Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has come and gone. All the build-up, all the prep-work, all the eating...and then it's over before you can blink twice. This year Thanksgiving was so different for us than last year, when we were in the throws of moving from Charlotte to Nashville. We celebrated one year in our house on November 19 and were thrilled to be hosting our first holiday in Nashvegas. And even better, we were actually in one city for longer than 10 days at a time during the month of November, which was even more amazing.

My brother was home from college for the day on Tuesday, and though he had to work on Thanksgiving and couldn't stay to eat with us, we still had such a great time with him. He was finally able to meet his little nephew and Aiden really enjoyed trying to figure out who this new person was. My mom was thrilled to have him home since he hadn't been home since last Christmas. It was a nice time...and I think he enjoyed the home time.

Mom and I prepared as much of the food we could in advance of Thursday's feast and had quite a spread by the time we got to the day. Had I not had her help we would have had a very dismal dinner! It's a challenge to care for a newborn, clean and decorate a house, and cook a huge meal...probably the most challenging thing I've done in a long time. Mostly because Aiden requires so much hands-on time right now. But oh so worth it. And oh so helpful to have many hands!

Thursday morning, Nate and I ran our annual Turkey Trot. And even though this year it was only a 5k (since Nashville doesn't do an 8k) it was well worth the effort. Nate ran his best time ever and placed in the top four of his age group. I matched my PR, finished in the top 10 women overall, and placed first in my age group! It was fun. I walked away with a lovely red level and a runner's high (the race was sponsored by Habitat for Humanity so all the awards were tools).

Back to the house for cinnamon rolls and recovery. Then to the rest of the cooking. Our biggest adventure in cooking this year was attempting to smoke our turkey instead of cooking it in the oven as we have eaten in the past. Since Mom and Dad always do the meal, it was fun to get to host and do something unique, like smoke a turkey. Nate did a phenomenal job with the turkey and it tasted absolutely scrumptious! We have instituted a new tradition for ourselves and will now be enjoying various renditions of smoked turkeys each holiday we host! I didn't get any pictures of him cooking it, so we'll have to do that at Christmas.

All in all we have so much to be thankful for and as we gathered around the table to eat, we took part in our tradition to share what we are most thankful for. I won't share them all, though they were quite good, but I will share mine, or at least those I shared with the fam:

MIRACLES - I am thankful for the miracles I have seen take place in our lives over the past year. Together, Nate and I have seen some amazing things take place in our lives, and am so grateful to have been a part of watching God work these little miracles in our lives. Being a part of our rapid and God-ordained move from Charlotte to Nashville. Having a baby, Aiden, after being told we would never bear our own. Selling our house in a declining market. Seeing God move my parents out of a situation that seemed hopeless into one filled with more hope than seemed possible. And that's just the begninning. It was an amazing year.

HEALTH - I am so thankful we are all healthy, alive, active, and young. My family all runs, or does somethig to keep them healthy and going and I am so grateful for our health when so many families are facing diseases and painful loss.

GROWTH - I am so thankful for the growth God has brought to our lives over the past year. Not that we didn't grow before, but the move to Nashville has brough with it so much more growth than I ever thought possible. To me as an individual, as a wife, as a daughter, and as a mother; but also to my family. My faith has grown exponentially, not by being in a church pew every week, but by truly experiencing God in a real and present way. I have learned so much about myself and my relationships over the past year that it truly makes me marvel at how much I've changed, for the better as a product of stepping out in faith to move here and trusting He would do amaing things. Though I still do not know for what major purpose we are here, I am content in knowing so much has grown within me to know that if nothing else comes of our move, it served it's purpose.
There's a ton more for which I am thankful, but it's all pretty much inferred as a by-product of those three main things. I hope you all find yourselves thankful this year...there is so much.


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