I have to say, this was my all time favorite Thanksgiving. I actually feel "homesick" for it..I want to go back to those wonderful five days spent with the family I adore oh so much. This was the first year that David was actually able to get the holiday off. Due to "won't be named" person in his department, she was only hired two days before him which meant she had seniority. She always requested the whole week of Thanksgiving and Christmas off. So unfair considering she's like in her 50's and her kids are all grown. And how insensitive to take up both holidays? There's other people out there with families, ya know? Alternate or something, sheesh. So we've never been able to have a big 'ol family Holiday with my big 'ol family :) She moved out of the department at the beginning of the year, which means my hardworking man now has seniority in his department and first order of business was taking time off for Thanksgiving and planning a trip to Arizona to my grandparents house. We've been looking forward to it ALL year. Of course my parents made the drive up from Tucson to Prescott, and my cousin Sarah who lives about 15 minutes from my grandparents stayed the night all the nights we were there with her kiddies who I love so much.
We left pretty early on Wednesday morning..about 2:15 am. The drive is about 8 hours depending on traffic. I didn't even bother sleeping that night, with so much packing to do and all, I just figured I'd stay up and sleep in the car. Worked perfectly, I slept pretty much the whole way. Sorry, probably should've kept David company..oops. We got to my grandparents around noon. My parents were already there and had Dunkin Donuts waiting. I can't stress enough my love for Dunkin Donuts. I'm deprived here in California, because we have NONE. I only get them in Arizona, Connecticut, or at JFK Airport in NYC before I fly out. SO unfair. Sorry to all you Starbucks freaks, and hey, I like them as much as the next guy, but I'd gladly trade them for Dunkin Donuts. Their donuts are bomb..the coffee is bomb. What's not to love? California, work on adding a few, k? It was so good to see my grandparents, parents and brother. I miss them all dearly. We hung out and caught up for a few hours, then Sarah showed up and we all hung out for the night. Had a few beers, and made it kind of an early night since we were all pretty exhausted.
Thanksgiving morning I was up pretty early. Arizona is an hour ahead of us, so it's rare to be up at 7am..but I was. Headed straight for the Dunkin Donuts :) Anxiously awaiting the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which I might add..was a huge disappointment this year. They hardly showed the balloons!! So instead, us "kids" meaning myself, David, Kyle, Sarah and Sharayah watched Crazy, Stupid, Love. Dinner was ready around 3 and oh my..was it delicious. Great Mamaw food, great time spent with family over dinner. Love it. We all were drinking wine with dinner, then my cousin and I upgraded to White Russians. That night we had fun in the living room with my parents and Mamaw. Dancing to some Johnny Cash and having some laughs. They also got the idea to pull out my Mamaw's 55 year old wedding dress and have me try it on. It fit perfectly and I felt so honored to be wearing it. She told me when David and I get remarried I can wear it and I for sure will because it's beautiful and totally my style. We definitely plan on renewing our vows as soon as we have paid off all our bills and have the money to do it no big, but semi-big. Funny though, how after 55 years, it's still stylish. Very classy..strapless and lacy with a little shrug to go over it. I even got a picture of myself in it with both my grandparents. Talk about a precious photo. I want to get it framed for them because they were both very touched by it. I'll never forget my Grandad's face as I walked into the room. It was fun in the bathroom trying it on, Sarah was helping me and it was funny, actually like a real wedding. Holding the dress up, adjusting me, zipping it up in the back. I got a kick out of it. I'm going to do a separate post of just the pictures, which unfortunately didn't take very many this trip because I was just enjoying a relaxing trip. This was the first time we've gone and been able to be there for that many days, it was just so nice.
