Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Three Thanksgivings, Three Years of Thanksgivings, and Friendships

I'm pretty sure the pilgrims only did one Thanksgiving for a reason- stomachs are NOT designed to handle three Thanksgivings!

However, this year my family will be putting it to the test... more specifically, my husband and I will be putting it to the test (so far Thanksgiving dinner is a fail on my son who only ate waffles....). 

Being in the Navy has made planning Thanksgiving dinner fairly tricky.  Our first Thanksgiving here we did potluck with friends.  It was unclear if the band would get leave, if they were doing a parade, if there were other gigs.  So everyone stuck around.  It was a nice dinner, though a bit awkward since I didn't really know anyone who was there.  We had only been in Great Lakes for 8 months and I was still trying to make friends.  My husband accepted a dinner invitation before realizing there were other options.  But that was fine.  We ate good food, I made an awesome peppermint cake =) 

Last year we did another Thanksgiving potluck.  The band was certain to do the Thanksgiving day parade in Chicago, so everyone was here.  This time was with closer friends.  I made two pies and bread. YUM! Challah is kick-ass bread! 

This year, however.... my parents were in town last week.  So we did an early Thanksgiving dinner.  It was Thanksgiving as I remember.  All my favorites, cooked by my mom (all I did was pie... do you sense a theme with my contributions??).  It was awesome! But in tradition of my mom's cooking, there was WAY too much leftover.  Just as I finish recovering from turkey and stuffing overdose, I am about to do it ALL. OVER. AGAIN. 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Again, the band is doing a parade.  We are doing a small dinner with our close friends.  I'm making turkey (just the breast... I don't think I could handle the whole thing!), stuffing, pie, cookies (my kids don't like pie...WTF?!), and either bread or rolls, I haven't decided yet.  It will be a nice, quiet dinner. Hopefully a lot of the leftovers will be brought home by our friends. Because...

We also accepted an invitation to a potluck on Friday. Lots of people, so I am told!  New friends for me, new friends for the kids.  It will be fun, chaotic, and what Thanksgiving is about.  To me, it is not just family that makes Thanksgiving.  It is all of our relationships.  Close friends, acquaintances, in laws, new friends. Everyone is what this holiday is about.  I am very thankful for many things (if I ever update my 30 days of thankful you will know... oops...) but near the top of my list is my relationships.  Even ones that have long since past have helped shaped me into who I am today. 

So, tomorrow night, as I lay back in my turkey induced coma, I will think about my friends.  I will think about my best friend from birth, Emily, whom I played with for 12 years, went to elementary and middle school with.  We may not talk to each other every week, or even every year, but she helped shaped my childhood and adolescent self.  I think about crushes in high school, the friendships of my best friend circle whom I still hold dear to my heart and think about constantly.  I think about the friends I partied with, the ones I was a bit too wild with.  I am thankful I did that in high school so I could focus more in college.  I am thankful for my college boyfriend.  He not only put up with a lot of my crap I was going through, but he is still a good friend.  I think about finding Dave again after not seeing him for years. I think about all my new friends here, who have made my first move with the Navy a positive and rewarding experience.

So thank you, friends.  Very very much from the bottom of my heart.

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