They Tell Me Life is Beautiful

2:28 a.m. does not conjure sleep this evening. Instead, my magical existence is comprised of listening to KCRW, cooking sweet potatoes and crossing my fingers that all of the food turns out ok. You see, it's not just my immediate family (Olinga, T, and Elarryo) eating dinner at 751 tomorrow afternoon. It's also my sister and her family, as well as extended family of that extended family...and I have worries that they won't be so kind to my lovingly made and heart attack inducing sweet potators. Last year, Elarryo was all kindness when it came to critiquing my first ever genuine Thanksgiving dinner. Perhaps he inflated the cooking ego?

Truly, it's only been a few short days since I returned from my trip to Santa Barbara but I find myself in a completely different space and frame of mind. Certainly some of this is brought on by the presence of four additonal bodies in my home. My sister, brother in law and two nephews have come from the midwest to spend Thanksgiving with us. Olinga is in total heaven because he has his cousins, Collin and Myles to entertain him.

Last year was the first year we didn't just crash someone else's Thanksgiving gathering. There is a point when you tire of waiting for someone else to ask you over...and then being annoyed when you don't get asked anywhere good (as Elarryo would say.) Last year, Thanksgiving was in the midst of the huge grocery store worker strike here in L.A. The day before Thanksgiving, we were wandering in the Ralph's across the street from the Beverly Center, feeling hopelessly guilty that we were shopping at the store because the grocery store strike was still going on. We figured that we would go there because it was far from our neighborhood and so we wouldn't get busted for crossing picket lines. While wandering the store, I realized that there gets to be a point when you have to figure out what your holiday traditions are, or else decide to break down and make some. So, I decided to cook. I made the turkey, made stuffing, made cranberry sauce...bought a pumpkin pie. It was touching to sit down with my little family.

This year, it's turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, collard greens, vegetable tray, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and home made pumpkin pie. Whew.

But, I can't complain. Last week I was in Santa Barbara, my jaw dropping every time I walked out of the Sandman in...such beauty in those mountains. This week, after a frenzy of cleaning and fussing over whether any surface in the house had dust on it, I am just grateful to have beautiful and healthy children and a husband who loves me.


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