Saturday, November 26, 2011

Orphan Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is an especially hard time for me.
I lost two beautiful souls just before thanksgiving.
One three years ago and one 2 years ago.
I am getting weepy just thinking about them.
Two back-to-back depressing Thanksgivings makes it hard to be happy.
I mean, come on, even the smell of turkey reminds me of that grief.

I was lucky enough this year to have a wonderful group of friends who invited us over to their house and made sure to make me useful.
(For those struggling with grief I've found that keeping busy and making use of your hands and your laughter is important).
I was "in charge" of the kiddos table decorations:

and a few sides...
D always requests my green bean casserole.
I wanted to make something from one of my new cookbooks so my bread machine whipped up some delicious rolls (it was perfect because I was able to pre-bake them and finish them at Mrs. G's house). I topped my contribution off with a K8 creation cheese-ball.
It was quite yummy!

I hate jell-ish cranberry stuff but I was cracking up at the boys eating it.
They actually loved it.
Except the Monster...

Who only ate cheez-its.
or er, fed mommy cheez-its...

Didn't Mrs. G do an AWESOME job on the table decor??
And the football game following was pretty hysterical.
This is pre-eating so the kiddos and the house were all still adorable and clean.

It was kinda funny that we all did what every other family Thanksgiving does...
We made waaaaay too much food.
I mean WAY too much food.

Pre-eating broccoli casserole:

And post:

Not much of a difference huh?
Yeah, that's because there was so much food that we could only take 2 bites of eat item.
I know that is what Thanksgiving is about and I am very, very thankful.
When people ask me about living in Kenya they often think that everyone was starving and terribly poor.
Yes, they were poor by our standards but they also have traditions with huge amounts of food and family and feasts.
In fact, having a visitor always warranted the opening of a Coke and some cookies.
One of the biggest lessons I learned from my time there was that no, we aren't starving but that doesn't give us the right to be wasteful. Use every part of what is given to you.
That includes time with family, cuddles, the pain of childbirth, the pain of loss, the laughter in a single moment, the happiness of wedding vows, and the plain-ole-boring-normalcy in a day.
Ok, enough mushy stuff...
let's talk turkey...

Mr. G did an amazing time job on the turkey whom I named Johnny.
He was brined and slow cooked in the oven with onions and apples and rosemary and sage and er...shall I continue cause I am certain you are already drooling...

Mr. G even made fancy-schmansy pies...
which survived being destroyed by any Monster before being baked.

This is the point where the Monsters were transforming into devils and the grown-ups decided wine and beer might in order to block out the
"look at me MOMMY"
" I waaant thhhhat"
"he kicked/touched/looked at me"

And the part of the evening where I got totally destroyed in Battleship by a 7yo.
Seriously. I thought I was so on top of my game.
clearly not.
he wholloped me.

There was also some stuffing.
I hate stuffing (cause it has onion in it) but for all you stuffing eaters out there...D gives this stuffing a thumbs up....Although I do agree that if you take bread, chicken broth, veggies, and bake it with spicy's awesome.

It was fun watching Mr. G carving a turkey.
Think about it...
it's not something you do every day and it is still super awkward to do.
And I think he just wanted to eat it all and not share.

So, Happy Thanksgiving and thank you to everyone that helped numb the pain.
T-day is just not a good time for me but it meant the world to be with my newly official sister and brother in-law, my adorable nephew Jack, Miss M, and Mr and Mrs. G and their family.
We had a blast chasing around 5 boy Monsters.


Evan said...

Hooray for Orphan Thanksgiving!
There is a holiday that is painful for me in that way as well, and you're so right that keeping yourself busy and laughing is some of the best medicine.

JCRHarris said...

Looks like you guys had a blast! Now I'm craving left overs... mmm...