I am almost done with my holiday shopping and didn't leave my house to fight off crazy people like that pepper spray lady in California. I have been scouring the web and the TGIBF app on my phone to scope out the best deals for the dozen or so on my list.
My sister-in-law was over last weekend and helped me put our tree up ahead of schedule. I even finished our holiday cards. I am setting holiday-to-do-list records all over the place!
I was missing one address- Husband's grandmother, the last one he has left. She moved into assisted living care a few months ago and I didn't have her new address. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving MIL texted it to us. G-ma always looked forward to cards, especially now that we had super cute Baby B photos to send.
Our cards were stuffed, stacked, and stamped ready for deployment around the US and a few across the ocean.
With our final card addressed, I was feeling pretty good about our 2011 holiday preparedness. I went about my sweet potato making and turkey cookie assembling on the eve of Thanksgiving.
We had BIG plans for Turkey Day. Husband's family (myself included) thought starting a new tradition this year involving physical fitness would be a good way to earn the meal that we had worked so hard to prepare. Typically Husband's family went to aee a spy movie. Every. Year.
The local Lion's Club hosts an organized 5k Turkey Trot and entire families participate. We are not those people. As to not embarrass ourselves, we plotted our own route. Or shall I say Husband's Brother-in-Law took the initiative to plot what he called, "a relatively flat" route. It is important to note that of the six of us running our fake five k, he is the only one who didn't grow up within a mile of this route. He happened to include one of the steepest inclines in our entire town. So the moaning and groaning aside, we got moving. I may may have made it five or six blocks before a my pride gave way to something much worse, my asthma plus the last ten lbs of baby weight that I probably can't call baby weight since I have a TODDLER! I digress.
I returned to the starting blocks...my MIL's house where we'd left Baby B for the run. I was disappointed in my sad performance, but as my MIL pointed out, there's always next year. A new family tradition was born.
After the rest of the family retuned and bonded over aches pains and that stupid hill! We went our separate ways for a few hours of cooking, football and turkey making.
Husband is a tradition junkie. His buddies get together and play football. Apparently there are touchdowns and tantrums. Every. Year.
He retuned home and was busily chattering about the game and mentioned that his sister wanted us to spend family time together before other guests arrived. I was roasting my fifth batch of potatoes, thinking about drying my hair, and dressing Baby B (who had just woken up from a nap with CRAZY hair).
With the potatoes done, cookies packed, hair still wet and baby dressed, we loaded the car and headed to MIL's house. We didn't make it there in time for family time. We were welcomed by the savory smell of turkey and hugs from family. Odd since I'd seen everyone just a few hours before. Then Husband pulled me aside and told me something that made the hugs make sense.
His grandmother had died a few hours ago. While I was potato roasting and Baby was napping and Husband was football playing. And, as it turned out, she was dying. At first I didn't think I heard him correctly. She was in pain and it was her time. I wish it had been more peaceful or that she had been given something for the pain. She was a few days away from hospice care and the pain management meds that come with the end of life. I had only met her a few times. Once while Husband and I were just dating and earlier this year to introduce Baby B.
The next day I was ready to mail out our cards. G-ma's card was on top since her's was the last missing address on our list. I put it on our desk not sure if I should throw it out, recycle it or mail it anyway. It is still sitting there in mourning. Like a little reminder of our relationship with her.