In many ways it was like every Thanksgiving before it, but there were at least two major differences.
Caleb did not ride with us to Montana, nor did he go home with us at the end of the holiday. It had been three long months without him and I couldn't wait to give him a squeeze and spend a few days
with him. We were thankful to Maureen for picking him up on her way to Helena and returning him to school on her way home. They arrived in Helena shortly after we did and it was so good to see him!
The biggest difference, however, was celebrating our first Thanksgiving without Grandma.
The Hatch family is a tight-knit group. They are all so good to me and we have great relationships, but the fact of the matter is, I'm an in-law--the only sister-in-law--not one of the original six. Jon's five sisters did an amazing job putting on Thanksgiving as Karen would have done. Several of them had been together all week planning, shopping and baking. Though I tried to make myself useful and be helpful to the whole process, there were times in the bustlings and conversations that I did not feel a part. It's nothing intentional and I didn't take offense, it simply made me miss Karen all the more. I just felt a little more on the outside than usual or than I ever did when it was her steering the Thanksgiving ship.
One night, I found all of the siblings gathered in their mother's room visiting and laughing hysterically.
Christopher and I were the only runners in the Turkey Trot this year. I love this tradition and was glad he would do it with me.
Our feast that afternoon was super delicious!
We got our Staggering Ox fill and these cousins know how to rep the Y, too.
While we maintained our adults-only dinner tradition, we learned from past mistakes and did not go to Chili's. Jon and I decided, however, that the food and service at the Mexican place we went to instead was just as disappointing. The company is always good, though, and that's what's most important.
It was hard to say goodbye to Caleb at the end of the holiday, but we knew we'd see him in three short weeks for Christmas break.
All in all, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving with family!