November 30, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019

A Thanksgiving we are very thankful for. Visiting children in Arizona, a major life milestone, and a birthday :)

Thanksgiving 2019

We've been visiting all of our children over the last few months. They are spread out between Utah, Illinois, Missouri, and Arizona. Last Thursday we flew to Phoenix and visited Emily, Taylor, and Baylie. And it coincided with Thanksgiving.

Baylie offered to host and I must say, she did an amazing job! Taylor helped her, and Emily and her friend Q brought a wonderful assortment of desserts.

Taylor and Baylie have a cactus plant in their front yard. Mitzi snapped this as we walked to the front door.

We were fed home-made chicken noodle soup upon our arrival. We got there at lunch and the Thanksgiving meal wouldn't be ready until around 4p.

We had a great time visiting and playing with their cute dogs. You can see how happy we all are just talking and listening and enjoying being with each other.

While we were waiting for dinner Emily and I had a nice analytical talk. We've always loved to analyze ideas and situations. We had an in depth talk about personalities and commitments and relationships. We were relaxing on the couch. Here's my view of her as we talked, and her view of me :)

Then it was time to eat! We didn't have a tripod so we took two pictures to make sure everyone was included.

To prepare for the job of cutting the turkey, Taylor had watched a video. We all liked how it was cut. Evidently he enjoyed cutting it!

Now this turkey was amazing. They soaked it in a brine for a couple days. It's a recipe Baylie's mom and grandma have used for decades and it does NOT disappoint! The turkey was flavorful and moist, especially the white meat, and I could not stop eating it!

In preparation for sitting down at the table, Baylie lit the candles she'd been saving for a special event. She was having trouble with this second candle. The gas lighter wouldn't stay lit long enough to light the candle. If you look close you can see the hope in her expression that it will finally work. And it does!

We all got serving our plates, filling drinks, and sitting down to eat. It was a beautiful table setting, beautiful food, and beautiful people.

The following morning Emily went to go buy a new car. This was a big event for her. Just three years ago when she was 18 she moved to Arizona and started a full-time job and felt so unsure if she could handle doing life on her own.

She was brave to branch out into the world and has come a long way. Buying her first car is a sign of her success and courage. Her life was uprooted with Tiffany's cancer and death and it took a lot of strength to put her life into a solid place.

We went to the dealership where Emily test drove the car she liked. Then she worked through all the paperwork. She qualified completely on her own merits for the lease. She signed all the papers, and drove her new car off the lot.

It was a proud moment for me to see. She's accomplished and strong and courageous. At 22 she is very mature and responsible and I'm a proud dad!

Lucky for us the day after Thanksgiving was Taylor's 26th birthday. We celebrated by going to Kona Grill for lunch.

Then we went shopping at Santan Mall and hit some balls at Top Golf. Taylor gave Lizzie a lesson on how to swing the club. Some of Taylor's personality reminds Mitzi of Brandon. When Taylor was teaching Lizzie how to swing he sounded like Brandon...squatting, sticking his butt out, and bouncing a little. He's very athletic and has a really good feel for his body. How it moves and how to make it perform.

As we were leaving Top Golf, Emily noticed this beautiful sunset. She shared how she loves the Arizona sky and especially the sunsets.

Taylor wanted pizza for dinner so we all gathered back at his house. He ordered the party pizza and it was HUGE!

We felt so full and content. Mitzi and Lizzie enjoyed more time with the cute dogs and I helped Baylie clean up the kitchen.

This trip was a Thanksgiving we feel very thankful for. Having family to visit is a wonderful thing. Belonging to a group of people that are fun, kind, and interesting and where there is love and support is a wonderful thing.

Rebuilding our lives after loss is a wonderful thing. Seeing all our children and their spouses cherish these relationships is a wonderful thing.

I love parenting adult children with Mitzi. She's an amazing wife and I am a much better dad because of her encouragement and love and support.