I hosted my first Thanksgiving when I was in college. My housemates and I signed up for a progressive dinner and volunteered to make the turkey….which means we also made some stuffing….and the gravy…..so we might as well make some mashed potatoes…. and it was unforgettable. hilarious. And, somehow, miraculously, tasty.
I continued to host Thanksgiving after Andrew and I were married. I know I should say “we”…..but let’s be honest with ourselves. My family drove up many times to share a turkey dinner at our table. It was awesome.
When we moved out here I assumed that my days of playing Holiday Hostess were over. I didn’t expect that our families would travel this far for a “minor league” holiday like Thanksgiving – one that doesn’t even warrant more than one day off in traditional employment settings. This year, however, my sister-in-law came to visit with her family. We were thrilled to host both of Andrew’s sisters and their families and a new friend at our home for the holiday. (Notice – the *we* – he pulls more than his share these days.)
The cooking wasn’t too tough, actually…. especially with so many delicious contributions from our guests. But my nephews are just about the same ages as my kids. While they are often the best of friends…tides quickly turn and they bicker like an old married couple….and aren’t afraid to throw some punches in for good measure. It was a constant toss between completely awesome to see and then trying to break it up. Traveling with kids is tough, but my sister in law is pretty much Super Mom and they rallied through it all. By bedtime we were all ready for the kiddos to just Go To Bed so we could enjoy some grown up conversation, beverages, and board games.
Yeah. Board games. Things have changed over the years….in a good way 🙂
We had a great Thanksgiving. The kids all talked about what they are thankful for and contributed to the table prayer. They managed to eat a little and did eventually get to sleep. The grown ups got plenty of time for games and catching up…..and capped off the night with some caramel apple hot toddies….some of us enjoying them more than others. 😉 I had a great night and was so happy to have such laughter in our home.
We are so thankful for SO much. As I type, I have two healthy beauties sleeping in their beds, an amazing husband researching flights to the Midwest in the next room, a roaring fire and plenty of twinkle lights. We have plans with loved ones far and near on the calendar and are whispering about traveling again soon (just whispers so far). Life is so very good. Mostly, though, I am thankful for the small moments – for the space and peace of mind that enables me to notice them – and for the way they add up to a feeling of immense gratitude.
More photos to come from our visit with family, but these will get the ball started.