Sunday, November 27, 2011

Home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday. It probably has something to do with the fact that it always falls near my birthday (though, that has made my birthday somewhat less desirable sometimes) and the fact that it is about food and family. Not necessarily in that order. Our Thanksgivings are also like mini-reunions, since we used to all get together for Thanksgiving.

Of course, when I moved out to Utah in 2004, going home for Thanksgiving was out of the question, if I wanted to be home for Christmas. So I've spent the past seven years in Utah or California celebrating with different families and friends. It was always great, but never quite the same as what I remembered.

This year has been pretty tough on our family. We've had a lot of disappointments and heartaches and we are no where near the end of dealing with them. I don't think I've wanted to go home more for Thanksgiving. Although, I think that every year, it seemed important that I be there, and yet impossible on how to figure out how to get there. I toyed with the idea of charging a plane ticket... and then, I got an unexpected phone call from my cousin, KC, and he made it possible for me to fly home for the week.

It was so great to be there! Everything was perfect and it seemed like everyone who could be there, was there. My cousin who just got back from serving in Afghanistan was there with his wife and baby. My brother and his girlfriend were there. All of the cousins that I grew up with running around on Thanksgiving were there. They shot guns. We ate. We played cards. The rolls tasted better than I remember.

I was just so grateful to be there for a few days, to spend time with my family who I love so much. I miss their company terribly, and I really, really hate having to leave them behind.

Five days in Ohio is hardly enough time to do everything I wanted to do. But I started out the trip playing with Kelsie while Amy and Mom were at work. We galloped around like horses, fed cows on CastleVille and put on make-up. Then Amy and I took Kelsie to get her first haircut. She was so good by sitting really still, but I think she was more nervous than anything else. We didn't take off a lot of length, but we evened it up and got rid of the mullet.

Mackenzie had a basketball scrimmage, so I took the opportunity to watch her play. I am fairly certain that it is the first time I've EVER seen her play basketball. It was really fun. I don't know how to convince her that she needs to be more aggressive, though. When we weren't watching Kiki on the court, we were watching Kelsie make friends with the little boy that was near to her in age. They were having staring contests, and at one point Kels grabbed his little face and shook it back and forth. Dad yelled at her to stop and we explained that he didn't seem to mind, his mother didn't seem to mind so what was the big deal? "That's harassment!" he said. And we laughed.
I went to Friendly's with my friend from elementary school, Kate, and I got my usual candy shoppe sundae. Of course, I had to argue with the waiter about what the sundae was called, since they've changed the menu so many times since I've been away. Kate and I sat and talked for hours and it was great to catch up with her. The waiter happens to be the same guy Amy and our friend Esther often has when they go to Friendly's, and he commented on how Amy and I look alike and also how we drink water like it's going out of style. I probably had seven full glasses of water just because he continued to fill it up. At some point, it became a science experiment: see how long my bladder could hold out. I did want the waiter to think that he bested me, so I finished my glass and insisted that Kate and I get home quickly. It was a close call.

To celebrate my birthday, we (Mom, Amy, Chloe, Julia and me) went to go see Breaking Dawn. It was terrible as expected, but somewhat entertaining. Then we met up with my cousin KC and his parents and brothers at El Sombrero, a favorite Mexican restaurant in Troy, and had a birthday meal. The only picture I got was of Kelsie enjoying her sopapilla.

After dinner, we went home and had tons of desserts to make for Thanksgiving dinner. While we were making apple cheesecake, pumpkin and pecan pie, as well as apple pie, oreo dessert and heaven knows what else, Mackenzie and I decided we needed to give ourselves a little facial.
Brad walked in from work, so we told him to sit down and he did. He let us slather the honey, cinnamon, nutmeg concoction onto his face and then let it stay on there for the allotted time. He's a really good sport. Considering the ingredients, it doesn't smell as good as you would think. But I do love the way it made my skin feel after.

Thanksgiving day consisted of finishing up preparations. Rolling out rolls, and helping Mom in the kitchen as best we can. Then we drove over to my Uncle Craig's and the boys were already out shooting.
As I mentioned, dinner and family time was fantastic. The weather was great, so we were able to take some family pictures. Brad ate his entire dinner like a barbarian. He didn't touch his silverware.

It was so, SO great to see everyone and be home! I just can't believe I was there and I don't think I can ever pay KC back for his kindness. I miss everyone already.

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