Remembering November with a Thankful Heart

It feels like the last two months have been a blur, and here we are today, the last day of 2013.  Even though it seems like awhile ago already, I really wanted to share some pictures from the last two months, so let me just highlight what the Hickson's were up to in November.

We started out with a photo shoot in Central Park.  In about three hours, Robby snapped about 700 pictures of this lovely family we know from Church.  I had fun carrying the gear, coming up with ideas for what Steve, Becky and their daughter Maelee could do in the pictures, and holding the extra lighting to help Robby get just the right shot.

Becky and Maelee

Steve and Maelee

We had Jessa, Meghan, Richard and Scott over for our monthly dinner.  We rotate hosting every month, and technically October was our turn but we couldn't get our schedules lined up until the first weekend in November.  We served Penne Pasta with Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage; it was a great fall dish.  Jessa made a Ceasar Salad with homemade croutons (yum) and Meghan made homemade ice cream with an apple crisp (double yum).

Just a few days later, we made an unexpected trip to Florida to be with our family as Robby's grandma had passed away suddenly.  I am so thankful that we were able to be together.  It was helpful to share memories and bond during that time.  Please continue to pray for our family, especially Grandpa. 

We were glad to see Addi during this visit, and were so impressed with her communication skills!  She knows some sign language, and she is so sweet.  If she wants to ask you to give her something, she does the sign for please and then says "Peeeze".  It just melts your heart.

My sister, mom and abuelo also came to be with everyone.

Cousins!  Cristie, Tiffany and Crystal

Oh.  And this happened.

Robby went to play Basketball with his cousin Kyle, Jeremy and Uncle Paul.

While we were away, Erin and Brett were so gracious in taking care of Bess.  She couldn't get enough of Erin after we got back.

About a week or two Later, the Awesome-in-Laws came to town for Thanksgiving.  Hurricane Addi was a force to be reckoned with!  Bess didn't know that she had finally met her match!

We ventured out and about to get the last glimpses of fall and the first signs of Christmas Magic in the City.  After pizza at Lombard's we faced the crowds at Macy's to see the Christmas Land on the 8th floor, then we made our way to Bryant Park where the Christmas Shops were set up and the Skating Rink.  Afterwards, we checkd out the Main Branch of the NY Public Library.  Currently, there is a free exhibit called ABC: Why Children's Books Matter.  It was really interesting, and well worth a visit.  I would definitely recommend it (it's going on until Sunday, March 23, 2014).

Addi and Uncle Rob

Crystal and Mark

 Crystal and Addi on Thanksgiving. 

We hosted Thanksgiving at our apartment for the first time ever.  Can I just say again how thankful I am for our apartment?  God really hooked it up.  We had friends in and out all day, we had Turkey and all the fixin's.  Friends brought delicious side dishes and desserts.  We ate, and ate some more.  We shared what we were thankful for.  It was a very special day, and I am so glad that we were able to have family in town for it.  We realized it was the first Thanksgiving in four years that we have spent with family.

 Jessa, Christy, Kelly and me

 Jessa and me

A few days later, we had "Thai and Pie" Friendsgiving.  We met at Scott and Katie's for a fun evening of Thai food and leftover Thanksgiving Pie.  On the way home, we bought our Christmas Tree from a sidewalk vendor who was here all the way from Norway!  He comes to New York every year in December to sell Christmas Trees.  We normally don't get a tree because we go to Florida for Christmas but I am so glad we did this year.  The piney smell instantly made the apartment feel ready for the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.