My parents are coming for Thanksgiving. Their flight arrives just before noon tomorrow. Groceries have not been purchased, the guest bed has not been made, two of our bathrooms smell like pee (thank you, Caleb), several loads of laundry are waiting to be done, and I have little to no intention of cooking anything while my parents are here, except maybe some homemade pizza. On the upside, the twins are at the super cute 4 month old stage where they want to smile and laugh all day, and Caleb is able to fetch and carry and keeps us entertained with his hilarious statements.
This is as different from last Thanksgiving as I can imagine. Last year at this time, the house was spotless, waiting for the arrival of my older sister and parents. I was barely pregnant with few symptoms (we didn't know yet we were expecting twins), and Caleb was 2, in daycare full time, and still sleeping in the nursery. For almost two weeks beforehand, on lunch breaks and after work I ran around laying in supplies. And by "supplies" I mean gourmet groceries and upgraded kitchen equipment I thought my dad would enjoy cooking with. Let's just say I made three trips to Williams-Sonoma in one week and leave it at that. The fridge was stocked with Costco-sized bags of organic carrots, cranberries, brussels sprouts, etc. I was planning to serve 10+ dishes for Thanksgiving dinner, half of which I planned to make; we even had two kinds of turkey. The phone calls planning the meal with my dad were fast and furious. And my mom and I were planning to make pecan rolls and orange cranberry rolls for Thanksgiving morning, along with homemade bread.
This year, we are taking a simpler approach. My main goal is to stay sane and have everyone enjoy spending time together, rather than putting on a fussy, elaborate, elegant meal that no one but me probably appreciated. We are serving the few classic dishes my parents have always served for Thanksgiving, all of which my dad will prepare (turkey, dressing, rutabagas, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce). My sister in law is bringing green beans and all the desserts. And we are not going to make 4 dozen breakfast rolls. If we're feeling ambitious my mom and I might make homemade dinner rolls. But that's a big if.
I didn't give anything much thought this year beyond finding out who was coming and what they would bring. The plan for what we will serve wasn't firmed up until last evening when I called my parents to see what they wanted to have. Without a plan, I haven't grocery shop for anything yet, including food for the other meals we'll eat while they are here. Feeling a bit panicked, I arranged with my parents to stop at a great Kroger on their way to my house from the airport if I need them to.
Having this backup plan has given me the breathing space I needed to get some things done around the house. The guest room sheets are in the dryer, I have a couple loads of laundry on deck, and our house cleaner comes tomorrow to take care of the floors and bathrooms. Now I just need to power through the rest of the laundry, finish writing out the grocery list, make some pizza dough, and take care of the kids. Maybe I'll get around to grocery shopping when Ben gets home from work.