this thanksgiving

28 Nov

to me, the easiest way to appreciate something is to go without it.

i am currently typing this from my mom’s computer in sunny florida, where i have been so lucky to join the other three members of my family for thanksgiving!

last year, i was cooking up a big thanksgiving dinner with my friend jeanna for all of the other americans we were stationed with during our time in uganda. we didn’t have mwr or a dfac or anything out there, so we went on a hunt to find ingredients in the markets and tiny stores in order to cook up a thanksgiving dinner for thirty of us. we danced around the kitchen after work to 90’s music, chopping vegetables, and assembling pastry dough (which is quite the feat without air conditioning in an equatorial country) to bring a little piece of home to us (and also to give everyone something to look forward to!). it was a tadย more adventurous than it should have been, with dull knives and a gas oven which couldn’t keep itself lit (we bestowed a brave soul “the keeper of the flame” who would stick their head inside the oven and relight the fire with a lighter haha) – but it was a great experience and 1) showed me how much work cooking up thanksgiving dinner is and 2) showed me how much i had been taking that family time at previous thanksgivings for granted.

the two years prior to last year, my daddy had been over in saudi arabia teaching at their war college and only came home for the christmas season.ย my little brother pointed out to us that thisย is the first year my whole nuclear family has been together in four years! this is also the first thanksgiving in my parent’s new tampa house they had built last year, and our first thanksgiving in a while where it was just us four.

i’ll never take coming home for granted again, i’m so blessed and happy to be here. but to all of my friends downrange and around the world, don’t worry – having to be on the sidelines for this thanksgiving only makes the next one so much more special!!

i try to count my blessings every day, writing down and thinking back on the moments during the day where i felt especially grateful – but that doesn’t mean you can’t take an extra day and really reflect on all of the thing we have to be thankful for. and for me this year, it’s getting to be at home with my family finally!

also a sneak peek from our family photoshoot:

IMG_5647

xoxo,
annie

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One Response to “this thanksgiving”

  1. Dom J November 28, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    Glad you were able to be home this year! Hope it was more than what you expected!

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