Wednesday morning, we dropped our car off to check out the transmission, since the last time we were at the shop for an oil change they said we had some leakage, but their shop wasn't equipped to work on transmissions. Then, we took the kids to the park:
Afterwards, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I decided to drive to Ikea for Christmas shopping and fun, since we figured we'd be too busy to venture out the rest of the weekend.
First, we got a call letting us know our car repairs would cost us at least $1,800. Then, on the way back, my mother-in-law got violently ill in her minivan...the stomach plague, er, flu, had spread. The thing about this stomach plague was, unlike most stomach bugs, it doesn't just last 24 hours. A person might only be vomiting for 24 hours, but they aren't able to eat real food for at least a week (my father-in-law got sick Monday night, but as of Sunday afternoon when we left, was still on a mostly banana, applesauce, and yogurt diet). So, into her room my mother-in-law went, for the next 36 hours, pretty much.
Thanksgiving morning, my sister-in-law and I decided to soldier on. It was Thanksgiving after all, and even though we were both a little sick to our stomachs from being in a car with a puking person, we were going to make it happen. We did the math, figured out how much time the turkey would take, and decided to cook the pies first.
And this happened:
I guess, unbeknownst to me, the brisket which was cooked a day prior to my arrival had leaked all over the oven floor, and then caught fire when I tried to bake my pies. Oops.
By the time the oven cooled down and we got the mess cleaned up, it was too late to put in the ginormous turkey and expect to have it done in time for dinner that night. So, we had brisket for dinner on Thanksgiving. I'd have been disappointed, except that it was phenomenal, and my mother-in-law and father-in-law were still so sick they wouldn't have been able to enjoy a real turkey dinner any more than the brisket.
Thursday night, my sister-in-law and I also had a very successful (and fun) Black Friday shopping extravaganza, so all-in-all, things had picked up.
Friday, I was still worrying about the fact that my car was going to explode on the drive home, or something. I was actually pretty worried, and trying to decide if it was worth it to fix all the damage and hope for the best, or just move on. Cam and I had been talking about buying a minivan for over a year, so Friday, when my in-laws felt better, we left the kids with them and went to test drive some vehicles. We didn't intend to buy that day, just see what we liked in person, though I knew, on paper, I wanted a used Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna.
Long story short, this happened:
It was the most expensive Black Friday I could've imagined, but I don't have an ounce of buyers remorse.
Saturday, we got to enjoy a turkey with all the trimmings, and open up Christmas presents.
Sunday, we drove home.
People have told me for years that travelling with kids is so much easier with a minivan. I thought it was a gross exaggeration, but I don't think that anymore. It was by far the most pleasant trip home I could've imagined. So, I think we can say, overall, it wound up being a great holiday weekend!