Mid-Holiday Meditation

Whew ... Thanksgiving's over. We made it out alive. I must say, though there were a few in the bunch who tried to sour things up, no one else supplied the energy necessary for the negativity to gain momentum.

An uneventful Thanksgiving is what I strive for, so I slapped the "success" label on it after everyone finally left at about 9 pm Thursday night. I made out pretty OK with birthday gifts: an espresso machine and burr coffee grinder from billy; dish cloths, glass fruit bowls and a wire cooling rack from mom and erin; a framed picture from ashlee; and a sapphire-pendant necklace from marlene (billy's mom).

unfortunately, i'll spend my actual birthday (sunday, nov 27) stamping save the date cards at brenda's house. i'm hoping that i'll get over it as billy presented me with breakfast in bed this morning and i convinced him to give me the rest of my present a day early. yes, there's more. i also received the first three Harry Potter books in hardcover.

Now, I've read all 6 books, however, I borrowed the first five from a friend. Over the years I've collected books 4-6 but I never managed to get the first three. Therefore, this was a real treasure trove. I plan to begin re-reading the series immediately. I read books 1-5 in the span of about a month, so a lot of it really ran together. I must say, out of the movies, Prisoner of Azkaban remains my absolute favorite. Goblet of Fire runs a close second, though. I have a feeling that Order of the Phoenix will blow both movies out of the water.

In other non-wedding news: My friends Jessica and Ben from UNCG gave birth to their first child, a boy named Noah Henry. That's a very good, strong Appalachian name in my opinion. I'm not really close to them any longer, but I am so happy for them. They live an enchanged life to which Noah Henry will only add laughter and joy.

-- Kelly

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I am thankful for my family and my health and all those things...

But dude. Last year when I hosted Thanksgiving, it was smooth sailing - no one complained about the time, no one moaned about having to bring something, no one came up with reasons why we had to do their part for them.

This year is completely different. I don't know if it's because other people really wanted to do Thanksgiving and think that we usurped the holiday (which, c'mon, speak up!) or if our families just really don't want to participate.

To be honest, it makes driving across here and yonder to eat with everyone on Thanksgiving almost worth it. Notice I say almost - the fact is, it's completely unfair for our one- and two-person household family members to expect us to eat full meals at each place. That's why we decided to just do it at our house and have people come over if they wanted... Simple, really. Majority rules.

Because I am the cooking 2/3 of the holiday meal by myself, preparing the house by myself and will wind up cleaning by myself, I've decided to make some executive decisions about next year. Yes, we will have Thanksgiving dinner at 4 pm sharp -- 3, 3:30, or 5. Yes, will only be having turkey or ham -- not both, unless of course you want to bring one. No, I will not buy the ingredients you need to prepare the dish you're bringing. And, no, you cannot make your dish at my house -- if you can't make it ahead of time then we won't be eating it.

Does everyone's family make things this difficult or is mine the only one?

Now - on to wonderful wedding updates:

* I think I've finally decided on centerpieces. I want hurricane glass filled with green apples, pears and grapes, along with miscellanous green herbs like rosmary and sage. I will tie a lavender ribbon around the belly of each glass.

* My ideas for favors have gone from super cheap to super time-consuming. I think I've finally settled on putting together green and purple tissue flowers filled with candies. I'll attached a word to each flower: hope, love, faith, wisdom, etc.

* I have wanted a single-flower type bouquet, but I think I've seen the light. I saw a beautiful bouquet of purple and green garden roses, lavendar, lilac and bells of ireland. just gorgeous. i think some variation of that will be perfect. I want to do a hand-tied ribbon and I plan to create a dragonfly charm to hang from the bouquet.

*My cake toppers are coming together. I want green-iced cakes with purple flowers on top. Nestled in each bunch of flowers I'll put a green crystal dragonfly brooch. I found two beautiful ones on Ebay -- and both are now in my possession. I need just one more.

* I've planned my cake display: three separate cake stands of different heights to hold the cakes (three obviously), purple glass of various shapes, sizes and hues around the cakes and green fruits (like in the centerpieces) scattered around the glass.

Okay. So I'm really excited about things and I wish I could just do it all and get it over with. Alas, there's much more to do. For example, I still have to meet with a few potential cakemakers (though now I'm thinking we could make it from scratch), nail down a photographer and get my save-the-dates and invitations out the door -- just to name a few.

I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving full of grateful family and friends.

-- Kelly

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Here's The Update

In the time since I last posted these things have happened:

-- My sister is home from England for a month-long visit. So far we've only hung out at the house, but she will accompany us to see HARRY POTTER opening weekend at the IMAX. I'm still smarting over the fact that opening night of HP at the IMAX was sold out. I should've expected it but damn!

-- I've designed and ordered save the date magnets, and chosen both my invitations and embossing style. I've also chosen a theme: Dragonflies. When I lived in Greensboro, there were no less than three local artists who were also good friends who were supposed to paint dragonfly murals for me when I finally bought a house. None of them are around to do that, but my dragonfly love has found a way to carry on. Don't tell anyone, but I saw some dragonfly wallies that would be SO CUTE in a nursery.

-- I've switched jobs at work. Now I write for the travel industry instead of the health care/lab market. The difference is that my work load is shuffled and I've wound up with a daily newswire and a bi-monthly pub. I think the actual amount of work is the same, just spaced differently. The travel industry is drastically different from my previous markets - but hopefully it'll help me stay on top of cheap travel options.

-- My father's area was hit by a tornado this weekend. Luckily, neither he nor his children live in the path of the twister. After I knew everyone was OK, I had a brief flash that maybe someone else is now traveling to the Land of Oz. I know it's stupid, but have you read the books? I just did for the first time (my knowledge of Oz is all from Hollywood) and I feel like a different person.

-- My sister (Erin), nephew (Matt) and mom played Trivial Pursuit Jr for Matt's birthday after his birthday dinner (which was a hit - Raspberry Chipotle-marinated tenderloin, oriental greenbeans and homemade mashed potatoes with gravy). Erin dominated the board, but I was the only one to answer correctly on all the pies. Therefore I win. But it was funny how much Erin enjoyed playing the game - looks like there's a boardgame geek in all of us.

-- Did I mention that I chose my colors? Dark lavendar and mint green. I love them together and it's very dragonfly-ee. For favors, the girls are going to help me make glycerin soaps (one with a lavendar bud, one with a mint leaf). I love being crafty!

OK - I think that's really all that's going on. As always, I'm wrestling with my mother for control, but if I weren't I'd think something was wrong.


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