Monday, December 3, 2012

A little Christmas cheer

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....even though we are just past the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We spent Thanksgiving in my hometown with the people who love me best:- my sisters, their children and grandchildren. Thanksgiving at its finest. A day spent with family.

For our Thanksgiving dinner, everyone contributes at least one dish. After my sister sent me the menu listing items such as: Corn, rolls, Oreo bites, apple crisp, devil eggs, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, Oreo dessert, rice Krispy treats, pizza casserole, taco roll ups, mash potatoes, cheesy potatoes, taco salad, noodles, and broccoli cheese rice casserole, i knew I was in trouble. When I read the Dishes off to Jeff, he said "And you wonder why diabetes runs in your family?" Haha ding ding ding. Ya think???

Butternut Squash
It was at that very moment when I knew my inner Martha had to come out. 90% of the food being brought for Thanksgiving was carb laden. What's a diabetic to do? I decided to make a butternut squash dish to provide some type of vegetable dish for the meal.

Smoked Turkey by Jeff
Thanksgiving morning started early with Jeff smoking the turkey out on the driveway. A delicious 18 pound turkey surrounded by lots of carbs and a token vegetable? Oh well. Once the meal was over, we spent most of the pouring over the ads looking for the best deals. By 7:30, we were on the road to our first stop: Wal-mart. We shopped and shopped. We even ate at Bakers Square about 3 am. I'm pretty sure the last time I ate at Bakers Square I was traveling with the WIU volleyball team. It was nice to eat at the restaurant without meal restrictions!

Samantha and Breah
We started our evening waiting in line for almost two hours so Breah could get an iPad. The Wal-Mart employees couldn't believe it when 5 of us walked by without collecting an iPad, but what's the point in having one person stand in line alone? We had lots of fun talking with each other as well meeting the other suckers people in line. We even sent Samantha out on mini-missions to find items for the people waiting behind us. Need a movie? We'll send Sam to go get it. She doesn't have anything else to do except spend my money!! We finally wrapped up our holiday shopping at 7 a.m. - tired and ready for a nap.

The front entry with our small tree
As is our tradition, we decorated the house for Christmas over the Thanksgiving weekend. The last few years I've been a bit of SCROOGE when it comes to decorating. Not because I don't enjoy Christmas, but because it takes a whole weekend and no one wants to help. This year, however, Abby was excited to help and I explained to Samantha and Annelise that if they wanted presents with their names on them under the tree they needed to help as well.

I saw Santa Claus!
We usually put up at least two trees on the main floor as well as two smaller ones upstairs. This year I explained to Abby that I wanted to have our big tree in the living room to look elegant. Abby responded by saying, "I don't want it to look elegant. I want it to look like us." What did that mean? Well according to her, she likes randomly placing the ornaments mixing colors and themes...and so that's what we did.

Our living room tree - meant to look like us - disheveled? 
Each year I give the girls an ornament which represents something significant which  has happened in their lives in the last year. Opening each ornament box is like reliving 19 years of memories beginning with the "Our First Christmas Together" ornaments, to "Baby's First Christmas", to the cell phone ornament which we purchased as a way to let Samantha know we were finally going to let her have a cell phone. While I had fun reliving the memories, I was also saddened to think that someday soon Samantha would probably have her own apartment, her own tree to decorate and take some of those memories with her. That was always the plan, but having the date loom closer and closer does make it all a little bittersweet. 

But in the end, I have to remind myself that we have one more Christmas together before she goes off to college which means another opportunity to create new memories. As our lives evolve, I cherish the little moments with my girls more and more knowing that someday they will venturing out on their own to create their own family memories.   

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