For years my mother-in-law, my grandmother and my sister (and my friend Charlene occasionally) have been going to Potomac Mills in December to go Christmas Shopping. On our secong Wedding Anniversary Ward and I went to DC with another couple, Dying Cloud and his wife Charlene. On the trip home Charlene asked if we could stop in to Potomac Mills, a huge outlet center in Woodbridge, VA. We didn't stay long but I wanted to go back and thus our Christmas Shopping trip was born. Some years we go for one night, others a long weekend. Once we made the long drive over to Leesburg just to realize that was not worth it. Several times we got lost before I finally found a simpler route the last time (and have since forgot?). Every year we ate at Red Robin and twice we visited Babies R Us even though no one in our group had babies.
This trip is more than just shopping, it is sort of a growing tradition. I didn't want to not go this year but I didn't want to leave the twins home while I left for the weekend so Ward graciously agreed to come along this year. I am very excited! I always worry about spending too much money or should I or should I not when I come across gifts, so this year he can help me make the choices then and there on the spot (even though I always enjoyed showing him everything when I got home, it was like show and tell).
So this year in addition to Ward, Cooper and Bailey my brother-in-law and nephew will be coming. We have decided to go earlier, mid-November, since it is usually crowded when we go the first week in December. This afternoon my Grandmother called. "Hello, stranger" she said and immediately I felt terrible, I really should call her more oftern, we use to see each other at least once a week but since I got pregnant it's more like once a month. We chatted for a few minutes when I finally got around to asking her if she was on board this holiday for our Potomac Mills trip. I just figured she would say yes but she told me instead that she doesn't want to "Mess up our plans" or "butt in and tag along". I was kind of sad that she doesn't want to go, I told her that it isn't butting in if someone asks her and she is part of the plan. She finally accepted that we wanted her there and said she would go and seemed excited about it, even more so when I told her that I was still inviting my mother-in-law.
This year's group will be larger, and smaller (height wise) and probably stressful and hectic, but I am looking forward to it more than any other previous year.