Thanksgiving table

I wrote my last post feeling good that I wrote it, but not feeling great about the uncertainty of how the day would turn out. I did what I could to focus on the positive, but I couldn’t shake my anxiety. That usually leads me to do nonsensical things. So on Thursday morning, I woke up and announced to my husband that we were going to do a first annual family Turkey Trot. He gave me a look of alarm. (WTF, his face seemed to be screaming. I didn’t sign up for any sort of exercise program this year!!!) I reassured him that I thought we should just run to the corner and back.

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A family photo before our 1st Annual .000001K Turkey Trot

I won’t lie – this was fun! I’m going to push everyone to go a little further next year though, lol. Then, we called my dad who lives in Florida. Talked to him for a bit, wishing him a Happy Thanksgiving. Then, FaceTimed my brother, who was sitting at the airport ready to take a flight to Vietnam. (He does Thanksgiving big, ha.) Since my family does Thanksgiving dinner at 6PM, I had to feed the kids a little lunch before putting them down for a nap. With the anxiety still eating at me, I took Giada on a walk…and then came home to watch The Real Housewives of Orange County on Hulu. (I know, I know….We all have our vices!) A few episodes of Tamra and Vicki yelling took the edge off a bit, but I was still a bundle of nerves. My husband knew this and kept reassuring me that everything was going to be okay. “They’re you’re family. They love you and want to see the kids.” For as often as I tell him that he’s wrong not right in his assessment, he was absolutely spot on this year.

Thanksgiving turned out to be a really good night.

I have no idea what changed. Either my aunts and uncles realized that they needed a softer approach with me, or maybe I came in with a different perspective but everything went really well this year. We talked. We laughed. And my kids were the headliners as The Kid ran all over the place, smiling and hugging everyone while The Girl cried the first hour when anyone -other than my husband or me – tried to hold her. (She did warm up by the end of the night.) The food was awesome. I learned a couple of new Vietnamese words (I’m trying to learn one new word a day), including liver and (a word that could be loosely translated to) rugrat. All in all, a fun night & we made plans to get together again as a family next month. We left at around 11PM, smiles on our faces and leftovers in the trunk.

The next day, we went to my friend’s place for Thanksgiving Part II. This is a friend I grew up with (our parents were friends), and honestly, I committed to her Thanksgiving because I was deathly afraid something would go awry with my family and I wanted at least one good Thanksgiving for 2017. Luckily, it was another great night. All the kids ran around and the adults all appreciated the neverending pours of wine. And the food…omg, the food. So good. (My friend is an awesome cook.) This family is also Vietnamese, so I learned two more words/phrases on this night (“Calm down” and gravy…actually, there was a lengthy discussion for gravy, so there were two debated translations for gravy. Ha ha.) Because The Girl was starting to show signs of being tired, we were the first to leave at 11. Before I left, my friend’s dad took my hand and said, “You know, I have watched you grow up and I value your friendship with my daughter. You and your family are my family, and I hope you know that you are like one of my daughters.” I was holding The Girl with tears streaming down my face. I turned around to see my friend with the same amount of moisture trickling down her cheeks. She pulled me in and said, “We are sisters, Diana.” Despite wanting to kill them for making me cry (I kid, I kid), I will say that this was one of the best Thanksgivings I’ve ever had – 2017 did not fail and in fact, my anxiety was a wasted emotion. My guard is down and remains down. I am relieved and look forward to next year’s festivities.

But first: Christmas. 🙂

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Thanks for following along.

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