We left Williston around 1pm to start the drive. It was nice to be able to split it into two days. The boys loved having the DVD player in the car. As soon as one movie ended, Alex asked to watch another one. Edison doesn't really like watching shows very much so we would turn his screen off if he got angry about it. We stopped for dinner in Billings and then continued two more hours to Bozeman for the night.
Sam was getting swarmed with calls and emails on our second day of driving. We had to stop for lunch at a place that had wi-fi and then he sat at a different table and tried to calm the chaos while I was helping the boys eat lunch. I was impressed with Alex because we only had to stop for him to pee twice. Otherwise he waited until we were already stopped somewhere. We drove through West Yellowstone and it was beautiful. I want to go next summer.
When we arrived at the Merkley's, we ate the dinner while the boys had full meltdowns. So they went to bed and then the adults stayed up until almost midnight playing dominoes.
I spent the next morning helping make Thanksgiving dinner and get everything ready. There weren't very many people coming so it was easier to make things on a smaller level.
Sam played with the boys while I worked in the kitchen.
Alex was getting so frustrated that he couldn't ride the scooter very well. But he got a lot better over the few days we were there.
There were box elder bugs everywhere and the boys thought it was their personal mission to kill all of the bugs. I kind of felt like we were back in Texas with the swarms of bugs. It isn't like that in Williston. I have seen grasshoppers here, but now it's too cold. Not even bugs want to live here in the winter.
Emily Sarah brought her boyfriend so we all got to meet him for the first time!
We sat down to eat right at the boys' naptime. Based on the disaster that had been dinner the night before, we fed the boys PB&J earlier. They went down for their usual naptime and we got to eat our meal in peace. There were a lot of people I didn't know, and no one knew each other. But we had already used up the usual get-to-know-you questions and then we sat at the table and ate in silence.
Sam, Emily Sarah, Hector, Dave, Matt (Hollie's friend, not boyfriend), Hollie (Sam's cousin), Grandma Stephenson, and Marian.
Alex woke up as we were almost done eating but he only wanted a roll. Then he kept that roll in his mouth for hours. It turned back into dough.
Not long after dinner, most people passed out. Edison woke up from his four hour nap only because Sam woke him up. We played more dominoes.
That night, we went to Sam's Grandma Merkley's house for dinner. I was still stuffed from our late lunch so I only ate fruits and veggies but there was so much food. It was ridiculous!
Sam went running with his dad the next morning so I played downstairs with the boys. Once Sam was home and clean, we headed out to the mall for some Black Friday wandering.
Alex needed to work off all the food he had eaten the day before.
Sam's Grandma Merkley takes them out to eat as her Christmas present to them each year. We went to a buffet. The day after Thanksgiving. I totally overate. I think I kind of hate buffets. But it was fun to visit with Grandma Merkley.
The boys went home with everyone else and Sam and I left to Salt Lake City to see a Jazz game. It had been several months since we had been on a date so it was nice to go out together.
Lots of my cousins were at the game, too. We moved (to worse seats) to try to sit by them but then people came and kicked us out. So we moved to different seats and got kicked out by an usher. So we moved again and got kicked out by another usher. We weren't even trying to sit in good seats, we were just trying to sit together! We were missing so much of the game so we decided to move back to our own seats and then meet after the game. We went and got frozen yogurt and talked. It was fun to catch up with them.
We had to get our oil changed the next day so we took it to a Hyundai dealership in SLC. Michelle met us there so we wouldn't have to wait the whole time. We moved our carseats into her van and then drove to the park to play.
The boys were in heaven. It is too cold to play outside in Williston right now so they were thrilled to have so much space to run around. It helps that it was an awesome park.
We went out to lunch and it was absolute chaos. Michelle's lunch ended up on the bench, the boys were running around and Edison had a meltdown that ended with him flat on his back and screaming. But I loved it. I loved that it wasn't just my kids. Michelle totally understands what I was going through. Four boys! I guess I shouldn't include Everett in this though, because he sat in his high chair and ate the whole time we were there.
We went back to the Merkley's and the boys took naps while Sam and I went Christmas shopping for his parents' Christmas gifts. Dave and Marian had to go to a wedding reception that night so we ate dinner then took the boys on a long walk. Before bed, the boys said goodbye to Great Grandma Stephenson.
We got the boys in bed and then played a game. We went to bed early though because we had a lot of driving to do the next day and I was exhausted.
I drove the first ten hours the next day. Sam doesn't do well with driving when he is tired or when everyone else is asleep. I also have a hard time sleeping when he is driving, so it works out better for me to be the one driving.
We got home around midnight. The boys transferred into their beds well. When we pulled into Williston, I checked the weather and it said "One degree, feels like -10." We carried in our stuff from the car and then unpacked. It was nice to come home to a clean house and I am glad I stressed myself out about cleaning everything before we left. It made our home much more welcoming. I am not sure how many more holidays there will be that have us heading home but it was nice to spend time with family for Thanksgiving this year.