Drew and I have so much to be thankful for this year. We both have jobs that not only pay the bills, but we truly enjoy them (99% of the time!) We have a large network of family and friends that loves and supports us, our dream home, and overall health and happiness. I often find Thanksgiving as a time of reflection, as I’m sure most of us do. While this year has not been without its difficult times and emotional roller coasters, our blessings far outweigh the bad.
Last Tuesday, we headed to Kentucky to celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents and extended family. While traffic wasn’t bad, it rained pretty much the entire way. Theo had fun playing in the snow and even though I’d much prefer it closer to Christmas, I can’t argue that it looks beautiful. Drew and I made the famous chocolate ganache praline cake, which is no doubt a labor of love. We actually had to make the ganache twice since the chocolate hardened too quickly the first time. It takes about three hours from start to finish, but one bite and it all becomes worth it.
It’s hard to pick a favorite Thanksgiving dish; everything is delicious and holds its own unique memories. My Dad’s deep-fried turkey is always a hit, and my grandmother’s macaroni and cheese recipe hasn’t been tampered with for generations. We have our twists on traditional favorites (oyster stuffing anyone?!) but definitely serve the usual suspects – sweet potato casserole, rolls and pecan pie.
After dinner, we always gather in the family room to watch football and let our stomachs settle before it’s time for dessert. At least 3 or 4 people end up falling asleep, whether on the couch or sprawled out on the floor. While I don’t brave the crowds and venture out on Black Friday, it’s fun to still pick through the ads. But what’s even more fun? Sleeping in the next day and then eating a slice of cake for breakfast.
With this being the last year that my parents will be living in Northern Kentucky, the week was a little bittersweet. We may very well be eating turkey on the beach next year, or Drew and I may even offer to host. That being said, I made extra sure to take in all the traditions and memories: making Uncle Doug’s fruit salad, eating lasagna the night before, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade over breakfast, looking for the turkey coloring contest in the paper, pre-Turkey day spinning class with Mom, grabbing “just one more” slice of cake at 8 p.m. Wherever we celebrate Thanksgiving next year, no doubt we will once again be counting our blessings.