This is the first Thanksgiving I won’t be in Virginia, but unlike Halloween, I’m refusing to be bummed about it. Teddy and I are going to a big group Thanksgiving where I will know approximately 6 people there, so that’s a little intimidating. But I read this list of things to do for your First Thanksgiving in a New Place, and it gave me some ideas of ways to follow my family’s Thanksgiving traditions, while making some new ones too. Every Thanksgiving morning my Mom wakes up and watches the Macy’s Day Parade, and then the National Dog Show while she starts prepping the Turkey. I usually wake up a little later (sorry Mom!) and join in, and it’s always really fun to root for our favorite dog breeds (always schnauzers) and get ready for dinner in our pjs. This year I’ll definitely be tuning in and introducing Teddy to the National Dog Show- he’s never seen one before, so let’s hope he’s a fan too! And then in the early afternoon we’ll probably get dressed up and head over for Thanksgiving dinner.
I’ve been thinking about what I’m thankful for this year, and I thought I’d write some things down here so I can look back next year and remember:
- I graduated! My college experience definitely had some ups and downs, but I’m so thankful that I graduated on time. It still feels a little surreal sometimes, but for the most part I like this whole being adult thing so far (we’ll see how I feel during tax season!).
- I have a job– that allows me to write and work on side projects. I felt a lot of pressure to get a job that would “use” (aka justify) my English major, but I bumped into a couple of my high school teachers at church over the summer, and they gave me the best advice – protect your writing. So I might not have an “English major” job – I’m not an editor, or a bookstore owner (You’ve Got Mail, anyone?), or on my way to being a college professor. But I have a job with nice people that pays the bills (which is already something to be thankful for by itself!) and gives me the freedom and time to work on my own creative projects during my off hours. And I’m so thankful for that, even on days when I feel like I’ll never learn Yardi and Quickbooks.
- I got married! We’re going on five months now, and honestly marriage is one of the hardest things for me to write about, because it defies definition. It’s fun and freeing and fulfilling, but at the same time it’s hard and messy. It isn’t hard in the 90’s sitcom way, with the nagging wife and her dopey husband. It’s hard in the “I still have all the baggage I had before, and I can’t make decisions for just me anymore, and I’m more selfish than I thought I was” way. It’s hard in the “We’re both hungry and grumpy and stubborn” way — true story, our first fight as a married couple was about what to do for dinner. It was the one night of our honeymoon we didn’t have dinner plans and accidentally waited until all the restaurants were closed to decide what to eat. We ended up going to Kroger and picking up microwaveable soup and a salad and eating it in our hotel room with plastic silverware. I’m 100% serious. But it’s great having your best friend to bounce ideas off of, to heat up the “hot thing” for you when your back hurts, to try new things with. It’s so great getting to be in cahoots with your own partner in crime (we wish “in cahoots with” was a relationship option on Facebook, just because it’s so funny). And it might be hard to admit you’re wrong, or find out that you’re more selfish than you realized, or that staying emotionally connected doesn’t happen automatically, but it’s totally worth it.
- For my funny, cuddly, pain-in-the-butt kitty. I’m quickly becoming a stereotypical cat lady, and I’m totally embracing it. (See above photo and 9 thousand other photos hiding on my phone. It’s a little frightening how many pictures I have of this cat!)
- I’m flying back home a few days before Christmas, and I’m so excited to get to spend time with family and join in all of our Christmas traditions. I can’t wait! Christmas is hands-down my favorite holiday, and has always been a big to-do in my family, so I’m especially thankful that I can start decorating and baking all the Christmas goodies as soon as Friday hits (because no way am I going out shopping on Friday).
- I have great friends to Skype/ FaceTime with. I sometimes struggle with intentionally keeping in touch with far-away friends, but I’ve been trying really hard to put myself out there and meet new people and keep up with my east coast friends. It’s not a perfect system, but I’ve been catching up with a friend roughly two to four times a month and trying to talk to my Mom once a week, and I’m really enjoying it.
- I’m also thankful for this space. Having a place for my writing and a self-imposed weekly deadline has been really beneficial for making sure I don’t slack off on the writing front. I’m still figuring out a process for my fiction writing, but I’m thinking about setting up a weekly word count goal. We’ll see what happens with that, but I just want you to know that I really appreciate every single reader. (I don’t track visitors or page views so I don’t psych myself out, but I still appreciate you!) I’m really excited about this blog, and I can’t wait to see what comes up in 2015! Thanks for hanging out with me, friends!
P.S. Instead of my usual Weekend Thoughts & Links, I’m going to be posting Gift Guides every weekend from now until the weekend before Christmas. I thought it’d be fun because I love Holiday Gift Guides, but sometimes they seem a little “These are gifts for your Super Model BFF who also hosts Gatsby-esque parties once a month.” And I don’t know any Super Models, so I thought some more toned down gift guides might be nice (plus if it helps me pick out gifts this Christmas, I won’t complain).
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of parades, food, hugs, and naps!