Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A little lack of sleep, lots of food, and a full heart

Last Tuesday at 2AM we peeled our eyes open, showered, hopped in the car and headed on a road trip.  The excitement was so strong that within about an hour I had drifted back to sleep as Dave drove the car south for our 17 1/2 hour trip to Dallas Texas. I am not a morning person so sleep was the best place for me to be.

We passed this brand of truck many times and I snapped a pic because it's my dad's name.  As excited as I was to be with my family in the south I would be missing my extended family back here at home.

The weather was good the first part of the drive and the only downer was that I was fighting a migraine.  I ended up sicker than usual and I'm sure the lack of sleep and stressing over leaving my job at the holiday were the cause of it.  Bless Dave's heart for being so great and driving the entire trip without a single complaint.  He's always so good to me when I'm battling head pain.

We hit some rain along the way, but still made good time stopping only to get gas and take the much needed restroom breaks.

We had hoped to stop in Wagoner, Oklahoma to see our friends Susan and Mickey, but I was just so sick.  Bless Leigh Ann's heart for letting Susan know we would not be stopping on the way down.  I had to laugh how I connected with a friend in Pennsylvania to let a friend in Oklahoma know that we would not be stopping.  Crazy?  Maybe so, but it worked.  (Thanks again Leigh Ann)

We did snap a picture of the Wagoner water tower just to prove we were really there and also of the MacD's were we met Susan and Mickey two years ago on our quick stop while heading to Texas.  See Susan, I really was thinking about you.

We arrived at the kids around 7:30ish PM on Tuesday night.  Beto, Lindsey, and Jenna were waiting for us and ready to serve us up some hot homemade soups which were so yummy after eating on the road.  The next day Alfred and Alicia flew in from Chicago.  I almost couldn't contain myself that the whole family was together after three years.  I didn't want to drive everyone crazy so I tried to just keep my enthusiasm to myself.

Later that day after much wardrobe deliberations by the girls we headed to a gorgeous spot to do some family photos.  Our last family picture was taken at Alfred and Alicia's wedding over 3 years ago.

Lindsey and Beto set us up and got everyone in order.  I had my little point and shoot along just to capture a few candids.  The good photos are yet to be seen.  Lindsey's working on that right now.  I wanted separate pictures of the kids as couples and of Jenna.  I haven't had a new photo of her in some time. She likes to change her look so my current ones don't really look like her.

Beto has found a love for Dave's medium format camera that he used for many years.  It shoots film and Beto has been having fun with it.  Film, it's a thing of the past, but a new thing for our kids.  It's like listening to albums on Beto's turn table.  Huh, I thought those things were antiques?  Yet our kids love the record player.  Go figure.

These two have been married for over six years and are still crazy in love. 

Alicia took over the digital to photograph Linds and Beto while Dave got his hands back on his film camera and snapped a few shots.  I loved watching them in action.  Notice the color on the trees.  Michigan has only bare branches at this point waiting for snow to cover them.  Oklahoma was beautiful and spots in Texas as well.

The whole gang.
FINALLY, me and my girls, Alicia, Lindsey, and Jenna.  Yes, this was my greatest blessing and I'm so thankful for each one of them and how very different they all are from each other.
David and his oldest daughter, Lindsey Joy.  The two photographers being photographed by none other than me.
We moved from that location just down the road to the lake.  It was beautiful.  I never knew there was a lake close to where the kids live.  What a great sunset.
David and his daughters.

 My girls, youngest to oldest.  Jenna is not really that much taller, she just had on high heeled boots.  My girls are all quite tall, but pretty even in their heights.

After photos we headed to dinner.  The place we wanted to go to was closed so we went next door to Tillman's.  We had been there before, but not Alfred and Alicia.  The meal was great and the dessert consisted of making your own smores at the table with all homemade ingredients.  Such fun!

A couple of nights Jenna stayed overnight rather than driving all the way to her place.  Thanksgiving morning was a busy time of preparing food.  Jen and Alf got the job of snipping the beans.  Trust me whatever you do with Alfred is an experience.  He is crazy funny and always kept us laughing.  Yeah, he looks all innocent here, but I rather doubt he was that intent on those beans.
Alicia was busy making homemade biscuits in the kitchen.  My family has a tradition of eating biscuits and gravy and it's now a tradition for my girls as well.
Beto and Lindsey getting ready to carve the bird.
Someone in the family LOVES her mashed potatoes.  We had red skinned potatoes this year and I think someone ate them all.  Did you Alicia?  Actually she had her own plate due to an allergy and couldn't eat them prepare the way everyone else's were made.

