First Thanksgiving

This will be a blog about the Pilgrims.

Okay, that’s not true. This is about Thanksgiving this year, which was the first for my darling nephew Camden.

Mostly just photos, this was a pretty uneventful Thanksgiving.
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Here is the beautiful table my mother set (and the beautiful girl my sister made!)
Two of my favorite children:
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 And we wanted one good picture of the little guy on his first Thanksgiving.
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Very cute, and two seconds later he grabbed the camera. Then he’d crawl away. As a full-fledged crawler, it’s so hard to get him to sit for a photo. Never had this problem with Arionna.
So my sister suggested I hold him.
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Again, cute, but not the photo we were looking for.
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Well, that’s pretty darling, but a little blurry around the edges.
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And after that…I almost stopped. I figured they don’t get much cuter than that. But he was suddenly being cooperative, so…
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Oh my. Holding the orange pumpkin and sitting and smiling? Yep, that’s the money shot. Such a cutie.
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He was a HUGE fan of Thanksgiving dinner. He ate everything we put in front of him, didn’t flinch. The boy loves to eat. He just loves food…so long as he can feed himself. He just kept shoveling it in, over and over.
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Later, Arionna made a Christmas Countdown Chain with Grandma and Uncle Zack. She gets so excited each morning to wake up and tear off the ring, getting her one day closer to Christmas.
Finally, just before Simon arrived and chaos ensued, we wanted one nice picture of Cam with his GiGi. We have a couple pics, but nothing really nice.
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I definitely think that qualifies. Even she is slightly smiling.
I hope your Thanksgiving was beautiful and that you were grateful for the things you have. I’m grateful, among other things, for you, my wonderful blog readers.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thankful – 2012

Last year I posted a “things I am Thankful for” post. I liked it so much, I decided to repeat it this Thanksgiving.

In 2012, these are all the things I am thankful for.

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My mom

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My dad
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That they love each other (and me!)
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Siblings

Simon

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Arionna
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Besties

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Christian Kane

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A new nephew

Friends AND babies!

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Identical goofy expressions
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Outdoor concerts (music in general)

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Gaggles of friends

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Photographs

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Kisses

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Happiness
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Affection

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Large families

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Swimming pools
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Dreams

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Books (I’ve been reading like MAD lately, 6 books in the last week!)

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Colors of Fall

First snowfall

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Sunsets
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Trying new things

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Josie

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Cranberry splash season

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Baby anything
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And me. I’m happy just to be me.

Have a grateful, extraordinary, loving, and unseasonably warm Thanksgiving!

Gratitude

Things I am grateful for:

My mother. (Do I need to say any more?)

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That my dad’s birthday falls around Thanksgiving every year, it is his favorite time of year and it is fun to enjoy it with him.

Simon. He’s so much fun to be around–crazy and funny and silly and smart and sweet.
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Arionna. She’s cuddly and independent and strange and wonderful.
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Spending time with my sister. She had to work on Thanksgiving day…and all weekend, yet I still saw her three days in a row!

My grandma being in an exceptionally good mood on Thanksgiving. She even laughed (actual laughter, not just a slight smile) at a joke that *I* made.

Hanging out with my funny niece. She is developing a very strong sense of humor and was cracking us all up. Especially on Friday, when she woke up vomiting (she was fine–probably a reaction to the macaroni and cheese she ate for Thanksgiving) and then spent the next hour wandering around pretending to vomit (making the noises, opening her mouth and pretend gagging) just to watch us all react and then giggling like a maniac.
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Spontaneous affection from my nephew. Simon has hit a stage where he loves being affectionate. I was driving a car and he was in the backseat. When I parked, he unbuckled and leaned into the front and kissed me on the cheek. No reason at all, just because.

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(yes, that is a stuffed reindeer, NOT me, but the reindeer liked it, too)

*Forcing* (with help from my mom, thanks Mom!) my dad to chop down a tree for the first time in years…on his birthday…for the benefit of his grandchildren and watching their delight as Grandpa cut down a tree. Simon was crouched on the ground, just like Pa, but as soon as he started sawing, Simon leapt out of the way and said, “I better move so a tree doesn’t fall on me!”

That Zack is not afraid of Arionna anymore. And that she IS afraid of him (even though she secretly loves him and will chant zackzackzackzackzackzack the second he is out of sight).

When Zack took a nap on the living room floor, Arionna crept up to him and tucked her favorite toys all around him, covered him with her blanky, AND tried to stick her Nuk in his mouth. It was adorable.

Watching how much my dad enjoys being a grandfather. And realizing we can get him to do just about anything “for the grandkids” (see chopping down tree – above)

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Giving my dad strike anywhere matches as a birthday gift and watching him realize that, once again, I was right.

