The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The holidays are here!

Thanksgiving is the official kick off of my holiday season. I love this time of year when the holidays arrive.

And what a wonderful and long Thanksgiving weekend we had.

We kicked it off by heading over to GR bright and early Wednesday morning (the kids were going stir crazy with excitement, and the 3 hours between 7 am and 10 am were torture for them, Is it time to go yet? Is it time to go yet? Is it time to go YEEEET?)

We made it to GR by lunchtime (and without offing any of our annoying yet ohsoadorable offspring). We met Kevin's brother Don and Don's adorable daughter Hannah at Yesterdog for lunch. YUMMY! Honestly, you have not had a hotdog until you've had a Yesterdog. Even if you don't like hotdogs, you'll like Yesterdogs. My favorite is the Ultradog, but I should have ordered 3 instead of 2. MMMmmm....

Then we went to the jeweler where Kev bought my wedding ring to have some links removed from Kevin's early birthday present (a very nice watch that he would have NEVER bought for himself). While we were there, I asked if they could re-engrave my wedding ring with the year of our wedding. You see, when I failed to lose the Owen baby weight a few years ago, we took my ring to this jeweler's to have my ring made bigger (not one of my shining moments) and in doing so, they removed the year on the engraving so that it made it look as if Kev and I had been married forever. As I handed over the ring, I noticed the crusty nail polish on the side of it. Oh, and could you clean the ring up a bit, too? As I was leaving the store ring-less, I asked if they had a loaner ring I could use until my ring was done. Ha Ha Ha, like they had never heard that before. When we picked my ring up on Saturday it was oh so shiny and new looking. I'll ignore the fact that the engraving of the year is now a different script than the script of the month and date.
Wednesday night led us to our annual Thanksgiving eve get together with Kevin's highschool friends, Joe and Tricia (who just gave birth to their third baby 2 weeks prior and looked AMAZING), Matt and his lovely wife Paige, and Jason. We went to Bonefish Grill (where I had never been before). I highly recommend the Bang Bang shrimp - if you like a little kick, and the mussels (I'm not normally a mussels fan, but the sauce on these tasty treats was DELICIOUS!)
Following dinner, we met up with Kev's sister Amy and brother-in-law Rob for some bowling where neither Kev nor I broke 100. Shameful. I blame the lanes.

After bowling, I was just not ready to return to Kev's parents at midnight. That is just WAY too early to turn in on the biggest bar night of the year. So, I huffed and puffed until Kevin grudgingly stopped at a bar where I gladly karaoked as he sulked. Pearl Jam's Last Kiss and Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison.

My inlaws are the best Thanksgiving hosts ever. My mother-in-law insisted that they would prepare everything, and unlike my dear friend Kendrea who likes to cook and wants to help her mother-in-law with the feast, I am perfectly fine with not lifting a finger. The only finger lifting I did was to flip through all of the sale ads and plot my black Friday shopping strategy. Trust me, this takes hours. Some people watch football, I strategize my shopping.

My mother-in-law and father-in-law prepared the meal for more than 2 dozen people. We had that many people this year despite the fact that two of Kevin's brothers and their families were not with us (they were each celebrating the holiday with their wife's families). Below are 6 of the 12 grandkids, thoroughly enjoying their time together at Grandma and Grandpa's.
After dinner, I took Jordyn and Liam to see Enchanted along with Amy, Rob, Mitchell, Aidan, and Rob's mom. We had planned on going to see Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium , but Amy's family had already seen it. So, we settled on Enchanted. Going to see a movie on Thanksgiving has become a tradition. Last year it was Happy Feet. HATED it. So I was nervous that Enchanted would turn out to be a disappointment like Happy Feet was. OMG times ten, can I just say how much we all LOVE LOVE LOVED Enchanted?? It was such a fun, innocent, funny, wholesome, great great great movie. Another recommendation.

Well, black Friday, like every year, started at 3am. Jordyn and I were at Meijer by 3:30am and shopped there and at a number of other stores, including some online shopping, until 11 am. We got some GREAT deals. I tried to get Kev to come with us, but when the alarm went off, he was having NO part of it. This was Jordyn's second year playing Santa's helper with me on black Friday and she thoroughly enjoys this tradition. I am so blessed to have such a lovely daughter.

After lunch with Kev and the boys, Jordyn and I took a nap before my sister and my niece Bailey picked up Jordyn and me to go to Muskegon to see the Moscow Ballet's Nutcracker at the Fruenthal Center. On the way there, the car in front of us on the highway hit a deer sending guts flying and tufts of fur into our windshield. We pulled over to ensure everyone was OK (they were), gave the shaken-up driver our number in case she needed us as a witness for insurance purposes (her Jeep Cherokee's front bumper was completely ripped off), and then continued on our way to the theatre, saying a prayer of thanks that we were not part of the accident.

We had a nice enough dinner and then I fought to stay awake during the show. That's what power shopping since the crack of dawn and Christmas theater production watching all in one day will do to ya! The holidays have hardly arrived and I've already worn myself out!! Love it!

We rose to a wonderful breakfast a la donandcarol before loading the car, er packing the car, OK STUFFING the car with kids, clothes, & presents and heading home. When we arrived home, we were surprised to discover that the east side of the state got much more snow (to the kids' delight) than the west side of the state and they rushed right out to play in it.

I was anxious to get home because I always like to decorate the house for Christmas during the Thanksgiving weekend, and this year was no exception. However, this year's decorating process, itself, was exceptional because everyone, including Owen, was able to pitch in. I LOVE CHRISTMAS! And I love our tree. Every ornament has a story.

Don't tell me this long weekend is almost over and I have to head back to NJ Monday morning!! No! No! No! Getting up at 3am to go shopping on black Friday is fun, getting up at 3am on Monday morning to catch a 6am flight is NOT, and on Sundays I already start dreading the alarm clock waiting for me the next day. But, I put that in the back of my mind as I enjoyed my final day at home. We continued to decorate the house, inside and out. Then I took the kids (minus Liam) to my parents' house for lunch (and to get out of the house while Kev watched and screamed at the Bucs game). It was nice to hang with my parents since they had just returned from a 2 week vacation in Florida. That evening, Kev cooked a great dinner and we polished off a couple bottles of wine.

Mmm, home and the holidays. Nothing better than that.

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