I love Thanksgiving but you know what I don’t love? The stress of planning holiday gatherings. This year instead of trying to do too much, I’m tempted to do very little. Instead, I’m delegating. Already I sent an email out to four of my siblings asking them to reply to me what dishes they will be bringing. Most years I look forward to the planning of our annual family Thanksgiving dinner but this year I don’t have it in me. I wish I did, but I don’t. This is me being honest. Ask me in a week how I’m feeling and I might feel differently.
Most days I still struggle with exhaustion. Oddly, my sleep pattern has not returned to normal since coming home from Ethiopia. Normally I work after the kids go to bed. I relish in being a night owl burning the midnight oil and working on this blog. But most nights you will find me in bed no later than 9 pm and waking up around 5 am. This has been very difficult and disruptive. No longer do I have long hour stretches of quietness to work. Instead, the quiet morning hours are non-producing since I can’t seem to wake up to an alert state of mind to get work done. The other hours of my day are busy with taking care of my kids and managing the house. I’m not complaining, just explaining what my life is like currently.
But you know what’s nice about Thanksgiving? I find myself thinking a lot about everything I’m thankful for. Even though Thanksgiving cooking is stressful, I am thankful for so many things.
For instance, Dad’s birthday is Monday. This is his second birthday we will honor since his passing. I’m thankful for just how well mom has adjusted and how our grieving has become acceptance as we’ve moved on and forward in our lives.
I’m thankful my husband and I are in a good groove in our marriage. It might be strange to point this out but in a day and age where many people we know are struggling, separating, and divorcing, I am thankful we are doing remarkably well. As in, we are not just going through the motions of being married, we actually enjoy being married to one another. If you knew of our struggles 10 years ago, you would say this current sentiment is nothing short of a miracle.
The kids are active in sports, clubs, and other activities. As much as I complain about being a full-time driver, I’m thankful for the opportunities they are pursuing. Especially considering, both my husband and I weren’t as fortunate.
I am thankful for family and friends who bring us joy each day by their encouragement, words, deeds, and friendship.
I am thankful to have had the opportunity to go to Ethiopia and see the world a whole different way.
Most of all, I am thankful for the gift of grace and love. I don’t talk about my Christian faith here often but how can I not acknowledge how thankful I am for Christ’s love for me? Which is the same love He has for you.
When I slow down long enough to take my eyes off of myself, I realize just how much I have to be thankful for. And if you’re reading this, I’m thankful for you, too.
Today I’m sharing a recipe that has been simmering in my head all week. I wanted to create a stress-free dessert which didn’t require all that much effort. When I put it all together, it turned out way better than I expected. These deep-fried pumpkin pie wontons are dangerous. Like, get them away from me or I’ll eat 10 of them dangerous. Made with canned pumpkin pie filling (yes, I cheated and used canned pumpkin pie filling for the sake of ease), I doctored the filling up just slightly by adding a touch of spice to it before deep frying them and coating them with cinnamon-sugar.
After I made them I kept 5 of them at home so everyone could eat one piece and I took the rest to soccer practice. I offered one dessert piece to parents and players and they disappeared very quickly with requests for more. Sharing the love is a beautiful thing.
One thing I haven’t tried is to make the wontons in advance and freeze them until I’m ready to fry them, like traditional wontons. This will be my next experiment and I’ll come back and report my results. If this were the case, I could make a ton of these in advance and cook them up right before serving. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
But for now, I think you should make these soon. Like today. Keep a couple for yourself and give the rest away. I guarantee you will make someone happy with these babies and perhaps you will come away thankful yourself.
The full recipe along with step-by step photos can be found on my new post at PBS Parents here.