Friday morning Sarah got to pick up her two kids who had spent Thanksgiving with their dad. It was hard not having the kids there for dinner, and I felt so bad for Sarah because it was the first holiday she's had to spend without her kids as her and her ex husband just got divorced in July. We missed Joseph and Emma there for sure. So, after she picked them up, David, myself, Sharayah, Kyle, and of course Sarah and the kids headed to try to do a little Black Friday shopping. My brother and I are movie hoarders and they had such good deals going on we wanted to take advantage. I'm missing New Moon from my Twilight Collection and Target had it for 3.99, I'm also a huge Modern Family fan but didn't start watching until the end of the first season and since I couldn't find the episodes online, they had the complete first season on sale for 12.99..down from like 38.99..talk about a steal. I also got The Blindside (one of my faves) for like 4 bucks, and The Princess Diaries for 5. I have the second one on dvd, but when the first one came out I still had a VCR so I have he VHS and my ocd kicks in with my Disney movies so I had to complete the collection. I also picked up some super cute Mickey PJ pants for myself, and my bestie Marcy for only 10 bucks. Successful Black Friday in my books!
After that, we took everyone to see The Muppet Movie..something I had been looking forward for a year since I saw some leaked pictures from filming and heard the plot of the story. I'm a huge Jason Segal and Amy Adams fan so that also intrigued me..not to mention who didn't grow up loving the Muppets. Kermit was always my favorite of course :) I think I need to watch the movie again though. I was SO flippin' tired that day. I was having a lot of pain the night before after we went to bed it started kicking in and I didn't sleep well at all so I wasn't focused and yes, I did nod off a few times..I'll admit it. Not because it was boring, I was just THAT tired. Friday was also exciting because we had more family coming up that day. My cousin Jen, her husband Alex, and their two amazingly adorable kids, Logan and Ava. Logan is my little Disneyland bud. We talk about Disneyland all the time. Yeah, he's 5 and remembers the exact name of all the rides, knows which rides are in what "Land", and can tell you what other stuff is near the rides. Super smart. Miss Ava is all about Disney Princesses, so yeah, I love hanging out with those two sweeties. But of course, with their parents too. Jen and Alex are super fun to be around and always bring fun games for us to play..after the kids go to sleep of course because they are pretty raunchy ones. Our favorite game is called "The Game of Things"..and I've never laughed so hard in my life as I do while playing that game with my family. Of course it was quite a few of us, David, myself, my brother, my parents, Sarah, and Jen and Alex..so a lot of funny answers and long times spent hysterically laughing, trying to guess who wrote what answer.
The next day, Saturday, I was very excited because again, more family was coming. My Aunt Pat & Uncle Bruce, and my cousin Megan, her husband, and their adorable son Evan who was just about to turn 5 months. I was so looking forward to meeting this little guy. I kind of hogged him a lot, but hey, I'm the only one without my own baby so I have a right to :) He's such a calm baby, never cried while I was holding or rocking him or playing with him. I was able to make him laugh so much and baby laughs warm my heart like no other. I was so happy I got to meet him. He's got to be one of the most adorable baby boys I have ever seen. We all went for lunch at Prescott Brewing Company and it was delicious and awesome to have to many of us together like that. It seems like we haven't all been together like that in so long. Every time I go to Arizona, I make an attempt to see everyone, but with everyone working and having kids, and not all living in the same city, the visits are usually broken up to see a couple of cousins here for a day or two in Phoenix, then visit with my cousin Sarah when we go see Mamaw and Grandad in Prescott since she lives about 10 minutes away. So it was nice to finally all be together, with my parents there as well. Lunch was delicious! We then went across the street and took a few family pics, let the kids play in the leaves, and headed back to Mamaw's. My dad made his awesome Tri-Tip Sandwiches (to die for!), and my cousins and I discovered a new drink. Whipped Cream flavored vodka, mixed with orange soda. O...M...G. It tastes just like an orange creamsicle. It's my new favorite thing. I want to buy a bottle again and try it with root beer. We spent that evening sipping down quite a few of those drinks (which don't really get you drunk by the way, just taste yummy. A little buzz but didn't last long), and playing Poker and Texas Hold 'Em. Mine and David's first time playing..Sharayah also played..and us Van Ingen's won the most. Woo hoo! We make an awesome team. We played another game of "Things"..this time there was A LOT of us so we didn't make it through a full round..but let's just say..the answers that night are ones that will go down in history. My family is hilarious and we don't really hold back.
