Friday, December 7, 2012

Thanksgiving at home :)

Ok ok, I admit it! I've totally been putting this off... for awhile.. and by awhile, I mean 3 weeks. Whoopsie! So what if Thanksgiving was almost a month ago! But, everytime I get on to write, I just think, "My name is Kaitlan Smallwood, and I have an over-writing, rambling problem." I don't know if any of you know this, but I have to devote at least a 2 hour period of time when I blog just because I can't seem to shut up and let my 2.5 readers get back to their much more interesting and important lives. I know, it's a problem..
So, Thanksgiving! I was lucky enough to sneak home for a week at the end of November to spend this joyous, sweatpants holiday with the family. And thank goodness for that! Right now, Ballet West is doing their Nutcracker. All month long. Yes. All month. And, being the spectacular understudy that I am, I have to attend every single show and help out back stage with putting makeup on the little ones and making sure they all get to their places on time. So, I guess, in retrospect, I've gotten really good at putting lip liner on children! There's a plus :) It actually is really fun being backstage for it all, though. I get to experience the entire process and product of a real company show. It's thrilling to see the stage managers hauling around props, and professional dancers huddling around the space heater in the wings, and the little kids bouncing off the walls with excitement. I guess I should probably explain: The trainees were mostly all casted in small roles, all of which are only on stage for the beginning of second act. And a few of us were only casted as understudies for these smaller roles. My official title is a Servant's Assistant, meaning if one of the "Oriental Servants", who have a small piece in the opening of second act, goes out, then I am the one to fill the hole. But, otherwise, my job is to make sure the show is running smoothly. I usually just end up watching the performance from the wings and drooling over how beautiful all the company dancers are.
Anyway, back to the point! I was lucky to be able to get the week off from doing Nutcracker up in Ogden, Utah, where the company was guesting. The whole family was at home, which was so so nice since that sort of thing only happens every couple of years or so. The only one we were missing was Wade, whose still on his mission in California, and boy do we miss him! 9 more months :) So, I flew in to Colorado on Monday morning before Thanksgiving. It's funny how you just kinda jump back into where you left off at home. You feel like you've been there all along and there's people who you know and love, and there's mounds of food in the pantry, and there's a queen bed upstairs with your name on it, and you know exactly how to get places. It's just an awesome feeling; being at home :) We basically spent the week either sitting around at home in our pajamas, or at the mall, frantically trying to buy gifts for family members. Every year, we do a secret santa among all the kids in the family, and since we aren't all going to be together for Christmas, we decided to do the gift exchange the day after Thanksgiving, which also happened to be the day we were celebrating my sister's birthday. The whole secret santa thing used to be simple.. until we all grew up and we are more picky about what we want, plus it's twice as difficult to buy a gift for a sibling's spouse since you really don't know what they like. So, it got pretty complicated. I had to go back to the same store at the mall 3 or 4 times to make exchanges of items and to buy new things and to return others before I finally got it right. My person was Jessica, my older sister, and if you know her, you know she knows what she wants, which puts quite a bit of stress on a person whose trying to shop for her. I ended up following her around H and M one day to see what she thought was cute and the next day, I went back and bought it all.
It was so nice to have a few days off from dancing, even if we didn't do anything that exciting. Although, the mall gets pretty entertaining when it's packed with crazy shoppers the week before Thanksgiving. I did go take a ballet class at my old studio, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, and saw a few of my old teachers and friends. It's always nice to see all of them again! But, I do admit, the nice, big studios I dance in now are a much better upgrade than what I used to dance in. I can't imagine how we even danced in there when I was younger!! It was also so great to hang out with my cool niece and nephew. You never really understand the phrase "Kids do the darndest things" until you're an aunt, because, seriously... kids just do the darndest things! haha. My niece, Whitley, is really talking now, but just to the point where everything she says sounds like gibberish. I think I had to ask her 4 or 5 times what she said before I finally understood the point she was trying to put across. Thank goodness for moms who understand the weird, toddler language :) And my nephew is walking now. He just looks like this little man, strutting around the house in his droopy diaper like he owns the place. He's gotten really good at the car engine sound, which can entertain him for limitless hours, as long as he has some kind of toy vehicle in his possession. I love kids :)... just as long as I don't have to change their poopy diapers... or deal with them when they are grumpy.. or hungry.. or crying..
Thanksgiving day was a blast! We had pumpkin pancakes for breakfast (home cooked breakfast for the win!!!) and then we got right into cooking dinner. You wouldn't think it if you'd never actually prepared Thanksgiving dinner, but it literally takes all day long. I even had to take a couple "laying on the floor for a few minutes to rest my body from relentless cooking" breaks. So, the girls were in the kitchen, wearing ridiculous aprons and frantically trying to throw together a meal, and the boys sat around a little table, putting together a puzzle. Of all games to play before Thanksgiving, they picked a puzzle.. what are we,80?! haha And occasionally, we switched off from 80 year old puzzle table to kitchen. My dad obviously had to deal with him turkey every now and then! We made every dish in the book: stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, jello salad, pumpkin pie, turkey, pumpkin dip and crackers, vegetables, and last but not least, rolls! The best rolls on the planet! I still have no idea why we made so much food.. I mean, I guess that the whole family was there, plus we invited the missionaries over for dinner, too, which was pretty great. Can't complain about something that's easy on the eyes sitting right across from me haha! The meal was a complete success, as usual. I don't know how my mom got to be such a good cook, but she is definitely teaching me her ways one of these days before she loses her mind and all her talent is lost or something.
After a very filling dinner, we took a digestion break and continued on our puzzle, as dorky as that may sound. We also had a bit of a ping pong tournament upstairs. I mostly just watched.. and dodged ping pong balls coming at my head, but it was funny to watch these guys getting all competative over a dumb game of table tennis. Boys and their competitions :) Once we felt like we could stuff some more food down, we had pumpkin pie and my famous pumpkin cupcakes for dessert. It turned out to be a really fun day! And I'm so glad that my parents flew me home for the week so I got to enjoy it with them :)

No comments:

Post a Comment