Finally settled in to Rumson NJ

Remembering to be Thankful, 2014

I will confess, 2014 has not been a good year. There were many occasions this year where I struggled to find a reason to be thankful. My grandfather died, my health took weird turns which the doctors (and countless tests) have yet to explain, my beloved dog Tucker died, my cousin’s brain tumor came back, and my routine was turned upside down with my return to full-time work, coupled with a crazy commute to/from NYC. I know firsthand that when you focus on all the bad things that happen — all the rouge waves that seem to hit you, no matter how careful you try to be — it becomes increasingly difficult to remember to be thankful.

That is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It forces you to stop and remember all that you have, not all that you have lost. It is a holiday where you are not under any pressure to buy gifts, dress up, stay up late, or hunt for/hide treasures. The only expectation is that you spend some time with family and friends, and remember all that you have to be thankful for. For me, I revel in the chaos that comes with a house full of laughter as people enjoy the food and drink, and most importantly — each other.

This year, we hosted Thanksgiving dinner for 18 people, including JP’s sisters and their extended families. I loved seeing our dining room put to use, the china and crystal out, with fancy napkins to boot. I loved watching the children play, laughing and running around, oblivious to everything but themselves and their little worlds. I loved the smell of good food, and the taste of good drink, and the comfort of knowing I was surrounded by people I cared about, and who cared about me. The only thing that would have made the evening better was if we all went around the table and said what we were thankful for. As we did not (JP was not feeling it), I will state those things here.

I am thankful for:

1. My family and friends.
2. The health of my beautiful children
3. The unwavering patience of my husband
4. The rare occasions when Madison snuggles in close
5. My beautiful house
6. Finding a good job so quickly
7. That my long commute offers me a chance to write
8. That 2015 will be here soon

On Saturday, we went to Atlantic City to watch our friend, Christy Crowl, play in the Mannheim Steamroller! We got to go back stage and meet all of the other Steamrollers. The show started late (9 PM), so it was very late night for us. We didn’t get home until a little after 1 AM. Evan and Erin thoroughly enjoyed the show, and they were pretty good troopers until about 5 minutes before we got home. Then the crying started. Fortunately, they quieted down pretty quickly once they were tucked into bed. Unfortunately, they did not really sleep in (unless you consider 7:45 AM sleeping in). Needless to say, JP and I were quite tired on our final day of the 4-day weekend. The alarm clock tomorrow morning is going to be particularly rough. Sigh.

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