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Thanksgiving decoration

This little guy is in our foyer

Greetings!  (Does anyone else enjoy alliteration as much as I do? It is so fun haha). Thanksgiving is almost here, I am so excited!  I want to hear your plans, please leave me a comment!

Ray and I were able to make plans for Turkey day, to bring my grandmother to Tom’s River and have dinner with my dad’s sister (Aunt Pat), her 2 daughters (Patti Ann and Kathie), Kathie’s husband (Ting), Kathie’s son and his girlfriend (Brandon and Tiana), Kathie’s daughter in law and grandson (Meghan and Alex). They will be driving down from the Poconos. Patti Ann lives with my Aunt Pat, and I think they are doing most of the cooking! Unfortunately my cousin Eric (Kathie’s other son, Meghan’s husband) is working, so he will be missed. My dad is not able to afford the trip here from Kansas this year, maybe next year!  We will be driving on Thanksgiving day (gasp!) to drop Ralphie off at a sitter, pick my grandmother up in Vorhees, NJ, then about an hour and a half drive to Toms River.  Eat, watch the Eagles, relax a little then drive home.  Lots of driving, but worth it to spend time with family I rarely get to see!  They were so generous to invite us since we celebrated Thanksgiving with Ray’s family on Sunday and didn’t have plans for Thursday.  I am really looking forward to a good, home cooked meal, and the company of family.

Sunday was a nice day, I picked up my grandmother from her place, brought her back to our house.  We made mashed potatoes, then went to Ray’s parents house at half time (Eagles game).  Joined Ray’s parents, his sister Cathy and fiance’ Joe, to finish watching the game.  We had a ginormous dinner!  Turkey with gravy, stuffing, candied yams, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce (The works!).  Then THREE desserts: pumpkin pie, lemon meringue pie, and ice cream cake!  The picture below is now our holiday tradition (holiday ice cream cake with knife in head lol):

turkey ice cream cake

I do not plan on traveling on Black Friday, I have run out of patience as I get older and cannot handle the crowds anymore.  That, and I am super irritable when it comes to crazy pushy shoppers.  I don’t know how anyone deals with it!  I will, however, be partaking in Cyber Monday 🙂

It is this time of year that we all express what we are thankful for, even though they are not just important now, but year round.  Last year was the first year I had to experience holidays without my mom.  It was rough, but family and friends got me through it.  I am truly grateful to have a solid supportive family and friends to keep me going.  That sounds cliche, but really, without the kind words, event invites, the check ins and constant reminder that there are others who still think about me and want to see or hear from me, fills in a little of the piece that will always be missing.  This is going to get a little sappy…. a mother’s love is irreplaceable, and I wish that I could just call her to say hello, see her smile, or hug her one more time. I don’t know how anyone can go through losing a loved one without support, so I am lucky to still have that, and so much of it, in my life.

:::Wiping tears:::  I hope everyone takes the time to remember what they are grateful for and what really matters in life.  It is always wise to step back once in a while, take a look at the positive and good around you, because we can all get caught up in the stresses, the bad, the ugly, the “why/how could that happen” moments.  We are all lucky in one way or another, even at the times where we feel like life is taking a turn for the worse.  It’s the small things that can make a big difference (running water, food on the table, electricity, friendly neighbors etc…. some people don’t have that!).

Remember to smile, spread the love, the cheer, the good and positive vibes around because there are people suffering out there.  You never know who you might help one day just by being kind.  I love seeing news about paying it forward, and some super Good Samaritans that spread their wealth or kindness to others.  I have seen a lot of positive post and news sharing on my social networking sites that remind us those people still exist!  With all the negativity and terrible events we see happening, there are just as many good, positive and happy things going on at the same time.  Let us all focus on the good and help each other through the rough times (sorry this sounds like a toast or a philosophical rant).  Moral of the story: celebrate, live, laugh, love and be happy as often as possible.  I have to remember to heed this exact advice, as I can get stressed very easily.  Even if it is just celebrating the small things, having something to celebrate is reason enough.  Heck I just celebrated while feeding Ralphie breakfast, he gets SUPER excited everyday like its Christmas morning!

Cheers to the start of a good holiday season, and may you all find that open road, short line, last cookie, a random act of kindness or whatever it may be to remind you that the good is still out there 😀