A few months ago I wrote this post and today I decided to reread it to see if my view on gratitude had changed or stayed the same. The words I wrote then I thought I meant, but as I read it and remembered how I felt, I don't think I really meant what I said back then. I wanted to mean it, I was desperate to mean it, but I just didn't.
Now, I do. I mean every word of it. I wrote that, "[Gratitude is] learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you've been given . . . shift your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present." I truly believe this and DO feel lucky for my life. Everything we've been through has taught us something and we have grown from our experiences. And, we've survived, that's the most amazing part. Life WILL throw you curve balls but it's how you get past them that counts, you HAVE to survive and keep going, that's what makes us human. We don't give up.
After starting the morning off in bed watching the parade, we shared a lovely, relaxing day with my Dad who I hadn't seen October and who hadn't been home since June. I miss him so much when he's away and worry about him being all alone in Oregon, I like when he's here, when he's close. So, spending Thanksgiving with him this year, and every year, makes me so happy.
(Gorgeous AZ day!)
I ordered food from this place a week ago and we picked it up one day after school. The place is really scary and hard to find, and after trying the food yesterday - we weren't impressed by that either. I wanted to find some gluten free sides I could eat without having to make anything, but I think we could have done better. The pumpkin pies were too small for $9.99 (for 2), the stuffing was bland, the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies were gross and the rolls were just ok. It was fun not cooking, but the food was just so so. Usually we go out to dinner but this year, being gluten free, I was afraid I couldn't eat anywhere so it was a nice change (even though we had to clean the house!).
We don't have a dining room table, just a breakfast bar, so we borrowed a table from Ian's parents and set up a nice table to eat our meal at. Ian wasn't feeling good (too many beers the night before) but my dad and I ate all the food and it was delicious. He made green beans an mashed potatoes and along with his food and the turkey, the gf bakery stuff wasn't so bad. Thanksgiving is always hours of prep work (cooking, cleaning, heating, frying, etc) and then just minutes of eating - it goes by way too fast. I was happy we didn't have to cook very much this year but I missed going out, it's just SO much easier!
The best part about our dinner was the turkey that Ian fried. We borrow a fryer from school every year (not sure why the Special Education Department even has an electric turkey fryer) and it works super fast to make our turkey delicious! This year we injected it the night before with cajun butter seasoning and coated it with gf flour before putting it in, and then Ian and my dad pulled it out at just the right time, it was so moist and yummy! During the frying we had to ladle out some of the oil because it was too full and we put it in a pan next to the fryer. We found out later that Linus drank some of it and he ended up being sick all night! Silly, stupid dog.
(Ian dropped a turkey liver on his phone! Gross!)
(Poor little guy was sick all night.)
(A totally gluten free Thanksgiving!)
I missed seeing my mom because it was the first Thanksgiving without my Nani, but she was in Kentucky with my step-brother, sister-in-law and nieces having a blast. Ian's parents went to Tucson to see his sister and his brother went with his wife and son to her family's house - so everyone kind of did their own thing. It was low maintenance and oh so much better than the days of driving all over town, seeing all of our family in one day. Things definitely get easier the older you get when you figure out the holidays.
We ended up on the couch at 8pm watching Elf and relaxed the rest of the night. It was a busy but fun day with my two favorite men. I am truly grateful for them in my life, and all of our family and friends. Today, I DO feel like every day is a miracle and am happy for all that we have. I am happy to have Ian, a wonderful family and amazing friends, and feel so much gratitude for all of them and the life that we have together.
(My favorite way to eat turkey, the next day!)
(Julie even came out later that night to say hello!)
Earlier this week my yoga students got together and laid on each other's bellies and told me what they were thankful for this week too. It was awesome to hear what they cherished most, and it made me feel so special that I was there to hear them share it. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too and that you found a moment to be thankful amidst all the craziness.
So often during the holiday season we are so busy rushing around that we lose sight of what this season is really about - gathering together with family and friends. Take a moment and remember to breathe during all of the madness and take a moment to practice gratitude . . . and really mean it. :)