Wednesday, December 07, 2011

thanksgiving family time and welcoming christmas

our thanksgiving holidy was a flurry of travel and lining up plans and making some big decisions. much to my dismay, my beloved 1999 camry bit the dust on the monday morning of thanksgiving week. the timing belt broke suddenly (something i had been putting off because of the cost) and though we had been squeaking along hoping we would get a couple more months out of her, the decision was then made for us. we were getting a new car and using money on a down payment rather than fixing up a 12 year old vehicle with 160,000 miles on it. 

i am only so thankful that the belt broke when it did--i was headed out of our neighborhood to drop off davis, and was about to turn onto the main road outside of our subdivision. it broke just as i was making the turn, and a guy in the truck behind us jumped out--with a sling on his arm--and helped push us out of the road and back into the neighborhood. our own guardian angel. there's also a bit of comfort in having 10-15 neighbors stop and check to make sure you're okay as you wait on the tow truck, stranded at the big brick entrance to the neighborhood during monday morning rush hour. 

so rather than buying a car in the evenings leading up to thanksgiving, we decided to wait until that weekend and try to make it with only one car for the three days of work. i am so blessed to have some wonderful co-workers and friends who live nearby and helped me with rides. our baby-sitter also offered me her car on wednesday while she stayed at our house watching davis. just goes to show that when the trials of life come, true friends step up!

so we finally made it to fayetteville wednesday night and got to celebrate with family on thursday. davis was all smiles, sporting his "gobble" outfit again (we were going to get full mileage out of that one.)

and again, the weather was warm with temps up in the mid-60s and 70s. so we kept him outside as much as possible, burning off energy as he ran around with the dogs.

yes, dogs. my brother and his wife got a boston terrier puppy back in july, and this was the first time pepper and barley got to meet. they did well, overall, but it was a bit overwhelming when you added in davis (and pepper's protective, territorial nature with him.)

we enjoyed catching up before thanksgiving lunch and browsing the black friday ads. does your family do that, too? our cousins are now in their mid-teens and love finding the best sales, so they were pouring over the ads all afternoon.

we headed inside after a while and got the dogs settled. here's barley lounging on the back porch. he was rewarded with a huge bone that kept him busy through all of dinner.

davis was able to eat beforehand, so he kept himself entertained with books and toys while we enjoyed our meal--my grandmother always does such a great job.

davis hadn't opened his birthday present yet from my aunts and cousins, so we helped him do that while we were there.
he LOVED his new shopping cart. he is all about pushing things right now, and the shopping cart was just the right size and weight for him to maneuver.
he did laps up and down the hallway...
and then aunt nancy helped him stock the cart with empty "groceries."
we also entertained him with games of "peekaboo" in a huge box that my grandmother brought in from a delivery earlier in the week. he was so in to that!
on friday, justin and i headed out mid-morning to visit dealerships and do some car shopping. we were able to test drive several of the cars we'd been interested in and narrowed it down to our favorites, but with no real potential ones to buy. so we met up with mom, grandma and davis in the afternoon and headed downtown for the annual "dickens christmas." first up was the tuba christmas concert at our church...

here's a shot of all the participants. alan has played in the past as well, but the school he teaches at now is actually very good at football and regularly makes it into the state play-offs, so he has had to leave to attend a play-off football game for the past couple of thanksgivings. 
and here we are afterward as we enjoy the candlelight walk downtown. davis did incredibly well for this, and it was the perfect evening!

i love this shot--so many people get into character and find the best costumes to make the event as authentic as possible!
we found a huge christmas tree for davis to see---we can already tell that this will be an exciting holiday season with all of the lights and things for him to enjoy.
pure wonder.
and then it was time for the "official lighting" of the downtown area. everyone crowds around the market house and listens as queen victoria, bob cratchet and ebenezer scrooge show up for the festivities.
and this year they set off fireworks afterward! davis was enthralled (and didn't cry, either--they weren't terribly loud, so that helped.)
one last shot as the crowd was clearing out. we love the downtown area so much at this time of year, and this event was another great experience :)

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