Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday. My family has celebrated the same way for so many years, and there is so much JOY and excitement in the tradition of the holiday. We started the day with the Run for Food through the park (supporting the local homeless shelter). Oh my goodness you guys, the trees were absolutely gorgeous! So brilliant and beautiful in all their colors. I couldn't stop starting! It felt so great to exercise early in the crisp cold air, and seeing so many friends was a blessing.
My parents then had around 25 people over to the house for appetizers. What made it ever more special was that my grandpa (who has been in the hospital) was able to spend 4 hours with us, before having to go back to the rehab hospital. The whole family gathered around him, and we sang some old thanksgiving hymns, and then sang a Swedish song because my cousin Hanna was visiting from Sweden and got to experience her first Thanksgiving!! I read some Thanksgiving scripture from the Bible and we enjoyed just being together.
Then we headed to food!! Oh goodness, do I ever love Thanksgiving food! Sweet potatoes are my favorite, yum yum! My parents made the whole meal gluten/dairy free so I could partake (bless their hearts)! After eating more than I should have (!!), we all grabbed our jackets and went on a walk throughout the neighborhoods to make room for pie:) haha!
When we returned, we put the coffee on, sliced the pie, and all enjoyed our time together. We spent some time going around and sharing what we were each thankful for. It was hilarious…I haven't laughed that hard is so long. Then we ended the night in a rousing game, laughing until it hurt.
One thing I noticed about these special days is how family is so healing for me. No matter how stressed or down i've been, so much of that seems to dissipate when i'm around people who love me so deeply. Who make me laugh and create a safe place for me to be me. Family is such a gift, and I cannot thank God enough for these great people.
A few things i'm thankful for in 2015:
- Finishing graduate school (I only have 2 more weeks!! eeeppp!!!)
- My parent's support in helping us transition to Northern California
- A whole week with my best friend in Haiti this past May
- My in-laws opening their home these last few years for us to live in rent-free (such a gift!)
- Our incredible Swedish cousins who opened their homes to us on our visit to Sweden in August
- My friend Emmy, because without her, I would not have made it through grad school!
- God's grace and blessing this year. He was so good to teach and grow me, even when it was so hard!
- Inner Peas from Trader Joes:) haha Got me through many a study sesh!
- The international student's we've met through conversation cafe
- My siblings, who encourage me so much! Love you Pete, Lens, and Polls
- You my sweet readers, who I admire and am so thankful for every comment, email and connection!
How was YOUR thanksgiving?? Hope it was truly wonderful and encouraging!!