11/17-11/18: We met my dear in-laws at a resort outside of Bastrop for a spontaneous adventure since we wouldn't be spending Thanksgiving with them this year, although judging by our outfits, we could have planned this get together in advance.So the red family spent the day strolling the grounds and enjoying the many amenities, including a butterfly garden complete with spiky caterpillars.....which were judged to be slightly creepy. Although it rained the majority of the night, it made for a wonderful backdrop to roasting marshmallows, drinking hot chocolate and delighting in the reading of The Little Red Hen. The rest of the trip was spent talking, playing checkers, warming up by the fire and partaking in the decadent variety of food that somehow found its way into our room via room service.
11/19: I drug out all of our boxes of Christmas decorations, determined to have them put up before the arrival of my cousin that afternoon. Ha! Who was I kidding? The decorations remained scattered throughout the house until Wednesday night when I was forced to pick them up so we could do some long overdue vacuuming.
11/20: While my brother and grandparents made their trek into the Austin area, my mom, cousin, daughter and I headed off to Tyler for a presentation of my mom's books, Grace Falling Like Rain and Mercy's Face. The presentation was held at the church of my former youth minister which I had not seen since 1995. He and his wife graciously opened their home to us for the night, and we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reminiscing and catching up. It's funny how so many memories can be filed away until someone helps retrieve them.
11/21: We left our hosts without waking them to beat Thanksgiving traffic and meet up with the family waiting to greet us at our own houses. Once we arrived home, we ate and headed back out for some last minute Thanksgiving prep shopping while awaiting the arrival of the rest of the holiday brood. We topped the night off with some pizza and domino playing until 2:00 AM when the turkey was to be put into the oven.
11/22: Thanksgiving Day! Turkey, dressing, homemade biscuits, a cold front, and my Gangy's famous butterscotch stuff (as we call it). Need I say more? Yes. More domino playing, stuffing, goodbyes to part of the family, and keeping each other awake for a midnight madness sale at our local outlet mall. How do you keep a group of sleep deprived people awake? Stupid pictures, of course!
11/23: You heard me right, MIDNIGHT madness. I do think you have to be mad to participate in something like this, but my brother had to have 30% more off the jacket that was already marked down 66%. I can't complain, though. I happened to find a few good buys of my own and I crawled into bed a 2:00AM. After awaking, I said goodbye to the rest of the crew making their trip home by car, and went to the airport to bid farewell to my brother. And then....more shopping! I usually don't even venture out on Black Friday because I get really anxious and annoyed in large masses of determined shoppers, but for some reason my mom and I made our way into the frenzy. I have to say that I am almost a convert. In one day, I pretty much changed my whole wardrobe from "tired mom" to "New York sophisticated" with a minimal amount of money. Ok, maybe not that drastic, but I did find some great buys and treated myself to some early birthday gifts unbeknownst to my husband. (Thank you, Jonathan!)
So, there it is, my Thanksgiving week. Restful? Not quite. But there is not another group of people I'd rather be sleep deprived with than my relatives. I have so much to be thankful for, and my family tops the list! I am very blessed.