January is my quiet month to relax, hang out in pajamas, catch up on life and enjoy things a bit. I savor it. In fact, I'm sitting here in my pink polka dot pajamas right now. The kids are upstairs playing legos for the hundreth time this weekend (love that they play together so much!) and Paisley is sound asleep. I love this month of the "calm" before the storm!
Thanksgiving is one of my "catch up" posts that's been in the back of my mind for a couple of months...that and our huge trip back in the fall.
My brother and sister in law, Trevor and Katelyn, joined us for Thanksgiving this year and we were in heaven. There is NOTHING like having family around for the holidays. I love that there is someone to cook with and cook for, a whole new appreciation for relationships, new recipes introduced
and fun to be had.
This year, I decided on two things...after all it was the second Thanksgiving in a row of being pregnant. The first was that our blue house is just getting to be too small. I love this little house but it is getting harder to manage things like even cooking dinner for seven people, let alone a huge Thanksgiving meal. So the least amount of cooking, without sacrificing our traditions, the better. And secondly, being pregnant, I wanted to enjoy the holiday and Trevor and Katelyn's visit and not being killing myself in the kitchen all day long. Life these days really is about enjoyment. I've decided I've got too little time and too many kids to not enjoy the little amount I'm able to do...
So that brings me to how we solved this.
I ordered two turkeys this year. Yep, ordered them and I did feel guilt. Thoughts like, "Seriously, buck it up and cook the turkey" were running through my head the whole time. That all changed on Thanksgiving afternoon though when those delicious turkeys were done in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, there were no visions of pulling out a roasted bird that I had slaved over for hours, but the meat was tender and wonderful and done so quick. I ENJOYED Thanksgiving and there wasn't a huge mess to clean up. It was so wonderful!!! Almost wonderful enough to try and pull off again!
Did I mentioned that I ordered the pies too? ;-)
Ammon, Katelyn, Trevor and I loved cooking up a wonderful meal with a TON of food. In fact there were two tables worth. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, green salad, crescent rolls, sweet potato casserole, jello, stuffing and green bean casserole...topped with sparkling apple cider just like when I was growing up. There was so much food, we ate like glutonous kings for four days straight! Trevor and Katelyn were wonderful about cooking and helping set up everything, plus it was wonderful having Ammon home all day.
Perhaps one of the things I'll remember about holidays the most is our "grand" dinners from this Little Blue House. I wish I could say we have a formal dining room with complete seating but in this house our "grand dining room" is down in the basement, long folding tables set up and the kids toys lining and packing the walls. The grand moment was when my six foot tall brother had to duck under the basketball hoop to get some mashed potatoes for dinner!! (See pic below!)
Although it's humbling and a bit embarrassing it gives us something to not only look forward to in the future, but memories to dwell on as well. I don't think there will be a single holiday in the future where I won't look back at memories in our Little Blue House and not miss this simple, wonderful life we have here. This house has been good to us for so many years.
The kids reminded me and we made apple turkeys like I did when I was little..
And the chocolate silk, apple and pumpkins pies were delicious too!
We spent the rest of the long weekend enjoy the crazy weather. Warm and wonderful for Thanksgiving and freezing cold with snow flurries in the days that followed...we played sports at the park, went to see the Christmas Lights at the zoo, played multiple games, and hung out. I'm so grateful that Trevor and Katelyn live in Georgia and have spent the last couple of Thanksgivings with us. We love them and they are such a wonderful pair...plus great at being an aunt and uncle. The kids feel spoiled and special when these two come into town. And for me it was wonderful having other adults around to talk too plus Katelyn captured me in some pictures too!
Poor Paisley...she was always bundled in the stroller during every outing.
The best part was that although they were muddy afterward, they got nice and tired too!
Our last time for Zoolights at the Columbus Zoo
And this picture says it all!!!! ;-) They were hibernating and asleep but just seeing their MASSIVE selves so close to the window was a bit horrifying...check out Hailey's face...haha, and her reflection!
We watched a magical light show around the pond to finish the night...
Ammon got home just in time from the hospital to say goodbye the Sunday morning they headed home..
Hard to believe this younger brother of mine is a foot taller than I am! I'm the oldest...he's the youngest...crazy!
Love that Katelyn is perfect for Trevor and someone my own heighth too...