I love Thanksgiving. After the meal was over, my sisters bemoaned the mammoth imbalance of time spent prepping and cleaning versus time spent eating. It's really almost laughable (or cryable?).
But I do think that most of my pleasure comes in the prep and planning stage. And (though it drives JoDee bonkers) the bits of food stolen pre-feast *always* taste the best. Here is a glimpse of our menu.
Megan's Tom snuck into our backyard at 5 a.m. to start smoking this beautiful bird.
The dark meat was to die for. Note Cyndee, the gravy master, in the background above.
And here are Megan and JoDee prepping rolls and veggie platter:
We tried a new punch recipe (that I loved...not overly sweet, which is my typical punch complaint)...shown here in the gorgeous punch bowl Jo got for her birthday.
We made these for place markers at the kids' table:
When I pulled them out of the pantry yesterday morning, Jim gasped. And not in admiration. He thought I had come to my senses and NOT made anything frilly this year. Had just been thinking how proud he was of my restraint.
Surely he knows by now that Restraint & I are perfect strangers.
We introduced a new dessert recipe, that I'd definitely make again - Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle.
The highlight for the kids was our first ever Skype chat with Mandi and her family in Montana. Honestly, it broke my heart to see them..to realize how truly far away they are from us.
As I put yesterday's pictures onto my computer I realized my life has entered a different phase. I have three extremely independent children who LOVE their cousins. At family events it feels more like I'm childless, honestly. I took no pictures of the children because I simply didn't see them all day. I'll have to make more conscious efforts to track them down next time.
Of course, over the past week as I've prepped for Thanksgiving, I have reflected greatly on the Blessings of my life. They are many. And choice. Davyn went with Jo & Megs this week to see Santa at the mall, and came home regaling me with what transpired on that visit. He sat on Santa's lap and was asked the customary question of what he wanted for Christmas. Nothing came to mind. His cousin offered "a DS?" and he parroted the request to Santa. But in telling the story, he looked at me and said, "I don't really want a DS." I knew that, but prodded, "Well, what DO you want?" His huge Davyn grin (which is now lacking 3 front teeth, by the way) appeared and he answered: "Nothing really. I think I have everything I want."
I feel the same. Bounteously blessed. And completely Grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and an Eternal Family. With these, my life is Complete.