Hi all! Hope you enjoyed a short Thanksgiving break and are back to your normal routines today. We had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and weekend, but it is good to be back to work today. It helps that I've been playing with pictures all morning (for a work project), which is something I really enjoy!
Thanksgiving was split as usual between my mom's side of the family and Chad's. I was a little disappointed that my sisters weren't at my mom's family's celebration (lunch) at the same time I was, especially since the only reason we were planning on lunch there was so that we could have Thanksgiving together. In the past year or two, many of my cousins have been coming later for dinner, and most everyone who's there for lunch stays for dinner, too, so we would have seen more people for dinner if I had known ahead of time that my sisters were coming later.
Because we were having lunch at my family's Thanksgiving, we were 4/7 of Chad's family that was gathering for Thanksgiving, and they didn't want to have to cook a big meal for the remaining 3/7, we ended up eating out for Chad's family's Thanksgiving. I could tell Chad was a little bummed by it, and I imagine others in the family might have been, too. But what do you do? It's not my sisters' fault that they weren't there for lunch. We just didn't talk to each other before plans were made on Chad's side of the family, or we would have done things differently. Next year, we're going to let Chad's family pick the big meal (lunch or dinner) and we'll go to my side of the family's for the other. I feel like Chad's family got the shaft this year. And because my side of the family is significantly larger than Chad's, Chad's family often does get the raw end of the deal. It's just easier to shift things around when there are less than 10 people total in three small groups, compared with 30 or so in seven or eight groups. Add in the steps and in-laws on everyone else's parts, and it's ugly. Sorry, guys.
(There's a lot more I could say about the joys of splitting holidays between families, but I'll refrain for now. It's never fair for anyone.)
Anyway, at Thanksgiving, we did play a fun game of LCR (Left, Center, Right). I really thought my grandma was going to win, but it turns out it was my aunt, Dick's Kathy. (We say that because I have two aunts named Kathy, both by marriage, so we distinguish them by their husbands' names. She's married to Dick.)
As you can see, there were big bucks at stake ($60!). My uncle Mark (I have two uncles named Mark, too; this one's the one married to Jane) won the first round. He got a cool $54! I was hoping to win, of course, but no such luck!
I love the look on my Grandma's face here, when she realized Kathy won. (Forgive the funky angle and poor-quality photo.)
Thanksgiving evening we went to Cracker Barrel with Chad's family, then went to his brother's house to hang out. A nice day over all.
Friday was fairly relaxing in the morning. It was so good to be able to sleep in and just hang out. Seems like we did do something in the morning, but I can't remember what! Maybe shopping? Anyway, Friday night I took photos for the Downtown Danville Partnership at the town's Christmas tree lighting. It was really fun, and the best part about it was that we didn't have to fight the enormous crowds that we normally do when we go to the downtown Indy tree lighting. Anyway, I got this shot of the kiddos…just a great, real moment. I love that E's sticking her tongue out, seemingly at no one in particular, but rest assured, it was meant for G.
When you live in a small town for any period of time, you're bound to run into people you know at events like this. I ran into several, but the one that resulted in the most excitement was my old neighbor, Mike. He works for the town and got me up onto the top of the courthouse roof so I could get some good pictures for my client. What a cool thing that was. My legs were like Jell-O (I'm not a huge fan of heights), and there was a rather wide lip around the building to keep people like me from falling off, so I couldn't get my camera at the most ideal angle. But I did get a few good pics, I think. Here's one, of our little town's claim to fame, the Mayberry Cafe.
And here's the same restaurant from ground level.
Of course, the main attractions that night were Santa and Mrs. Claus.
And when they lit the tree, well, that was the highlight of the event for some. (By the way, this photo was shot under the absolute worst shooting conditions possible — horribly low lighting, Christmas lights that need to shine, a long depth of the photo that needs lit, lots of movement and no ceiling off of which to bounce the flash. There is no easy way to get a good picture with all of these variables. The only thing that could have made it worse would have been rain. Thank goodness there was none of that! The pressure was on for me to get a good photo or two for my client. Ugh. The ones that best stopped the motion were dark in the background and had really bright faces from the harsh flash. The ones that had the best lighting naturally showed movement due to the flash setting required. I couldn't shoot in both modes at the pivotal moment, when the switch was turned to ON, because there wasn't time to switch settings on my flash and camera. So I had to choose what I thought would work best and go for it. It was a no-win situation, really. But I did the best I could. This one showed the least movement by Santa, which was most important.)
The rest of the weekend was spent at home. I can't say that it was wonderful, because the kids were, well, not so good. In fact, E lost every single toy she owns (including crayons, markers and scrapbook paper) for three days. It's all in the garage until Wednesday. Let's just say she was a challenge like none we've ever seen. But we did get some crucial things done, like getting our family Christmas photos taken, getting the kids' photo taken with Santa, and doing some serious shopping for the kiddos for Christmas. If we had had everyone's lists by Saturday, I think we could have wiped the whole slate clean! We were on a roll!
But the highlight of the entire weekend for G had to be the fact that he finally got to use his hard-saved money and buy himself a Webkinz eagle. He's been dying to play with him online, but we only let him have an hour a week of video and computer game time. So he's eager for next weekend. (We did let him play for an extra hour yesterday, but now we have to stick to our rules!)
By the way, E got a Webkinz penguin with her money, but not one minute after we paid for it (in fact, it was just enough time for us to turn away from the counter where we paid), she threw an enormous fit in Penney's saying she didn't want it. Things went downhill from there. It doesn't matter much…she lost her chance to play with it by the next day, anyway!
Hope you enjoyed your holiday, too! :o)