A post about Thanksgiving...
When I was a child, and would go away somewhere fun--like Girl Scout camp for instance--upon arriving home, my momma would say to me "Tell me all about it!! So first you got there..." And I would tell her all the fun things I did on my journey...starting from the very beginning.
And so that is how I will tell you about our trip to Dallas for Thanksgiving 2010.
This was the first Thanksgiving without Jeanie...Earl's momma...Grandma. Oh how she was missed. I kept waiting for her to walk into the room...
So...First...we got there...
We flew out early Thursday, Thanksgiving day.
Once again, I will say...flying is the only way to go! The flight to Dallas is only 1 hour and 25 minutes. The drive? Around 10-12 hours depending on bathroom/eating/"stophittingyourbrother" breaks. I'll take the plane any day. And this year we even had to pay for Sam (he's over 2 now), even that did not deter me.
Grace waiting patiently in Sam's car seat...with a sleepy sort of early morning smile.
When we arrived, we went straight to Luby's for Thanksgiving lunch. It was painfully clear that someone was missing...there was even, accidentally, an extra empty chair at our table. Earl and I later decided that Jeanie was there...we just couldn't see her.
Grace and Taylor (Earl's brother's oldest child) were thrilled to finally see each other again! And I was the only one chose turkey! Everyone else opted for chicken fried steak. So un-American. The dessert, however, was the best part. Have you ever seen the selection of desserts at Luby's? No? Well, that is something you must see/select/eat at some point in your life. It is outta control.
I had chocolate mousse pie in memory of Jeanie. Then I had some of Sam's dessert. And maybe my father-in-law got an extra dessert, and I maybe helped him eat that. I can't say for sure...
Grace and Taylor and a very large piece of pie.
Then we went the the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. Oh yes...you read that correctly...your eyes do not deceive you. We went to THE Cowboys game ON Thanksgiving day...
Do you know that I was raised by a trumpet player? My brain is not wired to understand sports. At. all. You can try to explain it to me, you can draw me a diagram, I will even attempt to play the game...I am simply unable to understand it. I am also terribly anxious in large crowds. And this place was the definition of "large crowd"...98,000 people there. Most of them drunk. All of them very loud.
I took my knitting...and I stayed very zen thankyouverymuch.
All the "boys" in the family (baby Austin is 9 months old...he is sleeping in the stroller)
The girls...being silly...and excited! And just look....LOOK!...at how huge-mongous that stadium behind them is!!!! Tom (my father-in-law) said that something like 1 billion, 4 million dollars was spent on building it. So that is this: $1,400,000,000. And we're in a "recession"....
Earl and a very cold little boy.
The whole crew. Waiting at the gate to get in!
And then we got in. Well, the ladies got in. They had women go through a separate security line because we had to be patted down and I guess they didn't think it was appropriate for a man to pat down a woman....whatever. The point here is that the women's line went faster than the men's line...go figure. And so Marcie (my sis-in-law) and I made it through before the boys did...and we had the children. Naturally. We had to get creative with entertainment while we waited. So I pulled out the camera and had them strike some poses. This next series of pictures is the result of that. Grace really stepped up to the challenge.
Oh. my. Have I mentioned that my daughter is a total diva? Yeh...she is.
And then we entered the massive complex and rode four escalators to our seats. 4. Four. Quatro. Really...no joke.
The girls. At their first ever Cowboy game.
Earl and his brother. And baby Austin. Out of the stroller!
Paw-paw Tom arranged all of this. He was so excited. When the boys were little, Earl and his brother, Billy, they would go to the Thanksgiving Dallas Cowboy game every year. So as soon as we arrived, Tom went to the pro-shop, and got the girls decked out in official Cowboys gear...shirts and flags and big foam fingers. There was NO mistaking who we were cheering for. He even got me a Cowboys hoodie...but there are no pictures of me...I am always the one behind the camera. 'Cause I'm the mom.
Ummm...yah...She never stopped posing...
Right...I really don't know what to do with this child half the time...so I just take pictures. And that foam finger? She held that up everytime the crowd cheered. Didn't matter if it was for the Cowboys or the Saints. She held that finger high. Her daddy was so proud.
Taylor is 8...almost 9. She is a bit more reserved :)
Baby brother took the chaos in stride. Like he always does. Calm. Collected. Cool. That's our Sam.
And then...during the second half...he fell asleep. Saints fan's screaming. Foam fingers flying. Music blaring. Didn't matter. He. was. out. He slept for a good 30 minutes. People would look at him, then look at me in disbelief and say "Is he asleep?" Yes...yes he is.
It was a rousing game. From what I can understand :) And much fun was had by all. We were there from 12pm to 7:30pm.
The girls were beat.
This was their "status" 10 minutes after settling into the car.
So the next day...after some serious sleep and a good breakfast complete with homemade gravy, we went to visit Tom's brother Robert and his family. I blogged about his wife, Derelyne, last week sometime. She gave me hot coffee and peanut brittle. I will forever love her. And she offered to take a picture of all of us. So I crawled out from behind the camera and this photo was snapped.
Did you see Sam? Great...just. great.
We also celebrated an early Christmas while we were there. Baby Austin had lots of help unwrapping his present. This is his first Christmas, so I guess he had to have someone show him the ropes.
Sam got Buzz Lightyear and Woody figurines. He loves them. Sleeps with them every night.
Grace got an Easy Bake Oven. Cooking with a 100 watt light bulb. Brilliant idea....
Taylor really wants to learn to play the piano so she got a keyboard. We also got her a knitting kit...she wanted to learn to knit like me. I was more than thrilled to pass down the "art" to someone. And she picked it up quickly. I was so proud!
We're winding down the photos now...I think there is something like 28 photos in this post. That has to be a record. Don't worry...only a few more.
Sam thought baby Austin's walker was really fun. He never had a walker. I guess he's reliving his baby-hood. And Austin thought it was hilarious when Sam climbed in there all by himself!
Okay...last photo. I'm wrapping this up. We flew home early Sunday morning. Read: we had to get up at 3:30am. But...we were back at our house by 9am. Bonus.
Here is sleepy Sam waiting...waiting...waiting.
So we did it. We got through the first Thanksgiving without Jeanie. I can't really explain to you what it was like not having her there. I guess it was just...well...empty.
Lots of memories are being made and she's not there...memories without her. I think that's the hardest part.
We talked about her a lot. Laughed. Told stories. Remembered.
There is much to be thankful for.
So there you go..."First...we got there..."