We did it...we managed to visit our entire immediately family, on both sides, or have them visit us over the past four days.
We started out with a trip to Rochester to visit my side of the family. We got there late Wednesday night, so we basically just unpacked once we arrived. We visited for a short while but then everyone hit the bed. I didn't sleep very well, at all, for some reason. Maybe it was the anticipation of spending the next two days (Thurs/Fri) with everyone! We awoke Thursday morning and, for the better part of the morning, let the kids play while the adults chit chatted. And, of course, we made a "paper run" for the local newspaper containing all of the Black Friday ads!! In the early afternoon hours we had a wonderful traditional Thanksgiving meal prepared by my mom -- turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, warm buns, pie, etc. After eating some of us helped mom clean up the kitchen while others started combing through the Black Friday ads for the biggest and best deals of the day. Late that afternoon my husband and I took our niece to see "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," a movie we had all been waiting to see and just couldn't find the time to do it...what better time then over the holiday? Plenty of babysitters, a fun way to spend time together, and a great way to sit back and relax after such a great meal!
Then, Friday arrived. The Friday. Black Friday. My husband and I had both decided that we were boycotting the whole "shop at 8 p.m." gig. This pretty much summerizes our thoughts on the whole Black Friday creeping into our Thursday holiday...
In fact, we really didn't find any "must have" deals in any of the ads...so we slept in until 6:00 a.m. and then hit the road. We shopped until around 3:00 a.m. then, after not finding much at all, my husband said "lets cut our losses and call this thing D.O.A." We did and returned to my brothers house to visit some more with family before finally leaving later in the afternoon.
Upon arriving home we unpacked and settled into bed early, as my husband's side of the family was set to arrive on Saturday. As it turns out, no one showed up until around 4:00 p.m. (which actually worked out just fine) as my husband's brother and his wife were signing on their soon-to-be-built home. They had a meeting with their builder at 12:00 p.m. and got done later than expected. But it all worked out, everyone arrived at our place after the signing and we were able to enjoy a nice relaxing evening together. We had more turkey, stuffing, etc. and there were a few Bakers Square Pies to boot! (YUM!) Grandma G. and all of the kids were in bed by 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. while the rest of us adults stayed up chatting and playing card and board games. The last of us hit the bed around 2:00 a.m., while comes really early when the kids still get up around 7:30 a.m!
Sunday morning we had a big breakfast, visited some more, and watched the Vikings game. As it turns out, it was an all-around bad weekend for football. First our beloved local football team lost the Prep Bowl (first time they had made it to state finals since 1999...and the fourth time not bringing home the title), and then the Vikings played and got whooped. The kids were starting to get cranky, as the extended weekend and late nights appeared to be catching up with them -- we all parted ways around 4:00 p.m., after discussing our upcoming plans for the Christmas holiday! It is amazing how quickly time passes.
"Fiesty Girl" sumed it all up when we were putting her to bed for the night. She started crying and said "I just wish we could all have just one more stay-at-home day." We told her that we couldn't agree more and that it is ALWAYS wonderful to see our families but, unfortunately, when tomorrow comes it is going to bring with it a return to school (for the kiddos) and a return to work (for the adults). And, with that, we await the Christmas season so that we can see everyone once again!