Thanksgiving Retrospective 2012

Thanksgiving Day dawned bright, warm and sunny….we were thankful. We enjoyed our traditional 12 or so hours of feasting, laughing, playing, talking, walking, singing and music making at the Richardsons,. We became friends with the Richardson’s when Amy invited us to Thanksgiving just after we arrived in Ohio (nine!!!) years ago.  After that day I knew we would be friends forever and indeed somehow we have managed to wrangle a seat at the Thanksgiving table every year since (bar that one time they ditched us and went to Spain for a year forcing us to host Thanksgiving dinner at our house…the cheek of it!!
Ella gives thanks……..
For the glorious weather
The gang’s all here…
The ever hilarious “guess who is thankful for what” and Thanksgiving song singing…

Our ever lovely, ever gracious hostess…(the only woman I know who will willingly go for a walk less than an hour before she hosts Thanksgiving dinner for a million people)
The delicious baby I helped bring into the world last Thanksgiving…how can it be?
The teen, kids and toddlers tables were all equally elegant. And the manners were impeccable too.
I took two long walks that day and still could not come up with sufficient space for all the gluttony I desired.  I was very bitter.
The crazy amazing spread…do you understand my bitterness better now?
The pie and mulled cider
Ella discovered a love of pumpkin pie and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief that one more food has been added to her very limited and beige repertoire….plus (pumpkin! Healthy!…Right? Winking smile ) Love how she is standing on Aaron’s feet here.  The pie with my name on it (thanks Carol….I love you!)
The post dinner cozy conversation and creepiness…
Kicking off the caroling season in style…you haven’t lived ‘til you’ve been in a confined space with this group..
The intense perusal of  Black Friday circulars..
Ella somehow got into this noxious substance…
with disturbing results..(it makes for some memories anyway)
And finally the 9 hours of shopping/hysterical laughter on zero sleep.. with my funny friend Cindi. We literally look like
It was indeed another perfect Thanksgiving Day. Thank you Richardson Family.
And now for what I am thankful for…(I have several days of catching up so here goes).
1. Gracious and generous friends who come together to help us to create picture perfect memories, year after year. Our Thanksgivings are Norman Rockwell paintings come to life, and I appreciate them so much.  I love that my children have a stockpile of experiences like these in their memory banks.
2. Friends who are foodies! I may be biased but I find it hard to believe that many people enjoy a more delicious and varied spread than we do on Thanksgiving.
3. The fact that every member of my immediate family was able to celebrate with us. Nobody had to work on Thanksgiving Day, and nobody was sick (hooray!)
4. Glorious sunny weather and the health and strength of myself and my family to get out and enjoy it. On Thanksgiving Day there was football, soccer, walking, running and jumping…and all of it OUTSIDE.
5. Laughter. I am so blessed to know so many people who understand my weird, irreverent sense of humour and are not offended by it, and who regularly make me laugh until I cry  Life without laughter is not a life worth living and I am very,very wealthy in the currency of laughter.
6. A soul-mate of a friend to go shopping with on Black Friday. I can’t imagine doing it without her.  It’s the one day of the year that we have hours of uninterrupted crazy hilarious one on one time together and although I am exhausted by the end of it, my smile muscles are always the most tired part of me.
7. The fact that I have never been a witness to the darker side of Black Friday. On the contrary, (and I’m not lying when say this),  I have only ever encountered courteous, kind, considerate, happy people. In fact one of my favourite things about shopping on this day is the sense of festive camaraderie. People sharing carts, coupons, picking up dropped items, holding places in line for strangers, helping random people find sizes, giving tips for better deals to people waiting in line. I truly do find it a heart warming experience.
8. All that said, we hardly encountered crowds or lines at all this year.
9.. Having such a large chunk of my shopping completed and having done it so economically. Also the 15 miles or so we walked really helped to combat Thanksgiving thighs…
10.  Having the means to go shopping at all. What a great luxury that is.  I am not a huge fan of recreational shopping but I do enjoy this once a year tradition and I know how blessed I am to have the choice to brave the crowds and the chill if I am crazy enough to do so.  Which apparently I am.
11.Left-overs! No cooking for a full 3 days? Yup, this works for me.
12. Traditions. Have I mentioned this before? Probably. But it bears repeating. I love them. They make life meaningful, they make memories. I am thankful to have friends and family who indulge me in my love of traditions.
13.Mrs. Meyers Basil Kitchen cleaner. It turns drudgery into a spa like experience (at least for my nose).
14.Oatmeal. Without it, Ella would probably have starved a long time ago.  Also, I can’t imagine a world without a warm bowl of comforting oatmeal in the mornings. I love that stuff.
15. My very own carpet cleaner. And a husband who is not afraid to use it.
16. Pecan pie. It deserves a special mention I think. Pecan pie (or pecan-nut pie as we call it in South Africa) is a sure sign that God loves his children. Pecan pie made by my friend Carol, is especially worthy of gratitude. Especially since she made me my own pie this year. Yes she did. (There was a bit of an incident last year whereupon someone else who shall remain unnamed took it upon themselves to eat the leftovers without my help..and  sweet Carol has been helping me to compensate for that great wrong ever since).
18.  Functional indoor plumbing. Because really, how did/do people live without it? I don’t know and I never want to. I can honestly say I give thanks almost every time I get into a warm shower. Add flushing toilets to that and none of us should ever complain again.
19.Waking up to a much cleaner house than I fell asleep to last night. Thank you dear family. A mother can receive no greater gift.
20. The fact that most of my worries and irritations are about things that really and truly don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  It is a great luxury to have most of the worries that I have.
Check out some Thanksgiving’s Past here and here and here.

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robin said...

Your Thanksgiving post definitely reminds me of a Rockwell picture! The pictures make me hungry...what lovely looking food!! How awesome that you had such a great memory with with sounds like awesome family and friends!

Anonymous said...

I am grateful that you have wonderful friends, and that you have dear Miss Cindi to go shopping with. I would not be able to be your buddy for that one sorry to say. Shopping is a hated task for me. Glad that both my far away daughters have good and kind friends. It makes me feel happy. The food looks to good to look at seeing as I have not yet eaten and it is 12 noon on the dot. Kitchen, here I come!

Brittany said...

What's w/ the Nathan creepiness???

Thalia said...

Your Thanksgiving looks wonderful. Shaun and I just had a fat laugh at Nathan in all the shots... Hilarious!! I wish I could have gone shopping with you and Cindi! It reminds me of late night shopping on zero sleep in Chicago.