Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Eve

I've always loved this day before Thanksgiving.  Typically, the house would be busy with preparation for a big dinner tomorrow and filled with yummy smells from the kitchen.  I love doing Thanksgiving dinner, but this year I love even more that my stepmom is doing it.  She and my dad gallantly offered to have the whole crowd at their place.  It's been such a busy couple of months for us, that I am only too glad to hand it over.  Two of my kids will be with their in-laws, so there will be no babies.  Instead we'll get to focus on our eldest son who has good-naturedly taken a back seat this year at our family gatherings.

I'm going to work for a few hours today and Dan will, too. Later, we'll take in a movie, something we haven't done in ages.  Something light and fun, probably the new Diane Keaton and John Goodman Christmas movie.  Tomorrow morning, I'll watch the parade while making the dressing to take for dinner. Dressing is my favorite recipe to make on Thanksgiving.  I found it in our newspaper years ago, and it became my father-in-law's favorite.  I always think of him while I'm making it.  My dad likes raisins in his, so I make two batches.

With a snowy forecast for Thanksgiving and the weekend, several of our neighbors put their Christmas lights up early this week.  I love seeing the bright lights through the windows and sharing in their anticipation. This will be a good weekend to start the new Jan Karon book.  My friend Christine gave me a copy of it, and I've been saving it for a time when I can neglect housework, laundry and chores, and read it through in a couple of sittings. 

If you're someone who has to work tomorrow and Friday, many thanks to you for keeping everything going while the rest of us have a few days off.  Happy Thanksgiving to everybody, whether it's your first, or one of many!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Snow, grandkids and more blessings

It's been a couple of weeks since I've participated in Friday's Fave Five.  As always, it's so nice to reflect back on the week and be intentional about remember blessings, large and small.

1.  The first snow of the season.  Mother Nature wasn't shy.  No light dusting here, but instead a half foot of heavy wet snow that piled up on fence rails and turned the bird bath into a pedestal bearing a lovely cake made of snow.

2.  Arriving home on Monday afternoon and having the kids and grandkids come over for pizza.  Such a huge treat to see those baby girls!

3.  Having a few hours to work at my desk yesterday.  There's an enormous satisfaction in seeing the piles dwindle.  Bills paid, cards written, lists checked off.

4.  Last weekend, when we were in New Orleans, we visited the National World War II Museum. After seeing and hearing the stories of so many of the men who served, Veterans Day felt more poignant than ever this year.  I'm thankful for our veterans and those who have shared their stories.

5.  Seeing the WWII museum was a profound experience. As I've read the headlines this week of the horrors that continue throughout the world, the men and women in our military -- and those of our allies -- have been heavy on my heart.  I'm so thankful for each and every one of them, and their families who sacrifice for our country.


Friday Fave Five is hosted each week by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hello Again

It's been a couple of weeks since I've written anything here, so I'll just jump right in.

Dan and I got home Monday after spending a few days in New Orleans for a family wedding.  We stayed in a lovely historic hotel in the French Quarter, ate in some fabulous places, went to a picnic at Audubon Park, took cabs all around the city, and attended the wedding in a lovely old mansion on St Charles Avenue.

Yesterday morning I woke up, put on my favorite yoga pants, an old tee-shirt and some well-worn Sketchers, and felt a bit like Cinderella must have felt the day after the ball. I poured myself a cup of coffee and started on this blog post before taking on the pile of papers on my desk.

The best part of the weekend was getting to meet my step-mother, Carol's, extended family.  They are the loveliest, kindest group of people. They are a family that adores one another and there's lots of good natured bantering and story-telling.  Dan and I felt so welcomed and embraced by them all.  The groom is Carol's oldest son, she also has a daughter and another son, who both have families.  Since we all live in different parts of the country, we only see one another occasionally, so it was a nice reunion.

As always, it's good to be home again. After a quick trip to the supermarket and a few necessary chores, I worked yesterday afternoon.

And now, it's already Wednesday, and Thanksgiving is in just two weeks. Two weeks. But first things first. This Saturday, Emily and I are giving Miranda a baby shower. I'm so grateful to my daughter for pushing me to get most of the preparation done before I went to New Orleans.

Each year, I promise myself that I'll keep the holidays a little bit simpler than the year before. At the rate my family is growing, it's even more important to do so, or things will get crazy in a hurry. I've been learning to say 'no' to more things (including myself) and 'yes' to being more intentional about enjoying the simple pleasures. Hopefully, I can keep this going in the weeks ahead.