“Cas! Do you have the mini marshmallows?” Sam called from the other side of the grocery store.
“Yep!” She yelled back. Sam made a note on his list and handed it back to Sophie. She giggled at his and waved the paper in his face.
“S’m!” She said as she waved the paper at him.
“Good job Soph! Hey Amanda!!” Sam turned his head and yelled again. “Did you and Mike find the turkey!”
“Yep!” Amanda and Mike walked around the corner of the aisle holding a huge turkey between them.
“Alright, all we need now is the rolls and all the desserts.” Sam looked at their three full carts and smiled.
“I can’t believe you’re making a dessert for each of us.”
“It’s not that bad. One apple pie for Amanda, one pumpkin pie for Mike, one yellow cake with chocolate frosting for Lucy and Matt, one chocolate pudding for little Soph, one chocolate pie for Cas, one blackberry cobbler for Hannah, and brownies for me.” Sam listed off.
“Jesus Sam, you’re insane.”
“No, I’m ambitious. I have a lot of thanksgivings to give to Cas, this is hopefully going to be the first of many.”
“Aw, sweet,” Cas said as she tossed the mini marshmallows into one of the carts. Lucy and Matt both walked into the aisle with the ingredients for their dessert. Hannah was at home preparing the kitchen for everything Sam was going to have to do. Amanda had splurged and gotten him an early Christmas present in the form of two new ovens for the kitchen as well as a bigger fridge and a new island with more counter space.
“Alright gang, ready to check out?” Sam pushed his cart towards the front of the store, ignoring the glares their group was receiving. He heard a few people grumble about loud and obnoxious children but ignored it.
After a forty-minute check out process, they loaded everything into the station wagon. Matt and Lucy were talking excitedly about their plans for this holiday week.
“If it snows I wanna take Sophie sledding!” Matt said, squeezing Sophie tight in his arms.
“That would be fun, but be sure to take one of us with you too ok?” Sam said, twisting around in his seat to ruffle Matt’s hair. Matt grinned up at him.
Sam sometimes couldn’t believe how much the kids had grown. As soon as Lucy and Matt started to get constant good nutrients they had both started to grow. Where before they had been far too short for their age they were now tall for their age.
“Sam! Can you teach me how to bake this week? I don’t wanna be like Amanda when I grow up,” Lucy stuck her tongue out at Amanda. Amanda stuck her tongue back out at her in the rearview mirror.
Sam pulled out a small notebook from his pocket and went through a list. After a moment he came to a decision.
“How about you help me with the cake, brownies, and pudding so I can make the pies and the cobbler.”
Lucy pumped her fist in the air and grinned. Sophie squirmed out of Matt’s lap and into Lucy’s before pumping her fist in the air in mimicry. Lucy laughed and did it again while Sophie kept mimicking her. By the time they got home, Sophie was constantly fist-pumping to get the laughter out of her brother and sister.
Hannah was standing on the porch when they pulled up and she immediately walked to the back of the car. Mike climbed out of the front passenger seat and moved back to help Hannah with all of the bags. Sam crawled out after Mike but moved to the backseat instead of the trunk.
“Alright, come here little one,” Sam reached in and pulled Sophie into his arms. “You two help Mike and Hannah with the bags.”
Sam carried Sophie into the house and straight into his new kitchen. He had made most of the choices for the kitchen so it was perfect for him, but Amanda picked out the new backsplash, counters, and flooring.
“Wow, Soph, can you believe what Amanda got for me.” He spun Sophie in a circle to take in the whole room. Amanda had added more surprises by taking out the wall that separated the dining room from the kitchen and making the kitchen feel more open and airy.
“Do you like it?” Amanda asked from the opening.
“Jesus Amanda,” Sam breathed out staring at her with adoration. “I can’t believe how much you did just in a few weeks.”
“I can’t believe you actually stayed out of this wing of the house for that long,” Amanda walked over and wrapped her arms around both Sam and Sophie, before pressing her lips to his.
“It was your surprise ‘Manda,” Sam said as they broke apart. “Of course I wasn’t going to ruin it.”
“Well, I’ll let you cook us dinner for the first time this month. C’mon Soph, let’s go,” Amanda smoothly pulled Sophie out of Sam’s arms and walked towards the living room. Sam spun in another circle before moving to the fridge to start pulling together dinner.
“Ok, Lucy I want you to work on the island while you make the cake ok? I’ve already pulled out all the ingredients so all you have to do is follow the recipe. If you have any questions let me know.” Sam finished tying her apron on her before stepping back.
“Thanks, Sammy! This is going to be the best cake ever I promise.”
Sam smiled at her before moving to his own station. It was the day before thanksgiving and they were prepping almost everything. Hannah and Mike were going to be in and out of the kitchen to help him make everything while Lucy was helping him just with the desserts.
“So we’re going to freeze the pies and reheat them tomorrow?” Lucy asked as she cracked the eggs into the bowl.
“Yep, and I’m making the mashed potatoes, prepping the turkey, making the gravy, and a few of the other sides.”
“Yeah, my brother is crazy right!” Cas said from the entrance.
“Yeah, he is!”
“I take offense to that! No insulting the chef at Thanksgiving.” Sam tossed a handful of flour at her.
“I just wanted to let you know that me, Amanda, and Sophie are going to get the last few decorations we need,” Cas said.
