Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Getaway

Ok, so this post is a little delayed, but better late than never, right?! This Thanksgiving we made the long drive up to Idaho Falls, ID to be with Steve's family. This was an extra-special Thanksgiving because ALL of Steve's seven siblings were there with their families, which hasn't happened in a long time! So we started off driving on Wed. at 5 am, and when we got to Lehi, UT we were able to meet up with some GREAT friends, it was so fun!!! We couldn't stay very long, but it was so great to have even just an hour with them! So, when we finally got to Idaho, it was awesome to see everyone and see how much the nieces and nephews have grown up. We had a blast playing basketball on Thanksgiving morning (and Lightning and Horse for those of us who are athletically challenged ;)), and then we all enjoyed the Thanksgiving feast, of course, and we had fun just talking, watching movies, playing games and then shopping on Black Friday. And for once I didn't need to get up super early because I have all my shopping done already, YAY! But my sister and I went later on just because, uh, well what else do you do on Black Friday?? Anyways, on Sat. morning all of the adults enjoyed a temple session together, and then spent the next couple days playing foosball, around-the-world ping pong, Wackee Six, Phase 10, putting puzzles together, eating SO MUCH GOOD FOOD, etc. etc. Overall it was a great Thanksgiving weekend, and I'm so glad everyone was able to be there!!!!

On a more serious note, I just want to make a short list of things I'm grateful for (this is more for my sake, so feel free to skip over this if you want :)) ::: Steve-- without you I would be missing half of me. It's impossible to put into words how much I love you and am grateful for you every day-- for your love, support, wisdom, humor, smiles, hugs and kisses, advice, and for my best friend. Jake-- for teaching me patience (still working on it), how to love unconditionally, how to put someone else's needs before my own, how to find humor in frustrating situations, and how much Heavenly Father must trust me to send down a new little person who is so small and helpless and precious and amazing. I love you forever. The Gospel-- for all the things I know to be true and how that knowledge changes my life and makes it better. For my Savior and His Atonement, that even though I am FAR from perfect, I know that He is on my side, and has made it possible for me to repent and change. My family-- Without my parents I wouldn't exist, and without their examples I wouldn't be where or who I am today. Now that I have a child I have just a glimpse of how much they sacrificed for me, and how much they still do everything with their children in mind. Thank you! For my siblings, who are my best friends and support systems, and who inspire me and others more than they know! I am grateful for Steve's good, stable job, especially in these hard times; for my friends!! There are definitely awesome people in this world!; for a roof over our head, food to eat and clothes to wear; for two running cars; sunshine; the internet; cameras to put memories on paper; tithing; medicine; prayer; air conditioning/heat; running water... and the list goes on and on. I'm grateful for my life-- hard times and all!!

The Utah crew: Andrea, Devin and Carter Phillips; Emily (pregnant with Luke) and Jesse Havens; Steve, me and Jakers, and Jeremy Stoker
Checkin' each other out first...
... then off to sharing crackers!
Aww, these guys are so awesome!!! Steve became friends with Devin and Jeremy in High School, but Steve and Jesse have been friends since Elementary days. I think they all will be forever friends :)
And it's a good thing Devin and Jesse married such AWESOME chicas, because now we can be forever friends, too!!! Seriously, these girls are too awesome for words!!
Ok, on to Idaho! Here is little Savannah, just 3 weeks older than Jake. I hope they are good friends growing up!
Our future basketball star.
YAY!! My sister, Sarah, was able to spend most of the weekend with us!! She's at school at BYU-Idaho, so she was only a half hour away. Jake was her buddy for 4 days, and it was awesome, let me tell ya. We love you, SAWAH!!!!!
The annual Thanksgiving b-ball game
All the girls went out to eat for lunch on Black Friday. The waiter didn't get me in the picture :(
The English Christmas Tree!! This is one of my favorite Knowles/English heritage traditions. You stuff a Christmas tree (or in their case, TWO Christmas trees!) full of odds and ends gifts. They can be goofy, practical, or whatever you want. Then each person (or family) takes turns picking things off the tree one at a time until everything is gone. Some of the things we got were hand towels, an egg separator, a mini strainer, a flashlight, books, lotion, a pan scraper, and a little clock. Jake got 2 books, puzzles, a soft little soccer ball, and a teddy bear. Good times!

Natalie and Josh working on a puzzle.
Steve's parents, his siblings and their spouses. I love this family!!!!
So, after we left Idaho, we stopped in Provo to visit my sister, Emily, and bro-in-law, David. They are newlyweds going to school at BYU, and they were kind enough to make us some lunch! Thanks guys!!! They were also kind enough to give Jake some maracas to play with, and a mustache!

Thanks for letting us come see you guys!!! We love you!!! :)