domesticity,  Family Matters,  na blow me,  Tis the Season

Day Twenty-two: the day I am thankful for

cooking thanksgiving dinner is not child's play

So I cooked thanksgiving dinner today and I am one tired mother something-something. It was great though. As I was editing all the photos I uploaded onto flickr, I was overwhelmed with how wonderful everything turned out and how lucky I am to have a mom who will slave away in the kitchen with me from morning until night. Of course there were lots of other relatives helping helping helping but my mom really did make it happen. If she weren’t here I think I would have ordered a pizza and run for the hills.

I’m not the world’s worst cook but I just don’t love it. I love cleaning better. I would rather wash five countertops filled with dishes and sigh that big happy sigh of relief that they are done than cook a great big thanksgiving dinner and know that I made a table full of people happy. I don’t know why. I’m just weird that way. I just really really like that feeling that everything is clean and orderly.

So you can imagine that the thought of a kitchen over-flowing with dishes and half-unwrapped ingredients and chopped-up vegetables and trash bags and pots bubbling over and things dripping on the floor and children running in and out… could run me a little ragged. I’m not type A but I like things in “my office” (the kitchen) to be just so. And “just so” would be how the kitchen is when NO COOKING is going on. That’s how I like the kitchen. Clean and tidy.

Heh. Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

putting the turkey in the oven

Do you know what I do when I feel a little insecure about something? I call my mom. When I used to do wedding flowers my mom was my right-hand man. We’ve worked so hard on so many projects together that she’s used to my constant running worry-wart commentary. She just rolls her eyes when I freak out about something and reminds me of the zillions of other times we’ve pulled off the impossible.

This year I carted her out a day early and we braved the crazy madhouse grocery store together. Did you guys go shopping on Wednesday? It was a AWFUL!!! I seriously felt like my cart was a bumper car at the carnival. All we needed was some loud Calypso music and maybe a wild wig or two and we’d be ready for the circus or the funny farm or something. It was downright scary. I’m usually very orderly in my shopping, always starting in the produce section and working my way east but this time it was all I could do to scramble here and there and make my way down my list. We forgot a million things but what can you do? It was either that or throw down some WWF wrestling moves.

at this point she tried to blow on the stuffing because it was "hot"

The best part of getting Thanksgiving dinner ready was fulfilling our family tradition with Baby Bug for the first time. In our family it is a time honored tradition that the youngest family member stuff the first handful of stuffing into the turkey. I don’t how this started (maybe Grandma can fill us in?) but I do remember it with all my many cousins. I don’t remember doing it myself but I may have. I was probably too little to remember. Who knows. It’s just something fun we do and I was not one bit disappointed with Baby Bug’s glee to do her part.

the turkey is SO FUNNY!

It was all a blast. The relatives arrived early and the cousins shrieked with glee. Baby Bug and her cousin Super Chic are two peas in a pod. They are BFF for sure. I love to watch them play together.

BB and Toby

The Dads took the kids to the beach and even though I was sad to miss out on that fun, it really helped with getting things done in the kitchen. It’s amazing how hard it is to cook or get anything done when you have a toddler who wants to help and/or be held at the same time.

chasing seagulls

Thankfully Toby’s brother (Uncle George) took a ton of great photos so I got to live that moment vicariously. I love that we are starting traditions like this in our family. It’s a very strange role that I’m now playing as the mom and person who is in charge of organizing these sorts of events but I’m thankful for it too. I know it’s a lot of responsibility but I’m up for it. There is nothing better than realizing these moments are the memories your kids will always look back on. Just like I look back on all the many thanksgivings I spent with my family.

my place at the table

At the end of the day, the food was good and everybody was happy. I really couldn’t ask for anything more. Well besides a cup of coffee and a big fat slice of apple pie.

fat and happy

I would definitely do this again.

Grandma does have the origin of this tradition! Check out her blog and leave her a comment if you think of it. She loves comments. (Doesn’t everyone?)


  • comfortablycrazy

    Sometimes you wish there was an instant replay button, and sometimes you’re just glad it’s over. Today was an instant replay day. Everything was great.

    THANK YOU TOBY!!!!!!!!

    I know we drove you nuts.

  • lynne

    These photos are so beautiful they cheer me right up. Yesterday was a bad day for me I lost my Uncle quite unexpectedly. Famillies are so important. Hug yours extra tight your all such amazing people.

  • witchypoo

    The photo of BB and her Grandma is heartwarming. It’s so obvious she is crazy about BB. The foot in mouth was priceless too.
    I’m glad you enjoyed everything. I enjoy cooking somewhat, but I love it when I have other people in the kitchen for help and company.

  • familymclean

    What a wonderful day! About the cleaning/cooking….you can come to my house any day, I will cook my butt off and you can do dishes to your hearts content.:)
    I love the beach pics, as it is snowing….for the third day straight up here….the beach is dreamy!

  • margalit

    That looks like the absolutely most perfect Thanksgiving day ever. The photos are wonderful, especially the one of Bug doing the stuffing. Just too cute for words. I also love the one of Toby and Bug together on the beach. That’s a keeper! I’m glad you had such a nice holiday. You’re a great entertainer. You have such a talent for it. Who cares if you can’t cook. You like to organize parties and that is, in my book, the coolest thing ever!

  • Sam

    Love that last picture…it sounds like a really great Thanksgiving day! I know one day I’ll be hosting Thanksgiving day…even if it just means we’re responsible for the turkey and everyone else brings a side. I’m starting to think it could actually be fun!

  • Gramma

    Dear Josephine…what wonderful pics of a happy time. For the tradition history both happy and distressful and sad, please see my blog today.

  • BeachMama

    SAJ, it sure looks like you pulled of a wonderfully perfect Thanksgiving. And it is fabulous to see photos of Toby enjoying the beach with BB.

    I have done countless Thanksgivings now and am actually doing the first Christmas not at my Mom’s this year, but rest assured, I will be calling Mom before she arrives, she will possibly have to save the day again as she has had to several times before. But, that is what Mom’s are for. And years from now when BB is calling you and asking you for your help getting the Turkey ready, you can look back and laugh and remember that you too did the exact same thing.

    Hope you had a great day after basking in the glow.

  • Michelle

    SAJ – Thanks for sharing your holiday with us….I love the last picture of you with some coffee, BB and that little foor in her mouth – awww :o) I also loved how Super Chic is sitting with you, and her little hand is around your arm…so so so cute! The pics of the daddies and their kiddos at the beach are adorable! Everything looked perfect! Enjoy some R and R!!!

    Hugs for ya!

  • Tny

    You know what?! Here, there’s a local thought says “If your baby/child licks/sucks his/hers toe, means that more baby to come” ;)

    Oh BTW, I’m a reader from Malaysia..have a nice to all viewers.. :)