Thanksgiving 2018

Thank goodness for Amazon Prime next-day delivery, and collapsible tables and benches. And cousins who live a few hours away, who will bring a variety of Thanksgiving decorations on short notice. And German, American, and Syrian friends who feel like family.

And carbs and wine and Cincinnati chili dip. And pie.

And for an American holiday that embraces food, friendship, and FUN. Thank goodness for that. 

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Doozy Week Ahead

This week is gonna be a doozy. Not only is there work and school, but we are packing. We are painting. We are moving. And we are hosting about 25 relatives for our biggest Thanksgiving feast ever. We are optimistic, but I think the baby is a realist. He knows his parents [*ahem*his mother] are a glutton for punishment!

Martin’s taken off work for the next two weeks and will be the family pack mule/work horse while I call in the honey-do list from the comfort of my office swivel chair.

TBT: Thanksgiving with Ninny

Today’s #TBT photo is from November 2005 when my mother and her parents traveled from Texas for a visit to Cincinnati, where we were celebrating Thanksgiving. It was the first time my maternal grandmother Ninny met Miss C as we had just moved back to the United States from Italy a few months earlier. Miss C was two years old.

Thanksgiving 2014

This wasn’t even a food coma. It was my pre-game warm-up.


We went up into the mountains to spend Thanksgiving with our friend Stacey and Company. They live up in the mountains of Northern Virginia, and their whole neighborhood was covered in a few inches of snow, which made for a beautiful scenic drive up there.  Her husband Bryan and five daughters prepared an amazing dinner, as well as cookies, pumpkin bread, and other treats. We brought along pecan bars, applesauce pie, and green bean casserole, and a few bottles of red wine.

We stayed overnight, which was awesome because it meant the kids got to play in the snow, on the trampoline, inside the giant blanket-pillow fort, wherever they wanted until they literally collapsed from exhaustion. Martin and I slept in the next morning, too, and the kids never disturbed us because they were off playing again as soon as they woke up.

Stacey, her cousin, and I ventured out for some wine tasting and lunch at some of the local vineyards. I ate so much that by the time we got home, I immediately pulled out my yoga mat to stretch out and jump-start my recovery.

It still took a few days. Oomph.



Doesn’t this look like a painting? Gorgeous.


I honestly believe that my oldest daughter’s bedroom is the hardest one to pack. To her credit, it’s pretty organized, but why do they make stuff for tweens so small?? Hair stuff. Book stuff. Craft stuff. Jewelry stuff. School stuff. What-the-hell-does-this-belong-to stuff?!?!?

TBT: Thanksgiving

Today’s #TBT pic is from Thanksgiving 1985. I was four years old and loving my paper pilgrim hat and collar. This was at my Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle Jim’s house where I enjoyed MANY a Thanksgiving feast over the years. Great memories!!

Where’s Martin?

Oh, look. I wrote a novel in November.

Honestly, I didn’t think I could do it, but being trapped in a vehicle for more than 10 hours on Thursday was very effective in boosting my number count.

The story itself is still not finished, but I’ll keep at it. Martin will be super annoyed if I don’t after he had to do all this research and character discussion, and read incomplete scenes and chapters this whole month.

Wait. Where’s Martin?

So I jump out of bed to share with Martin the good news about NaNoWriMo, and I run thru the house, calling for him, but there’s no answer.

Then, I look out the back door…

Metal detecting.


I always get a kick out of people’s reactions when my mother and I are together. We do look a lot alike, don’t we? She and her partner Trev traveled from Oklahoma to be with the family for Thanksgiving at my sister’s house in northern Kentucky. It’s the first time in about 14 years we’ve all been together for Thanksgiving.

My sister’s house is already decorated for Christmas.

My niece does this whenever she’s unhappy about her environment. In this case, she was reacting to a kitchen full of relatives who were very excited to see her.

My plate of food this year: turkey, mac and cheese (twice!), potatoes, stuffing, veggies … WAY too much. But I filled my plate twice. Sooooo good.

My dad took this photo during our traditional game of Pictionary. We play this every time we get together. I love my family!

Thanksgiving With Family

Found the girls sitting on the floor vent to keep warm. Ahhh, such is life in an old Ohio farmhouse!

Don’t let that sweet photo fool you. Ugh. My parents’ grandchildren are so loud and rambunctious. They really need to do something about that. 😉



Arrived at our next Thanksgiving dinner! We’re at a cabin near a pond in the Indiana woods. The campfire smells amazing.

Out for a walk before dinner!

The whole family and Martin’s metal detector.

The pond is slightly frozen.

View of the cabin from the other side of the pond. Can you see it?




On Our Way

Three munchkins ready for a road trip! Which reminds me… I am grateful for the engineer/designer who thought of installing DVD players in minivans.

I owe her my sanity.

My parents had the first model Toyota minivan death trap back in the day. Road trips meant removing all the seats in the back so we kids could build forts with the suitcases and better smush our faces against the back window to better horrify the drivers behind us. THAT was entertainment.

The line is out the door at our DD. Martin just texted that inside is packed. They all still have their race bibs on.

America really does run on donuts.

The Shenandoah Valley. Gorgeous.

Cows AND snow in West Virginia.

Most comfy traveler in the family. She never complains.

 The “golden castle” in Charleston

We made it to Kentucky.

What an amazing Kentucky sunset!

And we’re here! Cincinnati! Arrived at the grandparents just as my father pulled the pot roast out of the oven. My timing is impeccable.