Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays from us to you!

May your winter season be filled with lots of love, warmth, laughter, chunky scarves, twinkly lights, yummy treats, pretty presents, a little snow, and so much joy.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!

Sara, Tom, and Jibboom

(Photo courtesy of Lizzi & Rocco's)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Surprise!: Thanksgiving in Dallas

Back in July, I had the brilliant idea to spend Thanksgiving and my Mom's 50th birthday, which happened to be the same weekend, in Dallas with my family. I also had the even more brilliant idea to make it a surprise. Once I got Boyfriend on board and got a little help from my aunt, a plan was in place, the tickets were booked, and the 5-month wait began!

Over the next 5 months, my grammy decided she would travel to Dallas for Thanksgiving, as well, and this sparked a lot of pleading, pushing, and prodding for me and Boyfriend to make the trip. Determined to make it a surprise, my aunt and I stuck to the story that plane tickets were just too expensive and Boyfriend and I couldn't drive 10 hours for a two-day trip. For the entire 5 months, we made it crystal clear that Thanksgiving in Dallas just wasn't in the cards for us this year. Believe me, that's not an easy charade to hold up against your mom and grandmother.

Still, they remained out of the loop. I did tell my dad and stepmom that we were coming, though, and they happily canceled their plans to go to New York for the holiday weekend when they heard we were coming to town and wanted to stay with them. I'm glad they did because it was so great to see them. I also told my brother about the surprise, mostly because I needed to someone to text incessantly about how excited I was.

Up until Tuesday night during the week of Thanksgiving, my mom was still asking me if we'd be able to come, but, of course, I told her that there was no way. In fact, I told her that Boyfriend's dad and stepmom were in Florida for the holiday (which was true), that Boyfriend's mom -- a nurse -- was working on Thanksgiving day (which was also true), and that we would be enjoying our day off from work on our own with or without a holiday meal. Great sob story, huh? Anyway, my mom had no idea. In fact, just to squash any inkling suspicions my mom might have had, my aunt told her she'd be bringing two coworkers to dinner so that my mom could plan on enough food and space for everyone.

So on Wednesday night, we dropped off our sweet pup (there may or may not have been tears), packed up our suitcase, and drove to Kansas City to have dinner with our friends Sherbs and Justin. They were totally awesome and let us stay at their apartment that night so we'd be closer to the airport in the morning. They also drove us to the airport bright and early on Thursday morning and picked us up again on Sunday evening. Thanks again, guys! You're the best.

Our flight on Thursday morning was pretty uneventful, and we landed in Dallas around 11 am. My aunt picked us up at the airport, and we went back to her apartment to hang out until it was time to go to my mom's house for dinner. While we were there, my mom called me and I had to make small talk with her about what we were doing on our "day off." It was hilarious! Of course, I was so nervous that I would spill the surprise or that my aunt would accidentally say something in the background, but everything worked out just fine.

Around 2 pm, we headed over to my mom's house. I was SO nervous on the way over. When we got there, my aunt went inside, and we followed a minute or two later. My sister and stepdad were so happy to see us, and my grammy burst into tears as soon as she saw us. My mom came out of her bedroom a minute later and just stared at us and was speechless! She was so shocked and kept saying that she couldn't believe we were there. Basically, the surprise went off without a hitch!

(Sorry for the blurry pictures. There was a lot of excitement in that moment!)
Once everyone got over the shock, we spent the afternoon cooking, relaxing, and catching up until it was time for dinner. Dinner was so delicious, and I loved being able to spend the holiday with my family.
Boyfriend and Sister playing Rock Band
Later that night, Boyfriend, my brother, and I went over to my dad's house. We hung out for a little while and then all passed out early from our food-induced comas. Because we're crazy, we decided to brave the mall on Friday. We didn't do much shopping, but we enjoyed walking around. Then we went to see the movie Argo. It was SO good -- definitely one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. If you haven't seen it, go see it! After the movie, we went to one of my favorite restaurants Abuelo's. I was beyond excited to get to enjoy my beloved Tex-Mex!

On Saturday morning, Boyfriend and I went to Starbucks with my best friend Chelsea. I hadn't seen Chelsea since before I moved in May, so it was so great to see her and catch up on everything. One thing I love about catching up with old friends is that nothing ever seems to change. We were able to just pick up where we last left off. Chelsea and I talked about future travel possibilities to see each other in the first half of next year, so I hope those possibilities turn into plans!
After seeing Chelsea, Boyfriend, my brother, and I went to my mom's house to spend the afternoon. We decided to go to the Galleria, which is one of the nicest malls in Dallas. Even though it was super crowded, I loved seeing the giant Christmas tree and window shopping at all of the expensive stores. I'm pretty sure I told Boyfriend that I wanted some pretty ridiculously expensive holiday gifts. ;)
We had reservations at Ruth's Chris to celebrate my mom's birthday that night, so we finished up at the mall and headed to the restaurant. There were 8 of us in total, and my aunt reserved a private room, so we were able to laugh and make as much noise as we wanted (which is kind of necessary with my family since we're pretty loud). Dinner was delicious and we capped off the evening with yummy cake and presents.

We got off to kind of a slow start on Sunday morning and had breakfast with my dad and stepmom before going over to my mom's to say goodbye. It was sad to say goodbye to my family, but I know we'll all be together again soon. My mom and grammy couldn't stop thanking us for coming to town. Then we went back to my dad's house, hung out for a little bit, packed up our stuff, and left to go to the airport. Unfortunately, our flight was a little delayed, but we made it home safe and sound around 9 pm.

It was a quick and exhausting trip, but it was worth all of the planning (and lying) to be able to spend Thanksgiving and my mom's big birthday with my family. Mission accomplished!

And for the record, we're super happy to have this little guy back home where he belongs. He did great being boarded at our vet, but 5 days was too long! Don't worry, he laid on the cute factor as soon as we brought him home on Monday night.

More pictures from the weekend to come!
See what we deal with?
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