Monday, December 14, 2009

Thanksgiving and the Brown Family Christmas Party

Thanksgiving was a little different for our family this year.  For the first time in our 8 years together, we were going to Nevada to spend the holiday with my family.  The only time we could arrange for our family Christmas party was that weekend.  Well, Jay's boss didn't get the memo about that I guess, and Jay got scheduled to be on call that weekend.  He tried to trade, but it was not to be.  I didn't want to miss both Thanksgiving and our Christmas party, so I left my poor husband by himself for the weekend.  It was kind of a funny sad coincidence, but Jay, his dad, and his grandpa were all lonely bachelors for the weekend.  All of their women went home alone for the holidays.  So Jay got to spend lots of quality time with his dad, and his mom took good care of him on Thanksgiving. :)  I was REALLY sad to leave him, but felt like it was the right thing to do.  So the trip started out a little bumpy.  Tuesday morning, I went to get an oil change and found out that I needed two new tires.  Well, I only had two hours till we were supposed to be hitting the road, so I raced to a tire place to get them replaced.  They were pulling off the tire and one of the bolts was tightened too tight.  They said they would have to sheer it off to be able to get the tire off.  I was totally upset for a second, as I imagined myself spending my day at a mechanic shop instead of on the road to Vegas.  But he assured me that it would be safe to drive it without that bolt for the trip.
So I headed over to pick up Laura, Dalton and my kids.  I got there to discover that dalton had come down with the stomach flu and had thrown up multiple times already.  (This is a funny thing...  Almost every time we plan a big family trip with everyone there, Someone is sick.  Then the whole party gets sick while we're there.  We've had everything from stomach flu, to colds to a strange form of pink eye pass around the family at these times.)  We all go down there and mom finds room in the house for all of us somehow...  (We have a VERY large family :)  And I guess its because we are all so close together, it passes all around :).  By some miracle, my kids and I escaped this time.  We had a similar flu a month or so ago, so maybe we were immune.  But I was grateful, because it was awful even in my own house, I can't imagine dealing with it away from home.  Unfortunately, most everyone else had it at some point in the weekend.
Okay, back on track.  We loaded up all of the kids and stuff along with several zip lock bags for Dalton and headed on our way.  It was a long trip for poor Dalton, but we finally got there and had time to visit a little while before bed.
The next morning was Thanksgiving and it was such a busy day!  We spent the morning doing last minute shopping and preparing our feast. Then after eating it I took a nap for two hours so I would be ready for my midnight shopping excursion.  I don't know what I was doing all evening, but all I know is I didn't even have time to read all of the ads by the time midnight came.  so I piled them in the van and my sister and I headed to Osh Kosh.  I got some great deals and left there feeling so awesome!!  It was a good thing too, because I didn't have nearly as good an experience at Walmart.  For the last few years, my sisters and I have made it a tradition to meet at the walmart, gather up our price matches and then divide our group up to stand by the door busters we want most.  Then we slowly work our way through the crowd, gathering littler things like jammies, and clothes.  I don't usually even go to any other stores I love it!!  I love the crowds, I love the good will.  Most of the people I have been around are nice and we all work together to get the things we want.  I was excited to go to Vegas, because in the past their sales were less crowded.... NOT THE SAME THIS YEAR.  I don't know if we just chose the wrong walmart or if the crumbling vegas economy has made people a little crazy.  But after 5 o' clock rolled around there was NO good will and NO fun for me :(.  I was basically stranded with my cart and thankfully Candice, Jana and Rachel gathered up a few things for me.  Also, they had very little stock of the little jammies and other things that the utah walmarts seem to have a ton of .  (In fact, my walmart still had some when I went there a week later)  It was CRAZY.  Too many people, no room to move and then little still there of what I was looking for.  Not to mention a plethora of people rudely saying EXCUSE ME!  As if it was my choice to be stuck behind the huge mass of people in front of me.  I tried to get onto one of the main hallways so I could possibly move and people were just as certain I was not getting in front of them!!  So after 20 carts went by pressing to make sure I couldn't squeeze in, I gave up and tried to wind back through the clothes to get to the front.  The clothes racks were so close together that I had to move several just to get my cart through.  Finally, Candice and I got to the front.  I located Jana to get the rest of my stuff and tried to push that cart through and got yelled at again because unfortunately I had the nerve to crowd someone while I was trying to squeeze through a narrow opening between two clothes racks.  (I guess people don't expect to get crowded when they go to a store with a MILLION other people there.)  So I manually unloaded the cart and piled it next to my other cart and slid it along the floor till I got to the register.  Needless to say, I was HAPPY when I finally got the heck out of there!!  I did buy a bunch of stuff, and I was excited to get a good deal, but I just left feeling tired and stressed out.  I normally leave feeling euphoric!  I don't mind the crowds because they are all smiling and it seems like everyone is happy and nice.  And combined with the fun of getting a good deal and giddyness that comes with staying up all night, it is a favorite experience for me.  But if it was like this year every year, I would not do it!!!  No deal is worth dealing with all of that meanness!!  Next year I am going back to my favorite UT walmart!
We went to 2 Kmarts Kohl's and Costco and then we were done for the day.  Thank heaven they were better than Walmart.  Thanks to my brothers for watching the kids for all of that time!!  The rest of friday was kind of a blur and I can't remember all that we did.  Saturday, I planned to take Meg with me to lunch with Laura and her friend.  Laura caught the flu and cancelled, so Jess, Meg and I went to lunch at Olive Garden instead.  We had a lot of fun!  Then we did a little shopping and came home.  Then I went out AGAIN and for one more thing.  The afternoon and into the evening was spent making gourmet caramel apples.  It was fun!  But I think it did contribute to us starting the Christmas party late :).  It seemed like nothing was going right with that either, but eventually we got it all wrapped and were ready to join everyone in the living room.  It's our tradition to each open a pair of "Christmas Eve" jammies.  We also rotate assigned siblings to give gifts to as well as a "stocking stuffer" for each couple and sometimes the kids too.  The kids played with their new toys and ate candy for a while.  All except for Ethan; he slept through the whole thing.  Then, we changed into our jammies and went into the tv room to watch the present we gave mom.  That was the highlight of the evening.  We Rachel made a dvd with tons of photos from her life.  We all had lots of laughs and a few tears as we reminisced over the wonderful memories of the past and remembered those who have passed on.  It was the perfect end to a fun trip.  Sunday we just packed up as quickly as we could and headed home.

These first pics are some I took while experimenting with my early Christmas present hehehehe!

I was trying a portrait function on the camera. I guess it isn't good for close ups :). It does four really bright blinks before taking the picture. Soren had to protect his eyes!

Brown Family Christmas Party!


Ben and Taryn said...

Oh it was such fun...kind of sort of parts of it. No really it was nice having everyone together, but I think the kids missed wild Uncle Jay :) I love that picture of Soren with his hands over his face...too funny!

Candice said...

That was quite the trip! I like how you said "my Laura" at the beginning (even if it was a typo!)

Tara said...

It was a typo :) Sorry, I'm going to change it, I am too OCD to leave it.