This weekend was all abuzz with activity of varying degrees of fun-ness. Saturday, we drove down to Montgomery and went to my maternal grandparent's home for an early Thanksgiving dinner. I haven't eaten a Thanksgiving meal with my mom's family since I took over the festivities for my husband's family back in 2002. And I will say that I have missed it terribly. I miss going to my grandmother's house. It seems that in the center of nearly every holiday memory sits my grandmother's house. We went to her house for every holiday. My parents never really did that whole alternate the holidays thing - I remember going to each set of grandparents for nearly every holiday, whether the day of or the day before. So, when I married Scott and discovered that they really didn't have a Thanksgiving tradition, I was a little relieved. I could still be where I wanted to be - at my Grandmother Norris' house eating the most fabulous cornbread dressing in the world. Little did I know that I would become the Blair family tradition because my husband quickly convinced me that we needed to do Thanksgiving at our house. So at that point, the deal was struck - I would do Thanksgiving at our house, and every single Christmas Eve, for as long as my grandmother lives, I will be at her house, no matter what. And I mean no matter what. One Christmas, Scott was griping a little about having to drive down there and I quickly spouted back, "You don't have to go. But I am going, and so are the kids. Because that is the most important part of Christmas to me, and that is what I am going to do." Of course, he went. And he hasn't said another word about it since.
Anyway. My grandmother is getting old. Very old. She used to be quite the cook, but in the last several years there has been a steep decline in her skills. She forgets to put ingredients in things. Last year, my mother said the turkey wasn't quite done. Just those little things that old people do - come to think of it, I do some of those things myself, so I don't really know where that leaves me. All that being said, everyone brought something to complete the meal. I took on the cornbread dressing, an item that had you have asked me to make ten years ago, I would have laughed hysterically in your face until tears rolled down my cheeks. But now, I am a pro, and I almost know the recipe for the cornbread by heart now. It was a lovely day. And I could tell my grandparent's enjoyed themselves in their own little way. I mean, they really don't hear, and what they do hear I don't think they understand. But they smiled a lot, and that must mean that it brought them some joy. My two cousins came over from Georgia, and we rarely see them. They are the daughters of my mother's sister that died when I was two, and I don't really understand all the details, but there seems to be some bitterness and pain surrounding the situation. All I know is that they are family, and it is truly a delight to see them and their children and know how they are doing.
Yesterday, we had a birthday party in Prattville. It was for our friends' two boys whose birthdays are just a couple of weeks apart. The party was at a skating rink that has inflatable jumping things and arcade games -a ton of fun. Of course, I wanted to skate. I wanted to try to help David as it was only the second time he had put skates on. As soon as I put the skates on, I thought, "Hmmm. This could be a bad idea." I just thought I would stand up a roll on off like I had never skipped a beat. I basically had to teach myself how to skate again, and I was terrified to fall. I just really did not want to fall out there amongst all the kids. I felt like I had reverted back to the sixth grade - there I was in the middle of all these nasty kids who were skating loops around me and all I could think about was how stupid I would look if I fell. So sixth grade. Anywho - didn't fall. I actually really enjoyed myself, and I told a couple of my friends that were there that we must plan a girls night to go skating. How much fun would that be?
I have already been today to David's Thanksgiving Feast at school. Poor child eats at brunch time, I swear. I haven't eaten with him all school year because he eats at 10:50 normally. Today, it was at 10:55. Who eats lunch at 10:50? I will eat at 11:30 sometimes, but when you are still in the tenth hour, that just seems like brunch to me. Or morning snack. Anyway - that is my second meal of the holiday eating spree. Of course, Madalyn and I shared a tray today, so I didn't eat too much. Oh, but we still have the real deal coming up.
Yippee. I can't wait. (Dripping with sarcasm - in case you couldn't tell.)
You know what I am most thankful for this year, though? That after I slave all day in the kitchen preparing food for everyone I know, my parents will be taking my children home with them to spend the night. That means I can clean up in peace, and that I can drag all the Christmas decorations out the next day in peace. I won't have to let Madalyn help do anything. I won't have to fix any milk or juice or snacks. Just me and tree and the lights. I can't wait to put it all up. I love Christmas!!