More Than ……

…… grateful.

We had a full apartment yesterday. More than full. But even though we were full, I was missing two very important people.
My two Texans.
Son #2 and Son #3 were both back in Texas, working/attending class.
And I missed them.

But in spite of that, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Four of my children were here. Plus 2 friends for the week. And 3 friends for Thanksgiving day.
And, here’s the great part …… Daughter #3 did ALL of the cooking.

A couple of months ago I made a pasta dinner for the three of us (Daughter #1, Daughter #3 and me).
From scratch.
It took 3 hours.
No kidding.
And my kitchen is the size of my closet back in Texas.
With almost no counter space.
Which is hugely aggravating and highly exasperating.
To say the least.
The day that I made that dish …… I decided that I would not be cooking ANYTHING for Thanksgiving. I made an announcement to the two daughters. Daughter #1 seemed fine with that decision. Daughter #3 …… not so much.
She said that she wanted to make Thanksgiving dinner.
All of it.
Yes, she is insane.
I told her that we would be ordering the turkey …… and the rest of the meal. But she objected. Strongly.
So I gave in …… and told her that she could make whatever she wanted …… as long as she knew that I would have no part of it in that tiny kitchen.
And she was ok with that.
But I told her that we would be ordering the turkey.
And we did.
Kind of.

We purchased 2 fully cooked turkeys from Trader Joe’s (they were on the small side and we weren’t sure how many one would feed …… though in retrospect one would’ve been enough) so all we had to do was heat them up for a couple of hours.
But she, being the trooper that she is, made everything else.
Everything else was …… salad, mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, mac and cheese, asparagus, rolls, stuffing …… and two pumpkin pies.
I don’t know where she came from.
But my mother should be very proud.

The dinner was amazing.
It was a good day.
We ate. And ate. And ate.
And then we played some video dance game, which was hilarious.
And then we played “Heads Up”, which was even more hilarious.
And competitive.

After that our company left. And Son #1 and Daughter #1 and I went to see the latest Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire.
It was one of her birthday gifts. Her birthday was Wednesday.
In case you haven’t kept up.
The movie was pretty good.
I read all of the books …… so that’s high praise.

Today Daughters # 2 & 3 and a friend and I went to have brunch at the cafe where Meg Ryan went to meet Tom Hanks in “You’ve Got Mail”, only she didn’t know it was Tom Hanks. And he was a total ass.
But it’s called Cafe Lalo and it’s a cute place and the food was very good.
After that we went downtown. THe girls hung out at the library while I went back to the dr. I had seen on Tuesday for a TB test. I had to have the test read. And I passed …… with flying colors.
I met back up with them outside the library, which is at Bryant Park, which I posted pictures of a few days ago. You know, the place with the ice skating rink.
Then we walked a bit and did something I have never done before: we shopped on Black Friday.
I know.
We went into a Gap, where everything …… and I mean EVERYTHING …… was 50% off.
Then the girls wanted to hit the nearby H&M, so we went in there. I sat near the exit and read a book on my cell phone while they shopped.
They scored.
And then we went home.
And decided to watch “You’ve Got Mail”.
Another friend came over and we ordered dinner and finished the movie. And “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.
It was very exciting.
To say the least.
Oh, and we ordered Mexican food.
Which was pretty dang good.

Tomorrow morning …… at the ungodly hour of 4:00 and 5:45 A.M. …… Daughter #2, Son #1 and a friend (more commonly known as Daughter #4) leave. And that makes me sad.
But Daughter #2 and Son #1 will be back on December 22nd.
Unfortunately …… Sons #2 and #3 were not here for Thanksgiving …… and will not be here for Christmas.
And that sucks.
A lot.

It will be the first Christmas that we haven’t been together since …… forever.
I hate that they won’t be here.
But Son #2 is in school …… and for some insane reason he’ll be in class on Christmas day (as he was on Thanksgiving) and Son #3 is working as much as he can over the Christmas break …… so they will remain in Texas.
Neither one of them has a love for Christmas. Which is totally understandable …… given the fact that their father died the week before Christmas 6 years ago.
That kind of puts a cloud on Christmas.

But I have to admit …… that for the first time in these 6 years …… I was looking forward to Thanksgiving …… and am looking forward to Christmas.
No kidding.
The first time.
Since 2007.
And I think that’s huge.

I’ve ordered a real Christmas tree (thank you Groupon).
And I’ve ordered all of the ornaments, lights and stockings.
And I’m …… for the first time in six years …… looking forward to Christmas. Just as I did to Thanksgiving.
And that is huger than huge.

I know that it mostly has to do with being here …… in NY. And I’m ok with that.
In fact, I’m great with that.
As most of you know …… and many of you have commented …… I love it here.
I beyond love it here.
This is home.
This is where I want to be.
And where I want to be …… full time.

Jim would approve.
Jim would be happy for me.
And proud of me.
If he were here.

But he’s not.
And so I move forward …… deciding what is best for me now.
Our children are grown. And are making their own decisions.
So now it’s time for me …… to decide for me.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve thought of just me.
But it’s time.
And thought it’s taken a while …… I’m good with that …… now.

It’s time.
And for that, I’m grateful.

I hope that each of you had a peaceful Thanksgiving.
And that each of you had at least one thing that you were grateful for.
Just one.
Sometimes …… one is all we can ask for.

Happy Friday, Peeps.


















1 thought on “More Than ……

  1. Kelley Lynn (@kelleyiskelley)

    Finally, some family pics !!! YAY!! Janine, I love reading about your “second plan A” and I love this post in particular. You sound so happy and relaxed, and It makes me happy that NYC is a part of that, and that HERE is where you decided to stay, because now I can see more of you, and that makes me really happy. Can I say the word happy any more freakin times? Anyway, yes, Jim would be so proud of you. I just know it. And you should be proud of yourself too. You have gone and made a new life for yourself – yay you!!!


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