Hello from this lovely Sunday, the beginning of one of my favorite weeks of the year. Why? Because it’s Thanksgiving, and I love an eating holiday. Also, it’s a short work week, so there’s that fun feeling of things being in vacation mode before vacation even begins. And did I mention the eating? Christmas is great too, but to me, too often, it becomes bogged down in plans and parties and gift buying and obligations. Thanksgiving, though, is just about slowing down and being with family. And, um, eating.

I’ve gotten a jump on the whole thing by starting this weekend with a birthday party for my husband and one of our closest friends. It was great weather, warm all day then nice and crisp-cool, and we broke out the fire pit we bought a few weeks back. We built a fire, had amazing subs from Neal’s Deli (best in Carrboro, or anywhere, really), and our friends brought marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate for s’mores. Oh, my goodness. So great.

We also had cupcakes, which I had gone to get earlier in the day from Sugarland Bakery on Franklin Street here in Chapel Hill. What I had forgotten (bad local!) was that the UNC-State game was at noon that same day. I was down there wanting cupcakes at 9:30, but no matter: tailgating and football crowds were in FULL swing, and ESPN was set up in front of one of the local restaurants. Personally, I am a basketball girl: football has never held much interest for me. But I do LOVE football Saturdays here. All the cars with flags flapping, the tailgaters with their grills (even at 9:30), the sense of excitement (even though UNC went on to lose, but oh, well). Still, for me, a little goes as long way. About twenty minutes later, when I had my cupcakes, I was MORE than ready to leave the chaos and head back to the country. That’s the beauty of this place. I can do the college town thing, and five miles later, leave it entirely. Best of both worlds.

Now, it’s time for another dinner with friends. Thanks to Whole Foods, I am providing really good food that seems like I MIGHT have made it myself. (Although I am such a confessor type that I will tell everyone I did not.) This week may be crazy, but it’s a crazy mixed with gratitude, which is a really good kind. I am lucky to have my friends and family, and all of you, and so much else. And leftover cupcakes, too.

Have a good night, everyone!