01 bay city diner turkey wrapphoto © 2009 Jason Lam | more info (via: Wylio)

No, I’m not going to share a recipe for an actual turkey wrap. Although, now that I think of it, that’s not a bad idea…

Instead of yet another tasty way to use a tortilla, I thought I’d do a Thanksgiving recap – or, you know, a Turkey [Day] Wrap [Up].

I can’t wait to hear more about your Thanksgiving weekends. I hope you all had plenty of family, food and fun – and no craziness or chaos. As usual, my three-day holiday had it all.

Thursday
Mark didn’t work on Wednesday night, so our Thursday morning was less stressful than expected. Annalyn did a fine job of entertaining herself while I made a green bean casserole and half-listened, half-watched the Macy’s parade.

I did forget to put Mark’s baked beans in the oven at the designated time, so I had to do the bottom rack trick and bump up the temperature a bit. Both bean dishes turned out great, although I’m sad to say that Mark’s baked beans went over much better than my green beans.

I’d like to blame the Pioneer Woman for a faulty recipe, but I think we all know how likely THAT is. Next time, I will either use fresh or canned green beans. The frozen ones are kind of gross.

As for our actual dinner, it was very nice. Mark and I both had good visits with my grandma, and I enjoyed chatting with my cousins, even if all conversations were short-lived and oft-interrupted by the dozen kiddos running around the house.

Not my cousin's actual shuffleboard table.

My cousin Jenny has a beautiful home, and I love visiting for holidays. As I looked around at all her fun fall decorations, I was inspired to use some of my stay-at-home time to gussy up our house for Christmas! More important than that, though – at least for Mark, my dad and all the other guys – was their newly finished basement (a.k.a. Man Cave) with a shuffleboard table.

In other words, when it was time to leave, I had to drag Annalyn out of the play room filled to the brim with dolls and dishes AND I had to drag Mark away from the shuffleboard game of the year!

Friday
I had such grand plans for Friday morning. I was going to cook and clean and be so very productive while Mark and Annalyn went to my father-in-law’s farm to dump our nine huge bags of leaves. I should have known better.

When we got the newspaper on Thursday and went through the sale papers, we saw that Target was selling a 40-inch TV for $298. We’ve gone back and forth about buying a new TV for a couple years now, and while we’d recently agreed to wait until after Christmas, this deal seemed too good to pass up.

Unfortunately, that meant I would be the one to get up before the crack of dawn to brave the 19-degree weather and recession-crazy crowds.

IMGP2667photo © 2007 djLicious | more info (via: Wylio)

Target opened at 4 a.m. However, I firmly believe that morning does not – and should not, EVER – begin before 5 a.m. In special cases – like a big fancy TV for less than three hundred bucks – I can force myself to consider setting the alarm for a time with a 4 in it. But before that? Um, no thanks.

So, I convinced myself that, even though this sale was the best one in the whole stack of flyers and located on the very front page of the Target ad, getting there before 5 a.m. would SURELY be sufficient.

Go ahead. Laugh! Guess how WRONG I was. And then guess how ANNOYED I was to find out that no sale items were located in their proper departments and the line of people wrapped around the store was actually the line to check out and no, there aren’t any more carts available! And then? When the Target employee who made the mistake of asking me if I needed any help informed me that, “It’s like this every year”? As if I didn’t know that? As if I’d never heard of Black Friday? As if I were an IDIOT?!

Yeah….

Here’s the thing: I am NOT a nice tired person. Or a nice morning person. So while, normally, I am overly nice to customer service representatives and fellow shoppers, no matter how stressful the shopping situation, I am not exactly MYSELF when it comes to Black Friday. Or any other day when I’m forced out of my warm bed into the cold winter for no reason other than a stupid TV that was sold out in the first six minutes the store was open!

Long story short (ha! As if!), I scrapped my shopping plans at that point. Recognizing that I was not fit for interaction with the public, I took a look at my list of four stores (including Walmart and Toys R Us), called them unnecessary and impractical, and went back home and back to bed.

Friday, part 2
After dragging myself back out of bed and lounging on the couch for some online shopping while simultaneously watching Back to the Future, I finally got a second wind. I made several cheesy, carby casseroles and felt a lot better about the world in general. I even rearranged (smushed) my green bean casserole and rebaked it for Thanksgiving Dinner #2.

Thanksgiving Dinner #2 was lovely, although my poor mom was sick. And this side of the family didn’t love my green bean casserole, either. We enjoyed a great meal and a lot of laughs, though, and we managed to snap lots of photos, draw names for gifts and make plans for Christmas before any of the kids (or adults) had a major meltdown.

I also noticed this evening that Annalyn has quite the holiday meal strategy. She isn’t normally a picky eater, although she doesn’t always eat the things that I know she likes. In general, though, she loves vegetables and is willing to eat most foods that we eat.

Not so much for Thanksgiving. At our first big meal on Thursday, she completely ignored her plate that I carefully prepared – and ate half the food on my dad’s plate! Then on Friday night, she somehow convinced my very tall brother to sit at the very small kids table and feed her the food off HIS plate!

Good thing she’s not spoiled or anything.

Saturday
The third day of our holiday marathon was, unfortunately, the most stressful one. It started with family photos before 9 a.m., complete with strained relationships and fake smiles, and ended with an annoying but brief dinner with my in-laws. It was a long day of biting my tongue and freezing my eyes in place so they wouldn’t roll out of control, and I was glad when it was over.

We actually got some great photos. Like these - how cute is she?!

In between the photos and the in-laws, we did enjoy an hour or so of making candy with my aunt and cousins. That was honestly the best part of my day, even though – believe it or not – I didn’t eat a single piece of the candy.

We also met back up with my parents and siblings for a greasy Mexican lunch, which was – believe it or not – my favorite meal of the whole weekend. And that’s saying a lot, considering my dad got sick, my mom lectured us all about our behavior earlier in the morning, and Mark decided to stay home and watch football.

If I add it all up and divide by the number of meals or the number of events or the number of relationships or relatives, the result and my conclusion is always the same. My family is certifiably crazy and we drive each other a little more nuts every year, but we do – for better or worse – love each other and often, despite ourselves, have a lot of fun together.

Especially when it involves a chili burrito.

How was YOUR Thanksgiving? Did you eat too much? Enjoy time with family? Avoid time with family? Do a little bit of everything?

Shuffleboard photo by barmano.

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