It is hard to believe that 2017 is winding down as we are about to enter December! What a whirlwind of a year it has been, but Thanksgiving always allows me to slow down a bit and truly appreciate the important things in my life. Between 4 days spent with my favorite loved ones, 2 family 5K runs, delightfully warm and sunny weather, and bountiful meals, my soul was joyful this Thanksgiving! There is so much more I could write, but the main takeaway from my holiday was to be present and savor every moment.
Here were my top 4 highlights (see photos at the bottom of the page):
1. Family is without a doubt my greatest blessing. By “family,” I mean my entire family—immediate, extended, and in-laws. One of my favorite observations about Thanksgiving was constant laughter and smiles throughout the day. It was so refreshing to share old memories and enjoy lovely meals of old (and new) favorites. The last bit of excitement is that our family is growing! I will be an aunt again by mid-December as my sister Kelsie and her husband Josh welcome a baby girl!
2. Health has been top of mind after my blood clot scare in July. Let’s just say I have a new perspective about life in many ways (all for the better)!
3. Running is one of my passions. This Thanksgiving, we completed our 3rd running of our Humphreys 5k and our 2nd M5 5k on the Mitchell side. We were fortunate to have a warm, sunny day for both events. I am still (somewhat obsessively) working toward my goal of running 1,000 miles in 2017. I am pleased to share I am close to my goal with about 25 miles left to run!
4. Food is a celebratory! Our Thanksgiving meals at all three of my family gatherings ranged from simple to complex. Guess what? Everyone contributed and it was ALL delicious. Food nourishes the body in more ways than providing energy and nutrients. Beyond that, it is a reflection of your heritage, tied to memories, and opens the door to creativity. Plus, food brings people together—what’s not to love?!
With that, I wanted to share a classic staple at our Mitchell holiday gatherings that hails from my aunt Robin—PICKLE WRAPS. My aunt Robin is known for her tasty appetizers and sweet treats. Between working and managing her schedule as hockey and dance mom, she really deserves a gold star! These salty and tasty little appetizer bites will have you hooked! I know there are many variations out there online, but my recommendation is to follow Robin’s recipe. You won’t be disappointed! Robin (bottom right) is pictured with Sierra (her daughter) in gray, Aunt Cindy in orange, and my cousin Morgan in the black vest.
Recipe from my aunt Robin Mitchell
8-10 whole baby dill pickles
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
2 packages dried beef
Drain pickles and pat completely dry with paper towels. Spread cream cheese evenly around the pickles and wrap with 2-3 pieces of dried beef. Cut the pickles into ½ inch slices and serve.
Note: Regular whole dill pickles may also be used. Depending on the size of the pickles, you may need more or less cream cheese and/or dried beef.