Thanksgiving at Lake Anna Recap

Hello there!

We are back in the DC area after spending Thanksgiving week (Tuesday through Saturday evening) at Lake Anna! Isn’t this sunrise view of the lake with the mist rising gorgeous?! 

We alternate spending either Thanksgiving or Christmas with my family or Matt’s family, and this was our year to spend Thanksgiving with Matt’s family.

Instead of all meeting in Pittsburgh, where my in law’s house would be bursting at the seams with all of us and the kids, we decided to rent a house at Lake Anna which was a decently central location for most of us and meant we could all stay in one house together. 

We’ve gone to Lake Anna for a week two years in a row now in September (here are those recaps: 2020 and 2021), and it was definitely different being there in cold vs. hot weather, but it was still fun! 

The weather was great for stroller walks with beautiful fall colors:

And I made it out in a kayak a couple times, too.

The kids actually did a (very brief, ha) polar bear plunge on Thanksgiving day because it was 60+ degrees out, but I wasn’t feeling like freezing myself so I stuck with the kayak. 😉

We made it over to Lake Anna State Park one day for a hike, too.

It was a beautiful sunny day but cold and VERY windy – we didn’t love the wind but otherwise had a nice time. 

We did a 2 mile loop that goes along the water and is flat and kid-friendly since we had Riese with us!

Pit stop for a packed lunch of leftover Thanksgiving turkey and cranberry sandwiches:

The rest of the trip was all about the food! For our Thanksgiving feast, we divided up the meal prep and everyone was in charge of something. 

Check out the fun veggie and hummus appetizer tray my father-in-law created to look like a turkey:

Matt was in charge of frying the turkey – he always wings it or I’d share his recipe, but he creates some sort of a cajun butter situation and injects the turkey with it before frying it in our oil-less fryer. 

It came out delicious – his best one yet, I think!

I made my homemade cranberry sauce and was also in charge of roasting brussels sprouts. I kept them simple and just did a basic olive oil, salt, and pepper situation. 

Delicious feast! Plus some unpictured pumpkin chiffon pie, my mother-in-law’s specialty. 

Cue the leftover turkey and cranberry sandwiches (plus some cheddar cheese on there too because why not):

Other dinners from the week included a honey baked ham night (forgot to get pics), a build your own taco night:

Super yummy so I went back for one more after this picture:

Lasagna and salad night (with unpictured birthday cake for dessert and unicorn-themed napkins and cups to celebrate Riese turning 4 – my mom made us a chocolate cake to bring with us to the house, thanks mom!):

And peanut pasta with grilled chicken! This is one of our family favorites… here’s the recipe: Creamy Peanut Butter Noodles. 

It was a fun week!

With all the kids in the mix the house was absolute chaos and Matt and I were exhausted the whole time because Wes didn’t want to sleep and was up a thousand times every night, but it was nice to all be together for the first time since the annual Outer Banks trip in July. 

Riese had an absolute blast with her cousins (three boys – 8, 6, and 2 years old). She got to sleep in a bunk bed room with the older two boys which was super exciting for her, although not the best for getting enough sleep. 😉

We drove home after dinner on Saturday evening to try to avoid Sunday traffic and also so we’d have a full Sunday at home before getting back into the weekday routine, and on Sunday morning I said to Riese: “Isn’t it nice to be home?” She replied: “I like that other house with my cousins better…” Lol. 

It was nice to have Sunday at home to reset a bit – I went to my Sunday morning yoga class I go to every week (my one class I make it out to in person usually, so I try to really protect that and make it happen every Sunday), we did lots of clean up and unpacking around the house, hit the grocery store, etc. 

Dinner on Sunday was a variation of my Healthy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry. 

I hope everyone had a nice week! Can you believe it’s almost December?! 

Are you team put the Christmas tree up and play holiday music immediately after Thanksgiving, or do you wait a bit? I usually wait a bit, it feels too soon until the calendar at least says December! 

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