The girls and I worked all afternoon and evening. When Doug got home from work, he joined in, as well. We took a break for them to go run and pick up some dinner for us. We worked in the kitchen, with the exception of our dinner break and a little solo time in the hottub, until midnight, but when we went to bed, we had made six pies, an apple cake, Pumpkin Trifle, the stuffing, the sweet potato souffle and the cranberry salad. The tables were set and Mr. Gobble was in the oven.
On Thanksgiving morning, we got up at 7 and started dinner. All we do on Thanksgiving Day is make gravy, mashed potatoes and rolls. Everything else is always ready to be reheated in time for dinner. This dinner was flawless. Every item on the menu turned out great! Nothing burned, nothing underbaked, nothing forgotten. It's awesome to pull off a meal of that size without missing something! Most years, I just count on it. This year, not a thing was off! HAPPINESS!
One big surprise that we had was that Liza and Buddy ended up coming north to the valley for the weekend. They'd been in Arizona the weekend before for a niece's baptism and a big birthday surprise for Buddy's dad. However, Buddy's dad had a simple medical procedure that ended up being the discovery and repair of something more than they'd expected, so Buddy's parents never made it from the hospital to Arizona. Their original plan was the baptism in Arizona, followed by his whole family spending Thanksgiving in St. George at Liza and Buddy's. Instead, the whole family moved their party to Buddy's folks' home where they could be with his parents. As a result of that, Liza and Buddy came up Tuesday night and were able to come over for a few hours on Thanksgiving Day with us. Buddy's family eats in the evening, so they got two Thanksgiving meals and we got to spend a little time with them! HAPPINESS!!
Liza and Buddy got here around 11. Alan and Jill and their family started arriving at 12:30. It was just was the rolls were going into the oven, so we were right on schedule for dinner! We had a wonderful meal and good times gabbing. In the middle of dinner, Dale texted a sweet message. It really was a lovely afternoon.
There were several times that I was in tears, usually at the mention of Quayd. I think that the hardest moment of the day for me, was when I sat the basket of rolls down at Buddy's end of the table. The family joke for several years has been which of the two, Quayd or Buddy, is the "Roll Sheriff". There was no question this year. It was a good laugh but my heart longed for our son! His words were "stoked" to have dinner with his "family" in Southern California. It's so odd... his absence has been felt immensely since the day he left, but I think that the holidays are really sinking it in... two years is a long time! I'm looking forward to his letter on Monday to hear about his Thanksgiving!
After dinner, Liza and Buddy had to disappear. Aylabelle had spent her "swing" time with Grampy and lots of pix were taken. Alan and Jill are our closest family members, so everyone was so comfortable together. Alan and Jill are expecting their first grand, so it was fun to watch Liza and Jocilyn, who are due just 21 days apart, as they talked pregnancy. The girls absolutely adore their cousin, Jake, who spends a lot of time here, so they loved having Jake here to tease them since they were missing their big brother too! Alan did his fair share of teasing, which is always welcomed. It really was a fun afternoon. We played the LRC game with quarters and a gratitude game.
Instead of everyone expressing their gratitude at the table, we played a game where I asked everyone to write down three things that they are thankful for this past year... but not "Sunday School answers" (No one could say family or the gospel.) They were to answer with things that they were thankful for but things that most people wouldn't just naturally assume was them. Then I read the lists and everyone guessed who said what. It brought lots of laughs and raised eyebrows. I was surprised that every male at the table said "Tools". Seriously? ZJ thought she'd be funny and wrote my "obvious" answers. 1. Doug 2. Emails 3. Taipan, so that she would not be guessed because everyone would think I wrote that one. She's one funny girl!
After games, we all cozied up and watched a movie and snitched on pie and trifle. Everyone was gone by 9ish. Doug and I cuddled up on the couch and watched Leap Year... well, Doug watched. I was asleep in minutes.
Doug has been so sick. SO sick. He gets pnuemonia almost every single winter since he turned fifty. Usually, it's in January or February. This year, it hit him hard early in November. I've been praying for two weeks that I would remain healthy and not get his bug so that I could get the house decorated and Thanksgiving dinner cooked. My prayers were answered. I was fine all week long. But, when I woke up from the Leap Year "nap", I felt awful!!
On Friday, Zaylee spent some time with us. Everyone went on a hike, except me, of course. This happened when Zaylee's dad came to get her. Their whole family joined in! She's growing so fast and so darn happy in her life. It brings tears of joy to my eyes to hear her talk about her family.
On Saturday, Doug picked Drake up and he spent the whole day and evening with us. Doug cooked - Pizza Hut for dinner. I stayed wrapped up in a blanket while they all watched Grinch and Edward Scissorhands.
I have been on again, off again, sick since I woke up from that nap and after trying to "act" like I was fine for two days, on Saturday afternoon, I finally admitted, "I'm sick" and crawled into a blanket and have barely moved since. I hope this passes quickly because it's Christmas and I have much fun and joy planned! BRING IT ON!!!
Here's some pix from our day!
Aylabelle and Gramp loving the beautiful sunshiny afternoon!
Aylabelle takes the selfies now.
Gramp and Aylabelle snitching a few hugs before they left for Buddy's parents.
2 Banana Creams, 2 Dutch Apple, Sweet Potato, Cherry-Peach, 1 Sam's Club Pumpkin, Apple Cake and Pumpkin Trifle.
Uncle Alan kept putting her hood on and calling her a Christmas Elf.
Hugs goodbye... always the worst part of every visit is the goodbye.
Aylabelle loves all of the pocket doors in our home.
the last of the Fall Decor.
Notice the Diet Coke from the Chevron. This was my favorite hostess gift EVER! Right out of the fountain! I didn't even pour it into my goblet! Jocilyn and Kevin scored big brownie points with Aunt Sophia! Actually, Kevin got the best brownie points of the day. As they were leaving, he paid me a real compliment about how welcoming our home feels. I was uber impressed that a young man could be so observant and gracious about holiday decorations.
I love Jill in this picture! Jill is always a delight...beautiful inside and out!
A late movie after pies and desserts.
Another selfie by Aylabelle. That smile melts my heart!
Carol found the trifle recipe on Pinterest last year. This year, I opted not to make little individual cups and doubled the recipe in my trifle dish. It was a huge hit!!
Games after Liza and Buddy left.
The girls requested not to have a "kids table". So, we opted at the last minute to not have a large banquet table for half of the group. Our two young adult couples sat together instead of the "Kids".
Until the gifts have taken over, Zulu was loving his new cozy spot under the tree.
Another of my favorite quotes ever... it's out all year long, not just at Thanksgiving!