So, this year we had the amazing privilege to completely surprise Ben's parents for Thanksgiving. It was the Crisanto year for Thanksgiving and we always spend the holiday with the family whose "turn" it is. But, this year was different. I quit my job. Ben is working full time and student teaching full time. Financially there was no possible way to make it happen. We were sad about it, and honestly I felt horribly guilty. Benson barely gets to see his Crisanto family so it's hard to miss those few chances. But, there really was no way. Then about 2 weeks before, Ben's brother Cowdery called and told us to look up flights. He wanted us to come and was willing to pay for our tickets. He especially knew how much his parents would love to see Benson and wanted to do that for them. WOW! I have no way to even explain the shock and gratitude we felt. What a serious blessing! So, we booked the trip and started to plan the surprise!
Cowdery told Lolo and Lola (Grandpa and Grandma) that their flight from Hawaii had a layover in SLC and they were flying in on Southwest. He also told them they were arriving at 8pm, which was actually when our flight was arriving (he and Annaliesse were arriving later at 11pm). Plus he told them he had a friend coming into town with his wife and baby and they needed a place to stay (to make sure we would have somewhere to sleep). I was worried they would figure out the surprise, but they had ZERO idea! Even when we arrived and Ben called them and was saying "Cowdery just called me and wants to know where you guys are. Are you almost to the airport? Where are you meeting him?" HAHA. They were so confused at why Ben was calling them FOR Cowdery and why he wasn't calling them himself. I was so worried he gave it away. But, while sitting out on the curb at the Portland airport and seeing Lola's face when she saw us, I knew that they had NO idea!
It was such an awesome moment and it brought tears to my eyes. They were seriously the happiest I think I have ever seen them, especially Ben's dad. It was so fun to see! We got everything in the car and the questions started. We were laughing about all the clues they were given and didn't get. It was hilarious! We went to Red Robin by the airport to pass the time while waiting for Cowdery and Annaliesse to arrive from Hawaii. Benson was loving being with his Lolo and Lola and just being in a new place. But, it was getting late. Our flight arrived at 8pm PST, so 9pm Utah time. Cowdery arrived at 11pm so 12 am Utah time. So, ya, Benson was up extremely late!
It was a fun drive home, talking to everyone and catching up. Then, arriving at the house and getting huge hugs from Elisha was tons of fun too. We put Benson down and then stayed up and just talked and ate and hung out with the family. It was so much fun! We knew our trip was very short so we were trying to take advantage of every moment.
Thanksgiving Day was quite an adventure. We got ready for the day and then headed out on our road trip to Puyallup Washington to spend the day with aunties and cousins. We love that, obviously, but it is a 3.5-4 hour drive each way. As many of you know, 8 hours in a car is hard enough, but with a toddler it is dramatically worse. Benson actually did great on the way there. Not so much on the way back. The last 2 hours we were singing, playing games, giving him toys, and so on and so forth. Cowdery tried to help by playing AC/DC. Ya, screaming child and AC/DC were probably my least favorite part of the trip, haha! But, like I said, it was an adventure. We got to see family that we haven't seen in over a year that we love. So that was fun. Ben's aunt has a cat though.....Ben, Elisha and Cowdery are severely allergic to cats. Yep, that was torture. We only spent about 2 hours at the house because they were dying. So, 8 hours in the car and 2 hours at the house......an adventure to say the least. Not something I would want to repeat anytime soon.
Friday was much more calm. Ben and I took Benson to the mall in the morning just to walk around and get out. He really loves malls because he can walk and run and see lots of people. At this mall he stopped and tried to "pick up" all the dirt and dark spots on the floor. Yikes. He also has been obsessed with trying to zip up his zippers while walking. That definitely slows us down. After the mall, we went to Olive Garden with Cowdery, Annaliesse, Elisha and Lola. That was a lot of fun. Benson was hilarious and keeping everyone entertained. I was glad everyone got to see his cute and funny personality. I was worried that the lack of sleep would just make him cranky (it did that too), but he was a pretty happy kid a lot of the time.
That night Benson was watching football with Daddy when Lolo got home from work. It was one of the cutest moments I have ever seen. Lolo walked in the door and bellowed "BENSON"...and Benson yelled back "LOLO". Oh...my....cuteness!!! He LOVES his Lolo! Even when Lolo just went in his room to change his clothes, Benson was yelling "LOLO...LOLO". I have included a video, because it is so stinkin cute. Then they all watched the Oregon/Oregon State game together and Benson got his first lesson in watching football. WOW! He was cheering and jumping up. It was a really fun, laid back night just spending time with Lolo and Lola and Tita Elisha. We also had a visit from our good friend Antonette and her cute boyfriend, Kyle. So it was a good night.
We left the house on Saturday morning at 5 am. Our flight was at 6:50 AM. On the way there and back Benson LOVED the plane. He even loved the "bus" we drove in from the airport parking lot. That kid loves vehicles! He has been talking about the "bus" and "airplane" all week since. I think this trip to Salem was my favorite ever. It was amazing to surprise Lolo and Lola and I think that feeling just permeated the whole trip. It was great getting to spend time with Cowdery and Annaliesse. It was just great all around! So happy we had the chance to make it happen.
These magnets kept Benson entertained on the flight as well as on our long drives. He LOVED the idea of being on a plane, that's for sure!
Tita Elisha kept Benson entertained on the drive to Washington.
Benson and Lolo playing on Thanksgving
The entire trip wore this kid out
Benson and Tito Cowdery became buddies
"Helping" us pack
This kid sure has a personality
Lovin daddy on the plane ride home
Entertaining us at Olive Garden
Calling for Lolo
Being crazy and cheering for football (the BEST is at about 1:10 and on)
Sorry for the overload of Benson pictures. I did not bring my camera or else we would have had many more pictures of the family we were visiting LOL.