I started this post just after Thanksgiving while it was all fresh in my head, and I’m not sure why it never got completed before now, I was only about 4 sentences from finishing. Oh well, here’s our Thanksgiving post.
Every year we try to swap which family we’re with for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So one year we’ll do Thanksgiving with the Hansens and Christmas with the Andersons, and then the next year we switch. The Christmas we were engaged Eric came out to California to meet my family, so the next year we decided it was only fair that we went out to Indiana to spend Christmas with his family. We figured this was the best way to keep it from seeming like we were playing favorites with one family or the other. What was interesting to me was how surprised people were when I told them we were going to spend our first Christmas with Eric’s family rather than mine. Apparently most girls will demand to spend Christmas with their own family, which seemed like such a strange concept to me that I never considered it. Each of our families is very important to us, so why would we want to leave one of them out? But I digress.
So, this year was supposed to be a Hansen year for Thanksgiving and an Anderson year for Christmas. We were making plans accordingly when my mom told me they were thinking about coming up to Utah for Thanksgiving. I was excited that they’d be coming up… but it was a Hansen year for Thanksgiving. Even though we live with Eric’s parents I still wanted to make sure we were being fair with everyone, so I told my mom that we’d obviously try to see them as much as possible while they were here, but this year we were sorta committed to spending Thanksgiving with the Hansens. When I told Dad Hansen about this predicament he told me that he and Mom Hansen were going to be in Illinois over Thanksgiving watching Eric’s brother’s kids anyways. That made things very easy, we just switched which holiday we were doing with which family this year and everyone was happy! In fact, it even worked out better because with our house closing at the end of December it was going to be stressful trying to travel back and forth to California at the same time.
My family was planning to drive up here on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. So a few days before my family was planning on coming up my mom starts noticing that the weather patterns aren’t looking especially conducive to traveling (for those of you who don’t know, my mom is a meteorologist). The closer they got to leaving, the worse the weather looked. In fact, from the way the storm looked it was set up to possibly create one of the biggest snowstorms Utah had seen in a very long time. In fact, I looked at the weather maps as well (as much as I can understand them) and encouraged Eric to come home from work as early as possible on Tuesday and try to reschedule his meetings so he could work from home on Wednesday. I also stocked up the 72 hour kit in our car and sent Eric with a sleeping bag, pillow and our Kindle, just in case.
As the time for my family to leave came close they decided they ought to just wait the storm out in sunny California and see what the damage was after the storm had passed. I was very relieved to know that they weren’t going to be driving in that storm and just focused on waiting for Eric to get home safe and sound.
The original predictions for when the storm would hit were pushed back a couple of hours so Eric stayed a little bit later at the office to really finish off his work for the day before coming home. That, of course, made me nervous but eventually he did make it home safe and sound before the snow started to fall. Then we hunkered down to watch “Snowpocalypse”. After a little while the snow started to fall. I opened up the blinds in the front room so Sam could watch the snow falling, and he thought it was pretty awesome. We went about doing the things we had intended that evening while keeping an eye on this storm. Then, after a couple hours, the snow stopped. We thought we were just in a break in the storm, but it never picked back up again. That was it, “Snowpocalypse” was over.
We did get a fair amount of snow and it definitely wouldn’t have been good to be out on the roads while the snow was falling and until the roads were cleared off. But it definitely wasn’t the epic storm it was supposed to be. However, I still don’t feel dumb for making the preparations that we did or that my family waited to come up. Especially if you look at what that storm did further north, there was every reason to think it was going to be pretty bad here in Utah as well. I’m glad that we didn’t have the massive storm that was predicted, but I’m also glad that we were prepared in case we did.
Anyways, my family finally came up on Wednesday. They drove all day long and luckily by the time they hit Utah the roads had been pretty well cleared so they made it to Provo without incident. They had to stop in Provo so that my little brother Cody could go on a “polyga-date” with a couple of the girls he’d met at EFY and then they made it up to my in-laws place where we’re staying now. We ate dinner together and then quickly packed up to go to my grandparents house in Logan. We arrived in Logan pretty late. By the time we got there it was time to put on pajamas and hop into bed.
