Thursday, November 26, 2015

Smile For The Camera

Since today is Thanksgiving, it's my hope you're spending this day eating and laughing with people you love.  Although my two oldest chickadees won't be in New Jersey this year, they will definitely be in my heart and on my mind. This is the first time, ever, that we haven't been together on Turkey Day and it's made me nostalgic.  I've been going through stacks of old pictures and they've made me smile and a tad bit verklempt. Popular opinion is that you should take a short walk after eating on Thanksgiving , so why don't you join me for one down memory lane?
Here's a picture from the first Thanksgiving Dinner I ever did on my own. I was just out of college and living in Dallas.  To say it turned out "meh" would be a generous compliment. It was a mess. Although Graham looks as unflappable as ever, I was all over the place and having a hard time organizing things. Case in point? Notice the box of detergent on the same counter as raw pie dough. Yeah- nothing says love like giving your boyfriend phosphate poisoning.
Fast forward to 1995. We're now married and living in Denver with our baby girl. My sister, Christi, was kind enough to invite us over to her house to celebrate. Dinner for four adults and four littles under the age of six and she looks as cool as a cucumber. I mean really, look at her attention to detail! Fresh flowers, coordinated candles, AND an olive plate?? That's skill, ladies.
Here we are in Dallas in 1997, celebrating with my in-laws, Mary and Gene. We now have a toddler boy, a girl in kindergarten and I am in my full Meg Ryan hair mode. The best part of this picture is my sweet little assistant- all of 5 years old and already wanting to help out.
 Speaking of helping out, how cute is this little guy? They say the overalls make the man. I completely agree.
By the time we moved to Austin, we were lucky enough to have more family living close by. Not only did my parents live in town, my youngest sister and her family were in Waco -less than a 2 hour car ride away. It was 2009 and Avery and Reese were in charge of getting the rolls ready for the oven. They definitely took their job seriously.
 That was also the year my nephew Tim-O was going to college in Dallas, so we  kidnapped him for the weekend. He was looking too skinny for my taste, so I did my best to fatten him up- I gave it my undivided attention. I think he told me I was able to put 7 pounds on him before he had to get back to school. I'm not sure why that still makes me proud, but it does.
Flash forward to 2013- now we have even more food,
even more cousins, and....
even more football. I can't really explain why football and cousins go together - all I know is it just does.
Here's the last picture I want share with you and it's one of my favorites. It's from last year and both sides of my family were able to make it to my house for Thanksgiving. Through careful planning and a little bit of smooshing, we were able to fit all 17 people around the table. Sitting at the end, I had a clear view of my entire crew. It was a wonderful day.

 And that's my wish for you- that you have a truly wonderful day, surrounded by food, family, and friends. Just do me a favor, if you're making the pies this year, make sure to keep your laundry detergent out of the kitchen.

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