My First Five on Friday

Friday, November 1, 2013

Belive it or not, I've never done a five on Friday like most bloggers do every week. So since today is the first day of November (I still can't wrap my head around how that happened - where did this year go?) I thought it might be nice to start participating, at least for this month.

Every year, when November rolls around, my brain is suddenly consumed with thoughts of Thanksgiving. For the last couple of years, though, Thanksgiving has started to mean a bit more to me than just turkey and stuffing. After meeting Mike, I quickly learned how big of a deal the holiday was to their family and how this time of year was more special to them than any other. For them, it has always been a time meant for tradition, for gathering the family together at his grandmother's house, working together, eating together, laughing together, praying together, and giving thanks together.
Every year, their family would come from all over the country to do projects on his grandmother's house and spend time with her and one another. There was always lots of work involved but somehow, there was still quite a bit of time for the fun stuff, too. Whether it was taking turns cooking meals for the family in Grammy's kitchen, playing scattergories with everyone sprawled out on the living room floor, pulling out the Christmas decorations and lighting up Grammy's old tree, or singing songs with Mike's cousins playing Grammy's favorites on the guitar and piano (her eyes closed, head bobbing along to the music), it was always kind of a magical time to me. What's even more special is that my family was always included in their traditions and it has meant so much to me how lovingly they opened their homes to us. 
This year, however, things will be different. And it breaks my heart a little to think about it. Now that Grammy has passed, we still intend to celebrate at least one last Thanksgiving in her home, as we all gather to say what I can only see as a goodbye to the property. There's a good chance we won't be celebrating there next year, with people going in all different directions and with the potential of the house being sold. It blows my mind at how quickly things change. We will still hopefully cook and sing and laugh and read Grumpsy's prayer as they always have, but I feel things will be a little dimmer this year.
So for this five on Friday and all the others for the month of November, I want to do things a little differently. As I reflect on the Thanksgivings of the past, I want to share how important it is to be grateful. It's so easy to take for granted what we have in front of us, right here in this moment, not realizing that without notice, our lives can change in an instant. Each day is such a gift.

Here are the five things I am so incredibly thankful for:
1. Our little lovebug of a kitten. Even though he still hasn't learned that our hands and arms aren't toys for biting, he has truly brought so much joy into our lives. The way he cuddles and snuggles close to our heads when he's sleepy, how he sprawls out on Mike's chest at bed time, the way he gets excited whenever one of us walks through the door, how he plays and runs and jumps, his curiousity, how he learns something new about life every day, how he talks to us all evening as if we really are having a conversation - these are all moments I treasure.  
2. Our family. They are so willing to help us at the drop of a hat with absolutely anything we need. Even if they really have nothing to give us, they still find something that helps. We never leave any one of their homes empty handed. The other night, my parents sent us home with leftovers from dinner, extra food for the week, candles, newspaper clippings Mom tore out when she thought of us, our souveniers from their vacation and several other things they thought we needed. Our families never stop giving of themselves and I’m so grateful that Mike and I come from such a wonderful self-less group of people.
3. Heated blankets. Yet another thing my parents gave us the other night. Since our heat is broken, this has seriously saved our lives.
4. The fact that we can afford to have heated blankets. And a roof over our heads. And food in our fridge. There are so many people around the world who will sleep in the cold tonight without these basic necessities and it's so important to remember them and help give what we can.  
5. People like this. My mom recently discovered this group at our local airport when she ran into one of her friends who was a volunteer. She told me about them and how she wanted to join in, and I think I will, too. Showing love and appreciation for our soldiers fighting abroad is definitely something I want to do more.


  1. #5 would be a great thing to participate in and I know they would definitely appreciate it! :)

    1. Agreed! I can't wait to help out!