Monday, December 14, 2015

Rych Fam: Thanskgiving+


The holidays go faster every year, don't they? They also seem to get more and more complicated. Right now, as I write this, there is both a bad head cold and a stomach bug traveling through my house. It's unseasonably warm here in Buffalo, so I sort of hoped we could avoid a lot of the holiday-time bugs, but no such luck.

I thought while I sit here, swimming in Sudafed lala land and downing apple cider vinegar to hopefully avoid the pukes myself, I'd rewind a few weeks and share our Thanksgiving with you. Ya know, since Christmas is already basically tomorrow.

So yes....last week of November. Celebrations started on Wednesday, with Henry's school party. Matt and I both attended the little program they put on each year and got to see him adorably belt out all of the Thanksgiving songs. Matt stayed for the party afterwards, and they all shared "friendship soup" and a snacky-feast. It was so cute, and Henry loved having his Dad at school with him.

His native headdress is doing something wild & crazy to his ears,
but he's still ridiculously adorable. ;)

Because of the nature of Black Friday sort of becoming a season rather than a day, shopping also started on Wednesday. I don't think that anyone reading this would be particularly judgey about my commercialism here, but mostly because I don't want you to think I'm ridiculous regardless, here's my defense. 

I don't really get to shop for fun - we almost never have "do whatever we want to with it" money, and even when I get to make purchases for myself, they have to be sort of calculated. I save up money that I earn myself all year long so that I can enjoy buying things for my husband and sons for Christmas, and despite saving for holiday shopping before I even finish shopping the previous year, I don't have a very big budget - I have to make the most of it. Which means that I stare at all the ads, and make a crazy game plan, and stalk websites for the best prices. 

The rumor this year was that most major stores would have their deals online at midnight on Wednesday. Matt and I stayed up late together, watching tv, so we could jump on the deals asap. At 12:15, when deals still weren't updated, I did some digging and realized that it was midnight pacific time. Oye. So I set an alarm for 2:50am and went to sleep. I tried again at 3am, and most websites had crashed. Fail #2. So I updated my alarm for 5am, and went back to sleep again.

I'll save you the details of my Walmart shopping frustrations before the sun even rose on Thanksgiving day, but just say simply that we tried placing our order 6 or 7 times and spent a combined 2 hours on the phone with them. And also that sleeping the way I did that night was worse than newborn sleep. I felt like a zombie.

By 9:30 or 10am, I had finished the most urgent of my shopping, and emerged from my zombie nest. I made turkey-shaped birds nests and sausage for everyone, and then got to work making my share of Thanksgiving dinner. I made stuffing, green bean casserole, squash, chocolate peanut butter pie, and cream cheese celery (the recipes for all you can find HERE).

Thansigiving Dinner

When we finally had everything together, we went to my mom's to finish up cooking. It felt like a chaotic evening - everyone was sort of eating when they felt like it, and no one really sat together (which was weird, we usually do). I hope we can get our act together next year, haha. The food was SO GOOD, though! I wish Thanksgiving happened once a week. The kids were watching Toy Story movies, and I basically went back and forth between taking pictures and looking at Black Friday ads.

The big boys slept at my mom's that night, and we took Jake home and went to bed right away. Because of my crazy sleep the night before and my 5am wake up time for in-store shopping on Friday, I'm pretty sure I was asleep by 9:30 that night.


My alarm went off on Black Friday, and I jumped out of bed. This morning is basically pre-Christmas to me.  When else can you be shopping in Target before your usual morning alarm goes off, sipping Starbucks you got with no line or wait, and an actual budget to have fun with? I know a lot of people hate the fact that stores release their deals so early now, but I love that Black Friday morning isn't busy these days. It was so quiet and peaceful out there, and since I got almost everything online the day before, nothing felt stressful. It was fun! My sister and I hit 5 stores before 9am! It was awesome. We even stopped to eat at Panera and made two more stops and made it home by 11. 

Which meant that Monday, heading back into reality, was tough. How do you jump right back into cleaning your house and feeding kids all day after the magic of Black Friday? ;)

But before Monday rolled around, we had Thanksgiving take 2 at my Dad's house. It wasn't exactly Thanksgiving, in that there was no turkey or stuffing or mashed potatoes, but it was AMAZING the way only Thanksgiving dinners are. He made a ham that I still think may have been the best one I've ever had! And of course, his famous pumpkin bread pudding (that I ate too much of, but it only happens once a year so it's okay in my book).

Also to note: our tradition (since Matt and I were first together in 2004) has always been to decorate for Christmas on Black Friday. It would be our big deal post-shopping. For a few years, we debated decorating a little early, and always decided not to because we'd miss the tradition. But this year? We did it early...a week early! We had plans that day that were cancelled, and to fill the time and have some fun, we decided to just do it. And it's been AWESOME! Having the whole house decorated after all of that fun holiday shopping was so nice, and not having to do all of that work on such little sleep on Black Friday was seriously THE BEST. So I'm thinking......pre-thanksgiving Christmas decorating may be the new tradition. Sorry, Scrooges. ;)

It was a really good week of happy celebrating, and it's been so nice getting into the Christmas spirit (even though the weather isn't helping us out much with that!) Until these germs hit us this weekend, we've been having a lot of fun, and really enjoying everything! Hopefully we can all recover this week. Next weekend we're planning a "Polar Express" ride around town to look at lights, Luke has a basketball game to attend with his cub scout den, and Sunday is COOKIE DAY! And then the final countdown begins (which is so fitting, because if you only knew how obsessed my kids are with that song.)

Okay, off to blow my nose and spray some Lysol. Hugs! (Only not really, don't want you to get sick.)

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