I was hoping to have posted this last week, but life keeps moving at a quick pace. After our first Thanksgiving day celebration in this post, we had another fun day ahead of us on that Friday. Looking back, that morning was fun and quirky as I told Andrew I really wanted Dunkin Donuts for breakfast while we were "up north". So he fought his way through the black Friday crowd to get us coffee and donuts while Blanche and I stayed in the car and watched Elmo in Grouchland. We then went and picked up my nephew Kyetin. So both kids were in the backseat eating their munchkins while we drove down to Gower. My good old hometown of less than 2,000 people with not one stoplight. But they did just get a dollar general. Bam.
Since we arrived that morning Andrew helped my stepmom Sue with all the preparation. It was cute to hear them bounce back and forth while I entertained Blanche and Kye. When I was digging through the fridge waiting for our meal, I found that my dad still had some apples from his tree out back. Of course Blanche wanted it and sat contently on his lap eating it. I love those moments.
Eventually both of my siblings and my stepsisters and their husbands and kids came as well. It was also great to meet baby Charlie and fun to see Blanche as an "older cousin" haha. I did enjoy the fact that if I was quiet enough and sat at a distance, Blanche would interact with others and not need to be held by me. As she gets older I can tell she is becoming more comfortable with new places and people. I think she knows when its family too somehow.
Sue got a good group shot of everyone, and Meme kept saying,"I don't normally look like this" because she had fallen early that month. My cousin Rebekah and Aunt Susan came by as well. Blanche and her are becoming good friends. Rebekah lives down in Siloam now, so we get to see her more often, but I still love when we are together for the holidays. It feels like old times. Bek and I had agreed and planned on telling Meme we wanted popcorn cake. Meme said she would teach me how to make it. It really is pretty simple, and honestly its nothing extravagant, but the memories of eating this cake in the middle of August at our family reunions is what makes it special. We use to meet out at some Lion's Club in the middle of no where. It was always hot and there was hardly anything in the small town. You could walk ten minutes to some swings and a slide, and my dad would walk us down to play catch. I guess the M&M cake takes me back to that simple time. I know I sound like an old person, but it was before any of the cousins would have cellphones. No one had wifi or an ipad. We literally listened to our blind cousin sing country, and one year our parents' cousins clogged? Anyways, making this cake with my Meme was very special to me. And I am so lucky to have a husband that will beautifully document occasions like that for me.
Overall our Thanksgiving trip was a good trip full of seeing family and being together. Sometimes being with your family can be one of the hardest things in the world, but there are also other times after the hard moments (or maybe you just try and forget about them for a day or two) where being together makes sense. Like I wrote in my last post, there is something amazing about family because they know all your bad parts and still love you. I wouldn't say that my dad is the most sentimental guy, or at least he doesn't communicate it like I do. When I was living abroad for a semester one of the first things he asked was if my bed was comfortable. I remember a classmate of mine on the phone with her father and she was going on and on about the literature we were studying. I remember at that moment loving my dad for exactly who he was. A simple and hard working man. When we were there that day after Thanksgiving, he told me to bring me his Bible. He took out a picture of the three of us kids sitting at a table at a wedding or something. We all looked a little sleepy and smiled sweetly at the camera. I was probably ten, my brother eight, my sister six. My parents weren't in the picture, but somehow looking at it I knew they were still married. Then my dad took out a note I had written him when I was in middle school. It was such a funny note. I had written it to my dad like he was another friend, on some stationary. I told him I was excited to go stay with him in his new house. And that it seemed so cool! Haha. I told him I loved him. And he still had that note probably ten or fifteen years later. The picture and the note sort of made me want to cry. In a happy, mushy, reminiscent sort of way. I guess all I'm trying to say is that now that I have a child of my own, and I see how flawed I am but that I love her so much my heart could burst sometimes... there are these moments when I realize my parents must feel the same way about me. And that feeling is worth driving home for.