Several months ago I invited myself and my family to Melissa's house for Thanksgiving. They moved from Missouri to Arizona this year and it seemed like the perfect housewarming gift. :) I decided to make it a road trip (I'm pretty sure I didn't consult Brian on this) and spent the week before Thanksgiving getting ready. By "getting ready" I mean Bridget breaking her ankle, Brian getting deathly ill, and me trying to arrange car pools without forgetting about anyone. Also, making table squares for the Thanksgiving dinner table. Necessary.
We left for Arizona at 7:00 in the morning on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I wanted Bridget to see the Hoover Dam, so we took the Las Vegas route. This is what we saw of the Hoover Dam:
After that feast for the eyes, we saw nothing but a cement barrier. What a shame! We were on this bridge and we saw NOTHING.
Safety first and whatever, but that cement barrier ruined my road trip. Also, not taking the turn off for Phoenix and going to Flagstaff instead ruined stuff. The kids hit hour 11 in the car and kind of lost their minds. Before that they were content to take turns picking the movie and eating snacks. But! We finally made it to Gilbert and the COUSINS.
Bridget and Chloe disappeared immediately. This is what they were doing. :) My first thought when I saw this was, "That's a lot of pandas." Hahahahaha! No, my first thought was that we (I) made the right decision in coming.
Melissa didn't let me bring any food. "Stop trying to bring groceries to my house," were her exact words. For the turkey, she and Jeff participated in the scout fundraiser - which was taking your prepared turkey in an oven bag to a house where they have a giant pit on Wednesday, then picking up your turkey at 9:00 the next morning ready to eat. I was very into this idea before I ate the turkey. After I'd eaten the turkey, I had to know everything about this pit in someone's backyard. It was AMAZING. Emil only ate a roll and five helpings of turkey. (Emil also invited Lightening McQueen to sit at the grown-ups table.)
Yep - we're eating outside.
Brian made the gravy. It's a good idea to have someone who know how to make gravy at your Thanksgiving dinner party. (Although, Melissa's mashed potatoes were good enough to eat without any gravy.)
Emil is putting his first serving of turkey on his plate. (I think Chloe and Harrison are making sure Jeff doesn't try to sneak any sweet potato souffle on their plates. HA! More for me.)
After dinner I became single minded - I had to find a place to take a nap. So weird. I couldn't think about anything else! Too much turkey... The men watched football (not basketball...like chumps) and we ate pie later. It was the perfect Thanksgiving day. Thanks, Melissa!
We had late afternoon and evening plans the next day, but we had to fill some time before that. We went to a nearby park.
Oh yeah. Sorry, Bridget.
A thing about Melissa and Colin, they're besties now. Colin would hold her hand if we were walking anywhere. He kept telling me stuff about my "mom." I finally caught on that he was talking about Melissa. Hahaha! Since we've been home he has said things like, "I wub your mom!" and "Your mom likes soup, too!" Me: "You mean Aunt Melissa?" Colin: "Yeah!" Emil called Melissa my "friend" before and while we were there, but he calls her Melissa now.
We did let Bridget play after a while. :)
Chloe and Colin.
Miles and Emil - who will chicken out first?
At first Miles was hogging the ball and Melissa told him to pass it. "I'm practicing my dodging skills, Mom!" :)
Emil did not feel safe shooting the ball and this is what he looked like.
One of my biggest requests for our trip was that Melissa take our family photo. She took us to a beautiful park where all the other families were taking photos :) and managed to get our children to cooperate for a few pictures.
Brian and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary the very next day. That calls for a photo, I think.
That night we went to see the lights at the Mesa Temple. Such a different experience than Salt Lake Temple Square lights! They had orange and grapefruit trees and palm trees lit up (Emil called it the jungle when he saw the first palm trees on our way to Gilbert). We were in sweaters and light jackets. The crowd was pretty much the same, though. We lost and found each other a couple of times. It was so fun to see a different temple in the middle of all those lights.
Can you see Colin's ear?
Also unlike the lights at Salt Lake Temple Square, we went out for Hawaiian ice afterward at Bahama Buck's.
Cheeky. Emil loves the color yellow and he asked me to get him yellow ice. Banana is the yuckiest flavor in all the land, y'all.
We did lots of lazy stuff on Saturday. Melissa promised us lunch at a pizza place that has a fancy organ, which the kids were so excited to see.
But that place was closed, so we ate at Some Burros instead. Hahahahaha!
Little boys being lazy. Colin is about to throw that sock somewhere we'll never find it.
Brian, Jeff, and Harrison watched football, Chloe and Bridget did some damage with glitter (none of my photos of that worked - Melissa?), and the little boys watched weird cartoons on the computer while Melissa and I went shopping for our Arizona Christmas ornament. Fun! Then I waited and waited for BYU to finish playing football so that Brian and I could go out for our anniversary. We went to Joe's Farm Grill, which was delightful.
Sunday morning we got up and got ready to go home. It took a few tries to get all the kids to hold still in front of the house, but we got a porch shot. :)
I noticed in all of my photos that my kids are usually looking at me with the camera and Melissa's kids were looking at her. My boys look so adorable in this picture. :)
These two are always happy to pose for a photo. Ha!
Such cute friends.
I have a photo of Melissa and me that is totally out of focus. Sigh. Our ride home was nice and quiet. We had all the food we needed in the car and we only stopped for bathroom breaks and gas. Brian and I listened to books most of the time and the kids continued their movie marathon. We didn't take any wrong turns this time (we took the Flagstaff to Page to Kanab to Panguitch route on the way home). It was a success!!