So. Monday morning Todd drove me to the airport. Everything went ridiculously well that morning; in fact, it went so well that the whole morning I was thinking "this is all going too smoothly, what's wrong here? Something's got to go wrong, there's no way it's this easy." And I was right. Everything went great until I got to the airport, when I almost missed my flight, sitting RIGHT OUTSIDE THE GATE, because SOMEHOW I didn't hear any of the boarding calls until the final one, the one that says "all passengers should now be on board." Awesome. But no worries, I got on the plane and got to Texas just fine, and then most of my family was there to pick me up! That's exciting because ever since my first flight home from college it's basically just been my mom and dad or one parent and one sibling coming to get me. Good times.
So we all went from the airport to the movie theater where my sister is a manager. She and Benjamin and Alex met us there, bringing approximately 93028493 pounds of random assorted Taco Bell items, which we all ate in the parking lot of the theater. Then we crammed candy into our purses and pockets (purses had to be emptied first, there was that much candy) and went and saw Dan in Real Life, which they loved. We took up almost an entire row in the theater, and--luckily for us, because otherwise we would have been shot many times--there weren't too many other people in there, which was good because between the passing around of the candy and the switching seats and the three year old niece wandering back and forth and the whispering and the laughing, we were probably pretty annoying. This was a great time though, because we were all laughing and happy and friendly with each other. We went out in the parking lot and had a giant popcorn fight before we left, and when a piece of popcorn got stuck in my shirt Dafni thought I had gotten my belly button pierced and my mom just about flipped until I showed her I hadn't. And Talia turned on really loud music in the suburban and we all just stood around outside the car talking and being very silly. Eventually we left because it was way past Alex's bedtime.
The next morning Dafni and I went to a yoga class for back problems in Dallas. We ran a few errands on the way home, including stopping to see Talia at work, and I can't remember what we did the rest of the afternoon. That night, though, we watched Airplane! and Love Actually. Airplane! was not nearly as funny as I'd always thought it was going to be, but some parts were hilarious (like the scene in this picture). Mostly because I remember my parents quoting them for the last 20 years.
Just kidding, I forgot the Thanksgiving grocery shopping, which was on Tuesday afternoon after yoga and errand running. My mom had one of the cars in Garland-- she was trying to find new shoes because she has lots of problems with her back-- and my brothers needed to be picked up from school, but the shopping hadn't been done. So my mom gave me the list over the phone and my dad dropped Daniel and me off at Walmart. We shopped, it was very tiring, and then Dad picked us up and we went home. Benjamin was watching Airplane! when we got home, and that's how the movie watching started.
After watching two movies consecutively we were feeling like we needed to get outside--also because it was GORGEOUS weather and we really wanted an excuse to go out--so we played sardines in the yard. That was a lot of fun, even though we couldn't convince my mom to join us; in fact it was probably one of my favorite times all week. After a while we came inside and tried to think of something else to play. What we ended up doing was sitting around talking, watching videos on YouTube (the worst music video ever, the best remake ever, the crazy Russian falsetto guy, the "take anything you want" Japanese girls) and listening to some Brian Regan on Dafni's computer.
Let's see... Wednesday morning we went to yoga again, but this time my parents came with us. They took longer to get ready afterward than we did, so Dafni and I were sitting in the car waiting for them to come out and we decided to play with the camera. And by that I mean we became the paparazzi. Observe.
Look how glamorous my mom looks. I SHOULD be paparazzi.
And yes, my dad also looks glamorous. His is a different kind of glamour... very underappreciated.
After Megan's comment I feel like I should say something about my spelling of "glamour" and "glamorous". Apparently I feel that this word just needs to have the letter "u" in it, because when I use the adjective I spell it the American way (there's already a "u" in it because of the "ous") but when I use the noun I spell it Britishly. What can I say? Apparently I, too, have had a little too high a dose of our good friend Lynne.
After yoga we went to Whole Foods, which is like my mom's favorite store in the world, to buy a turkey. It was a newly remodeled one that had two floors, a spa and massage center, and allll kinds of food in addition to the normal grocery store part of it. We probably spent an hour and a half or two there (not kidding)-- Dafni got a massage, and we spent forever figuring out what we wanted to eat because we were all starving and couldn't commit to anything because there were too many options. On the way home Dafni and I read aloud an article from the Dallas Observer about everyone's favorite Maverick, Dirk Nowitzki, and how he went to Australia after the depressing way the playoffs ended last season to "find himself." Or something. And the whole time I was thinking (warning: the rest of this paragraph is a ranting soapbox. just so you know. skip it if you want.): "man. As much as I love Dirk and the Mavericks and watching basketball... doesn't anyone else think it's ridiculous that this guy is feeling like there's something wrong with HIM as a PERSON because his team loses basketball games??" Really. The guy goes to a sports psychologist. Why do they HAVE sports psychologists?? Give me a break! I can think of a lot of things those people could be doing with their degrees that would be a million times more worthwhile than analyzing athletes. It's just... the emphasis that the world puts on sports now is unbelievable. No offense to anyone is intended here, but professional athletes do not deserve the money they're making. They don't. Sure, it's nice for people to have entertainment. Everyone likes a good game sometimes. But can you imagine what the world would be like if the salary that athletes get was given instead to people who actually WORK for it? Who have jobs that make the world better, that affect the future of the human race? I don't even think I can, actually. And that is very sad.
