Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful.

I have to admit, as much as I get wrapped up in early Christmas spirit, there is something really special about Thanksgiving. I love that in a busy world it makes people stop and think. Think of the things you have, and the things you've given. The people in your life, those still here and those who have touched and left. I enjoy the annual culmination of a year of things to be thankful for. And while I will be the first to admit, it shouldn't just happen around one holiday once a year, I'm glad I have this reminder at the very least.

It hasn't been an easy year for my family, it's been filled with ups and downs. But in the middle of what we've affectionately taken to calling "the shitstorm," we continue to realize that no matter what we've got each other - and that that's worth so much more than many other things we could have.

So while I know I'm a little early, I'm giving my thanks (blog style) so I don't miss the chance to say it when I'm busy in the chaos.

I'm thankful for my family. The nucleus and extended. I'm happy I have parents who function in so many roles it's ridiculous. They're my parents, my role models, my best friends. They have, and continue to, provide for me so much more than a roof over my head for 18 years. I'm happy I have a brother who, in the past couple years, has been both my goofy best friend who makes me laugh uncontrollably and amazing example of a parent. He's taught me more about raising a child than he'll ever know. And then there's said child. It has been absolutely wonderful to have a young kid in the picture. It's pretty damn impossible to not be in a good mood around all that cute.

Happy doesn't do justice to my feelings for what I consider the newest family member. My main squeeze. We are a family just the two of us and I start and finish each day with a smile because of it. Beyond that, he has fit into my family like a puzzle piece I've been trying to find since the day I started dating. He's one of us and I'm over the moon to have him, and to see him have the relationship he does with the rest of the family.

I'm thankful I have two (for the most part) well behaved Furkids. I love coming home to their adorable faces each day. They're my snuggle buddies, my practice children, and for the mean time, my little bundles of joy.

Support means the world to me. It makes me beyond thankful that I have the support of family and friends. I've got some of the best friends the world has to offer and while at this point they're pretty much spread from coast to coast and north to south all over the country, it makes my heart smile to know that in good times and bad I can turn to them and they'll be there no matter their physical location.

I'm happy to have a house. Even though we're trying to sell it. I'm happy we have a house that we can call our own. A house that has provided us years of memories and a place for our family to begin (furkids and all).

I'm happy to have not just "a job" but a job that I enjoy. A job that showcases my strengths and challenges my weaknesses. I'm thankful for a boss that encourages me, trusts me and challenges me to seek ways to improve. I'm happy I have people in this building that have gone from co-workers to true friends. I'm thankful to have an opportunity that allows me to learn every single day.

I'm thankful for so many other things, big and small. But I'm most thankful that no matter what life throws at me, I'm surrounded by love. I'm able to be challenged daily yet not to the point of being without necessities. I'm thankful for the lessons I've been taught by the people around me. Lessons of support, love, kindness and compassion. I'm thankful I wake up every morning and close my eyes every night with a smile.

I'm thankful.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Catching my attention span.

At some point, my attention span has got to be catchable and I need that point to be now. This entire week my brain has been in Holiday mode. It's the one time of the year where the holidays (and subsequent days off) are so back to back to back that it's hard to get back into work mode in those little blips of days on between them.

I realize we haven't hit the first of said holidays yet, but since about last week Tuesday, my brain, attention span and ability to focus on anything work related has been there.

It should be said, I really enjoy my new job. It offers me challenges, I'm able to partake in meetings and tasks I never had the opportunity to before and I'm really focusing on projects that offer me something different every day. I know how fortunate I am to not only have a job right now, but to have one I really enjoy. So I'm not complaining about having to work. And to further cover myself, I will also point out I am in fact getting work done - so it's not like I'm just sitting at my desk.

However, it has been extremely more difficult to get my brain to quit thinking about holidays and time off and read the damn words on the page. By looking in a 2 foot radius, I can see 4 different "to do" lists. Because this is the only thing that has helped me focus for all of 5 minutes to even remember what work I have to get done. And even when I'm reading these to do lists, in my brain the words are just spinning around in there, mixed with images of turkeys, and elves, and Santa, and presents, and Christmas trees.

So when my to do list says "Send e-mail to follow up with Summit" I really end up getting "Send turkey to Santa to follow up with decorating the tree!" You can imagine how productive that is!

Also - two other holiday things. Mom, in her standard fashion, has fixed the holidays once again. The nucleus will be celebrating Thanksgiving on Friday so no one is rushing around and we can all spend the whole day there the way we like to. I'm still not convinced this woman is in fact Santa...she's too good at holidays to not consider it.

Secondly - this is the first Christmas I'll have a kitten. While I love that little bobcat (so much more than I ever thought I could like a cat) so help me baby Jesus if she ruins my Christmas tree.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giving Thanks

Creative title, right? Sometimes I get so caught up in Christmas I kind of forget about Thanksgiving. (By sometimes, I pretty much mean, every time.) It's possible, on occasion, I've said, "Thanksgiving is just rehearsal for Christmas". In the past, C has had to work on Thanksgiving (so that he didn't have to on Christmas - thank you big red W). However, since he's left his former place of employment, he has off on ALL holidays this year. I repeat, he will not work a SINGLE holiday. Can I tell you how exciting that is after 2+ years of splitting my holidays with him with the big red W?

