lah di dah... just trying to figure out exactly where to start...hmmm... Okay, I suppose I shall begin with the obvious: Thanksgiving.
The kids and I met Mom, Dad, and Ninny at Shawn's restaurant on Wednesday afternoon, whereupon we began the Holiday Heiffer Hoedown by gorging ourselves on yummy-to-the-tummy BBQ. We saw nary a bit of Shawn (turkeys selling, etc, etc..), but the kids had fun and we ate well, so what's a little loss in the "Shawn's Time" department? (Hint: this was NOT what Amy was saying at the time, but I digress...) So then it was over the river and through the woods...
Can I please just say how deeply I feel connected to this part of the world? Everyone has their own little "God's Country", and this, without a doubt, is mine. The Texas Hill Country is fantastic, amazing, splendid, awe-inspiring, and on and on and on. If you've never had the chance to drive 71 west or 1431 in the fall, my God, Man, you are missing out. Sorry, just having a little "Julie Andrews on the Mount" moment. I'll just be getting back to my story now...
So we arrive at the lakehouse, the kids are thrilled and Ryan immediately runs to "her room" to begin the ransacking and pillaging. Dad is going to meet some friends at the bar, and invites me to tag along, which I do, only to find myself in the midst of "Whoaa, Tom -- did you trade Cindy in for a new one??" Ha ha. That's my mother you're talking about replacing, and I'm his daughter you sick-o. Jeez, amy, grab a beer why dontcha?? ;)
Anyway, we get home, wait for Shawn to arrive, feast on fried fish (personally caught and fried by Big Daddy) and re-heated crispy-topped creamy spinach. After several drinks, Jenn and I treat the family to a rousing game of karaoke, to which Ryan responds by screaming "STOP THE MUSIC!!!!" Ah, yes, it's good to be home. That's pretty much where the evening ends (at least, as far as I can remember).
We awake on Thankgiving morning surrounded by Cinnabon Rolls and newspaper ads, coffee, mimosas, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Is there really any other way to begin this holiday?? Ryan, to my surprise, hates the seemingly endless Broadway show "reviews" that have now become a little annoying on the parade route, and will only come in from drawing on the sidewalk to see Dora, SpongeBob, or THE PRINCESSES.
As the morning wanes, Mom and I begin our preparation of the Thanksgiving feast. Hee Hee. This is where the real fun begins. Mom is trying out the Oyster Dressing recipe this year, because Honey is not here, and let's be honest, she's not really up to the whole cooking/walking/holding anything longer than 5 sec's thing right now. So anyway, Mom was very nervous (although she'll probably deny it) since Honey leaves her some pretty big shoes to fill; The woman is a cajun-cooking legend. So while Mom is carefully slaving over the rue, I am trying to make the Sweet Potato Struedle, as well as the 2 desserts that have been requested: Pumpkin Crisp and 4-layer Pumkpin cake. So Mom and I are being busy little bees, humming along as we cook and lose ourselves in the Mimosas (I'm telling you -- we are just a few ounces of Moral Conscience away from being drunkards at holiday time), when Dad comes in to get started on the Turkey, which he will (as usual) be deep-frying Cajun-style. Mom excuses herself to primp for lunch, when Dad discovers the fatal error she has committed: In her effort to leave the Marble Falls HEB in one piece and under 3 hrs, she apparently grabbed a pre-stuffed Butterball. For those not "in the know", a stuffed turkey is not really conducive to deep-frying. Needless to say, Dad erupts with some flavorful words, not typically heard at Thanksgiving (unless you are a Cowboys fan, so...yeah, it wasn't all that unusual). Luckily, he realizes that he can un-stuff the turkey prior to frying, which he does, and all is well...for the time being.
Then Lea Ann calls (not able to be at home this year, she had opted for the next most obvious location: Vegas, Baby). This of course, leads to tears, tears, and more tears (did I mention Mom and I had been drinking all morning?), although after about 5 minutes, we were fine. ;) We spent the remainder of the mid-morning cooking, playing with Ryan, playing with Jax, and -- you guessed it -- drinking Mimosas. Really, it's become quite the tradition.
So 2 pm arrives, and we all gather 'round the table, when Big Daddy quickly breaks the prayer circle and leaps over to the oven, which is smoking. The Big Dope put rolls in to bake still in the paper packaging. Hee hee hoo hoo! Nothin' like the holidays with the Roberts! The best part of the meal, though, turned out to be quite a warm, touching moment for the fam. See, a few years ago, Lea Ann was attacked by a bee at Thanksgiving dinner, which we all thought was just hilarious, naturally. So this year, right as we are about to sit down, someone comments "Wonder who will get stung this year...(or something like that). " Anyway, a few minutes later, lo and behold, a nasty little bee joins the festivities. This, I'm sure, seems ridiculous to most of you, but I swear, it almost moved me to tears, until, well, we killed it, and then it was just back to eating.
All of you know what comes next, I'm sure: napping and football. Mom, Jen, Ry and I all retreat to the bedroom to cuddle in the Posturepedic, while Big Daddy, Shawn and Jax settle into their recliners to watch the game. Time passes, when suddenly the girls and I are awakened by the sound of -- wait, could it be?? Yes! That sounds like..Jaxson. In his walker. In the bedroom. With the door closed. Hmmm... Magic Baby? I think not. More like lazy father and grandfather smell a poopy diaper and don't want to do anything about it, so they wheel the sucker in to us. Yep. That's definitely what it was. The worst part about this little scheme? The joy and laughter that erupts from them when we all come out of the room looking shell-shocked and very suspicious -- truly, they laughed about it until Friday morning when Shawn left for work. It's a sad sad life they lead, folks.
Long short (ha.ha ha.), we ended the night watching CSI (for the love of God, please make Nick shave that horrible Village People/porn-star mustache), a great way to end a great holiday, one of our best thus far (except for the whole missing Lea Ann thing, but, you know...) :) Lots of pics from the weekend on flickr -- cheers!