Sunday was pretty bittersweet. Everyone left, and I had my usual hysterical crying fits. Everyone left at separate times which made it harder lol. But of course, saying bye to my parents and brother is always the hardest. So, I had to go downstairs and lay down for awhile for my anxiety attack to pass. David came down and just held me for awhile. Then we took Sharayah to the mall there so she could spend some birthday money. Unfortunately since the last time I was there, that mall has gone way downhill. It's still really nice inside because it isn't that old, but so many stores have closed. Hot Topic was still there and she was able to get a few things. My sweet husband bought me a Disney Plaque from Hallmark..it says "Even Miracles Take a Little Time - Cinderella". I think it totally fits my life..as far as the baby thing goes so it was a perfect little gift to cheer me up after being pretty down after everyone left. He also bought me a Mister Misty from Dairy Queen (my favorite and we have none around here). We went back to Mamaw's and I took a nap before they took us out to dinner. They took us to this beautiful restaurant that's in a casino up on top of a mountain so you can see the whole city from the the windows. I ordered stuffed prawns with lobster and some kind of tomatillo sauce and was really looking forward to it since Mamaw said it was really good. After I placed my order, about ten minutes later and they tell me they're all out. So I went with shrimp scampi which was kind of ehh. But everyone else enjoyed their food and it was very pricey so it's not like I was going to complain. I take that back, my food was good, but I have a lot of stuff I have to stay away from and I could tell instantly it wasn't going to agree with me so I could only take a few bites. But it was still a lovely time spent with my Grandparents. I was still super exhausted so I hit the hay as soon as we got home, David stayed up awhile talking with them. I love that about him. He really enjoys my family and can totally hang out with them on his own without feeling awkward. My grandparents (and the rest of my fam too) really adore him and that makes my heart happy.
Monday was when we had to hit the road..so we got one more yummy Mamaw breakfast, spent a little more time with them and said our goodbyes. We met up with Sarah and Emma in Chino for lunch at a Mexican place. She's always someone I have a hard time saying bye to because we're really close. So we decided the day before when she left Mamaw's that we would meet for lunch on our way out. We weren't in a hurry since David had the next day off. So we had a good lunch, and then hit the road. It always seems so much longer on the way back. But we left AZ at about 1:30 and got home at about 10. David and spent the next day just relaxing and I got him to watch ET with me.
All in all, it was such a great trip and Thanksgiving. I love and adore my family so much and just wish we all lived closer. When I have kids of my own, I would love for them to grow up with my parents close by, and with cousins they can play with. Maybe someday. But both myself and David and Sharayah all said what a great time we had. I'm so glad also that Sharayah went and got to meet a lot more of my family. We can't wait to plan another trip very soon! Maybe this summer.
Saturday we head off to Bakersfield for our first Van Ingen Family Christmas get together this year. We'll be at my Father-in-Laws and his new wife (who is awesome by the way) and my sister in law and her husband and their four kids will be there as well. It was a blast last year. I'll just have to be careful this year and not get too rowdy with all the girls since I just had surgery two weeks ago and still have quite a bit of pain. We'll have Christmas with us and the kids here in the morning, then they will go to their mom's. So David and I will get to have the evening to ourselves and cook a yummy dinner together and cuddle and watch Christmas Story. Then we'll have another Van Ingen Christmas a few days later at David's mom's, again my sis in law and her family will be there as well. I should mention they live in the LA area and don't see them often so we enjoy getting to spend some Holiday time with them. Here's to Holidays with our families..there's nothing like it. We are so blessed. Picture posts to come soon!