Tuesday, December 7, 2010

full house

It was just after Thanksgiving last year when I first thought about buying a house. I had been visiting my cousins in Thailand, and they were contemplating buying a house for their return to Minneapolis before the tax credit expired (which they ended up doing... and lucky me, it's only a few blocks from mine!) Another cousin had purchased a house in the neighborhood earlier in November, and I started wondering if it was something I should consider doing as well.

Financial benefits of homeownership aside (and they do exist, as expensive as home maintenance is)... what I really dreamed of was my entire family gathering for holidays here in Minnesota. In early December of last year, my brother found out he'd been accepted Early Decision at the same college that my sister, mom and I attended. Twenty-eight years after my parents left Minnesota for their new life in Texas, we realized that all three kids would soon be in Minnesota the majority of the year. And even an English major can do the math: flying three kids to Cali is more expensive than flying two parents to Minnesota - especially if the parents have a free place to stay.

Life has a funny way of working out, doesn't it? I ended up finding a great house (obviously) and my parents came home to Minne for their first Thanksgiving here since 1982. All of this is a long way of saying that, when I arrived home after work on the day before Thanksgiving, I was so excited to see this scene in my living room:

That morning, I'd thrown together a crock pot dinner of carnitas (recipe courtesy of the lovely Megan E., a California friend and blogger). It was de-licious and perfect for a snowy evening.

And we even moved the TV from the basement to the upstairs living room so we could all sit around and watch a movie together. (Sadly, there's not enough room on the couch down there for all of us.) It worked out perfectly.

Even if a bit messy. I think at one point, I counted five laptops, two iPads, six cell phones, three iPods and two cameras on the main level of my house -- not to mention the countless magazines, water glasses and winter jackets that go along with five people. Next time they come to visit, my family just might have their own little baskets where they can throw everything ;) But, despite the chaotic moments, it was awesome to spend Thanksgiving* week with my entire family for the first time since 2006. Blessings abound.

*No, I did not host Thanksgiving. I'm not that crazy (nor is my kitchen that well outfitted). We went to my aunt's, as usual. I think my hosting days are a few years away yet. And I'm totally cool with that.

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