Every year we load up the car a day or two before Thanksgiving and head to Chattanooga to see my family! We make a tradition of helping my dad and brother "take the turkeys off" at the family restaurant. After turkeys have been smoking all day, they have to be removed from the smoker and paired up with the correct pan and customer. It's no easy task with giant turkeys and small turkeys and some just breasts. This year they smoked so many Turkeys, Ken had to do it over the course of 2 days and one overnight! But we were not there to help take them off.
Thanksgiving day, we always have lunch at my Aunt's house with my whole extended family. We visit and have some coffee and dessert and then head back to Murfreesboro for dinner with Chris' family. But this year, we didn't get to go to my Aunts or head to Murfreesboro.
(Lily and I had a craft project and created this Thanksgiving themed mantle.)
This year, we gave thanks at home.
It will go down in history as the quietest (and warmest) Thanksgiving ever.
Chris' back was completely out and he hadn't been to work all week. He was in so much pain! They think he either has a bulging or ruptured disk and that it is against his nerve (more on that another time). So traveling in the car was out of the question. He was, for the most part, bound to the couch!
I was really disappointed not to get to enjoy all of the family traditions that we take for granted each year. Then, I spoke to my mom on the phone and she said something that totally changed my perspective. She shared with me that as she thought back over all of the many Thanksgivings that she has enjoyed, not a single one stands out in her mind. They were all fun and enjoyable and delicious, but none of them were particularly unique or more memorable than the one before. That struck me just right and I began to smile about our quiet Thanksgiving that was about to take place. It was Ava Grace's very first Thanksgiving and it will stand out among all the others as a Thanksgiving to remember!
(Cornbread Dressing - made with my grandmother's recipe)
The day before Thanksgiving I headed to the grocery store with the masses! I think I snagged the very last fresh turkey breast and was so thankful, because all the others were frozen hard as bricks and would not have thawed in time!
The day of Thanksgiving dawned sunny and warm! We opened up all of the windows and enjoyed the fresh air! I cooked all. day. long. Fortunately I enjoy cooking. I was determined to have all of our Thanksgiving favorites on the table for a big meal! I brined and roasted a turkey breast, made corn bread dressing, gravy from scratch with my turkey drippings, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and rolls.
For dessert, I made a chocolate chip pecan pie.
It was the warmeest and quietest Thanksgiving on record for the Hooper family. Lily was at her mother's house and so Ava Grace, Chris, and I celebrated together, just the three of us.
We missed our families.
We enjoyed the peace, quiet, and time at home.
It was memorable.
It will stand out.
Ava Grace's first Thanksgiving was different, but one to be thankful for nonetheless.