Thankful – 2019

Ah, Thanksgiving. A day to celebrate family and friends, parades with massive floats and balloons, food, and various sports (read American Football- that’s the only sport on that exists on Thanksgiving). While I’m thankful all year long, one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is celebrating all that we are thankful for and doing that with family and friends.

This year Thanksgiving looks a little bit different for us. Not only are we in Germany, who doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving like we do (or when we do), but we are actually in the car on our way to visit our ninth country since moving here. We are taking a long weekend away to Czechia, specifically Karlovy Vary and Prague. We are going to be experiencing their history as well as visiting a couple of Christmas Markets (trying to contain that excitement). While Thanksgiving looks different for us, I still wanted to take a minute and just jot down (rather type up) a couple of the things that I am thankful for.

I mean to start with the obvious I am thankful for my little family, for my husband and children, and for the joy that they bring me. I’m thankful for our continued good health and that we’ve weathered all the challenges of this past year so far.

I am thankful for our friends, old and new, who we try to keep up with at all hours. We’ve made some really good friends in our move here, friends who I know will continue to be friends long after we leave here. With an international move to a foreign country, friends become your surrogate family. They become the people that you bond with and rely on when you are in need and we’ve been very blessed in that respect.

I am thankful for the home and life we’ve created over the past 5 months in our home. We had quite the journey to get to this house, and we’ve really made a home in it and in our neighborhood. We are finally in the country and it’s been the biggest blessing.

Finally, another obvious one, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be here in Germany. Some of it is just us being blessed with the opportunity, but a lot of hard work went into this as well. My husband worked incredibly hard to get to this point in his career where he could choose the job that he has here. So, I am thankful for this opportunity that was given to us and again thankful to my husband for the incredible work that he has done to allow this opportunity.

How are you spending your Thanksgiving? What are you thankful for this year?

Thanksgiving Memories

Oh Thanksgiving. A holiday for eating, for being with friends and family, for remembering all of the good, and acknowledging what we are thankful for. Above all, thanksgiving for me has just always been about family. Spending a full, wonderful day with family and friends; laughing, creating new memories and inside jokes. It’s never really actually been about the food and eating (although that is always a fun side note). All through

As I sat down to write this post I was trying to think of what I actually wanted to say. I could list what I’m thankful for (which I will actually do in a bit), but I felt like I wanted to do more than just that. I could reminisce on past Thanksgivings, but the problem is I don’t have too many memories that really stand out to share that would make sense (the only one that comes to mind is one I’ll share below). I could share favorite recipes, outfits, decorations, etc. None of it really feels “right” and rather than not marking the occasion, I figured I would embrace that feeling and go with it.

I’ll start with my thankful list. This past year we’ve been so blessed with good food, good friends, and incredible experiences. I am thankful for those that have come into our lives this year, thankful for our boys who continue to show us how incredible life can be. I’m thankful for my husband who has supported me throughout the obstacles of this year. I’m thankful for our family, who we have seen quite a bit of this past year. I’m also thankful for YOU. You who are (and have been) reading my words that I write every week, commenting, following along on our journey. Thank you.

I want to share a quick Thanksgiving Story with you, our very first thanksgiving together.

We had been dating/together for about 3 ½ months when Thanksgiving rolled around. For me, those 3 ½ months had started with a blow up with my mother (due to my moving out of her house), a turning point in my relationship with her, and this Thanksgiving was not only the first time that Rob was meeting her, but also the first time that I would speak with her in those 3 months. Talk about stressful (although I don’t think Rob was outwardly stressed, he had already met my father and that was the hard one).

Thanksgiving was being held at the son of some family friends house. I had never attended a Thanksgiving by myself (even if this was technically with family and close friends, it was my first time being considered “separate” from my parents in terms of guest list) and I hadn’t the first idea what to bring. I wanted to be a good guest and polite, so I spoke with our family friends and tried to get some ideas. I ended up settling on dinner rolls.

***Real fast, let’s recap so we can set the scene. Me and my mom blow up and haven’t spoken in 3+ months. Rob’s never met my mother. My parents are putting on a good show, but I don’t think that they were in the best place of their marriage. All while being held at the child of a good family friends house…awkward***

So here we come, walking up the drive, store bought dinner rolls in hand (I seriously cringe at that memory, I would never now bring what I brought to a dinner I was attending). At the time, I hadn’t had the foresight to at least put the rolls into a nice container, or present them in a way that was more than just an after thought for the day. I was so nervous about what was to come.

***The dinner rolls actually ended up becoming the “joke of the day” and really lightened the mood. ***

Somehow we arrived before my parents did, so we were able to settle in and relax a bit before they walked through the door. I do remember us all (dad, me, Rob, family friends, right before my mom walked in) sitting around the back patio table talking about the latest expensive purchase (gun related) and the tension rising when my mom came out the backdoor. I think it may have been the most tense, awkward moment of the day. My mom was the epitome of polite, introducing herself, making polite chit chat, although I can’t deny that there weren’t a couple of snide glances or comments made in my direction. It was nothing serious or truly bad.

Once the moment passed, all went surprisingly well. We ate, we all made conversation, we left with our dignities intact (aside from me and my dinner rolls- which became the punch line of the day). I don’t know what I was actually expecting, but now it’s a funny memory to look back on.

Do you have a good Thanksgiving memory to share? What about a I’m thankful list? Share in the comments!