Thanksgiving 2013

I love Thanksgiving. It’s all the wonderfulness of Christmas with so much less pressure. This year was extra special because I have so, so much to be thankful for. 2013 has been a huge year for me, and none of that was lost on me on Thursday.

Chris and I both had a chance to work from home on Wednesday (my first time ever!) due to the holiday and a Nor’easter coming up the coast. I was thankful for the chance to stay put as the morning was pretty dark and stormy. Our basement even took on a little water which caused a minor freak out, but we’ve got a remediation plan in place. Luckily, the weather got better as the day went on, but we still stayed put most of the day. I baked some cookies for the next day too.

Thursday morning started with breakfast while watching the parade on TV. After that, Chris and I went on a little run. I wanted to see what my hamstring felt like. Not great was the answer but we got a nice, easy 3 miles in while enjoying the cold but sunny weather. After our run, I got started on my apple pie! I bought frozen crusts, but the filling was all me! It wasn’t bad at all. Next time I’d probably do refrigerated crusts because the crust that was supposed to act as the top of the pie sorta fell apart when I flipped it over. Thankfully, no one noticed or cared. I ended up with some apple filling left, so I made a quick apple crisp on the side. It turned out to be a bigger hit than the pie! Figures, right? Simple is better.

My mom and Molly (Annie stayed in Charlotte this year; after all her moves she was a little over traveling hah) met us at the house while I finished getting ready. Then we took some pictures (still trapped on the SLR) in front of the house before heading to Chris’ parent’s for dinner.

Traffic was a bit of a bear, but we all made it. It was so nice to have both our families in the same place. It just felt so right to me, and I really appreciated the effort both families made it make it happen. Of course, there was plenty of food to be thankful for as well. Chris’ mom just started a new job, and she’s been working like crazy, so she had most of the food catered by Wegman’s with some sides brought by family. It was awesome!

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We had turkey, mashed potatoes, a squash and spinach salad, stuffing, stuffed mushrooms, green beans, gravy, cranberry relish and chicken cutlets (plus Chris’ cute cousin and her fiancé Pete caught unaware by my sneaky paparazzi ways). There was so much food, and I tried everything.

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After dinner we cleaned up before we got started on round two.

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There was so much pie plus cookies, brownies and fruit (which mostly went untouched). I had a coconut custard pie that was just awesome, and my desserts were a hit too. After that, everyone slipped into a nice food coma while watching The Godfather Parts I & II (never III) on loop, a Rappa tradition.

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After a few hours more, we rallied and made the trip back up home. I was shocked by how much traffic there still was, but we made it and watched a couple movies (flipping between a Harry Potter marathon and a James Bond one) before passing out.

The next day I had just one thing on my mind: Christmas!! We already had our tree, so it was time to put that bad boy up. I turned on some Pandora Christmas tunes, made some hot cocoa, and we got to work.

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The cats were equal parts excited and terrified of the process. Shockingly, Miles was the braver one throughout. After the tree was up, I started decorating. The tree is pre-lit, and it was so nice to skip stringing the lights.

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When we finished, I was over the moon. I didn’t expect to be quite as thrilled as I was, but it was just so pretty. It totally put me in the spirit. Sometimes, I just stand and stare at it. This season is so short, I’m just trying to soak it all in.

We met Debbie and Mike in Jersey City for dinner at yet another new restaurant. I think 5 (that I know of!) have popped up since we left. That city is bustling! Unfortunately, we also drove by the wreckage of a building that house several apartments plus our favorite Italian delivery place in JC. A fire destroyed it the day before Thanksgiving. Luckily, no one was killed, but it was still awfully sad.

Saturday was the turkey trot in our neighboring town. I sat it out because 5 miles is too much for my right leg at the moment. Chris did it though, and he was so great! The course is three loops of a park, so I got to catch him a couple times. I had a blast cheering for him.

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He blew our time from last year out of the water finishing in 50:04.

After the race, we went to see Catching Fire, and it was so good! The second book was my favorite in the series, and the movie did a great job bringing it to life.

Sunday we went to church as I was officially welcomed into my adult confirmation program. It was a beautiful rite, and I feel very privileged to be experiencing all this at the church we’ve chosen. The people are just so warm and welcoming. The atmosphere is great.

For such a long break, it certainly seemed to fly by. I was not ready to head back to work yesterday, but I did find myself more rested and definitely thankful for such a great holiday.

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