Our “first” Thanksgiving

It’s past midnight in “chilly” West Texas. Wife has just completed a knitting project after seven literal straight hours of knitting… Husband is playing Skyrim in the other room. It’s been a blessed and great day, complete with a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

2008 was the first year we were married. We spent the day with either one of or both families. Don’t remember. Either way, I didn’t make but a side dish.

2009, I visited him in Arizona and we stayed at a great resort in Phoenix.

2010 he was in Korea, 6,000 miles away.

2011. This year we were away from family, but we have each other. We made a full dinner: turkey, giblet gravy, stuffing, oven-roasted sweet potatoes, corn bread casserole (those were both new creations) and pumpkin cheesecake. It was all delicious, and I was very proud of my off-the-cuff corn bread casserole made in the crockpot.

That’s dinner. Yum.

Last night I had a little breakdown. We went to the hospital to see our small group leaders.. the husband had three stints put in near his heart. We got home and I was freaking out because we didn’t know when we were going to cook the turkey. We had planned to run the 5K this morning and then stay downtown for the parade… but would we leave the oven on all day?? By the time we were talking about it, it was too late to cook it last night.

I was feeling lonely, besides… lonely to really be away from family for the first time. Lonely because sometimes our house can feel empty without children or even a dog…

I expressed this to Aaron. And then I felt like a huge jerk. He knows what it is to really spend Thanksgiving alone, thousands of miles away from family. Skyping last year was great, but still isn’t the same. At least I had his family and mine.

Even after I apologized 17,562 times, I still felt like a jerk. What a paradox, being glad we’re together but taking it for granted all at the same time.

Our solution to the emotional issues (and the whole cooking-the-turkey thing) was to stay home today.. all day.. and just be together. I didn’t put on any makeup or decent clothes; we stayed in PJ’s all day until we took some Turkey Day dinner over to our small group leaders’ house. Then we came back and changed back into PJ’s.

Happiness today really hit me when we were snuggled on the couch with fresh hot coffee and a piece of pumpkin cheesecake, just being together, safe and warm (you know, because it’s sooooo cold here in El Paso. You can tell by my parka in the above picture.)

Moral of the story is that we had a wonderful day, and after watching a late-night news special on Afghanistan, we are so thankful to be together and safe. Most likely, next year we will be again thousands of miles apart. I also realized yet again that it takes two, not necessarily four or six, to make a family. He is my family.

The rest of the weekend is up for grabs, and I could not be more excited. The only things we really have planned are decorating for Christmas (yay!) and going for our long run on Saturday morning. (More to come about Bataan… not sure we’ll be able to do it this time around. :()

Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving… and remember and cherish what is really important.

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