For the first time in twelve years, we are spending Thanksgiving with my in-laws. And for the first time in three years we are actually celebrating Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving has never been a huge holiday for Drew and I. Our kids were usually in school for the first part of the week, so we weren't able to travel. The kids are really enjoying having the whole week out of school this year - as I am. It's been a great week! We spent a few days with my parents while Drew worked, then he meet up with us so we could travel on to his family.
Over the years away we would do Thanksgiving dinner with friends. Some years we would cook, other years eat out or at friends' house.One year in Albuquerque we ate dinner at a buffet held at a HUGE country bar with friends. I remember thinking that if my grandparents knew where I was eating, they would be shocked! (But the food was great!)
Our first Thanksgiving in Guam, depression hit. At least for me. While we were use to being apart from our families, we usually enjoyed the holiday. But in Guam thing were different. We hated the holidays. With no change in temperature or weather, no change in the foliage on the trees.....we had no holiday spirit. Also, that first year, we did not have close friends to celebrate the day with like in other bases. We decided early that week to just have turkey sandwiches for lunch - not to even cook a nice meal for us.
But on that Wednesday I actually ate all the turkey so we ended up with ham sandwiches. Whatever.
We made a point of not being on island for the next two Thanksgivings. We spent 2008 in Cairns, Australia and 2009 in Singapore. Both trips were beyond good - beyond wonderful.
But now we are back in the States and we are beyond happy to be able to share the holidays with family. Such as this Thanksgiving - which is very special as we are also celebrating my mother-in-law's 80th birthday
It started last night with about one hundred family members coming over for Cajun pasta - just a place for all the out-of-town family members to eat. Today was the big Thanksgiving dinner at cousin Regina's house - whom has bought one of the antebellum houses in town and is a professional chef. She did all the food - and to say it was delicious is an understatement! I think the head count was around one hundred fifty.
Tonight was turkey gumbo at the family house, Liberty Hall while the Saints game was on. Not sure how many was there, but I would guess also close to one hundred. Tomorrow will be a come and go lunch at Biscuit and Blues - which is a restaurant also owned by another cousin. Tomorrow night we are hosted an open house in honor of my mother-in-law for her birthday. We're excepting around two hundred fifty.
Yeah....my in-laws do nothing small.
And I wouldn't have it any other way. While I do get overwhelmed at times at their sheer numbers, they are an amazing bunch of people.