Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from Nebraska! This is the first Turkey Day we've celebrated with my family since, well ... I'm not sure exactly. For many years, I worked Gopher football games in Minneapolis the Saturday after Thanksgiving and wasn't able to travel back to Nebraska. And for whatever reason, we've stayed in Minneapolis the years since I stopped working at the U. This year, it was such a treat to be "home" for Thanksgiving. I can't believe how much I missed my family's holiday traditions.

Driving was another thing we haven't done in forever; the last time being when Aden was four months old. Airline tickets were ridiculously expensive from Minneapolis to Lincoln this time of year, and now we have to buy four plane tickets since Aden turned two. For those reasons, we decided to give driving back to Nebraska a try once again. I packed up the car on Wednesday afternoon, swung by Andi's office to pick him up, and together the five of us (Andi, Tory, Aden, Chloe [the dog] and I) made the seven hour trek back to my hometown. Surprisingly, the drive wasn't too painful. The kids both slept on and off, and I brought plenty of road trip activities to keep them busy. We also stopped half-way at a Chick-fil-A to eat and to let the kids burn some energy at the indoor play place. All in all, it went pretty smoothly.

My mom and dad hosted Thanksgiving at their house this year, and whoo-boy did my mom go to a ton of work. I never realized when I was younger how much goes into hosting a holiday event like Thanksgiving. So much coordination with cooking the food and finding places for everyone to enjoy their meal. She pulled it off, and we all had a great time.

My Aunt Cheri and my mom, the hostess with the mostest

The Three Amigos -- Tory (4), Brooke (8) and Neeley (3)

Uh-oh, somebody found the pie!

There it is! My sister Ashley made a yummy chocolate pie that was a big hit with everyone. 

Our Thanksgiving meal was delicious. My mom served turkey with gravy, ham, mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing, and green beans. In addition, my cousin brought cauliflower rice, my Aunt Cheri brought corny macaroni and my sister made homemade dinner rolls. It was a feast!

Of course, there was pie ... pumpkin and chocolate to be specific, as well as blueberry salad, green pineapple Jell-O, apple crisp and ice cream. The kids' eyes were as wide as saucers as they peered over the top of the countertop at the big selection before them. 

After dinner, it was time to get serious ... about Bingo. It's a Thanksgiving tradition in my family, after all. Everyone from young to old grabbed a card, and for one reason or another I was nominated to be the caller. Tory Bean acted as my trusty assistant.

Those who didn't play Bingo poured over Day-After-Thanksgiving sales ads and populated their shopping lists.

Aden found a quiet spot under the table to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on his iPad.

Baby Ben's first Thanksgiving!

Ten grandkids at our Thanksgiving this year. We have so much to be thankful for! 

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