Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Let's talk Thanksgiving for a minute.  I mean after all, it is Thanksgiving.  I have thought and thought and thought about how I want to write this post, and honestly, I am just going to be myself.  There are a million things I am thankful for, there are a million people I am thankful for, and I'll dabble in that, but with this being our very first Thanksgiving away from our families, let me tell you the history of Thanksgiving, Randi style.

I have always done what I call, the Holiday Marathon.  Growing up, we would go to one set of grandparents in the afternoon, my other set of grandparents in the evening, and the whenever my mom's day off was, we had T-day with her.  I know this put a certain strain on my dad and I totally applaud him in making sure that we got to everyone's house.  It's not an easy task being a single dad. 

(caution dad, I get emotional here...like Hallmark threw up or something)

My favorite part of Thanksgiving was when we went to my grandma Lucy's house.  There were three things that were always true about Thanksgiving at grandma Lucy's, she always let me help, she always said she had been up since 3am cooking and she always, always, ALWAYS, caught a dish towel on fire sometime during the preparation.  Grandma Lucy was who taught me how to cook Thanksgiving dinner.  She let me baste the turkey, help stir the Stove Top that she swore was never out of a box and I got to mash the taters.  But the best part, well the best part was the gravy. The gravy was always the best part because that was the part that I always got to do without any assistance.  Grandma would stand there and answer my questions when I had them, but she always let me go.  And every year, the gravy was the best.  It quiet possibly was the lumpiest gravy that you ever did have, but it was the best.  I remember the first year I made it all on my own, and my grandpa Jack spent the whole night telling me how good it was.  Of course it was awful, but he sure as hell wanted me to know he appreciated making it.  
I know this is a Christmas picture, but I absolutely love it.  It's my grandma Lucy, grandpa Jack and my niece Jade 
When my grandma got older, my dad and step mom started hosting at their house to give my grandma a break from all the cooking.  And even though we still had at least one other place to go, Thanksgiving at my dad's was always great.  Turns out, my step mom is a pretty good cook herself ;).

 My first Thanksgiving after my grandma Lucy died, was my first Thanksgiving with Matt.  It has been a few years since I made the gravy and helped grandma, and for some reason, I felt that Thanksgiving just wasn't supposed to be.  I had just lost the first person in my life that I was close to and had to celebrate the holiday that her and I would work together on every year.

I decided I hated Thanksgiving, and tried to boycott it.  That's hard to do though when you have so many houses to go to though.  So Matt and I joined my brother, his daughter and my grandpa Jack at my dad and step mom's house and had a nice evening.  For me it was somber, I was missing my grandma, but I still nice.  The difficulty of that first Thanksgiving without my grandma was only trumped by the first Christmas without her.

The Thanksgiving I was pregnant with Lucy, we were also planning our wedding.  For some reason I thought it would be a good time to host.  I don't know why, but being pregnant, with a girl, and for a girl that I was naming after my grandma, I had to host Thanksgiving.  And it turned out really well.  It was a tight squeeze, we had about 18 people in our little house, but it was nice.  I was determined to love the holiday again so that I could share the memories I made with my grandma, with my own daughter.

In 2008, we went to Michigan to spend Thanksgiving with Matt's grandparents.  It was my very first Thanksgiving without my family, and it was the first of an only "one t-day" celebration.  I thought it was neat being around snow on Thanksgiving, being a Vegas girl and all, but I missed my family.

Lucy would always squint when the camera came out because she expected the flash.  

She still makes this face.



2009 brought us back to Vegas, and we spent it with my dad, step mom, brother, niece and grandpa.  This is Thanksgiving in Vegas, where you still wear shorts!  As you can see, it was a good time, I remember laughing a lot that night.  And we had lasagna, I did not make any gravy.

