Each year we are either at my parents or my in-laws for Thanksgiving, and then at the other for Christmas. The next year we switch. This was our year to be at my in-laws for Thanksgiving. So, my husband and kids still went while I stayed home.
It was hard being away from them (and I am STILL away from them--they come home tomorrow). It was hard to not get to spend time with Mike's family. We don't get to see them often enough.
It was good being with my family. It was good to spend time with my grandma. It was good to have some time alone at home (it is much easier to clean the house when there is no one else around but the dog!).
So, my different Thanksgiving holiday?
I went to the Thanksgiving service at my church on Wednesday night (my birthday!). There is a long-standing tradition at the end of the service for people to be able to stand up and share what they are thankful for. My dad has been part of this tradition now for 39 years! My sister and I were born on Thanksgiving 39 years ago, and every year my dad gives thanks for us (how great is that??). And we give thanks for him (though not standing up in front of the whole church!).
I spent Thanksgiving morning in a quiet house, enjoying the time to get some things done.
I realized that one of our kittens was missing (and still is).
Went to my parents' for Thanksgiving dinner with many of my family (mom and dad, sister, brother-in-law, 3 nephews, 2 nieces, aunt, uncle, 2 cousins and their families).
Went with my cousin David's dear wife Cara to visit Grandma in the hospital. Spent some good time loving her.
Went home hoping to find 2 kittens (still only one) and let the puppy run for awhile.
Went to my sister's house to celebrate the "late November" birthdays: my sister and I, 2 of my nephews and my brother-in-law (there are also the "early November" birthdays which include my dad, husband and nephew).
I was remiss and didn't get any pictures of our actual Thanksgiving meal, but here are a few of the birthday party.
The guys watching football
Enjoying each others' company
Max the dog and "his" ottoman
One of the birthday boys (with his great new Angry Birds hat!)
The other birthday boy
The rest of my weekend "alone"? I did this, and searched for our missing kitty, and loved on the lonely kitty who is still here, and did a lot of cleaning and organizing (don't encourage my kids to ask where certain things are...), and watched movies at home with a friend, and did lots of laundry, and blogged about my family that I am missing, and slept in very late. As for the rest of my time, we'll just have to see what happens. It might include some cheesecake...
In spite of my "different" Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for so many things: my family, my home, my pets, my friends, my joys, my struggles, and certainly not least, my Savior.
What are you thankful for this year?