Holy shmoley…it’s been another crazy two weeks.  Two weekends ago we headed out to the ole’ stomping grounds in Missouri for an early Thanksgiving with the Perkins side of the family. The trip was excellent – we left at bedtime and the kids slept the whole way there and the whole way home!  It was great to see everyone and catch up.  It seemed odd to be “out of town” visitors, but I guess we’ll get used to it.  Some of my family will probably scoff at this, but I gotta say that it was kind of nice to have Thanksgiving on a day when there was no football on TV – after we ate everyone actually sat and visited rather than zonking out in front of the TV!  During our trip northward, we also visited our “other house” just to check up on things.  It made me sad to be there, and I think Carina was pretty confused.  I will be so glad when it sells.  Hopefully now that all the election garbage is finished, things will balance out and people will regain confidence in making big ticket purchases.  On the upside, we also were able to have dinner with the Feola family.  It was good to catch up with them and see how much the girls have grown over the past 3 months. I just wish we would have had more time to spend.  I also wish I had remembered to pack an extra change of clothes for Carina.  Thanks again for the clothes, Kristin!  I hope your couch has fully recovered.

Then, this past weekend, we got really brave and drove to Lafayette, Indiana to have Thanksgiving at Craig’s grandmother’s house.  We always enjoy visiting the Hoosier side of the family, they are so laid back and fun to be around.  However, our trip to and from Indiana could not be described as such.  On the way up we planned to make the 9 hour trip in one day.  We left LR at 11:30 am and hoped to be at Craig’s Grandma’s house at 10pm (with the one hour time change).  However, as dark descended, after numerous stops for fuel, playing time, and eating, we realized we weren’t going to make it.

We are somewhat loyal to Holiday Inn Express hotels, so we booked the one in Effingham, IL via phone from the road.  I was a bit confused and surprised to hear Craig exclaim, “Ooohh, A Wal-Mart!” as we pulled into the hotel parking lot.  I glanced at the Wal-Mart that was across the street from our hotel, which looked like the hundred or so other super Wal-Marts we’ve seen around the country and looked back to Craig, whose eyes were gleaming.  “Did you need to buy something?,” I asked. “No,” he grinned, “tomorrow morning is black Friday!!” We didn’t talk much more about it, so I was a little surprised again when, at some point in what seemed like the middle of one of the most sleepless nights of Callen’s young life, I opened my eyes to Craig leaning over me, dressed and with his coat on, telling me he was going to Wal-Mart. I just said Ok and closed my eyes.

A few hours later, when the day had dawned, and our two little roosters were crowing, Captain Craig filled me in on his black friday plundering adventure.  His original plan was to be at Wal-mart at 4:30am, because their doorbusters started at 5am.  When we got in bed the night before, he had set the alarm on his phone and adjusted the time to east coast time.  The problem with that is that Effingham IL is not on east coast time.  So, Craig ended up showing up to Wal-Mart at 3:30am!!  On the upside, he pretty much completed our Christmas shopping for us, and he satiated his desire to participate in black Friday madness.  He was a little sleepy for the rest of the day though.

We had a great but very short time in Lafayette, and even though we had booked and pre-paid for two nights hotel, Craig decided to check out early and leave for home on Saturday night.  Thankfully, Best Western was nice enough to credit us for our second night, even though we didn’t check out til 6pm.  I thought that was really nice of them. (I should also note that in our haste to check out, we managed to leave a bunch of clothes in our room, and didn’t realize it til we got home.  The hotel washed them and packed them up, and Craig’s Grandma picked them up for us – another thing to give thanks for!) So we headed out, and the kids went to sleep pretty quickly.  I tried to sleep so I could take over driving from Craig around midnight (early morning hours are my forte these days), but the front passenger seat of our car is definitely the most uncomfortable seat to try to sleep in, except maybe for the seats on those AA puddle jumpers we used to fly on out of Springfield to Chicago or DFW. Anyhow, all was going relatively well until Craig needed to stop for gas – both of the kids woke up crying, and it went downhill from there.  Carina decided to be awake from about 1am to 4am, which is when I was driving and Craig was trying to sleep.  Since she was awake, but rediculously tired, she was also dilusional and manic, so Craig didn’t get any sleep.  Thank goodness for the portable DVD player, which gave us a little relief.  We finally made it home at 5am on Sunday morning.  It is now Tuesday, and we’re all still trying to get back on a normal schedule!