This is our official Thanksgiving family photo. Smile Paul!
This year we didn’t just break tradition we shattered it!
A couple of months ago we found out that my grandparents in California were going to be alone for Thanksgiving. That just didn’t sit well with us. My parents said they would like to go out to be with them. I asked if we could all come along. There were some details that we needed to work out but it looked like we were going back to Cali!
I had visions of us renting a car and driving to San Francisco with the children. We were going to be able to revisit all of their favorite places in Chico. We could even drive to Sacramento/Roseville for black Friday shopping at the Galleria. It was going to be grand.
Then we booked our trip to Disneyland where we spent a lot of money and used some of Paul’s time off. It was okay we could still make it work. The trip would just have to be shorter and we would just stay in Chico. We could still make it work.
As it got closer problems arose. More and more people were going to be coming for Thanksgiving. That was great for grandma and grandpa but it provided some issues for us. There was a lot of food that would need to be prepared and only one kitchen for my mom and I to do it in. We weren’t sure how everyone was going to fit in grandma and grandpa’s house for dinner. We tried to reserve a church but grandma didn’t like that idea.
There was just one problem after another. When you made a list of pros and cons the pro was to see family everything else was on the con list.
My Thanksgiving shelf display this year. Some of my decorations are missing so I had to do what I could with what I had.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was our furnace. We have had some ignition problems since last winter. The gas wouldn’t light right away and then when it did finally light it would sound like an explosion. It was intermittent but it was still scary stuff!
We called for an appointment thinking we could get everything taken care of before we left BUT the only time they could come was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. You know, while we were supposed to be in California. This left us in a lurch. We couldn’t leave the furnace off while we were gone or the pipes could freeze. We couldn’t leave the house with an exploding furnace while we were away. That was way too dangerous. Finally it all became too much. The decision was made. We were staying home.
My parents decided to stay home too. At that point all we wanted a simple and relaxing holiday. I had been getting emails from a Brazilian restaurant that was serving a special menu for Thanksgiving. Quite frankly it looked delicious. So I did it. I made a reservation at Tucano’s. We would be eating out on Thanksgiving for the first time in our lives.
This is probably my favorite Thanksgiving decoration.
Wednesday morning Paul woke up like a kid on Christmas morning. He was running around the house acting all silly and goofy. He was actually excited to mow the lawn, suck up the leaves and work in the yard as long as it meant he had time off from work. All was right in his world, until the furnace guy came.
We were told that our furnace was from 1989, it needed to be condemned and that we could be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning if we kept using it. The good news, it shouldn’t blow us up!
While they were in there they noticed that the water heater was also retro and that it should be replaced too. Oh and there was an air conditioning coil that had apparently been installed by either six year olds or monkeys and if we wanted the new furnace to work that would have to be fixed/replaced.
They gave us the total. Let me tell you, it was a very hefty sum. What a punch in the gut. Paul went from giddy to nauseous in a matter of seconds. Merry Christmas to us, we were getting a new furnace. Isn’t that fun gift? Unfortunately we don’t have that kind of cash just sitting around. I kept thinking of all the things I would rather go into debt for. My mind started racing. “That’s a couple of Disney cruises.” I know when you live in a place like Utah a furnace isn’t a luxury, it’s a need, but I couldn’t help but think, “If we HAVE to spend this much money I would totally rather it be on vacations!” A furnace is so not glamorous. LOL!
It really did come close to ruining our whole holiday. Paul tried to put on his happy face for Thanksgiving but he had a hard time. He doesn’t fake things well.
Thursday morning I made some appetizers and pies. My parents arrived around noon where we grazed on all types of yummy food until it was time to go to Tucano’s.
We had a very nice late lunch/early dinner. It is an all you can eat type of place so we ate a lot. We had a coupon for free Brazilian lemonade (tasted more like limeaid) so we used that and enjoyed ourselves immensely. That lemonade stuff was delicious!
The boys loved the wide variety of meats.
I've been craving this lemonade since Thanksgiving.
Where we were sitting I could see all the meat cooking.
I thought it looked really cool. I was getting full so I walked over and asked if I could take a picture. They happily said yes. When I started snapping they said I had to be in the picture!
They guys ushered me back to the grill area where they took a few pictures of me with the cooks. When the kids saw what was going on they wanted in on the action. They cooks seems so excited to be noticed and in on the fun.
They were GREAT! Everyone was. They were working really hard. It was super busy but everyone was kind, positive, patient and appeared to be having fun. I told Paul I wish I could have had a pocket full of twenty-dollar bills to give each one of the boys that came to our table with meat.
We had a wonderful experience eating out. The kids asked if we could do it every year. We told them no but someday it would be fun to do it again. The best part about it was getting up, walking away and leaving all the mess behind. We didn’t have to wash a single plate or utensil. Ah!
The decorations were great and these cheese breads were the most amazing things EVER!
After lunch we took some pictures around the Riverwoods shopping area.
I was trying to get a good picture for our Christmas card. We managed to get a couple of good ones before a rent-a-cop told us that we had to stop or pay him $25 since it was private property. I totally get why they do that but I thought that was lame since we had just paid for lunch there and we were just snapping some pictures. It was my dad with my camera, no tri-pod, no big flash, and no reflectors, just snap shots. Whatever. We left with our tails between our legs.
When we got home the boys watched football and the girls sat around and talked. Of course we all ate pie too.
The kids went home with my parents for a couple of days leaving Paul and I to black Friday shop in peace. It was weird this year with so many stores staying open on Thursday or opening that night. We weren’t sure how to go about shopping so we slept in and didn’t go out until 10:30 Friday morning. We didn’t have the heart to buy much but we did get a few things.
We picked up the kids Saturday afternoon. That night we got to spend some time with Paul’s family. We went to his parents’ to meet our new niece Sofia. She was precious. I love holding newborns. I should have gotten pictures of her sleeping but when she was sleeping I was holding her, so I couldn’t. As we were getting ready to leave she woke up. I tried getting a couple of pictures but I think I may have blinded her with my flash. Poor babe. The pictures did not turn out well. They just don’t do her justice.
Sunday was quiet and uneventful. After watching Amazing Race we put the kids to bed and prepared for the new week. Monday morning (super early, like 12:30 am) we woke up to the sound of vomit. Oh no she didn’t! Oh yes she did. Emma was sick. Really really sick. She obviously stayed home from school. She went back to school on Wednesday. I was glad since I had a hair appointment that I had already rescheduled once.
That night Andrew started running a fever. It got up over 102 degrees. Thank goodness there was no vomit. He stayed home Thursday and came home early on Friday. I think we are all doing well now but I’m hesitant to make that declaration since there is still so much gunk going around. Needless to say I didn’t get much done last week at all. We still have harvest/fall decorations up. I’m hoping that this coming week will be much more productive. If the tree gets up I’m going to call it good.