For the past eight years, I have taken on the task of preparing Thanksgiving dinner for my husband and whomever else needed a place to go. Often it was my BIL, cousins, or friends. I remember that realizing that I couldn't go home for Thanksgiving meant that we truly no longer lived at home and it was time to start making our own memories. And we did.
I remember that first Thanksgiving, how scared I was that I was going to mess it up. I remember scouring the internet for recipes and shopping at the Farmers' Market (Oooooooohhhhh how I miss the CA Farmers' Markets....). I remember calling my future mother in law, asking for her sweet potato recipe. I remember cooking for 2 days straight and then having over some of the best friends I could have ever made in California. After dinner we walked up the street to the top of the hill on Euclid, and looked down at the lights of San Francisco. I couldn't believe that we lived in this beautiful city, or for that matter that we were walking around at night in November without coats on.
I remember preparing a plate of food, pie, and hot drink and putting on the homeless man's cart and bags that lived in the stoop of an abandoned building. I never met him, but I hoped he got the food.
I remember taking an after dinner drive through Sea Cliff and showing a friend where Robin Williams lives. And then seeing Robin Williams standing outside his house. It was one of my only celebrity sightings in California. My husband had more.NOT FAIR.
I remember the 32lb turkey that I had to make to feed the Lahman twins and the Spiess twins.
I remember learning how to make the best after Thanksgiving sandwiches from "Friends" complete with moist maker. DON'T KNOCK IT.
I remember finding my own footing, and not needing recipes anymore. I remember learning to flip the turkey upside down to cook it so all the juices stay in the breasts.
I remember the first Thanksgiving we were a family with Isaac. He loved the green bean casserole and pumpkin pie.
I remember last Thanksgiving, it was the first and last one that we would have just the three of us. It was quiet. It was nice. It was relieving and bittersweet, knowing that the next year I would not need to cook a full meal, merely a side dish or pie.
And that's what I did. This year past weekend was Isaac's first major holiday with his extended family. We were all so happy. We had a great dinner with my family and then a second dinner yesterday with Ben's. We had two amazing meals with our amazing families. We made memories of this, and had time to reflect on the ones we brought from California.
This Thanksgiving we saw what we appreciated and what we are truly thankful for, and that is being back home with our family.