Since we didn't have guests in from LA and we weren't in LA this year, we got to take a roadtrip south to Papa Tom's and Grandma Sara's for the Hartley Thanksgiving, which was bitter-sweet this year. This was the first holiday as a family that we would be celebrating without my Uncle Scott. It had only been about 5 months since he tragically passed & the pain was still so raw for all of us, especially my Aunt Kelly & my cousins, Kailey and Ryann. I beyond thankful that Kelly and Kailey were there with us and that we could all surround them with love.
& I say bitter sweet because we finally got to meet the newest family member, my great nephew, Bennett Thomas Siebert. Little Bennett was just about three weeks old & let me tell you, he was the sweetest baby & he smelled like heaven.
We were pretty protective about who would get to hold him because there were so many there at one point but as people started to leave, Ashlyn asked if Logan wanted to hold him and you know he was jumping at the chance. He flew to the kitchen to wash his hands and quickly climbed up into Papa Tom's chair. I look at this picture and just think about what an amazing big brother he would have been & it kind of makes me sad we didn't give him that chance. Then again, he wouldn't have been the baby of the family and he certainly loves that role.
& this year since mom and dad had the shed & we were all back, they invited the Earl side of the family too. Kaden and Logan were so stoked that they would get to see their Cruisin' Cousins again---Drew, Dane, Luke and Lily. Logan might have took a nice shot to the stomach from the oldest in a game of baseball but that didn't stop the fun.
We tried to stay as long as possible but it was a quick day trip for us as we had special plans the following day to kick of the Christmas holiday season---Thanksgiving was soooo late this year. One thing still remains true, we are beyond lucky to have my mom and dad, they do so much for each one of us kids and so much in ensuring our extended families are able to get together. I grew up down the road from my cousins and although Kaden and Logan have that relationship with Colton and Madison, Brett, Leah and Blake---I want them to know their extended family too. It's becoming more and more of priority as I get older, because I am that next generation now.