Disclaimer: Ben was, of course, at Thanksgiving. I totally shirked my picture-taking duties because I was far too busy sitting on my ever-expanding butt stuffing myself with whatever was in reach, which included innumerable tiny chocolate Santas, homemade cookies, piping hot meatballs, shrimp the size of my fist-- you get the idea. At dinner, I was gobbling my mile-high plate (brought to me by my loving husband, so I didn't even have to try to lug myself into the kitchen and ooze along the counter-top buffet) with such gusto that I could not even stop to take a picture of Lucy winning the title of "Cutest First Thanksgiving Ever" by raking 2 kinds of potatoes into her mouth with both hands. So there are lots of pictures of me. Also lots of pictures of Jack, mostly because both of us were largely immobile for the whole weekend.
The lovely table before we demolished it. Demolishing clean, well appointed rooms was our holiday gift to all.
Lucy and Jack enjoying some pre-meal playtime with their grandma. I never got a picture of them all together, but Ben, Harry, and Jack all wore button-downs under Star Wars t-shirts.
Jack was exceptionally smiley, which totally pissed us off because at home, he is a screamy little mess. But he was really, really cute, which is a major relief because he was not the cutest baby around for a few months there. We took him to the pediatrician before we left town on Thursday because he hasn't been sleeping well, and he was pulling on his ears. We figured it was sure to be a double ear infection, but the doctor said he is getting 4 teeth an to take him home and stop wasting everyone's time because there are actually sick people, you know? (Okay, not the last part, but the toothy little guy is cutting 2 on top and 2 on the bottom).
Jack and Lucy
Lucy and Jack
This picture courtesy of Ben's long arms
Max when you say "Show me your big smile."
More pictures brought to you by Mr. Long Arms, who stood on his tiptoes in the doorway of the dining room and held his camera above his head. Almost as good as a blimp cam.
Harry tried valiantly to blow out the dinner candles
We tried to get a Christmas card worthy family photo
The next morning, Harry came downstairs and asked hopefully if Grandma had any popsicles. Boy did she! He ate them for breakfast (along with a banana, some cereal, and a scrambled egg).
On Black Friday, we loaded up the car again and drove to Des Moines to surprise my family, with whom we usually spend Thanksgiving. We are such conceited jerks that we decided to arrive unannounced and empty handed (except for the 4 million bags of crap we have to carry with us at all times to sustain our children) because we figured out presence was present enough. A-holes, aren't we??
Harry played dinos in the car-- the Daddy dino said goodbaye to the Mommy dino and went off to work to scare babies.
This baby was not scared. I wonder if Daddy dino got fired.
Everyone seemed really happy to see us-- or else they are excellent fakers. My aunt even dropped what she was doing and had an impromptu party, complete with pigs in blankets.
We took a ton of pictures of Jack while Harry drove Molly's old cars on the driveway and used some plastic golf clubs to stir grass soup in the basket of Molly's old bike.
Then Harry dragged out the old stick horse and unicorn and made us play cowboy
Impromptu party in full swing
I was trying super hard to cross both eyes instead of just old lazy
Jacob was so nice to Harry, and Harry called his cousin Jake his new buddy.
Finally, we took our cranky unscheduled messes back to the hotel, where crabby Harry was joyfully reunited with his old friend TV
Ben was stoked about these cabinets,
and Jack loved the bath.
Harry and Jack had a little mirror time, and then we stashed them both in the bedroom and drank wine and ate room service from Johnny's Italian Steakhouse with my parents, who were staying at the same hotel..
The next morning we hit the pool bright and early. Jack totally loved his first swimming experience, but I don't have a ton of pictures because nobody could obey my perfectly reasonable request to only shoot me from the shoulders up.
Harry relaxed post swim with more TV and half a dozn chocolate chip cookies from his grandma J.
Then we had breakfast at a restaurant that was full of empty and hastily abandoned tables. At first we worried that everyone had been Raptured up, but a sweet little Iowa family told us we had just missed breakfast with Santa-- apparently all the previous diners followed Santa to the mall, hence the masse exodus.
We really did have a lovely Thanksgiving weekend-- lots to be thankful for, and we loved seeing both families- definitely worth the giant, 750-mile circle we made through Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. And now we're snowed in our house. Lucky us, huh?