So Ryan and I were able to take a lovely jaunt down to Orange County for Thanksgiving. We left the Friday before so we could get down to Cali in time to see Ryan's brother come home from his LDS mission in Kenya and Tanzania!
Needless to say, my mother-in-law was quite excited about having her son home after two years of him serving on the other side of the world. The whole family was excited. On the other hand, I didn't know what to think of the matter as I had never met the kid! So I was definitely anxious to meet my brother-in-law.
We all waited at the airport for him to come down the stairs... And he took FOREVER!!! My mother-in-law was so ready for him to be home. She would have thrown people down the stairs to get to him. But he finally came and there were screams and cheers as Elder Coles found his way into his loving mom's arms.Then it was time to go home and hear all about Africa from Evan. He brought home some really beautiful clothes, fabrics and sarongs (I'm sure he called them something different but I can't remember the name for them). He also brought home some Tanzanite! As a geology lover, this was so exciting to see as it is extremely rare and only found in Tanzania (hence the name...). Evan also brought all the girls in the family traditional dresses. They are really pretty! We all wore them to church proudly as he gave his homecoming talk the next morning.
Needless to say, it was a whirlwind couple of days with little sleep as everyone, especially Pam and my nephew, was so excited to have Evan home.
Then the wonderful excitement of Thanksgiving!
Pam and I had a wonderful adventure trying to find a turkey for Thanksgving dinner! Usually she has all the food bought much before but due to Evan's arrival the weekend before Thanksgiving, grocery shopping was put off in favor of making sure everything was perfect for her son to come home after 2 years. So we went to Costco late Tuesday night to go and find some Thanksgiving grub. We found most of our items... BUT NO TURKEY!! They were sold out. Our cashier even told us that one man had bought 20 turkeys! Insane. So, needless to say, we were just praying that enchiladas would not be the main course for the holiday dinner... Well, the next day we went and found a turkey. Thank goodness. It was hilarious though to see my nephew poke the turkey over and over in the cart and say, "That's one dead pig!"
We made a few things that night for the next day but mostly we were excited to set the big table up and make everything.
Thanksgiving was great. We had turkey, stuffing, sweet potaoes, green beans, creamed corn, rolls and more than I could intake. It was delicious! I made a really good dessert too! It was a pumpkin gingerbread trifle! Definitely a good one to have on the holidays. We had all the family there except David and Darcy who were with her family. But we had Nellie and her mom come as well as some grandparents! It was a beautiful family meal. As per usual, we laughed, we cried, we gave thanks and we ate to our hearts content.
It was a wonderful time to give thanks and share in love and togetherness.
I was sad to not see my family on Thanksgiving. It is to have family so spread out and far away. But Ryan and I were able to talk to my parents and brother and that helped ease the sadness.
Well, it was then on to the afternoon nap and Black Friday planning! Nellie and I had our eyes on Black Friday deals. The boys all had a plan to storm the Apple Stores and buy new iPhones. We strategized and at midnight, the plan went forward. However, the Apple Store didn't open til 8 am and H&M didn't open until 5 am. So we left Evan, Nellie and Pam at the mall to go to shopping and Ryan and I went home to bed. We were supposed to rise and shine at 4 but slept in til 6:30. I am so glad we did. The sales were lame. Ryan did get a new iPhone though and he is just giddy with joy. I bought a beautiful red cocktail dress and we were both very satisfied with our purchases.
Sadly then it was time to go home the next day. But our trip was definitely one to fondly remember. Full of sleepovers, dogs, and family.
I am so grateful for family and the Gospel in our lives. I am grateful for my husband and his love. We are truly blessed people are hope that we can share that same light with the world.
We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family!