We pulled it off.
And amazingly...it was a relatively stress free event. Hubby and I spread out the planning and prep over the entire weekend so well that we found ourselves - 2 hours before the house would be full - without anything left to do.
When we first entertained the idea of hosting the family I was prepared to split the group in half for dinner. Put half in the dining room and set up a table for the other half in the living room. I knew it wasn't perfect since we wouldn't all be together but I didn't see another option.
But Hubby wasn't having any of that. If we were going to host dinner then everyone was going to sit together - no matter what it took. (one of the many reasons that I love him so.)
Turns out that what it took was a complete redesign of our living room floor plan, bringing 2 very heavy old folding tables up the stairs from our apartment common room and borrowing chairs from neighbours. Not too bad.
The girls were on board - collecting pine cones and chestnuts from the backyard to use in our decorations . Hubby was in charge of the turkey and I handled most of the veggie prep and final table decor.
On Monday night - as my family started to arrive and rooms started filling up - I got a little nervous. Our apartment was literally bursting at the seams. But once we rang the dinner bell and people piled their plates high with turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and we were finally all seated around the table I knew it was going to be one of the best Thanksgivings ever.
There was much laughter as funny family stories were told (and re-told). We toasted to each other, and the kids and missing loved ones. And I looked around with an immense feeling of pride.
We did this. We brought everyone together and made this night happen. My Nanny had all her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren around her. (Sadly her hearing aid was broken and she couldn't hear a damn thing....but you get the sentiment).
And at that very moment - with the laughter of my kids in the background, my hubby's arm draped across the back of my chair, surrounded by so many of the people I love the most in this world in my very own living room - I was the most thankful woman in the world.
Our adventure in pictures (well - more specifically iPhone pictures since I haven't downloaded the camera yet):
|the 'feathers' for our pinecone turkeys|
|all from our own backyard...|
|the craft cupboard got a real workout.|
|oh so carefully writing the place cards|
|...but Nanny still looked like "Molloy" (our old Irish buddy...)|
|the kids table....|
|...complete with menus to tick off items as they ate.|
|Home made centrepieces.|
|let the feast begin!|
|crazy kids table complete with paper tablecloth and crayons.|
|now that's a dessert plate.|