Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 Recap

This year, we continued our tradition of heading up to Whidbey to spend Thanksgiving at Eric's parents' house.

They are so kind to open their doors to us each year ... and we don't say that just because Eric's dad smokes a turkey AND roasts a turkey. (SO AMAZINGLY GOOD!) Not only do they open their doors to the four of us, but also to my side of the family (who couldn't make it due to other family obligations and illness this go-around) and  the practically-family friends who we bring along.

We have a great system for dividing up the work (aka meal prep) and the holiday tends to go quite smoothly. Sure, there's chaos, but it is the good kind of "we're all here and having fun together" kind of chaos. This year, I decided to make some Thanksgiving cookies to (a) eat and (b) use as place markers at the table. I used my turkey cookie cutter for the little cookies. For the place marker (bigger) cookies, I opted to trace Annika and Conor's hands and use them to create handprint turkey cookies. Fun, right??? Each person got a handprint turkey with his or her name printed on it. I had such fun making them and using the kids' handprints made them that much more special. (Unfortunately, my in-laws' puppy got to the cookies before we unloaded them from the car. Lucky for him, he's a mighty cute dog ... it's hard to hold a grudge when the other end of the grudge is a sweet, fuzzy puppy face.)

Little turkey cookies

Handprint cookies
"The carnage following the Cookie Massacre of 2015"
Eric's best friend and his daughter joined us on the island this year, much to our happiness. Dave and Anne really are part of the family and having them with us to celebrate turkey day added to the whole day. Our kids played together until they practically collapsed due to exhaustion.... then played some more.  They even ventured out into the cold to decorate the driveway with a variety of sidewalk chalk creations. (After the kids returned to the warm indoors, the puppy turned almost all of the unused chalk into a snack .... whoops! Note to self: replenish the sidewalk chalk supply when we go to the island next time. Tee hee hee!!) The rest of the time, the kids kept themselves busy playing with Legos, balloons, and stuffed animals. The imaginary play they create really is remarkable!

Anne and Annika watching a movie together

Conor nibbling on a snack while watching a movie
While the turkey did its thing in the oven, we grownups pulled out the cards and played Euchre and Fool... two games that were new to us and so much fun to play. (Thanks, Dave, for taking on the role of card game instructor!) We are a competitive bunch, but even so, we have so much fun playing games together. We turn into silly creatures and are often struck with fits of giggles during times like these... it warms my heart to think of days like these. As we played cards, we were surrounded by the smells of Thanksgiving dinner in the oven and the sounds of our kids happily playing together.

After our hearty meal, we lounged in front of the TV and watched some good ol' football. In all honesty, I can't even remember who played in the game, but I do remember cheering my heart out at the time. The kids weren't overly interested in the game, so they sought shelter from the crazy grownups downstairs in the great room, where they happily played/relaxed in a world that was all their own.

We have so much to be thankful for... a roof over our heads, food in our tummies, jobs that we enjoy, our health (speaking of which, Annika's broken wrist is getting better each day!), and loved ones to celebrate the holidays with. A special thank you to Eric's parents for opening their doors and hearts to us... you are true gems!

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