Countdown to Turkey Day 2013, The This Is Very Difficult Edition

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Heather says:

Last week it hit me that October passed and I hadn’t even given my annual pre-Turkey Day photo shoot any thought. It simply didn’t happen.

Yesterday I drove to my old house to drop off something and I was struck by how autumn had finally arrived while I wasn’t paying attention.

There are things I won’t allow to be taken from me*.

Thanksgiving is one, so many things aren’t the same, not that being the same is the point. . . This is the year that the traditions really matter, the old and the new.

Know that there will be fewer pictures and some things will be different, but this part will still be true:

[…] even if nothing comes out right, your mom, sister, and drunk uncle Roy are driving you nuts, or if it’s just not turning out as planned, Thanksgiving is a celebration in the spirit of gratitude. The fact that we have friends and family willing to even begrudgingly come together is a sign we are truly blessed [. . .]

We have two families in this life, the one we are given and the one we create; embrace them both this holiday season.

This has been a difficult year full of change and loss, but there has also been joy. While I did have to say goodbye to my sisters far too soon, I have also celebrated welcoming others into the family. (Yes, looking at you, Eugene** ) That was a wonderful day, and Connie, yes, I will note the second photo was staged.

MahWedding-31 MAHwedding

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in my own head lately, wandering around the internet and my neighborhood. In that wandering, I’ve been noticing a theme of light and I’m trying to get there, but there is no guide. When you are in the dark and walking toward that light, sometimes you stumble, sometimes you curse, and sometimes you wonder if you’ll ever get there. As silly as this series has been in the past, this year, I want to head toward the holidays with some hope. I want to sit down on Thanksgiving and be able to look back at this year, not with horror and grief, but with a sense of accomplishment just for making it through and maybe in that, I’ll find the gratitude I know I should feel.

Will you come with me? Will you hold my hand and just be grateful for that moment?




The Countdown to Turkey Day series is an annual collection of articles that will help you get ready for the holiday without worry. Novices and seasoned hosts participate, to help get ready to kick off the holiday season without the stress of trying to remember every little thing. (I happily keep you on track.) If you are already a Home Ec 101 subscriber, you don’t have to do anything, just keep showing up and maybe say hi, so I know you’re still out there. If not, feel free to follow along via email or RSS.

We will get this done, together.


Professional Photos were taken by:Β  Joseph W Niestedt


*By zombies. . . it’s the passive voice test, if you can add by zombies, you’ve written in the passive voice and should consider revising or simply use it as a way to share an excellent grammar test that makes me giggle.

**while I’m talking to you, could you share that wedding pic of the three of us? You know the one that was “during” the ceremony.

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15 thoughts on “Countdown to Turkey Day 2013, The This Is Very Difficult Edition”

  1. I’m so glad to see this post – not that I need to prepare for thanksgiving over this side of the pond. Very thankful you’re surviving such a tough, tough time x

      • Heather, I’m right there with you. We lost my mom very suddenly back in July. All I really want to do is go to bed and pull the covers over my head until January. Usually, I’m the perky always happy one… not this year. My cousin got married recently and moved into a new house. We will be celebrating with her. Also, I’m making something totally different from my usual contribution. I’m hoping that with these changes we all will be able to enjoy the holiday. I’m sure there will be tears, but I hope we can make some happy memories too.

  2. Thanks, Heather. I’ve never liked staged photos, but I’m glad we got that shot so my new mother- and father-in-law could see the characters on the book we were using.

    I love the smile on your face in the real photo. Thank you again for officiating. We love you.

  3. Be strong and believe in your faith. He only gives you what you can handle. I am not a religious person but I am spiritual person. I will be thinking of you and hoping your pain subsides.

  4. My father passed away during the holiday season so I know grief can be tough, especially what that first holiday season comes around. Speaking of light, I found comfort in big rays of sunshine streaming through the clouds. There’s something comforting about light. Sending you hugs!


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