Thanksgiving has come and gone *sigh of relief* inserted here. Growing up, Turkey Day meant 50 of our closest family and friends would descend upon our home in the morning and stay all night, often until the wee hours of the following morning. My parents were so busy cooking, cleaning, and talking, they didn't have time to tell me to brush my hair, get out of the tree, put down the book, or help my sister with (fill in the blank with some chore I really did not want to do). It was a day of freedom - heaven in the eyes of my pre-teen self. Now, 20 years later, I still find myself excited for the time off with the hubby and our little man. But, tethered to the joy is more than a little stress for the day ahead. It has become a day of chasing a toddler around a house that is not mine, not drinking much so I can chase said toddler, trying not to get in the way, trying to keep the toddler out of the way, and playing helicopter parent (not a standard practice in our home) because I am constantly worried that the our toddler will find an accidentally-left-open-door and make a beeline for the street. I still love being with friends and family, but the stress can be more than a little overwhelming. Hence my *sigh of relief* when Black Friday arrives bringing a calm missing in the prior day (er, days?). It is the start of a long weekend of lazy mornings, baking, long walks, football, and staying in pajamas all day. Plus, there is something so repetitive about the menu and the format of Thanksgiving with little variation from year to year. Don't get me wrong, I love these family traditions; they filled my childhood simultaneously with stability and excitement. But, I am realizing that it might be time for my little family to start some traditions of our own that don't involve rushed mornings, long car rides, or trips to the airport. This was a not unappreciated gift my parents gave to me and is a tradition I intend to pass on to my kids. I think I will begin with my favorite holiday - Christmas. So here is my huge "THANK YOU" to my wonderful family for all the work that went into creating lasting memories of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, Easter, and Fourth of July for all us kids. You better believe I will be stealing some and building upon others. But, with a little man running around and a baby diva on the way, it is time for our little family to muddle our way through this time of year creating lasting memories of these special days for the next generation. I can't wait to share it all with all of you!