I figured since we are only 11 days from Christmas and 4 weeks from the wedding, now was a good time to post about our Thanksgiving in Minnesota before the pictures got lost in the dust. Given that we will most likely always be living away from one set of family (or maybe both) Brandon and I decided earlier this year that we'd like to get on a schedule that allows us to spend Thanksgiving with one side of the family and Christmas with the other. While we know this might become more difficult as our family grows, or depending on where we live, we thought it would be a good place to start!
So the day before Thanksgiving we both worked a 1/2 day and set off for the 11-ish hour drive to Minnesota. The drive ended up being more like 13 hours thanks to 3 pretty nasty accidents, but we pulled into Brandon's parents driveway right around midnight.
Thanksgiving day was so relaxing. Unfortunately Brandon's sister and her family weren't able to join us, but his Grandma and aunt did. Being my first Thanksgiving ever away from my immediate family, I was a little nervous about how I would feel....thankfully I have been blessed with a wonderful man and in-laws and I quickly realized how Minnesota and my Minnesotan family have become my second home.
Neither Brandon or I have ever participated in black Friday shopping. Neither of us are big shoppers, but I do love a good deal. About 7:30 p.m. I was online and noticed that Target had a great deal on a camera. We've talked recently about wanting to have something other than our phones to take pictures on as we start our married life, but hadn't made any movement to purchase one yet. After some quick research we realized it was a great deal and thought we could order the camera online (and thus avoid actually participate in any Christmas-day shopping)....but after a few minutes of trying, we realized if we wanted to actually get the deal, we needed to go to the store - which at that point opened in 15 minutes. Since there is literally a Target in my in-laws neighborhood we relented and jumped in the car to head over. It was craziness! A line literally wrapped around the store and when the doors opened it was maddness! We got the camera, but decided shopping on Thanksgiving wasn't something we'd probably participate in in the future. To calm his guilt, Brandon made sure to check with several employees and make sure they'd had Thanksgiving dinner and were getting overtime :)
Friday was a day full of visiting friends. Our first stop was to see Brooke, Josiah, and Jonah. Josiah is a friend of ours who has been fighting an incredible battle with cancer for the last 10 years. Most recently graft vs. host disease has been raging his body. Thankfully he was doing a little better when we saw them and only a week later we heard that he got the report that his cancer had shrunk 40%! Praise God! While we were there Jonah, our ring bearer, modeled his wedding clothes for us (minus the Christmas plaid bow tie!).
After a quick stop at the new Chic-fil-et (which we might have visited multiple times during our 3-day stay...) we headed over to our friends Jess and Rob to meet their new blessing Henry! Henry is an absolute doll, and at 9 lb. 11 oz. doesn't exactly feel like a newborn! It was great to spend some time catching up with some of our closest friends.
On Saturday we spent time with Brandon's parents, went to church, and had a little family Christmas celebration. Sunday morning we were up bright and early and headed back to Michigan with a car stuffed with presents, wedding supplies, and Brandon's collection of childhood baseball cards that he found in his parent's attic...
Every year at some holiday my sister-in-law Allison tells me the spray whipped cream smells funny and asks me what I think. Every year I fall for it and end up with a face full of whipped cream. NOT THIS YEAR! She was back in MI so I carried on the tradition with Brandon!
My in-laws blessed me with this manger scene as a late birthday present. I was ecstatic! Then Brandon accidentally broke the shepherd's hand....and I started laughing. While he stared at me looking horrified I explained that my grandparents have given my mom a nativity scene when she got married - and the poor wisemen seemed to loose hands every year. I told him that it wouldn't really feel like Christmas if someone in the manger didn't have a hand superglued on!
Brandon held Henry for about 30 seconds, and then graciously gave him back to me for the next 4 hours! This man knows I love my baby time!