For the past few years my family has celebrated Thanksgiving the weekend before because of my dad's work schedule and this year was no different. They all cooked their favorite goodies and headed down south this past Saturday to celebrate one of my favorite holidays! The reason I love this holiday so much is because we spend it with my dad's side of the family. When my parents first got married they came up with the plan that Thanksgiving is spent with my dad's side and Christmas is with my mom's side. It has been quite the tradition, and since my dad's side lives further away from me now it seems that Thanksgiving is one of the only times I get to see all of them together. Just to give you an idea of what a Rowe/Bowen (Rowe is my dad's biological father's name, but Bowen is his step father, my Pawpaw's name) Thanksgiving is like. First, I will just name all of the people that fit into a small house...it really isn't a small house, but when you get that many people stuffed in there it becomes small. We'll start from the top...
You can click on it to make it bigger, if you want
The last couple, Randy and Debbie, have been coming to our family Thanksgiving for years!! So, we just consider them part of the family. Normally, we add a few more bodies such as the Rices and some of my Grammy's friends from church. It is crowded and LOUD (Rowe means "to cause a disturbance" FYI), but it is what we know and love as Thanksgiving.
Friday night and Saturday morning I was calling family members all day to see what they were doing and getting them to describe what their houses smelled like. This Thanksgiving actually had it's trials because not only were Gary and I not there, my Grammy wasn't feeling well and so at the last minute Thanksgiving was moved from Montgomery, AL to Birmingham, AL. My Uncle Barry and Aunt Bridgett didn't make, Randy and Debbie didn't make it, Clint had class, my sister and Jared weren't able to go, and the list seriously goes on-and-on. SO....
After "making it through" the family thanksgiving I thought I was home free from feeling homesick during this particular holiday, but today it has hit me hard. I think it's the fact that everyone at home is off of work the next two days. We have been working like crazy and everyone is soooo exhausted and having a couple of extra days off right now sounds quite nice. On top of that, we are missing black friday. Now I know it might seem crazy to hear those words coming out of my mouth (I know mom), but last year my sister and I had SOOOOO MUCH FUN on black Friday!! We stood in line, we sprinted to get the last crock-pot, we made new friends (while standing in line), we pushed and shoved, we found great deals, and the best part of all we laughed A LOT!!!! Then it was off to my Aunt Karen's house to play games, even though we had just celebrated Thanksgiving with them the weekend before. My Aunt Karen has a tradition that she has game night at her house the Friday after Thanksgiving and just because we have been celebrating Thanksgiving the weekend before doesn't change the Friday night game night. Even if it's only our family that shows up again, we are just as loud and crazy! We do sometimes get some of my cousin's friends in the mix as well! The two week Thanksgiving celebration is always a big highlight to my year and this year I have to do without.
However, I am holding my head high and looking forward to March when my family has decided to have a mock Thanksgiving for our coming home party!! YAY bring on the turkey!! Hey, that means we will have 2 Thanksgivings next year!! WHOOOO HOOOO!!
Before I leave this post, I must mention that a couple here in Malaysia, Douglas and Sharon Lee have invited us over to their house tomorrow night to celebrate Thanksgiving. Even though it won't be like it is at home, we are extremely grateful and excited to have them as our family this year.
So, to those of you who are enjoying being with your family and loved ones this Thanksgiving, please don't take it for granted and enjoy every bite of that turkey and dressing!
P.S. Please keep in mind that this is only my side of Thanksgiving and now that I'm married we do celebrate Thanksgiving A LOT!!!!