Over the years, I’ve rotated spending Thanksgiving with different friends. It’s always fun to see how other families spend the holidays, to learn about their traditions, to taste their favorite dishes, and to get to know the other members of their families. But this year, I really wanted to cook on Thanksgiving! I never have before. My parents always go to New York every year to visit my step-dad’s family for Thanksgiving. And our extended family has plans with the other sides of their extended family. But this year, I got to spend the day with my sister and her husband. When Pat’s family (my sister’s husband) said they weren’t doing their traditional Thanksgiving this year, I was delighted that they asked if I wanted to do Thanksgiving just the three of us.

We opted to cook at my mom’s house because there is more room and two ovens. My sister did all the shopping at Whole Foods and brought everything over early in the morning. Pat made us eggs benedict for breakfast while Emily and I watched the Macy’s day parade, drank mimosas and poinsettias (cranberry juice and champagne) and chopped, peeled, mixed, rolled, fried, stirred and cooked our little hearts out. By the end of the day, we referred to each other only as “Chef.” (courtesy of Top Chef) And we could not believe the spread we had made for only three people! Our menu, which was discussed at length, consisted of:

Leek stuffing (Emily’s own recipe)
Winter Greens Gratin (from Bon Appetit)
Mashed potatoes (obviously)
Gravy (made from scratch by Emily!)
Parker house rolls (from Bon Appetit)
Veggie puffed pastry squares (from the fall issue of Vegetarian Times)
Green bean bundles (also from the fall issue of Vegetarian Times)
Champagne Turkey over biscuits (a Christmas Eve tradition from close family friends. I don’t think I’m at liberty to share the recipe…)
Cranberry sauce (homemade! recipe is from our uncle, but modified by Emily)
And Apple Sour Cream Crumb Pie for dessert (from Martha Stewart)

It was a great day with great food and great company. Definitely one of my best Thanksgivings yet! I was so thankful to have such a special day and it really got me thinking about all of the things that I am thankful for.

My family. I have four amazing, supportive parents who are each there for me in their own way and who do so much for me. My sister is my best friend. My best memories are with her. Her husband is like a brother to me. And always makes me laugh. And I’m so thankful that he’s given me two additional sisters. My brother Matt is just the all around best. I’m forever impressed by what a mature, smart, caring, open-minded, kind, funny, and stylish little man he is growing to be. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our extended family. I have a great set of aunts, uncles, and cousins… when they aren’t teasing me. 🙂 We lost my grandmother earlier this year (my mom’s mom) and though she was a serious ball-buster, I miss her and always smile when I think of all the things I learned from her. Such as, always spray a generous amount of Pam on your spaghetti before you reheat it.

My friends. I’m not gonna lie, I have a lot of friends. (Which is odd considering I really don’t think I’m all that nice.) They’ve been so good to me over the years. I love each of them for different reasons. They each bring a little something special to my life in their own way and fill a certain part of my heart. And I’m thankful that whenever we get together, there’s little drama and lots of laughter, deep (and sometimes not so deep) conversations, honesty, dancing, singing, love and drinks. Cheers, ladies! (And gents. I’ve got some great guy friends to be thankful for too.)

My health. There have been moments in my life when I’ve had some health issues– mental and physical. But lately, things are good. And I’m so grateful.

My job. In this economy, I’m thankful to even have a job. But not only that, I have a pretty great one. The work we’re doing is honorable. I feel respected and that my opinions matter. My co-workers are generous and fun. And if I really need to paint my nails at my desk, hardly anyone bats an eye.

My Snowy and Blankey. Yeah, I said it. Blankey. And Snowy is my monkey that my dad gave to me when I was 8, and I’ve slept with it every night since. And no, I am not ashamed. And no, I do not believe this is the reason I’m single.

My iphone. After my snowy and blankey, this is my most prized possession. How did I ever live without one?

My Joses family. These are the people I work at the bar/restaurant with and the people who regularly frequent the joint. I can always count on you guys not to judge me when I just wanna get drunk. And you’re always there when I have no one to go out with. So, thanks for that, you enablers.

My Zella leggings. I swear, these are the most comfortable, flattering, life-changing leggings I have ever owned. They make picking out an outfit so much easier.

My one bedroom apartment. God, I love my apartment.

Bravo TV. I hated TV until I discovered Bravo. Thank you, Andy Cohen, and the rest of the Bravo producers for providing me with such entertainment.

Books. I love love love to read. Anyone who’s ever said they want a book that makes them cry totally knows what I mean.

My hair. I’ve been blessed with hair that I love, a stylist that I love, a curling iron that actually works, amazing hair-spray, and my new-found addiction: TIGI Rockaholic Dry Shampoo.

My ability to run. I don’t know where I’d be without this escape.

And last but not least, my age. I really struggled with turning 29 last year. But now that I’m 30, I feel really at peace. Sure, there are parts of my life that haven’t turned out quite how I thought they would. But I feel older and wiser now. And like everything’s gonna be okay. I know who I am and am happy being me. What more can a girl want?

So, happy belated Thanksgiving everyone. A very special thank you to those of you who read my blog.

Note: I ate the turkey. If I were going to the chair, I’d ask for champagne turkey. So, naturally, I had to eat it. Fellow vegetarians, please forgive me.



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