Thanksgiving 2014

What a success! I was so nervous about today, but all my fears were for naught. Of course, there were moments and situations that on normal days would have fried my nerves and sent me into a tailspin, but today was certainly not your normal day.

My son woke me up at 6:30 (he’s a morning person) so I could prepare the turkey. Only I had trouble from the start. The turkey still had some thawing to do, and I was unable to pry that stupid plastic thing off the legs. I really didn’t want to wake my husband, who had come home from work early yesterday with a horrendous case of laryngitis. At least that’s my guess anyway, since he says he feels fine and his throat doesn’t hurt. So he didn’t mind, because he clearly understands the importance of The Turkey. All was well and it finished thawing, and I was able to successfully season and butter the bird before placing it in the oven.

When the kids and I settled down to eat breakfast, my son asked us each what we were thankful for. Such a charmer, that boy. I usually joke that he’s going to grow up to be an attorney, with all his negotiation tactics, but today I could see him growing up to be a pastor. We each agreed that we are most thankful for each other, but he added that he is thankful for his school. 1-because his aunt is the principal and 2-because he’s learning Chinese. It was great breakfast table conversation, to be sure.

I didn’t have a lot to do after breakfast as I had been making preparations along the way, but there were a few tasks left to do and the kids both a tremendous help. Just as I had reached a stopping point and was ready to take a short nap, there was a knock at the door.Our first guest had arrived – mother-in-law! And thank goodness she was here because I could not have put the rest of the meal together without her help. Having hubby quarantined to the basement sort of left me in the lurch, but he didn’t want to risk infecting the grandparents, who arrived shortly after.

We had wonderful conversation, ate delicious food, and just really enjoyed each other’s company. We did not try on hats, so that part of my dream did not come true, but it was memorable nonetheless. I even got a short nap before dessert, and both were heavenly. Oh, and the bonus was that mother-in-law asked me where my Dutch oven was, because we needed a giant pot for the potatoes. What Dutch oven? I asked. “Well, the one I gave you at Christmas last year, of course.” I had zero recollection of this gift, until she went downstairs to ask my husband about it, and he quickly retrieved it from storage. Brand new, still in the box, a beautiful bright red. Gorgeous. And almost instantly I remembered. How could I have forgotten? Well, we talked about me losing my mind last year, remember?

Oh boy, it’s just so good to be back, you know? I am learning to roll with changes and slowly adjust, but it is not lost on me how much I have been given. How much WE have been given. Hallelujah, praise the Lord.

**I have to make a correction here: My husband tells me we have had that Dutch oven for years, and that he even used it when he was staying home with our kids. He just keeps it downstairs because there is no room for it in the kitchen. This information is really just blowing my mind right now. I don’t even know what to say. Speechless, I am. Perhaps we can chalk it up to plain old aging? Egads.

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Pink Works

Before lunchtime comes, I thought I would share some tidbits of my morning conversations with my daughter, Natalie:

When I found her in her room she told me her name was Alexa and she had been busy defeating Malucia, because she was trying to steal everyone’s magic. Mean, nasty princess, that Malucia. And yes, she really used the word “defeating”. So serious, that girl.

Then just now she came out of her room dressed from head to toe in pink. Pink shirt, pink skirt, pink-jeweled tiara and wand. Only her tights are red, because she said she couldn’t find any pink tights but red is close so… She said she just really likes pink and that is why she decided on that ensemble. Oh, and now she just added some purple sparkly sunglasses, because she said purple and pink go together. And of course a pink Hello Kitty purse to accessorize.

Right on, girl, right on.

The most thankful post yet

This morning I had a wonderful, realistic dream that our family was sitting around waiting for Thanksgiving dinner. Mike’s aunt and grandparents were there, and we were trying on hats, comparing head sizes. We were just talking and having a good time. Like the old days when I was a hearing person. In reality, that was only a short time ago. I lost my hearing quickly, but almost as quickly I was given the gift of a cochlear implant. I remember the fear of complete silence, and I still experience that in bits and pieces (bedtimes, showers, etc.). So while it will never quite be the same, dreams like I had today remind me that it’s possible. It is on the horizon.

