Well, today, more than any other day, centers around food. Neither D nor I have family near by, so many holidays, we opt to either go out, or have something small at home…but often not the “traditional” fare.
This year, we had quite a big meal, and stuck to more commonly accepted traditional fare. We probably cooked enough to feed 20 people, rather than just the 5 of us, but it was still quite a lot of fun. Is it sad that I’m already outlining and planning what to do with the leftovers??
I’ve mentioned this before – but I feel it necessary to point out again – I am the only vegan in my house. Do I wish more people in my life were? Of course. Do I believe everyone has the right to choose? Most definitely. I have my own reasons for veganism, and my family mostly understands those. But in the end, I would no more force them to choose a political party, religion, or college major anymore than I would force them to choose their dietary preferences. I hope they always choose healthy when available, and take more care understanding the origins of their food, but in the end…I had the right to make this choice, and I believe firmly that others do to.
That said – D did everything involving the turkey. I just couldn’t touch it, it creeps me out. Even many years ago when I DID eat meat, it creeped me out.
Sorry…felt the need to say that while I outline today’s menu.
Tofurkey w/stuffing and roasted veggies – vegan
Grilled and brined Turkey
Mashed sweet potatoes – vegan
Gravy – both turkey gravy and vegan gravies were made
Roasted maple carrots
Green Bean Casseroles – we had two. One vegan, and one “traditional” with the cream of mush soup
Rolls – vegan
Apple pie – vegan
So, clearly there was no shortage of wonderful food for all of us to enjoy!
my spicy green bean casserole!
sweet potato casserole
my dinner plate (the first helping, anyway...)
Oh, and I’ve discovered (thanks to my friend CE), that I absolutely love DiSaronno amaretto on the rocks. I’ve been sipping on a glass most of the afternoon, and it’s delicious.
Between cooking adventures today (after the pies, but before everything else), I went for a run. It’s a beautiful almost 60 degree and sunny day, so I was very happy to lace up and get out the door.
Today I did some sprints during my run as well. Now that I’m rebuilding my base mileage, I also want to increase my speed. I spent 20 minutes alternating a 1 minute sprint followed by a 1 minute recovery. Not a LOT of sprints, but the first I’ve done in over a year!
The past few days have been hectic, but good. I got to go to R’s school yesterday for her lunch, and hang out with her and her friends. It was nice to talk to all the kids (even was inspired for her big Xmas gift this year), and see how happy she was that I was there. Since it was an early release day, her “lunch” was at 1030, so I just hung out in the lunch room with the kids and goofed off.
I will say, it was nice to see in person how they manage her peanut/tree nut allergy. She sits at the end of the table with another boy who also has a severe peanut allergy, and then their friends come and sit with them once they prove they have “safe” foods in their lunches. The room mom has known R for years, and always keeps and eye out for her too, which makes me feel more relaxed.
I did agree to bake several treats for the Xmas party. Since learning that one of R’s classmates also has a gluten allergy, this is totally spurring my already heated desire to make gluten-free goodies!
Last night D took R to see Arthur Christmas. They both declared it an amazing movie, which was cute. I made a simple dinner for A, M, and I, and then worked on my newest knitting project while watching Extreme Couponing with A.
Here’s my take on that show:
They’re crazy. They exhibit the same traits as someone with gambling problems, alcoholism, or hoarders. They were after the high of the deal, and not so much about what they were getting. While yes…it’s amazing you can buy $1500 of stuff for $10, but why would you WANT 600 toothbrushes and 30 packages of soap? These people were showing off their “stockpiles” like they had their own mini-marts in their garages. Don’t get me wrong…I love using coupons and getting a good deal, but I don’t NEED 600 bottles of shampoo. Just because they’re free or nearly free, doesn’t mean I should stock up. The only caveat to that is if those stockpiles go to good causes; a women’s shelter, a refugee camp, etc. Most of the shows I saw (we watched several hours of the TLC marathon last night), the people who were couponing, were not donating their massive hauls.
Also…most of their hauls were either non-food items, or crap food we shouldn’t eat so often anyway. 200 boxes of cocoa puffs and 60 containers of Oreos. Not one single person had produce or non-processed foods in their carts. I sort of found it all pointless.
Today, though, is all about enjoying and reflecting on what is good in our lives. Inspired by my friend S who put her “top 10” list on Facebook today, here is my shot at a list of things I’m happy for (in no specific order).
1-the love of my family and friends.
2-healthy and happy children
3-an amazing, loving, and passionate marriage to my best friend
4-Sammie and Bumble. A crazy dog and cat, who after 9 years, still pretend they can’t stand each other, but I’m pretty sure it’s an act
5-a great job that I love to do, find challenging and rewarding, and get the honor to do it for a fabulous company that cares about the people in our community
7-having the ability to pursue the things I love to do; read, run, cook, play, and travel, just to name a few
8-living in a time where social changes are happening all over the world, and getting to witness that
I hope that you have something you are thankful for – and have the ability to sit back and realize that…as crazy as life can be, and as stressful as situations get…that there is good in your life and in the world.