this year's thanksgiving was much more relaxing than last! last year we had a two week old baby and i attempted to make about 20 traditional thanksgiving dishes all by myself - thankfully - for many reasons - we had thanksgiving with family this year.
this year we headed to roanoke, va to meet up with my parents and sisters for a traditional thanksgiving event. thanksgivings at my parents house are full of game time, loud chatter, staying up late, and non-stop eating of deliciousness. thursday morning we woke up early to start working on the bird. this year we were doing a 22lb bird and an additional turkey breast. we'd brined it the night before, so thanksgiving day it just needed to be filled with aromatics, given a good massage with some rub, and into the oven for some cooking. i always make the turkey, so i love getting that checked off my list. after turkey we had a long list of things to work on. mom, lori, and i worked on deviled eggs, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, rolls, and sweet potato casserole. granny and aunt sheree were bringing broccoli casserole, green beans, and corn pudding. makes my mouth water to think about it all. while we prepared the linner (4pm lunch/dinner), dax and granny watched the parade and daddy and grangran took daxy on a wagon ride. they kept each other busy until it was time to chow down.
when everyone had made it in we actually started the dinner right on time! (which if you know the taylors is really an impossible feat) uncle arnold said the blessing and then carved the turkey while i fixed dax a little plate. dax did not eat nearly as much as we'd hoped, but he was a little fussy so we did not force anything on him. he did do some serious damage on the dressing though, so maybe he liked its texture. hopefully by Christmas he will be ready to feast on a meal with no baby food components!
making, setting up for, and cleaning up after all of that food was so much easier since there were so many cooks in the kitchen. chris did about twenty loads of dishes and will kept dax entertained while we piled food into storage containers and tried to fit it all in the fridge like a game of tetris. after all of our bellies were exploding, some of us participated in the early black friday shopping. it was not nearly eventful as we'd hoped, and we ended up with 0 items off our list for our first stop. we tried to stop at starbucks to make it all worth while, but they were not even open. we finally ended up standing in line for two hours to buy three small items, which looking back on it was just a silly thing to do - but we were all wrapped up in the heat of the moment. all in all, that was a bust - but we had fun.
spending time with family and friends is truly what makes the holidays so special. last year we were so tired we did not even realize how lonely it all seemed since it was just the three of us here. dax was just too young to travel and we did all we could to make it seem like a real thanksgiving, but deep down we knew what was missing. we hope dax enjoyed all of the family traditions he's starting to see unfold before his eyes. he's got a lot to take in this holiday season!