Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thanksgiving Was Wonderful and Beyond Blessed

Image Found on Google Free Images
This family went from planning nothing special to make last minute plans and drove to my parents to celebrate Thanksgiving. I am always thankful for the holidays and family but this by far has been one of the best Thanksgivings in a long time. A lot of times the holidays can be so stressful and overwhelming and for this Bipolar Mom it can become stressful very fast. My Mom and I decided that a low key no fuss Thanksgiving. No turkey, no holiday trimmings, no obligated holiday traditions..we just let Thanksgiving take us to a new place of blessings.

My Nephews Turkey He Made At School :Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

My husband and I loaded up our little family the day before Thanksgiving and headed out towards my parents. This was probably the most stressful part of the trip but it was to be expected on the busiest day travel. Well at least that is what the statistics says. It took us twice as long to get where we are going but we arrived safely to our destination which is always huge blessing when everyone is trying to get to their destination as fast as they can.

Traditional Holiday Travel ;) I hope everyone got there safely:Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
We got settled in the guest bedroom and snuggled in for the night. It is always comforting to know that we can call this place home when we our always on the move as a military family. My kids were up and early playing with the Grandparents and I woke up to the smell of fresh homemade cinnamon rolls. Is that not one of best smells to wake up too? I am sure I truly woke up with traditional my mother let me sleep in hair! As we sat around the table just chit chatting there was no final prep of the turkey and setting in the deep hours of cooking but rather.... my mom telling my daddy make sure the steak count is right, JT decided on a pork chop, and of course Shelly's chicken breast. You heard me right the Franklin house hold decided instead of turkey or ham we would once again go nontraditional (last year we did traditional German meal) and do steaks on the grill! YUMMY!!!! So the next thing was waiting for my brother to arrive later on in the day.

Image found on Google Free Images 
When my brother arrived with his brood the house was filled with Grandsons and Caydance running back and forth. There was small talk, big talk, in depth talk, silly talk, sports talk, and so on.. in this household you never know what you are going to get when it comes to conversation. Dinner was easy to put together and we taught Shelly (my brother's wife) how to make pull-a-parts (sorry not sharing the yummy drool worthy recipe). We gathered around the table, said grace, and shared what we are all thankful for. I always say something serious and not so serious because I think it is to be thankful about the little things as well and in this case Caydance finally letting me putting her hair up!

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After dinner is always a joint clean up with my brother making an excuse to leave for about ten minutes to go do something and of course Mom says nothing ever changes and I am like he plans this! My mother, Shelly, and I did something that we thought we would never do in a million years well two things actually. The first thing that we are always against is going anywhere or shopping on Thursdays and promote being with friends and family. However, after weighing are options for this certain reason we decided to play our odds and head to the Radio Shack to see if we could purchase a laptop for my sister-in-law. My sister-in-law has been out of work but hitting the ground hard looking for a job. She finally landed an amazing opportunity but was in desperate need of a new laptop to help wit on call jobs instead of borrowing her boss's computer all the time. So we bundled up and I was stretching outside my truck making typical Black Friday jokes but when we arrived at Radio Shack there was no one there. I guess they were all at Target, Walmart, and other big places that choose to open up on Thursdays. When we entered there was older couple in there warning us not to go to Target we simply smiled and said we had no intention of going there or any other big store and this was a rare exception. Well come to find out this Radio Shack did not sell laptops... I am not sure why but the gladly looked it up for us and found then nearest one and called to hold it for us. So as people were probably pushing, shoving, and possibly getting a black eye we drove to an equally quite Radio Shack this one across Walmart. You just do not find wonderful customer service at all like that!!! At this Radio Shack they had the Christmas music blasting and my favorite silliest Christmas song came on..."I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" so I busted out in a dance and singing lyrics and of course my mother just shakes her soon-to-be 32-year-old daughter is doing this in the middle of Radio Shack, This might explain why she surprised me with a pretty cool of purple headphones from Radio Shack as well ;) . She bought a couple of more little things from Radio Shack and headed back home and joked about we have no idea what people are complaining about this Black Friday shopping it was super easy. We however counted are blessing in this rare exception of going out on Thursday! The rest of the night was filled of a couple of board games and the kids watch the first Christmas shows of the season. We also talked about shopping on Black Friday and going to Lights at the Zoo.

So before I continue I would like to thank the Staff at these two Radio Shacks that had to work on Thursday night. Your Customer Service was beyond amazing!!!

