When you move several times over the course of 10 years, it is hard to figure out where home is after a while. In the end there's always that one place where your roots still lie. For me, home is Shreveport, Louisiana where I grew up until the age of 14. About 75% of my family on both sides live there and have attended the same church for decades. My parents grew up together in the same church as babies. It took them around 20 years to figure out they liked each other but when they married they basically destined me to be related to everyone in that place. And I love it.
We took the 14 hour haul down to Louisiana and packed as many people in 2 days as possible. After church Sunday night, we went out to eat and my friend Colten got this sweet panorama of our group of friends.
We saw so many wonderful faces Sunday and Monday but let's be real for a second people. One of the other best parts about going home is the FOOD. The food you can't get anywhere but your hometown because it is local. The food that has you drooling no matter how many trans fats you know it contains.
I had some blackened alligator at a popular Cajun restaurant in town, which was good, despite the fact that it looked like little turds.
There is a donut shop in the Louisiana/Arkansas area called Southern Maid donuts. There isn't a single food in the entire world that is better than a SM donut. None. It's not really up for discussion. They are hot at 4 pm everyday I'm pretty sure when the guy took the trough of icing and poured the glaze on I cried a little.
My mom's side owns a few hundred acres up in Southern Arkansas where we go to deer hunt throughout the year and meet for huge holiday get-togethers that induce temporary diabetes. It is one of the few remaining quiet places of the world where time stands still or just doesn't matter, and the nearest grocery store is a 30 minute drive.
Everything takes place at the house my great grandparents built with their own hands back in the 1950's, which officially sleeps like 7. So naturally, we end up with about 35 people cramped into this tiny house telling loud and hilarious stories that we've all heard 20 times. My Mamaw, that sweet sweet soul, cooks about 6-7 hours nonstop each day for everyone--even when we try to help. I asked her if she ever gets sick of it.
Her reply was "As long as people want to eat, never. I love it."
My sweet papaw cracking pecans
Mini dirt bike parking lot
Papaw and Adam probably talking about hunting.
Annie sunbathing. This is Lily's best friend! They grew up together for a year while I lived with my parents and played the whole week.
My brother with the ducks he hunted
Cleaning the ducks
My aunt's boyfriend on my dad's side is a pilot for United Airlines and owns a plane, so he flew my Auntie Lynne and Othermother (what I call my super hip grandma) to Arkansas for a short visit before going on to see my dad's side in Shreveport! See, it pays to have both sides of your family know each other so well :) This woman is turning 70 in a week. Whatever her secret is, I want some.
Most of the Thanksgiving crowd... still somehow missing about 15 people who were either hiding or inside gorging themselves with more food.
A bunch of the girls ended up going "Black Friday" shopping but only made it to one boutique because we loved the clothes so much! Downtown El Dorado was lit up by the time we left and such a cute little town.
Adam ended up shooting a deer (with a bow) our very last night in Arkansas. We tried to track it but found no arrow, speck of blood, or anything. It was really sad that it probably died and the meat was just wasted. But sometimes, that just happens.
It was an incredibly blessed week with so many things to be thankful for not just on turkey Thursday, but every single day of the year.
So there it is, a week's worth of activity packed into one oversized blog post!
Hope you had a marvelous week too!