Today I am thankful for...not having to travel this Thanksgiving.
If we were going to NC this holiday to see the family, I'd be a mess already - organizing meals for the few days we'd be home, making sure we don't have too much or too little food in the house to sustain us, doing laundry, planning what to pack in the suitcase and the car and the diaper bag, constantly coordinating with the hubby on which family obligations take place when, stressing about how to manipulate peanut's nap schedule around that many meals to ensure a happy toddler and debating which day to leave town to avoid the most traffic and use the fewest of hubby's precious vacation days.
But, I'm not. (Insert High Heeled Mama's happy dance here!)
Since we made the two recent trips home to see the family, we decided to skip Thanksgiving. It's a little odd, actually. Last year was the first Thanksgiving in our married life that we actually went home. We usually hosted this holiday and invited everyone to us. If you came, great. If you didn't, catch you at Christmas.
Last year, we wanted to spend Christmas Day at home and so we traded Thanksgiving. It ended up not being any easier since we were packing up the day after Christmas to drive up to NC and spend New Year's there anyway.
So after two trips home in the last month, we knew we couldn't swing both the Thanksgiving and Christmas trips. We had to make a decision. As much as we loved waking up in our home Christmas morning, going to our own church for services and spending the holiday quietly watching our peanut play with wrapping and boxes instead of the toys inside of them, we felt it was more important to be surrounded by our larger family at Christmas.
Our families have a lot going on this year with grad school, new houses, babies on the way, so we'll be spending turkey day as a three-some this year. I'm okay with that. I admit that I did take it a little personally at first -- it seemed extremely easy for folks to not come after just one year off -- but I know in my heart of hearts that it's not personal.
I am honestly excited to be home with my boys. It will make for some lovely memories to involve peanut in the cooking and the preparations. We can do a few little projects and maybe get our Christmas tree early (like all good Southerners should) and bring out all the Christmas decorations over the holiday weekend. We can snuggle in for a four-day weekend without the exhausting pressure of having to be somewhere. I can finish (well, that does imply I've started, which I haven't) painting my kitchen.
So today, this Friday before Thanksgiving, I am not stressed out about packing. I am not stressed out that I have no real idea what I'm going to prepare for our Thanksgiving dinner yet. I am not overwhelmed with to-do lists of things to get done before Thursday. I am, instead, curled up with a blanket, looking forward to a dinner out with the hubby and peanut at a favorite (family-friendly) locale, and anticipating a weekend that is currently wide open to the possibilities.