Radio Shack- http://www.radioshack.com/

Columbia-Garners Ferry (Near Target)
6070 Garners Ferry Rd
Columbia, SC 29209


Columbia-Forest Drive (Near Walmart)
5496 Forest Drive Unit G
Columbia, SC 29206

The next day Shelly, my mother,  little Caydance, and I prepped for the first time in a long time to go Black Friday shopping. Okay not really we got up like 9 and left the house at 10 there was no rush, no hurry, and no need to get item. We were so blessed for the rare exception of that previous evening. I guess you still have to call it Black Friday shopping because it took place on Black Friday. On the shopping list were winter jackets, clothes, and shoes for the little ones. This is probably the first year that probably everyone in the Franklin (maiden name) clan that everyone was in need of something vs any want. My kids were in desperate need of clothes even little Caydance. I also asked if Mom and Dad would help out with the winter jackets this year. My Mom and Dad love to help out with sport fees, school supplies, fundraisers, and so on just besides spoiling their Grandbabies. Well because I live a little bit aways and my kids are not in school yet or a lot of activities I often forget to ask or they come up blank in areas on the needs. So it is often help fill the gas tank and groceries when they are here which I am so grateful for!! So we headed to Burlington Coat Factory to check out the coats. I do not have one of these stores close to me and it is a store my Mom forgets about. The first stop was the little girl coats and come to find out my daughter loves to try on and model coats well up to third one. We settled on one that she can grow into so we should hopefully get a couple of years out of it unless she has a massive growth spurt and with kids you never know. Mom found this little purse for her carry like the big girls and you would thought she was carrying gold and because of this little purse I have found her trying to steal my car keys. When we were also there we found Shelly a couple of business suits, Caleb his jacket, my brother a jacket, and my mom surprised me with a new winter jacket as well! My mom told me I could that I was finally feeling good about myself in general and wanted to treat me :) . I also picked up a couple of stocking stuffers for my kids, slippers for  and bought one of Daddy's favorite candy for a just because treat for him. So I got a lovely black winter jacket that will be easy to clean (not fleece) if the kids and likely will if the kids get something on it. The day of shopping wrapped up at the Fort Jackson PX where we had lunch and talked to some troops to see if they were going home for the Holidays.

When we got home briefly discussing our day of shopping we could only take a small break for the next adventure. Mom and Daddy took the entire family to Riverbank Zoo to the Lights Before Christmas! Which is where the zoo basically covers itself from head-to-toe in Christmas lights. I have been a couple of times through my life in South Carolina but the last time I think I went was in 2004 right before my husband and I got married.Christopher and I treated the Nephews and are two to light up toys that all the kids were running around with. It was a little overwhelming for Caleb at first but he really loved where the fake snow was falling and thought the pony that he could touch. I guess the only down side was they use to keep the aquarium part open but he did get to see the gorilla and a koala bear that he thought was neat. Caydance took forth and was in thralled with just about everything the lights, sounds, fake snow, and the hot chocolate! The trip was topped off with a visit to the gift shop where Grandpa and Grandma bought something to remind them of this adventure. The boys all picked out something similar and Caydance ended up with this cute stuff animal monkey that ended up being as big as her because it was on sale and cheaper than the smaller ones. We got home and everyone passed out except for Caleb. This often happens when he becomes over stimulated so I stayed up with him just having Mommy and Me time but he could not have had made his Grandma's night for when she asked for a hug goodnight he grabbed her face with his little hands and gave her a great big kiss!

Lights Before Christmas :Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
Caydance playing on the statue and both of us rocking are new winter jackets... Thank you Grandma/Mom :Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

J2, JT, Caleb, and Caydance aka The Franklin Grandkids at the Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia South Carolina Lights Before Christmas :Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
The next day we woke up exhausted and planed to take it easy. I however, to run out and get a oil change for our truck and make an Aldis run since there is not one close to me. So Shelly and I loaded up in the truck ran to Starbucks and went to oil change place where you can sit in your car while it is being serviced on. We had a great chit chat and counted all the Gamecock vs Clemson fans working there (all the rivalry games going on that weekend) and wondering what we were going to do during the Ducks vs Beaver game. It is not that we do not like football it is just not our life and I rather much be reading a book or crocheting just saying ;) . So we finished up the oil the change and Aldis and headed back towards a day of football talk. So during the big game there was also a big fire where I could I listen to fire and my nephew JT could tell me that this was "favorite" song about every other song. I was not able to make it through the night and curled up with Caleb who kept me up the previous night.

Caleb and JT hanging out by the fire with me during football breaks :Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
On Sunday we woke up early waiting for my brother to come by from his Sunday service to help load up the truck and say goodbyes. I always hate saying goodbye and hate when are visits to come an end. We ran by Daddy's work to say goodbye because he had to work most of the time we were there. For a final nature surprise there were huge perfect pine cones!!! So I collected several pine cones for crafts projects!!! As we hit the road our kids are out like lights so I put on my music and chill for the ride home!!!

 I love being and so does Christopher being around my family they have taught me over the years it is not where you live, how much you have, and so on what family is truly about. So as you can see as I type and share this Bipolar Mom's Thanksgiving was non-traditional, last minute, fast paced, but wonderful and beyond blessed!!!

Just me :Property Of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

I hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

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