Taking stock, making stock

Just as the damp autumn leaves swirl around outside the windows this time of year, so do my emotions this week of thanks and giving. We have so much for which to be thankful that I feel full to the brim with love and gratitude for all that we have when so many have so little.

Today I’m thinking an awful lot about my mother-in-law Laurel. She’s undergoing a final chemo treatment before another series of tests early next week, and everyone is so hopeful the results will show vast improvement since last time. She’s feeling really good, too, and as always, her spirits are up, and her smile is broad.

Accompanying her at treatment today is her sister Linda, who traveled across the country to bring their 94-year-old mother Beth from Florida to California, to stay permanently just up the road from Roth’s parent’s house. This Thanksgiving, Laurel will be surrounded by many of her close family members — her sister, her brother, and her mother — and I can’t help but feel so happy about that, even though I wish we could somehow beam ourselves there, too.

Tomorrow, though, will see the arrival of my mom and stepdad, who are flying in from California to spend a few days with us. We’ve cooked many a Thanksgiving dinner here in Seattle, but this is the first time we’ve done it in a house with a proper dining room, and I cannot express how excited I am about getting to set a table big enough to accommodate all of our guests. My lovely cousin Julia and her boyfriend will be joining us, too.

As always, Roth is on point with the Thanksgiving feast preparations. Last night he started the brining process for the turkey. Tonight we will make a goat cheese terrine for early snacking on Thursday. And in addition to all the usual suspects — dressing, mashers, gravy, Brussels — we are making a signature cocktail! Roth heard about this recipe on NPR, for a spiced cranberry sangria, so we’re giving it a go. (I shall allow myself just a little bit.)

Rowan is very excited about the arrival of his Beppe and Pake, too. We’ve been counting down now for several “sleeps.” In fact, he was so sure THIS morning was Beppe day that he got quite angry at Roth when he told him it wasn’t. We managed to win him over with donuts before work/daycare, which is usually our Friday routine.

I’m very excited I’ve reached the point in pregnancy (18 weeks) where constant nausea has subsided, but I’m not so big yet that I can guiltlessly enjoy the heck out of a pile of potatoes without too much physical discomfort. Acid reflux is another story, but I’ve got Tums at the ready.

I just adore Thanksgiving so much, and I’m so grateful we get to spend it with family this year, too. I wish we could see everyone, even if for only a little while (thinking about you, Dad), but I’m thankful we’ve got plans in place for Christmas visits with everyone we’re missing this week.

Wishing you and yours the very best this Thanksgiving, too.

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