The good stuff.

A few years ago, when we were expecting our now 6yo, Hank and I made the hard decision that we would stay home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You see, when we traveled to see family during the holidays, we spent a lot of time driving back and forth between their homes. A lot. And because it seemed to always be squeezed into a small amount of time, we felt like we didn’t really get to see our family very much unless we split up, and then we didn’t get to spend the holidays with each other.

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But even though we’ve chosen to stay put during this time and travel to see family for longer periods during the summer, and even though we joke about “Friends are family that you choose,” we still miss our moms and dads, sisters and brother, nieces and nephews, and my oldest son terribly. Especially in those times set aside to really focus on family and come together to celebrate it.

Our second major decision about the holidays? Lemons to lemonade, baby.

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We invited friends over to cook things in the yard. That’s right. One in the turkey fryer and one in the smoker.

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Now before you get completely weirded out by that picture above with too many wings and things, I’ll let you in on the masterpiece of the day.

It’s a turducken.

Yep. A chicken, inside of a duck, inside of a turkey.


Also weird? I couldn’t tell duck from chicken from turkey; everything was just yummy and smokey-flavored and falling-apart-tender.

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But my most favorite part of any holiday is…

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Game time. We raided the kids’ stash to play Headbanz. It was OMAWORD FUNNY.

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I had no idea that they make an adult version of the game; it doesn’t have pictures, though, so I can’t imagine that it would be as fun as the kid version.

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And anytime you have a group of people sitting around the table looking this ridiculous, there has to be snorting.

We played until the little guys had finished watching Star Wars, then gave up and passed around the sleeping baby, only to join her.

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Ah, that’s the good stuff. Little full bellied kiddos with sticky hands from putting too much whipped cream on slices of pie, passed out after a full-on nerf gun war and a good flick.

Just about the best family holiday ever.