2 Years, Some Turkey, & A Lot of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year.  It’s sentimental without the pressure, it’s food and family, it’s cool walks and falling leaves, it’s homemade pumpkin cheesecake.  It’s also the weekend I got married 2 years ago.  And it’s a holiday  based around giving thanks.   And now that we live in America, we get two Thanksgivings! img_4526

For the last few months, I have been practicing, and expressing gratitude more concretely and openly.   Struggling with finding a purpose and often feeling lost here in Philly, I find gratitude has been an effective and uplifting coping mechanism to help me appreciate the good that I have when I may not bother to see it.  Gratitude helps me to take note of a sunny day, anticipate an upcoming event, and cherish a happy memory.

Here is Gratitude Definition to get us all on the same page: A sense of thankfulness and joy in response to receiving a gift whether the gift be a tangible benefit from a specific other, or a moment of peaceful bliss evoked by natural beauty (Peterson & Seligman, 2004).  Research shows that expressing gratitude will boost one’s level of happiness.  So to celebrate the holiday, I thought I’d share my Thanksgiving gratitude with you, and hope to inspire a little thanks giving for you.

I’m grateful that I have the ability to travel, both physically and financially.  By traveling I have learned more about the world than in any classroom.  It’s fueled my passion and my skill for photography.  And it’s provided the right opportunities to meet so many wonderful friends.   This weekend specifically, I am so grateful that I could I travel home, attend a wedding, and come home to the world famous Norwood Fair.

I am grateful to Maggie and Kent for having us at your beautiful wedding.  Being invited to any wedding is such an honor, and being at yours, one that was so intimate and personal, was extra special for us.   I love your love!   Thank you for sharing that with us!


I am grateful for Marvin, Joe, and Brandon: 3 of our Philly friends.  Thank you for taking care of the kids this weekend (Peeta and Prim), and more so, thank you for helping Philadelphia feel more like home.   It has been a turning point for both me and Derrick meeting you.  Finding friends is a game changer.

I am grateful for the Norwood Fair.  I will do almost anything to get to the Fair.  Yes, it’s a great country fair: rides, games, church squares, pulled taffy, cows, pigs, chickens, and tractors.   But it’s the coming home that makes it so special to me. It’s seeing people I haven’t seen in years, maybe at a distance in a crowd, or ideally up close for a warm conversation.  I’m reminded of who I was, and a check in on who I am today.  And who doesn’t get excited about seeing 5oolb pumpkins?

I am grateful for my family.  We don’t talk as much as we could.  With distance, we don’t see each other as much as we should.  Yet I know I always have a bed, and an ear when I need one.  I am so grateful that when I come home, you welcome me home.  I am also grateful that my family continues to grow year and after year.  This Thanksgiving, Derrick’s parents and sister joined us for the first time.  I loved that we could come together, have cosmos and turkey, and laugh together.


I am grateful for the time I am able to spend with my Grandmas.  I am grateful for my Grandma Plumton’s butter tarts that are not only the best tarts in the world (runny, sweet, so good!), but they remind me of my childhood celebrations.


After dinner, I drove my Grandma Fife home.  Her memory is a little foggy, and we ended up having the same conversation about 20 times during the 30 minute ride.  I am so grateful that we can have each and every one of those conversations.


I am grateful to everyone who attended and was a part of our wedding.  Derrick and I would be nothing without you in our lives.   Our wedding was a showcase of our love, which far extends the love between me and Derrick.  Thank you for showing up, for dressing up, and for lifting us up.   That day was one of the best days of my life.  It’s a day that I savor.

I am grateful to Derrick, my wonderful husband of two years.  Cheers to the 2832 days of knowing you.  You are incredibly patient, generous, and strong.  I love when we laugh together, I love how you can still surprise me, and I love how we are ‘all in this together’.  I love how we both got each other pillows to celebrate “cotton” (the 2 year gift).  Thank you for inspiring this move to Philly, and for challenging me to stop, and to grow.  Happy 2nd Year Anniversary baby!<3

Lastly, I am grateful for each and every one of you.   Writing this blog has been an outlet for me, and a way to connect with people when it seems like I am a world away.  It’s a chance to connect with you through words and photos, and hopefully share some similar stories with one another.   Thank you for engaging, for following, and for caring about my story.

Thank you to all and Happy Thanksgiving!  May the gratitude and thanks giving continue each and every day.

How do you express gratitude?  What are you grateful for?  When was the last time you told someone thank you?  What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving?   Did you know that Canada has its own Thanksgiving?


Song of the Day: Let’s Have a Kiki/Turkey Lurkey Time (Glee!  Also, the song our wedding party entered to ❤ ) 

4 comments on “2 Years, Some Turkey, & A Lot of Gratitude

  1. Wow – so powerful friend. Made me smile. I’m grateful for you and how you have always accepted me for who I am – slops and all. I’m grateful for the time we got together in June although my heart hurts not seeing you as often as when you were in T.O – I’m grateful for the time we do have together. So glad to hear about your philly friends. They are fortunate to have you and Derrick in their lives. Thanks for the blog – I always find it inspiring. Keep it up – I’m proud of you.


  2. Congratulations Mike. I was so pleased to read your Thankful message.
    It was wonderful to see that beautiful smile again. You were always a bright spot in my time at N.D.H.S. and I am Thankful for that time.
    Wishing you and Derek happiness always.
    I will watch for you at the Fair next year.

    Take care.

    Mrs. Z


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