We were very fortunate to have two Thanksgiving celebrations this year. Thursday night, we had a small family gathering, where we conferenced in Brother and Missy. The wonder of technology, right? He was at work and she was at home packing and getting ready for the trip. I'm so glad that we were able to be there together this evening, but it wasn't complete without Zeni and my Pops. Yep, those crab legs were fantastic! That morning, Don and I had whipped out a 10K and fell in and out of awareness while watching football.
We got up super early on Friday for the Black Friday deals. (4:15AM) I really wanted to take advantage of the sales to stretch the donated dollars by my group for the Salvation Army Angel Tree kids. I loaded up on: 2 mp3 players, a car seat, case of diapers, 2 dresses, a pair of shoes, an all-weather jacket, a princess blanket, with matching pajamas, and plate. While out and about, I also found some really cool megablocks for Mari and a Little People farm set. The best deal of the day had to have been the the gun safe we've been eyeballing for a few years now. We've kept Don's rifles in a locked gunny sack, but always wanted a fire proof gun safe to keep them in. We splurged and got it! (By the way, did you know it is illegal to have a gun in the home that isn't locked up around kids less than 12 years of age?) We were very lucky to have people help us to save on the cost of delivery and set up. (Thanks Espi, Simon, and Stacy!) I also scored some nifty plastic shoe boxes at Home Depot and an awesome tool tote that I plan to store my ribbon. AAAAND...we got some fabulous poinsettas for 99 cents! Later on we'll be delivering some of them to neighbors to spread joy. We all took a break for breakfast. While there my mom entered a contest to win a gas grill. Well, turns out, we're a finalist for it. They called us and let us know that the live drawing will happen on Wednesday. Afterwards, I picked up some SASSY gifts that I won't reveal because the surprise is for one of my readers. However, I was less than impressed when my mom and I made an excursion to Chico's fashion. The lady who helped my mom was patient and kind. The woman who checked us out was...well, I don't want to say what she was, but rest assured, a letter is being composed to send to the store manager. Later on, we had a girls fun time getting pedicures. Mari was a hoot. She really enjoyed dipping her feet in the water and getting a baby massage.
On Saturday, we were all able to be together. It has been a long while since that happened, and it was really great. It was a little less formal of a gathering, and I can't believe how much food we had. The turkey was so delicious, as was the mac and cheese. (Thanks Brother) Sam was mixing up the perfect drinks for everyone and Zeni was being a gracious non-alcoholic drink server. She was on it, especially with the refills. I loved that everyone helped out to prepare our meal.
This time when we did our prayer of Thanksgiving circle, there were definitely more of us. When it came to my turn, I knew I was going to be incredibly emotional. This year has been a valley amongst our peaks and valleys, but I know I'm so very lucky that my valleys aren't canyons. I have a lot of love and support surrounding me and I'm so very, very blessed by generosity, love, and prayers. It's truly hard to think about the bad when you are surrounded by so much positivity. I'm ever so grateful for special people. And that includes you who are reading this. I swear I'm just putting my words out in the universe, only to be ready by spammers and you special few. Thanks for being a sounding board!
Full set of photos here: