Happy Friday to everyone! And happy day after Thanksgiving to those who celebrated yesterday. I pray you had a blessed day full of love and gratitude….and good food too, of course. Those things summed up our Thanksgiving day pretty much and knowing the joy it brought me, I certainly wish the same for each of you.
Thanksgiving kicked off nice and early in the morning for myself. I woke up around 6 am to head down into our basement gym for a workout. It took all the will power in me to not just turn over and lounge around before getting I start on the day. The fact that my training plan only called for cross training and not a run made it that much harder to motivate myself. I knew I would feel better and have more energy by fitting in a workout, though, so I did. Peter and I got ourselves up and moving. I completed a 45 minute Turbo Jam DVD and some core work while he jogged/walked on the treadmill. After about 5 minutes, I knew I made the right decision to start my day off on such a positive note.
Once we finished, the kids started waking up, as well as my parents who arrived the night before. Immediately, my mom and I got into the kitchen to begin preparing Thanksgiving lunch. My mom worked on the turkey while I prepared the dessert dish in my post-workout dishevelment.
Don’t worry. I washed my hands thoroughly.
For dessert, I made some pumpkin pie bars that my friend Laura brought to our women’s group last week. They were delicious when she made them and I had to recreate them yesterday. I don’t feel quite talented enough to tackle a pie from scratch yet…so pumpkin pie bars for the win!
Then, some additional prep work happened – peeling sweet potatoes, chopping squash and onions, getting the ham ready to cook, cleaning as we went along. Thanksgiving meal prep is a never ending job it seems! Good thing the fine company of my family helps the time to pass painlessly.
After about an hour of some prep work, I excused myself to finally go shower and eat breakfast – pumpkin oats to hold me over until the main event. I always choose to eat a normal breakfast so I’m not completely famished come lunch time. Although I don’t know how much that concept helps since the spread always looks so delicious!
We had turkey, ham, stuffing, and a variety of casseroles – green bean, squash, and sweet potato.
I filled my plate up with my absolute favorites and didn’t bother with the few other items.
I chose a few small pieces of ham and then a generous scoop of each of the casseroles. The casseroles are where it’s at! Sweet pecan toppings and cheesy,creamy fillings will always reign superior for me in Thanksgiving dining. I savored every bite. The kiddos did too.
We lingered over our meal while sharing the many things we feel thankful for at this time of our lives – like welcoming my sister’s fiancé, Tim, into our family soon.
Although, there was a bit of a hole there as I missed Roxy not being around with us all. I also missed my brother dearly. I sincerely hope when he moves back to the east coast from California that he and his boyfriend will be able to visit more frequently. It’s just not the same without my brother around for it all.
Once we all finished lunch, we sadly had to get things cleaned and packed up rather quickly. My parents had to do some traveling that afternoon and my sister and Tim and my uncle needed to head out too. Normally, my family is in a rush out as well to head to Peter’s family’s celebration. This year, however, they weren’t having their usual get together due to lots of people traveling elsewhere. That left us with the entire afternoon and evening as just the four of us. We put it to good use and kept the party going.
First, we put on some Christmas music and brought out the Christmas tree.
Hands down, this is one of my all time favorite traditions each year. The beginning of Christmas music and setting up decorations as a family never fails to put me in the holiday spirit.
I love it more and more as my children get older. The memories become that much more special when your children share in them and even remember some of their own. I loved every second of bonding as we hung ornament after ornament, each with a special meaning or memory attached – Baby’s First Christmas ornaments for each of the kids (and we even have old ones for Peter and myself as well!), ornaments from our alma maters, ornaments to reflect the kids’ interests each year, ornaments to reflect the meaning of the season, and so much more.
Once all the inside decorations were put up, we couldn’t stay inside when such beautiful, mild weather awaited us outdoors. We tossed on our shoes for a leisurely neighborhood walk.
This hit pretty hard though. It was our first walk without Roxy. Peter and I talked about that together and chose to be thankful for the memories we had with her. We will always miss you, Roxy.
When things started to chill off not too much later, we headed back indoors for dinner and a relaxing evening on the couch with one of my favorite movies to kick off the holiday season – ELF!
It may not be as classic as It’s A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story…but it sure does make me smile. What a perfect way to end an already perfect day – snuggled with my love on the couch with some hot cider for me and hot chocolate for him.
I truly did feel so blessed every moment of the day. Thank you, my dear loving God, for all you have done in our lives. You deserve all the praise and glory.
Your Turn: Did you celebrate Thanksgiving? Favorite thing to eat? And what is your favorite way to kick off the holiday season (no matter what you celebrate this time of year)?