Thanksgiving 2014

Did you all have a good Thanksgiving? I hope the holiday left you feeling loved, well-fed, and most of all aware of the blessings in your life. I know it did for me. I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive as Thanksgiving week approached this year. Here I was, six and half months pregnant and we were planning to drive five hundred miles to be with Zach’s family in Boise, Idaho for the holiday. That equates to roughly a twelve hour trip (one way) when you throw in a pregnant lady who has to pee every five minutes, a four year old who gets carsick and a newly potty-trained two year old.

I began mentally preparing myself weeks ago, expecting and planning for the worst. We had tire chains in case of snow, dramamine, zofran and extra puke buckets for me and Zoey, lots of extra pull-ups instead of undies for both girls and way too many toys and diversions for in the car. As babies, both girls would scream and cry in the car and we had yet to have a long road trip where that didn’t happen at least once. Furthermore, both of our girls have a history of difficulty sleeping away from home (and by difficulty I mean absolutely not napping and sleeping only about eight hours a night rather than their usual twelve). I was fully expecting to be exhausted and overwhelmed by the whole trip, but determined to make it happen. As it turned out, I was pleasantly surprised this trip.

No one puked in the car. No one screamed or shed a single tear, while driving there or back. We made the drive each way in just under eleven hours, which was much better than the previous twelve we had experienced (it is only an eight hour drive if you don’t have to stop for anything but gas). The girls, now used to sleeping in the same room together, were so worn out each night from playing with their cousins all day that they fell asleep relatively easily. After the first day, Eleanor even took a wonderfully long nap each day.

All this made it so much easier to enjoy seeing all of Zach’s family, as I could feel better rested and relaxed. I did come down with a slight cold for a couple of days, but it wasn’t too bad. In fact, it seemed to be good timing because there were so many other adults around to run interference with the kids and lots of cousins to keep them occupied and entertained. I actually got to just lie on the couch with a cup of tea and my ipad quite a bit, and even snuck in a couple naps.

The food, of course, was delicious. Many, MANY board and card games were played, Christmas music was listened to, and we even took some family portraits since all four of Zach’s sisters were also able to make it home for the holiday. The oddest part of the trip was the weather. We had heard the week before there was quite a bit of snow in Boise, so we packed all our warm clothes and snow gear and promised the girls snow to play in when we got there. We arrived to find absolutely no snow and temperatures warmer than Seattle. In fact, while we were gone it got so cold in Seattle that one of the windows of our house cracked! Meanwhile, Black Friday in Boise found it to be sixty-nine degrees outside!

In true Clegg family tradition, we start 'em young with the board games
In true Clegg family tradition, we start ’em young with the board games
The two oldest cousins are already seasoned gamers.
The two oldest cousins are already seasoned gamers.
This little guy and his cousin - both born on the same day - are currently the two youngest of the cousins. Although that will soon be changing!
This little guy and his cousin – both born on the same day – are currently the two youngest of the cousins. Although that will soon be changing!
The other youngest cousin (for now).
The other youngest cousin (for now).
Zoey was definitely over-stimulated by all the noise and activity, but LOVED playing with her cousins
Zoey was definitely over-stimulated by all the noise and activity, but LOVED playing with her cousins
I just ADORE the look of pure happiness on Zoey's face that I happened to catch in this photo. So rare to see her smile and laugh so much!
I just ADORE the look of pure happiness on Zoey’s face that I happened to catch in this photo. So rare to see her smile and laugh so much!
Eleanor thoroughly enjoyed being carried around and doted on by her two biggest cousins
Eleanor thoroughly enjoyed being carried around and doted on by her two biggest cousins
Ever heard the phrase "too many cooks spoils the soup?" Not true with these mashed potatoes made by Zach and two of his sisters! They were delicious.
Ever heard the phrase “too many cooks spoils the soup?” Not true with these mashed potatoes made by Zach and two of his sisters! They were delicious.
Zach's other two sisters, both with great smiles.
Zach’s other two sisters, both with great smiles.
Fancy napkins and bibs. Fine dining at its best.
Fancy napkins and bibs. Fine dining at its best.

So very much to be thankful for this year. At the top of the list: family.

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