Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Different Kind of Thanksgiving

No big family Thanksgiving this year.  sigh.  Being hundreds of miles away from family and having to work (Thanksgiving is actually one of our busiest days!) means no time to visit family.  This was my first Thanksgiving not spent with family.  It was strange not being with them, but I am thankful for their love and support.  I am also thankful for all the opportunities I have had here in Chicago with my job, running, and the new people I have met.
It was nice to get texts, tweets, and phone calls from my family yesterday -it made me smile.
Since the Spa, Pool, and Fitness Area (where I work) are in a hotel we are open 365 days a year; I am working through the weekend.  My friend and roomie Kristin is staying in town too, but since I work Thursday through Sunday we couldn't really plan a meal ourselves.  At work we have free meals in the cafe at work.  They had turkey and I mixed it into some tortilla soup with some veggies, which was actually quite good. 
A friend from work invited me to an early Thanksgiving dinner with her family Wednesday evening.  They made a big dinner that was tasty.  It was really nice of her and her family to have me over.  I brought along some homemade cranberry bliss bars for dessert, that were delicious!

I'm not the only one working over the holiday weekend, so I thought about bringing in some pumpkin snickerdoodles for my coworkers.  I, of course, had to try one just out of the oven, but they were really bland.  I threw out the rest of the dough and just kept the ones I made in a bag.  I tried them again this morning and they were so much better- maybe they needed time for all the spices to set in?  I wish I hadn't thrown the rest away, but oh well.  I am going to try to bake something else and just bring it Saturday.  I am thinking pumpkin pie brownies, regular snickerdoodles, or trifecta cookies.  Any other suggestions?  

I had hoped to do a Turkey Trot, but the timing didn't work with my schedule so I joined the virtual one on Daily Mile.  All you had to do was make a donation and then run 5K by Sunday.  This year all of proceeds go to charity:water.  They help get clean water to areas of the world that don't have easy access to it.  Being able to turn the faucet on and get water anytime is very easy for us, but in less developed areas it is very difficult.  I liked the idea of this virtual Turkey Trot, because instead of my race cost going to get a t-shirt for myself it goes toward a good cause.  Plus the holiday season is upon on and spreading some holiday cheer is good for everyone!  You can still participate too if you are interested - it lasts until Sunday.

I got up to chilly weather and grey skies, but hit the trail to get in a 5K.  My thighs were a bit sore from level two of the 30 day shred, which I did yesterday, but that soon went away once I started going.  I ran around and through the nearby park.  There were actually a good amount of other people being active this Thanksgiving morning and lots more smiles on the trail.  I kept a pretty even pace throughout and finished feeling good.  

Now that Thanksgiving is over that means I can officially get all my Christmas stuff out.  This is my absolute favorite time of year!  I love the music, the energy, the trees, the decorations, being with family, and the spirit of the season.  I work downtown near Michigan Avenue and all of the trees lining the street are full of lights, which makes the street look beautiful in the evenings.  
I have already been listening to Christmas music for a week or two, but now it is going to be playing almost all the time through Christmas.  Thankfully, I get a few days off just before Christmas day, so I will be heading home to see my family and I can't wait!  

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!