Feathered Aspen

Thanksgiving and Life


Its been a long while since my last post.

The past week was very pleasant.  Nana & Grandpa Dave came out last Sunday and stayed for the week of Thanksgiving.  Ellie and I had to work the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so Lily was able to get two full days of Grandparent time.  She spent the first day playing in the house with them.  On Tuesday they took a trip to Tattered Cover where they spoiled Lily and let her pick out 5 new books.  We have a little book worm.  She doesn’t so much as enjoy reading or hearing the stories as much as she does eating the books.  Its a start I guess.  Lily had a blast with her grandparents though.  Its great to watch her coo and play with them.  We miss you already Nana and Grandpa.

Ellie wrote about it in her last post, but we went out with the flu on Halloween.  Apparently Lily is still harboring the bug, or it lives somewhere in our house.  Both Nana and Grandpa Dave went down for the count with the nasty 24 hour bug.  It hit Nana Tuesday night. Luckily she was able to recover for Thanksgiving.  Dave went down Wednesday night, and unfortunately missed out on the Thanksgiving dinner the next day.

On Wednesday morning, Ellie, Lily, I made our Thanksgiving dinner grocery list.  Ellie headed out for a run while Lily and I headed to the grocery store.  Sprouts is one of Lily’s favorite places to go.  She kicks and wiggles with excitement at all the people.  She tries to pull fruit and veggies off the stands in the produce section. And she loves to stick her head in the yogurt case.  After we were about half way through our list, Lily shredded the list into a million pieces in a lightening flurry.  It was pretty funny but left us guessing as to what else we needed.  In the end we managed to succeed.  The only other event of note at the grocer was the old bidy who kept popping up and trying to touch Lily’s face.  After the four separate attempts she made, I thought of a number of things I should have said.  Or, I thought if she popped up again I should just rub her face.

Back home, we made biscuits for brunch and then cooked up a storm in anticipation of Turkey Day.  I prepped the two dressings, brined the turkey, baked bread and made dough for rolls, made a cranberry sauce, and put together a french silk pie.  It was a lot of fun.  Cooking seems to be one of the few hobbies I retained since becoming a working dad.  I love the art of shaping food and making wholesome meals to share with others.  Our kitchen is the heart of our home. It connects to the dinning and living rooms so I was able to cook and spend time talking with Dave, Ellie, and Lily (Nana was out sick in the guesthouse).

Thursday morning, Ellie, Lily and I woke up earlish and laced up our shoes for our first family Turkey Trot.  Last year Ellie (+ Lily in utero) and I ran the race, but we ran separate distances and times.  This year we would do it together with Lily in the Chariot.  Lily was pumped before the race as she took in the crowd of people.  Ellie and I are pretty certain she is going to be a social butterfly.  Once the race began she got bored and fell asleep.  The 10k course took us through Broomfield Commons Open Space and the surrounding neighborhood.  It wasn’t the prettiest course, but it was fun to run with Ellie and Lily.  Aunt Stacy also ran the majority of the race with us as well.  It was great having her along with us.  In the end, we met our goal and came in under an hour in 55:16.  I believe we also placed third in the unofficial baby jogger division.  There were two other speedsters I saw ahead of us.  The past two years the race has been a great experience.  K, Stacy, Stacy’s parents and several of Stacy’s cross country runners joined in the fun this year.  Last year Boobah, Zeydah, Auntie Hannah and Uncle Eamon joined us.  This year and last, the race got me to start my day thinking about three of the things I am most thankful for: family, friends, and running.

Ellie and Stacy at the starting line

Lily amped for her first race ever

Finish Line

Back home we cleaned up and I frantically searched for all the parts to the Turkey deep fryer.  In New Orleans we deep fried our turkey one year, and since then I’m convinced there is no better way to cook a turkey.  Its succulent, moist, and flavorful. It takes 70 minutes to cook. And, best of all your oven is free for all the sides.  Turkey day is one of the few times I forget about being a vegetarian.  Totally worth it.

