Had a really good, relaxing trip back to Minnesota for Thanksgiving. Because we left on Wednesday, and I took today off of work, it's been a good recharge of the batteries for me. We had extraordinary weather while we were up there. Thursday and Friday were spectacular; in the high 50's and low 60's both days. I was actually shooting hoops in a t-shirt for an hour and a half on Friday. Unbelievable really. Usually it's snowing and 30 degrees.
I managed to avoid black Friday madness for the 49th year in a row.
We stayed with my sister in-law's family again. She's a great hostess, and our kids get along so well. We call it the Landwehr hotel, and we are grateful she opens her house to us the way she does. My brother wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Looking back on the weekend, I have nothing but good memories to store away from it. We had a family "Amazing Race" game before Thanksgiving which was a blast. We had to find clues around the Shoreview Community Center and some of the events included a basketball shoot, a toast to my brother Rob, and blowing a bubble with chewing gum and posting it to Facebook. It was fun even though at one point during it we had lost the youngest and the oldest racers.
The weekend was a perfect chance to reflect on how much I need to be thankful for. I got to know my nephew Mike and his girlfriend a bit better. (I had never met her.) He has been sober for 2 years now and is a new person. He is absolutely inspirational to me. I also got to laugh (and cry) with my sister and niece on Saturday's celebration of December birthdays (Donna the 7th, Paul the 2nd and myself the 11th) I also got a chance to spend some decent time with my brothers Tom and Paul and my nephew Nick on Friday night. Usually our time is so short that we never get much below the surface. We had some great laughs as well as some serious discussions. I am privileged to be a part of such a strong family.
I also got to experience Midtown Global Market which was a bit like Milwaukee Public Market. It's in Minneapolis on Lake Street and features food and goods from several different countries. It was nice to get out of the house for a bit.
Back to reality tomorrow. I'm thankful for many things this holiday season. Thankful for my health. Thankful for my great kids, and beautiful wife. Thankful for my faith that has been tested these past 12 months, and thankful for my Minnesota family.