To coin the phrase of
* I didn't realize my mom was the one who came up with this "holiday". ;)
Plus, we told my parents we were coming down on Thursday and surprised them by showing up at their house on Tuesday afternoon. For me, I think that that was nearly the best part of the trip. Hubby kept asking me on the way down, "Are you sure you don't want to call them? Let them know we're here or that we're coming?"
You would think he would trust me after being my parents daughter for 31 years.
I think I know them.
They are not going to mad or upset or put out.
My Mom was in tears and jumping up and down when she came into the house when she got home from work. And my Dad, well, he's my Dad. Peanut and I were standing in the family room when he walked in. As he walked in and saw us, he stopped and asked, "How did you get here?" (In his defense, it was dark outside when he got home and Hubby parked our car in a place my Dad couldn't see it if he wasn't looking for it.) All that to say, my Dad was very excited too.
I was able to catch up and have coffee with several of my friends--for some much needed Mommy time--and Peanut had lots and lots of GrandpaGrandma time.
Hubs and I even had a date night. We were given movie tickets for Christmas two years ago that we were finally were able to use (the tickets were only good at a certain chain of theaters and of course they don't have that theater here). We saw The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and loved it. The movie was wonderful. I cried. Even during one of the trailers. I know. I am such a sap--but it was about moms, okay?
We were also able to stop and visit with Hubby's grandma on her birthday. It's Peanut's only Great Grandma who is still living, so we were so thankful for the time that we shared with her as well.
And Peanut got see her cousins! And her auntie and uncle of course. It was extra special this time, as we got to meet this little guy for the first time
It was so funny too, because we had been telling Peanut that she was going to meet Baby R and then when we got there, he was sleeping. We still introduced her and she patted him gently (as I reminded her several times) and then went to play with her older cousins. We were there for several hours before he woke up and I think Peanut thought, "Hey, that's what he does. He sleeps." Because she was soooo excited when he finally started to stir and then when he opened his eyes and started moving and looking around--Peanut was beside herself with excitement. It was pretty priceless.
She loved playing with her older cousins too...
and even though most of the 4grandkidspictures looked like this,
we were able to snag a couple of good ones.
And remember that slime I mentioned earlier this week? I'd say it was definitely a hit for our nieces.
Bless my sister-in-law's heart. And her tablecloth.
When we weren't traveling to and fro we spent lots of time with my parents. We went to Costco with my Mom the morning after we got there. My mom kept adding items to the cart and then as Hubby was helping load the items onto the belt at the checkout, he said to me, "Gosh, you come home and your mom slaughters the fatted calf." At least my Mom thought it was funny.
My sister and brother-in-law came over several times during the week and Peanut immediately asked Auntie, "Pewter?" Translation: "Where is your iPad, Auntie?" That was over six weeks ago, but the Peanut certainly hadn't forgotten! We had lots and lots of fun with them as we were able to share dinner with them several times and we even got to play a game of Apples to Apples. Such fun!
My Mom had also planned a big dinner with all of her family, so we were able to spend some time with them as well. My Mom (and my Dad's wallet) outdid themselves, as they always do. We had crab cakes (real crab--not that fake stuff) with a spicy chipotle tarter sauce as an appetizer (can you say yum?) prime rib and ham for dinner and Eskimo Fudge Delights for dessert.
There was nothing light about them. But they were darn good. (My Mom, the Hostess with the Mostess.)
As good as the spread was, the company was even better.
And my Mom even decorated for Christmas.
Let me back up though. From my late teens to the time I moved out when I was 23, I was the one who decorated my parents house for Christmas. My Mom likes Christmas (which is evident from her 15, count 'em 15, 55 gallon storage bins of Christmas decor) but she's not so much into all time it takes to do it all. So she just hasn't decorated much these last several years. But in October, when we told her that we were coming for a week in December, the gloves were off. I told she had to at least put up a tree. And decorate it. (She did purchase a new pre-lit artificial tree several years ago before Christmas and she set it up--that was the extent of her decorating that year--thus, she was required to decorate the tree as well this year).
But have I ever mentioned my Mom doesn't do anything half way? Well, she doesn't. As my auntie put it, "She puts Martha Stewart to shame."
No offense, Martha. She's just that good.
And my family spoiled our little Peanut that night. And she thanked everyone by conducting each and every one of us in singing medleys of Away in the Manger/Jingle Bells/Take Me Out to the Ballgame/The Itsy Bitsy Spider/Jesus Loves Me.
There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
From all the laughing.
If someone wasn't singing, the little Taskmaster would point to that person and say their name loudly and admonish them into singing. I don't know where she gets it.
I really don't.
And we had "Christmas morning" with my Mom and Dad. Peanut was
As I sit here typing this at 12:30 in the morning, I am sad it couldn't have lasted longer. My Dad sent me an email after we got home and said this last week was "one of the best weeks of family time since we used to go camping." And it was such.a.great.week. But as I have to remind myself, Christmas isn't about me. It's about Him.
And all this other stuff? It's icing on the cake.
And that's some pretty good icing.