Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Highlights

Angie and Jeff, our good friends in Flagstaff, invited us to join their family celebration.



So much to be grateful for.



My_3_guys_on_polar_express



Two boys who drove over 10 hours roundtrip without any car DVD and with very few complaints (I even got to finish  a book on the drive home). Being married to a man who likes to drive and gently wakes me up when we stop for lunch.



Thanksgiving_kiddie_table



A kiddie table with seven children, and not one squabble all weekend.



Mary Alice asked all the kids what they were most grateful for, and among others' answers of penguins and princesses, Aidan answered, "Life."



Thanksgiving_3_friends



Being reunited with old friends.



Thanksgiving_selfphoto



Getting to sneak away with my cutie for an afternoon. We saw "Dan in Real Life" which is a comedy, but I cried through the whole thing. Mental note: no movies featuring a widow or widower while pregnant and super-hormonal.



Houllis_family_polar_express



One of the highlights was seeing Angie's brother, Chad, who served in Iraqi most of this year, surrounded by his beautiful family.



Meg_playing_jingle_bellsWe got to listen to our god-daughter, Meagan, play "Jingle Bells" at the Winter Lights Festival.



Mary Alice gave us a sneak peek at her new project, and she had all the kids enthralled with her Mac photobooth. Carmen, Angie's mom, was "Grammy" to all, and helped keep the kitchen running smoothly while everyone pitched in to feed 15 people, not just on Thanksgiving but through the weekend.



Sean slept through each night in our hotel room (he normally thinks all of us in one room is a sign to party all night). He enjoyed flirting with all the girls and listing his "girlfriends" for us.



Angie and Jeff's Christmas gifts this year were tickets to the Polar Express. Both boys were spell-bound by the magic. Aidan announced that superheroes were no longer his favorite; now trains are. "Driving trains is in my blood," he declared on the way home (where did he hear that phrase?). Hard to get a good photo on the train , but I think Sean's little hand captures how they felt when Santa boarded our car:



Polar_express_santa



I still got pangs of homesickness for my family in Chicago. When I called my parents, my brother Kevin answered the phone, Karen got on to say hi, Mom described their great feast, Elizabeth cracked me up, and as we were saying goodbye, my sister Eileen was walking in the door.



Time to start saving for a Christmas '08 trip to Chicago.



For more Polar Express photos, click here.






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