The day before Thanksgiving, my husband Paul and I busily tried to get things ready for the big feast. Both sides of our family were coming over, about 20 people. We were going to have Paul's parents watch the kids, but Ian had a bad cold, so only Laurel got to visit her grandparents. Poor Ian had to hang out with us while we cleaned house and prepped food. Not exactly a fun place to be for a toddler, even a sick one.
Turkey and turkey breast thawed and swimming in brine, check. House cleaned, check. Patio and patio furniture hosed off/cleaned, check. Traditional Thanksgiving treasure hunt for the kids created and gifts wrapped, check. Cornbread casserole made, check. Sweet potato casserole made, check. Waldorf salad made, check. (Family members were to bring other sides and dessert.) Appetizers ready, no check, except for the dip. At midnight, we decided this could wait until the following day and headed to bed.
Thanksgiving morning, we knew we still had a lot to do, but tried to relax a bit with Laurel and Ian. We turned on the parade. Laurel could care less, but Ian was excited to see the big balloons, floats and marching bands. TiVo helped keep it interesting for him. We happily skipped over the mindless chatter and commercials, and just watched what interested Ian. I don't know how we survived before TiVo.
Finally, Paul and I kicked our butts into high gear. Paul made a quick trip to the store, while I tried to set up tables. When he got back, I didn't get anything done except take care of the kids. He got the turkeys into the oven, and the ham into the roaster. When we put the kids down for a nap, I was finally able to set up the tables and hide the clues for the treasure hunt.
When the doorbell rang as the first of our families arrived, we had just started getting the appetizers set out, YIKES! In fact, I was still rinsing off veggies and making iced tea as we were saying hello to people. Mental note, make sure ALL food is prepped and ready the night before.
Thanksgiving day was a beautiful 80 degrees (Fahrenheit, 27 Celsius), so we ate outside. Our patio is long enough, that the 20 of us were able to sit altogether. Ian thoroughly enjoyed chatting with everyone during dinner, while Laurel decided it would be fun to blow raspberries with baby food in her mouth. Sorry to those sitting next to her.
Pictures of the family on one side...
...and the other side of the table. Still couldn't fit everyone into the frame. Sorry Diana, Sam, Papa Dave, Jimmy and Kathy (oh yeah, I'm also missing from the pictures since I had the camera).
Everyone had a great time. Paul and I feel especially lucky to have so much family living nearby. We love having everyone over.
During cleanup the following day, Ian decided to take the role of supervisor and tell us where to vacuum. Daddy, it's dirty over there.
Of course Laurel had to point out some of the mess too...
I think I've finally recovered from Thanksgiving. You know you're old when you have a holiday hangover and you didn't have a single drop of alcohol. I was walking around on autopilot Friday morning, until my body forced me to take a nap. And I do mean forced. I was feeding Laurel and Ian lunch, when suddenly I started crying for no particular reason. The waterworks started and I just couldn't get them to stop. I handed Laurel over to Paul and went straight to bed. The second my head hit the pillow, I was out. Three hours later, I woke up refreshed and energized. Look out Christmas, here I come!
Happy Holidays everyone!