The day after turkey = REST

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is the one day where my entire family gets together and enjoys each others company with no expectations.  There is no other day like it in my opinion.  We don’t want anything from each other, we don’t expect anything from each other, we aren’t giving or receiving anything other than each others company and catching up on life.  The kids are all happy, having fun and sometimes napping. No one is fighting for toys or attention. The adults are relaxed, happy, and sometimes napping too.  If the dishes get done that’s a bonus and my husband is usually one of the first to get them started (in recent years), so that helps me to enjoy visiting with relatives I don’t see often.

   I remember the first Thanksgiving at our house. It was 2001, I was pregnant with our 2nd child and had only lived in the house for 5 months.  I was so excited because this meant we weren’t going to have to go to 3 (sometimes 4) different dinners over the course of 2 days.  We had a house (and dining tables) big enough for 3 sets of parents (mine are divorced, remarried and thankfully all get along well), brothers, sisters (their spouses) and kids.  Finally…. my life as I had envisioned.

I cooked the turkey and made the simple dishes while everyone else brought casseroles and desserts.  As you can guess we had too much food but that was definitely ok.  And since it was at our house, we ended up with most of the leftovers.  Which was also ok because like I said, I was pregnant (7 months to be exact) so food was a good thing to have leftover.

Those first few years my husband and I always stressed the days before to get the house all cleaned and table settings set and all the extra’s done. All this while having an 18 month old follow behind making messes and not understanding why mommy wanted everything to be perfect. Here we are 16 years later and we have it down to a science. Only now I have teenagers instead of toddlers following behind making messes.  And although I don’t have to have everything perfect (except the bathrooms), at least the boys understand why I want the house to be clean.  And bonus… we still get to keep most of the leftovers!

In the 16 years of hosting, I’ve gained a sister-in-law, 3 nieces, and 4 dogs, bringing our total count of people up to 23 some years. This year was 18 people, our smallest group to date.  Just last year I lost a (step)sister to a liver disease which made last years Thanksgiving very difficult to get through. And then this year my brother & his wife divorced so he came single with my nieces. I must admit, I missed not having my (ex)sis-in-law there.  I often talk to her more than I talk to my brother.  Not sure how that’s going to be when he starts seeing someone….   (that’ll be a different blog post)

Thanksgiving 2017 is bittersweet. My oldest son is a senior in HS so this is probably his last Thanksgiving living at home full time before he sets off to college next fall and only comes home on the weekends and holiday breaks.  I try no to think about it too much as it causes my eyes to tear up and heart to ache.  We’ll discuss this over a cup of coffee in a different post as well. The baby I was pregnant with at our first Thanksgiving in this house is now 15 and will be 16 in two months. This is his last Thanksgiving without a vehicle and not being able to drive.  Oh my, too many things happening and changing so fast it seems.  I haven’t quite figured out how to make time slow down or stand still but with another cup of coffee in hand, I will sit back and be thankful for all that I have, as tomorrow is promised to no one.

Leave a comment on what you like most about your Thanksgiving. See you soon.