This past Thanksgiving marked the first official holiday Anthony and I shared together as Husband and Wife.
(As I have said before – technically, it is the second holiday… I seem to remember spending 4th of July with him… 😉 But I still don’t count that as our first official Holiday together, seeing as how we were celebrating our Marriage that afternoon, rather than INDEPENDENCE Day!)
I was so happy to be in Carson City, NV with my mother’s side of the family. Don’t get me wrong – I loved Thanksgiving last year with Anthony’s Family. It was a blast and I learned a lot! But I missed and longed for my own family and our homegrown traditions (as I’m sure Anthony expeirenced this year).
Thanksgiving is so wonderfully predictable and dependable at my Grandmother’s house. Cooking starts at 9am. The Parade is on – if you don’t like it, go away. Dad BBQ’s the Turkey. Mama and Granny rule the kitchen – what they say goes. What they ask for (nicely, of course!) gets done. The “Kids” set the table. Everyone contributes something. This year I did the ham, but usually I do the Jello Salad. New Tradition this year = Anthony contributes, too!!! He brought one of his favorite family traditions to us. Every year his mother makes cardamom bread for Thanksgiving. It is Anthony’s favorite. Anthony learned how to make it this year from her! He made it and brought it for everyone to try. Everyone loved it! He has been told he is expected to provide it from now on. That made him smile. A little part of him is now officially part of us.
“Dinner” is really “Supper” as we eat around 4:30pm. PopPop says the prayer. Dinner always lasts a rediculously long time as we are all eating and talking and laughing, and eating some more. Clean up is a team effort – everyone has a job. The table and kitchen are 85% clean before dessert is served (always several types of pie and hand made whip cream, which I got to make this year).
I LOVE our Thanksgiving. It is one of the few times a year I get to see my Mom’s side of the family, and I always miss them more when I have to go home. But this year, it was so special – Anthony was no longer “The boy Jen brought” or “Jen’s Friend.” He was just Anthony. And more importantly, a member of the family. Not that he hadn’t been welcome or anything before now – he was! Everyone loves him! But this year was different. The jokes were no longer “inside jokes” as he was in on them. He participated, rather than obverved. And, as always, he made me feel incredibly lucky to have him by my side.
(Ok, everyone, all together now – Awwwwwwww.)
Oh – and Anthony and I got to share a bed this year! Thanks to Alyse being gracious enough to give up the sofa sleeper, Anthony and I didn’t have to sleep on the air matress and non-fold out couch (respectively). So Thank you, Bug! It made our first Holiday together that much more special.
Now to my favorite part of T-day weekend. Seriously people, the BEST part of Thanksgiving weekend for me has NOTHING to do with Thanksgiving. True, I love T-day and all of its traditional glory. But Black Friday – now THAT is something we do right. Shopping, you say? NO WAY!!! Dude, after all that tryptophan, we sleep! We wake up no earlier than 9am. This year I slept till 10! Lunch is left overs. YUM. Then, the family – the WHOLE family, Granny and PopPop included – goes bowling. Joey, my 3 year old cousin, loves to bowl. And we all have a blast watching him. Let’s face it, we know my dad is going to win, closely followed by my Uncle John. But we play! And we cheer each other on, and have a grand old time. Black Friday rules in my fam!
Ok – Time-out must be taken this year to adress “The Bet.”
My father is a logical, level headed, incredibly smart man. But every now and again, he does something totally out of left feild that ends up biting him in the butt. This is one of those times.
My dad was observing my cousin Alex bowl. Alex ended up with 2 pins, close together, but not next to each other. My dad said he’d give Alex $10 if he could knock down both pins. My father knew that the chances were VERY slim, and that $10 wasn’t that big of a loss, if somehow he did make the shot. As my father predicted, Alex didn’t make it. “Awwwwww,” we all said. “Good try, Alex!” Then, Alyse went up to bowl. After her first turn, she ended up with a 7/10 ish kind of split. Super difficult shot. Dad said, ‘Whoa! That is a $50 shot. If you make that, I’ll give you $50.”
Guess what happened…
She made the shot. And Dad had to pony up. One of those stories we’ll be telling for a while…
Anywho – after we are done bowling, the whole gang treks back to Granny’s house for Taco night. Let me tell ya, peeps – I don’t care how good that Mexican place is down the street. These are the BEST tacos you’ll ever have. Period. We love Taco Night. Pan fried corn tortilla tacos, lightly salted, with perfectly seasoned ground beef. Add the “fixings” to your liking and dip in home made green or red sauc. Have some authentic Mexican rice (also home made) on the side, and you’ve got a recipie for the best dinner on the planet.
Mine always looks a little bland – all it is in there is meat and cheese… but still soooooo good!
Taco night ends our festivites. We go home on Saturday so we have Sunday to rest before the world goes back to normal on Monday. It was truly a wonderful holiday filled with family, fun, and amazing food. Can’t wait to do it again in 2011. Now onto Francis Family Thanksgiving this year! Woot!
Oh yea – did I mentioned it snowed while we were there?