Sunday, November 28, 2010


We had a nice Thanksgiving weekend here. On Thursday morning we had the typical Zinn family holiday breakfast. Drew was not into the souffle, which I think makes him the first person in the family to not like it. We'll see if he grows into it. If he doesn't, he's got many years of holiday breakfasts that he doesn't love ahead of him, because the rest of us love it. I guess he'll just eat caramel rolls and grapefruit on holiday mornings.

After breakfast, we headed over to Mike's mom and step-dad's house for the day. Mike's grandpa, Pa, drove in from eastern Iowa for the day. We always celebrate Christmas on Thanksgiving with Curt, Linda, and Pa, so the boys were immediately interested in all the presents they saw. Grandma and Grandpa had set up a little Christmas stocking-stuffer hunt for the boys, so they grabbed their stockings and started searching the house for their various little things.

Soon our friend Melody arrived. Melody and I have been friends for a few years now- we play soccer together, work out together, and she coached Zach's soccer for a while. Mel is from Canada and doesn't have any family around here, so we wanted to make sure she had someone to spend the holiday with. The boys and Mike's family were all excited to have Mel join us for the day. Zach, who has always LOVED Melody, immediately talked her into going into the basement to play.

At mealtime I made sure to get a picture of Zach with the place cards he and I made the day before. I just sort of came up with this turkey idea on my own, and we used some dried leaves we'd picked last fall that we hadn't used on any other crafts. I did all the cutting, and Zach did a lot of the gluing and he wrote everybody's name on their own turkey. We had fun, and the turkeys turned out pretty cute.

After a delicious and fulfilling meal, we headed to the living room to open presents. Zach and Drew had been quite patient all morning, but they were definitely excited to get to this part of the day!

Here you can see me helping Drew with something while Foudy snuggles on Mel.

Maggie loves presents, so she was right in the action.

One of the presents the boys got from Grandma and Grandpa were these huge remote-control blow-up trucks. They may have to go back to Grandma and Grandpa's house. :-)

Unfortunately, those are the only pictures we took all weekend. Every Thanksgiving we take a family picture at Curt and Linda's that we often use on our Christmas card. I purposely took our camera to their house with the idea that we would do that this year, and then I totally forgot. This picture wouldn't have been for our Christmas card this year (because I would like the baby in the picture), but I would have liked one last family picture before the baby was born. Oops.

Anyway, after more playing, I got Drew settled for his nap and Mike, Mel, and I left the grandparents in charge to go see the newest Harry Potter movie, which was excellent.

On Friday Mike and I braved the Black Friday crowds. We didn't get up early or anything crazy; we got to the mall around 9:30, and it wasn't that bad. We found a few good deals, ate some lunch, hit up Target, and picked the boys up in time for naps. Friday evening we went over to Mike's dad and step-mom's house to celebrate Thanksgiving with them and to get a chance to see Mike's sister Katherine, who was home from college for the weekend. Sadly, I left the camera at home that time, so we have no pictures. There was lots of Mario Cart playing, delicious food for dinner, and good times.

Saturday we decided to hunt for a Christmas tree. Mike suggested getting a fake tree this year, even though we both love real trees. It was something that I had reluctantly been thinking about as well, so I wasn't totally opposed to it. I love real trees, and I've always said I'd never get a fake tree. It just seems wrong to get a fake tree. I hate the clean-up associated with real trees, but I love the smell and the ambiance created by a real tree. But, I decided we needed to check it out, so we went to Earl May, then Menards, then Lowe's, then Home Depot, and finally a different Earl May, with the boys in tow the whole day. They actually did a great job, thankfully. None of the trees were really grabbing me- they all just looked too fake, we thought, until we got to Lowe's. There was one good one there, but we wanted to check the last couple of stores before making a decision. The whole day we were still unsure we were actually going to bite the bullet and go fake, but then at the last stop, we found one we liked quite well. I said something to the saleslady about struggling with the decision to go fake vs. stay real, and she said how every few years she gets a real tree, and then uses her fake one the next few years. It was funny how it had never occurred to me that buying the artificial tree didn't mean we were stuck with it for life. That helped, knowing we could get a real one any time we wanted. Duh. So there was one tree that we liked there that was a fair amount more expensive than the one at Lowe's. The one at Lowe's had multi-colored lights (which we kind of wanted); the one at Earl May had only white lights but seemed to look more real. It was a tough call, but we went with the Earl May one with white lights. I hope we don't regret the decision! The tree is not up yet because I am getting my house professionally deep cleaned on Wednesday of this week (my own little end of pregnancy gift to myself), so I'm not doing any Christmas decorating until after that.

The one other thing that was supposed to get done this weekend that didn't was that Mike and I were supposed to pack our bags for the hospital. My due date is one week from today, and we've got nothing packed still. At least I've got a list of things, so I don't feel too worried. Maybe tomorrow I'll pack that bag...

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