It's not the first Thanksgiving we've been home. Just after our wedding, my husband and I stayed home for Thanksgiving. I cooked a turkey, made side dishes and whipped up a homemade pumpkin cheesecake. But in the end, it was just the two of us eating on the sofa (we didn't have a table at that point) and it didn't really feel like a holiday.
Twice I have given birth in the days immediately preceding Thanksgiving. With Meg, she was suffering from jaundice on Thanksgiving and I have little memories of eating. I think my husband just heated up some food his mother had made for us and brought me a plate to eat while I was holding Meg. It was more festive last year after Anne was born. My mother-in-law was still in town helping with the older girls and we all gathered around our dining room table to eat. I had nothing to do with preparations, since I was just home from the hospital, but it still felt like Thanksgiving.
This year it was time for me to attempt making Thanksgiving dinner again. Preparing the raw turkey is pretty much my least favorite cooking duty ever. This year I had to pull out those turkey innards with Clare and Baby Anne looking on. I just kept telling them, "I'm dealing with a raw turkey here. All requests will have to wait until I'm done and have disinfected the kitchen." Clare understood. I don't think Baby Anne quite got it. Still, we managed and the turkey made it into the oven.
The sides were our biggest discussion. Meg, Anne and I love sweet potatoes. My husband and Clare refuse to eat sweet potatoes, but like mashed potatoes. I made both. Everyone agreed on peas. The girls wanted biscuits. I wanted stuffing and cranberry sauce. Clare wanted pasta. In the end, we had quite the feast.
Late in the day, we welcomed Nicole and her extended family for desserts. We were happy to welcome Nicole because she brought great desserts (and because she's a wonderful friend, of course). She contributed a chocolate silk pie and a pecan pie to our pumpkin pie and apple crisp. I had apple cider with mulling spices simmering in the crockpot and my husband made coffee (he's way better at it than I am). The guys watched football. The women attempted to calm down Meg and Clare who were over-the-top hyper by that point. They had been trapped in the house for basically two days with lots of sweets By the end of the night, Clare was coloring at the table and Meg was practicing reading.
Everyone went to bed not too long after our normal bedtime. And I think we went to sleep thankful for the lovely family day.