a turkey weekend recap

Sorry guys, I can’t muster up too much merriment and joy for this weekend recap post because yesterday was, to say the least, a true test of the human spirit (Okay, I’m being dramatic). Overall, I had a pretty decent holiday weekend, but things took a turn for the worst around three a.m. on Sunday morning, and I still don’t feel quite right. 

Saturday night, after driving back to town from our final family visit of the holiday, we went over to Dan and Emily’s house to play games and hang out. We had a smorgasbord of different whiskeys and bourbons to try (Dan is somewhat of a connoisseur) and I must have chosen the one type of whiskey that my body was just not a fan of. I only had two drinks, both with very minimum amounts of alcohol (not even enough to generate a small buzz), but I later found myself curled in the fetal position on our bed with crippling stomach cramps. Throughout the night I made several trips to the restroom and spent the majority of my time staring out the window and willing the sun to come up (for some reason I think that everything is less severe and more tolerable during the daylight hours). 

Knowing that sleep was officially impossible, I got out of bed early on Sunday morning and went to lay on the couch in front of the TV, making sure I was never too far away from a toilet. 

I have no idea what happened or why I got so sick, but I have my suspicions that I could possibly have an allergy to that specific brand of liquor. I felt great up until I had that first drink. And I hardly drank anything that entire night, but it was enough to have me running to the bathroom around the clock for almost 24 hours.

Trust me, I’m just as upset as you are over the prospect of my body not being able to handle certain kinds of whiskey.

On top of that, I developed a facial flush that made me feel feverish and hot. My skin took on a chapped, scaly appearance that reminded me of the embarrassing rash I developed in second grade after playing in a berry bush in our front yard that I was clearly allergic to. To the touch, my face felt like it was covered in lizard skin.

Clay thought I was exaggerating and said, “Your face looks literally no different than it normally does.” In hindsight, my dear husband now recognizes that his comment was probably the very last thing he should have said to someone who looks like they’re wearing a mask made out of fish scales. Even “It’s not that bad,” would have been more acceptable than “No worries, your face normally looks that gross.”

I went for a run on Friday morning and the conditions were some of the windiest I have ever experienced. The dry, cold wind hitting my face for over an hour could most definitely be the culprit of my facial condition, but my skin didn’t have a physical reaction until almost 48 hours later, so it’s kind of unlikely. 

I did try a new facial cleanser that day and I have such sensitive skin that it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s what is responsible for my rash. But again, I really have no way of knowing. The facial irritation could also be another symptom of an alcohol allergy.

The only thing I did know for sure is that I was a hot mess on Sunday.

Anyway, about Thanksgiving weekend … 

Clay and I successfully completed two turkey dinners with our respective families and snuck in a buttload of holiday shopping in between all of the eating and football. As you know, Clay and I openly choose to participate in the Black Friday madness, but I am a bit relieved to announce that 2012 is probably the very last time we fill fight the crowds at the mall at midnight on Thanksgiving. 

While standing in line at Bath and Body Works for 45 minutes for a sale that probably isn’t even that good (and would still be available had we chose to come back later in the weekend), I realized how little patience I have for the whole Black Friday experience. I don’t like rude people and I certainly don’t like strangers touching me, so I don’t exactly thrive in large crowds. I felt hot, overwhelmed, and anxious to be surrounded by so many people.

Then a girl in the line next to us passed out and hit her head on the linoleum floor. 

“Okay, I’m done,” I announced, throwing my hands up in the air and backing away from a lotion display. “We’re out.”

We actually did the bulk of our shopping Friday afternoon before heading north to visit my mom and sister. And you know what? The prices were the exact same as they were only 12 hours prior. 

So I will happily skip the chaos and sleep in next year, thank you.

My contribution to the Thanksgiving feast at my in-laws’ this year was my mom’s riced potatoes and my absolutely favorite pumpkin pie alternative: Derby Pie. When Clayton’s side of the family threw me a bridal shower all those years ago, my mother-in-law had the fantastic idea for each guest to bring me a recipe for their favorite dish. She bought me a gorgeous recipe binder and mailed a matching recipe card with the shower invitation and even though my mother couldn’t be at the party, she and my sister both mailed a recipe card anyway and my mom finally shared her special riced potatoes.  

Though my taters didn’t quite match the magnitude and awesomeness of my mom’s (and probably never will), my first go at riced potatoes was pretty darn good! We had some left over shredded Parmesan in the fridge from the broccoli casserole I made a few weeks ago, so I slightly altered her original recipe by sprinkling cheese and garlic over the potatoes during their final 10 minutes of baking. The end result was a crunchy, cheesy crust that I was a huge fan of!

Sick and rash-y or not, Clay and I have a mini tradition of decorating our Christmas tree the weekend of Thanksgiving and I was not going to let an icky stomach keep us from putting up our decorations on Sunday. Clay offered to pick out the tree by himself so I could stay at home and rest, but after giving him the stink eye he realized that idea wasn’t going to fly. I grabbed my Diet 7-Up and we drove to Menard’s. 

The kind gentleman at the home-improvement store generously knocked a few bucks off a scotch pine tree since we needed almost an entire foot cut off of the bottom in order to fit it into our townhouse. For some reason I kept thinking we were getting a Douglas-fir, so I aptly named our Christmas tree Douglas (I have to name everything). 

The store was fresh out of twine so instead of tying him to the top of our car, Douglas was buckled into the back seat with his head hanging out of the window like a dog.

Decorating the tree went off without a hitch, but I admittedly didn’t put quite as much enthusiasm into the project as I normally do. My stomach was queasy and I eventually just sat down on the couch amidst the boxes of ornaments and stockings, too tired to finish. 

My tummy finally settled around 9 p.m. and after catching a second wind, I put the final touches on the tree and the rest of the apartment while Clayton was having dinner with his family. Douglas has been in our living room for less than 24 hours, but he has already made his presence known by filling our entire house with the smell of fresh pine. Surprisingly, pine was the only smell that didn’t turn my stomach that day. 

The tree!

Our newest ornament! I'm not sure if that is the gingerbread is holding her child
or if she made a gingerbread cookie to eat ... which would be cannibalism.

Vase of ornaments on the dining room table.

Found these candle holders at Big Lots of all places!

Our makeshift holiday mantle.

So cozy! :)

I enjoyed my holiday vacation (minus the whole icky business), but I’m actually quite happy to be back at work. I very much love special occasions, but I feel like there’s so much pressure to be happy and have a good time, that I feel secretly relieved when it’s all over. 

Plus, I am more than ready to move onto Christmas!

How was your Thanksgiving?