Thanksgiving morning was spent preparing food and just spending time with family. Sam was really excited about the snow and wanted to go outside with the bigger kids. Unfortunately, despite my Uncle Paul giving us a snowsuit for Sam just a few weeks before I had neglected to bring it with us up to Logan. I had been operating on the philosophy that it was way too cold to go outside (it was only 2 degrees!) and had forgotten that little boys might feel otherwise. So after much begging I found the closest thing to snow clothes that we had for Sam – his pajamas, warm coat (but not waterproof), and sneakers. Then we borrowed a beanie and gloves that were way too big for Sam and sent him out.
Luckily my brother Cody was willing to take Sam out so that I didn’t have to brave the cold. But he was so cute and happy out there I eventually found some makeshift snow gear of my own and took a few pictures –
Evidently Sam enjoys the snow. In fact, it’s all he’s been talking about ever since we started getting snow here. He will pull me to the window a few times a day and say “Look! Snow!” It’s a good thing because we’re going to be living where we’ll get a lot of it. You probably can’t see in the picture, but towards the end Sam took off one of his gloves. He was mad that he couldn’t touch the snow so he got the glove off and touched the snow. That was all fine and dandy, until we got him inside. The cold hadn’t bothered him so much, but warming that hand back up really did. Poor kid, it wasn’t anywhere near frostbitten or anything like that, but when you don’t know that the pain is going to stop and your hand will feel warm again it’s pretty scary to go through that. We’ll have to do a better job of securing his gloves in the future.
After all the fun in the snow it was time for the delicious Thanksgiving meal. My grandma had opted to do the whole meal on paper plates this year, which I think was absolutely brilliant! Why have dishes for 30 people when you can just throw it away and be done?! The food was delicious and it was fun to be with family to enjoy it. Sam didn’t eat too much but he enjoyed some of the rolls and corn, not exactly a Thanksgiving feast on his part, but he was happy so who cares?
After we cleaned up the meal we played games and watched TV. I laid down on the couch to just rest for a few minutes… and woke up three hours later. Oops! Apparently I needed some sleep. It wasn’t even a quiet place to sleep, I was right in the middle of where people were playing games and doing stuff. The boys set up a Mario Kart Wii tournament in the evening. Eric came in second despite wearing his lucky Mario Kart t-shirt.
After a few more games it was time for us to head back to South Jordan. My brother Jayson had a flight to catch the next morning and we decided it would make the most sense for Eric and I to just take him home with us and then take him to the airport the next morning. Particularly because Sears was having an incredible Black Friday deal on a washer and dryer set that we actually thought it might be worthwhile to wake up early for, even though we hadn’t gotten back until after midnight. We since there was no way we were taking Sam Black Friday shopping we would divide and conquer. Eric would wake up at 3:30am to be at Sears to try and get the washer and dryer and I would sleep with Sam and get Jayson to the airport by 9am. We had the deal that Eric was allowed to sleep through as much of the rest of the day as he deemed necessary in return for braving the Black Friday crowds.
Well, we didn’t get the washer and dryer that was ridiculously priced, but Eric still managed to get the very best deal I’ve seen on a steam washer and dryer. In the end I’m happier that we didn’t get the “doorbuster” set because it didn’t really have the features I wanted, it was just at a price that we couldn’t pass up. The set that Eric got us instead are way better and he still saved over $1000, so a successful day overall.
On Friday my parents came back down to South Jordan and my sister Taylor and her husband Ryan and son Skylar returned from their Thanksgiving in New York. Since Mom & Dad Hansen were out of town they had graciously offered that everyone could stay at their house, so the whole family stayed here and played games that night. We also did our traditional Chinese meal that Eric puts together whenever my family is in town (it’s by special request now, he does a great job). We made fried rice, dan bings and potstickers – yum! The food was great and we had a great time together. It was really fun just being our own family for a little while and enjoying each others company.
