Well, like most well-planned events, things didn't turn out exactly as we had planned for Thanksgiving this year. We originally thought we'd be expecting about 15, then cousin Kate wasn't able to make it, so we were down to 13, then Jay's friend Alicia from work who doesn't have any family here was asking about our plans, so we invited her and we were back up to 15, then Alicia's mom called and offered to pay her way to go home so we were back down to 13 again. We confirmed with everyone and bought enough food and table coverings and fake-out dishes and "silverware" (I found the coolest stuff at Costco, it literally looked like real silver and china but was all disposable) and picked up a 20 pound turkey at Costco the day before Thanksgiving. We were prepared for the worst when we got to Costco - no parking, long lines, cranky people, turkeys all picked over and we were shocked! We got out of there in less than 20 minutes and only ran into one rude woman who took up two lanes with her shopping cart because she could not decide which lane she wanted to be in until she determined which line was moving faster. Anyway, aside from her, it was a rather pleasant experience :). We got up Thanksgiving morning and started getting ready and at around 9:00 the phone rang and it was Aunt Xenia telling me that Uncle Ken had a relapse (he's been sick for over a week) and they wouldn't be able to make it. We were really sad, but after a few tears, I decided I wasn't going to let it ruin my Thanksgiving. I promptly called the neighbors to invite them to join us. We were short 6 and they have 6 people and Holly had been sick for 2 weeks and split her hand open the day before while Nicole was over there and had to be rushed to the hospital, so we figured it was the least we could do for them. We had seating for 14 and food for about 20 and they needed a break. I called & left a message in the morning and when we didn't hear from them for a few hours, I figured Holly was probably not up to going anywhere, even across the street. I know they had ordered a turkey dinner from Albertson's so they wouldn't be starving. So, we were back down to 7 (Jay, Kendall, Nicole, Sharon, Dad, Valerie, and myself) so we were able to squeeze around one table instead of having 3 tables set up to seat everyone. We had a great day, all in all. Dad & Jay watched plenty of football, the girls played lots of board games, Val and I worked hard getting all the food prepared while my Dad helped set the table and ran back and forth from the trash about 50 times, Jay carved the turkey and we sat down at about 3:30 for dinner. After dinner Jay and I went and picked up a couple of pies from Albertson's. We got the Claim Jumper apple pie, which takes about an hour to bake but I'm telling you it is the BEST store bought pie you will ever taste and an Albertson's pumpkin pie and then came home and put the apple pie in the oven while we played Mexican train and waited for our food to settle before desert. After desert Dad & Val let the girls open their stocking stuffers and presents from them and they left at around 10:00.
No, the day didn't go exactly as planned, but I spent a lot of time focusing on all I have to be thankful for. I have the most amazing family in the world, the best friends a woman could ask for, a roof over my head, food on the table, my husband has job security (even if I am having a heck of a time finding a job for myself around here), we are blessed with good health, freedom, God's love, this beautiful planet and so much more. I personally think that every day should be Thanksgiving, for no matter what trials we are faced with, if we focus instead on our blessings, we will realize how rich we are indeed.