During the summer we were talking with Andrew’s family and jokingly told Hannah that if she wanted to see Baby Boy Jackson before he was two she would have to come to Indiana for Thanksgiving (Hannah leaves in a few weeks for a mission in Alaska!!!). A few weeks later we woke up to an email from Andrew’s mom showing the iternary for her and Hannah to fly out. We were super excited to say the least.
They were supposed to arrive in Indianapolis around 4pm on Sunday night, but they missed their connecting flight and were sent to Georgia first. We felt bad for them until we heard they were in first class and got pillows, blankets, and a complimentary salmon dinner. They made it to our home early Monday morning.
It was a wonderful, low key week. Andrew was on campus most of the day Monday and Tuesday. Jenny and Hannah kept our house cleaned and on top of the kitchen, made delicious meals (and lots of freezer meals too) and played with Emily who was thrilled to have Aunt Hannah and her disposal. I took advantage of the extra adults in the house and tried to build up my strength by going on walks or trying to do a little work around the house. I always did too much and was completely useless by the end of the day, but I did get stronger throughout the week.
We had a mini Christmas and opened a few presents. Grandma Jackson gave Emily and Nathan a Nativity. The set is awesome, but Emily’s favorite part so far has been drawing on the box. She drew with Aunt Hannah a lots while she was here, and has continued to draw on it for hours since. We also got some books from Aunt Aimee which have been a HUGE hit!
There was a lot of hanging out and playing.
Emily LOVED having Aunt Hannah as part of the bed time and nap time routine!
We all went out together on a walk when the sun was shining in the afternoon. Emily discovered snow again and that she could draw in it or get a stick and “paint” on the sidewalk. She also loved walking on the grass in the snow. It was a bit of a challenge to convince her it was time to come home. The two successful strategies were getting her to walk or jump or run like different animals and have Grandma Jackson and Aunt Hannah each take a hand and swing her in the air.
On Tuesday I really wanted to go to JoAnn Fabric to get some incredible deals on fabric and patterns. There was no way I could go successfully by myself, let alone with two kids, so the five of us piled into our Honda Civic. Grandma Jackson and Aunt Hannah kept tabs on Emily and Nathan while I looked at my list and they helped me find everything. By the end of the 45 minutes I was sooooo tired and soooo grateful they were there and also really excited that we got my huge list of things for such a great price!
Wednesday Andrew was able to spend the day at home. Everyone but myself (I was still recoverying from my JoAnn’s adventure) headed out for a tour of Purdue in the morning.
Thanksgiving day Jenny and Hannah made a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. We discovered on Monday that we had three pies, so we cooked (and ate) a pie every night leading up to Thanksgiving, which we all decided was a great idea. Andrew carved his first turkey. Nathan slept the ENTIRE day and wouldn’t wake up for anything. We (all the adults minus myself who watched) got the downstairs cleaned up and rearranged our living room in preparation for decorating for Christmas.
On Friday Jenny and Hannah went to the temple and we got our home decorated for Christmas. Emily was excited about the tree until she found the skateboard that was stored near the Christmas tree. She got all dressed so she could ride it and skated around for almost an hour (which included us pushing her around a good portion of the time).
Saturday we had to drive to Kokomo Indiana to pick up some items that we had purchased. Emily and Nathan were both up early and so we decided head out right after breakfast to give Grandma Jackson and Aunt Hannah some time to sleep and pack for their trip back home. Emily and I sang Jingle Bells and This Little Light of Mine, a million times during our two hours in the car. Everyone was in good spirits and it was fun to drive through the rural areas of Indiana and small towns.
We were sad to see them go. When we told Emily there were going home she said,”Be back tomorrow. Emily wakes up.” We said they wouldn’t be back for a long time and she quickly stated, “Facetime.” Every morning she sneaks downstairs now and says “shhhhh” until we can see the living room. Once she sees Grandma Jackson and Aunt Hannah aren’t there she says,”Noooo.” and starts laughing at her own joke. All week she has been talking about Aunt Hannah drawing with her or the blanket’s that Grandma Jackson and Aunt Hannah used are now refered to as theirs. I love that Emily is old enough to connect with our extended family, even if we only see them for a short time.
Before they left, Emily, Hannah, and Nathan took lots and lots of pictures. Grandma Jackson snuck in a few too. Here’s a sampling: