When I married Corey, I gained so much more than just a husband (although I have to say that's the best part of what I gained). Along with him came a whole new family, to put it technically - The In-Laws. One day I had only 1 younger brother, a mom and a dad, the next I had 3 other brothers (one of whom is older and facing the barrel of 30 this year!), a father-in law, a mother in-law and an almost father in-law (they were married a month after we were). Not to mention all the aunts, uncles and cousins who call Corey family.
As it is with most people, it took time to adjust to my new family. To learn how I fit into their mix and for them to learn where they fit into mine. I could make it all sugary and sweet and say it's been a leisurely walk through Candyland (Bethy's new favourite board game) but that would be a lie.
It's not easy adjusting to new people, I was used to the way my family did things, our traditions and rules, the do's and don'ts of family gatherings and so forth. Corey, was used to the same from his family. And his family is a large one, with parents that have been divorced and re-married/attached and so that juggling act took a while to figure out.
It wasn't all cavities and root canals either, but the past 5 years have seen their share of tense moments, laughter and conversation. We've had babies arrive, more marriages and life changes, and through it all we've been trying to find the mix. It's not totally perfect but I think we're almost there.
We've all learned, maybe the hard way, that when you acquire a new family member there are adjustments to be made. Sacrifices for some, compromise for others and if everyone puts for a decent amount of effort, a good time can be had by all.
I can say without a shadow of doubt, this past weekend saw the rewards of those compromises. We had Corey's Mom, Step-Dad John, brothers Travis, Wyatt, and Scott, Sister in Law Chelsea, and nieces Hayley and Chloe join us for Thanksgiving. We've been planning this weekend since July and the anticipation had certain family members bouncing off the walls by Thursday night, right Cor?
As is my M.O. I worried my way through to the weekend. I baked and I cooked: normally I'm not a horn tooter, but today I'm totally tooting (and not because of the brussel sprouts), we had nanaimo bars, cinnamon buns with cream cheese icing, buns, cookies, cranberry sauce, stuffing, potatoes extrodonaire and gravy all from scratch, and I did that! (we also had brussel sprouts, turkey and carrots but I can't exactly claim "scratch" on stuff that someone else grew), ok I'm done.
Once the weekend arrived, we had a wonderful time, full of visits and laughter, endless amounts of laughter.
As time wears on we're all settling into being a family. We've learned how to make it work and we no longer just survive a family weekend (not that it was ever that bad, but I think if each of us were being honest, we'd all admit there are times we were all just biding time) but we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thank you so much to everyone who came (and to my mom for making a stellar pumpkin cheesecake dessert), we love you all and can't wait to do it again!