Tuesday, November 12, 2013


            Yesterday, Chicago had its first snow of the season. I can’t remember the last time it snowed in early November here; I may have been in high school. There is something magical about the first snowfall of the season and it gets me so excited for all that is to come. Each year, I look forward to our annual Thanksgiving Galena trip and now, it is only two weeks away! We rent a large house and our entire family comes down for a week. We cook, sleep, watch old Christmas movies and do puzzles, but nothing is more fun than stepping out of the car when we arrive and smelling the wood burning fireplaces. In that moment, I know it is the holiday season and all the memories of Thanksgivings past come rushing back. If I could bottle that scent, I would. This year, Dan and I are bringing Payton (and her sweater collection) and it is hard to believe it is Dan’s fourth Galena trip. Time flies!
            Though it is two weeks away, I’m in the holiday mood already; I crave the family time and am so looking forward to wearing our stuffed-animal-sized earmuffs while in the hottub. In the days leading up to our trip I will be highlighting holiday packing, thanksgiving recipes, and how to dress warm enough to play football in the snow; today, however, I am going to tell you all how thankful I am. Not because I won’t say it on Thanksgiving, but because today, I am.
For those of you that know me well, it is no secret that I’ve had a difficult time the past few years. So many variables and so many questions circulating about what the future will hold. I suppose every 20-something has days/weeks/months like this. Years though, is that normal? Probably, but when it happens to you it seems like it happens to no one else. A couple of weeks ago, I got news that one of my best friends from college was engaged. While I was so excited, I was also sad because she was no longer a part of my life. I had always envisioned us growing gray and grouchy together and having phone calls about how much our hips hurt. I especially thought I’d be sharing her engagement with her. I decided to reach out, but at the same time, so did she. Yesterday, I spoke to her for the first time in two years and it was wonderful. It was like no time had gone by and I’m thankful for that.
After our phone call, I looked around and realized that while I’ve had a difficult time, I have so many wonderful things. We brought Payton home almost a year ago, we have a beautiful apartment, we have nice things etc. I have people around me whom I love and people around me that love me back. I have the simple things, too, like water and shoes. It is so easy to focus on the downers and the set-backs, but it’s much more fun to remember what you have and who you have; I don’t do it often enough. In light of me posting about which placemats I want, I am making sure that I am taking the time to say thank you, because I mean it and because I am, to everyone in my life: family, friends and readers. Thanks for reading J What are you thankful for this November?
Sidenote: posts will continue during Thanksgiving week. 

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