Thnx Gvng

Here's the thing about law school and having a real world, full-time job:

You can't just skip town whenever you feel like it.

Roy and I had stayed put for about five months, which is basically a decade in Buckmaster years.
  We were both restless, itching for a road trip.  As soon as we got time off for Thanksgiving, we hit the asphalt.

My family was bummed we were going to miss out on the turkey, but they were pretty understanding.  Thanks guys.  We missed you, but we had an awesome week and I'm so glad we were able to go.

Even if we did eat ourselves sick.

We're hoping that the damage isn't permanent...

Thanksgiving is about getting together with family, right?  We'll Roy and I had left a whole army of family back in Tucson, so we were doing things a little bit backwards.  The only family Roy has in Utah is his sister and brother-in-law, Leah and Jamie.  But it had been a reeeeeally long time since we'd seen them.  Probably since last May.

So it was awesome to hang out with them.  Originally we didn't have any plans.  In fact, we were all considering going out to eat.  You know, Denny's or something ;-).

But Kenny and Andrea intervened.  No friends of theirs were going to have Thanksgiving dinner at Denny's!

So we were taken on by the McAffee family for the day.  I was hesitant to barge in on another family's feast, but Roy is basically like an adopted son of theirs—so I'm adopted by default.

We love this fam!

In the morning the guys all went and played football.  Leah, Andrea, and I cooked.  OK, mostly goofed off.  The cooking didn't really get rolling until Kenny got back from football.

The food was great!  Ah!  I've never been a big fan of turkey, so I really don't know a thing about it, but this looks like some expert carving to me.  (Taylor is studying this art of carving very intently, as you can see.)

This is Beth and her granddaughter Brynne in the steamy, good-smelling kitchen.  Brynne is adorable.  I hung out with this little cutie tons of times when we lived in Utah, but she didn't remember me at all.  Neither did her little brother.  They were shy toward me, and I was lucky if I could get them to smile when I was behind the camera.

 Yet they remembered and loved Roy.  Um excuse me, what is up with that?

The holiday wouldn't have been complete without Andrea's traditional turkey call. 

And people act like I'm some weirdo for not liking turkey...

Ok, trying not to be a total baby stalker, but Dione and Taylor have the cutest little kids.  Check out how photogenic this little boy is!

After a most delicious dinner {Every year I overdo it on the mashed potatoes.  Every year.} we met up with more extended family to eat more and play games.  I wasn't prepared for how many people know Roy.  Kenny's grandparents, uncles, aunts, I mean seriously... these boys spent way too much time together before they met their wives.  Ha!  Love it.

We played a cracker-busting game which I so thoroughly enjoyed, I have decided to make it a Buckmaster tradition.  We will play every Thanksgiving, and I will kick butt every year, even when I'm a grandma.


You tie soda crackers to your belt loops, one on each side.  Then you roll up a newspaper as your weapon.  You and everyone else run around trying to crunch as many crackers as possible, thwacking people your weapon.  The last person with a cracker in tact wins the game! 

Honestly I think I won because no one knew me well enough to smack me around with a newspaper.  The first half of the game I mostly watched, and then reached out and thwacked if someone backed into my corner.  It was working pretty well.  But when it got down to the last handful, no one held back anymore.  I lost two different newspapers in the battle!

It got down to Beth, Kenny, and me.  A little cousin offered me her weapon, since mine had both crumpled.  Kenny saw it and shouted, "NO!"

Quite dramatic.  But after one smack I realized why he didn't want me to have this one.  The little girl had fortified her newspaper with ridiculous amounts of tape.  I wouldn't be surprised if she'd hidden some PVC pipe in there! 

In the end, I had a tiny scrap of cracker left, which made me the winner.  Kenny had four welts on his left leg and a purple spot on his eyelid.
WOW!  I really didn't mean to do that.  I didn't remember coming even close to his eyes {seriously, the crackers are on your belt loops, not your ear lobes}!  But I blame it on that totally illegal weapon.  Don't trust me with those things!

Um... thanks for inviting us to your Thanksgiving, I'm sorry I beat the crap out of you.

Later that night we four headed over to Carson and Shellena's.  They kept Story awake late just so I could see her cute face that I hadn't seen in almost six months!

Did you just melt? 
Yeah, I was basically a puddle for the whole week.

Story is a smiley one.  Really all you had to do to get her to crack a grin was to smile at her.  So precious.  Last time I saw her she was just barely learning to roll over—I can't believe how fast babies grow!

Laura, I got a picture of her playing with that book you got her!

And tearing the book...

And eating the book...

Pretty sure she loved it.

We spent the rest of the week between Kenny and Andrea's house and Carson and Shellena's.  It was like old times.  There were several moments when I felt like Roy and I were going to jump in our car and head down the street to our apartment in Springville.

But since we didn't really have our apartment in Springville, we had limited time to hang out together.  That meant every night was a late one, taking advantage of our short visit.
And late nights can get a little crazy.  Once night we stayed up and played Dare Dice.

Let's just say it involved batteries on your tongue, ice cream in your fist, and socks in your mouth... the late night, delirious humor of middle school.

Roy rolled the lowest number about 70% of the time, no joke.  Poor guy.  I believe three of us laughed ourselves to tears at some point.

We had such a great time.  We went to the movies, went to the park, went to Temple Square, met up briefly with a few other friends in Salt Lake {we love the Smedleys!}, did a little black Friday shopping, did a few other things—but we always had the most fun just hanging out and talking or playing games.

We brought our Christmas gifts up for them.  They had huge red tags on them that said "Don't Open 'Til Xmas."
              *cough cough, Andrea*
But we let Story open hers early.


See how much she loves being a wildcat? 
We thought we were pretty hilarious getting her this little U of A shirt.  We took about 20 pictures with her and our three matching "A"s. 

In fact, I took about a billion pictures of Story throughout our time there, but I didn't get a single picture with Carson and Shellena.  SAD!!!!  Sorry guys, that's what happen when you have a smiley, adorable kid.  She kind of takes the spotlight.

But for real, we miss our besties!  It was so much fun to be able to spend the week with them.  Pretty soon Carson and Shellena will be moving to California for film school and our reunions will be a little more complicated, but we'll make it happen.

Grateful for good friends.
Grateful for great family.
Thanks everybody who took us in and made our Thanksgiving unforgettable!

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