thanksgiving and birthday bliss...

I have to admit, internet, this year I was not overly excited about turning 27.  No longer considered 'mid-twenties'... moving into the 'late-twenties' and inching closer and closer to 30.  Oh man... I am having a hard time with getting that close to another decade down.

While it hasn't been an easy number to adjust to... I have to say that my birthday was wonderful this year!

It all started the weekend before my birthday, when some of my closest friends and I went to one of my favorite restaurants, Genghis Khan - in Westport, MO.  It is delightful, to say the least!  Hands down the best crab rangoon ever.

So we started off the night with some yummy goodness and then headed back to Jen's house for some of my favorite dessert --- Dirt.  It is my favorite thing that Jen makes... one time she accidently used cheese cake pudding instead of vanilla... and it sealed the deal ... ever since then -who needs vanilla pudding when you have cheese cake pudding?! #seriously

Oh... and my dear friend Laina... AKA "the girl that licks things"... she licked the menu for my birthday.  #don'task

Between the above celebration and my real birthday.. Scott and I went to celebrate on our own... and tried a new restaurant... it was delicious!!! Freebirds is a lot like Chipotle and Qudoba... I really liked how many options they have and the fact that they have QUESO {one of many keys to my heart}.  They have several different sizes of burritos, nachos, a TON of toppings, and so much more... it was really good.  I'm excited to have yet another good place to grab some grub in town!

We spent the first 1/2 of thanksgiving day cleaning our house {remember when I decided to put up christmas decor instead of cleaning... yeah....} then we spent the evening at Scott's aunt's house.  We had some great time of catching up and playing with little ones.  Always a good time!  I have a couple of recipes 'on order' - after having Scott's grandma's pumpkin pie and her homemade whipped cream... yum!

So fast forward a few days... to my real birthday-- I got to start off the day one of my favorite ways...

Coffee date with Laina!  We had been looking forward to and planning this quality time for a while {planning makes our hearts happy}.  It finally worked itself out... and what a wonderful way to start such a special day!  Laina brightens my day... and my soul.  I love this girl - she has such a special place in my heart... a place I can't even begin to describe.  #blessed

So after some catching up with Laina... I went home to get the hubster and we headed over to my parent's house to hang out and bake pies for our thanksgiving celebration on Saturday with my dad's side of the family in Osceola, MO.  Then that evening Scott and I went on a double date w/my bro and his fiance.  I SOOOOOOOO enjoyed this bonding time :)

Melissa had never been to the Plaza - so we first went to Liberty Memorial to show her a good view of the city... then headed over to the plaza to walk around and see the lights!  We took them to one of our favorite coffee shops, Latte Land, {thanks to Jer and Mer for revealing this marvelous establishment to us this time a year or two ago} on the plaza and headed to the roof top to get a great view of the plaza lights.  It was so wonderful!

If I had any doubts about this chick before {yeah right I've loved her from the get go}... they would be erased after our time spent this last weekend!  She is absolutely perfect for my big brother, and a wonderful addition to our family.  This was by far the most quality time we've gotten to spend with her... and I can't WAIT to officially be sistas from another mista!  Her and Scott have already started a very unique 'in-law' bond... which is probably one of the most adorable things ever!

So after some great conversation and a few frozen noses later... we headed back to the rent's where mom was fixing my (and my brother's) favorite birthday meal..... Springfield Style Cashew Chicken!  YUUUM!

After some yummy food with family and some ice cream cake {my fav} - we played some sequence with the bro and Melissa!  The girls dominated... #asusual

So Saturday we headed down to my grandparent's house in southern MO for our annual thanksgiving celebration.  A few of us went out to target shoot - which is a thanksgiving tradition around here!  We didn't get to last year because it was muddy or something that day. {I'm 1/3 country girl; 2/3 city girl} ;)  We had some more bonding time... it was a blast... and I got some good target practice in! That 1/3 country girl has pretty good aim. #bragmoment

While in southern MO, I decided to hit one of our family favorite flea markets - one that I used to dread going to when I was little because we would spend HOURS looking at every tiny item in the store.  I found a couple of items that were calling my name.. Don't you just LOOOVE that middle vase? Of course Jen came over and helped me re-arrange my decor and found the PERFECT place for it! :)  Thanks, girl!

How was your thanksgiving?!  What is your favorite thanksgiving family tradition?  What was your favorite moment of your birthday this year? Any advice for entering my 'late-twenties'? {insert cringe}


  1. Enjoy your late twenties. I had my freak out at (thirty - whisper it when you read it please), and now I just pretend my birthday is a celebration of doesn't matter how old! :)

    My Daddy freaked out at 21. For some reason that makes me laugh every single time!

    ENJOY your life... ALWAYS! Thank God for each day and then.... it doesn't matter how old you are!! :)

    1. I totally whispered.. don't worry :) so true... it is a celebration of us!

      That makes me laugh too... you're dad is so sweet!

      love ya girl!

  2. FABULOUS!! Of course how could it not be with all of my kiddos under our roof! :)

    Little traditions like carved orange cups to hold our canned cranberry sauce, generations old homemade ice box yeast rolls, and pie....lots of pie, everyone gets to have their favorite!

    I was able to watch people I love take items we loved off of our hands as we prepared to move to made the move SO MUCH EASIER knowing that the items we loved would be used by such special people!

    Don't cringe...keep on the path you're on sweet Raylene! Pursue the Lord with all your heart and continue to see what HIS plans are for you!!

    1. I'm so glad you got to have all of your family together for Thanksgiving! that is such a special time... we enjoyed the same!

      That is a fun tradition - I've never heard of the orange cups!

      Thanks for the encouragement, Kim! You are so special to me!