What a Thanksgiving we had this year! To make a long story somewhat shorter, we were supposed to have Thanksgiving with Brent's family and Christmas with my family this year since we did the reverse last year. However, when my brother announced that his family was going to go out of state for Christmas but planned to join my parents in Oklahoma for Thanksgiving, we opted to switch as well.

My parents, my oldest brother along with his wife and 3 daughters, and Brent, Lydia, and I all drove from Ohio to Oklahoma to visit my extended family. My mom's parents and my dad's dad all live out there, plus a smattering of aunts, uncles, and cousins. On Thanksgiving day my grandparent's house was filled to the brim! In addition to the adults, there were a ton of kids... especially little girls! For my own future reference, here's everyone we saw during our visit: Mom, Dad, Grandma Bea, Granddad, Joshua & Erin & girls -Hannah (6), Abby (4), Michaela (2)-, Uncle Brad & Glenna & girls -Haleigh (7), Brittan (4), Brianna (1)-, Uncle Brian & Tish, Crystal & Daniel, Pam, Diane & Jay & kids -Trey (12), Christi (10)-, Aunt Rhonda, Eric, Aaron, Elliot & kids -Evan, Jaxson (3), Jailyn (3)-, Grandpa Kuntz & Emily, Aunt Lou Anne & Taylor, and Uncle Jim (plus myself, Brent, and Lydia (9m)).

Whew! That was a lot of people. Most of whom we saw on Thanksgiving day. On Friday we went to visit Uncle Jim. He lives in an assisted living facility due to his MS, but is always in high spirits. Such a wonderful example of faith and joy despite circumstances! It was great to get to visit him and also to see the rest of Dad's side of the family. That was definitely a highlight of the trip.

Other highlights included watching Lydia play with my Grandpa, taking walks with Grandma Bea, getting to eat Granddad's gravy & Grandma Bea's strawberry jelly, and going to Murphy's. Ah yes, Murphy's... one of my favorite things about Bartlesville! Those hot hamburgers are absolutely delicious and unlike anything else I've ever eaten. Brent and I even decided we needed to buy Murphy's shirts to honor the tradition.

After all of the chaos of Thanksgiving passed, Brent and I got the chance to see my good friend Allison and her husband Eric on Saturday night. Allison and I were great friends in grade school and remained close despite moves to different states, but the last time I was able to actually see her was over 5 years ago at my wedding! It was wonderful to speak in person again and to hear about how her life is going. We had dinner at Mazzio's then hung out for a bit at my grandparent's house until they could meet up with the friends they were spending the night with.

The last night we were in Oklahoma Brent and I decided it would probably be best for us to sleep in different rooms so that Lydia didn't wake him up in the morning. We needed him to be rested for driving! That turned out to be a very wise decision. Lydia had a VERY rough night that night... she was waking up screaming every couple of hours. Little did I know at that point that this was fully due to teething! Yep, Sunday night we stayed at a hotel and when I checked her little mouth, sure enough there was a nice sharp point in there. That evening continued to be an adventure. Between Lydia's teething and the fact that we were all in the same room together at bedtime, things were definitely interesting. Despite Tylenol and Oragel, Lydia cried off and on for over two hours after going to bed. I felt so bad about it since we were in a hotel... where other people were staying! But we made it through the night and finished up the long drive home on Monday. We even stopped to get a walnut bowl on the way. :)
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