I am Thankful.

22 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving Week, y’all! Hard to believe that it’s already that time again. So before everyone settles into their kitchens to start preparing the most glorious feasts, I just wanted to take a few minutes and reflect, as much for myself as for all of you. This season has been particularly challenging for me this year as it’s my first one- in all my 35 trips around the sun- that I’m not with my family…That I’m not at home…That I’m not surrounded by the sights and sounds (and smells) that I realize now I appreciate so much. And I’m missing all of those things something fierce. So while it can sometimes be easy for me to get stuck in this rut, I’m making the conscious effort not to. I’m deciding, each and every day recently, to be grateful for what I do have and to be all the more excited to go HOME in just a few weeks!

So without further adieu, here are some of the things, and people, that I’m most thankful for this year.

I’m so thankful for Neve. To be her mom, to see who she’s becoming, to do what I can to help her grow in every sense of the word.  She is an AMAZING person.

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When your hair doubles as a weather forecast.

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I can’t tell you how often I think to myself, ‘I wish I could be half as stylish as my kid.’ She dressed herself completely ❤

One thing about my girl that I’m especially thankful for? Her fearlessness. Remember last month when she got her first haircut and I told her that if she still wanted it shorter, we would go back? Well, she’s talked about it ever since and never once wavered. No hesitation, no fear of regret, nothing but excitement. She made the decision and just a few hours ago in fact, she went full steam ahead. *Life Lessons*

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My big girl ❤

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To say that I’m thankful for John is an understatement. I’ve sung his praises plenty of times on here, so I won’t go into them again too much right now. Just to say that he gets me like no one else on the planet. GETS me, gets me. He is a calm in the storm, a rock, an anchor…He is a best friend, a partner in crime, a cheerleader. And during challenging times like this holiday season, he is exactly my counterpoint. Oh, and I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again- seeing the man you love as a dad…There’s NOTHING like it.

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She asked him to marry her, complete with her long gown blanket. I was the minister. ❤

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I am thankful for the wonderful friends in my life, both near and far. Yes, life gets in the way and we don’t get to see each other- or even talk to each other- as often as any of us would like, but it doesn’t matter. Knowing that you’re part of such an awesome tribe- that you have people who love you not because they have to, but because they CHOOSE to- is the most comforting, grounding feeling. Waking up to text messages, getting unexpected care packages, chatting online unexpectedly in the mornings with one of your insomnia-prone friends ;), being invited next door for impromptu tea parties…THIS is what makes the world brighter.

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I am thankful for my fitness. I’ve always been into an active lifestyle, but this year has really taken it to the next level. Why the change? I rediscovered my love of cycling- specifically, Peloton. It’s a cycling community that has been truly instrumental in changing things up for me. More than ever, I appreciate my body, its capabilities, its beauty…I can’t even imagine missing my morning rides now! I mean, look at that sunrise that greets me and the fall colors that surround me?!

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I’m thankful for new (to us) traditions. A few weeks ago, Neve’s school celebrated Laternefest. In a nutshell, it’s the secular celebration of St. Martins Day and it’s celebrated throughout all of Europe. St. Martin was a kind and gentle man who was a friend to children and the poor. Legend has it that he ripped his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snow storm. That night, he dreamt of Jesus and was baptized the next day. In celebration each year on Nov. 10 and 11, children walk through their cities carrying lanterns that they’ve made at school to symbolize light overpowering the darkness. They sing all the songs they’ve learned to spread joy. And they finish in a big public square- usually with a park nearby- to mark the culmination of their celebrations, complete with food and warm drinks. Spending the evening with 20 something of Neve’s classmates, their families and her teachers, regardless of the freezing rain and bitter cold, proved to be the absolute perfect and happy end to a fiery election week.

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With one of her best friends, Emna.

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Stopping for some caroling.

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Homemade snacks and warm tea at the park.

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I’m thankful for my family. No, they may not be here with us right now, but they’re always with me…Always. I realize just how fortunate we are to have each other, to be doing this life together, to count on each other through thick and thin. So many people don’t have the kind of family that we do. And I’m so thankful in every sense of the word.

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This picture is framed on our shelf.  It was taken at my parents’ retirement party when Neve was 5 months old. She’s been talking about it alot this week- about how happy everyone is. And that makes me so happy 🙂

And finally, I’m thankful for this season of change and for this most unique Thanksgiving. We are leaving tomorrow, headed for the Alps to celebrate the day with other families in our same situation, at a resort managed by Americans at the border of Germany and Switzerland. We’re staying in a hotel with an indoor pool area for kids, a fancy spa for grown ups, an outdoor area for pups…And serving a big traditional Thanksgiving Feast on Thursday! How’s that for making lemonade out of potential lemons?! Here’s hoping everyone has the loveliest holiday and a wonderful official kick-off to this holiday season. THANK YOU for coming along on this journey with us. ❤

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Our Elf, Mr. Clark Pricklepants, should be arriving back here this weekend, according to the Big Guy! 😉

2 Responses to “I am Thankful.”

  1. Eleanor November 23, 2016 at 2:28 AM #

    Happy Thanksgiving! Have thought of you so often the last few days. I know whatever you are doing with John and Neve, you will have fun. In less than a month you will be back in SC. Cannot believe Neve and her haircut. She looks so much older, but so beautiful. I love the cut! Love to you three!

  2. Robin November 22, 2016 at 10:06 PM #

    Beautiful post. You will certainly be missed at our first Thanksgiving apart but I know yours will be special as you and John and Neve will be together. We all have so much to be thankful for but no one more than me for you.

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