With Thanksgiving being less than a week away (which I still can’t manage to wrap my head around) and life not pumping its brakes anytime soon, I figured I’d make the time today to go ahead and pen another post as it’s already been a minute since my last.
This year is not only the first Thanksgiving Tim and I get to spend physically together as a married couple, but this is also the chance for us to start forming our own family traditions for years to come. As difficult as it has been to be so far from our loved ones, I have been anticipating this opportunity for that reason; up until this point, all we both have known up until now has been everything our prospective families have instilled in us. Even over the years we were dating, we spent half of the day(s) with my family and then the other with his, or vise versa. When we lived in our apartment that we also shared with my sister, we did things differently among the three of us versus what we did when rounded up with everyone else, but it was still never exclusively Tim and I. Last year, he was gone for almost the entire last quarter of the year (and all of the fun parts, of course), so I’ve looked forward to this holiday season even more than the average person probably should. We now can take bits and pieces from both of our backgrounds, as well as introducing new aspects we come up with along the way, to put our own personal spin on holidays in our household now, and however our family may grow or change going forward. One thing I’d like to carry on from my family’s traditions is the listing of things we’re thankful for as we’re all gathered around the table. I often stop to evaluate and acknowledge my blessings to myself, but this is really the one shot annually I get to share them out loud. Now, I’m sure I’ll list these off again when we are seated for dinner next week for everyone that is here, but I’d also like to share them with those I love that aren’t able to be present.
I am unbelievably thankful for:
- My genuine gem of a husband and our perfectly imperfect marriage. I could not have dreamed up a more perfect person to spend my life with. We are best friends and polar opposites and we somehow manage to make that work well. Whether it’s spur of the moment plans or outlandish ideas that he goes above and beyond to make reality, he’s always behind me in any and all of my endeavors, but is good at talking some sense into me when times call for that, as well. You acknowledge that I am “whole” and more than capable of anything on my own, but you somehow inspire me to be an even better version of myself. You’re always in my back corner no matter what, and the security of that encourages me to reach for the stars without fear of failure. We bicker and disagree from time to time, but we’re human and dedicate ourselves to not letting those minuscule things drive us apart. Growing up with you over every part of the past 5+ years has been the biggest blessing I could have asked for. I’m truly the happiest I’ve ever been, and I owe a great part of that to you and all you do for me and my physical, mental, and emotional well being. I won’t ever be able to thoroughly thank you for all you do for me, but I intend on spending the rest of my days trying.
- My loving family. Despite a couple thousand of miles separating us now and not seeing each other as regularly these days, not much else between us has changed since we relocated. They’ve been there to help me through the tougher times of the almost year Tim was consistently away, and still check in on me regularly. They’ve sent their love in the form of sweet, random messages checking in on us, hours upon hours of FaceTime calls, and the most exquisite care packages full of goodies from home. When I was sure the distance was going to get the best of me, they were always ready to bring me back from the edge and make me feel like a human again. They accept me in all of my forms and that alone is saying quite a lot. There simply isn’t a greater group of people to surround myself with, through thick and thin, no matter what.
- Our two beautiful pups. These guys are truly our non-biological babies, our fur kids, my headaches, the reason for my smile. Kado and Harlow are the closest things Tim and I have to children for the time being, and we love them as such. When he was away, they noticed his absence and relished in their reunion(s) and hearing/seeing him on video chats. Whenever I would find myself getting emotional on the tougher days (still valid occasionally from time to time now) , they’d literally lick my tears away. They share in our happiness and understand when we’re down and correspond to every emotion in between. Not a lot of people comprehend this kind of connection, and they don’t have to, but I truly believe these little fur balls were brought into my life to keep me sane throughout this wild ride. They drive me nuts and keep me on my toes and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
- The countless friends that have become a second family. Tim’s Marine Corps journey has introduced me to so many incredible people along the way so far. From boot camp, through his training and schooling, and even at his duty station now, I was almost constantly being introduced to someone new. The beauty of this lifestyle is that it does bring so many different and wonderful individuals I never would have come to know otherwise. Despite coming from all across the country and various backgrounds, cultures, etc., we share and bond over so many similar experiences that it really does make a sort of “family” all its own, and I could not be more grateful for that.
- The perfect place we now get to call home. We’ve shared an apartment before, but this is the first we’ve ever lived just us two (with the pups). It is perfect in every way for us; a garage/man cave, a yard for the dogs, a patio made pretty for me, a guest room, etc. It’s so much more than anything we would’ve had back home. Beside that, too, is the fact that we’re now living in one of the most beautiful spots in the entire country, somewhere we never would have dreamed of moving to prior. Having this opportunity has brought us even closer together (though I didn’t even know that was possible), as only being across the country from everything we are familiar with can do. It’s forced us out of our comfort zones, to try new things, to take leaps of faith completely foreign to us before. I’m not sure this is where I’ll want to put down my roots or make our forever home, but I know just how fortunate we are to even get to experience living in California and will forever cherish this experience for that reason.
- The true friends still left back home. Naturally, the large number of friends and associates we surrounded ourselves with in high school gradually but surely dwindled after graduation – some for good reasons, others not so good – and has continued to in the years since pretty steadily. His being away for the better portion of the last year was a true testament to the loyalty of some and the disposability of others for us both, but I feel that is a necessary lesson we all must learn growing up. Tim and I do still have a handful of true friends that have remained nearby through it all, and those are the ones we intend to hold onto forever.
- The opportunity to share the spirit with those who can’t be home with their families. We are all coming together to spend Thanksgiving with our “new” family, and we’ve been blessed with the opportunity to host two Marines who are unable to go home to theirs, as well. I’m honored that we get to help make sure as many people as possible are surrounded by love this holiday.
- Our first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner. As intimidating as it sounds, I look forward to trying my hand at this and am excited for the end result. (Yum!)
- Gilmore Girls. Enough said. I’m especially grateful for the ‘Gilmore the Merrier’ marathon currently taking place until the premier of ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ next week, which I’m going to go partake in now.
What are some things y’all are thankful for?