Getting Ready

One of my favorite traditions of the year has arrived.

It's time to make pie.
Lots of pies.

Some years ago, we began a tradition of taking a few pies to Matt Talbot Kitchen the day before Thanksgiving. I thought it was important for our children to see that not everyone has a kitchen overflowing with food on Thanksgiving day.
Each year, we've added a few more people on our list to deliver pies to. People who we are thankful for. Last year we went to the Pink Sisters to give them two pies. Just to see the look on sister's face when I handed her the pies, was worth it all. They were so grateful and we received a beautiful thank you note from them.

A few weeks ago, Thomas and Annie and I made a list of who we should deliver pies to this year. We came up with fourteen. I love their generous hearts. So, this Sunday, instead of making a pie for us, Annie and I made all the pie crusts that we would need for Thanksgiving. Fourteen to deliver and three for us. Annie was so excited to make all these pies that she was up and ready to bake at 6:15. I wanted to shout why don't you go back to bed and sleep like normal children..... but held my tongue. The first words out of her mouth were I knew we had fourteen pies to make, so I got up early to help. I was happy that she was so excited and didn't want to squash that excitement in her. And she was a big help and looked really cute in her apron....but it was awfully hard not to send her back to bed!

She's thinking...... I love my mom, she is the best mom in the whole wide world.....

I wish, but No. I had just told her that she could make her own way to crimp the edge of the pie. She was excited about this.

And the finished product. Seventeen pie crusts in all. Frozen and ready to be filled in the next few days.

I've come to realize that I enjoy the planning and preparation for holidays way more than the actual day. I love to look through inspiring books and cookbooks for ideas, rummage through my decorations in the storage room to see if I have that just what I was looking for object that I can use instead of going out to buy something new.

But, the reality of four children is that I will spend more of the actual day listening to whining, or wiping them, or watching them smear food all over the new table cloth, or sending some to time out, all while burning something in the kitchen.... that's just the state of life right now. And that's OK. That is why I get to savor the days of preparation before all madness breaks loose. The reality of our Thanksgiving meal is that the kids will eat and be done within a matter of five to ten minutes. All that preparation that goes into this meal and then it's done. Over. Finished.

I'm learning that one day we will have lengthy drawn out meals with inspiring and fun conversation. One day. I'm all about family meals with good conversation that includes our children. I was desperately trying to make this happen in our home, but TJ and I would leave dinner exhausted and frustrated. And then one day TJ suggested that we just eat quickly at the center island. Dinner goes a little better now. I had to let go for the time being of what I envision our dinners to be like.

But back to Thanksgiving. My kitchen has a big job ahead of it. Thanksgiving dinner. I use the weeks before Thanksgiving to give my kitchen a deep clean. Kind of prepare it for the big day. I go through drawers and clean them out. I press the auto clean button on the oven and let it clean itself! I go through all my utensils to see what I have. I make sure that I have plenty of wooden spoons for stirring and plenty of serving spoons for all those wonderful side dishes. That's why I love Walmart. I can get new utensil for cheap. I make sure all our wine glasses are clean. I buy plenty of Tupperware so that we have a place for all the yummy leftovers and to send our family home with some to eat for later. I also declutter our kitchen. I take down all the pictures and flash cards from the fridge and clear off the counter tops. It's a visual thing for me. I feel like there is more room for all that will be going on in the kitchen if it looks empty. I set the table days before so that I have time to make sure I have enough silverware, plates, napkins ect. for the twelve of us. Plus, I love to putter while decorating the table. I want to enjoy looking at it, because I know that on Thanksgiving day, I will be more consumed with food and children than with getting to notice the pretty table.

This is a fun week for me. My sister Megan is coming home this year from California! The planning and preparation I'm doing make me so excited. I look at books where it all looks...perfect. The table, the food, the decorations, the children. I'm preparing myself for the reality that it won't be perfect. It will be messy and loud and my children may even start eating before we say our Thanksgiving prayer.....But I will not let myself be disappointed on Thanksgiving when these things happen. I want to enjoy the day and not be caught up in it being perfect.

So, if you see me this week, will you remind me of this?

1 comment:

fullofgracex7 said...

I know you're having a wonderful time planning and prepping, and while I won't be able to remind you to remember to enjoy any of it and all of it in any form on Thanksgiving, I will be thinking of you and praying for you and your family, whom I am so incredibly thankful for. I am so happy to know you and be friends with you. You have blessed my life. :) And...all of your work and all of the beautiful things that you do may seem to go unnoticed sometimes, but trust me...they notice. They just don't realize they do. LOL!! Happy Thanksgiving.