Monday, November 21, 2011

For what I am about to share, may I be truly grateful

'Tis the season for turkey and stuffing and green beans cooked in Campbell's soup (sorry I'm from the midwest; green bean casserole is a-ma-zing) and PIE.    Mostly pie.    It's also the beginning of the holiday season -- despite the fact that Target has been hawking Christmas decor since mid-October -- where everyone tends to reflect on the past year.    Thanksgiving, despite being a forgotten step-child in the retail world, really does start us off on the right foot, don't you think?

We're back in Florida so that means we'll be driving to South Carolina to see Michael's maternal grandparents, Nana and Papa.  We had a great time last year (Ithaca = drive to New Jersey to see the other side of the family!) but I am also a stickler for tradition.   That said, I am grateful that we are back here in Florida, and consequently, able to be back there at Thanksgiving.

All 4 of Michael's grandparents are awesome.   Specifically, Nana and Papa are both over 80 and each play 18 holes of golf each day (he walks half, she walks half) and they act like they're closer to 50 than 80.    They watch current TV, read current books, and are lovely people to converse with, about pretty much any topic.   I am thankful that, by marriage, these wonderful people are now part of my family.     I am thankful that we are close enough to to drive to spend time at the holidays with them.   (and avoid the airport!)  I am thankful that in less than 48 hours I will be in their condo wearing yoga pants, glasses, and no makeup, reading a book and drinking tea, with no distractions.

I am thankful that the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend includes watching lots of movies, reading lots of books, playing lots of games, and spending lots of time talking with each other.   That's what Thanksgiving is all about, after all.   Family and love and relaxation.  Not black Friday sales and craziness.

May each of you be blessed with a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, and may you be truly grateful for it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Operation Surprise Ashley

So the suspense is over.   After two months of keeping my fat mouth shut* I can finally talk about the surprise visit this month.

It all started in September, about 8 weeks ago.  Ashley's husband Jason called Pannie and I one afternoon and explained his idea.  Essentially it was this:

I have 2 Southwest flights that expire in December 2011.  I'm not going to have a chance to use them.  I would love to fly you two out and surprise Ash for her birthday.  What do you think?

What do we think?!  Well he knew what we thought.  Ash's birthday was the first weekend in November but I was in Colombia and Pannie was Maid of Honor in her sister's wedding so the 2nd week won out. Good news is I think it might have helped throw her off.   Ash said she had an inkling awhile ago that he might surprise her (she knew there were 2 almost expired tickets and they mentioned it briefly this spring) but Jason kept throwing her off by telling her about the 'surprise' trip they had planned.

After we rang the bell and surprised her Friday we went upstairs and saw a good portion of Ash's closet on the bed as Jason encouraged her to 'pack' on Friday evening.   Once she gave him a little bit of sass about the trick, (all in good fun) we had a lovely relaxing girls weekend.

One of the great things about surprising someone is they don't plan anything - no agenda!  I had NO AGENDA!-  so you can lounge around and chat and drink tea or coffee or wine and enjoy each other's company because that's what it's all about.

We also finally watched the Friends series finale.  See, it aired after school ended on spring and Ash couldn't bear to watch it without us.  So she's been waiting for seven years and this weekend seemed like as good a time as any.

Quasi-related, I read The Hunger Games on my [free!] airplane ride.  If you have not read it, go ahead and order yourself a copy.   Amazon has it for $5!  The movie will be out soon and I am quite certain it will be good.  But you know the book is always better.

*I am in actuality a good secret keeper