Our Thanksgiving weekend was, by one measure, perfect. We were intensely busy for parts of the weekend. At others we sat around and did nothing. Every long, holiday weekend should have that balance.

C and I went to watch some of her classmates play for the CYO girls basketball city championship Tuesday night. They lost, handily, but C had fun watching them.

Wednesday I snuck a trip into Costco before our builders sent some guys over to wrap up the final thing they still needed to fix. Their work took the entire day so I was glad I had all my Thanksgiving shopping done.

Thursday we did something new, for us, to begin our holiday celebrations: we walked the short course of the biggest Thanksgiving race in town. We were joined by a few friends and our three, two-year-old nephews and their families. It was chilly but clear and dry, and walking for about an hour was a nice way to kick off the day.

We scrambled home to get the food prep underway. I was taking care of the bird – I did two turkey breasts rather than a full bird – corn soufflé, dessert, and the obligatory Giada’s stuffing. We were running well behind schedule, but fortunately all of our guests walked and they were also running late, too. So it all worked out! It turned out to be a really nice day so after stuffing ourselves, we were able to sit on the back porch for a bit watching football on the outdoor TV. It was a small group for our family, only 13 counting the little ones. We will have a bigger group at Christmas.

A couple things different about Thanksgiving in the new house. First, we have double ovens, which made it much easier to get everything ready. The fact that the turkey took a lot longer than I expected which would have caused a much bigger problem if we didn’t have the other oven to throw things in. Second, at our old house you couldn’t see the TV from the kitchen. Over the past 15 years football became less and less a part of my Thanksgivings because I was usually in the kitchen working. Now, though, the family room is directly off the kitchen. So I could sneak peaks at the Bears-Lions game as I was prepping dinner.

Friday as traditionally been our Christmas tree day. That changed with the new house, too. We caved and finally got an artificial tree. We needed something that was tall but also skinny because of the space where a tree would fit best. So a week ago, when the girls had their snow day, we bought a fake tree and stashed it in the hall closet. Friday we busted it out and put it together. It looks pretty good, I admit. But I am very much missing the smells that come with a real tree. We got some of those little scent sticks you can hang as ornaments the give the impression of a fir, but they don’t work very well. As I saw other people driving around this weekend with their trees on top of their cars, I felt pangs of jealousy.

Saturday we went out to look for some more decorations. The girls were very excited that the nursery we went to had a bunch of llamas out for petting and pictures. M has been obsessed with llamas since before it was cool to like them. The look on her face was priceless. Of course, five minutes later she blew off Santa and then minutes after that she made C cry. Freaking teenagers.

S and I went out to dinner with friends that night. We had some excellent food, better conversation, and my pal and I drank some very enjoyable bourbon.

Sunday began with laziness. L really wanted to see the new Grinch movie. At first I thought it would just be she and I, but everyone ended up going. L really liked it. I thought it was ok and struggled not to fall asleep three different times. I prefer the original. Grumble, grumble…

There was, of course, a lot of football and basketball sprinkled in. I watched KU win two games in the NIT. We watched the Pacers lose. We watched some of the high school state title games. Lots of college games Saturday and most of the Colts game on Sunday. L and I even got outside Sunday to throw the football and baseball for a few minutes.

All in all a pretty decent weekend. We were very lucky to have pretty great weather the entire time, with several days in the 50s. Hopefully all my readers back in the Great Plains are safe and sound and digging out from the blizzard. We a getting a few flakes today but the windchill is expected to be around 10 tomorrow morning.