Here we are. Just one day before Thanksgiving, yet it doesn’t really feel like it. Last year around this time I was making my last minute grocery list, having wine with my immediate and extended family, prepping food, and enjoying the feeling of company. I remember we planned to spend the whole day at my mom’s house watching football, cooking, catching up, the usual! We set up extra tables and chairs, and even a special kids table with a “Color Me” table cloth. Nobody knew how much different the holidays would look this year.
I miss those feelings. I miss hugs from family members coming into town. I miss the hustle of trying to remember everything that needs to be done. I miss asking my mom what time we plan to eat nine times. I miss seeing my kids giving their grandparents holiday hugs. I miss seeing my Grandma watching the kids play, or holding the newest baby in the family. We’re in our new house this year, and I was really looking forward to hosting this year. And I realize I’ve been away from family on holidays before while we were playing in the NFL, but this just feels like a different being away from family.
Normally the weekend before Thanksgiving, or the weekend after my best friend Kaitlin hosts a big Friendsgiving event. It’s an evening full of food obviously, and lots of wine, but mostly that feeling of being surrounded by love and friendship. The event was understandably cancelled this year. Our close knit group means the world to me. We have been through it all together. And since I live the farthest away, whenever I get downstate to see them there is never a dull moment. All I want to do is hug them. But we’re choosing to all stay put and hopefully be able to see each other for our annual Christmas party. Thankful for our group chat that keeps us together, and laughing!
I know that by keeping our Thanksgiving in our own household, we are making a smart choice. My best friend Alexis is an ER nurse down in Detroit, and has been on the front lines of this since day one. She has seen it all. I always respected health care workers and have always been grateful for their hard work. But I feel even more for them now. They don’t get the choice to stay home. They HAVE to go in and literally be face to face every day with this. I would hope everyone would keep that in mind. We’re keeping our distance even though it is hard, because we want to keep others safe including our family. We live in a small town and as the COVID numbers rise it can make anybody worry a little. Keep up your Vitamin D intake!
I think it’s especially hard because my parents literally live right across the driveway. It’s a two minute walk from our house to theirs. We normally see them every day! But we won’t be spending Thanksgiving together this year, just to be safe. My mom dropped some goodies off on our porch yesterday and we waved to each other through the glass but I wish I could have squeezed her so tight.
I know there are so many people who are going through even worse right now. And I’m not saying I’m not thankful. I look at Jeff and the kids and feel SO grateful.
They’re my entire world, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Getting to spend the holidays with each other is a such blessing. But I still think it’s okay to feel the way I do this year. Hey look at that I’ve been trying to work on feeling my feelings instead of pushing them aside, and here we are! Progress! We (well I should say I) still plan to cook a huge meal, watch the parade and then some football, and embrace our time together. We’re even putting our turkey on our Traeger this year to try something new! We plan to try to take a Thanksgiving family photo with the camera on the timer, or just settle with a selfie to document this year. Maybe I’ll think of a new tradition to start. Now’s the time! We won’t get this Thanksgiving Day back so I know we will make the best of it.
Carter and I have been doing Thanksgiving projects all week. We baked Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodle Cookies, did several turkey crafts, we decorated the Christmas tree, and more. One project that stood out was his “I’m Thankful For…” turkey. We made it out of foam paper! I asked Carter what he was thankful for, and this is the list he came up with. It makes me smile so big, and laugh too. The things that he is thankful for are what mean they most to him, and that’s what makes it even more special and sweet.
I think this morning it was really hitting me. I’ve felt off all week about it, just knowing it was going to be different. But this morning it really did feel more official. Tomorrow won’t be like our usual Thanksgiving Day. But you better believe I’ll be making the very best of this holiday with the four of us, and embracing every moment. We will probably zoom with my sister and her fiancé, maybe play a game or something through that too! Even though Thanksgiving looks different for everyone this year, find those small things to feel grateful for. Whether it’s having pizza for Thanksgiving dinner instead, or still cooking your big meal, cherish it. I pray for those spending the holidays alone this year, who are used to attending a big bash. But use this time to listen to God, and what his plans are for you. Sometimes when we get that alone time, we can finally hear what he has to say and feel his presence. And I pray even more for those going into the holidays after losing a loved one this year. The first holidays will be the hardest and I just am wrapping each one of you in so much love. God is near and so are your guardian angels ALWAYS.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone❤️ Thankful for each one of you, and hope God blesses you with a wonderful weekend no matter what it may look like this year.