A Life Update: Thanksgiving+

After the long holiday weekend ended, I was feeling a bit lost; I decided it was time for a life update.

1. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving

This year was the first year my mom was hosting Thanksgiving. We usually have it at my grandparent's house, but my step-grandmother (on my mom's side) wasn't feeling up to par. She was concerned about having the energy to cook for so many people (12 children and step-children including spouses, and 17 grandchildren including spouses). Rather than hosting all of this gigantic family at my parents house, the two families (my step-grandmother's and my grandfather's) split up. (Confusing, huh?)

Since it was my mother's first year hosting, I decided to go up on Wednesday to help her prepare. I thought we were going to be cooking and cooking and cooking… It turns out, my mom wanted to hand over most of the cooking duties to my husband who is amazing in the kitchen. Instead, I found myself decorating.

We pulled out china dishes, napkins, and silverware used at mine and Justin's wedding. With over 100 dishes and silverware sets, we knew there would be enough for the 20 or so people that would be coming to Thanksgiving dinner. 

My mom's favorite china set I have (and one of the most meaningful) is the set shown above given to me by my aunt (my dad's sister) to use at my wedding. She had received it more than 30 years before when she got married. :) Even though she couldn't attend Thanksgiving, it was nice having a piece of her history at the dinner table.

We also used silverware and hand sewn napkins from the wedding, decorative wine glasses I had given my mom for Christmas the year before, and a few leaves to make the place settings festive.

Justin did come up to my parent's house on Wednesday night to finish making a chocolate chunk pecan pie and a pumpkin pie, but we found ourselves returning home early since we were tired.

2. Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving morning, Justin and I woke up particularly early to go back out to my parent's house and get started on all of the cooking. Justin was in charge of cooking almost all of the dishes, and he only had until 1PM before everyone arrived.

Yours truly (me) stayed in the kitchen trying all of the different foods Justin was cooking, cleaning up after him, and mostly being in the way while he ran around the kitchen trying to get everything done. Finally, at 12:30PM all was done. French green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, ham, brussel sprouts, salad, salad dressing, stuffing, macaroni, crescent rolls, turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and some sort of pumpkin butternut squash and sweet potato casserole (Justin's recipe) were ready and waiting for consumption.

3. Black Friday

After a relaxing day with family on Thursday (after everything had been cooked), it was time to hit the mall. I was doing a survey in which I would be paid for shopping, so we had a lot of fun with that. We stopped in Anthropologie, Free People, Macy's, and Bloomingdales taking in all of the sights and sounds of a mall overrun with people.

We were finished by noon and decided to go have lunch with a friend of Justin's. I won't go into details, but needless to say somewhere over the course of the week this friend had mentally checked out. When we were first met up with him, we weren't entirely certain he needed help, but by the end of the day it was clear. Hearing him talk to himself about everything from taking over the world to suicide verified our concerns that he needed some help from hospital staff.

4. Weekend Plans

The traumatic episode from Friday made things complicated and confusing for Justin who was worried about his friend all weekend. He tried desperately to stay on top of news and provide the hospital with all of the information he could, but we had other things that needed to be done as well.

Justin had promised to change out an electrical outlet and help move a tv. We also needed to start Christmas decorating and putting together a bunch of swag/coupon envelopes to send out. It was not a weekend of rest.

Altogether, the weekend could have been better, but it wasn't all bad. Spending time with family and friends, especially when they need you most, is one of the best thing you can do during the holidays (or anytime really). The goal is to have plenty of other holidays when everyone is well and healthy, right?

So how was your Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend? Did you do lots of shopping? And eating? And decorating? Did you dream about receiving your Christmas-stamped envelope filled with Wal-Mart photo coupons from the last giveaway? I'd love to hear about it! Share a comment or a blog entry below!

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