I missed my gravy dish. And the pine cone name card holders. And a Fall tablescape. And black Friday ads spread across the family room floor. And the scent of turkey mingled with my Gold Canyon pumpkin spice candle filling the air. And Christmas music being drowned out by the clanging of spoons and the whir of beaters and sisters laughing and cousins chasing each other around the house. I missed being home for the holidays. And I think that's perfectly okay. New Zealand will have her turn to be missed, there will be plenty of weekends in the future when I'll be itching to go explore, and many long drives to California when I will yearn for the beach to be in our back yard, and countless times that I'll look out at the sagebrush and cactus and ache to be surrounded by green. But for today I missed the silly little things and the bigger things too. I just missed being home. But celebrating another New Zealand Thanksgiving was good. It was different, but it was good in it's own way. I loved how excited our neighbors and friends were as they looked forward to the event. Judy took the entire day off of work so that we could cook together. We ran back and forth between our houses, borrowing dishes, using each other's ovens, sharing ideas and tasting recipes. I had Jason bring back some canned pumpkin and butter flavored crisco from the states, making pumpkin pie from scratch was a once in a lifetime event that I didn't care to repeat. We hosted about 30 friends and neighbors, each bringing a dish and a warm embrace. We had stuffed chicken (no $90 turkey this year) next to the venison. Potatoes next to the kumara. Pumpkin pie next to the pavlova. Jello salad next to the brandy snaps. I loved seeing our two cultures mixed together to create one delicious meal. Kylie came up with a Thanksgiving quiz which was entertaining and enlightening. Like, did you know the Mayflower was originally used to ship wine? Grandma Judy said she would have been first in line to board. Like last year, we had everyone write down three things they were thankful for then we read them out loud and tried to guess who they belonged to. I love this new tradition and I love how heartfelt and choked up people became. No matter where you live, no matter what you celebrate, having a chance to reflect on all that you have to be grateful for is really a beautiful thing. Happy Thanksgiving.
I love how the missionaries are keeping such a safe distance from the girls :)
Sorry, Megan, the one picture we got of your whole family and Rob had his eyes closed!
I wish I would have taken more pictures, especially of the people that were there. I was more in a enjoy-the-good-food-and-good-company mood than I being-stuck-behind-a-lens mood. And that's okay.