My dad, brother and niece 

Little Lucy

Lucy and Jade after dinner
2010 brought yet another hard year.  My grandpa Jack had gotten sick and little did I know that the Christmast of 2009 was the last Christmas we would have him.  So 2010 started with us finding out my grandpa was very sick.  I also found out I was pregnant.  The days get blurry here, but right around the time my grandpa died in February, I found out that my pregnancy was ectopic and ended up in the hospital with a ruptured tube and I was bleeding internally.  I was released from the hospital the day before my grandpa's funeral, so I was still able to attend.  This is a before and after picture of my brother and me.  I knew that it would be the last time my brother and I would be together at their house, so I wanted to remember everything I could.


Thanksgiving came around, and I found out I was pregnant again.  I had a feeling though that something wasn't right, and sure enough, I lost that baby too.  That Thanksgiving, we celebrated at my inlaws.  My mom came for a moment but left because she had other plans, and my dad and step mom had decided to go out to eat instead of cooking, and after all the losses I, personally, had been through that year, it just brought on extra sadness for me that year.  It felt as though Thanksgiving would only be a thing of the past for my family.  

Matt and I agreed to host Thanksgiving again in 2011.  We had found out a few months prior that I was pregnant, again, this time with Dexter.  Matt had been putting feelers out for jobs out of the state and we figured that it would be our last Thanksgiving in Las Vegas.  My mom decided to go to my cousin's and my dad and step mom went out again, so we just had Matt's family over.  It was nice, and  went off without any hitches.  I missed not being around my family, but it is what it is.  

And now that leaves 2012.  Our very first Thanksgiving alone, in a state where we know hardly anyone.  There will be no marathon this year, there will not be a house full of people.  Part of me is excited for the idea that I get to make the whole meal with the help of my side kick Lucy.  Part of me is sad that we won't be spending time with everyone.  But most of all, I just want to make it a joyous holiday again, turn it back to my favorite and share that with my daughter, my Lucy, so that she can one day pass it along to her daughter.  I hope that one day even, that I will be a grandmother to my daughter's children so that I can spend time teaching them how to make gravy.  I do hope that I don't pass down the tradition of burning the kitchen towels though.  

Now on to a few people that I am thankful for I really hope I don't miss anyone, but if I do, don't worry, it's not personal. 

These guys.  I am super thankful for them.  This is my uncle, my brother and my dad.  

This is me with my guys:

My very best friend in the entire world, Christina.  I love her dearly and would not be the person I am today, without her.

My grandma Mona.  She is truly one of my dearest friends, not just my grandma.

These are my friends from high school.  I am so happy that we have stayed in contact through all these years.

During this time of year, we miss our lost ones, and earlier this year, we lost our dear friend Cade.  She will forever be in our hearts.

My dad, brother and grandpa Jim.  I love them each dearly.

My dad, step mom, grandpa, brother and niece

And this guy...quite possibly my favorite cousin.  

I am thankful for the other bestie, making lonely the new trend after her most recent visit.  

My aunt and my mom, both of which I can call my best friends also

And I am even thankful for my baby brother, who isn't such a baby anymore.  Don't worry, he's strange.

I am thankful for wonderful inlaws:

There maybe a lot of them, in-laws that is, but they are all wonderful:

And good times with family

 I am thankful for these guys.  They have wiggled into my heart in a way I never knew was possible.  They are loud and their personalities are so strong.  Lucy is a firecracker and Dexter is typically angry, but they are both just so perfect.  I would say that I couldn't imagine a life without them, but the truth is, why would I ever want to?

And I am especially thankful for this guy.  To say that I was lucky enough to marry my best friend is an understatement.  Matt is so much more than just my best friend.  He really is the other half of me.  He puts up with me, listens to my craziness, compliments my crafts (even the bad ones) and he has given us the opportunities to live our dreams.  He provides for our family so that I can stay at home with the kids.  I can honestly say that he is the greatest thing in my life, next to my kids obviously.

(caution nerd alert)  I often think how I was so lucky to have found him, and then I remember, I didn't have a choice.  Someone hit the improbability drive in my life and led me to him.  




I am so very thankful for all that I have in my life.  I am blessed in so many ways.

So from my house to your's,


2 comments:

  1. So maybe give us the long version next time!!!.....Make sure Little Red gets plenty of turkey!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Randi, such a loving post. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete

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