As many of you know, I am NOT a morning person. So you can imagine my joy when Pete says the Thanksgiving train is pulling out at 5:30AM the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. “But Pete, that’s so early! And I have to put on makeup because you know Nickie is going to want to take pictures.” “Well get up in time to make it happen.” When the alarm screamed at me, I dragged myself out of bed, slapped on a face, and off we went. It’s only fair to note that I slept the first 5 hours of the journey, only waking for bathroom breaks, breakfast, and because Pete was shoving his fingers in my mouth as it hung open while I slept.
But before I could even get comfortable for my roadtrip nap I hear, “Mom, did we get Miss Cindy’s cookies? If not, we have to turn around.” “Yes, son, we have the cookies.” “Oh good, can you pass me some?” “But it’s only 5:30!” “I know. Let’s call them breakfast cookies. Now pass them back.” These cookies ya’ll. They are the kind of cookies that make men fall in love with women who can bake. They are the kind of cookies that make skinny girls fat, and cause wrestlers not to make weight. Yeah…They’re that good. I must note that these cookies did not even make it to the Georgia state line. The boys were licking crumbs out of the container by the time we hit South Carolina.
We roll into Savannah around 2:30 that afternoon. I am greeted by tiny people throwing their little bodies at me with arms wide open, and my brother in law kindly offering to make a pot of coffee. After 17 trips back and forth to the car, we are unloaded. While sipping on my coffee my dad sheepishly tells me that we need to go to the grocery store to get a few things. My brother in law, Chris says, “But I just opened a fresh beer! And I thought we went yesterday so we didn’t have to go with Miss High Maintenance!” “Yeah, that was the plan, but I forgot the stinkin sweet potatoes, and you know how much she wants them.” Ummm….excuse me! I’m standing right here! I can hear you! We ended up at Publix. I DID end up asking for about 7 things other than sweet potatoes, but it was FINE! It’s really not that hard to go to the grocery store with me. I swear!
We arrive home, and Chris immediately starts making a giant pot of spaghetti. “Oh crap. The noodles are boiling, but I’m not sure if we have any spaghetti sauce. How do you feel about plain noodles and meat?” Miraculously he digs up two tiny containers of spaghetti sauce, and we throw down like it’s our last supper.
My sister strolls in around 10PM. Here is the tricky part about Thanksgiving. My sister works retail, so we only see her in little snatches of time. You know, like when she walks to her bed, when she walks to her car, and during Thanksgiving dinner. Other than that, the girl works, and then works some more. I honestly don’t know how she is able to stand after Thanksgiving week, much less function. I hug her neck when she comes in, and then we all stumble off to bed.
Now bedtime was a little comical. Nickie and Chris have a big family. Six kids total. This makes sleeping arrangements a little interesting. Pete and I were placed on a futon. Guys, I haven’t been on a futon since college, and I forgot about the slope when they open up! We lay down on that thing, and we both are hanging on the the edge for fear of rolling into the middle. We love each other, but we like a little space when we sleep. I whisper, “Hey Pete? Are you awake?” “Yeah, I’m busy holding on so I don’t roll to the middle and get yelled at. Let’s pull the mattress on to the floor.” Chris was quick to remind me the next morning about the time they slept at our house on an air mattress and woke up to it being deflated. It’s the price you pay to be with family!
I stumble into the kitchen Thursday morning, and my dad immediately hands me a cup of coffee. “It’s time to go to work. Nickie’s kids are getting picked up by their dad at 1. So drink up, and let’s cook.” I groan a little. Still not a morning person! I walk toward the guest bathroom, determined to wake up and start this day. I’m a little confused. The bathroom has a door, but no handle. Chris must have seen the confusion on my face. “It’s ok. Go on in. You can shove a towel in the hole if you want, but I promise we won’t look! Kids broke the handle off when they were hanging on it. I’m not replacing it until they are teenagers!” While I WAS a little freaked out by the bathroom peep hole, I did find the whole scenario rather comical. “You know Logan is only 7, right?” “Yup!” Oh, and did I mention the kids broke the handle off the kitchen sink too?! “Just pull the screw up. We’re gonna fix that once they’re all teenagers too.” LOL….I had forgotten how much mischief little people could get into. But these little ones are so cute, I sometimes have a hard time believing they could possibly be bad!
Once we got past learning how to operate the rigged doorknob, having coffee, and finding my morning brain, I began to make the sweet potato casserole. Chris says to me, “I don’t know why you make that stuff. Sweet potatoes are gross.” “Shhh! The children will hear you, and my kids love this stuff!” My nephew comes in, “Aunt Katie, can I help you make whatever you are making?” This might quite possibly be the highlight of my trip. It took a little begging because Chris had said no kids in the kitchen while we were cooking, but after a few minutes Mr. Adorable is perched on a stool pouring in vanilla, brown sugar and marshmallows.” “Yummmmm….Aunt Katie these are really good!” Take that Chris! The boy loves them!!!!
We gobbled up all the Thanksgiving goodies, and then if was time to load the tiny people into their dad’s car. Everyone should be proud, despite my strongest desires, I didn’t say anything tacky or hateful. And trust me….there was plenty of material to work with! I seriously was just typing examples but I could just hear my sister’s disgusted “shame on you” phone call. So I’m keeping my mouth shut!
Lunch is done. Dirtbag has the children. Now it’s time for telling my sister bye as she heads off to work, taking naps, and getting geared up for shopping. It’s the one day of the year that even my boys offer to go shopping. We hit the outlets HARD, and we usually end up finishing our Christmas shopping. And every year we say it’s insanity, and that we won’t do it again. And weeks before the next Thanksgiving we get giddy about the craziness, and make our plans to do it again. My brother in law is the instigator. It’s all his fault!
There are some highlights to shopping though. For instance, Austin gets super silly, and offers to model anything you ask him to. And Jackson’s pockets seem a little deeper, and he actually asks me what he should get people for Christmas. Then we sneak away and buy Double Doozy cookies from the American Cookie Company. (This is probably one reason poor Jackson has spent the last 4 days running in sweats trying to cut weight for tomorrow’s wrestling tournament! Oops!)
We rounded the trip out with a death defying ride home courtesy of Jackson. 3 hours of Jackson driving, and controlling the music. We walked the line with Johnny Cash, went way down yonder on the Chatahoochee and sang along to Alabama as we crossed the state line. I’m not even sure where my child heard all those old songs, but they were his jam as we cruised down the highway.
I am tired, about 2 pounds heavier, and glad to have another Thanksgiving down in the books. I suppose now it’s time to wrap presents, finish decorating for Christmas, and gear up for the next round of holiday craziness. Paige, I swear child, if you peek at one more present I’m going to take them back and give you coal and sticks for Christmas!