BFF Jen gets so excited about Thanksgiving that I always sniff her drink to make sure that is the only reason she's excited. I, on the other hand, have never been one to get excited about Thanksgiving. Not that I don't look forward to it - I love getting together with everyone. It's just not something I get YAY YAY YAY IS IT THANKSGIVING YET excited about.
Except for this year. This year, I was so excited about Thanksgiving that I was literally counting down until the end of the day on Wednesday. I couldn't decide why I was so excited. Maybe it was because I didn't get to see my side of the family as much for Thanksgiving last year. Maybe it was because I hadn't been to my grandparents' in a while. Maybe it was because I knew my aunt would make brownies again - and that woman knows how to bake a brownie, let me tell you.
But otherwise, Thanksgiving was the same as it had been every year. And then it hit me - maybe that was why I was so excited. Maybe I was just looking forward to relaxing and laughing with my family in the same way I have done since I was a baby. And because my family is awesome and I have never fully appreciated them before.
I've said before (and stand by it) that my grandparents are better than yours. It's still true. My grandparents open their home to us every year. They are so excited about their two great-grandchildren and that is so fun to see. Just picture my Papaw leaning over 3-month-old Peyton and making kissy noises. Best visual ever and even better to see in real life.
And I love seeing my aunt and uncle and cousins. My cousin Allen wasn't able to come this year, so we poured some cider out in his honor. But I did get to see my other two cousins, who I hadn't seen in ages, and get to know my newest two cousins, Ashleigh and Tenley! Ashleigh is a grown-up; Tenley is a baby. That will assist in future confusion in this post. It was wonderful to catch up and see them and ask about their lives. And, of course, to totally abuse my friendship with Ashleigh to ask her pregnancy and baby tips.
Seeing my aunt Shonda is an experience in itself :) since she always brings the fun and crazy to the party. But it's a good crazy, the kind your children can witness, so don't be alarmed. She's funny and goes with the flow. And I already told you about the brownies. You want to be her friend. My uncle Stan, who is the quietest one (or used to be; we broke him in), always wholeheartedly participates in our crazy, and doesn't even complain when we change our plans 16 times in a row. He needs a medal.
I get to see my immediate family a lot, but it's still fun when we get to see each other at Thanksgiving. It's like when you see a movie you love on TV and you have to watch it, even though you own it and can watch it whenever you want. I am eternally grateful for my parents and siblings. They are weird and funny and ridiculous and I know I am blessed to have my whole family around all the time. When my sister got married, I worried it would be hard to adapt to a new member of the family. But Andy jumped right in and became one of us so fast it was like he was always there. That is partly due to the fact that my entire extended family has the attitude that after we meet you once, you are now related to us and may come to all events. Please bring a dessert to share.
Then, of course, my great-grandmother and great-aunt made the trip to come see everyone like they do every year. They live a little ways away but they came anyway. And it was so fun to see them meet Peyton and Tenley. That made 5 generations of us in one room! Can you imagine that? My great-grandmother was born in 1918 (I think. If that's wrong, someone tell me, quick!!). Peyton and Tenley were born in 2012. Almost 100 years of family, together for Thanksgiving. 100 years of Thanksgivings and Christmases and birthdays and being together as often as possible.
And then there's Daniel. Oh, Daniel. Who sits quietly while my family complains about Yankees and people from "up there." Who not only engages himself in conversation with everyone from my great-grandmother to the babies, but spends his time fixing people's guns and showing them how to make all sorts of dangerous things. He got to know everyone and is genuinely glad to be part of my family. I am so grateful that my family welcomed him right away.
Even though I didn't see them at Thanksgiving this year, I have to give a shout-out to my in-laws. They have welcomed me into their family and have made a sincere and loving effort to get to know me and be my friend. I now have more parents, more sisters, more brothers, more aunts, more uncles, and more cousins to call family. Not to mention all of my cute nieces and nephews.
So this year, I am thankful for my family. I never realized how blessed I was until this year. I grew up with grandparents and great-grandparents and this year it really hit me that a lot of people do not have that opportunity. I get to not only meet but have a relationship with so many people in my family. And while so many people do not get along with their in-laws, I can't wait until Christmas so I can see all of mine again. I am blessed beyond anything I have ever deserved.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have a Merry Christmas. And if you don't have any family to see this year, or just want to borrow a grandparent, give me a call. You can join us any time.
But stay away from the brownies. I call dibs.
|5 generations of awesome.|