right?

Don’t worry. We had real food too.

There was lots of turkey, chicken, and honey baked ham. Roast potatoes. Mashed potatoes. Fingerling potatoes. Stuffing and gravy and other traditional Thanksgiving dishes. But of course, this was also a Filipino family’s Thanksgiving and my mom insisted we also serve steamed white rice.

Thanksgiving table roasted turkey roasted turkey

The best part about a Thanksgiving with family is that there is no shame in eating seconds (or thirds).

Thanksgiving plate

Plate one of ??

Everyone saved lots of room for Auntie Em’s famed pies and a big pot of chocolate fondue. I was eating and grazing for hours and I was so full but the food was so good that I had to keep eating. 

pecan pie

No worries though. Not only did I have a relaxing yoga session that morning, but it was a holiday.

Treat. Yo. Self.

Irish coffee

Irish coffee complete with Jameson brought back from Dublin

In between eating and chatting there was football on TV and of course my two nieces to provide lots of entertainment.


This was my niece, Petal’s second Thanksgiving, but since she was a newborn at her first one, I loved seeing her waddling around the house and joining in on the Thanksgiving feast.

Judging by the chocolate I found smeared all over her face, she definitely knew it was a day to treat yo self.


Did someone let her have some chocolate fondue

Since this year I’ll be spending Christmas in the Alps, celebrating Thanksgiving back home with my family was just what I wanted. Plus all the planning and cooking was great preparation for when Ruaridh and I host our own Christmas in Switzerland.


Uncle Len & Auntie Em with a cheeky photo bomb from Joe

After the house cleared and all our guests had gone home to fall into a nice, full bellied food coma, I got ready to head out of the house for the best Thanksgiving surprise ever.

Thanksgiving morning I had heard from my friend Jenna that her and her fiance (& one of my best guy friend’s from A&M) Clay would be in town that night. I hadn’t seen Jenna since my ‘going away party’ which was also before she got engaged to Clay. I hadn’t seen Clay in over a year since he’s been away with the Navy.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to see them both and so lucky to have had such an amazing Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Best Thanksgiving ever. So happy! @jennaellis13 🎎

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What are your favorite holiday traditions and Thanksgiving memories?




  • danniellek

    aw this sounds perfect. How great you got to spend Thanksgiving back home with family and friends. I bet you’ll love Switzerland though!

    • I’m going to FREEZE in Switzerland, but I’m sure it will be a fun adventure 🙂

  • Glad you got to spend the weekend at home with loved ones!

    • Thank you! I’m so glad I was too and happy to have been able to take lots of photos of the occasion. Thanks for reading

  • That turkey looks sooooo yummy! And Hurray for quality family time!

    • It was an amazing turkey (and it made for excellent leftover turkey sandwiches).

  • It looks like y’all had such a great time! And your Turkey looks great! yummy!

    • Thank you! It was a great holiday at home with the fam.