Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

The Murray’s spent Thanksgiving this year at home. We missed being with our parents and siblings, but Joe’s finals start this week, and he had 4 take home assignments that he had to do over Thanksgiving break. I’ve had a lot on my plate at work, and the older Ella gets, the harder she is to travel with, so, with all of those factors we decided just to spend the holiday at home. Thursday morning we woke up and I made blueberry muffins (at Ella’s request), then we all hung out together and watched the Macy’s parade. Ella was hysterical! Every time she saw a character that she recognized she would get so excited and start shouting who it was. She also loved all the dancing and music. She’s really in to dancing along with the TV, especially “Dancing with the Stars” (have I ever mentioned that I have a crush on Donny Osmond? It’s not to the extent of Elvis, but he definitely has a place in my heart and I was so happy that he won). When someone on the parade would be dancing, Ella would stand up and start spinning around and kicking her legs. When someone on the parade started singing, Ella would grab her toy microphone and start singing along…even though she didn’t know the words. She really enjoyed the parade.

We just laid around the house all morning. It was wonderful! Around noon I started making the 2 Thanksgiving dishes that I was in charge of…corn pudding and green bean casserole. I was fine with the corn pudding (thanks to sister-in-laws Sandra and Katie for emailing out their recipes) but wasn’t sure where to begin with the green bean casserole. So, I did what anyone would do…I googled it. I found this recipe that called for mushrooms and shredded cheese. Both Joe and I love mushrooms, so I decided to go with that one. Of course, right before I started making the casserole I panicked. I bought regular cut green beans (because they were on sale) and apparently traditional casserole has French cut green beans. And I started to worry about the mushrooms…Joe and I love them, but not everyone does. After worrying for far too long, I decided to go with my recipe WITH the mushrooms and just to use the beans I had. It turned out delicious and Joe even asked me to make it again because it was almost gone by the time he made it to that dish on the serving line.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with my cousins who live about 45 minutes from us. This is my dad’s first cousin and her husband, and their children, and their childrens children, and their childrens childrens children…does that make any sense? Anyway, there were a lot of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th cousins there and it was a ton of fun. Ella was her typical shy self, but she warmed up enough to play with the dogs and count in Ethiopian, just to show off. She even let Alexa sit on Joe’s lap with her, one girl on each knee.

On Black Friday I let Joe do something that he’s been begging to do since we got married…I let him get a new TV. I feel like I should give some background. We have been using a 19 inch TV that my parents bought me when I was in college…and this was our nice TV. In our bedroom we had a 15 inch that Joe bought me our first married Christmas…and the color was starting to fade. For years Joe has been asking to get a new TV, but practical Katie couldn’t convince myself that it was time. Why waste money on a new TV when the ones we had worked perfectly fine? Sure, they were small, but they worked and that’s what mattered…right? Well, then I saw an ad for Target’s Black Friday sales and I calculated that we could get 2 new TV’s for the price of 1 at regular price…so I gave Joe the go-ahead. A week before Thanksgiving, however, I happened to be at Target checking out the TV’s and noticed that the 32 inch was on sale for $50 more than it would be on Black Friday. So I came home and asked Joe if it was worth it to go ahead and pay the extra $50 on a 32 inch TV and ensure that we have one, then just spend Black Friday buying the 40 inch. He weighed the pros and cons and decided to go ahead and bite the bullet, so he bought the 32 inch last week. On Black Friday morning our alarm went off at 4:30 am and Joe headed to Target. Soon, while Ella and I were still sleeping, Joe returned with a nice, new 40 inch TV. It’s a good thing he bought the 32 inch last week because by the time he got to Target they had already sold out.

We hooked up the TV’s around 9:30, then Joe had to head out for a 10 am appointment to get the car its 25,000 mile check. He was gone for several hours and came home for some Ella play-time and to start studying. He and Ella played for a few minutes, then as he was trying to get her down for a nap, all the power went out. Apparently the wind blew down a power line and our entire neighborhood was dark. (I have to put a little side note that you haven’t experienced REAL wind unless you’ve been to Wyoming.) Our power was out for 7 hours. Joe left to go to Starbucks and study, then we went to the Silver Diner for dinner (where Beck joined us). We had originally been told that the electricity would be back on by 7:30, so we thought for sure that it would be on after dinner. It wasn’t. The house was cold and Ella was tired, so at 11:00 Ella and I got ready for bed and piled into the car to head to Beck’s house. We’ve crashed with Beck on more than one occasion, and we were prepared to do it again. Joe was going to stay at home while Ella and I slept in Beck’s nice warm house with electricity. As we were pulling out of our parking spot Joe looked at our neighbors house and said, “I see lights!” I turned around to check out our house, and sure enough, we also had lights! By this time Ella was less than happy. She was very tired and very cranky and kept asking to go night night. We had hyped up going to Beck’s house with the joy of seeing a Christmas tree, and now we had to unload her from the car and go back into our Christmas Tree empty house. Ella was very sad that she wasn’t going to get to see Beck’s tree, but once we got back inside she was asleep within 10 minutes, so it all worked out fine. The saddest part was that Joe had 2 brand new TV’s, but he didn’t get to watch either of them. At this point I will give a special shout out to the wonderful people who bought us a camping lantern for our wedding. Without your gift we wouldn’t have been able to see a thing.

Saturday and Sunday were spent with more relaxing and a little more shopping. It was hard coming back to work today. I was spoiled with 4 days off and Ella was spoiled having her mom and dad around. Now we just have to make it to Christmas, then we get another week off!

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