We’ve been in the new house for two weeks now, and we are nearly ready for our first holiday season in the new place. Like many of you, I’m expecting family for Thanksgiving, but this is the first time I’ve ever had room to put my family up at my own house. Hubby and I are usually the house guests, not the other way around. This is all very exciting; you see, my family lives in the no-mans-land of Boondock, Iowa and the not-quite-so-remote town of Omaha, Nebraska. (I’ve lived in Colorado for nearly 20 years and I was born in Hawaii, but that’s a long story.) Since I have not been able to put people up in my former, teensy-tiny Wash Park two-bedroom, this is all very cool and new. Not to mention that having house guests does force one to hurry up and hang the pictures, unpack those “miscellaneous” boxes, and get the new house whipped into shape. Us writer types do much better when given deadlines. Making thinge even more interesting, my two nieces, aged 9 and 12, have never been to Colorado before. So, we have packed as many activities for them into the next several days as we thought possible. Skiiing is out of the question due to our schedule — next trip, hopefully — but as long as this lovely weather holds out, we are going horseback riding, visiting the Garden of the Gods (my mom’s favorite spot), attending the Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker, and of course, taking the kids to the oh-so-classic cultural phenomenon that is Casa Bonita. Oh, yes, and we’re doing Thanksgiving dinner at hubby’s parents’ house, and bringing two pies, two salads, and a vegetable side dish, which means that tomorrow is baking and cooking day. Which means that I need to run and do my shopping. Here’s to a happy Turkey Day and a stressful, busy, family-filled, wonderful holiday.