If you order a copy of Good Grit here you can read all about Pancake Day: Laurel's sweetest annual tradition that we've all been doing for decades. Everyone you've ever known your entire life comes to the old YWCO and gets in line together to have all you can eat pancakes and sausage before the Christmas parade starts. Every year, the photos are the same, we all just look a little older and wiser. This is how Christmas begins in our hometown. This year was an especially good one, since we are celebrating the one year anniversary of opening the Laurel Mercantile Co. This is the first year Mrs. Penny's husband, Mr. Kernel, wasn't greeting people beside her in his wheelchair since he passed. It broke my heart! These two lovebirds joined us this year: Uncle Dale's jolliness MAKES this photo. That and the Laurel Mercantile syrup! Jeff and Ben, taking the annual "he looks just like our big brother Sam" photos: Our sweet film crew came to be part of the tradition this year! Ain't that the truth? My family was 30 minutes later than us so we go seated separately, but I found them on the way over to the loft to watch the parade: The annual Big and Trent at Pancake Day photo: Parade time! And by noon I wasn't feeling well, as it doesn't take much to wear me out now that I've crossed the 8-months mark. My head was splitting and all I wanted was the cool quiet of our front porch swing, cushy pillows and my laptop to do a little work. We made a grocery trip this afternoon and I had a hankering for homemade chicken noodle soup from the Volume 2 recipe book. It's so easy, it actually made my head feel better to stand over the stove and smell it and taste it. Life is so sweet in this small town. I wish everyone could experience community like this. *For a sweet flashback to what our opening days were like, click here to read from the archives and go backwards in the days!