Sunday, January 19, 2014

Thanksgiving 2013 in DC!

Thanksgiving this year was an interesting one! Instead of Nate and I flying out to Utah or Idaho to visit family, my family came to us! We had the privilege of having my sweet mother and father and my sister Anna, come to visit. They were here for over a week. I regret not taking more pictures now of all the fun things that we did, but here is a run down of the pictures that I did take. 

Mom and Dad wanted to come and see my classroom of course while they were here. They love watching me teach and seeing me in action with my 47 kindergartners. So when they came in, I decided to put them to work! I had my mom read them a Thanksgiving story. I asked my dad if he wanted to read to my PM class but he said he would rather have Mom do it. :) My mom was a pro and did a great job! 
We went to Georgetown one day and when shopping! I love that cute little place. We hit up the cupcake shops and French macaroon shop, toured a historic old home, did some shopping, had lunch at a famous pizza place, and of course warmed our souls with some Starbucks salted caramel hot chocolate...my favorite. :)
Exploring through Dean and Deluca....a fun gourmet foodie store. 

Thanksgiving day we spent preparing the food of course and cooking up a storm. It was a little different this year. Usually at my parent's house, mom uses fancy platters to serve the food, she has all of her equipment readily available to her to make all of her fancy recipes. This year, we took it a little easy. We still had all the fixins, but everything was a bit simplified. I only have a couple glass pans and serving dishes, so we had to use disposable aluminum pans for a few of our items! Oh well! It was a quiet and simple Thanksgiving but memorable none the less. 

Nate was in charge of our turkey. (Notice his no shave November?) He went all out on this one. He brined that bird for 24 hours in advance in all sorts of broths and spices. Then he cooked it to perfection and it came out very moist and juicy. I am usually not a big fan of the turkey but I actually liked Nate's turkey quite a bit! Good job Chef Nate!

 Here is me staying busy in the kitchen! I was mostly in charge of the yams, green bean casserole, and the mashed potatoes. Anna made our favorite Sister Tucker's cranberry salad and was an expert table decorator and drink pourer. Mom mastered the stuffing, gravy, and pies, peanut streusal to be exact. Nate the turkey. Dad provided the cranberry sauce and turkey carving skills. And our friend Rhode provided the rolls. Told you we went simple! Store bought rolls on Thanksgiving......
(Sorry for my crazed look in this picture.)





And then there was the annual Black Friday shopping!
Or should I say, Black Thursday night shopping.....
Now don't hate me for this, or say, "How could you on Thanksgiving? Go out and shop instead of being at home spending time with family?" Now I understand that argument completely. But in my case, my family was with me and it is a tradition that we have to go out and get into all the madness. Even if we don't necessarily need anything, we still go for the fun of it! I enjoy seeing all of the crazies and acting like one myself!
Here is Anna and I standing in line at Target in the freezing cold. 
Here is Anna and I studying the Target ad and making our game plan before the big moment. 
Here is Mom, Anna, and Nate rushing into the store the second that they opened! Dad stayed home to watch football and read. He isn't into the madness. :)
We came out with some awesome deals.....and many other awesome deals as we shopped the night away. We went to Target, Kohl's, Macy's, Banana Republic, the whole mall pretty much. It was an eventful night!

I didn't take a single picture, but also when mom was here, we made chocolates together! We made eggnog, chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, and almond joys. We made the fillings from scratch and then hand dipped each one. I have wonderful memories of my mom doing this from year to year and I am pleased to keep up with the tradition! 

We spend a couple days in DC while my family was here. We spent a whole day at the Holocaust Museum. We also went to the Museum of American History and the United States Botanical Gardens for their Christmas display. 
They had amazing displays completely made of plants. It was cool!

We also spent a day in Middleburg. We parked and walked around exploring through all the fun shops. Anna found a cute Chevron bag with an A on it. We got lost in the Christmas store and were reminded of Grandma Young, dad's mom, with all of the old fashioned Christmas decorations that she used to have in her home. We sampled some yummy chocolates from the chocolate shop and got some ice cream and hot cider. I found some really cute boutique items on sale and bought myself a fun black dress with a big bow on the front, and a whimsical looking gray/mauve sweater. I was in love with my cheap findings! 

Here is a picture of the outside of the butcher shop. It is an actual butcher shop like in the olden days with fresh, local, organic meats for sale. They have other fun things too. I bought a maple bacon chocolate bar for Nate's stocking. Isn't the outside of the building cool with the pillars? I love it! 
My parents were so nice and brought with them a ton of fun Christmas decorations for me to decorate my house with before they left. The last night that they were there, we decorated and hung everything up. I love this time of year that we get to spend with family and celebrate what we are thankful for and also our Savior's birth. Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!

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