Friday, December 11, 2015

Giving Thanks

This year we were lucky enough to enjoy two Thanksgiving traditional and one with our Monterey friends. Since moving out to Maryland we have had two of our very close friends from Monterey move out here too! And knowing how sometimes military families don't get to go home for the holidays, we thought a little friendsgiving before the big day was in order. We cooked a bunch of food, made sure to stock the fridge full of wine, and enjoyed a wonderful Saturday at our house. The kids played, the men congregated in the basement and the ladies chatted chatted chatted in the kitchen. It was the most fun I have had in a very long time. Having fabulous girlfriends is crucial and I am blessed to have quite a few, near and far. 

It was the first time we had cooked a turkey in many many years. Now that I think about it it was probably Thanksgiving 2008. Wait, maybe a Christmas turkey once or twice. Either way neither Matt nor I were skilled turkey professionals and were a little concerned with how it would turn out. Obviously we did not want it to be undercooked and send everyone to hospital. I mean we had those little timers and a thermometer but dang that thing never seems to work right. And we were hoping it wouldn't be dry as a bone. Aunt Kathy you know what I'm talking about ;). We sure didn't want one of those Griswold Christmas exploding turkey incidents. Oh the memories that would create! haha!! You definitely take for granted all the turkeys people cook for you over the years. Shout out to you Hilton! (only as a kid) Uncle Paul, Dad Clute...skilled turkey people. It's a life skill. We obviously need more practice. But hey, when you only sell the things once or twice a year what do you expect of someone?! I can barely boil an egg. jk. I can totally do that, and actually have a fool proof way too. (You are on the edge of your seat wondering huh?!) Rice though, whole other story.


the spread. yes.

Back to the turkey. We were lucky, or Matt is good. Both. Turkey was delicious. Stuffing was on point (I made it so obviously it was good). Mashed Potatoes and yams, amazing thanks to Carol. Greens and Cranberry, perfecto thanks to Courtney. Overall the food was a success and I am super proud of our grown up moment right there. Go us!! Gravy, less than ideal. Next year we make our own verses using a jar. Should have never bought the jar. Nothing tastes better than the "fond" from the turkey aka the good stuff. And oh don't get me started on the pies. Pumpkin (and not the canned stuff!), Lemon Meringue and Apple. Carol, bless her heart, made the pumpkin and lemon from scratch AND whip cream. OMG wow. I was in charge of apple. Hello Marie Callenders. Don't hate. I just couldn't get myself there mentally. Baking a legit pie wasn't going to happen, so I told Matt to pick one out. He selected a delicious apple crumble. It was a winner!! I highly recommend it (if you are in the market for a pie for Christmas perhaps). It was all so good it sent me into a food coma. Perfect way to end a wonderful day.

Cora supervising 

teagan trying to sneak in a lick while mom is distracted 
two very excited and hungry little girls!

everyone wanted to see what Norah was up to

Family photo time...

Poor Bryce was definitely outnumbered 4 to 1. Regardless they all had a wonderful time playing together and eating together. Mostly just pie, very little other for was consumed at that table, especially by C. And while I would normally negotiate regular food for dessert, eh I just wasn't up for it. Pie for everyone!! 

a real kids table!!

enjoying some fresh

Dress up time!!! Sofia, Cinderella, and Snow White...with their maid in the back sweeping the floors. Thanks Cora for helping to keep it clean! 

And less than one week later we were enjoying round two of Thanksgiving, this time over at the Swan's house with Matt's siblings. Instead of hosting we were just responsible for dessert. I bet you are wondering if I bothered to make the pies this time. haha. No. I was going to make the pumpkin but then I thought, "What if I ruin it? It would ruin Thanksgiving." You have to have a legit pumpkin pie. So I wasn't taking any chances, I bought it and boy did I score. It was on point. I also grabbed a blackberry pie which was also yummy. And we topped it off with a little ice cream. Mmmm. The rest of the spread was, of course, amazing. another day of stuffing ourselves and not feeling that guilty about it. I did manage to work out that morning so I kinda sorta "earned it". Or maybe I just didn't make it such a terrible high calorie day. Plus we also went for a walk after dinner, so obviously that helped. :)

attempting a photo while they are still fresh 
haha cousin secrets. Norah is not impressed

out for a walk. Most of the crew pictured



And Charlotte had a fabulous time playing with her cousin Jack. Norah was thoroughly entertained by them and hung in like a champ. She finally dozed in the swing after dinner, you know, like 10 minutes before we had to go. typical.

haha the mischievous look on her face. He doesn't even see it coming...

story time with Uncle Jim

Silly GranDave

more stories. What a bunch of happy kiddos

LOVING this little bouncer!

I think we lost charlotte!!

Jack "I'm gonna get you Charlotte!"

ahhhhh Uncle Jim!!!

sister love

Oh here, lets try it with them all lying down we said....
not too bad...

oh crying. here let me hug you sister. 

oh here let me help you cousin

Harley got to join in on the fun too!! Don't look so thrilled H

Thanks family and friends for such a memorable and fun Thanksgiving this year. We obviously have a lot to be thankful for. I wish we could have seen our west coast family this year too....hopefully next year.  

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