Lessons learned.

Thanksgiving 2011.
What can I say??  Well, I can't say that it went as smooth as one would assume after glancing through these photos.  Just keep in mind... these were the "before" pictures~ the calm before the storm.  It wasn't all bad.  The turkeys were tasty.  The entire meal was delicious.  The house was autumn-y.  Lots {& lots} of leftovers (which is always a good thing).  The week (plus) of prepping with my grandma - priceless.  How could you not love a grandma that thoroughly cleans your oven, and then "preserves" it by covering it with tinfoil?? :)  
Truth is, tradition is extremely important in my book.  So important, that sometimes I need to be beat over the head in order to realize that that some traditions need to be tweaked a little [or a lot] here & there as time goes on.  Some tossed out all together... To create space for new.  When it comes to the holidays (or family, in general), we tend to make our decisions based on what works for the larger group.  To do what we do cause that's how it's always been done... what [we think] is expected of us.  Yes, I realize we are grown-adults, but as I mentioned- change doesn't always come easy- even if it is clearly a change for the better.
The night wasn't a disaster.  No family blow-ups.  No kitchen 'mishaps.'  It was simply a whole lotta work, with very, very little time to enjoy the week prior... the weekend after... the kids being home from school... the meal for that matter... and certainly no time for "thankfulness."  There's other factors involved, but needless to say, this is one area that is in need of tweaking.
I realize we're all bit "over" Thanksgiving at this point, but I'd love to hear about your traditions, since I'm in the market for some new ones myself (& I've got a whole year to think about it).
{speaking of new traditions and executive decisions, this post is a must read for anyone in the same boat as myself}
{the menu, the tin-foil, & my favorite decor... the artwork}
{the grown-ups' table}
{the kids' table}


  1. i really, i mean, REALLY, love the honesty of this post. you know how i feel about thanksgiving (and some of my reasons) so it's a given i can relate to how you are feeling because i've experienced the same in the past. i even had a tiny tinge of regret the week before when i wasn't planning, prepping, shopping, cooking, cleaning, styling, etc. etc. etc. but then i quickly got over it. i'm trying to focus on the things about the holidays that I do enjoy and KEEP those while saying a fond farewell to some of the other "traditions." (it can be difficult with family "obligations" and the need to keep everyone else happy, but i'm tryin'!)

    cheers to you for keeping real! xoxo

    p.s. your photos are wonderful, i particularly love the chalkboard menu and handprint turkey. =)

    p.s. and by far my most favorite (what-will-become-a) tradition was our morning at the beach on thanksgiving spent with friends. it was so relaxed--never a word i would have used in regards to thanksgiving. i know not everyone lives by the beach (or in a place that has such amazing weather as we do) but ANY outdoor venture with a glass of champagne in my hand and my family laughing/ playing is a major win.

  2. oh, and thanks for the shout-out! you are a doll.

  3. I just read Stephanie's post and relate a lot to the both of you!

    I had to let go of a lot of resentment and guilt over being forced to work 50+ hour weeks during the holidays (and, well, all year) It's hard to enjoy anything when there's a lot of "shoulds" and expectations flying around. We've had to re-think traditions.

    I'm still quitting as soon as hubs says the word. Heh.


  4. I want to sit at your kids' table! SO cute!!

  5. My tradition is not killing myself to do anything, at any time of year unless I have to. We actually all got sick over Thanksgiving and ended up spending four days at home. It was the first time I had spent Thanksgiving without my family and I was really dissapointed, but it was a great time to spend with my little family.

  6. It all looked beautiful and was thoroughly delicious! Your hard work was greatly appreciated by some. How about a game night in sil new kitchen NOT on the actual day next year?

  7. your table looks gorgeous, that being said, i totally hear what you are saying. another reason i announced to my horrified mother n law, that "i will probably never cook a turkey and i'm fine with that." catering or a pre-ordered meal from whole foods is how we roll when we don't go to family for thxgiving.

  8. Loving the tinfoil and fantastic art work. Somehow we're always away or get ourselves invited to someone's house, which is perfect for me because all that food is my favourite but I know I would be in a Foul mood if I had to make it all. Lovely though that all your family comes together and your grandma sounds a doll.

  9. Gotta catch up on your posts. Yes, I know exactly how you feel- it is a shame we allow thanksgiving to pass by sometimes without truly enjoying and reflecting on those things we are thankful for. I love creating new memories and combining them with the old. So I am thinking I am up for some changes too!


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