However, we have also learned that given the freeing up of his schedule, we'll be juggling some time between families this holiday season, thus making Thanksgiving a bit more of a production and allowing me to spend a little bit more focus and dedication on the holiday instead of thinking of it as Christmas' less awesome little brother.

Quick recap, in terms of holiday celebrations I have one family. A while back (about 15 years ago) we stopped schlepping up to Northern Wisconsin / Upper Michigan for holidays and celebrated with just the Nucleus Nikolas'. My mom is pretty much the best ever at Holidays and made that first Christmas at home so crazy fantastic we never went back. We've been celebrating all holidays as just the Nucleus since then.

(Side Note: To further reiterate how crazy awesome my mom is about holidays - and to provide reason as to why I'm so obsessed w/ Christmas - one year we went to Montana on a ski trip over Christmas. But in order to ensure we didn't feel like it was "less Christmas" since we weren't at home, the woman brought 2 additional suitcases. One with Christmas decorations and another w/ all the necessary tools to make the exact same Christmas dinner she always does. The woman does NOT compromise Christmas.)

So the past 2+ years of holidays, I've been spending them w/ the Nucleus and as soon as C can, he leaves work and heads to the rent's house and we celebrate the rest of our time there. That's it, just the ONE family. AND, last Thanksgiving, mom instituted a strict Sweatpants Only rule for Turkey Day (which was pretty sweet, as that's usually how I celebrated it, but the rest of the family usually sported non-elastic waisted pants).

So, as I was saying, now that C is available ALL DAY LONG on all holidays - his family wants to get in on a piece of the action too. They celebrate Thanksgiving in IL...we celebrate in WI. The distance between two said celebrations is about 2 hours. This Thanksgiving we'll be doing round 1 in IL in the morning, hopping back in the car for a nice Turkey Day Drive and spending round 2 in WI at my parents house. We're planning on completely omitting C's Family Part II who celebrates in Madison, as we are NOT adding another 1.5 hours to our day. I'm already forfeiting elastic waist bands here people, I'm in jeans, cut me some slack!

As we were thinking about it - we realized if we're this hot of a holiday commodity when we don't have children, just imagine how popular we'll be come when people no longer care about us but want to see the little humans we've made on holidays?! There will be no omitting of holiday celebrations allowed.

Then I realized, this is what your late 20's are for (or for Rebecca, your 20's)...figuring out who gets custody on holidays. Who gets the real day? Who settles for the Eve? When can you be here, when can you leave for there? And THIS? This is why my mother begged me to marry an orphan.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What happened? I blacked out.

Not last year but the year before (so 2 years ago), my friends and I decided it would be really fun if we had a little Thanksgiving dinner of our own before the real one. We would each bring something to share (how Pilgrims & Indians of us) and have a good old fashioned feast. Before we realized none of us had every made a full Thanksgiving dinner and therefore had no f'ing clue what we were doing.

So anyways, I was the brave one who volunteered to make the turkey, stuffing & gravy. Mom helped me figure it all out, made it, it was delicious, yay go me.

So this year we decide we should do it again. Except I can't remember a damn thing I did the last time. I am quite seriously convinced I must've blacked out and cooked for a few hours. (a la Will Farrell in Old School when they're doing that debate..hilarious).

I remember eating the food but can't remember at all how I prepared it.

So of course, my mom, being the natural whiz kid she is in the kitchen helped me figure everything out. Sent me with a thawed turkey, very specific instructions (which we referred to as "cooking a turkey for dummies") and any utensil she could think of that I might not have (i.e. giant fork, old school turkey platter (complete w/ picture of turkey on it), browning stuff for gravy (yeah, tell me you have that in your fridge) and an electric knife).

I did it, I cooked the turkey. It came out juicy and tender - not the slightest bit dry. The stuffing was delicious and the scariest part of all - the gravy - even turned out quite delicious if I do say so myself.

All in all, it was a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner. Few bullets to wrap up:
  • I was glad Siobhan's boyfriend couldn't come. I'm not a mean person, I swear. He had last minute travel plans for work and couldn't make it. Originally, this was a couples dinner party, and 3 weeks post-breakup, I'm pretty sure I would've gotten obscenely drunk and made a ton of inappropriate bitter singleton comments, had I been the only "non-couple" there. (And even at that, I may or may not have made a couple of comments).
  • I don't like raw birds. They're gross and they don't look at ALL as appetizing as they do when they're all brown & cooked. They may have been made even more disgusting by the fact that as I was prepping the turkey I heard (from the peanut gallery), "Ewww..Look at all the skin"..."Sick, look at his legs just flopping there"..and the best of all "Hey Ang, when you're done fisting that turkey full of stuffing will you come over here."
  • We played Apples to Apples - I love that game. And my theory was again proven that it's a semi-fun game when you're sober, but the more alcohol involved, the more hilarious things get. And after a few bottles of wine, saying that Helen Keller was Eccentric becomes down right the funniest damn thing you've ever heard.
I do have to say, I was a little nervous about yesterday for a couple reasons, specifically, A) I didn't think I actually had ever cooked a Turkey before. B) I was sad to have the first holiday event without *him* there.

But - as I suppose I should've known, no one threw up turkey (and as far as I know, no one got sick from it), and I'm officially done w/ the first holiday as a single girl again and I survived.

Just make sure there's always wine available through February.