Monday, 8 October 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's that time of year, when the trees are turning and the air turns cooler and the ground is covered with crunchy orange leaves, when front porches are filled with pumpkins and hay bales and the first thing you smell when you step inside the front door is spicy-sweet apple-cinnamon baking. The first long weekend after the kids return to school, the first long weekend devoted to family, rich food and wine rather than cottage, beach and beer in the long ramp-up toward the winter holidays.

For our family, Thanksgiving means the weekend up north at my grandparents' place. The whole family is there - my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, my brothers and their wives and kids, and the five of us. We're a pretty big family when we're all together. In the last few years as we've all had more children family gatherings have become louder, messier, crazier and more chaotic. I'm not sure how, but although our three, my brother's two, and my other brother's one only add up to six children in all, once they're in a room together they seem to somehow multiply and you'd swear there were at least a dozen of them running around underfoot. It's such a warm, wonderful mess of food and family and laughter and love.

We all love going up to Grandma & Grandpa's. Their home is the warmest, happiest place in the world, at least four times too large for what they need but absolutely perfect for big family gatherings. Grandma way overdoes it every year, cooking and baking enough to feed five or six families our size. So many of my vague but happy childhood memories are wrapped up in Grandma and Grandpa and the great big family functions in their home - that sense of cozy comfort and unconditional love you only feel with family.

So what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? There's so much.

I'm thankful, first of all, that I have my Grandma & Grandpa and that my kids are growing up knowing and loving them too. I'm thankful for my parents and my brothers and their families. I'm thankful that I get to spend my life with the most wonderful man I've ever known, my very best friend in the world who I somehow fall more in love with every day. I'm thankful for my three incredible, beautiful boys who amaze me every time I look at them and break my heart with their innocence, their cleverness, their openness, their love. I'm thankful for my wonderful life, our loving little home, and our health. I'm thankful to have such good friends, friends I consider an extension of my family. I have so much to be thankful for and I feel so lucky and so blessed to have so much.

So Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope everyone else has a wonderful holiday weekend filled with good food and great times, and wonderful friends & family to share it with. There's nothing quite like the smell of turkey and sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, the sound of clinking glasses and laughter and a half-dozen conversations going on at once, the warmth of a house full of family and love to remind you how much you have to be thankful for.

kids crafts, handprint crafts
Thanksgiving turkey craft how-to:
1.paint/colour toilet rolls
2.trace & cut out kids' handprints on construction paper, glue to toilet roll
3.glue on googly eyes & construction paper "beak"
4.collect fall leaves, add craft feathers, glue on turkey's tail

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