Thanksgiving Spreadphoto © 2007 David Goehring | more info (via: Wylio)

Lots of our friends travel several hours – or more – to be with family at the holidays. Overnight visits, early morning flights and cranky kids (or husbands) are par for the course. Other people I know host huge gatherings in their homes, cooking enormous turkeys that require brining or stuffing or something, cleaning every corner and decorating every surface.

Our holidays are a bit simpler, although still stressful. (Let’s be honest – what occasion that involves family isn’t?) Because we’re fortunate enough to live near both of our families while still living in a small (read: not big enough for a crowd) house, we get the pleasure of driving all over the metropolitan area for three days.

I think it’s safe to say that whether you travel or “stay home” like we do, this week is the beginning of a month-long marathon.

All [three] of our family dinners are potlucks. I really can’t imagine showing up at a family dinner without a casserole dish full of something, to be honest. This is how our families have always done it, and I like it that way. I’m not saying that nobody wants to eat a whole meal prepared by my dear grandma, but, well, we don’t. Besides, this gives me the chance to try out a few new recipes.

Here are my plans for the rest of the week:


  • Wake up early enough to shower before Annalyn gets up.
  • Fix – and eat – a real breakfast, so I’m not tempted to nibble all morning long!
  • Enjoy watching the Macy’s parade without Mark’s usual [annoying] commentary (because he’ll either be still at work or asleep).
  • Make baked beans (Mark style) and green bean casserole (Pioneer Woman style).
  • Head west for Thanksgiving lunch at my cousin’s house.
  • Let my parents feed Annalyn. Let my cousin think that Mark made the beans. (Shhh! Don’t tell!)
  • Go home in time for a late nap – for everyone.
  • Enjoy a quiet Thanksgiving evening at home and watch the Plaza lights come on…on TV.
  • Try to convince Mark to rent Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.


  • Get up early to do only the most necessary Black Friday shopping.
  • Or not. I haven’t decided yet.
  • Wave goodbye to Mark and Annalyn as they leave for a day at my father-in-law’s farm.
  • Convince myself to make the most of my day “off” with productivity and not relaxation.
  • Make broccoli and rice casserole, two pans of cheesy potatoes and creamy cheese grits with chilies.
  • Vacuum and clean the bathroom. Decide that’s good enough.
  • Relax in the little time “off” I have left, probably picking up a book off my fall reading list.
  • Get the whole family – and the food – into the car. Head to my parents’ house.
  • Enjoy family togetherness and (hopefully) little-to-no drama.


  • Get up – and moving – super early to get the whole family dressed for photos.
  • Make it to the portrait studio early – or, more realistically, on time. Endure photo torture.
  • Drive to my aunt’s house to make candy with all the “girls” in the family.
  • Join my family for lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant.
  • Go home and take nap. Or get ready for dinner. But I suspect the nap may win.
  • Serve dinner to in-laws.
  • Count minutes until Thanksgiving is officially over.
  • Catch up on missed TV shows on Hulu with Mark.

Sunday: REST.

What about you? What are your plans?

What should you watch next?


Every month, we are bombarded with new TV series and movies—and it can be overwhelming to figure out what to watch! (I know, I know, what a problem to have!) I'm here to help. My monthly Watch Guides list out all the returning series, new series, and new movies, along with premiere dates and where to watch them. Plus, I tell you my personal picks for the month to help you narrow it all down.

Drop your name and email here, and I'll send you this month's Watch Guide right away!

(Signing up gives me permission to email you. But I will never, ever send you spam or junk. Who has time for that?!)

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This