We have hosted Thanksgiving before… the last time being 2010… but it was a much different experience. Parker was a newborn, Katie was still pregnant with Quinn (so no cousins yet), and no one spent the night with us. This Thanksgiving was a lot of work to prepare for because we had just moved into our new house in October. Where the large dinning table was supposed to go was a stack of boxes to be unpacked, and the table had not yet been located or purchased. To make matters worse, neither Clint nor I were feeling very well at the time. Staying at our house was going to be Clint’s brother Luke, his wife Katie, and their three kids, plus Clint’s dad. My parents and brother just drove out for the day. As we only had a guest room at our condo for a short period before Parker was born (and the guest room became his room), we didn’t get a chance to host a lot of people, and thus I was surprised at the additional preparation required when having people stay at your house. So yeah, long story short, getting prepared for Thanksgiving was an exhausting mess.
That being said, it was really awesome! We loved having all of our family together, and we loved seeing that even with 13 people crowded in, our house still felt comfortable and seemed to accommodate everyone nicely. The kids had a great time playing together. The food was delicious (thanks to my amazing husband and his team of sous chefs)! Our new table (thank you Craigslist) was just the right size– big enough to hold everyone, but small enough that conversation flowed nicely. It turned out to be a relaxing and yummy day.
The next day we all headed down to Sea World. Just as before, I was amazed at what a peaceful amusement park it is. Most of the time, I find amusement parks to be crowded, stressful, and exhausting… yes, fun too, of course… but a bit hectic. Sea World was not deserted by any means, but there was no waiting in long lines, and there was open space, and it was generally a pleasant place to be. The kids were fascinated by the animals, and their wonder and awe was so sweet to watch. Clint and I even got to go on a ride together without the kids. It may have only been five minutes, but it felt like a mini date (maybe we need to go on an actual date soon?). As it was winter, they had a snow area where Austin enjoyed making snow balls, and Parker got to go sledding. It was another great day!
The last day both of our parents were gone, but the rest of us enjoyed a quick trip to our local children’s museum before Luke and Katie hit the road.
So yes, Mom, you were right again: hosting is a lot of work, but it was well worth the effort.
If you missed Part 1 of the holidays at our new house (Halloween), you can find that here. Part 3 (the final edition of the holiday series) is Christmas, which we hosted for the first time ever… stay tuned…