My grandma giving my dad his birthday check (one dollar for every year of life) and realizing that it was WRONG! (He’s 58, NOT 59).

Four day weekends!

An amazing, best-one-ever, pumpkin pie that my mother made.

That my house smells like a fresh-cut Christmas tree.

That my house is now fully decked out for the holidays.

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(Yes, I know that is a terrible picture. All my good ones are on my camera, not my phone, so they’re not available yet.)

That even though we were all tired, we still expended the effort to take Simon and Arionna to the Holidazzle parade for the first time. Even though we were experiencing the Venturi Effect and it was cold. Damn cold. (Pics to come!)

That I have a wonderful family whom I love, a safe and healthy family, enough food to feed us, that we enjoy each others’ company and that we know how lucky we are in all of these things.

Hope you all had a safe and fun and happy Thanksgiving! (And Happy Birthday to my dad!)

Thanksgiving

Well, evidently purging myself in the prior post invited warm Thanksgiving-y feelings this year. Which is my way of saying that this was perhaps the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had.

It was dinner–and the food was exceptional this year, family (more on that in moments), a birthday celebration, games, and good conversation. All the makings of an excellent holiday. Everyone was on their best behavior and, for once, a holiday passed without significant family drama. What a relief! Even my grandmother was in a pleasant mood.

The hit of the day, was, of course, my little niece, babycakes. This was her very first Thanksgiving and we marked the occasion with a photo of her with every person.

With Grandma Kaye:

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With Grandpa:

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With Great-Grandma:

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With her parents:

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(Isn’t that a beautiful family photo?)

With her favorite Auntie Livi:

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With her Mommy:

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With her Daddy:

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With her Uncle Zack:

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(Ranking as one of the cutest pictures of 2010)

With her Kimmy:

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With Grandpa and Great-Grandma:

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So, there was lots of baby passing and general merriment. Babycakes also got to eat her first Thanksgiving dinner, which was a good one to start with, because it may just be the best that my mom ever made.

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(Umm, not too sure…)

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By golly, she likes it!

We also celebrated my dad’s birthday:

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(He’s laughing at the present I got him, because he gave it to me after I asked him not to, and now he got it back…that’ll teach him.)

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And here is a lovely shot of my dad with his mom:

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So, you can see we all look happy and full and content in these pictures and we are. It was a wonderful day, and even though Zack won Hearts by Shooting the Moon, it was still a fun day and I am so thankful to have been able to enjoy it with my family.

Hopefully your Thanksgiving was equally fantastic!

Giving Thanks

You know what? This is probably my least favorite holiday.

Flag day is more appealing to me than this. But, I don’t know why.

While I will freely admit that turkey is not among my favorite foods, I like mashed potatoes, I love green bean casserole, warm rolls are always good, and dessert is awesome. Wine with dinner is definitely on my “Like” list…so what’s the problem?

I wonder if it has to do with the fact that my mother works for days to create this huge meal and then we all eat in like 20 minutes. Maybe. I never like to see her work that hard and it feels–ungrateful, maybe? I mean, sure, we all compliment her lavishly, but she never seems like she is enjoying it. I have a sneaking suspicion that if it weren’t my dad’s favorite meal of the year, she could be talked into forgoing it altogether. But maybe not. (Especially as this particular year, Thanksgiving coincides with his 57th birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad!)

She never complains and she rarely accepts offers of help. This year, my first not living with her, I asked if I could bring something. Something that might ease her day or give her a few moments to relax and enjoy. She said no. That could be because she doesn’t think I can cook. Well, okay.

Except: NOW I CAN!

Amazing, isn’t it? (Oh, please tell me you clicked that link…it’s hysterical. I’ve been roasting a turkey all day!)

Kidding aside, when I think of Thanksgiving, what springs immediately to mind is WAY too much work for too little reward. The fact that I am not the one doing the work is irrelevant. I’d rather we ordered pizza and my mom got to sit down and just hang out with us. But, then, how would that be special?

I guess the point is that it isn’t the day that is special. It isn’t the food, or the football, or not having to work (though I DO love that part). What makes this special, what makes it a holiday is spending time with the ones we love and remembering that we are fortunate enough to have things to be thankful for.

Tomorrow, I’m especially thankful that I have wonderful parents who support me in everything I do.

I have siblings who, even though they drive me bananas, are still the roots of who I am.

I have friends who are there, whether I need them or not, for fun or not, just because.

I have a job that pays me a decent (?) salary and allows me the opportunity to purchase my own home.

I have a car. He runs and is heavy enough to make it through the snow without any real difficulty. (You go Gus!)

I have a beautiful niece and a charming nephew who bring me so much joy.

I’m happy, I’m healthy, I’m wholly unique.

I’m simply grateful. For all my gifts, today, tomorrow, and every day.

That’s what it’s all about.

Happy Thanksgiving!