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A first: Thanksgiving at our house.

Chris and I have been married for over 10 years and this is the first year we were actually able to have Thanksgiving at our house! So cool. The only thing that could have made it any better is if I hadn't been sick for 4 days leading up to the big day. (Vomiting and everything - yuck!)

I started early with the cooking, making the Brandied Sweet Potatoes, Spiced Pumpkin Bread, and frozen pumpkin pie on Wednesday. That made it a whole lot easier for me on Thursday, although I ended up with a lot of extra time on Thursday once we found out that my mom wouldn't be at our house until at least 5pm. (So much for my plan to have Thanksgiving dinner between 2-4pm, like the rest of the country.)

Thursday morning I slept in - not really part of my original plan for this day and definitely not part of my "ideal Thanksgiving at home" I was trying to create, but when you're recovering from being sick, well... Sometimes your body has ideas of its own. We had set the DVR to record the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which I hadn't seen since I was a little kid, but was as magical as I remember it. :) At some point in the early afternoon I popped the turkey into the oven; just a 13-pounder as that's all my tiny wall oven can handle, but it was still plenty of meat (and gravy! yum) for 3 meals. During the afternoon I made the Tart Cranberry Sauce, and once the turkey was out of the oven I baked the sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and warmed up the pumpkin bread. The table was set with our wedding china and crystal and a lovely floral centerpiece, my mother brought her silver, and the whole setup glowed softly by candlelight.

It was perfect. Since I did all the cooking there wasn't any arguments over who would make what or which version of what recipe. I got to cook in my own kitchen - where I am literally completely at home - and didn't even have to haul anything over to anyone else's house. Somehow I managed to get all of the food hot & ready to serve and on the table all at the same time. No reheating needed (which is good, since we haven't had a working microwave in about 2 years now). Everything tasted fantastic.

It was probably the euphoric high from the success of the dinner that made Chris and I go out to Toys R Us that night for the start of their Black Friday sale. I have never done that before - and I can say pretty confidently that I don't think I'll ever do that again. LOL We took our place at the end of the line at 10:15pm (15 minutes after they opened - that was our 1st mistake), a good couple hundred yards from the store. We heard a rumor that it would take 2 hours to make our way to the front of the line. Furthermore, the cold front that had been idling its way south all day had finally pushed through, dropping the temperature a good 30 degrees and sprinkling everything with intermittent showers, to boot. On the other hand, Mom was at home with the (sleeping) kids, and it was just the 2 of us... We decided it was an adventure. We froze, but we laughed. We fully admitted that we had lost our minds. We made friends with the people around us. We wished Starbucks was open. We were tempted by the guys that drove by selling hot chocolate out of the back of their truck but then decided we weren't ready for that much adventure. LOL Two hours and 15 minutes later, at 12:30am, we finally made it into the store... where we discovered that the one thing from the ad that we wanted to buy was sold out. Of course. We did pick up the rest of the items on our list, and a couple were actually on sale, but the sad reality is that everything we bought that night could have been bought the day before, or a week later, at the same price and without having to stand in line in the cold, rainy dark. Ah, c'est la vie! We did pick up some hot chocolate at McDonald's on the way home... which we drank in a moving vehicle... and seared the taste buds off our tongues!
Black Friday we didn't leave the house until after noon. Mom and Hannah and I had decided to go catch the new Disney movie Tangled at the theater, but it was sold out, so we went ahead and bought tickets for Saturday. Not wanting to go back home right away, we ventured out for a little shopping at Hancock Fabrics and Joann's. No crowds to speak of, though by the time we were done it was almost 5:30pm.

Saturday we went to the movie theater again, getting there an hour early for our show. Mom and I were surprised how quickly the time passed while we were waiting. When the previous show let out, it was funny to see a virtual parade of girls (of all ages) decked out in pink. :) Tangled was fantastic. Disney definitely knows their stuff! Yet I was still kind of surprised how much Mom enjoyed it - she was actually laughing out loud, even at the previews! Can't wait for it to come out on DVD and add it to our collection.

Sunday we went out to lunch at BJ's - no wait there either. We did run into a friend, which was a nice surprise. And plenty of leftovers for dinner that night.

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend. I wish we could do it every year.

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