My sister and her family usually meets us there - the cottage is almost half-way between our cities. Since they just had a baby this year and didn't want to travel too much, they didn't have plans to come home for Thanksgiving, so we decided to make our own pre-Thanksgiving during our weekend there.
On Friday, I was packing like crazy in the morning, knowing I had volunteer duty in Luke's school library before lunch. My time there went quickly (I really enjoy working in his library!), and my shift ended about 20 minutes before dismissal. Matt was at home watching Henry & Jake while working at the same time, so my options were to come home and pick up the little guys and then go right back to pick Luke up, or sign him out early. It made a lot more sense to have him leave early, considering all we had to fit in that afternoon, but I was SO NERVOUS! I almost didn't do it. Isn't that silly? He's my kid, but I didn't want them to frown on me for ending his school day for frivolous reasons. He had a sub that day, so that solidified my decision to do it. He was SO EXCITED! He had a huge grin on his face as he raced down the hallway to where I was waiting. His happiness made it 1,000% worth it.
At home, I finished the packing, and when my mom arrived (she always joins us for this trip), I packed the car. I wanted us to be able to pull out of the driveway minutes after Matt finished working, so I tried to do absolutely everything while my mom entertained the kids. My hard work paid off, and before long we were on our way!
It was dark when we got to the lake, but early enough to have a fire and spend some time together before bed. We did some coloring and watched a movie together while having some snacks, and then got everyone ready for bed. The older boys had a sleep over with my mom in one room, and Jake had one with us in ours. Total bummer, too - for the first time in his life, he slept in his crib all night long the night before we went to the lake. I assume because of the unfamiliar surroundings, I couldn't get him to sleep on his own Friday night, and he spent the entire night in bed with us. Figures, right?
In the morning, the boys played with some of the board games they had there (they LOVE board games, and despite not knowing what they were doing, they just did their own thing with all of the new options vs what they have at home.) Matt did some school work during this time, which sounds lame for vacation, but it's really admirable how dedicated he is. His dedication is really paying off - he should be done SO SOON! Maybe even by the end of this weekend! An hour or so later, we were all dressed and headed out the door to grab some breakfast and do a little shopping at our favorite bulk food store in Penn Yan.
Shortly after we returned to the cottage, my sister and her family arrived. I was in the middle of making our apple pie for dessert, and had a burst of inspiration. My Grandpa is known for creating creepy faces in the crust of his pie because they bake up all weird and gross - he has an interesting artistic humor (you should see his sketchbook!) I decided I wanted to make a face on our pie, but I went with a not-at-all creepy cat. I posted it on my Grandma's Facebook so she could show him and my Grandpa told me to knock it off...haha!
The rest of the day was filled with trying to get kids to nap and cooking. It was an all-day affair putting that dinner together. Which is usually the case with Thanksgiving! We came up with a yummy, traditional spread - I was in heaven! It was all SO good, and I LOVE Thanksgiving food! I think Jake liked it the most out of all of the kids :)
That night, we had coffee and dessert, and wound down pretty early. Henry actually passed out while leaning on my mom, and we had to set up the couch bed and carefully change him into pj pants while he snored away.
The next morning, we woke up to my brother in law making sausage and pancakes. We also woke up to a MASSIVE mess in the kitchen. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner is no clean feat, and while we put away leftovers and cleaned up most of the clutter the night before - including running the dishwasher - there were a ton of dishes to do and things to wipe down. We were also racing the clock, trying to get on the road early enough to make it back for the Bills game, so we spent almost all morning cleaning and packing.
Just before we left, I was nursing Jake and realized that I barely sat down or had much of a vacation vibe the whole weekend. It was nice to get away and sort of reset from the chaos of our daily life lately, but I spent so much time cooking and preparing and cleaning for our pre-Thanksgiving that I didn't get to sit around and cozy up to the fire very much. I didn't get as much reading in as I would have liked. I didn't have moments of just sitting around to take in the view of the lake as it nears winter. My vacation had the same rushed tone as the rest of my life has had lately.
So next year? We're getting take out pizza and bringing paper plates, and going out for breakfast. And maybe going for an extra day. Yep, that sounds good to me.