Frying Turkey (from 2011 courtesy of Brian Devane)

Brian and I lifting the Turkey out last year.


Thanksgiving is by far and away my favorite holiday.  It is a time when you get together with people you love.  Its a time to celebrate local and seasonal foods.  In my opinion it is the most American holiday.  (American in the Jeffersonian ideal that is.) And, its free of religion.

Dinner went off without a hitch.  The turkey was juicy and flavorful.  The mashed potatoes were creamy and buttery (thank you Bob).  The sweet potatoes were savory and filled with pecans (thank you K).  The rolls were steeped in rosemary and garlic.  The biscuits crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.  And the dressing!  My god the dressing always takes the cake.  This year the traditional was filled with thyme and a sweet but spicy sausage.  The nontraditional was chalked with parmesan, mushrooms and artichokes.  mmmm  To top it all off, the savory was balanced with a sweet homemade cranberry sauce flavored with ginger, cloves, and orange zest.

This year K & Stacy, Stacy’s parents (Bob & Sandy), Ellie’s brother David, and Nana and Grandp Dave joined us for dinner. Everyone had their fill.  As we finished up, we, had our tradition of everyone saying what they are thankful for.  Every year I am moved by how honest and genuine everyone is.  There is a lot to be thankful for, and it always makes me emotional to hear everyone describe the meaningful things in their lives and why they are thankful for them.  This is the trump card for Thanksgiving.  All the other holidays often get bogged down in the hustle and bustle, but at Thanksgiving dinner we break bread together, smoother everything in gravy and share our hearts.

And, Lily joined us too.  She mashed potatoes, cooed and felt the moment.  When it came time for her thanks she gibbered away in her nearly there first word of mamamamamamamamamamamamamama.  It seriously goes on for that long.  Ellie’s joke that Hen has combined (mama with blahblahblahblah).  Its adorable.  



Black Friday we took ourselves down to the mall and… I can’t.  I can’t even joke about it.  We did not engage in any rampant consumerism.  (Well, we did make a trip to the Thrift store.)  Instead we started a new tradition.  After some debate, Ellie and I came to a resolution that we want to decorate our home for the holidays, but we don’t want to go to a grocery store parking lot and get any old tree. Instead, we’ve decide to make it a tradition to drive up into the mountains and go for a hike.  After the hike, we may or may not have illegally cut down a 3 1/2 foot tree and stuck it in the back of the Rodeo with a few other boughs also illegally swiped.  With our contraband safely stowed away, we head down to Evergreen.  On the drive down, we inaugurated the Christmas music singing classics like the 12 days of Christmas and Santa’s Coming in a Whirly bird.  Once in Evergreen we stopped for a hot drink and snack in a local coffee house.  Luckily Nana was feeling better, and she was able to join us.  Grandpa Dave was still out with the flu and unfortunately had to stay behind.

Over the next two days we decorated.  On Saturday, Lily got some last hours in with Nana and Grandpa while I put up the tree.  The following day Ellie made a beautiful wreath and hung boughs of Evergeen above our doors and strung lights up around the house.  Lily was wide eyed and wondrous throughout the whole process.  She loves lights and the tree seems to be her favorite.  Every night when I light it in the evening she smiles big and giggles.

That’s the news from Edgewater where all the women are crafty, all the men run far, and all the babies are joyous.


Author: Joshua

I am a husband and father. I am an outdoor enthusiast, adventurer and ultrarunner. I like to cook and eat. I love to travel and explore. Most of all, I like to do the things I love with the people whom I love.

5 thoughts on “Thanksgiving and Life

  1. Cute – nice post. Glad the black death has left us but the parting gift of Lily’s cold is still hanging in there. Miss you all so much. luv nAnA

  2. Great posting, Joshua. I share your fondness for Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to see you guys.

  3. She is so beautiful and you guys looks so happy! I hope I get to meet her one day- reading your blog makes me smile every time 🙂

  4. Your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful. Can I come next year?

  5. I so want to try a deep-fried turkey!

    We spend Thanksgiving with once-a-year meat eaters as well:)

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