“Line up the plates.” Nearly every night that is how anyone within kitchen distance knows that dinner is done. Every meal is a production. Ten or more plates are lined up across our counters and food is placed on each- then each kid makes their way to the table- most of the time I get a plate made too (my husband loves me) but if not, both of us end up eating over the stove with a fork in hand or using this quiet time to just catch up with each other. Often we will decide to do dinner later for ourselves.
There is no 30 day meal prep, even between 2 fridges we couldn’t fit it. Sure, we grocery shop in bulk at the beginning of the month for the shelf stable items and most essentials, but 20+ gallons of milk would have nowhere to go if I brought them all home at once. So we still end up at the grocery store once a week. We have a freezer just dedicated to bread, bagels, and waffles.
It’s funny how normal all of this feels now. And it’s hard to believe this is the easiest meal time has been in years. There was a long time we were heating up baby food jars, making bottles, mixing protein drinks for one of our underweight guys and others of our kiddos had severe dental neglect and needed their food mashed or shredded and so we worked that in there too. My husband has a talent for our meal time prep and this task almost always defaults to him. I am a lucky woman.
Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite holidays. We host our extended family and friends. Even when our household doubles to hold everyone- I pull out my fancy dishes and centerpieces; we use real cloth napkins and tablecloths. We prep for days leading up to it and everyone can just relax and enjoy good conversation and excellent food. I think perhaps the chaos of cooking for large groups that I hear so much about on social media is lost on us. We are blessed that we are already in good practice.
Do you ever envision what the end game of your goals and dreams look like? I do. And it looks like Thanksgiving.
The thought of my children grown with their families sitting around our table(s) someday with all of us catching up, maybe playing board games or cards, or sharing a meal has been something I dream of when I am up rocking a teething baby, or when the housework piles up- when cupcakes are needed for school tomorrow or my checking account is dismal and picture day money is due today for 5 of them at $48 a piece! Or especially when one of the kids brought a real live rabbit into the house and we used a fishing net to get it out. TWICE in one weekend. (We thought it was somehow getting back in) In my mind these are only just a few of the stories bound to come up in the years ahead of us and we will laugh then and reminisce about how wonderful all of this hard work was.
So Happy Thanksgiving all! May you line up your food dishes, keep your kids semi-tame, and love your house full. You know, like a typical Tuesday- but with fancy plates and centerpieces.