“Alright, we’ll see you when you get back.” Sam had already turned back to his prep work. He had been up since five that morning, working on the pies and the turkey before the sun was up. Mike had bullied him into sitting down for breakfast but he was so determined to make this holiday perfect.
Sam and Lucy worked together while the radio played some of their favorite songs. Lucy pulled Sam into a hug as her cake went into the oven before running out to watch a movie with Matt. Sam lost himself in the rhythm of cooking and baking for the rest of the day.
“Sam?” A voice at his elbow made him jump and whip around.
“Jesus! Don’t sneak up on me Han!”
“I didn’t, I’ve been calling your name for the last ten minutes. You need to stop it’s seven o’clock.”
“Aren’t you done?”
“Well,” Sam turned to look at what he was doing. “Let me finish filling this pie and put it in the freezer.”
“Alright, but I’m watching you. No starting another dish, capiche?”
“Yeah sure ok,” Sam turned back to the pie and had it filled and in the freezer within ten minutes. As soon as the pie was out of his Hands Hannah was dragging him out of the kitchen and into the living room.
“Cas and Lucy teamed up and so we’re watching Star Wars: A New Hope again.” Mike said as he pulled Sam into his lap. Sam squirmed for a moment before surrendering to his fate of being cuddled.
“Everyone ready?” Cas asked, pushing play on the remote when everyone said yes. Sam smiled fondly at her before snuggling back into Mike’s arms. By the time the droids made it to Luke he had fallen deep asleep.
Sam woke up to the sun shining into his eyes and a warm but empty bed. He yawned and stretched out, content to stay in bed a little while longer. Then he looked at the clock and bolted out of bed.
“Hey! Who turned off my alarm!” He yelled as he ran downstairs.
“We decided you needed to sleep,” Amanda said, catching him around the waist and pulling him into a hug. “Hannah and Mike have lunch. Now come enjoy the parade and cinnamon rolls your sister made.”
“But!” Sam tried to protest but Amanda just scooped him up and deposited him on the couch where Lucy, Matt, and Sophie all immediately climbed on him.
“You've been banned from the kitchen until tomorrow.” Lucy said as she handed him a cinnamon roll.
“And you don’t need to worry about anything today cause Hannah and Mike have all your recipes and they know what they’re doing.” Matt said as he curled up into Sam’s side.
“S’m! Prade!” Sophie waved her arms at the tv.
Sam looked at all three of them and Amanda standing next to the couch and let out a small laugh.
“Alright, you all win. Someone turn up the volume and get me a glass of milk.” Sam wrapped one of his arms around Sophie while lifting the cinnamon roll to his lips.
The five of them watched the parade for a few hours, with Hannah and Mike calling for one or two of them to come help occasionally. At noon Sam untangled himself from the kids and went upstairs to get dressed.
“Ok, Amanda has on her nice black pants and sweater, the kids are all in their nice clothes, what do I have to match?” Sam muttered towards himself before moving to the closet. After a few minutes he pulled out a nice pair of black pants, a white collared shirt and a sweater vest he didn’t remember buying.
He pulled it all on and straightened the vest as he walked out the door. He made his way back down to the living room and sat down next to Sophie who was the only one still on the couch. He scooped her up and pressed a kiss to her forehead before turning his attention to the cartoon that had been turned on in his absence.
“Ready for dinner?” Hannah asked as she poked her head out of the dining room.
“Of course!” Sam stood up and lifted Sophie onto his shoulder. They walked into the dining room where Sam found himself frozen at the sight in front of him.
Everything looked like it was out of a movie. There was a perfect turkey, sides in a circle around the Turkey, and the decorations spread artfully between the dishes. Every plate was decorated and had a name tag. Sam circled the table and found his seat next to Sophie’s baby seat with Amanda in his other side.
Everyone else came in then with grins on their faces.
“Well?” Hannah asked.
“You all are amazing, this is perfect and amazing.” Sam said, sliding Sophie into her seat.
“You did most of the heavy lifting yesterday. We just had to finish it up.” Mike said, unable to hide the slight blush in his cheeks at the praise.
“Well, you finished it perfectly.” Sam said, moving around the table to give him a kiss.
“Well I’m hungry!” Matt said, breaking the mood. Everyone moved to their seats and Mike carved the turkey.
The next two hours were filled with laughter, good food, and a lot of talking.
“Alright!” Sam stood up and tapped his spoon to his glass. “I want to start a tradition, I want us to go around the table and say one thing we’re thankful for this year. Hannah, can you start?”
“Sure, I’m most thankful for the three of you, who give me a new adventure every day.”
“I’m thankful for the love you all show my siblings,” Mike said, pulling Matt into a hug.
“I’m thankful for Hannah, who helps me with homework when the words don’t make sense.” Matt said.
“I’m thankful for my new big sister Cas. I always wanted a big sister and she’s the best big sister I could ever ask for.”
“Well I’m thankful for my three new younger siblings, cause they’re all pretty cool and a lot of fun.”
“I am thankful for all of you, you’ve filled my home with love and laughter again.”
“And I,” Sam said looking around. “Am thankful for all of you who pulled Cas and Me into this home and this family. You gave us love and safety when we didn’t have any.”
Everyone smiled at him before Matt jumped up and sprinted around the table to tackle him in a hug.
“You did the same for me, Luce, and Mike!”
“Cheers to our new happy family!” Hannah said, standing up and lifting her glass.
“Cheers!” Everyone yelled, tapping glasses together.
This was the first of many thanksgivings this family would spend together, though not all of them in this house.