Monday, December 1, 2008

Whirlwind weekend

The last few days have been a whirlwind! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving day with my family and ate more than our fair share of turkey. In fact, we are still eating it! (Tonight it is morphing into this.) It's always crazy being at my mom's house with 6 kids under 7, with 7 adults as well. This year we threw in a foreign exchange student, too. It was a fun, loud, food-filled day!

Friday morning, my mom, sister-in-law (who is 7 months pregnant) and I were just a few of the crazy people out shopping early. I picked them up at 5am and we were on our way! We have done this together the last few years and it is always so much fun. We went to 6 different stores and stopped for some nourishment and we're still back by 11am. We actually had to stop shopping because the back of my mom's SUV was filled with gifts! We got some amazing deals and made some great memories.

Saturday was probably the highlight of the weekend for me. Growing up my grandpa and his wife used to take our entire family on a sleigh ride at Christmas. By whole family I mean, my grandpa's six kids and spouses and his 10 grandkids. Some of my favorite childhood memories of Christmas are riding around their small western NY town singing Christmas carols and laughing with my cousins.

As our Christmas present to my brothers' and their families, Cale and I arranged a horse drawn sleigh ride for everyone. We found a place that could accommodate all of us and we rode out through the snow filled woods on a beautiful, crisp afternoon. We also rented a small cabin on the property and each of our nieces and nephews got to "drive" the horses as we rode out on the sleigh to the cabin. We brought snacks and hot chocolate and warmed up at the cabin while singing some Christmas songs. It was wonderful and everything I hoped it would be. I think that we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. My seven year old niece gave me a note when we got home thanking us for the gift. She said it was "the awesomest thing I have ever done in my whole life!"

Here's our little family on the sleigh (not that you can tell where we are!). Yes, I look like a dork wearing my sunglasses with my hat, but it was bright out in the woods!

We ended our holiday weekend with a loooong drive home, but we had an important engagement last night: Haven's Christmas Program! More about that tomorrow!

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