Grateful and Blessed
I know that I have spent a lot of time this year reminiscing about our life during the pandemic. However, I think it bears repeating: as so many of us have moved on to life, and as hospitalizations surge again, it is good to take some time to remember the things to be grateful for and that we are blessed to be healthy and together with our families. It’s not just a catchphrase to put on a sign in your home during November, it’s a reminder to all of us to take a minute whenever we see it to be thankful: we are grateful and blessed all year long!
On this Thanksgiving Eve, I am grateful for my family – near and far. I am thankful for all of our blessings, that we are healthy and happy, and able to (mostly) be together again.
There are so many things to count our blessings for: vaccines, travel, work, fun, new adventures, old friends, food on our table, kids who show gratitude, and sharing the love all around us.
This year, we started a new tradition with our kids this month. We asked them to think of one new thing they are thankful for before they go to bed each night – and they have remembered every single night to do this. It is amazing what each of them have come up with every day.
Last year, my son tested positive for COVID when we were getting ready to go on vacation, and we ended up spending Thanksgiving week quarantined in our house instead of on a beach in Hawaii. We had a lot of togetherness, my son had a runny nose for four hours, and none of the rest of us got sick (thankfully). After spending Easter 2020 together at home as well, we perfected FaceTime conversations with the grandparents and fancy dinner at home in the dining room – and we made it fun!
Tomorrow, we will celebrate with the family dinner in our cousin’s barn that got delayed from last year. I can’t wait! And our cousin who is hosting is so excited to share her home with everyone.
How do you celebrate the holidays? Do you gather with extended family at the grandparents’ house? Or share a friendsgiving celebration with all of your network in the area?
We have done every manner of celebration for Thanksgiving. Years ago, when I was single and lived in Washington, DC, I hosted several friendsgiving dinners – or I drove up to Boston to help my sister cook for her friends. With my oldest child now almost 18, we have had many years of family dinners shared between our two families.
When I was growing up, my mom usually hosted Thanksgiving for family and friends, and we always had a crowd. My husband has a large extended family, and we split up the holidays between our two families, depending on who might be around for the given event each year. My older siblings used to split Christmas between their in-laws and our parents, and my younger sister lives back East, so we have traded off between Thanksgiving and Christmas with each family for years. I honestly think figuring out how to merge holiday traditions and working out how you divide when and where to go is one of the biggest challenges of any marriage. There is no perfect answer – and as I often say when talking about work/life balance, each family has to work out the best solution for their situation.
Between the pandemic and losing all of our grandparents in the last few years, all of our old traditions have gone out the window. At some point, we may get back to switching off between the parents’ homes for each holiday, but for now, we are just trying to make sure we see everyone and reconnect sometime during the season. Above all else, I want to focus on being grateful and blessed!
We have so much to be thankful for. We live in a wonderful little town, where everyone looks out for our kids. Our kids have been in school, in person, for over a year – and I am so grateful for all of the teachers!
With our oldest anticipating college acceptance letters in just a few weeks, I am thankful for her sassy comebacks, her maturity (most of the time), her wit, and her perspective. I started the school year talking about the ways that we learn from our kids in the process of them growing up…and as we approach the second half of her senior year in high school, I am grateful for all of the things that I have learned as a mom over the last 18 years.
Parenting is an adventure – and it has been an amazing ride.
We all know that parenting does not stop when they turn 18, but I also know that our lives will all change when the teenager goes off to college next year. Many people have asked if I am sad, and my response is that no, I am not. Our job as parents is to teach our children to grow up to be functioning adults, and to go out into the world. So, I am thankful for all of my kids, and I hope that they have learned as much from me as I have learned from each of them.
I am so unbelievably thankful for my husband! We have so many things to be grateful for, especially the blessings of our three children. More than anything, though, I am thankful that we have each other, and that when the going gets tough, we can and do lean on one another. No matter how frustrating life can get, we are in it together.
Take a little time this Thanksgiving to consider the things you have to be grateful for, and the things and people you are blessed to have in your lives. All of us are connected in some way, and I am so grateful for all of you. I hope that the things that we share from Team Juggling Normal lift you up a little bit, and help you know that we are all here juggling life, and we have so many things to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!