Mark and I delighted in our freedom to stay up late, then promptly realized we're old and exhausted and went to bed around 10.
On Thanksgiving itself, we loaded up the various desserts in my car and then went our separate ways. I went to my parents' and Mark went to go pick up his daughter from her grandparents'.
This year, just to mix it up, I had invited my friend/co-worker/sisterwife Casey and her family to join my family's annual Thanksgiving gathering. (And, in spite of my warnings, they actually showed up!) It's already not exactly an exclusively family event. If it were, there would usually only be about 4-5 of us total. Instead, there are usually around 10-12, since Jake and his family have apparently become extended family over the past few years. So, the more the merrier, right?
This addition was notable for being the first time that small children have been in my parents' new house since they moved in over five years ago. Ever. We kept the kids mostly contained in my mom's sunroom and entertained them with games and balloons and prop hats (see above).
After dinner, Mark and Kaylee showed up, and then the madness truly began. My parents haven't even seen me interact with children in I don't know how long (we somehow haven't ever managed to coordinate our lives and schedules well enough to hang out with them and Kaylee together before), and suddenly I'm playing with three children aged 5 and under. I'm surprised one of them didn't fall over in a faint.
After Casey took her crew home, Kaylee decided that she and I were going to play (of course), and that evolved into playing hide-and-seek all over my parents's house until I proved my hide-and-seek expertise and hid in the bathtub behind the shower curtain until she gave up and recruited Mark to help find me.
All in all, it was probably the most eventful Thanksgiving ever, and definitely the loudest, and my first holiday actively being a stepmom-in-training. But? I enjoyed it.
Thanksgiving, as we've all been told, is supposed to be that special time of year where you think about all that you're thankful for. This year, I didn't really have to think about it, because I was literally surrounded by it.
While I may be entirely too grumpy sometimes about my overly-full schedule and my lack of sleep and free time, I'm still honestly still happier than I've been in a long time.
I might complain and bitch more than I should, but it's all sound and fury, signifying nothing. I have wonderful friends who want to spend time with me no matter how many times I don't go to their parties, an eternally supportive family (in spite of how crazy they drive me sometimes), and the best fiance´ (and future stepdaughter) I could ask for. I'm never ever at a lack for food or clothes (or pins), I have my own divided plate for holidays, and I've learned that I'm actually not terrible with children and am pretty much an expert at taking selfies.