Thanksgiving 2015

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This year, for Thanksgiving, we went to Nonna and Gran’s house.  For the past few years, we have hosted Thanksgiving, but, Nonna and Gran decided to host Thanksgiving and then travel for Christmas.  For us, it was a win-win.

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My niece will be 16 in February, so she is learning to drive.  When she was driving my car, I was literally praying, “Jesus, take the wheel.”  She did a good job, but there is nothing that could really prepare me for my little niece driving.  It really is true that time flies.

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Since Kate was learning to drive, Gabriel thought that he needed some lessons, too. My emotional heart was not strong enough for that one, so Sean took over for those lessons.

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On Thanksgiving, we had a delicious lunch,

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put together a puzzle,

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played with their new cat,

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and played games.

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It was just the break that we all needed to really soak up family time, count our blessings, and rest our bodies and our minds.

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Thanksgiving 2013

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This blog serves as much more of a journal for me, at this point in my life, than anything else.  I like to post pictures, write down some thoughts, and re-live the memories.

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Thanksgiving 2013 was wonderful, but as any family can attest, most holidays are not all perfectly tied up with ribbons and bows.

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My parents arrived Wednesday night so that they could help me with the feast.  My in-laws, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nephew all arrived on Thursday.

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Most of the meal preparation was completed by the time that they arrived.  The star of the show, however, was patiently waiting. Sean fried a turkey for the first time.  The excitement of watching, combined with the the delicious flavor, definitely made the performance, from beginning to end, one of the best parts of Thanksgiving.

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Ethan woke up not feeling well, complaining of his leg hurting.  From what we could understand of his description, we thought that he had pulled a muscle during the night.  We heated up a therapy rice bag and gave him Motrin.  Within 30 minutes, he was playing and feeling better.  Right before lunch, though, he started sinking.  He did not even want to eat with everyone.  I made him a plate in our bedroom and put on Toy Story for him.  As soon as my mom finished eating, she went to the bedroom to hang out with him.  He started developing a slight fever, so we gave him more medicine.  Within an hour, he was moaning and crying because he was so miserable.  His temp was hovering between 102-103 by nighttime, and he felt just awful.  He slept with us so that I could monitor him all night.  We were convinced that he likely had the flu.  We took him to the doctor the next day, and they tested him for strep and the flu, but both tests came back negative.  It was likely just a miserable virus that needed to run its course.  We kept him comfortable with Motrin, fluids, and lots of love while he recovered.

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Even though Ethan was sick, he still managed to be his happy self, when he would receive relief with Motrin. We still managed to celebrate Thanksgiving because we had so much to be thankful for, including modern medicine.  It was not the Thanksgiving that we had planned, but it was still pretty awesome in so many ways


A Thankful Heart


Thanksgiving seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye.

I had to take Summer back to the doctor last Friday.  The doctor was very concerned about Summer’s lungs, and sent us for a chest x-ray.  Oh…and did I mention…that our hot water heater had gone out, so the installation was supposed to happen that afternoon, as well. Between the doctor and the x-ray, we were at appointments for over 2 hours, and when we got home, they were installing the hot water heater.  The doctor called as soon as we got home, and they were very concerned about Summer’s lung capacity because her lung function had diminished.  She told us to do breathing treatments every 4 hours through Monday.  The fact that we only had to be without hot water for just over a day and that we already had a nebulizer and the albuterol for the breathing treatments were both huge blessings.


Unfortunately, I got sick last Saturday afternoon.  Luckily, I had just returned from a massive grocery shopping trip so that I would not have to get back out for the week.  That, in and of itself, turned out to be a huge blessing.

Sean and Gabriel went on a camping trip with two other dads and two of Gabriel’s friends Monday through Wednesday.  They had a great time.  While they were gone, the littles and I watched a lot of movies and rested in bed together.  Since Ethan was healthy, he was a little bored with it, but, as always, he was a good sport about it.  And, the fact that Gabriel and Sean were able to enjoy their trip without getting sick was another huge blessing.


On Wednesday, Summer took another turn for the worse.  My sister came over to assess her and agreed that we needed to get her to the doctor.  Given that I was still sick and weak, my sister drove Summer and I to the doctor while Ethan stayed home with my nieces and brother-in-law.  Luckily, the doctor took the lung information and the fact that Summer has been sick for over a month, very seriously.  He ordered another chest x-ray, as well as blood work.  Thankfully, the chest x-ray was clear, which allowed us to stop the breathing treatments.  The blood work showed signs of an infection, so he gave Summer a stronger antibiotic, and it worked like magic.  By the time my parents arrived Wednesday night, Summer was almost back to herself, which was an incredible blessing.



On Thanksgiving, my family showed me what family really is.  I literally could not do the things that I wanted to do.  I just did not feel well enough.  So, while I sat, visited, and watched the parade, my mom bustled about my kitchen while my sister bustled about her kitchen, preparing food and making sure that we had full bellies and thankful hearts.

The day was a bit of a blur to me, but I do know one thing.  It was the exact day that it was supposed to be.

There was family.



And food.




And love.



And littles.


And laughter.





It was not exactly the peaceful, celebratory week that I had envisioned.  It was different, but, as I learned on Halloween…and on Gabriel’s birthday…and on Summer’s birthday…sometimes life just has to go on, regardless of the Norman Rockwell image that we have in our minds of what it should be.  In the midst of accepting that, the beauty of real life often unfolds.

As I looked all around me, I was so thankful.  We were blessed with having our entire family surrounding us – Sean’s parents, my parents, Sean’s brother and his family, my sister and her family, my sister’s in-laws, and my sister’s brother-in-law and his family.  Yes, it was different than I had expected because I was not nearly as involved as I normally would be. However, as I sat in the recliner enjoying the parade and watching everything around me, I realized that the day truly was as it should be.  I seldom get the chance to just sit back and breathe in the moment.  I did that this Thanksgiving.  And, I was very, very thankful for all of our blessings.