Yet, I am thankful for how she prepared to "pass the baton" to her daughters.
And I'm really thankful for the help I got, because I could somewhat sympathize with being "not quite full tilt" healthwise this year. My kids did a lot of the cleaning before and clean-up afterward and everyone helped in some way with the meal. Sarah cheerfully did all the grocery shopping, too, which was my most dreaded feat. I struggle to give thanks for that chore, so being thankful for her willingness was easy!
That said, it was good to have my parents and sister Jill here as well as Ben's girlfriend, Deirdra, and her mother, Carabeth. They brought three of their family favorites: pumpkin soup, pineapple cheese casserole, and green bean bundles (which remind you of little green logs sprinkled with brown sugar and wrapped in bacon. YUM).
Pay no mind to the place setting that's missing a napkin. I had whisked away that one napkin to iron, then took a picture of the table, and returned the napkin (un-ironed, too tired for that nonsense. It is what it is. Besides, my older boys remind me, "They're just for wiping your mouth on anyway." The youngest insists we don't need napkins at all because that's what your arms are for.)
The funniest memory was of our Thanksgiving tree. Every year we send a child out to the yard to find a bare stick with twiggy branches. Normally the branches are fairly evenly distributed on left and right, up and down the tree. This year, though, Joel presented us with one that had a ...how shall I say this?... asymmetric look to it. (Scroll down a ways for exhibit.) That's okay; normally I coordinate birthday cups and plates to celebrate my dad's close-to-T'giv Day b'day, but this year I had a cheap sleeve of Boardwalk fries cups. It is what it is.
My mom made German chocolate cupcakes for my dad's birthday.
I made Paul's favorite kind of pie--coconut cream-- but this year I found a five-star rated recipe that we all just loved. Very rich, and takes a half hour to prepare, but it's worth the effort. (I made it the day before and let it chill overnight.)
Joel helped make deviled eggs as appetizers. (Note: good protein for when hunger starts to take over and the food or guests, or both are running late.) I got a kick out of watching him getting a kick out kick out of watching steam rise.
The best thing of the day came at about 11 a.m. (an hour before guests came) when I was in the middle of chopping celery, my mind still abuzz with the to-do list. Ben (my 22 year old) slipped his around around my shoulder and said, "I just wanted to tell you, Mom, that I'm really proud of the way you're handling stress this year." I wanted to cry, but I laughed and hugged him back when he said that. "Thanks" I said. "But don't you remember my meltdown just two nights ago?" His words were like "apples of gold in a setting of silver."
Here's to many more happy Thanksgivings.