Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

This week we celebrated my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law asked me this week why it was my favorite holiday and the answer is simple, I love what Thanksgiving represents. I love that Thanksgiving is all about counting your blessings, it about family, it is about love, and it is the start of the holiday season and the magic that it brings.

Our Thanksgiving was small, just us, my parents, and Brendon and Rachel's family, but it was still great. This was the first Thanksgiving that Merrick seemed to understand the meaning behind what we were doing. Several times during dinner he spontaneously told everyone what he was thankful for and when he noticed I had not done so yet he asked "Mommy what are you thankful for?" Honestly, I have much to be thankful for and it is always nice to be able to vocally express gratitude.

Despite the calm, peaceful nature of our Thanksgiving, Jeremy and I decided to give up a small portion of it to battle the craziness at the Walmart Black Friday sale. We were really wanting to make the most of our limited Christmas budget this year and we decided Black Friday was the best way to do that.

Truly, it was not a bad experience. Walmart's sale started at 8pm so we left just after 6:30 and were there by 7. When the sale started we quickly grabbed most of the things we were hoping for, waited in the long checkout lines, and were home by 9pm. While it did take a bit of my favorite holiday, it did not take any of my sleep, and I would definitely do it again.

Thanksgiving may be over, but the holiday season is just beginning and I can't wait!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


This week was a big milestone week for our family. Friday was Jeremy's birthday and not just any birthday, but his thirtieth. We had talked quite a bit about it ahead of time and the one thing that I knew for sure was that he did not want a party (not that that should be a shock to anyone who knows Jeremy at all). In any case, I was faced with the challenge of how to make his big day special without a party. My brilliant, if I do say so myself, idea was to plan a day just for us doing all the things he loves to do.

I had to work in the morning so our first outing started at lunchtime at Miller's Homestead, Jeremy's favorite local breakfast place. The next stop on the Jeremy's Day of Fun tour was a go-cart track. We were there with some true die-hards that had memberships and record setting times so it was a little crazy, but Jeremy still had a blast and that was the whole point. After go-carting we headed home for presents, but much to Merrick's disappointment, no cake. I knew we would be eating a lot over the course of the day so I did not plan a cake and Merrick obsessed about it all day.

The present part of the day is kind of a funny story. Several weeks ago I had done a ton of research and found a skateboard I wanted to get Jeremy for his birthday. Despite his love for skateboarding he had not owned one since his mission, so I knew he would be very excited. Merrick went with me to get it and we had no sooner walked in the door than Merrick told Jeremy what we got him. I was devastated! I did not want to take the skateboard back, but I really wanted his present to be a surprise.

What transpired next was a series of events where I subtly convinced Jeremy that I had taken back the skateboard and bought him clothes (the present of death) instead. He really did need some new clothes, but in his mind clothes are NOT a present. In reality, I had kept the skateboard and bought him just enough clothes to make him think that was the only present he would be getting.

As he opened his presents I could see the look of disappointment and planning behind his eyes to take back the clothes and go get the skateboard back. After he had taken in the horror of all the new clothes, I told him Merrick had one more present and had Merrick bring in the skateboard. Once we knew he still had the skateboard he decided that the much needed clothes would be okay to keep as well.

After presents, the plan was dinner at an Italian restaurant and James Bond Skyfall at a really cool local theater. Unfortunately this was the low light of the day. Traffic was terrible and we ran out of time for our nice dinner. We ended up eating gross, knock-off Panda Express and still got less than ideal seats for the movie. Skyfall was really good though and once it started we kind of forgot about the problems of the the evening.

All in all it turned out to be a great day. I think Jeremy was surprised and felt loved and that was the whole point.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween 2012

This was a great Halloween all around! It was a preschool day and we had a little party. The kids wore their costumes, we made jack-o-lanterns, ate popcorn and watched "Spookley the Square Pumpkin". While the energy level was a little high, it was a really enjoyable day.

Halloween evening was just as enjoyable. Jeremy got home around 6pm, just as the cousins were arriving. We ate a quick dinner while the rest of the troops costumed up. In the end we had a pink haired witch, a glow man, a clown, a knight, a race car driver, a tiny tiger, and of course our handsome fireman. While we all headed out about the same time, we ended up with just the Brown's. Colvin wanted to take in the sites and take his time, Quincy wanted to run from house to house (because there was candy at stake), and Merrick was somewhere in between.

After about an hour the Brown's were ready to head home and Merrick, just like last year, was still roaring to go. We went to another 4 or 5 houses and decided that even if Merrick wanted to keep going, we were done. Even though he protested, part way home he said "I'm tired" and Jeremy ended up carrying him a bit.

At home Nana had warm pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate waiting for us. Perhaps the best part of the whole night is that from the time we stepped out the door to the time we reached the doorstep on our return, it did not rain.

Maybe it is because I am surrounded by preschoolers all day, everyday, but I have really been looking forward to Halloween this year and fortunately it lived up to the hype.