What a Day!

Thanksgiving this year was – in a word – wonderful.  Really, really wonderful.  Chris’ mom, Jackie, and her boyfriend, Charles, came down from our hometown of Pensacola and his sister (who lives here in Orlando) had two days off of work to hang with us.  It was a really nice, relaxing weekend of food, family, and catching up.


Jackie and I (pictured above with a very serious Bean) spent Wednesday preparing and cooking and then Thursday, Chris joined in the fun as he prepared the turkey.


Note the Band Aid on Chris’ finger in this picture as he carves the turkey:


He would like me to tell you that it was a casualty of his hard core culinary skills. However, I cannot tell a lie. It’s a paper cut.

For the first time ever, I cooked (along with Jackie’s help, of course) the entire Thanksgiving meal. In years past, other friends and family have contributed dishes or added their family’s traditions to the table. And that’s all fun and good. But for the first time ever, I got to plan and prepare my own Thanksgiving menu.

And it was perfect.

It’s not that it was all cooked perfectly, but it was all the food from my childhood. There was the turkey and cranberry sauce (right out of the can – just like I like – and no one to “glam” it up with REAL fruit…). There was black eyed peas and green beans that simmered all day on the stove with onions and bacon like true Southern vegetables. There was homemade macaroni and cheese – the baked kind, just like I grew up eating. There were crescent rolls and mashed potatoes and 24 DEVILED EGGS! 24!! Why so many eggs, you ask? BECAUSE IT’S MY THANKSGIVING – THAT’S WHY! And, of course, there was my dad’s dressing. I burnt the biscuits a bit on the bottom, but after all the seasonings and goodness, I didn’t think you could even tell.



And when it was all laid out on the table next to the china from our wedding, I was pretty darn proud.


(For more info on our wedding china, crystal, and flatware, check out the Review page today!)

The food was just the jumping off point though. Thanksgiving lunch itself was the best part. We had a great meal and we laughed and talked and really enjoyed ourselves. Bean was, naturally, the center of attention. And, boy, did he know it!




He made such a mess eating his lunch that we ended up stripping him down right there at the dining room table.


And as if that wasn’t hillbilly enough for you, somehow Bean found his nose sucker and spent the last half of our meal trying to suck his own nose with it. Which meant he held it up to his nose and then sniffed very dramatically for about 10 minutes.


Normally, I try not to encourage bad manners and behaviors like this, but I had splurged and had sweet tea with lunch so the sugar went straight to my head and robbed me of all sense of decency.

And instead I just laughed.


But halfway through laughing, I noticed Bean was now chewing on his nose sucker. Bad Mommy.

Even then though, I didn’t care. I was drunk on sweet tea and family and Thanksgiving. So, I just hugged him and kissed him and told him he was a stinky, nasty little spud head and that I loved him more than anything.



In the end, our Thanksgiving wasn’t Martha Stewart approved. There were boogers and snot and bare bellies at our dinner table. But there was also good food and loving family. So, I guess everything balances out over the holidays, doesn’t it? Fine china and pot bellies. Longstanding family recipes and new little faces. Sweet tea and unsweetened tea. A little of this and a little of that.

But more important than those things, these people sat at the table with me. And that made me very, very thankful.


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21 Thoughts to “What a Day!”

  1. Congrats on cooking your first whole Thanksgiving meal! I feel like it is a rite of passage of somesort 🙂 I survived my fourth one this year, but I had far less people to cook for. The three of us have been, and will be, eating turkey for days!

  2. This was my first year, too! And like you, ours wasn’t anything perfect or fancy or Martha-worthy. But I did laugh so hard I almost spit wine all over the table, and that’s generally the sign of a good time in my book!

  3. PS Bean is such a little ham, I love it!

  4. Bean totally made me laugh right out loud with the nose sucker bit! Which sent me into a coughing fit, but it was worth it!

  5. Whoa. You are a grown-up! two babies, a real job, and now you’ve cooked all of Thanksgiving!!!!

  6. Amy

    So proud of your culinary skills, Katie! Seeing the glint in Bean’s eyes when you nuzzle him…it just makes my heart melt. SO CUTE! Also, you necklace is FAB!

  7. Clare

    That is beautiful. Just beautiful. That photo of you laughing with Bean on your knee, my gosh Bean looks SO much like you when he laughs like that!! I’m from the UK so we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but it looks like a whole lot of fun, so family orientated which is just what it’s all about really.
    You look SO happy Katie xxxx

  8. Ashley

    Sounds like a perfect meal to me! 🙂 Who cares about Martha’s approval anyway?

  9. Aw, it looks like a great time, and it looks delicious! Great job!

  10. Jen C

    These kind of family meals are more fun that the stodgy formal ones anyways. this is the first year i didn’t cook (thanks to be ing almost 8.5 months prego) and it was great to just hang out and let others cook. glorious! So glad you had a great Thanksgiving.
    ps. LOVE your necklace! so cute!

  11. I thought dishes carried across the country, but I’m gradually learning…not at all. I’ve never had black eyed peas, deviled eggs, or mac ‘n cheese at thanksgiving, though all of them sound wonderful!

  12. Tell me you are gonna post the baked mac & cheese recipe. That’s such an awesome dish!!!

  13. Great pictures! You all look like you had a great time together!!

  14. katieb

    cute pics! and plllleasse tell me where i can find that adorable necklace you are wearing!!

  15. Great pictures. It looks like a lot of fun and totally delicious.

  16. The imperfections are what make it perfect. No holiday would be complete without those special moments that make it all yours. Can you imagine a perfect holiday with no bellies, spills, or die laughing moments, it just wouldn’t be the same!! I am glad you had a wonderful day with your family!

  17. The picture of you hugging him is so precious! I love it! The last picture is too funny. You and Chris smiling and Bean all serious. Haha!

  18. OH MY that is so cute! Little Bean is adorable and you are even more adorable with him. I love your Thanksgiving! It sounds absolutely perfect.

  19. Tressa

    Looks like you all had the perfect Thanksgiving!! I’m happy for you 😉 LOVE the pictures

  20. I always forget how crazily Chris resembles his mom until I see her photo – it’s really uncanny! Also? That necklace rocks. I totally missed all the boogers ’cause I was staring at it!

  21. Happy Thanksgiving Brown family!!

    I really miss reading everyday…things have been a little crazy lately and my computer time is next to zero and my cell isn’t great for reading blogs and commenting. I think about you guys lots though! Blessings to all of you!



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