For Thanksgiving this year we went to visit our Texas family. It was Riley's first road trip but turns out she is an excellent traveler. And when she wasn't she could generally be cheered up by a little head-banging - her new favorite game. I kinda have whip lash now. Anyways, this is what we left UT to:
Is this not the cutest co-pilot you've ever seen? (Ok, so this is staged - you get arrested if the baby is in the front seat.)
Its a GORGEOUS drive. I especially enjoy southern Utah's scenery - that red sandstone has my heart. New Mexico is also very interesting thanks to the literal billboards. More on that later.
Riley actually made the trip go faster. There is no getting bored when there is a baby to photo shoot or play baby games with. PS: she will probably have her own glasses some day since her daddy and I are both practically blind. Good thing she rocks em like a model.
We arrived at Kyle and Megan's house on Sunday night. They were super fun hosts (obviously - see below!). It was great to see Dave with his brothers. They all have the same poker faces that break into great smiles when something ridiculous is going on. And with those guys, I think that's a common occurance. I saw a great video they made years ago of an ole' hillbilly at a poetry reading that they dubbed over so he was singing 'Gangster's Paradise'. I'll try and get it from Kyle - you all got to see it!
Thanksgiving day Megan and Kyle and we drove 3 hours to Sweetwater to spend it with Grandma Anderson. She is fabulous. Luckily she is a 'go with the flow' kinda gal too - no one wanted to cook so we decided to go to the truck stop. It was surprisingly delicious and was packed with extremely friendly Texans so it felt rather like a big family reunion.
Grandma is wearing enormous sun glasses these days because she recently recovered from eye cancer. Didn't know you could get eye cancer. Take care of your eyes, people!
Also note the long horns on the one wall and the elk pelt on the other wall. It was a cultural experience as well as a completely memorable and happy day.
Riley is not a fan of pumpkin pie but she LOVES spoons.I was glad we could finally introduce Riley to her Great-grandma. I am not a huge fan of TX heat but I do wish we lived closer - she is such a sweet lady. She is loving and kind and funny. Every time we go she has to load us up with presents - last time she gave me the book "Heidi", which she ordered when she first learned my name. This time she gave us an angel she bought when Riley was born to commemorate "our Angel."Here are a couple of samples of New Mexico's thought provoking billboards. You can't really read the one on the right but It says, "We need Rezball. We don't need meth." Apparently basketball is the main tool to combat meth use on the reservations. I was boggled at first, but then I thought, what PE teacher had this genius idea? I bet Lifetime makes a movie about them someday.
The below sign is just awesome.
Maybe if every parking lot had a sign like this we could drive all the perverts and thieves to Canada - they can't stay if they can't park. This sign I think might just be a passive-aggressive slur on the store next to them, "The Erotic Boutique." Oh well.
And to wrap it up, here is Megan's cute Turkey pumpkin to bring us back to the subject of Thanksgiving. I love this holiday that reminds us to recognize all the good things in our lives. (Just now I'm reminded of my friend Mr. Jolly in England in his nineties who everyday wakes up and says to his dog, Star, "Well, Star, God's given us another day. God is good, Star, God is good.") God is good. I am grateful for this beautiful world and the freedom to enjoy it. For Dave who delights me everyday and says things like, "We are crossing the continental divide which means if I peed that way it would go to the Atlantic and the other way would go to the Pacific," as well as sends texts of "I love you" or "Have you seen the sunset?" from work. I am grateful for Riley. She brings light and laughter to our lives. For friends and family who make me a better person. For rain, books, play, health...the list is endless.
Hope you likewise are feeling the good this holiday season! Love you all.