Thanksgiving 2013 was a double, or really a triple-header. It was filled to the brim with amazing food, dear family, tables filled with friends, excellent wine, and even a few dances parties thrown in for good measure, because hey, life is a party so why not dance?
The festivities were kicked off with Friendsgiving at the "clubhouse." The weather forecast predicted snow and ice, but things didn't really pan out as expected, so we had a house full of probably 30+ hungry peeps who were ready to get their grub on. I made two birds using my go-to recipe (it is seriously the juiciest and flavorful turkey you will ever get your hands on - thank you, Ina Garten) and of course, beer bread. The guests brought sides and truth be told, we barely squeaked by with enough food. I think it ended up being the largest crowd we have had here (at least for a full sit down meal) and I couldn't have been happier. We laughed, feasted, and ended the night with a dance party to work off the stuffing and pumpkin pie. It was a joyful night and my heart overflowed with gratitude.
For the "real" Thanksgiving celebration, I headed out to DC to celebrate fousin-style with the Dehan fam. Elisa was my gracious host and I got to see Lianna (the married mama) every single day of my stay which was a HUGE treat and a half. We had dinner with her and the girls on Wednesday night and then headed to a family friend's for Thanksgiving dinner the next day. It was such a wonderful day and the food was superb. Romy (the hostess) made Italian stuffing that had mozzarella cheese and hello, how have we never done this before?! It was amazing! Here are some pics of the first 2 days.
Because we didn't get enough of the thanksgiving goodness the first go 'round, and because Lianna's family didn't get to join us on the actual day of thanks, we decided to do it ALL over again. That's right, I roasted an entirely new turkey. We made all the fixins, and had pies for dessert. It was a brilliant idea and I think back-to-back Thanksgiving dinners should be a new tradition. It was just as good the 2nd time around and we capped off the night ushering the Christmas season in with a dance party to our fave Christmas jams. Oh, and there may or may not have been several rousing rounds of Bananagrams, at which I lost miserably all 5 games...I think it was the food coma. We also had the added bonus of welcoming China back to DC that night, so that was a most glorious gift that I was beyond grateful for. The next day we bundled up and headed out for some culture, and by culture, I mean the Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery. It was certainly brisk, but I put on a tough face and did my best to not let all my warm-bloodedness show.
All in all, there wasn't a moment I did not savor. It was all joy, all gift, all grace. And my favorite part (aside from being with my nearest and dearest extended family) was going around the table and giving thanks. Yes, I have been given so many material gifts which I am exceedingly thankful for (home, car, job, disposable income, etc.), but I am most thankful for the gift of salvation, the gift of grace, the gift of family, and the gift of community...in that particular order. I cannot imagine my life apart from Christ and I am overwhelmed by the fact that He chose me and calls me daughter. And because of this, I have millions of brothers and sisters in Christ, many of whom are a part of my community that I get to walk through life with. It is a gift and my gratitude is tenfold. Amen.