Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend 2013

The long Thanksgiving weekend was just wonderful.

Flavio did such an amazing job preparing everything that on Turkey Day itself we found ourselves oddly relaxed. We watched movies, took long showers, and waited for guests to arrive with cranberry margaritas in hand. It was lovely. Of course there was the annual chaos of trying to keep 10 different dishes warm at once with our teeny tiny oven, but then I finally declared that this year some sides would be lukewarm and everyone should just have another drink - and ah ha! That is the trick.
{table setting, in progress}
{Gorgeous George, as in Clooney}
{my list}
{table games}
We cobbled together seating in close quarters and enjoyed delicious food, delightful company, a highly competitive pre-dessert Thanksgiving trivia competition, and writing/sharing gratitude on our placemats (I stole the idea from here). We made the rule that you couldn't write/share anything obvious, like health, friends, etc., so everyone's "I am thankful for..." lists were funny and inspired. After dinner we crammed into the living room to eat pie and the birthday cake my mom brought for me, the ladies chatting, the guys watching football. Nothing makes me happier than the laughter and the bustle that comes with a full home. I am now thinking Thanksgiving is my new favorite holiday. (Some years it's Christmas, some years it's Halloween) but Thanksgiving feels like Christmas without all the consumerism, but with all the gluttony and family time! Love.

The Post-Thanksgiving weekend involved lazy mornings, lots of leftovers, precious time with my parents, picking out and trimming our tree, and a trip to the movies to see 12 Years a Slave, which is still haunting me.

On 12 Years a Slave: I nearly had a panic attack in the beginning of the film - it is so horrifying and brutal that I kept squeezing Flavio's hand, sinking lower in my chair, thinking I might leave. But then the film sucks you in, captivates and devastates you, involving you in the psychology of subjugation in a way that makes your feel chained to your chair, truly afraid of what's going to happen next. I've never really experienced this kind of emotional manipulation in a film before. The story chronicles the stages of Solomon's mental state as he moves through periods of confusion, horror, helplessness, Stockholm syndrome, anger, and the continual struggle to maintain his identity and soul - and he takes you right along with him. It's a brilliant, heartbreaking, and important film and I can't stop thinking about it. Somehow, despite its grimness, it felt perfect for Thanksgiving weekend - reminding us that slavery is as important to remember as the pilgrims, and that we are privileged to have the freedom to give thanks. It should be required viewing.

{Saturday night's stunning sunset}
{morning, mimosa, magazine - heaven.}
{day at the park}
I'm feeling a little Sunday sad tonight. The house is quiet, I am anxious about the long work week ahead, and I am missing my parents. On the bright side, our Christmas tree lights are twinkling at me, reminding me I only have 3 weeks left of the semester, and that cookie-baking, holiday gatherings, and the most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner.

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