Wednesday afternoon, little brother Noah drove down from grad school, David's parents drove up from the South, and Rebecca and Richie drove down from Ohio. It was like the Gathering of the Clans. Kind of makes me want to watch Braveheart. Noah had a huge paper due like...this week...and he was afraid he wouldn't be able to finish if it he went all the way home. And Sara had to work Wednesday and Friday so she and Bryan had Thanksgiving with us, too!
Thanksgiving Day we woke up to two little munchkins screaming. Now, when I say "screaming", I don't mean they're fussy. I mean, they are SCREAMING at the top of their lungs just because they can and then they'll turn and laugh at each other. Eventually (thankfully), they get bored of that and start jumping in their beds and throw themselves back and laugh. It's at this point that we go in and get them. They love love love to jump on our bed. They like to jump on anything really...beds, pillows, stuffed animals, tummies that aren't prepared for the blow they're about to receive, faces... Sometimes, if they're really wired at night, we let them jump on the bed or couch (supervised, of course) to get some of their energy out. It really works.
That morning, they were pretty mellow.
Since the girls got up at 6:00 Thursday morning, we had plenty of time to get everything prepared for FEAST OF THE YEAR. Actually, we prepared most of it ahead of time and just warmed stuff up. We make dressing in a crock pot so all you have to do is let it sit and stew. We made the sweet potato soufflé Tuesday night. We made a pecan pie Wednesday night. The green beans took about 3 minutes. Sara brought the crescent rolls and those took like 12 minutes. And we always get a Turkey In A Bag. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. It is the most flavorful, tender, and moist (ugh, that word) turkey you will ever have. I ain't lyin'. It takes maybe 3.5 hours to cook...all you do is throw it in the oven...it's already flavored. So easy. David's parents made their famous Seven Layer Salad that is to die for and brought two pumpkin pies. I think that's everything. I ate way too much, but it was worth it. It's always worth it. And leftovers for the win! That night, I got to go on a sibling date with Noah...we went to go see the new Harry Potter movie...which was AWESOME. I've never read the books, but I've seen all the movies. The one before this one...lame. But this last one totally made up for it. And I enjoyed getting to hang with baby brother.
Sadly, David had to work Friday, but me and the in-lawers had a good day with the twins! Rebecca, Richard and I discussed Harry Potter...I had a lot of questions. They've read the books and seen the movies. I'm think I'm going to read the books because I didn't realize the movies left out so much. GranJan and Papa came over and we went for a wagon stroll. The girls LOVE their new wagon. Unfortunately, they also like to stand up in it, so I have to go über slow, but they seem to have a good time and it makes me happy. That night, GranJan, Rebecca and I headed to Old Navy to help Bec find some maternity clothes. Baby boy will be arriving in March! She found some super cute clothes. And they had some GREAT deals. I tried on 14 pairs of jeans. I'm a teensy bit obsessed with blue jeans. But, seriously...some great deals. Don't worry...I didn't actually buy that many. I put, like, two pairs back.
Saturday morning, Rebecca and I headed to the new outlet mall. I was expecting it to take us about 30 minutes to find a parking spot. We got there about 30 minutes after it opened and drove up to a half-empty parking lot. We walked into the courtyard and it was like a ghost town. There was tumbleweed scuttering across the alley floor. I could hear the faint whooolly whooolly wooooo of that desert bird whistle thing that's always in movies about deserts and the Wild West. We walked into the cosmetic store, finding the one cashier sampling some eyeshadow, and asked her, "Where is everybody?" Without looking up from the mirror, mouth poised in a frown to get a better angle on her lower lash line, she snirked, "That's what we've been wondering. Hmph!" Apparently, it was a slow weekend. However, as the day went on, the traffic did pick up and when we left, there were people circling the parking lots like scavenger birds...waiting for a spot to open. Early bird gets the worm...suckahs! And worms we did get. We shopped pretty much all day. It was awesome. We did NOT go into the cursed food court. We brought our own lunch this time. No more purple puke for me. Stupid cherry Poptart. Blegh.
Anyways, when we got home, Rebecca, Richie, and GranJan loaded up the car and headed north (GJ will be staying with them for a week). Papa had already gone home earlier that afternoon. It was a fabulous Thanksgiving! I'm still full.
On Sunday, David and I took down our Fall deco and bedazzled the house with Christmas bedazzlements! Ah, my favorite time of year. We hung our four stockings...which are out of order now that I think about it...I need to go change it. Last year, even though the girls weren't here yet, I hung their stockings along with ours just in case they came early. They came five days later, so close enough. They really like the Christmas tree. They don't mess with it at all, which surprised me. I was envisioning a bare tree because I figured we'd have to move all of the ornaments away from nosy little hands. They really just like to sit and look at it. They'll scooch forward very slowly and touch the lights ever so gingerly and then sit back again, pondering the meaning of this tree in the house. I am so pumped about Christmas this year. I'm pumped every year, but this time, it has a whole new meaning and I cannot wait to share the experience of Christmas and the magic and the memories and the Real Reason for all of it...it's just wonderful.
Here are some pictures and videos of our Thanksgiving holiday.
Thursday afternoon, we all went for a walk. Here is Bryan and Sara. Bryan would like everyone to know that he's not really this short and Sara's not really that huge...it was the angle his body was turned when I took the picture. It's okay, Bry Bry, your secret's safe with us. Your days in the circus are over...you don't have to hurt anymore, Teeny Tiny.
Harper's not the best in the jogging stroller. She doesn't like to lay back...she wants to sit up and forward. Which is why I've ordered them another stroller with a grab bar and she can look around all she wants. But on this walk, like so many others, we ended up having to carry her. And she'll squirm and fidget and look around...happy to be held, but wanting to be into everything. A 26-pounder squirming in your arms wears on you after awhile, so I told her that if she insisted on being a fusser whilst being held, she was going to have to walk or crawl herself home.
The Plaid Crew. Piper Lee was NOT into it. We ended up giving her something to hold to calm her down, but Harper wanted it as well as what she was given to hold. Ah, the grass is always greener on the other side of what sister is holding.
On our wagon ride...
I am not ashamed...it was for the greater good.
The little tree that's in our bedroom.
A sleigh ride through the house.
On Saturday, when Rebecca and I got back, we found out what the men had taught the girls that day.
Piper Lee's destiny...to be a drummer.