I so wanted to sleep in past 5am this morning, but my body is so conditioned, even on my days off, and even when I'm still tired. I think my excitement had something to do with it as well, though. I really wanted today to be special. Especially for Lyndsay. I invited her boyfriend's family to join us for Thanksgiving dinner, and when I told her several days later, she was so happy. I knew it would please her. And I wanted everything to be wonderful, so for the last several weeks I've been putting thought into the meal, the seating, the table, all the details.
Lyndsay was great enough to bake the pies for me yesterday while I was at work. That took a huge amount of stress off my shoulders. She baked two apple and two pumpkin and she did a wonderful job. When I got home last night, I baked a loaf of zucchini bread, did dishes, and went to bed.
Lyndsay has watched me do a turkey many times, but I figured this year she might want to learn by doing, so I talked her through the preparation. She was sufficiently grossed out, but she did a great job.
We cooked a 23lb bird this year. She had to really use her muscles.
I don't usually buy flowers for Thanksgiving, but I love fresh flowers so much and wanted to do it this year. I had plans for the table decorations and I thought the flowers would be a lovely touch.
As I was setting the table, Aiden had the idea to do some fancy folding of the napkins. I told him I loved that idea and he could go for it, so he looked up ideas on the internet and then folded all the napkins into French pleats. It looked awesome! (Plus, who doesn't love a teenage boy who takes the time to fold napkins?)
From one direction:
And the other. I think it looked so pretty! And I really like pretty tables. (Even if I don't follow all the rules of place settings.)
It is so nice to have big kid helpers! Today Lyndsay made the fruit salad, and the Lion House Rolls. The rolls are always Lyndsay's job. This was her best year yet, I think.
Aiden did the mashed potatoes, but I forgot to take a picture. Conor peeled all the carrots for me.
Then Adam came with Sean and he showed us some of the pictures he took while in the Philippines. (Yes, did I tell you? He just got back from a week in the Philippines filming a documentary of a humanitarian medical trip to help the people there. Amazing.)
(And then Alma switched me places so I could be in one of the photos.) (And we missed Dylan!)
Apparently, this is the only picture of Caitlin that I took, which is a shame, because she's such a breath of fresh air and her face always makes me happy. She called me yesterday as I was leaving the hospital and asked what time she should come over. I was so happy to hear from her! And grateful that she could come celebrate with us, before her holiday with her mom's family.
After the meal, Caitlin and Sean had to leave to go to their mom's, and the other kids migrated a few feet into the living room and got to playing games and hanging out. Brando played Battleship with Conor.
Adam did some magic tricks for Alma and Jose.
Bruno and Aiden played chess.
And Braulio (who wasn't feeling well) and Lyndsay hung out on the couch.
A few hours later we ate pie, but I forgot to take pictures of that too. It was delicious! And then, of course, we had to do our Apple Turkeys!
Funny thing, there were no large red apples at the store when we went, so we decided we'd just go all kinds of wild and do green turkeys. And because the table was too pretty to mess up, I set it up picnic-style in the family room.
Lyndsay's turkey was blinged-out and beautiful!
Six really good sports. But then again, you're never too old for a good thing.
And here are three of my greatest blessings. With a fourth close to my heart (who will be coming for Christmas!!!!) I am one lucky mom, and I am grateful.