Ok! Soapbox over. :)
So the rest of the day I think we all just kinda milled around... Miki came over while we were cooking, and then later that night we watched Breach. It wasn't at ALL what I thought it was going to be, but it ended up being pretty good. I think it's the first movie I've ever seen with Ryan Phillippe in it. Random useless fact.
So the next day was Thanksgiving! I can't remember what we did that morning, except that I'm pretty sure I slept in instead of waking up early to help my mom cook like I was supposed to. Oh, no! I remember. I woke up ridiculously early because Dafni had turned the heater off during the night and of course had the ceiling fan in our room on and I was freezing all night, and in the morning I woke up and my entire body was in throbbing, aching pain from being curled into a tiny ball all night trying to warm up. (It didn't work.) I couldn't stay in bed anymore, so I got up and showered and got dressed. Then I went downstairs and talked to my mom while she got ready, and finally when Talia showed up we went out and started cooking. Everyone was in and out, "helping" my mom, just walking around... I think the boys went out in the backyard and rode the dirtbikes around for a while. We had on The Lion King for Alex to watch, and Kristofer, Talia, Dafni and I all sat on the couch watching with her. My sisters and my dad and I took turns with my mom in the kitchen. Finally (much later than noon, which is when it was supposed to happen) we busted out "Alice's Restaurant," our favorite Thanksgiving tradition. I don't think Kristofer was listening--I think he had some crazy Southern redneck comedian on YouTube and was listening to that instead. His loss. And this is what Alex was doing the whole time we were trying to listen, namely, making it very difficult for us to give our full attention to joining the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement. It's a good thing she's cute, my friends. Good thing. Haha jk. So we have a lot of random pictures from the preparation and everything that morning. Pretty much what happened is someone would pick up the camera and snap a few shots of whatever was going on at the moment, then put it down on the counter somewhere, and a few minutes later someone else would do the same thing. We were all being very helpful, as you can see. I don't know how my mom didn't kick us out. :)
And now a montage of pictures from the preparation and the actual meal. There isn't much to actually say about it that the pictures won't tell.
Benjamin helping my mom reach things
(I think I should clarify--she's sitting on a stool. She's not THAT short.)
the old men
Bebe looking pretty :)
and the eating pictures begin with Mom.
You'll notice there aren't any eating pictures of my dad or Kristofer--Kristofer always stops moving as soon as he sees a camera, and my dad apparently eats ridiculously fast, because we could never catch him. You may also notice that there aren't any of Dafni or me, but I don't think that really requires much explanation. :)
And now the post-meal carnage. I went upstairs and took a nap during this time, so I missed Dafni spilling fruit salad all over her lap. Lucky we have photographic documentation--so realistic, I feel like I was there! Benjamin also took a nap, headphones in his ears as usual. Joseph probably watched Naruto on my computer, which I swear is all he did the entire time I was there. When I came downstairs from my nap Talia and Kristofer and Alex had left to go have dinner with his parents (who live, very conveniently, just two houses down from us). I helped my dad clean up and put all the leftovers away, and then I think everyone sat around for a little while.
Later that night I was going to see Enchanted with Dafni and Talia, but Dafni and I had a fight while we were waiting for Talia to get there, so I decided not to go. They went and I ended up watching a really fantastic movie with my parents and Daniel. It's called Conversations with God and it was one of the movies that my mom had been trying to get us to watch all week. I was too upset from fighting with Dafni to argue with my mom about it, so we watched it and I ended up really liking it. It actually made me feel really good about some things that I've been struggling with lately, and kinda temporarily broke down some walls that I've been stuck at. I brought the movie back to Provo with me because I want to watch it again, and I want to have Mike watch it with me. It's about a real person named Neale Donald Walsch and some books that he's written with the same title as the movie, and they're his own personal story about how he discovered that each of us are having conversations with God all the time, in our heads. He says some things that aren't necessarily how we would view them with an LDS perspective, although most of that is in the books and not in the movie, but it's a really spiritual movie and has a lot of truth in it. My parents and Daniel and I talked for a while after the movie, and then I was tired and went to bed.
