Real Life Realizations

It is official I am growing up.

First glass of wine at a family holiday meal #21

All afternoon as our amazing Thanksgiving dinner was cooking I was planning a blog post highlighting a bunch of firsts. Mashed rutabagas, brussels sprouts for the whole family (not just me), stuffing, organic turkey, wine, no exercise… The list goes on. I took a ton of pictures and the post was going to have a ton of food porn for everyone drool over.

And then I realized on my walk with my mom (with a little help from that wine I do believe) that who cares what my family had to eat! Not you! I am hoping that you all had amazing Thanksgivings (or just days if you don’t celebrate it or are not American). I hope your daily eats were wonderful like mine. But honestly do you really want to look at pictures of the food I ate? It’s already digested, or in the fridge as leftovers, or in the awesome soup we made last night. You can’t have it and my guess is you wouldn’t trade your special Thanksgiving for mine.

What I do want to share are the special moments. The happiness I want to remember from this holiday with my mom and dad.

Organic turkey ready for the grill!

I will keep mentioning this turkey. It was my first in 4 years. And my parents were awesome enough to purchase it for me from Whole Foods. Forever grateful for two understanding and loving parents.

Peeling Rutabagas!

Nothing special right? Well these were supposed to be parsnips and I made a woopsie purchase! Wait I am a dietetic student right? Yeah well my forte is metabolism not vegetable varieties! FYI mashed rutabagas are great!

Blurry because I am hard at work tearing the bread into “bite-size pieces”

Our first gravy boat! Every year we remark that we need a gravy boat and then proceed to pour our gravy into some other dish. This year mom and I bought one especially for Thanksgiving, isn’t it pretty! 😀

Awesome dad knows how to grill a turkey let me tell ya!

Roasted maple butternut squash

I know I said no food porn, but since my mom won’t take any pictures this is the best I can get! This is her contribution to the meal and it is my absolute favorite part! It was the only non new part to our meal (well except for the canned cranberries and rolls) and I love her for making it so well every year! Love you mom!

Wait I don’t get turkey???

Our dog Mr. George. Yes he did get turkey don’t worry!

“There is a method”

Dad doesn’t have ice cream with his pie. Always cheddar cheese. He was showing me the method on how to eat it correctly when I snapped this picture. I wish I had a video. Love you daddy!

This doesn’t even begin to describe my Thanksgiving. Nothing could. But for the first time ever I feel free of worry about school, upcoming exams, and the holidays. The holidays have always been good but not great do to the fact that my family butts heads and my mom and I used to fight a lot. There were tears and screams and immaturity on my part. But every year I am amazed at how different our holidays have become. We work together, have learned to deal with and embrace each others little annoying quirks, and it has led us to really enjoy our time together I do believe. For me as I get older the holidays have become more meaningful and enjoyable. I realize now that Thanksgiving may be centered around a meal, but what makes it special are the laughable moments, the smiles, the jabs from dad, the walks with mom, and the love that my parents have for me. This time is special and for that I am forever grateful.

I am Black Friday shopping with my mom this morning! It is our tradition whether we need anything or not! It is fun and we get to say we did it!



Happy Thanksgiving

I hope all of my fellow Americans enjoy a wonderful day  with family and friends. Remember this day is not about stuffing yourself silly, practicing restraint, or about the food at all. This is a day designated for us to show gratitude for what we have in life even when it is not all good.  So go and be grateful, smile, hug, and surround yourself with love.

Let the Holidays Begin

I really don’t believe Christmas begins until Thanksgiving has been played out- AKA Turkey is making me tired (for the first time in 4 years!!!) and my mom and I have hit the stores dark and early (get it because the sun hasn’t risen yet!) on Black Friday.

But in my Hokie home I have a roommate who absolutely loves all things Christmas. She eats, breathes, and lives it every day of the year. So of course she doesn’t abide by my rule of no Christmas until after Thanksgiving.

This is sooooo Kailey. She has the best heart. She really does embody the true spirit of Christmas.

So we had Thanksgiving early. Twin way. Which is way more epic than the traditional way. Plus we didn’t have to cook or do dishes. Win win!- that was our language I don’t expect anyone to really understand that except Twin.

Carrot Cake Pancakes- Oh Why are you limited edition!

AKA we went to IHOP! Now before you dis this glorious place you have to understand that IHOP will forever hold a special place in my heart. This is the first place I can remember ordering a meal, ordering it wrong (AKA I forgot to ask for my omelet with egg beaters!), not caring, and not second guessing myself a few hours after. It is also where I can say for a fact I committed myself to recovery. Before that fateful night I was only eating to please everyone around me. After that night I was in it for me. The food wasn’t the problem, it was something else and I became determined to figure it out so that I could enjoy the simple things in life (like food) as simple things again.

The process of eating pancakes- the Shannon way

I peel my pancakes. You have to be there and see it to fully understand, but I hope this picture sort of explains… Amanda did a great post about how we all have quirky habits, well mine is that I have to peel pancakes, if they aren’t peelable you can best bet I will be ordering something else and sending the non-peelable sad excuse of pancakes back to the kitchen or giving them to my dad. P.s these pancakes are amazing and I about died and went to heaven while enjoying their dense peelable goodness. (good thing I lived or Kailey would have been stranded at IHOP- wait maybe that’s not a bad thing!)

I love this girl!

There is our sweet waiter in the background too bringing Kailey’s ketchup, because seriously ketchup and eggs were meant to be.  I just love how happy she looks. That’s what good food and more importantly a good time will do to a person!

That was Thursday night (because Thanksgiving happens on Thursdays duh!) and our last night together in our little home for a little over a week. I made the 5 1/2 hour drive home Friday and roomie is headed home with her dad today. I miss her, and our quiet life. But I am EXTREMELY grateful for this week that I will have at home with my parents. I have a lot of work to get done for school, but I am going to try to break up my day between work and play. I need this time with my parents and I need to give myself some breaks because the last few weeks after this will be rough (exams, projects, finals… dun dun dun). OK sorry for rambling on. I just really wanted to share those pancakes and express my extreme gratitude and love of my epic roomie.

Hooray for Thanksgiving Break!