If I had to choose one picture to sum up our holiday week it would be this picture from the Turkey Trot:
Although not everyone made it in this picture (we did have two babies in the family born last week to add to the fun!) – it does represent the week we had with all of Steve’s siblings in town for Thanksgiving. They know how to gather, converse and play and there was never a dull moment. We found time to enjoy them as a group and we took opportunities to spend time with them individually as well.
I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this, but we’re rolling into December a little tired from the last week but we’re going to hit the ground running!!
Thanksgiving and the Turkey Trot go hand-in-hand in our family. Steve’s brother (and friends) started a little neighborhood turkey trot years ago to raise money for local charities. What started as a neighborhood gathering has grown to so much more. They’ve outgrown the neighborhood retention basin and the last couple years have been held at a local mall. It takes a lot of coordination and a lot of service hours to pull this off and I’m always impressed with how many people jump in to help.
There’s the evening before registration and packet pickup – last year Hallie joined me to help – this year Hallie was still in school so Hunter joined me and helped at registration.
The morning of there’s lots of last minute to-dos. The roads are blocked off – food/water is picked up and fruit is cut – more registration takes place – signage is distributed and hung – sound system is checked – backdrop/stage is set up and then months of planning culminates in the firing of a cannon at the start line.
And we run/walk to support local kids who get food in their backpack for the weekend as well as a charity near and dear to our family – Families Fighting Blindness. We run for our niece who is losing her vision and other kids just like her who are hoping for a cure. We run with family and friends and complete strangers and it’s really quite amazing.
I sat at the finish line for a while photographing runners as the crossed the line and as I saw families running and crossing together I got a little emotional – I love that Thanksgiving brings people together. I loved seeing families helping and pushing each other along and laughing and joking in the process. I loved watching dads push kids in strollers and moms running behind their young independent runners. The atmosphere was joyful and unified. Such a great way to start out our morning (although exhausting in the same breath).
After clean up was complete, we made our way home and prepped for lunch with family. Steve decided to have a little taste test while the turkey was being carved. He approved! 😉
The afternoon was spent in the backyard playing football – exactly as it should be in Steve’s perfect Thanksgiving world! I’m not sure who was happier about playing so long – Steve or Hunter. They stayed outside until the sun went down and you could no longer see the ball.
It was a really good day. I could hardly keep my eyes open at 9pm (which is highly unusual for me) but it was just as good as I had hoped.
These people are at the top of my Thanksgiving gratitude list. They make me crazy happy and they make me crazy…I could be cliche and say I wouldn’t want it any other way, but that would be lying because I could do without some of the whining and crying and be just fine! 🙂
Our Thanksgiving was a little smaller than it’s been in years past. Several of Steve’s siblings spent time with their in-laws in the area which meant we had a small-ish group of 28.
With the Turkey Trot in the morning, I did most of my food prep the day before to make sure I could fit it all in. The rolls were made and shaped into knots and then frozen the day before. Thursday morning I pulled them out of the freezer and let them rise before baking them just before heading over for dinner. Fresh rolls without the same day hassle = win.
I also made my mashed potatoes the day before. I was skeptical of the whole idea, but my friend who caters gave me a recipe to be made the day before and then put in the oven the day of. They were amazing and you would have never guessed they were made the day before. My friend did let me in on her little secret – a potato ricer (she prefers this electric version of the ricer.) I’m from Idaho, the land of potatoes, and I had no idea what a potato ricer was. But after using hers to make my potatoes, rest assured there will be a ricer in my kitchen! It fluffs the potatoes just right without over mixing them. It is a game changer!
Briggs was entertained with this chocolate mousse cup for some time. Each dip of his spoon had just enough mousse for him to taste it but not enough to make a dent in his cup very quickly. I found him unattended enjoying this cup. My immediate reaction was – that shirt is going to be stained in no time. To my surprise, over a half hour later, there was no pudding on that shirt!
The adults had a corn hole tournament in which Steve and I found ourselves in the championship game. I’m still not sure how we lost, but I suppose its best not to beat the people that are hosting you! We had a great time.
We came home that night, threw on a Christmas movie and got to work decorating. My favorite season has officially arrived.
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Our Thanksgiving week was all we hoped it would be and now that Christmas has thrown up all over our house we are ready to move on to the next holiday.
One of our favorite traditions for Thanksgiving is the Gilbert Turkey Trot that benefits my niece’s foundation, Families Fighting Blindness as well as AZ Brainfood.
I spend the three months before working with the Turkey Trot Team for design and website work. And as it grows even closer, we have opportunities to serve as a family. One night we found ourselves stuffing swag bags for the race – a few days later Hallie and I were working the packet pick-up the night before the race. There are so many people giving of their time and energy to support these worthwhile organizations. It’s definitely rewarding work and service.
This year, Lucy’s team of warriors were wearing red shirts in support. There was a sea of red. Between all the Pothier’s and all of my sister-in-law’s family visiting we had quite the group. Lucy is well loved!
And can I just say Lucy is sporting a new cane to aid in her walking and it’s awesome. She was so excited to show me it and carried it the whole race – not to mention she pointed out how well her new white cane matched her new white glasses shirt.
My kids enjoyed the fake snow on a nice 85 degree Arizona Thanksgiving day. It was toasty. And yet, Cannon managed to wear his winter jacket for most the morning due to the morning “chill”.
The gratitude wall was full – everyone had so much to be thankful for – and so did we.