Friday morning Dafni woke me up and asked if I wanted to go to the mall with her and Talia. I rarely say no to a trip to the mall, so I got up and started getting ready. We went to her house for French toast (do you capitalize the French in French toast? I guess so) and then took some pictures while we were waiting for her to get ready. Dafni of course had some hip hop music on the radio, and Alex was dancing to it. Sadly enough, that three year old knows the words to many of those "songs," although I must say it's much cuter to hear her sing them. So the picture on the left is her dancing, but it's funny because it doesn't look at all like that's what she's doing. She was though, I promise. I caught her turning around in a little swinging spinny thing, and I guess she wasn't expecting to have her picture taken. :P She's so cute. So anyway. Then we went to the mall, and of course we took several pictures in the car as well. Funny how there are so many pictures from this short trip home, but they're all in chunks because the times we DID remember the camera, we got a little picture happy and just started snapping away. Anyway. So it was on this shopping trip that I bought the amazing jacket I would have almost never bought before that time. But the thing is, I'm always complaining about the cute things that Dafni buys that I would NEVER buy because I think they're hideous, but then she wears them and they look amazing. I hate this. So I decided that this time, I would buy something that she would usually buy (and that I wouldn't)--so I ended up with a poofy-sleeved jacket with a fur-lined hood. Believe it or not, I love it. And then we went home and had to take Daniel and Dafni to the airport. They both had bags to check so we had to make sure we got there early, and then we just hung out with them outside the security check for a little while because the airport was DEAD and they had like an hour and a half before their flight. This picture is my favorite remnant of that particular part of the vacation. Joseph was walking around with my dad's phone taking random pictures and sending them to us, and of course no one was paying much attention to him because he always does that. But at the same time Daniel, my mom and I all got a picture message on our phones. We opened it and found this lovely picture of Dafni accompanied by this caption: "Did you hide the bomb?" Hahahahahhahahaha! Good thing airport security doesn't have access to our phone messages or we probably all would have been arrested. :) So eventually Dafni and Daniel left for their gate and the rest of us went home (Benjamin was at work that night). Joseph and I shared my iPod on the way home and I introduced him to "Grace Kelly," one of my favorite songs. My mom heard me singing along to it and asked "wow, does it really go that high?" Yes. Yes it does.
Random side note: Here is something amazing that my dad pointed out in one of those weird catalogs that my mom gets (you know, the ones that sell random collections of useless trinkets and knick knacks that no one in the world actually needs). It is a doormat that says "shalom y'all." Amazing! I cannot say more.
Ok. Time to finish. So Friday night Dafni and Daniel left. Saturday morning I slept in later than I'd planned (probably because, for the first night all week, I had a thick blanket (stolen from Dafni's bed), the fan was turned off, and the heater was turned on, so I could actually sleep). I went downstairs and my parents had just started watching Amazing Grace (yet ANOTHER of the movies my mom had been bugging us to watch) so I sat down and watched with them, and I ended up liking it a lot. It's about the fight to end the slave trade in England in the After the movie Talia and I were deciding what to do that afternoon. We'd talked about going to see Enchanted that day since we didn't get to on Thursday, but with my flight in the evening it ended up that there wasn't enough time. What ended up happening was I finished packing all my stuff, showered without washing my hair, got dressed, and took Benjamin and Joseph over to Talia's house along with a ridiculous crapload of stuff that she had left at our house/needed to borrow. Seriously--the three of us each had our arms full of things. We had kind of a very silly looking parade going into her house. So anyway, we watched Ice Age 2 on cable with Alex while Talia made tapioca pudding. I didn't actually get to eat any of it because we started it too late and I had to leave to go to the airport, but it was fun hanging out over there. Also I decided I want to see the rest of that movie, because I haven't seen it yet.
So I left Joseph and Benjamin at Talia's house and went home, where--luckily for me, or I might have missed my flight--the BYU/Utah game was JUST ending. My dad was very excited about the outcome, and we just managed to tear him away from the TV in time. We went to the airport, had an awkward moment checking in when we ran into a family that used to be in our ward several years ago (a girl my age and her husband who were on my flight coming back here; she and her sister and I used to be friends when we were like 11 but now we're just Facebook friends and all going to BYU), and then my dad finally got my mom to let me go through security already. Happiest thing of the day: I watched them leaving and they were holding hands and laughing and it was so cute! I haven't seen my parents hold hands in a really long time. I actually started to cry.
Anyway. So I waited in the aiport while my flight was delayed, ate an amazing pretzel from Auntie Anne's, and then was very impatient for the whole flight--which, incidentally, got to Utah even earlier than our original scheduled time, even though we left 40 minutes late. Amazing.
And here's the cutest thing! Mike was coming to pick me up at the airport, so I called him when our plane got in. He'd texted me and told me he was on the Belt Route but almost there, but then when I called he said he'd just gotten ON the Belt Route and was going to be a little late. So that was kinda special. Anyway, I was going down the escalator to the baggage claim, actually texting my sister about how Mike the Punk was very late picking me up, when suddenly I looked up and he was standing right at the bottom! I was so excited and HE was so excited to see me! It was amazing. And then we got out to the car and he gave me a ring! Not a RING ring, obviously, just a very pretty one.
And that's my trip! Only took me like five days to write about it, but you know. That's just how it goes. And in any case, I'm done! It was a great trip and a great Thanksgiving. The (finally) end.