i offered to host our family thanksgiving this year. that meant 17 mouths to feed. i'm not gonna lie, hosting dinners for any number is a lot of work. hosting for the most important food day of the year is stressful! there is so much pressure around the food. there is no tree to 'oooh and awww' about and no gifts to make up for dry turkey and lumpy gravy.
i was happy to do it, and actually enjoy getting the house ready and setting the table. it was potluck, which helped so i was responsible for the guest of honor 'franklin the turkey' and my famous stuffing. well, i think it's famous anyway. the kids and i named the turkey franklin because he was deserving of a name. when you stand in line for a bird, practically throw out your back getting him into the cart and bathe him like a child in your sink, he needs a name. am i right?
tuesday night before the big day, i said farewell to work and took wednesday off. as i was leaving the building, saying my 'goodbye's' and 'happy thanksgivings', i may or may not have asked someone when i should take my turkey out of the freezer.
who knew this would create such an uproar.
'WHAT!?!' the woman answered. 'YOUR TURKEY IS IN THE FREEZER STILL?' she went on, 'OH MY, IT TAKES ATLEAST 5 DAYS IN THE FRIDGE TO THAW', and after she said these words, i panicked, 'YOU'RE SCREWED'.
It was two days before thanksgiving and it was already ruined. FAIL.
i drove directly to costco to hopefully stand in another long turkey line and save franklin for christmas but the turkey cooler was empty. there were a few scattered 9 pound organic dudes floating around in there but 9 pounds was not gonna cut it.
turns out, with a lot of time and effort you can thaw a turkey in 24 hours. thanks to google and the internets franklin was in for several cool water baths and would live in my kitchen sink for awhile.
on the day of, fingers crossed i spread open his little turkey legs and pulled out the still frozen innards, threw him into the oven a little early and prayed a little. after putting franklin in the baker, we called sean's family out east. it's always bitter sweet on these holidays to live so far from his family. when sean's mom said, 'happy thanksgiving!' to ian, he replied with, 'no, it's a chicken party'. we laughed and after hanging up the phone were sad that they weren't coming to our chicken party or that we weren't at theirs.
after 7 hours in the kitchen that morning, and when my feet started barking at me (even before the guests even arrived) i leaned up against the sink remembering how easy holidays used to be when all i had to do was come downstairs. happily saying, 'when's dinner gonna be ready mom' only to find her leaning up against the sink, eyes closed, praying the turkey turns out. then, i thanked god for giving me family, and so many of them to spend the holidays with. then i proceeded to be thankful for the food i was allowed to buy, the roof over my head to hold these people, the husband who feverishly moved tables and chairs in 4 different arrangements, and for my two kids who made everything harder and take longer. and let's not forget the bottle of wine i tapped into before i was even dressed.
i didn't manage to get many pictures of the event. none of the tables and they looked lovely (if I do say so myself). i didn't get a picture where we all stood around and passed a thankful jar, reading the notes that we all wrote, and I didn't even get a picture of the bird. well, all of it anyway. you can find parts of it in the two photos i did manage to capture. here are my two turkey's eating both of the turkey legs.
my darling husband who is always so great about helping cleanup tossed the 'thankful notes' so I can't write most of them out as i wished. but, the overall theme was an abundance of thanks for family, new beginnings, and strength of people and support. they were annonymous thoughts as we passed them around but there was no mistaking who the following belonged to.
'i'm thankful for my school' - alex
'i'm thankful for my bed' -caden
'i'm thankful for my whole family' -ian
'i'm thankful for mooris, my bink, (and a whole long list of named stuffed toys and blankets) - gage