Gratitude: Thanksgiving

Shelby all gussied up for Thanksgiving
The week of Thanksgiving found me sick: bronchitis. Mike and Cooper had it as well, so we were a house full of sickies. Luckily, we have the world's best doctor, who managed to see us late on a Friday and got us on antibiotics. I was frustrated to be sick, especially since it would make it impossible to run (I'm a little bit addicted to running, if you haven't picked up on that yet) ... yet, in all the sickness, there was gratitude -- gratitude I happened to get sick on a week I wasn't scheduled to travel and gratitude for swift-acting antibiotics.

My beautiful girl on Turkey Day.

Thanksgiving came quickly, and with the help of all of my local family it was surprisingly easy. Everyone did a little bit of the cooking, and we did the hosting. It was the perfect arrangement. 

But no matter how perfect the plans were, I was a little sad the morning of Thanksgiving. Sad because I missed my side of the family. I missed my parents, my siblings, my sisters/brother-in-law, and all my sweet (but crazy) nieces and nephews. Being married and having to share your time with two families sucks. It really does. Don't get me wrong, I love my in-laws and am so grateful for the support, kindness and love they give me. But no one can ever replace the family I've had, well, all my life. But with all the business travel I do and a year filled with reoccurring illness, traveling to see family for Thanksgiving wasn't the best idea. I needed a break and I needed to be home.

Green Bean Casserole

I found comfort in the oddest way. As I was taking a casserole out of the oven I realized I had my mother with me after all. I made a green bean casserole, something my mom would make, but isn't a tradition with my in-laws.

A little help from my grandma

When the sweet potato casserole came out of the oven, it was with a pot holder crocheted by my dearest Grandma Pearl (the pot holders are hot little items, my sister and I fight over them whenever my Grandma makes a new batch). She was with me too.

My apple walnut spice cake

The apple walnut spice cake I chose to serve on Thanksgiving was not something I'd normally make. I don't bake often and I don't bake from scratch. My sister does though, so she was with me as I whipped up this treat. And the blue Kitchen Aide mixer I used for the cake (and batches of cookies that followed) was a present from my Dad and Step-mom, another reminder that my family hovers near me always.

I know it might sound a little sappy, but every where I turned, I found traces of DeMucha's. Just because I am far away from those I love doesn't mean they aren't with me. I'd forgotten that and as the reminders flooded my heart, I found joy in the day and was grateful for where I come from, the people who love me and the connection we all have. Miles don't matter. They never will. Family, near and far, and the knowledge that they always travel with me, tucked deep into my soul ... that matters.