Dinner was outstanding.  My girls did all the cooking and I was the head cleaner-upper.  That worked pretty well in my book.
Beto's dad joined us as well since his wife was not able to be there.  We snapped the picture before he arrived.
We really enjoyed our time with the kids.  I could have taken tons of photos, but I think these were enough.  The kids spent some time playing Settlers of Catan.  We did a tiny bit of shopping including Black Friday morning for Alf and Alicia.  The rest of the time was just hanging out and having fun together.

Saturday morning we all went out to breakfast before we hit the road for home.  Lindsey came down with tonsillitis on Thanksgiving night and was a real trooper despite a fever and sore throat.  She headed to the doctor right after we left.
One last photo snapped at the restaurant, Alicia and Alfred.  I snapped a few more, but Lindsey was just not feeling well and Alfred was misbehaving on all the rest.
I was not happy to be leaving my family behind.  Actually this is my, "Your mother is getting frustrated with you" look, but Alfred didn't really seem to even notice, LOL.  It was all good fun.

Our long trip to Texas was over all too fast.  Three full days together was far better than spending the holiday without any of our kids.  Although I felt a ton of stress leaving my job during the holiday time my husband knew that getting me to Texas was the only way to have a happy wife.  He was right!  Some things in life cannot be done over.  A holiday with the entire family just never works for us since we all live apart from one another.  This Thanksgiving will be one to hang on to.  We, as a family, never really know when will be the next time we see each other.

I look forward to Christmas in hopes of having the kids all home for at least a few days.  Nothing is quite set in stone yet other than Jen has her plane ticket bought.  I will just try to relax and let it come as it may.

I hope you all had a blessed holiday whether you were with loads of family or none.  I've learned over the years that being together is best, but it's not always doable.  I'm thankful that God in His goodness allowed the plans to be carried out and memories to be made to cherish for years to come.


Susan said...

"I had to laugh how I connected with a friend in PA to let a friend in OK know that we would not be stopping. Crazy? Maybe so, but it worked."

Oh not crazy at all to any true, died in the wool bloggers!!! What a joy and excitement our blogging friendships have been and will continue to be. Love you!!

The pictures and the fun you showed an shared are wonderful. Yes, precious moments to be treasured in all of your hearts.

Be eager to see Lindsey's photos.

Julie said...

Saw your link on FB and came over to read...Ooh my..I now feel what you feel. Only had my one still living with us at home - for Thanksgiving. now 1000 miles away from two and further from the Marine...ouch...first time hurts...don't know what will come of Christmas, but we will sure try to make it work...specially since the Marine is getting ready to deploy in Feb or Mar. wow this is gonna take getting used to... thanks for sharing THREE YEARS...oh my gosh...hugs to you Ginger. xo

Mari said...

What a wonderful trip! I love the pictures of everyone and that sunset was gorgeous! I can't wait to see Lindseys work.
I'm so happy that you were able to be together for the holiday.

~Karen~ said...

I'm with you on everything except the cleaning up part. I'd rather cook and let the others clean up after me! Ha!
Seriously, you look so happy and I'm sorry you had to deal with a migraine, and that Lindsey had tonsillitis, too. Still, you all were together and it just don't get no better than that. (said with my southern drawl. ;op)
Hope Christmas turns out just as fun for you.

Momma Roar said...

Happy to help! :)

So glad to see some pictures of your Thanksgiving...and to know your heart is full again! :D

Connie said...

What a whirlwind of fun and enjoyment you all experienced. Your "thankfl" list must go on forever.

Karenkool said...

Oh I loved this post and the pictures are wonderful.

Hey we have biscuits and gravy for breakfast on Thanksgiving too. hee.

Your angry look is my fav. :-)

Mary@notbefore7 said...

LOVE the pics of the people taking pics. LOL! The family of photographers. Love that family time - what a blessing.