We got back home to Oklahoma about two hours ago, after the easiest car ride of our lives. Well, easiest with children. The girls, who didn’t manage to nap much on the long drive from Fort Worth, were in great moods up until we got back home. Emma sat down in the garage and wept, while Ana kept pointing to her feet, crying. (???) I got them to the dinner table, where their moods improved drastically with fish sticks, fruit, milk, and a bump up on the heater. After a quick bath, they went to bed and fell asleep almost immediately. I think they just hit a wall, after so many hours of running around and screaming with their cousin, chasing all of our dogs, and so many episodes of the Backyardigans on the road.
In September, Wes and I came up with a Thanksgiving plan. Our families both live in Texas… but they live four hours apart. Which doesn’t lend itself very well to visiting both on a one-day holiday, especially when it takes us a three hour drive from Oklahoma to get to the nearest family. So, our plan is to spend Thanksgiving with one family one year and the other family the next year, so on and so forth. We flipped a coin to see where we would go this year (and theoretically set the pattern for the rest of our live long days), which put us in Alvarado with the Yawn family. We went down on Tuesday morning and were able to go out for an early birthday dinner at my favorite hometown restaurant with my parents and my grandmother. And, as is told every year near my birthday when my grandmother and my father are present, I got to hear how Mamo spent the night before I was born at the local honky tonk (ha!) and arrived at the hospital the next morning ready to kill my dad, thinking that my mother had been in labor all night and that he had just then bothered to get in touch with her. (She hadn’t been. I was born after just a couple of hours of labor, just like my sweet Emmy was. He didn’t have time to call anyone until after it was all over.) That story probably doesn’t tickle anyone as much as it tickles me, but the thought of anyone’s grandmother dancing it up at a honky tonk… hee, hee!
We took the girls to the local park afterwards, where they have a city of lights set up. Ana and Emma ran around, full speed, screaming and pointing at all of the lights. They’ve grown up so much in just a year’s time. We took them last year, and they just stared blankly at the whole setup. What a difference a year makes when you’re little!
Buttercup and Reese came down to Alvarado with us. Did I not mention this before? Perhaps that was because we didn’t even think through the logistics of our dogs in someone else’s house until we were already there in Alvarado. My parents’ neighbors have whole herds of dogs — Rottweilers on one side, chihuahuas on the other. Barking from every side and angle imaginable. Since BC and Reese are so trim, they can easily slide through and escape from the fence so we had to take them out on leashes. They would get so distracted from all of the barking and then get equally frustrated because of the leashes, which made for some unproductive trips outside. Even so, though, Reese had very few accidents (yay!), and I was so thankful for her and the progress she’s made on the housetraining. I wasn’t nearly as thankful when she started a neighborhood howling serenade at 3am. (How could the other dogs even hear her when she was inside the house?! Amazing! Every dog in Johnson County ended up barking/howling/yelping right along with her.)
Wes took me out for my birthday on Wednesday. We don’t get into Fort Worth often, so when we do, we’re always VERY excited about going to Target and other such unequally exciting places. (They’re exciting to us, though!) We finished up our Christmas shopping, then went out to dinner at one of our favorite places from our seminary days. We planned on going downtown to see a movie in the same theater where we had our first date five years ago (aww!), but that theater had long since gone out of business, unbeknownst to us. Ha! Luckily, there’s another theater downtown, so we were still able to stick with the plan. Not in the plan, however, was a surprise gift from Wes…
I don’t even know what to say about this, other than MY HUSBAND IS AMAZING!!! I had mentioned that I would certainly love an anniversary band one of these days, thinking that “one of these days” wouldn’t be any day soon. Apparently, I was wrong. I don’t know if I was more shocked by this gift or the fact that Wes endured “Twilight” with minimal eye rolling and exasperated groans. (My birthday, my movie choice.) He’s a super special guy, y’all. I’ve known this all along, but he just keeps on outdoing himself!
Today, we had a whole lot of food. Em seemed especially enthralled with the variety. This was both of our girls’ first Thanksgiving in the US, and they enjoyed watching the Macy’s parade, eating too much, and hanging out with family.
We had planned on staying a couple of more days, but one of our church members passed away late last night, so we felt it was best to come back home to be available to his family. He had just celebrated his ninetieth birthday and had recently expressed how thankful he was for so many decades of life well lived. A good reminder to me, as I spent the day being challenged to take notice of the many blessings that God has already given to me in these relatively few decades of life.
Hope your holiday was wonderful…