Thursday, November 25, 2010

So Thankful...

On this cold, cold Thanksgiving morning, I am smelling the pumpkin pies, and cooking the turkey, and I decided to look back on all our Thanksgivings. It amazed me at how much emotion is connected to a photo, a memory, a feeling.
Our first Thanksgiving in 2003 was Emma's first. We had dinner at my Dad's house that year. My mom had put up a tree, Joey was back from the middle east, and Kurt came home from Chicago with his friend, Belinda. It was exciting. I remember buying Emma baby food jars of sweet potatoes, turkey, and green beans, even though I knew my dad would be feeding her bits of "real food".
I am so thankful for my family.
 The Thanksgiving of 2004 was spent in southern California. We had moved to Sunnyvale that year and drove down to my Uncle Paul's house for a couple days before taking Emma and Niecey to Disneyland for the first time. My brother, Alex, drove up tp meet us as well, and Uncle Paul took us all up in his plane for rides. Emma fell in love with my cousins, Nick & Danielle, and it was REALLY nice to see them all - it had been years.
I am so thankful for transportation, telephone, and internet, all of which keep us in touch with loved ones so far away.
 In 2005, I cooked my very first Thanksgiving meal. We were living in our tiny little house in Sunnyvale, california. Our friends had just moved here from japan, and we invited them over for a new taste of American traditional Thanksgiving. I was SO nervous about things not turning out right, but everything turned out absolutely PERFECT! I was SO proud of myself. My mom watched on a webcam, and encouraged me the whole time.
I'm so thankful for opportunities presented to us, and for the opportunities we can give to others, in turn.

 2006 was probably the hardest Thanksgiving I had ever had. With the very recent loss of our son, I really didn't feel very thankful, though looking back I shake my head and tisk tisk at how much I really DID have to be thankful for. My baby brother came out from Oklahoma, and my big brother came down from Seattle. (He had just bought a new car!). It was so hard to forget that I had planned another little baby to sit at our table that year, his stocking already hung on the chimney, but my brothers helped me remember that I was truly blessed. I was so loved.
I am so thankful for love, undying, never ending, even silent and unspoken. I am thankful for the short time we had with Eli, and I am thankful that he is happy now, perfect, and waiting to see us again.
 In 2007 we had moved back to Oklahoma, and in our new home, which I was in love with (and still am!). I had a new table, gorgeous and strong, and it had room enough for us all to eat together.
The two older brothers couldn't make it this year. Alex was working hard in San Diego and Kurt was in Japan, but everyone else made it for the first Thanksgiving I hosted here at "home".
I am so thankful for my husband, who provides us with so much, and asks for so little in return.

 This photo just makes me smile from ear to ear. A TRUE family portrait :)
 We had our largest Thanksgiving dinner in 2008. John's parents joined us, as well as my (now) brother-in-law, Levi. I cooked, but my dad hosted it at his new cabin, which was the absolute most GORGEOUS setting EVER for Thanksgiving!
I am so thankful for growing families!
 Last year, we were back at our house with my dad and two of my brothers. It was unforgettable because Kurt had brought back from Japan all sorts of Japanese sodas that we all tried. It was so much fun! One was pink and sparkly and called "Love Mode Ginger". It sure was pretty, but not so great tasting ;/
Evan had his last high chair Thanksgiving that year.
I'm so thankful for safe travels for everyone.
 Love Mode Ginger! Ha ha!
This year will include the same guests as last year, and I can't WAIT to see what is in store for us today!
I am so thankful for all I have, all I am.
I hope you are, too. And if you cannot think of anything to be thankful for, just be thankful for what you DON'T have. There are so many out there suffering in ways we can only imagine.
Blessings upon you all, and
Happy Thanksgiving!
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