Wow. We had one whirlwind of a long holiday weekend. Although we weren't technically traveling this year, we only spent one day at home. Midway through the weekend, we all found ourselves a little exhausted. Everyone seemed to have a grumpy moment (or two or three), & I realized we had overextended ourselves (again). Daddy put his arms around me & said, "at least we're overextending ourselves with wonderful things." He was right. In the midst of overtiredness, we chose to be thankful for our busy itinerary & enjoy these precious moments with family & friends.
While we typically celebrate Thanksgiving with Daddy's family, this year Uncle Jared joined us too. He came to visit us on Monday & we were excited to celebrate his birthday with him. By Wednesday night, we were all in the middle of Christmas crafting & house decorating. We always wait until after Thanksgiving to start decorating for Christmas (Daddy has strict rules), but with our schedule being what it was, we started early this year. I didn't sit down that night until well after you went to bed, but it made me smile to see Christmas lights twinkle in our house again.
We woke up on Thanksgiving morning excited about watching the parade together. I had stuffed mushrooms to prepare, & you updated me on what was happening with the parade until I could join you (you love the Broadway musical performances). I am so thankful to have a parade watching buddy & enjoyed every moment snuggled in with you as we watched the floats go by & listened to the music.
While we couldn't be in North Carolina with my family, I'm so thankful we got to see & chat with them all via skype. We took a quick Bixby family photo before heading to Daddy's Aunt's house for our holiday gathering. Including children, there were more than 30 of us. Conversations were buzzing throughout the house while yummy food smells filled the kitchen. You had a blast playing with your little cousins. As we stood around the buffet table full of food, holding hands to say grace, I was so incredibly thankful to enjoy that tradition with our big, amazing Rhode Island family. Our day had been filled with music & food & laughter. I was so thankful to be surrounded by family & love & happiness. It was such an amazing holiday.
Friday morning, we joined Grandma & Papa for brunch at T's Restaurant to celebrate Papa's birthday. You were hungry & tired & cranky, but playing a game of telephone kept a smile on your face as we waited for our food. We had fun celebrating Papa together.
Next, we went to Shartner Farms to cut down our Christmas tree. This was the fastest we've ever picked out & cut down our tree, & I was thankful for that because we were all feeling tired at that point. We brought the tree home, & Daddy put the lights on the tree while Jared worked on the lights outside. We had planned to put ornaments on the tree, but after multiple cranky outbursts, you put yourself down for a nap.
We woke you up, loaded into the car, & headed to Worcester to have dinner with some of my family. When we arrived, we were so surprised to see how many people were there. A room was filled with my aunts & uncles & cousins that we hadn't seen in a long time. We ate & talked & laughed. You decided you were a bunny & "burrowed" yourself under the table. At that point, Daddy & I were happy that you weren't screaming or crying & let you enjoy the night half under the table & half being our very own photographer. We got home late that night & carried your sleeping little body from the car & into your bed.
We woke up early the next morning. We would be hosting Thanksmas Swap that evening. There was cooking & cleaning & more decorating to be done. You were happy to help. You decorated the back doors & chalkboard wall. You & I hung the ornaments on the tree while Daddy baked the turkey. You were so excited when our guests started to arrive. This year's group was smaller than most years, but I think smaller is exactly what we needed. We're so thankful for the support & love of our friends, & it was so nice to enjoy time spent with them this holiday season.
On Sunday morning I think we all could have laid in bed all day, but we all had adventures ahead of us. We said goodbye to the last of our guests. You, Jared, & I headed to Patriots Place, & Daddy left for a concert. We had two goals. We were going to meet Santa, & we wanted to show Jared around Gillette Stadium where the Patriots play. They were actually taking pictures with Santa on the field. How freaking cool is that?! Except that when we got there, the line was wrapped around the stadium. I guessed it was a multiple hour line & there was no way we were going to stand in it. We wanted to enjoy our time at Patriots Place, not spend the whole day standing in line. We headed to Bass Pro Shop instead, & they immediately handed us a card to come back at 5:30pm...almost four hours later. Whomp Whomp.
At least we wouldn't have to wait in line for four hours. We changed you out of your dress clothes & took Jared to the Patriots Museum. I love that museum. It's so interactive & fun. You & Jared kicked field goals, pretended to be linemen, jumped as high as you could, & stood in a Patriots huddle (where you hugged Tom Brady tight...you are so your father's daughter). It was an awesome afternoon.
We had a blast, but you were all over the place. Your "listening ears" were pretty much non existant. You were running every which way except for the direction I told you to. We went to grab some dinner, but I worried you wouldn't make it to 5:30 for your meeting with Santa. Luckily, Bass Pro shop was running ahead, & we only had to wait in line very briefly. You had a tiny tantrum in line. I couldn't really blame you. It had been a long, long holiday weekend. We were all a little exhausted. Luckily, you pulled yourself together in time to meet Santa. You & he had a nice chat. I got a nice photo. Everyone was happy.
I listened to the Patriots game on the radio while you fell asleep on the way home. Daddy had been right. It was a truly wonderful overextended weekend. It was spent with family & friends & food & a little bit of adventure. I was exhausted, but I wouldn't have traded any of those moments for a few more hours of sleep. Plus after a marathon of holiday celebrating, we have very little planned for this upcoming week (other than the typical work & school). I plan to do a whole lot of relaxing, listening to Christmas music, enjoying Christmas lights, & snuggling an adorable almost five year old who will never be almost five ever again.
I love you so,