We decided last year that if we were settled into a house this Thanksgiving, that we would stay home and host my family. My parents were willing to drive from Pittsburgh, as well as my brother, Alex, and his girlfriend, Lauren. For Chris, it was as simple as flying into Detroit instead of Pittsburgh. We were excited for everyone to come and see our new house (my parents had come out in October), and for my brothers and Lauren, it would be their first time in Michigan. Of course, all of us getting together is something very rare and since my dad was unable to make it to our beach vacation, we haven't all been together since last Christmas (and not even on Christmas Day). That means that a group picture is in order (above). Kiro was an angel, and Brady was much better than the prior year where he had to have his sippy cup to even sit still.
We always do multiple image Christmas cards and always do one fireplace shot where Brady is in his Christmas outfit. It's safe to post it now as everyone should have received their cards in the last few days (if not, they're in the mail).
When it comes to the actual Thanksgiving dinner, no one in our family had really cooked a full turkey before. My parents have done turkey breasts before and I think Alex made on in cooking class in high school. We made sure to do a test run about a month before, while inviting our friends, the Reese family, over to be guinea pigs. That bird turned out very well, and we felt pretty ready to tackle it again. The difference on acutal Thanksgiving was that Bethany had brought the stuffing and rolls. My dad made the pies at home and brought them from Pittsburgh, so that was one less thing to worry about. We don't have a double oven, so the whole oven was taken up by the turkey. We had to wait until it was ready to come out to tackle the stuffing, sweet potatoes (courtesy of my mom), and the rolls.
The one thing none of us had anticipated was that my brothers and Lauren would decided to go to the Detroit Lions game that's played every Thanksgiving Day. It's a 12:30PM game, so they figured they'd be home in plenty of time for dinner. They'd asked me before purchasing the tickets if I was alright with them going and I said of course, since it's their time off from work/school. My finals words were, "The bird's done when the bird's done." As irony would have it, the game went into overtime and for some reason the turkey cooked way faster than we expected from our experience a month before. Andy kept turning the oven temp down to try and delay a bit. Of course, the game went almost the entire OT period before Detroit ultimately lost. They walked in the door as we sat down at the table, which was amazing.
At the game, they handed out hand towels with mustaches on them for Movember, which is in support of prostate awareness. Brady thought it was fun to hold it up so he had a mustache.
Andy was the main chef, so he was exhausted after the meal and passed out laying on the ground. Brady loves Kiro and he ends up wearing Kiro out, so he passed out right alongside Andy.
My dad and brother, Chris, were excited to see that there is a White Castle right down the street from our house. They went there the night before Thanksgiving after Chris flew in, and then decided that all the boys would go on Sunday. I personally can't stand it, but had no problem with them going.
Before my parents left on Sunday afternoon, Brady decided to play doctor with Dubby.
Everyone was gone by Sunday afternoon, except Chris, who had a flight back to California early Monday morning. I took this pic because both Chris and Brady are slaves to technology and at that moment, they were side by side, with Chris on his laptop and Brady on my iPad.
We had an awesome time hosting everyone in our house for four days and enjoyed the company. The boys and Lauren were already talking about going to the Lions game every year, so maybe we'll have everyone up again next year if they're willing to come to us again. Brady had a blast playing with Kiro (although he did have a few timeouts for being too rough). He talks about Dubby and Uncle Chris everytime we pass the White Castle and every time he sees an airplane, he thinks Uncle Chris is on it. He'll be so excited to see everyone this Christmas. We won't all be together until we make it up to my Oma's house in NYC the day after Christmas, but it doesn't matter.