Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend's Happenings.

Thanksgiving was great... I was exhausted and then excited...then exhausted again.  I prepped food and cooked my dishes (as discussed on our teleconference earlier in the week).  Finally, the holiday was upon us.  Early that afternoon, we piled food, kids, bags, husbands, and more in cars and headed down the road.  We were ready for a great time.

I arrived and fell in love with Mommy's decor!  Do you see that wreath up there? Is it not drool-worthy?  I have an eye for updates around my parents' place. I know every year on Thanksgiving Mom makes some changes.  It's like playing Eye Spy or Where's Waldo.

*squints eyes and puts on my best Mufasa from Lion King voice*

Everything the light touches has been dusted or is new, lol.  This year was no different.

I noticed the new pillows on the sofa (the purple studded one, the berry colored one and the pleated dark purple one).

Islanders, that sofa makes me swoon.  She's SO pretty.  I also peeped how this arrangement was lit with pretty lighted branches.

She's had it for awhile now BUT she did admit to adding some new wooden accents:

She wanted to blend the modern glam of the living room with the comfy warmth of the dining room and kitchen upstairs.  It make sense considering there's no wall to separate the spaces - they're on two different levels divided by a balcony.  Anyhoo, the touch of wooden accents helps to accomplish her goal in the living room without clashing with the room's decor.  The wooden thingees are nice but my favorite living room pieces this year?  These fabulous oversized mercury glass jars.

I want them. I want them. I WANT them!!!

She purchased them from a local furniture store's scratch-n-dent section for a steal.  I've told you before that my mom is a frugalista. She knows how to find a deal without ever compromising on quality or style.  The updates we're talking about today are NO exception.

Mom's desire to tie the glam of the living room with the dining room and kitchen decor also means bringing some glam upstairs.  She purchased one of the largest paintings I've ever seen recently.  It has the neutral colors in both areas on its canvas.  I love how it, along with the chandelier, helps to marry the rooms.

Under the chandelier, Mom piled her fancy napkins for dinner.  She was preparing to set the table but Dad insisted she was doing too much...  She would place them at each setting.  He would pile them up, shoving them to the sideboard or out of view altogether.  I guess that pretty pile resting on the table was their compromise.  It's also a reminder that Hubbs and I are completely normal... yo, maybe marital imbalance, in some regard, is the norm, Tabitha.

"If you're thirsty, drinks are kept cool on the balcony!"

 Mom announced things like this in her best hostess voice.  Who in the world cared that her fabulous drink dispenser (a thrift store find for $1.99) was outside when the space was so welcoming for guests?

I love seeing Mom's vision come together.  Now, I've been with Mom shopping when she picked up random candlesticks.  I thought individually they were cute but had no idea where she was going to put them.  I also remember her mentioning that my Uncle was painting a table for her while he was in town.  I never expected it to come together like this!

Everything was lovely.  O, wait.  The food!!

Sure, I snapped pics of the food.  You know, the obligatory food pics from the holidays.


Gumbo and guacamole were great walk-n-eat appetizers.  O, don't give me that look.  We didn't eat them at the same time and I know it's uncommon but, well, we eat different food at my family's Thanksgiving table.  Like, peas and rice different...

...or the lamb (no goat this year).  TECHNICALLY, even my sweet potato cornbread is different.

Wait.  Can we just pause for the perfection that was my cornbread?  Isn't it lovely?  My other dishes -pumpkin cake and macaroni-n-cheese - were so good they disappeared quickly!

At our family dinner, we have all the classics - turkey, dressing, greens, corn pudding, green beans, pork roast, mashed cauliflower, mashed potatoes, banana pudding, sweet potato pies, etc.  Things are just done a little differently. My parents have always put their spin on things, I guess.

Dad, the gadget guy, had all kinds of toys for the holidays. Check out this thermometer he used for the turkey.

Apparently, his Taylor Digital Meat Thermometer is the best in the market.  With one piece in the oven and the display resting on the door, we knew at the exact moment the turkey was ready.  He gave me the I'm-the-coolest-nerd-you-know look and nod.  Then, scurried to take the turkey out.  I was overwhelmed with his gadget awesomeness and thought he had really outdone himself so I took the pic.  Then, I saw him pull the turkey from the oven.  It was like something out of The Jetsons.  O, stop.  You remember the Jetsons!

Am I the only one who remembers Elroy?  Astro and his signature phrase,"ruh-roh."  Really? I'm the only one who thought that by 2014 we'd have floating cars, robot maids and tubes instead of elevators?!  Ok, I'll take that one, Islanders.  

The turkey was in this cage contraption.

You can kind of see how it worked above.  Dad pulled the turkey from the pan, and placed it on the platter.  Mom held the handles, Dad pulled the "pole" from underneath and released the bird onto the platter with minimal mess or drippings.  Cool, right?!  Maybe my Daddy is the coolest nerd I know :)

Mom has her own title for cool things around the house.  How awesome is this fan she got on one of our trips to GA last year?

The ladies sipped wine and giggled until about 8:00 p.m. when everyone gathered for the annual family Phase10 competition.  For the first year ever, Mommy won!

It was such a SWEET victory for the woman who put in so much work pulling together a great day... evening?  Night?  Everyone crashed... people were sleeping in beds, on sofas... doing the holiday 'get in where you fit in' shuffle.  My family claimed the vintage-meets-modern guest room and we slept like babies!

I didn't plan for that - no clothes or anything.  Remember, however, we're working on enjoying the impromptu moments of life... less planning, more living, Tabitha.  See, this is the [new] me who justifies crazy hair and smelly butts(bird baths, anyone?) by convincing myself it's all in the name of family.

Dad woke early and cooked a delicious brunch for everyone.  After brunch, the ladies left to help mom in the search for her first ever live Christmas tree.  The men watched movies sprawled out on the sofas in the basement.  That evening, the crowd had dwindled and only Hubbs, Munch, and I remained.  I helped mom light the tree, pull out the Christmas decor, and clean-up some of the evidence of successful family foolery.  I enjoyed my own time with her... you know, doing the holiday 'let me look at your face and breathe your air, mama' thang.

How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you cook anything?  Do you have any house updates to share?  I'd love to hear more in the comments!


So, we've officially talked about Thanksgiving.  Queue the trumpets and ponies for the parade!  It's time to begin the OFFICIAL FABULOUS ISLAND CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION!

No, not today. This post has been long enough.

Come back tomorrow for more!


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