On Saturday we got to take my family up to our new house and finally get to show them how it’s coming along and where it is. It was fun to finally be able to show them physically what we’ve been describing to them for awhile. Then we continued on to Provo to watch the BYU vs U of U game. For those of you who may not know, there is a HUGE rivalry between the two schools, and that rivalry is extended into my family. Eric and I obviously both graduated from BYU, Taylor & Ryan are currently students there, and Cody is working on getting ready to apply to BYU to attend in 2012. On the other hand my parents met at the U of U and are die hard fans (well, at least my dad is die hard, my mom is definitely a fan, but probably not as adamantly so). So we all gathered with Brick Oven Pizza for what was sure to be an exciting game.
It really was an exciting game, it came down to the last few seconds of the game, and the U of U won despite not having scored a single point in the first 3 quarters of the game. It was fun to watch even in light of the disappointing ending. Afterwards the girls went to a bridal shower for a good family friend and the boys went to the gym to play raquetball. The quote of the evening came from my brother Kyle who, when my dad asked him how he liked the biggest Gold’s Gym, he replied – “They had the buffest midget ever!” Apparently Eric and Ryan knew exactly who he was talking about, but it was still a pretty unexpected response.
On Sunday Taylor and Ryan had their baby blessing for Skylar. We had a fun luncheon at the Lockwoods apartment before church (their church doesn’t start until 1:30pm). Taylor and my mom made some yummy soups and bread, and Mom Hansen was able to rescue dessert by having left a frozen cheesecake that she had asked us to eat while she was gone. The blessing was a great event to be able to participate in. It was really neat to see this little baby who had struggled to get into this world, now receiving his baby blessing and you wouldn’t have known he had ever had those struggles.
There was (of course) another huge snowstorm coming in that afternoon so my family was anxious to get on the road before it hit too badly. They had a pretty treacherous journey back and we kept getting text messages like “Almost through filmore. We definitely won’t be doing this trip in any record time, a few minutes ago the truck we were following did a 360 and slid off the road. Why do you guys live in Utah?” and “By the way we keep seeing 4 wheel drives off the road” and finally “We are to Vegas and we are still finding chunks of ice that have fallen off cars”. They did make it home safely and we got back to normal life.
We are so thankful at this time of year for wonderful friends and family. We’re thankful also for the gospel that gives our lives so much meaning. And we’re thankful for the many rich blessings that our family has been afforded with. We couldn’t ask for more :)
I find it particularly interesting that after one of the most auspicious holidays for the giving of thanks, the American people turn around the very next day to feed into their selfish desires and greed.
This “special” day of the year is called Black Friday, and most recently named so by media and retailers because it is the time of year that these companies are in the financial black. However, I believe the day’s meaning has a much darker undertone…
If you do not want to read the article, the background to this story starts with thousands of shoppers gaining momentum to form a savage mob mentality. Just before the store’s “Doorbuster” 5:00 a.m. opening, the people outside actually broke through the front doors that were being guarded by a handful of employees. These same people trampled an employee to death, and what is worse, they resisted requests to leave even after they were informed that they had killed an employee.
Such blatant disregard for human life causes me to marvel at the grotesque irony of this situation. Here we are, one day after expressing gratitude for all the freedoms, liberty, and relative peace we enjoy in this country–and people are pushing and injuring an extremely pregnant woman so badly she has to go to the hospital! No one looks to notice that they are stepping on a human being so forcefully that they are causing fatal wounds. People grab and snatch and horde their new-found possessions, regarding them as of greater worth than the people around them.
In response, I ask:
- When did such material objects ever come to mean more than a human life?
- How did we become a people who, ironically enough in this day and culture, become less and less tolerant and at the same time more and more isolated?
- Why did we let this happen?
If I had family that died in this situation, not only would I be heartbroken for the meaningless loss that has come into my life, but I would question how this could have even happened. I too, like the real father was, would have been shocked and appalled that the employer made no pro-active attempts to contact me. Not nearly enough apologies. Not nearly enough responsibility.
I would implore all who read this to spend a moment in introspection, examining how they each contribute to or decimate our society. While technology and discoveries of certain truths have been a great blessing to the human race as a whole, we still suffer the same weaknesses and tendencies of ancient civilizations. I would even venture to say that we are, in some respects, worse off in the development of society. The final question that remains is what do you intend to do about this?