Thanksgiving Family Drama

Thanksgiving is the time of year that we’re all gather together with our families. We all sit at the table as one big happy family, say a prayer before someone carves the turkey, and spend the day feasting and enjoying each other’s company. All week long at work, clients have all asked me the same thing. Do you go to your grandparent’s house? Do you spend Thanksgiving with ALL your family? Are you closer t your mom’s family or your dad’s family? I guess with the holidays around, they feel more comfortable to ask me such personal questions; maybe they are just trying to get to know me a little more. So here are my answers; no, we don’t go to any grandparent’s homes. No, we don’t spend it with all of our family & no, we aren’t close to either side of the family. Sad to say, yes, but has it worked for my immediate family, yes. Being the oldest grandchild from both sides of the family and never being naive  I was very observant of all the favoritism my grandparents had (on both sides of the family). Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, may be your family yes, unfortunately the world is full of liars, vindictive, and shady people…and yeah, you may even be related to them.

People try so hard to get the acceptance of their families, I mean, that’s who you are suppose to love and be supported by, right? Sometimes, jealousy, envy, and greed get the best of people and they ruin the bond they are supposed to have with their families. Many of us have these kinds of people in our families, some may try their hardest to fix things and are never met halfway, and others may keep on holding the same grudge or having the same meaningless argument and never resolve anything. And then they are people like my parents. Both so strong in their own individual ways, but yet complement each other well. My parents got tired of the gossip, the lies, the grudges, the bullshit, and the wishy washy-ness that was all for nothing. Being that they eloped at a very young age I am sure the family each had their own opinions about them lasting together. But come on, it’s been over 35 years, they are obviously happily married and have a great life to show for all  their hard work…so if the family can’t get over that…then I guess that’s just too damn bad, right?

This Thanksgiving season, I have realized so much. Even though I didn’t understand at the time why my parents kept to themselves and kept us away from all the family drama, I totally get it now. For those of you that are trying to fix unhealthy relationships with your families and in-laws. Really take a look at the bigger picture. Are they meeting you halfway? Is it really worth it? Are you just wasting your time? Are you hurting your family or putting your marriage in jeopardy? I like to think my parents got together and asked themselves and each other these same questions, because our childhood was so drama free and good by keeping away from the rest of the family. Sure, we are close to a few cousins, aunts, and uncles, but only because there wasn’t ever any drama with them. If you have children and do not have a great relationship with your family or in-laws, focus on making things even better for your children. I know it’s hard when your children do not have that relationship with their grandparents, aunts, or uncles, but why try with people that just don’t care to?

This thanksgiving I have so much to be thankful for. My life isn’t perfect, but incredible, I can’t even explain how wonderful things have gone for me, despite all I’ve been through. All of my family will be at the table this year; my husband, my baby brother & sister in law, my nephews, & my little brother , & even my mother in law. I’m especially thankful for my parents; they are both here, healthy, and together after 40 years. No matter what their families have put them through, how many times they have caused drama or try to ruin their happiness, the both of them stood strong and together. They made sure we had fun holidays always. For this, I am not only blessed, but lucky. I don’t know any other way then to be happy and to stay away from people that want to ruin that. It’s because of them, we all have always sat together at the table for every holiday making wonderful family memories…and can now pass all those traditions to my nephews. Thank you mom and dad, for making me the women I am today, and making our family bond so strong.  Every joyous holiday memory we all have is because of you. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
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Easy Crock-Pot Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Instead of the original recipe that takes quite a bit of time to bake in the oven, I experimented with some of the ingredients, took some out, added my own, and used a crock pot instead. This recipe is always a hit at parties, potlucks, and family gatherings. It’s quick, easy, and yummy! Enjoy!

Easy Crock-Pot Broccoli & Cheese Casserole

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 package (16 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli
1/3 cup milk
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’ s Condensed Cream of Chicken & Herb Soup
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’ s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’ s Condensed Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 jar (8 ounces) pasteurized process cheese sauce (like Cheez Whiz)
2 cups minute white rice
1 cup of warm water
Large Crock-Pot

Heat the butter in your crock-pot high on heat.
Stir the broccoli, milk, soups, and rice.
Bake at high heat  for about 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 or 10 minutes until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
Then add cheese.
After its ready, set your crock pot on low or warm. Then serve. :)

For Eli, With Love

I am not a parent, I can not even imagine how grand love for a child is.  How you can love someone more than anything, even more than yourself, no matter what words have been exchanged or obstacles you have been through between you and them. What I do know is how to love, what it feels like to be given that love, and how incredible it is for your parent to love you even at your weakest times. I am lucky, this I  now know, as an adult. I wish I could tell you I know what you’re going through, I’m sure many of your loved ones can say the same thing. I may not know what its like to loose a child, but I do know what it’s like to suffer a loss such as yours. I did not know your son as I do you, and I’ll admit, its been a bit difficult for me to call, text, or even post anything to you on facebook. I guess I just didn’t want to sound like everyone else. I’ve been there, I know that know matter what comforting words people tell you, they either sound all the same, or you just start not to hear them…the pain turns you numb.

I have learned so much about why our loved ones do what they do to live among those that are no longer with us. There is not a wrong answer or a right answer to why these things happen. Just like we can not grasp why things like this happen, they can’t explain it either. So I’ve learned to stop questioning things and most of all blame myself. Everyone has their religious beliefs on what happens to those that take their own lives. I lost someone I deeply cared about to this exact same thing. Only those that are close to me know about it and how I feel about it now. When it happened, everyone had their own spiritual belief as to what happens to the soul of someone that does such a thing.  That God may not forgive them, they’ll be in purgatory, or even hell.

I am not the most religious person, I’ll be the first to admit that. But I will tell you my belief. I think God puts people in our lives for a purpose, sometimes we figure out what that purpose is…sometimes we don’t, so when they leave us in this way, we never understand. We learn how to love, how to forgive, and how to be a part of someone’s life. I believe God makes some of those people his special angels, they do his will and duties here with us, and then they are to report back to him and help him in heaven. And as a reward to them for leaving their loved ones with such sadness, he gives them eternal life with him, doing everything they love to do always. I really believe that.

So when you think of your boy, think of him being a part of something bigger than all of us and this earth put together. His mind, body, and soul are in pure bliss and he will be your guardian angel always. He will not only protect you here on earth, but is also making sure everything is perfect for you when its your time to meet up with him, and that will happen, even though none of us know when that day will come. One day we will all meet in our own heaven. Till then, every bird, every flower, every rainy day, every breeze, and every sunny day…he is there in all of these beautiful living things to remind you he is with you and watching over you.  Maybe that’s a way for our loved ones that are no longer with us to smile at us …so always remember to smile back.  They are with us always. ❤

Melanoma

Melanoma
(skin cancer) is a serious concern. It’s so important to protect children (and ourselves) as much as we can, please keep your children lathered up in sunscreen, wearing caps, hats & sunglasses too (helps limit the chances of future cataracts). Each sunburn a child experiences can increase their chance of future problems, plus its very uncomfortable for them.

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