Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey Day in Peoria!

This year we headed up to Peoria for turkey day! We try to rotate the two big holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, between our two families. Thankfully Brian and Shannon are on the same schedule, so we all headed back to Illinois with the kids and all 8 bags!! Yes, you read correctly...8 pieces of luggage for our group of six for a long weekend. Now I may be exaggerating slightly since two of the pieces were Steve and Brian's hunting gear, but the remaining 6 bags (plus carry-ons) were all for us. We were supposed to arrive Wednesday night, but when the weather shifted and freezing rain or snow was in the forecast for that night, we all shifted our flights to the first flight out that morning. That worked out quite well for us, travel-wise since all of our flights were running on schedule at that hour. In fact, we even managed to arrive a little early...shocker! Needless to say, there wasn't any freezing rain or snow (in fact, it snowed after we left on Sunday). However, we did have cold weather, so we had to dress Bennett properly....and that would be in her new white faux fur coat and hat!

After arriving at 11am on Wednesday...we had a full weekend ahead of us. My mother had the whole weekend planned, down to our meals with specific appetizers (my cousin Debbie would have been so proud). The alcoholic drinks and teasing started immediately, but I think overall...a good time was had by all. It was a wonderful opportunity for us all to be together, and for my parents to spend quality time with their grandchildren. I too thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my nephew, Christian. He is walking well now, but not really talking yet (except for saying "mama" whenever he is mad, sad, tired or actually wants his mama). He was recovering from the croup, so he was a little of all of these most of the weekend, but when he was happy....he was happy. He enjoyed dancing for us, clapping when he was proud of himself, and exploring the new house. This photo is when he is in the guest bath looking out of the window at us...which he enjoyed!

Bennett was her typical happy self most of the weekend, except for the short plane rides between Birmingham and Atlanta. She cried both times for about half of the flights. I know that I couldn't have done anything about it, but it was still embarrassing and very stressful. I was just sweating with the anxiety of it all. Brian got a big kick out of it though, looking over at me and just laughing. She otherwise traveled pretty well and adapted to her new surroundings well. She slept through the nights in her playpen, napped on anyone that would hold her, and otherwise just hung out. She especially loved Winston, my parent's dog. He couldn't have been any sweeter and patient. He let Christian sit on him and Bennett pull his hair, and still gave them both love (see the video). His only fault was the extreme jealousy that he had whenever my father showed anyone else any attention. During these times he barked incessantly (which my mother claimed that he doesn't do normally).

The two kids together were pretty entertaining. Christian has this little fake cough that he does, and one day he was doing it, and Bennett starting imitating him. They were fake coughing in response to one another and in unison (if only we had the video camera then). Though we were a little crowded, and had more toys spread across the floor than my mother could handle...
I don't think I would have changed anything. Now we are at home, and trying to finish our Christmas shopping.

Since we only have four short weeks until Christmas when my folks come to Birmingham, we will get to relive this experience all over again soon! I can definitely say that I am VERY thankful for my family, and for their unconditional love. This has been an emotional year for Steve and me, from the ups and downs of my pregnancy, to the joyous delivery of our daughter, Bennett, to the devastating loss of our beloved dog, Shelby, to these last few months of success at work and home...having our families has made it all much easier and better. We love all of them, and are blessed to have them in our lives!

1 comment:

Dave Long said...

I love the video of the dog and Bennet. Winston! Winston! NO! NO! So funny.