Almost literally.

My husband’s family, my adopted family, will be here tomorrow for the food-filled holiday of Thanksgiving. My dream – or memory, perhaps – will become a reality. Laughing together, sharing stories, making new and wonderful memories. Redeeming last year’s Thanksgiving when I ran crying from the dinner table. Last year was the first year in over a decade that we had not hosted turkey day, and I am proud and nervous to be reclaiming that tradition after such a challenging year. We have always felt blessed around this time of year, but this year I think more than most. Last year I was such a mess, but over time God has picked me up and held me, and given me peace and patience and hope. When I had nothing to give, and barely the strength to ask for help, He rescued me. He rescued all of us.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found;was blind but now I see.”

Thankfulness challenge #ohforgetitivelostcount

So yeah. I was up north-ish with the children for the weekend, staying with my dad and stepmom. They have no internet (by choice… gah!) so I didn’t bring my laptop and thus did no writing. We played lots of games. I got crushed with a two day long game of Monopoly, played some word games (Bananagrams) and played in the snow (built a snowman, rode on some sleds). We had a great time but it is nice to be back home and back to our routine. Well, the routine will be short-lived since the kids only have school today and tomorrow, and then are home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Speaking of Thanksgiving… this is why I had been posting daily. I need to share something I’m thankful for today but all my ideas are ones I have already shared. It sounds superficial, but I’m thankful for internet service, and the opportunity and freedom to write and share bits and pieces of myself with all of you.

I’ll stop there before I go on to share how nervous I am about this huge meal we will be serving on Thursday and all the preparations that need to happen. Is there a shortcut for peeling potatoes? I will gladly clean the house from top to bottom, and wake early in the morning to babysit the bird, but I think the potatoes are task I’m dreading the most. And, some would argue, the most important. Oh, and the gravy. I should put some pre-made stuff on the shopping list just in case. One of these days I will learn to make it right. Because homemade is the best. Sometimes it’s just not worth it to take the shortcut.

Oops. I did it, didn’t I? Went on about how nervous I am. It’s okay, it will be fine. I have help. It will be just fine. And, thanks to Ema there will be pumpkin pie. ‘Nuff said.

TC#18 – Good morning, Lord

This is the 18th entry for the thankfulness challenge, hence the TC#18. Get it? Good.

I am a morning person. Yes, I like my sleep, but I don’t particularly care for “sleeping in”. I feel like when I do, I’ve wasted half the day. And my mind seems to work best in the morning. Plus, coffee.

This morning as I was walking back from the kids’ bus stop, I turned a corner and was stopped in my tracks. It was the sun, rising up through the wooded area behind our neighborhood. It was as if all of a sudden it lit up the sky. And I felt it. God was saying “good morning” and reminding me He was there.

So today I am thankful for the sun, and that it rises faithfully. Every. Single. Day.

Thankfulness challenge, day 17

Do you know what I am thankful for today? Our house. There is great history here. Let me tell you about it.

When I met my husband, he lived in this house. He grew up here, from the time he was our son’s age. After high school his mom remarried and moved to Chicago, but he stayed in the house. Needless to say, it was quite the bachelor pad, but it was in this house that I fell in love with him. I was visiting one night and we were watching a movie. Only we got to chatting, and the VCR was set to rewind and play automatically. I don’t remember how many times it replayed, but I know it was at least twice. What was the movie? The ultimate romantic comedy: Slingblade. Ha! So, short story goes that I fell in love with him while watching Slingblade. Not the greatest of movies, but it had it’s funny moments. And maybe that’s a fitting metaphor for our life together, I don’t know.

When we married, Mike moved into my one-bedroom apartment, but soon after we bought the house from his mom and moved in. That was early 2000, I believe, almost 15 years ago. Since then we have remodeled and rearranged, we had cats that came and went, and now we are raising our children here. We have shared meals here with friends and family, we’ve laughed, cried, fought some pretty tough battles (thankfully not so much against each other anymore). This is where we have built our life together. So while it may not be our dream home, it is OUR home, and I am thanking God for it today.