I have a very large, very loud, very unique and unbelievably extraordinary family.
We love each other.
We hate each other.
We laugh with each other.
We tease each other.
We gossip with each other.
We cry with each other.
We comfort each other.
We protect each other.
Today is Thanksgiving. Today we will all give thanks. Give thanks for our homes, and our food, and our loved ones, and so many other things. As Lily wrote at "sitter-school," she is thankful that her mommy and daddy buy her barbies and love her very much.
We will celebrate an Italian Thanksgiving at my Aunt Karen's house. I am so very lucky; my mom has 5 sisters (well, pretty much 6), 4 being local year-round, including Aunt Cindy, and each major holiday includes family from each sister. My Aunt Karen always has Thanksgiving. There will be around 60+-ish friends and family, including a gazillion kids for the Cuties to play with. We will have turkey, and mashed potatoes, and green beans, and stuffing, and even lasagna. I'm sure the keg will be pouring. I will be able to have my coveted poppy seed bread. Cori will make an apple pie. My Aunt Renee will make a cheesecake. My mom will bring the poppy seed bread and rice crispie treats. There will be pies galore. The Hottie will make his famous deviled eggs. We will draw names for our family Kris Kringle event. My Aunt Karen will have a craft for the kids to do for entertainment. Some of us will plan out our shopping strategies. We will even likely play a game of Left, Right, Center in the garage. It will be perfect. I would not have it any other way.
Growing up, my mom would always instill in us the importance of family. It's THE most important. As I've aged (I AM almost 32!!) I only realize how true that statement is more and more each year. "Family," though is somewhat of a loose term. While most of us are related by some sorts...there are always the friends that have attended our events for so long that they aren't even friends anymore...they're family.
That's one of the greatest things about my family. Yes...we might be overwhelming. We know it. But...there is no family that I know of that is more accepting and welcoming. You might be greeted with lots of drinks and laughter and even questions - but, you will never feel more welcome or loved.
I have been lucky enough to live every day of my life in this family. And...I have been able to extend this family with Bryan and the Cuties.
Boy, am I lucky.
And...Aunt Karen - thank you SOOO very much for taking on this holiday year after year. I look forward to this day, LITERALLY, the entire year. I love you!