Has everyone (in the USA, that is!) recovered from Thanksgiving yet? We had a nice time yesterday with some fellow military friends, despite some setbacks with the turkey. I still haven't totally cleaned up from all the hullaballoo - this morning has been a slow and relaxing one. Black Friday shopping? Not on your life. I'd have an anxiety attack from all the crowds in the first 2 minutes! Mmmm...leftover pie for breakfast, what a yummy treat. I'm oh-so-grateful for leftover pie the day after Thanksgiving.
Time lapse: I obviously wrote the above paragraph a few days ago, but ran out of time to finish my post until now!
This was our "grown-up table" - the kids had their own domain on a smaller table squeezed in beside this one.
When I lit these little votives, Hazel got so excited she yelled, "Birthday Cake!" afterwhich she was determined to blow all of them out no matter how hard we tried to keep her off the table. We finally had to put the baby gate up to keep her out of the room until it was time to eat!
Which, unfortunately, took a couple hours longer than planned because of the turkey not being done when we expected it to. I had worked so hard to make sure that THIS was the year that I was going to have everything hot and ready to eat all at the same time. The dishes were going to be cleaned up so the kitchen didn't look like it had been hit by an atom bomb, and since we cooked the turkey on the grill the oven was to be free to bake the rolls and sweet potatoes. I made menu lists, timelines, and got all my recipes and dishes/utensils in order. I cooked pies and made cranberry relish the day before. I brined our 20 pound turkey in a delicious apple juice/chicken broth/maple syrup/fresh herbs and garlic concoction that promised to be out of this world. My house was clean and even the floors were mopped and vaccumed...which is an accomplishment considering that I have 3 little "mice" that leave crumbs, spilled Gogurt, and crushed leaves all over the place throughout every waking hour!
Even when my piecrust failed twice (I made 2 batches of dough, both just would NOT cooperate, which has never happened before) for my deep dish apple pie I was not fazed. I just made apple crisp instead, which my husband prefers anyway. We still had pumpkin pies and a coconut cream pie, so we were good on the Thanksgiving pie requirement. Things started getting a little crazy when we discovered that our meat thermometer was broken, and Steve rushed to the store (which was fortunately still open) to buy a new one. When we thought BigBird was done, and after waiting for the required "sit time", I eagerly sliced into it and was relieved to see and taste such succulent and tender turkey. Then I sliced a little further and discovered all the pink and "um, that's definitely not done" meat so back to the grill it went. Kids were wondering if they were ever going to be allowed to eat, and I'm sure the grown-ups were wondering the same thing, they just didn't verbalize it!
In any case, BigBird was finally done almost 2 hours later than planned, and then it was quick-get-the-gravy-made time, in addition to let's-try-and-reheat-those-mashed-potatoes-in-the-microwave-so-they're-not-stone-cold time. (sigh) What's that they say about the best-laid plans?
At any rate, we had a great time chatting while we were waiting, and in the end everyone's tummies were more than full. Things were so busy at the end that I didn't get a single picture of the food, but life goes on. It was a very nice Thanksgiving Day, and I'm so grateful for the many blessings my family and I enjoy.
Earlier this week we made a pennant banner listing all of our blessings, and I just had to share. Eliza's is on the left and Hyrum's is on the right.
Hyrum got tired of writing pretty quickly, but his list includes our house, Legos, Mom and Dad, and Grandma and Grandpa. His sisters didn't make it on that list, but I'm pretty sure that was something he listed verbally. :-)
I love all the little things the kids were grateful for, in addition to the big obvious blessings. Eliza listed moonlight, root beer floats, winter snow, and Artist mommy portraits, which I thought was cute. Hyrum listed Legos right after a roof over his head (and before Mom and Dad), which is quite possibly a very accurate countdown of priority in his cute little head.
I won't bore you with Steve's and my lists, but rest assured that chocolate, the internet, electricity, hot showers, sewing machines, and pretty things found their way onto my list, in addition to all the biggies like family, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the freedoms we enjoy in the USA. Can't forget the beauties of the Earth, hugs and kisses from my cute little kiddos, and ballroom dancing - although I haven't been able to do any of that since college, some 15 or so years ago! That's on my list of things to do, by the way - get Steve to come to a dance class with me so we can learn to waltz, foxtrot, and hopefully even quickstep (my favorite) together. I was involved in Modern International Ballroom at BYU, and I absolutely loved it. My goal was to get onto the traveling team, but in my 3rd year of classes I had to drop out because my art classes were in 3 hour blocks and the only time I could take advanced ballroom was during those blocks, which made it impossible to continue. I've always regretted that, but hopefully someday soon I can at least drag Steve to a dance floor and take some lessons together! Now that I've announced it to the world maybe it will be more likely to happen, what do you think?
Grandma and Grandpa, these pics are for you! Pretty much every night Hazel climbs into bed with Eliza and "reads" with her. Hazel chooses the books (almost always these Barbie books that we inherited from a friend) and they snuggle down for an evening read before bedtime.
What are ya lookin' at, Mom? Can't you see we're busy?
This is where Hazel gives her huge, endearing grin and says "HI!" in a voice that spans an octave and expresses the enthusiasm of someone who hasn't seen their mommy in 27 days. It's something Hazel gifts me with all day, every day, and I love it. She walks into a room and gives her dazzling "HI!" greeting, even though she just walked out of the room 2 seconds ago. Every time we are together Hazel starts out with "HI!" and her impish grin, and my heart just melts. Then she gestures for marshmallows, chocolate, frozen Gogurt, and/or ice cream (she still hardly speaks at all, but she's as smart as a whip) and I give in more often than I should. Hazel knows exactly what she is doing.