This past Thursday began the season of thankfulness, and I have so very many things to be thankful for this year. I have the most wonderful husband in the whole wide world, an amazing family, awesome friends, sweet fans, a good job, and my health. There have been times in life when one or more of those things were missing, which makes them that much sweeter now.
Deek and me, ready to chow down on a Thanksgiving feast!
But I also understand something new...how it feels to be separated from part of your family during the holidays. I've been very fortunate to grow up near my entire family (and by that, I mean at least 100 people at most events--and that's a small crowd). As a child, I spent the summers with my grandparents, and I know all my cousins, down to the 5th or 6th removed, on a first name basis. It's a blessing for sure. Last year, Deek and I flew back to the South and celebrated Thanksgiving with my big, happy, crazy, spunky family, making this year the first Thanksgiving I've been away. And it was hard.
Don't get me wrong, I had a complete and total blast with Deek's family (they are super sweet and welcoming)! But at the same time, I missed my own family. I missed the noise of a hundred people gathered in one place. I missed my PaPa's hushpuppies. I missed eating so much cranberry sauce with my cousins that my Mema had to pull out her reserves. I missed the feel of my PaPa's arms wrapped around me as he squeezed me tight and said, "I love you, Babydoll." I missed my Mema waving me toward the food saying, "Y'all be sure you get yourselves enough to eat now." I missed laughing and joking with my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Me and my PaPa
My Mema, her twin sister, and me
My Mom and Dad
Family is a blessing. So, to those who are away from family during the holidays, I understand what you're experiencing. But I've also learned that there are people who will step in and create new memories with you. They won't replace the old ones, but they'll add a new spice to an already delicious cake. And that's what Deek's family did for me this year. His aunt and uncle hosted a great event, and I laughed and talked with his family as I would my own. I am thankful to have such loving people on both coasts to welcome us into their homes on the holidays!
On a semi-related topic, I'm also thankful for businesses that repay customer loyalty! Deek and I were able to go visit a tree farm to get a free tree and go to a Trailblazers game thanks to our realtor and State Farm.
Visiting Rudolph at the tree farm. Look at those antlers!! Thanks, Marty Weil, for the great time, the hot chocolate, and the tree!!
Deek and I sporting our "My 1st Game" badges. He's lived near the Portland Trailblazers most of his life but never been to see a game. Thank you, State Farm, for giving my hubby an early birthday present he'll always remember!
RipCity for the win! The Blazers beat LA!
This past weekend, we also headed to Pioneer Square to see the Christmas tree lighting. It was AMAZING!! We sang Christmas carols with thousands of other people and watched the town light a 75ft tree with 2.5 miles of lights! WUT? Yep! And this is another situation where Deek has been here almost his whole life but never been to the tree lighting. So, we had to rectify that situation. I really enjoy participating in these events, and I LOVE doing it with my best friend!
Waiting for the tree lighting and carols to start. We were sitting on the brick steps at Pioneer Square, and our buns were cold. Thank goodness for coffee. Note to self: Bring a blanket to sit on next time!
Deek, me, and the beautiful tree! I am digging my slouchy hat! ;)
When we arrived, we receive a lyrics book for the carols. I'm just going to let this one sit here for a while as you Rhew-minate (haha) on what's wrong with it. ;)
Little random factoid I forgot to mention on my anniversary blog post, Deek and I have decided to take the same picture every year on our anniversaries. Since we have two, we can select two different poses. For the November anniversary, we've elected to replicate one of the first pictures we ever took together.
1st November Anniversary. We're going to have to keep these coats forever! ;)
But at the end of the day--when the turkey's all eaten, the family's all been visited, the Christmas lights have faded, the Blazers have won, and Rudolph has gone to sleep--I want to be in my happy place. And my happy place is with Deek. We lie in bed, talking and laughing about everything and nothing. We share our thoughts on our day, our life, the world, our books, and whatever else pops into our heads. And we laugh. Boy do we laugh. I am beyond blessed to be married to a man with a sense of humor like Deek's. And every night, before I drift of to sleep, he wraps his arms around me, kisses the back of my neck, and whispers "I love you." And that's my peace, that's my zen, that's my happy place--with him.
Deek and I laughing as we try to take a serious selfie. How do you think that went? LOL!