Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving (or the holiday that shall not be named)

Thanksgiving has been a bit of a sore spot in our home for the past five years. SOMEthing always goes wrong - seizures and head wounds, throw up, gravy explosions, turkeys taking twice as long to cook as they should and more. Thanksgiving day has not been in our favor for a few years. Each year, I'm determined to fix it. And this year I gave it an honest effort...

For the first time since college, Ryan and I were able to spend Thanksgiving with family. His grandparents moved back to their home in Nauvoo, IL last month so two of his uncles and one of his aunts and their families all came to celebrate together. We packed up the car with our sides and pies and made the trip two hours south. 

The dinner was delicious and the company was fantastic. We love getting together with his family. Leah loves her permanent spot in great grandpa's arm on a cushy seat. Kate loves the attention she gets from the cool, older girls. And we all love eating good food, so there's that. 

We decided to get a hotel and stay the night so we wouldn't have to leave dinner early. Kate was fascinated with our perfect view of the Nauvoo Temple that night in our cozy hotel. As we were getting our things settled for the night, Ryan said, "I think we made it through the day without any major catastrophes. The Thanksgiving curse is broken!" As it was only 8:00, I warned him to not jinx us. He then went outside to the car to grab some of our things and I started to get Leah ready for bed. I asked Kate to grab me something and as she did, she slipped on the cover of the pack 'n play and, let's just say, lost a fight with the armoire. Her cry was blood curdling - Ryan heard it from outside. I scooped her up and there was blood everywhere. I ran to the bathroom to try and clean some of it up and figure out where it was coming from. I was cleaning it up as Ryan ran back into the room. When he asked what happened, I simply informed him the Thanksgiving curse was still alive and well. 

Luckily, she had only torn the upper labial frenulum (that little flap of skin connecting your upper lip to your gums). We cleaned it up pretty quickly and she had no major damage to her teeth or mouth. Just some bruising and swelling. She got plenty of extra attention from great grandpa in the morning (ice cream spooned right into her mouth!). 

We almost made it through unscathed. It seems whatever terror is lurking happens later and later in the day each year. So maybe by next year we'll be free. 

Despite Kate's torn up mouth, we felt grateful for so many things. We brought back our Thankful Tree with the girls throughout the month and had fun discussing all of the things with which we are blessed. 

And when we returned home, we had a belated Thanksgiving dinner with the Oakes family. Because if living away from family for nine years has taught us anything, it's that Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without...friends. And, you can never have too many leftovers. 

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