Thursday, December 3, 2015

Our Thanksgiving Surprise, part 3 - Family

Cute little turkey! :)
The best part of our Thanksgiving trek was spending time with family. The highlight for me was seeing the look of surprise and joy on my parents' faces. They had no idea we were coming. With us there, it meant the entire family was together (36!) - minus only Sam and Jake, our missionaries.

Because my mom was making table favors for each place setting, my sister-in-law Jenny told her she'd invited a friend and her family who had nowhere else to go. My mom thought that was a little weird since the group was so large already, but whatever. She made enough favors for everyone and didn't think too much of it.

My mom was standing by one of the tables when we walked in. She said "Hi" as she looked up. And then recognition set in and her smile changed to complete surprise! When Jenny walked in, my mom said, "Is this your friend?" :) Yep!! It was much the same when my dad entered the room. He was so surprised and happy that everyone would be together. He got choked up when he said the dinner prayer later that afternoon.

When we left for home early the next morning, I sent a quick text to my parents saying, "On our way. Wish we could have spent more time. So glad we got to see you! Love you!!" Now something you need to know about my dad is that he doesn't text. He'll read them if we send them, but he'll pick up the phone and call if he has something to say. But immediately I got a text back from my dad that said, "Please drive safe. We love you and will never forget this special surprise." I'm pretty sure I cried for a half hour after that. I still can't think about it without crying. It just meant a lot to me.

We may be a motley crew, but I sure love these guys! (And I'll replace this with a less-grainy version once I locate one.)
In addition to my parents, we surprised my two youngest brothers as well. We saw Jeffrey (far right) the day before at my sister's house where Savannah was staying during the break. He pulled in after us and saw our van in the driveway. Not knowing we were there, his first reaction was, "Why did Savannah bring the VAN to school?" That's especially funny if you know of Savannah's unfavorable feelings for the van.

Surprising Savannah was tricky. She kept calling the house and, obviously, no one was home. Then she'd call my cell phone and start in with 20 questions. I was trying really hard not to lie to her, but I was getting quite creative with the truth. In the end, she was so suspicious that she figured out that we were out west somewhere! But she had no idea when she'd see us. When we finally showed up at her dorm on Tuesday night, Sadie set her teddy bear outside Savannah's door and we knocked and hid around the corner. When Savannah came out and saw Teddy, she SCREAMED!! She freaked out for an extended period of time and made us all feel really good about sitting in the van for an entire day to get to her. :)

Savannah and her cousin, Andrea
In Utah, we stayed with my younger sister, Amy. That's always a treat, spending time with her kids who always seem so excited to have us there! (Aren't they adorable?)

My family wasn't the only ones we were able to surprise. Our first stop on the trip was to Jeff's parents house in Idaho. We were only there for a quick 24-hours, but we had a great visit and they seemed genuinely thrilled to have us there. It was fun to see their beautiful new home and just spend time together.

Jeff's youngest brother, Jay, who lives just a few minutes from his parents, was surprised to see us as well. His wife knew we were coming, but he and the kids had no idea. Jay's daughter was ready for a bigger violin so we personally delivered a 3/4 violin to their door. We spent Monday evening with their family. I'm so glad the kids had time to catch up with their cousins. Sadie was especially happy to see her BFF, Ana. :)

I could go on and on. We loved the time we spent with family. They made the whole trip worth it! It was pretty much our best Thanksgiving ever! 


Peggy said...

Our best Thanksgiving too!!!!!!!

Thanks so much for making the LONG trek so we could all be together for half a day!!!

Love you all,


Kristin and Jay said...

So many memories in one trip! So much fun, glad you came!