Over the weekend we drove to Alabama to have Thanksgiving with our extended family. This is the first time in twelve years we have been able to do that, so I was very excited.
Growing up, we always had Thanksgiving dinner at my grandmother’s house with lots of people in attendance. Having Thanksgiving with just my immediate family felt kind of too small, like we were eating in exile.
Here’s some pictures of a few of our “exiled” Thanksgiving dinners over the past several years. Each one of these is in a different house, by the way.
Besides the lack of grandparents or cousins, do you know what else all these Thanksgiving pictures have in common?
Every bit of food you see on the table was cooked BY ME (mom) ALONE.
And all the dishes you see on the table were washed BY ME (mom) ALONE.
Thanksgiving, for the past twelve years, has basically been pulled off BY ME (mom) ALONE.
This does not make for a fun holiday for ME (mom).
It’s pretty much been just a four-hour cooking marathon, followed by a fifteen-minute meal, followed by a hour-long cleaning session.
So I was THRILLED to drive thirteen hours round-trip in order to have someone else be responsible for all of that. Oh, and to see my family too.
We ate at my sister-in-law’s. I brought a pie and sat back to watch her work. It was great!
Happy Thanksgiving, folks!
In the past, our family has had an after-Halloween tradition of smashing the pumpkin. I did write about this once before when we lived in Hawaii, if you’re interested; we’ve been doing this for a while.
Here’s a picture from ten years ago, when we lived in Maryland:
2008 might have been the most fun Pumpkin Smash Day ever. We had half the neighborhood outside gleefully destroying our jack-o-lanterns. There’s nothing like wanton destruction to get kids excited. Ah, memories!
The tradition kind of had to go on hold while we lived in Alaska; for the past three years we haven’t been able to smash the pumpkin at all.
Because it was frozen solid. I’m not exaggerating.
Anyways, this year we were able to resurrect Pumpkin Smash Day, although we had the small complication of having multicolored “pumpkins” that I’d bought to look pretty on the porch.
It turns out that the white and green ones aren’t actually pumpkins, and aren’t really meant to be carved. The white one was particularly hard to cut into; those square eyes you see in the picture were only made possible with power tools.
So when the time came for smashing, that white one was tough.
I don’t know if you can see the photo progression here, but that sucker actually BOUNCED!
Still we did eventually break it up, and Little Boy particularly enjoyed himself.
This year for Halloween, we were happy to be able to trick or treat outdoors again, after moving to Georgia this summer.
(For the past three years we’ve lived in North Pole, Alaska, in case you didn’t know. Our first year there we attempted outdoor trick-or-treating, braving the snowdrifts and making it around one block before the kids were too cold to care about candy anymore. Which is pretty darn cold! After that we went to indoor Halloween events.)
Also this year I was particularly happy that to be getting by with minimal financial investment in costumes for the twins, who are now ten.
Little Girl wanted to make her own costume, and Little Boy wanted to wear last year’s costume again. I thought they looked quite nice, and posted their picture on facebook.
Of course, my brother had to make a snarky comment about the reusing of the Poop Emoji costume.
I suppose some heckling is to be expected from a younger brother.
He’s just jealous….