Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Holiday Rehash

This year we had one of the best and worst starts to a holiday we have ever had. A close family member had a precious baby boy (her second) and then afterward found herself fighting to stay alive. By Thanksgiving day she was stabilized, and on the road to recovery. We had 48 very, scary hours.

I actually bought a plane ticket, thinking I was going to spend the holiday in the hospital. I canceled the ticket when things started to improve, and it looked like staying out of the way may be more helpful than going.

We all hope and pray that scary things stay far away from the people we love; when they do happen they serve to remind us that all those things we were sure were problems, just aren’t real problems at all. Our family had an “It’s a Wonderful Life” experience, and the feeling of love and gratitude in our hearts was a great to way launch the Holiday Season.

Thanksgiving 009

My kids were so happy our family member was better, and also happy that Mom would be home for the long weekend. Scott tried not to be offended when our kids attempted to ship him off instead of me. I guess the kids had more faith in my ability to pull off Thanksgiving than his. There’s a decent chance they would have been eating pickles and protein shakes for Thanksgiving in his care. I’m glad I could stay.

Thanksgiving morning Zeke led the kids in preparing some awesome food to accompany our Thanksgiving feast. He made pickle rolls, crab dip, and this delicious Paleo Chocolate Cake:

Thanksgiving 011

Zeke is developing some decent skills. He did say that he may be understanding my pain a bit more. It seemed to him as if all the food he made disappeared quickly, and without much fanfare. I told him I certainly understood. I have always thought a small parade, or a dedication ceremony would be more appropriate for celebrating the dinners I make. I haven’t had much buy-in with that idea yet though. Now Zeke tells me at random times throughout the day, “Mom, thanks again for all the cooking you do.” I’ll take it.

After our lovely Thanksgiving, we decided to go to bed early so we could get up and celebrate the real holiday, “Black Friday”. This is our third year participating. Three years ago we went to one store early in the morning with my sister-in-laws and my kids in Iowa. I don’t even remember what we bought, but we made a fun memory. So, we are in it for the adventure and the memories now. And, guess what? Keep this on the down low, but you can get some decent deals.

Our trick for “Black Friday” shopping that is fun rather than torturous is to not have a list, set no expectations, and go for just a few hours. I think we made a good memory again this year. These two were done with the mall after about 10 minutes, but they were good sports.

black friday

Friday night Scott and I went on a date. This was a real, honest-to-goodness date that did not involve Costco at any point. We went to his class reunion. Scott has never been to a class reunion. I was curious why we were going to this one. He said his old friend called him on the actual phone, at school. His friend has a silver tongue, and Scott is loathe to disappoint. His friend got a verbal commitment out of Scott while they were on the phone. He didn’t let Scott hang up with any of this, “We’ll see what we can do” business. And, once Scott commits, that deal is happening. So, we went.

I had more than a month to think about this reunion. I want to tell you something. You know how you’re not supposed to use stereotypes? Well, maybe that is true, but not if your stereotype is accurate. Catholic women in Dubuque, Iowa are pretty. They take care of themselves, and they dress nice too. Those are just the facts. Look it up.

So, when thinking about this reunion, I was really hoping to be able to put something together for myself that made Scott look like he chosen well in life. I was kind of going for the hip, sophisticated, athletic, worldly wife, mom and career woman look. I went through my entire wardrobe of Sauk Prairie Wrestling t-shirts and just didn’t think any of them really communicated the vibe I was going for with this. So, I bought a shirt that had actually never even been worn before. That was kind of different. I even bought it at a real store, Banana Republic. It was 20 dollars. Thank you, Black Friday.

The day of the reunion I woke up with an impressive case of adult acne. Just some giant red welts between my eyes. No big deal. Not in a place that was very visible, at least. Plus, I remembered that I forgot to lose 10 pounds. Darn it! I knew there was something I was supposed to do. Uhggg….I decided I’d just have to go as myself instead.

The reunion was fun. I told Scott’s old friends what is was like cheering for Scott at the Olympics, the lessons I have learned balancing my life as a loving Mother, wife and wealthy real estate mogul, and how one of our only real struggles in life is trying to decide whether Eddie should choose Harvard or Yale. I could tell by the way they were whispering to each other that they were all really impressed.

Thanksgiving 028

Sorry, that’s a bad shot. But, I wanted you to see how fancy we are. I was thinking that those Catholic girls have probably never seen jeans tucked in boots before. I told them it was just something we do in the city. I figure I don’t have to hoard my fashion intelligence. I mean, especially since it was Thanksgiving.

For Scott’s part, he just wanted to pull off a look that says, “I can beat up anybody in this room.” What do you think? I love reunions.

Like I expected, the long weekend took about 13 seconds, and then it was Sunday. I discovered that I have established at least ONE holiday tradition over the years. Olivia, Zeke and I decorate the tree on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Eddie and Scott are about as good at tree trimming as they are at Trick-or-treating. What’s wrong with them, anyway?

Thanksgiving 030

This Thanksgiving has left me feeling recharged and renewed. I’m awarding a gold medal to whomever came up with a holiday based on gratitude. That was brilliant. And, I am going to keep celebrating Thanksgiving every day for the rest of the year.

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