Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

This year Jesse, Riley and I spent Thanksgiving with my side of the family. My dad hopped a ride with us and we headed out to my brother's house in the northern suburbs. A big part of Thanksgiving on my side is a touch football game - a tradition that started in 1991. I'm not sure why I've never played, but now I participate by documenting the game with pictures.

Since it was so cold out (9 degrees) we left Riley back at the house with family that don't participate in the game. Riley was in good hands and got to play with her cousins. My sister, Judy, and my nephew's wife, Tara, brought games and art things so the kids were plenty occupied.

Just to warn you, I took over 400 pictures of the game. I thought I would widdle them down to 25, but I think I ended up with 46 of the game alone. I knew that I would delete most of them, but it was also an opportunity to practice action shots. I definitely need more practice (and probably a different lens), but it was still a highlight in the day for me. Anyway, if you don't like football or aren't my family, this post could bore you. :)

Please don't take my picture.

My brother, Chuck, has the set up down after all these years so while he and a couple others ran the string and set up the goal lines I took pictures of James eating snow, and the others warming up.

Game essentials

And then the game started! Only two of my brothers played this year, Barry and Chuck, while Ben and John stayed back at the house. My brothers tend to bicker endlessly, but I thought it was way better than usual this time. Jesse wasn't so sure of that, but I reminded him that if John and Ben were out there too it would have been way worse. It's just the way they communicate. It drives other people nuts, but they hang out together all the time so it must not bother them so much. In fact, in the last play of the game there was much debate if my nephew, Quentin, was in the end zone or not before he was touched. Luckily, I was able to provide some proof with a picture or else we might still be debating (bickering) about if it was the game winning touchdown or not.

Our players ranged in age from something like 5 to 56 years old. My brothers (the guys in their 50's) were the quarter backs. Much of the team were in their 20's (or a few years younger), but a couple were in their 30's and a couple in their 40's. These guys above were only a few years apart (8 and 5?), but there was a big difference in their level of interest in the game... as you can see.

Max was an excellent Center and did a  great job hiking the ball.

Official time clock.

Jacey had a couple touchdowns.

My amazing husband knocked this incoming ball away from my nephew, Shane. Shane and Jesse basically covered each other throughout the entire game which seems pretty fair since they are both in their 40's. The next day when Jesse was feeling the pain from playing football he asked if he was one of the oldest guys out there and was a little bummed to hear that Shane is actually a couple years older than him, but I'm guessing Shane was also feeling the pain of the game.

Half time! Time to take a quick break, maybe have a beer, but not stand around too long as it was just too cold.

Second half! I had the option of heading back to the house at anytime, but since I was actually warm (except for my toes) I decided to stick around.

Yes, my brother is wearing a surgical glove so he would have a good grip on the ball. 

Jesse made a touchdown during the game (above) - using his legs to help secure the catch. Also, that looks a little like tackle football instead of touch... no wonder he hurt the day after the game.

Chuck's team won (Jesse played on this team), but it was pretty close and that last play as the clocked ticked down was what gave Chuck's team the lead. I'm thinking next year we need team names and need to send out 'ticket's' to the game instead of invites to Thanksgiving. Edit: I've just been informed that they didn't count that last touchdown so Barry's team actually won which means the MVP played on the losing team. Such a close game. 

Just before I left my house earlier that day my sister in law, LaRaa, sent me an email asking me to get all her boys in a picture (LaRaa was going to her side of the family, but my brother and their boys would be at ours). We've been looking for this opportunity for some time, but it seemed that one of the boys was always missing. They might have been all sweaty from the game, but they were all smiling and looking at the camera... and they were all there so I consider it a win.

Quentin, Joseph, Graham, and Evan

My favorite 

Back at the house a vote was taken to see who this years MVP was and turns out it was my nephew, Brandon. The 'trophy' jug has run out of room for writing the MVP's on the back and the last few are actually on the bottom. In a few years we might actually have to get a new trophy to write on since the bottom has very little space left.. Also, my family (my step family) have the last name 'Super' so this is our 'Super' Bowl.

Then it was time for food and hanging out.

I caught Jenny (my nephew's wife) engaged in this cute photo shoot where she was making the kids do fun things to all stay engaged and focused on the camera. And, of course, I had to sneak in and capture some from the front as well.

Jenny and I got to talking cameras and she showed me her new point and shoot that had manual settings. It made me a little jealous that mine doesn't, but then I remembered that's why I use my DSLR so there really isn't a need that I have that. I showed her mine and then let her take it around and capture some images.

Photo by Jenny

Photo by Jenny

Photo by Jenny

We certainly missed hanging out with Jesse's family, but it was nice to see my side especially since a few people will be out of town for Christmas. I am incredibly grateful for my family and the time I get with them and have to say that this year had been pretty good overall.