Saturday, November 30, 2013


I was a little hesitant when Craig said, "Let's do Thanksgiving at home this year." Just us, our little family, in our house. My first reaction was, "I'll buy a Honey Baked Ham and make side dishes, done!" Then Craig insisted, "We should make a Turkey.... and cranberry sauce! .... oh, oh, and two pies, and..." I tuned the rest out and began to dread what was coming. I have to cook a Thanksgiving feast. Because when Craig says "we" he means "me". I've never done this before. Every Thanksgiving prior to this there was a (more experienced) mom in the kitchen; referencing old family recipes, using ingredients I've never heard of, and looking like a professional. My Thanksgivings past involved my "helping" by chopping or stirring something, eating way too much, and then washing some dishes - I'm a hit at other people's gatherings! But, there was no hiding behind the "I'm a guest" excuse this year. It was up to me to provide the meal - the pinnacle of the Thanksgiving holiday.

To add a higher level of difficulty to the day that would surely be a disaster, our family planned to run a Turkey Trot first thing Thursday morning. It's enough that I would have to be on my feet cooking the rest of the afternoon after running over three miles, but we actually had to wake the kids up early for this event. Meaning, we would have two extremely cranky boys on our hands while I sweated it out over several entrees. At least it would just be us though. No matter what kind of monstrosity ensued I was really only cooking for me and my husband. Kendan and Damien wouldn't eat the majority of the regalement and wouldn't be harsh critics even if they did. So, who cares, right? ...... Enter: the unexpected (and totally welcome, so glad he joined us) dinner guest. Now, the pressure was on. 

I made the pies the night before. Cherry and blueberry, completely homemade, including the crust. I felt frantic but organized at the same time. Everything seemed to go off without a hitch save one very smokey oven incident as the cherry filling dripped out of my pie a little (ok, a lot). Craig wondered aloud if Martha Stewart ever dealt with the same issue. *Butt head* Before bed time I had two complete and savory-looking pies. The cherry did appear to have had a seizure on one side but, I didn't beat myself up over it. 

Warning: Objects are more delicious than they appear.
The Turkey Trot went great! It was actually my first official race since the 5k I had planned for early November didn't work out. It was freezing outside. And I don't mean "cold for Texas". I mean, literally below 32 degrees. This forced my children, who were not in the best moods as predicted, to sit the race out. Not by our insistence, by theirs. Craig made it around the first turn of the race with them in the stroller and Kendan was ready to go to the car. I was unaware of this, as I was running ahead of them, until I text messaged Craig at the end to let him know I was done. His reply was, "We saw you finish. We're in the car." Finishing my first race was an amazing feeling, but nothing was better than finding all of my boys dancing in the back of the car, blaring Paramore, warm, and in better moods! 

Slight panic began to set in. The race was the easy part of the day. I knew I could do that. Now, I had to get the house picked up, myself cleaned (and dressed) up, and all the traditional Thanksgiving fare prepared. To make what is already a long story short(er), I did it. Don't ask me how. But, I did. I'm either not going into detail about how I accomplished this because it's my little secret, or it's because I blacked out and cannot remember exactly what it is I did right that day. I credit my adrenaline from the fact that it was a holiday (I'm a holiday junkie), Damien taking a 3 hour nap in the middle of the day, and help from my husband whenever I demanded politely asked for it. Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole - all homemade - all delicious. And, most importantly, timed perfectly. Everything was warm when it hit the table! I can barely manage that on a regular week night. In addition to it looking and tasting wonderful, I was calm (and in a dress!). The day was a complete success. The boys had fun, our guest enjoyed himself and the meal, and so did we. To top it off, the pies were like slices of Heaven; even the epileptic cherry one. Take that, Martha Stewart! 

This is the time of year that we all give thanks for what is truly important in our lives. There are so many obvious answers to that question. Of course I'm thankful for my husband who makes everything in my life possible with his love and support. My children and their health will always be the definition of what it means to be honestly grateful. But, this year, I am thankful for a few more things. That my first Thanksgiving at the helm will go down in history as a great one. I'm beyond thankful for homemade pie crust (duh). And the fact that, after a 3 mile run and standing to cook the rest of the day, my feet didn't hurt when I went to bed that night. Hallelujah! 

Hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving! 

Kendan's gift to us for Thanksgiving!


  1. You are a rockstar! And I love Kendan's turkey!!!!

  2. (Because when Craig says "we" he means "me".) It looks like Craig's training is complete with that statement. Glad your first turkey day as a fam was a WIN. Now the pressure is on because you have a standard that you must live up to... Have a kick ass Christmas