A few weeks ago, our two favorites came to be with us for Thanksgiving! This time they didn't let me accompany Ryan to the gate to meet the kids because the airport was so busy. But that's ok... it spread out the anticipation just a little bit longer. As the minutes passed, I grew more and more excited to see them. We hadn't been together since July 16 of this year. Do I even need to tell you that I was wiping away tears of happiness as they walked toward me at the airport?
Nathan and Abby are so grown up. Seriously! In the car they chatted with us about school and sports and current events. They discussed the presidential election results and the most recent conflict in the Middle East. Really? These are my little kids? I love it! It was so delightful!
I love announcing it on Facebook when the kids arrive. All of our friends and family get so happy for us! This picture, taken at the airport right after their arrival, garnered 51 "likes." So much fun!
We had a pre-Thanksgiving party with Jonathan and Sarah the night before turkey day. Sarah made chicken pot pie and I made cheeseburger pie. We played Pandemic and some XBox games. The kids really love J & S. It was so good to all hang out again.
I got up early on Thanksgiving Day and made the caramel sticky rolls that my grandma and mom always made on special occasions when I was young. We ate them and watched the Macy's Parade. Yummo! Then I cooked all day long and in the evening, we hosted Dan & Stacey, the Bhagat family (Santosh, Vaishali, Yashvi, & their soon-to-arrive in utero baby), and Alan & Tammy for Thanksgiving.
Ryan and Nathan put up the Christmas tree for me on Friday afternoon. It's a lot of work and I was tired from my day of cooking, so I'm pretty thankful that they did it for me. In the evening, we Traxed-it downtown and ate dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. We've eaten Ethiopian food a few times in Washington, DC, when visiting Uncle Norm & family (pictures here) and we were excited to find a new Ethiopian place here in Utah. It's kind a family tradition! Ethiopian food is so delicious and it's fun to eat it out of the basket in the middle of the table.
Our original plan was to go see the Christmas lights after dinner... but it was pretty darn cold that night. That, and Nathan left the house without a coat and we didn't notice until we were on Trax. (Teenagers! And why didn't we notice till it was too late?!) We decided to head back home and watch movies, instead. Hey, guess what? I actually liked Plan B better! I love cuddling with the kiddos on the couch. Don't listen to what they say... they still totally cuddle.
We drove to Aunt Tammy's house (Ryan's sister) on Saturday to visit family. Nathan and Abby always love seeing all of their cousins. It's total chaos - and I mean that in a most excellent way! All of Tammy's kids were in town for the holiday and it was great to see everyone. The picture above is all the redheads present that day - Tammy, Stacey, Melodee (Joey's baby in Stacey's arms), Nicole, Aubrie, Abby, and Ryan. It's amazing that neither of Ryan's parents were redheads, yet 5 of their 9 kids are, and a number of grandkids are, too.
We took the kids to church in our West Jordan LDS ward on Sunday. As you know, Ryan and I aren't practicing Mormons these days; however, we never mind taking the kids. It's nice to sit as a family and sing hymns. The people in the ward are always friendly when we do attend. Ryan and I really want Nathan and Abby to get to know people in our neighborhood, and this would be a good way for them to do it. I think the kids are finally accepting the idea that we're not going to drive them 30 minutes away to their old neighborhood where they lived for only a year. This is their neighborhood (and has been since 2008) and we want them to know the people here.
We celebrated Christmas a little early and opened some Christmas presents on Sunday evening. We ate spaghetti for dinner and leftover pumpkin pie for dessert. It's definitely not the same as being together on Christmas morning, but we had to make due. I hope the kids liked their stuff!
Monday morning came too quickly. They flew back at lunchtime and now we won't see them again until the summer. What a great visit... but man, we HATE having them so far away! I really hope the time flies until we see them again. I love Nathan and Abby so very much. Obviously Ryan does, too.
I've been considering whether or not to write about this next part or not... but I have decided to make it public. I was pretty sick the entire time the kids were here. I did my best to hide it. We hardly ever see Nathan and Abby and I didn't want to trouble them further with my health problems.
They probably just thought I was lying down and napping a lot, but it turns out I was having a miscarriage. This came as a surprise to both Ryan and me. We have reached the point in our fertility journey where, though we are not preventing, we are no longer "trying." But the trouble started about 30 days earlier and continued on into Thanksgiving, which is when things got really bad. A visit to the doctor confirmed it.
I have been really, really sad about it. I kept it to myself and didn't say anything to anyone other than Ryan. But this week I finally told my mom (and talking to Mom always helps!) and Ryan mentioned it to Abby, and I guess that made me feel a lot better. It's never easier to carry a burden alone. I'm really thankful for friends and family for their love and support.
So sorry to end a cheerful blog on a more somber note, but that's life, I guess. I'll take the good and the bad.
Happy Thanksgiving, my dear friends of the blog!