It was supposed to be a quiet Thanksgiving....just the four of us.
Scott was out of vacation days and we didn't feel up to braving the Chicago Thanksgiving traffic.
I admit I wasn't thrilled about our lonely Thanksgiving plans.
Every Thanksgiving of my childhood and adulthood was spent surrounded by family at my grandma's house in Maryland. Last year was the first Thanksgiving I missed in Cumberland, but Scott's family was visiting, so it was still fantastic. It was a little different, but still wonderful to have family at our house.
I couldn't imagine quite picture a Thanksgiving without extended family. Wouldn't it just be like any other dinner we share together every night? Not that I couldn't deal with that possibility, but it definitely made me a little sad thinking about it.
Apparently Julie felt the same. Scott told Julie she could pick any activity she wanted for Thanksgiving weekend since it was just going to be our little family.
"But, I just want to be with family. I want to go visit them or maybe they can come here," Julie told her daddy.
Scott tried to woo her with promises of ice skating or restaurants or movies and popcorn.
Julie wouldn't budge.
"I just want family."
Finally about a week before Thanksgiving, Scott caved and convinced his boss to give him off Wednesday so we could get a start on our 10-hour trip to Maryland. I was ecstatic, and so were the kids when we told them.
Intent on surprising my family, we didn't say a word to my parents or my sister Kelly. I even tried to confuse my mom by asking for recipes and instructions on how to cook a turkey. The best was calling her right before we pulled onto their street, asking her explicit directions on how to thaw a turkey.
As I was talking with my mom on the phone, we rang the doorbell. She opened the door, completely bewildered. When it all registered, there were tears in her eyes, and my dad's too.
That made it worth the trek!
And, then of course, there was my completely ecstatic sister who jumped on me and hugged me for 10 minutes without letting go. "I just knew you would come!!" Kelly shouted bouncing up and down.
I think we might just try and "surprise" our family every year.