Thursday, December 4, 2014

So, That Time We Surprised My Family...

We weren't going to go. Obviously we'd just gotten back from our Charleston vacation. Our Spain trip is looming only 2 months away. And who needs a 34 hour (round trip) car ride anyhow?

There's no place like home, you know?! And we were home!


I miss my family when I can't be with them at Thanksgiving. I do all right on my own for Christmas and Easter and every other holiday. But, Thanksgiving has always been our holiday, and when we can't make it to Texas, it really stinks.

But, we were determined to do the responsible home schooler, roofing business owner thing, and stay home. Hit the books. Hit the roofs. Hit the proverbial wall.

My sister closed on their spec home and birthed a baby and moved within a 2 week period in September. I'd seen pictures of her baby and her home on FB, but my heart was aching to see them in real life. With my own two eyes.

So, I batted those two eyes at Mr. Hippie and asked him if we could pretty please do a whirlwind trip to TX over Thanksgiving. Of course he said yes.

We plotted with said sister from about the beginning of October on. Before the Charleston trip. Before our church campout. Before my birthday.

We decided to keep our coming a surprise. My sister and her husband knew. My youngest brother knew because we offered to take him with. (he is a few hours from us at college right now) A couple people at church knew. Oh, and my brother down the block knew.

But, not my other 4 sibs. Not our kids. Not my parents.

It was a feat, let me tell you. I even had a nightmare or two about it. How do you pull off a Thanksgiving dinner surprise, but have enough food and chairs and all that jazz?

The plan-until last Monday-was to leave early Tuesday morning and drive straight through. We'd be with my sister for 4 days, and then leave early Sunday morning and drive straight through home. Because of the back issues I've been having we decided to break the trip up both days, and so left on Monday and returned Monday. (my spine was cockeyed pretty bad. I had an hour glass figure on one side, and not an hour glass figure on the other side, and was kind of doing a perpetual side leaning walk)

Anyway, our kids got let in on the secret the Saturday before we left. It was the mechanic's fault. Frankly, I was amazed we kept them in the dark that long.

My sister and I schemed and decided that when she went to my parents' house on Wednesday to pick up tables and chairs for Thanksgiving dinner, we'd all go with her, and surprise my mom.

Surprise her, we did! I wish I would have had my camera. I could have done one of those huge check scenes. She opened her front door, and her eyes swept the kids, and you could see her getting it. Surprise. Shock. Awe. (well, probably not that) Panic. (where am I going to put these people? What am I going to feed them?) Relief. (they are staying someplace else...) It was awesome!

We spent the next four days laughing and talking, drinking and eating, watching movies and playing games, cooking and eating. I got to see my parents and my grandparents, and all my nieces and nephews who don't live down the block from me.

We even got crafty. I know. I am not crafty, but we found a Pinterest thing for burlap wreaths and each of us girls whipped one up. Not. We did a late Black Friday run t Michaels for supplies and started making the wreaths about 9:00 p.m. My sister said it was relaxing. Crafting is not my idea of relaxing. I am so intent on getting it just right that I get really tense. My mom, and each of us girls made our own wreaths. And, no, we didn't take a picture either making or proudly displaying. Why would we do that?

We also were going to make a photo booth, but never quite got around to it. Hmmm...

Meres came down with strep throat on Saturday. My sister's 3 babies all ended up with it on Sunday and Monday. Oh the joys of swapping germs at holiday get togethers! Currently Meres is on antibiotics and LC is gargling salt water and chugging lemon water to see if we can stave off any other strep out breaks. Happy Thanksgiving to all of us...

It was so worth the long drive. I love my family. I don't see them enough. They understand my quirks and my loud laugh and my sense of humor. They have the same quirks, laughs, and sense of humor. We don't make up the perfect family, but I am sure glad they are my family.

And when the van wheels are turning, taking me back to my home, (MY HOME) I am still wistful. Wishing that we lived closer. That every time I saw my family it wasn't an event. That it was a regular thing.


But, not wistful enough yet to move to Texas...