I do think that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I doubt that will ever change. It's always a 4-5 day weekend, food, friends, family, football, etc. All the good stuff. Over the last decade I've spent most Thanksgivings with friends, maybe only going home to my parents once or twice. It's almost weird to be with family now; seems much more normal to hang out with friends who aren't traveling home. Anyway.
I'd already decided to head back to Oklahoma for Christmas for the first time in a couple years, so I wanted to head north to visit Tay and Court since they had to work over Christmas and couldn't travel (ah, the joys of being a nurse). I also decided to bring MCB - our first trip together and first time meeting the family. I've never taken anyone home to meet my parents (the thought makes me shudder), so this was a nice casual start with just my brother. No parents around makes it a lot easier. Even though MCB and I grew up in the same town, I don't think he had ever interacted with my parents.
The Holy Bearded One?
Oh, before that - Utah was supposed to get hit with a crazy blizzard, so my flight was the last flight allowed to leave Phoenix on that Tuesday - all the rest were cancelled. I seem to have all sorts of problems when I fly to Utah. Flight was super turbulent, and since the wind was coming from the south and you have to land into the wind, we had to fly across the lake, turn around and come back over it, with crazy, crazy cross-winds. The plane was teetering nose to tail, rolling side to side, and left wing in front, then right wing in front - every axis was moving. Not awesome. The lady next to me tried telling me that flying into SLC is always like this and it's no big deal, but I was super relieved when we landed. Thing is - it didn't even really snow AT ALL that night. Wack. Except it was like 7 degrees the whole time. SEVEN! Not good for an AZ'er.
Ok, so Corey and I lost touch for a few years; I left DC, he left DC, moved around, enrolled in law school, deleted Facebook or something, but our mutual love of Dr Pepper brought us together once again! Turns out he lives very near my brother, and he braved the "crazy blizzard" to come over and have dinner at my brother's place. We spent a good while making all sorts of faces in front of the fireplace. This is a good one:
Taylor and Courtney had just added a new member to their family - Max, the GIANT schnauzer. He is enormous. And the awesomest dog, except that he would later eat MCB's phone and all of the Christmas treats that were left on the neighbors' doorsteps.
On Wednesday I met up with a lovely friend and roommate from Georgetown, Ms Shannon, with whom I'd also lost touch for years! She had transferred out of Georgetown, went on a mission, and ended up in grad school in Provo. Seriously - it'd been like 7 years since I'd heard from her. I love roommate reunions.
Courtney and I spent the rest of the day shopping while I waited for Josh to arrive much later that night (I guess some people don't get nearly the vacation/flex working days that I do? Hmmmm...). He'd shipped all his snowboarding gear to my bro's house earlier in the week since I'd promised him a snow day or two.
Thursday - the big eating day! I have zero pictures from this. We drove up to Courtney's parents' house in Sandy to eat with their family. I'd met many of them at my bro's wedding the year before, but I really only know Courtney's immediate family. And poor MCB, he knew no one but me. But what a champion! He had our whole table cracking up at one point - I swear I think he's the funniest person ever. He even entertained the younger kids.
We also had to do the "write something you're thankful for on a piece of paper and put it in a jar." Little did we know they would all be read aloud anonymously after dinner, one by one around the room, and everyone had to guess the author. Clearly MCB and I were at a disadvantage. For my thought, I had written something totally generic; but when I worriedly asked MCB about his, he just said everyone would know it was him. I sort of panicked at this point. I adore his humor, but sometimes he can be a little out there, and I had NO idea what he wrote. I waited and waited, and finally towards the end, someone read aloud, "I'm thankful for my job, my health, and my beautiful girlfriend, Lauren." Cue the Awhs. And he turned beat red. Everyone thought he/we were adorable. Cause we are.
All in all, it worked out. I got a lazy day at home with MCB and the dog, Taylor made it to work, and everyone reunited in SLC for some shopping, dinner and time with cousins and friends. We met up with my cousin Julie and her husband Jesse, plus my dear friend Adam who did a brief stint in Phoenix for medical school and is still a close friend. Dinner = mole at Red Iguana.
After dinner, Taylor and MCB froze in garage for a couple hours putting the new tire on the truck. I don't really think they knew what they were doing, but they managed to get it all back together. Which meant we had wheels and time to rush up the mountain on Saturday before flights home.
I spent the morning alone on the easy slopes, but everyone insisted on doing one run together. Sigh. MCB is a patient teacher, but next time I'll insist that he leave me. It's just better that way! I had some nice ski-imprinted bruises on my leg when I got home.
All in all though, great Thanksgiving. I survived bringing someone home to meet part of the family, saw lots of friends, ate good stuff, and maybe I'll have to make it an annual tradition.
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