We did. We were invited, for the third year in a row, to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with our friends Tom and Elizabeth. We were also stationed with them in Mississippi; the first year we had Thanksgiving with them Chet was deployed, and they invited all of the wives and their children over for dinner. Obviously, we were delighted when we they moved to this area shortly after we did, and were kind enough to invite us over again (and again). Also, the weather was lovely, which is hit or miss in northern VA at Thanksgiving.
The next couple of paragraphs are going to sound like complaining, but I promise they're not.
On Tuesday (two days before Thanksgiving), I was out running errands. (Side note: Sydney and Lorelei both have school on Tuesdays, and I also have a babysitter come to our house on Tuesdays after preschool drop off to keep Ford for a few hours. She is a nursing student who lives close by, and she's the best. So she comes on Tuesdays, and that's the day I schedule all of my OB appointments, etc. and plan to run any errands that are painful to complete with children in tow. Lorelei also has ballet at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, so that allows me to pick her up from school, feed her lunch -- usually in the car parked outside of ballet -- and take her to ballet class without interrupting Ford's nap time. It's nice that Lorelei and I can have one-on-one time each week.)
Anyway, I was running errands, some of which were on a nearby base. I went grocery shopping, and then into another store afterward, carrying just my wallet and phone (I know I had my phone with me, because I was talking to Chet on the phone while I walked into the store). I bought what I needed, walked back to my car, and drove to the library, where I realized I no longer had my phone. Which means it's lost. But I know exactly where I lost it: somewhere between the store and my car, which is about a distance of 200 yards. I'm sure it fell out of my pocket, because my hands were full as I walked from the store back to my car.
(No need to mention the "Find My iPhone" app. I accessed the app both with our iPad and computer, and my phone was listed as "offline." It was still turned on, because you could call it and hear it ring before my voicemail picked up. Later in the evening it went straight to voicemail, surely because the battery died. I find it quite strange it was offline, because that means it wasn't picking up any sort of internet signal.)
I physically retraced my steps and didn't find it. I asked the clerks in the store where I shopped, and the store next door, if anyone had seen it. I went to the security office, which was also very close to where I lost it, and where items like this are required to be turned in. No one has turned it in; I think I'll give it one more day, and then cave into getting a new phone.
Tuesday was the girls' last day of school for the week before the Thanksgiving break. After the phone drama, I was really looking forward to not having to wake up and go anywhere on Wednesday morning. But, alas, Sydney woke us up several times in the middle of the night on Tuesday, complaining of her ear hurting. She never wakes up in the middle of the night, and her ear never hurts, so I knew we had to go to the doctor Wednesday. (Raise your hand if you don't want to make a trip to the ER over Thanksgiving break!)
We secured a 10:25 a.m. doctor appointment on Wednesday morning (about a block from where I lost my phone; I did a drive by to see if I could see a crushed phone with a pink case laying near where I parked, just in case I had missed it the day before). The appointment itself was quick; it was obvious she had an ear infection in her left ear. The painful part came next, when we had to wait for her prescription. Let's just say my two youngest children were not the picture of serenity. It took about an hour for the prescription to be filled, and then we bolted.
Okay, so all of that sounded kind of complain-y, right? I agree. But let's focus on what I have to be thankful for, rather than the inconveniences:
1. Chet has a "Blackberry" for work, so he was able to leave his regular phone with me during the day (I say "Blackberry," because it's actually an iPhone, but Blackberries will be forever synonymous with work phones, at least in my mind).
2. We have a Mac computer, so I was still able to see texts come through from people who use iPhones.
3. All of my pictures download automatically to my computer, so I haven't lost any of those.
4. It's amazing how much more clear my mind seems when I don't have a phone to distract me. I've been blissfully unaware of what's happening in the world of social media. I could get used to this.
5. Sydney only has an ear infection; she is otherwise healthy, and ear infections are easily treated.
6. I am often thankful for Tricare, and the ability to easily make same-day doctor appointments -- for free. And even though waiting for them to fill her prescription made my blood pressure elevate to unhealthy levels, I didn't have to load everyone up to go somewhere else -- it's one-stop shopping. In fact, we were home before noon; not bad at all considering she had a 10:25 appointment.
There are hundreds of other things I am thankful for, obviously: God, Jesus, my family, our health, being an American, etc. But, as we all know, it can be hard to focus on all of the blessings in our lives when faced with inconveniences like losing phones and schlepping three kids to the doctor's office the day before Thanksgiving. I wonder how I might have reacted had it not been Thanksgiving week; would I have stayed so calm had it been the middle of February, freezing cold weather and driving through dirty snow, with no signs of spring in sight? Or the middle of blazing hot, schedule-less July? Probably not, if I'm honest.
So what did we do the rest of the weekend? We stayed home on Black Friday. Late morning on Black Friday Chet asked, "So what's the plan for today?" Me: "It's Black Friday. There is no plan. Except to stay home." We sorted and starting setting out Christmas decorations; we played outside.
Saturday we made the mistake of going to Target. We were out of toilet paper and toothpaste, so we didn't really have a choice. I'm sure it wasn't nearly as crowded as the day before, but it was still a wee bit stressful. We bought a gingerbread house village (four very small gingerbread houses) to put together. Last year we bought a pre-assembled gingerbread house; as soon as the girls and I started assembling the village, I remembered why. Somehow we managed, but we're not winning any awards. There was icing everywhere (including lots in the girls' bellies).
This morning we went to Sunday school and church. It was nice to get back to our normal routine, and our pastor's sermon was about focusing on participating in actual human interaction (rather than being glued to our cell phones) this Advent season. I get a gold star, because I've been doing that for the last five days...no matter if the reason is losing my cell phone...
And now it's Sunday night. The kitchen is clean, the kids are bathed, and the Christmas decorations are mostly finished. The kids are loving "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (the original):
Happy Thanksgiving! (PS, if you want to see more pictures than just this one, click here. Lots of pictures of the girls from the Christmas season two years ago; everything Sydney is wearing in the pictures Lorelei is wearing this season!)
***STAY TUNED FOR AN EXCITING MARY KAY SALE -- DETAILS COMING THIS WEEK!!!***