Since I can't travel to be with my family at Christmas this year (too pregnant), I really wanted to make the most of Thanksgiving. Seven days should be good, I thought to myself at some point months ago. We had quite a bit of Southwest Airlines cash to spend from getting bumped off an overbooked flight, and no weddings in November, so we flew south to spend the week with my Dad's side of the family in Georgia and later my mom's side in Alabama. Have I ever told you I am the only person in my entire extended family who lives north of the Mason Dixon line? I'm practically an alien when I go back down there. It's ok though, I like to think that Tim and I add some northern flavor to the group.
My aunt and uncle were such sweet hosts to us. They expedited their upstairs renovation for our arrival, drove two hours to pick us up at the airport, and folded the toilet paper end into a triangle in their guest bathroom. Such incredible hospitality! And my uncle even provided me a pregnancy portion of wine at the Thanksgiving table. They're the best.
Between my mom and dad's families, the schedule setup couldn't be much better. My mom's parents always celebrate their Thanksgiving on Friday, which means that no one has to choose between sets of grandparents to celebrate with and lots of us get to celebrate twice. It also keeps our family focused on thankfulness and away from the Black Friday craze. I am a big fan.
So early Friday we made the four hour drive to my mom's family and started the whole deal over again. I'm the first of 11 cousins to have a baby, and I guess seeing one of the granddaughters hugely pregnant just blew some of my male family member's minds because they came up with some amazing comments for me:
"Well, you've sure gained weight!"
"You're so much bigger than your sister."
"Heeeeey there, preggo."
"Are those stretchy pants you're wearing?"
"Do you always have an outtie...or...what's going on there?"
"Wait--YOU'RE PREGNANT?! Haha. Just kidding."
"So, you're just about ready to have that baby any day now?"
Thankfully, the women swooped in to my rescue on occasion: "You look beautiful! Don't pay any attention to them." But even they couldn't resist pulling open my cardigan to take a good look at me in order to declare their gender prediction based on how I'm carrying. For someone who would rather the general public ignore my body's transformation, it was a lot to smile through, but you're not supposed to kill your family on Thanksgiving. So.
Eventually the comments wound down and we had another lovely day of being thankful for all that we have and all our family surrounding us. After that, Tim and I actually broke out the camera for an evening walk.
My sister hates this picture. She was so not in the mood, but we're both pregnant right now and we won't be seeing each other again before my due date so I wanted to commemorate the occasion. I don't think she even reads this blog so she'll probably never know I published it to the world.
Normally I hate any and all belly touches, but my mom is allowed. And Tim too.
All was going swimmingly until Monday afternoon, when I realized that my driver's license was missing. We searched for it exhaustively and when I stopped to account for all the different places it might be, I realized I could have left it in Illinois, Georgia, Alabama, or my dad's car which had already been driven back to Florida...and we had a flight to catch back to Chicago the next day and I had no other forms of identification to use to get me through airport security. Eventually my dad found my license under the passenger seat of his car (in Florida) and was able to email me a scanned copy of it to try to show TSA the next day. I lost a bit of sleep that night wondering what was going to happen once we got to the airport, but that was needless because the TSA supervisor on duty actually let me through with nothing more than a color copy of my license and a couple of credit cards with my name on them. Who knew!