I have this thing about high expectations and I have learned time and time again when I go into situations with unrealistic expectations I am often disappointed.  I could go into so many instances where I have celebrated holidays after sleepless nights of preparing and shopping for the perfect table cloth, matching serving dishes and baking 45 dozen homemade cookies. (I kid you not – I used to start baking in October).  I do things differently now and I am actually able to take in moments like the Thanksgiving parade with my daughter and talk Christmas list with my youngest son Colin.  These moments are so much more important to me.

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I now start preparations the day before! Literally!  I ask other people to participate by bringing their favorite dishes and I focus more on the time spent together then the perfect table cloth.  This year as I threw out the invitations a little late and I did not expect my husbands entire family to show up.  I had estimated about 12 extra people around the table.  Well everyone came and we rang in at about 31!

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I have to say it was one of my favorite Thanksgivings to date.  The food was outstanding.  The kids had cousins to play football with and everyone was glad to just be together.  I went to bed last night tired and happy.



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Today we took our annual trip to the city with my Dad and sister.  It is one of my most favorite days of the year because we only bring the kids old enough to handle a day in the cold city.  There are no distractions and we are able to spend time really hanging out with the older boys.

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I often enjoy the anticipation of these holidays more then the holiday themselves but this year I have to say the feeling is different.  I am grateful for a family that enjoys spending time at our home and although our house is smaller then it used to be we seem to all fit just fine.

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I am just beginning to reflect on this past year.  We as a family have grown in a lot of different ways and we have many areas we need to continue to grow in.  I am so grateful for a warm home, good food, family and the wonderful friends we have that continue to support us.

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Thank you for loving us and sharing your own experiences with us.  I feel less alone in this crazy parenting journey because of all of you.  I am looking forward to 2014 and all the possibility it brings.

The next 33 days give us all an opportunity to continue to reflect on our blessings and prepare ourselves to ring in a big beautiful new year!  How lucky are we?  Happy holidays to each and every one of you!