Come For Thanksgiving Next Year

Holy Moly! When did December get here?

Pardon me for taking almost an entire week to wake up from my food coma and get back into the swing of things.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving (and to those reading outside the U.S., I hope the end of November treated you well!)

I know it’s cliché but I’m so thankful that I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family and Jeff this year. For reasons I’d rather not discuss, I nearly missed the opportunity to celebrate, but through a fortunate turn of events on Wednesday afternoon, Jeff and I were able to make the last-minute trip to New York to spend four wonderful days with my family.

Thanksgiving is my mom’s favorite holiday and this was the third one we’ve celebrated without my father. I’m finding that the holidays get a tiny bit easier every year and this was probably the best one yet!

This was also my fourth vegetarian Thanksgiving and, I have to say, it’s hard to feel bad about skipping the turkey when there’s pumpkin ravioli with butter sage sauce and bourbon mashed sweet potatoes on the table.

Pumpkin Ravioli with Butter Sage Sauce

Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Let me tell you, If you’re a vegetarian and find yourself missing meat next Thanksgiving, just head on over to my mom’s house and she’ll set you up.

Even if you’re not a vegetarian, come on over to my mom’s house next year. I’m sure she won’t mind. 

Seriously. You won’t be disappointed.

Because if next year’s feast is anything like this year’s, there will be green bean casserole and stuffin’ muffins.

Green Bean Casserole

Stuffin Muffins

What’s in a stuffin’ muffin, you ask?  I don’t really know, but they are delicious. I promise.

Come to my mom’s next year, and I can guarantee you will eat three different types of dessert.

Dessert

I can also promise that Buddy will wait at least three days before stealing half the leftover turkey out of the fridge.

Buddy Harpoon

You think I’m kidding.

Come for Thanksgiving next year, and we’ll indulge in a morning-after breakfast made up of bagels and fruit. (Yes, more food.)

Bagels

And you’ll get to enjoy coffee and conversation with my niece, Eloise.

Eloise

And play checkers with my nephew, Nicholas.

Nicholas

Come over for Thanksgiving next year and my mom and I will invite you along on a weekend tea date to Charlotte’s.

Charlotte's Tea Room, Warwick, NY

Charlotte's Tea Room, Warwick, NY

Charlotte's Tea Room, Warwick, NY

Where I’ll detox with a salad…

IMG_2412

…and then share the most delicious chocolate cake of my life with you…

Chocolate Cake, Charlotte's Tea Room, Warwick, NY

Come to my mom’s for Thanksgiving next year, and, like me, you’ll never want to go back home.

Come on over for Thanksgiving next year…

Buddy

Buddy will be waiting.

What were the highlights of your Thanksgiving weekend?

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One Month…

My father died one month ago today. I don’t know where the time went.

Four days ago, I watched the Thanksgiving parade with tears in my eyes, and a strong yearning in my chest. Memories of waking up on Thanksgiving morning to my father switching back and forth between parade coverage on NBC and CBS filled my mind. I can vividly remember the way he yelled for my brothers and me to come in when Santa was about to appear on the screen. It meant we could finally, after secretly making Christmas lists since July, talk about Christmas out loud.

Thanksgiving was hard this year, as I imagine it will be for years to come. But even with everything that’s happened over the past few months, I haven’t lost touch of what I’m most thankful for. So I’ve decided to honor this day by making a list of the people and things I appreciate most in my life.

I am thankful…

  • For my family, especially my mother, and two brothers, Adam and David. I don’t know how I would have gotten through the last few months without them.
  • For my adorable nephew, Nicholas, and my two awesome sisters-in-law, Angela and Sarah. Plus my almost-sister, Dana.
  • For Jeff (you read that right). He came back into my life right when I needed him most, and I am so happy to have such a loving and caring boyfriend by my side.
  • To have so many wonderful friends. I’m especially lucky to have my best friend, Dara, who is always there for me, and, by the way, just got engaged to her boyfriend, Ian, at the beginning of this month! Hurray! I can’t believe my best friend from PRESCHOOL is getting married! It’s surreal!
  • That although my father is not longer here, I have many wonderful memories of my time spent with him.
  • That even though I’m unemployed right now, I still have a roof over my head and food to eat.
  • For my mother’s cooking.
  • For wine, chocolate, and pasta.
  • That even though I haven’t exactly been at the gym every day over the past two months, I know I have the strength to get back in shape soon.
  • That I am young, healthy, and that the biopsy result was negative. For real this time.
  • That Christmas is coming, and although it will be hard to get through, a new year is right around the corner.

My father died a month ago today, and if I can take anything positive out of losing him, it’s that I’m going to try really hard not to take the things I’m thankful for for granted.

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