Hello and happy Thanksgiving! I am sitting with my grandmother watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Finn is with his dad for Thanksgiving. I dropped him off at preschool Tuesday morning all decked out in a tie-dye shirt that he made with his class. They all wore them to school on Tuesday and had a class Thanksgiving feast of chicken nuggets, apple slices, carrots, cucumbers and cornbread muffins. They also dressed up like pumpkin pie and sang a song that the parents received a video of and it was all very cute.
After dropping Finn at preschool, I hit the gym for a strength workout and then came home to get packed up. The puppies were a little sad when my suitcase came out but happy to be left with bully sticks. They got an overdue grooming this week – their last groom was around Labor Day! The secret got out about our groomer and she got booked out until January. I’ve been trying to find someone else to groom them in the meantime and finally got them in at The Dog Salon. Benji had to get a “fresh start” cut because doodles get matted so easily and it had been too long since his last groom. He’s not shaved but he’s cut pretty short. When they brought him out Finn said, “Mommy! He’s naked!” It made me laugh. I love Benji super fluffy and cut short…and I love his funny smiles. He’s a sweet boy and I’m thankful for him. <3
One more because I love it when they’re all freshly done up.
I had a 3:15p flight from Charlotte to Destin/Fort Walton Beach. I was so proud of myself because I arrived to the airport plenty early for my flight (I’m usually a pretty last-minute airport person) and was at my gate 45 minutes before my flight boarded. I had heard that Tuesday would be the busiest pre-Thanksgiving day for air travel so I wanted to give myself extra time. While Charlotte Douglas was jam-packed (seriously, wall-to-wall people), I was parked and sitting in my gate in under 20 minutes thanks to not checking a bag and TSA pre-check. My flight was on time, quick and easy and we landed just before 4p (thanks to the time change).
My mom picked me up from the airport and we headed back to their condo. It felt so strange not to have my little sidekick in tow. I have only been to Florida without him a handful of times in the last four and a half years.
I was actually going to stay in Charlotte for Thanksgiving and do Thanksgiving dinner with Dorie’s family. Finn and I are traveling to Florida in a few weeks for Christmas so I planned to see my family then. But last week I decided to book a last-minute flight to come down for Thanksgiving. My parents, grandmother and I haven’t spent the holiday together since Finn was six months old, and last year we all spent Thanksgiving solo because my mom had just been listed for her transplant. It’s a quick trip because I get Finn back on Friday afternoon but I’m so glad that I decided to be here.
I did a little turkey trot of my own on Wednesday morning. After having a few back-to-back respiratory infections, I am finally feeling like I’m getting my running groove back. I ran 7.25 miles on Sunday evening and 5.25 yesterday. I was able to do both slow and steady without stopping to pause my watch a single time – that’s a big deal for me these days!
After my run I got showered, dressed and did a Publix run to “fill my grandmother’s oven.” She uses her oven as a secondary pantry and loves to have it stocked with an assortment of snack foods. She always enjoys the unpacking of the grocery bags to see what I’ve purchased.
While today is cloudy, foggy and cool, Wednesday was a gorgeous day. It was 70 and sunny. My grandmother and I watched the sunset from her balcony before heading up to my parents condo for Thanksgiving dinner.
Yep, you read that right. My dad decided to serve Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday evening so that I would have a day to enjoy turkey sandwiches and leftovers before I fly out Friday morning. He’s the best.
My dad made this maple butter glazed turkey from Bon Appetit this year. It was his first time breaking the bird down and roasting it in pieces. He said he really liked this roasting method because the bird cooked faster and more evenly. Both the white and dark meat was juicy and moist!
On the menu was turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, dressing and collards. My dad made our favorite tried and true classic white dressing but used his homemade sourdough instead of French bread and YUM!
Dessert was his homemade apple cranberry pie and it was chock-full of apples. I love this pie because his pastry crust is so thick and flaky and the flavors are so well-balanced thanks to the tart and sweet apple cranberry filling.
My dad cooked this whole feast on his own. I offered multiple times to help and he kept reassuring me he had it all under control. While he totally did have it under control, I was so amazed and grateful that he was able to do all of this just four months after his open-heart surgeries. What a year it’s been for my family and what an incredible blessing that we were all able to sit together at the dinner table last night.
My grandmother and I love to watch the Netflix holiday movies. While they are always on the cheesy side, I find them to be so mentally relaxing. Christmas With You won’t be winning any Academy Awards but it was an easy and cute watch.
My plans for the rest of Thanksgiving lots of leftovers, lots of pie and decorating my grandmother’s condo for Christmas.
As I close out this post, I want to express my deep gratitude for the incredible community of readers that I have through my blog. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been at this for nearly 13 years now. I continue to feel blessed by this space and for the opportunity to share real life through all its peaks and valleys. THANK YOU for being here – I never take it for granted.
Big hugs and big love to all of you,