"What's the use of a book," thought Alice, "without any pictures or conversations?"
The Holidays are a great opportunity to sit back and silently observe the great wonders of life. I find myself leaning back in my chair, clasping my hands together and watching closely at the incredible moments that have molded me into the person I am. My grandma, as she scoops Kade up and showers him with adoration. My little brother, determined to maneuver through the wall of dining room chairs to me, to give me a hug and call me "Jecka." The warmth, safety and comfort that is my mother. The way my family can sit together, laughing and openly expressing all the things in this life we are so thankful for. There are places, families, I dare not imagine, who do not get together on the Holidays. There are wounded hearts who argue bitterly; people who dread having to tolerate each other for nay an hour. My family, I imagine, is tied tightly with a bright red ribbon. The warmth of the love we have for one another seems radiate from the dining room candles, warming the whole house, wafting up the stairs and out the windows. The Holiday seemed as any Sunday, surrounded by the laughter and love that my family projects for one another on any given day. I can't express how grateful I am.
I was lucky enough to attend three different Thanksgiving dinners. Each one very different, and each one very special to my heart. The first, a close-knit, very personal affair; football on the television, homemade cranberry sauce (incredible, thanks Quinn!) and sitting cross legged on the couch with a hot plate balanced on my knee. The second, the dinner aforementioned: in the familiar and comforting home of my "gramma." And the third, with my Dad's family. The cousins crowded in the back room, catching up, stuffing ourselves with more pistachio pudding than should be legal, feeding our toddlers spoonfuls of whipping cream. There was an abundance of babies, as our family is growing. A new generation.
As usual, the theme is a go-with-the-flow, cup half freakin' full, life is beautiful type of deal.
Let me be real for a minute. I worked a grave yard shift the night before Thanksgiving, went to three dinners and returned to work Thanksgiving night for yet another graveyard- running on no sleep and in the midst of a turkey coma. It was exhausting. Please assume that amongst all the laughter, love, warmth and happiness that I describe in each post, there is also a cranky baby. There is a small argument, a temper tantrum, a spilled drink, burnt muffins. Life is full of these things, but the point is to move past them. The point in all of this is to focus instead on the happiness and forget the spilled milk. The point is to take life one moment at a time, enjoy it to its fullest, drink up the happiness in two big gulps, leave the unhappy feelings on your plate and move on to the next moment, ready for anything.
In the midst of the Holiday excitement, I got home and realized I hadn't taken one single picture of the days festivities. I could have kicked myself but instead, I pat myself on the back. Yes, because instead of trying to capture every moment, repeating "Kade! Kade! Kade!" and using up most of my time trying to capture a photo of Kade eating turkey, playing with his cousins, kissing his daddy, I lived in the moment. No, I relished in the moment.
And damn, it felt good.