Monday, December 2, 2013

The best Thanksgiving.

How was your Thanksgiving? I hope it was full. Of family. Blessings. Food. Black Friday shopping. Whatever makes you happy.

I think our Thanksgiving Day was the quietest, most relaxing on record for me. I felt like I really had things together, which is no small miracle. I have to admit I was feeling a little down because so much of Thanksgiving is centered around The Big Meal and so much of The Big Meal usually consists of foods I can't (or shouldn't) eat because of my allergies.

And I really hate that something like that gets me all depressed. So I took the bull by the horns and decided what I would really miss - pumpkin pie - and found a dairy-free recipe online, and whipped it up the night before. It was fabulous. I ate dairy-free pumpkin pie the following two mornings for breakfast.

There are a few things that I give the "Is this worth it?" test. I ask myself, "is this cake/pie/bread/whatever worth the stomachache/headache/sore throat/itchy skin it might cause me later if I eat it right now?" That's the difference between having a lethal allergy and one that only makes you feel like you're dying (or want to). Sometimes it's worth it. Most of the time is isn't. But enough about that. Because really? The BEST part of Thanksgiving was spending time with my family.

On Thanksgiving Day we went next door to my in-laws' for dinner. It was just seven of us: me and Steve, Sam and Rachel, mom and dad and grandma. Perfect. We ate, then while the guys went hunting Rach and I crashed in the living room and watched TV and took a nap.

It was snowing that perfect, pretty snow, too. So we took a couple pics outside.

I'm so happy to have Steve home for the holidays.

 And this girl ... God help me.
Rachey (stifling a laugh) and her Great-Grandma Jane.

Then Saturday we headed north to my Uncle Steve's house in Elk Rapids. We've been having this Thanksgiving get-together with my dad's side of the family for ... holy smokes, more than a decade now.

By my count we had 25 people. Perfect. I think as I get older I appreciate these family gatherings more and more.

Rachel colors with cousin Izzy.

My first time meeting my cousin Annie's (and her husband, Greg's) baby boy, Edison.
Squeeee! So fun having a baby around.

Food! Buffet style.

I snapped this picture right before we left. It was one of those moments when you just kind of stand back and take it all in. We are so blessed to have extended family we all love and get along with.

We're back to the grind this week - the kids back to school, me back to ... whatever it is I do depending on the day, and Steve taking care of things that need fixing or doing while he has the time, being that he's laid off and all. Hunting season is over (for firearms anyway) so there is a bunch of stuff hanging around that needs to be packed up and put away.

It's nice to have Steve here. I'm hoping we can sneak in a date night sometime soon, but I really enjoy just having him here. We have a lot of catching up to do. Such is The Pipe Life: miss them like crazy while they're gone, cram in the family time whenever and wherever you can.

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