‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the house, all the creatures were stirring: three nieces under 6, six adults, two dogs, a TV, an Echo, countless phones, this very laptop… To say I’m having sensory overload is an understatement. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
It’s my first time in Florida for Thanksgiving in seven years. The last time I was home for it, my dad was alive. We visited his aunt in the nursing home and her dementia had her believing I was my mother. I was scheduled to go the following Monday to Raleigh, N.C., for a job interview — but I’d just received a job offer from macys.com in New York City, instead. My brother and sister-in-law were newlyweds, without children. My grandpa was still alive and hadn’t yet reconnected with his sister, who would later become my Thanksgiving hostess while living in NYC.
While seven years doesn’t seem like that long ago, it’s clearly been one heck of a time for change in our family. We’ve had ups and downs and highs and lows and all of the normal everyday nonsense that comes with daily life and changing seasons.
So as usual, I’m thankful for this crazy circus I call my family. And I’m especially grateful to be in a position to come home for a few days, meet my newest niece, await the arrival of my SIL’s SIL’s son, and spend a few exhausting but fulfilling days with them in person. As much as I love SF and my life there, some things can’t replace the feeling of being home for a holiday.
Wishing you and yours the happiest of Turkey Days tomorrow, and if you are in need of love, don’t be a stranger! We have more than enough cheer (and food!) to go around.
TFW you realize your scheduled post didn’t publish and you missed a Wednesday for the first time in 8+ years 😱😱😱
This week was my first “normal” one in more than a month, so naturally that means it’s been INSANE.
Working late, email oblivion, socializing, and a little bit of reading (I’m at 74 books for the year!) — what’s not to love?
But since my favorite holiday is upon us, I’m trying to put my positive / spooky face on and have my marvelous momma to thank for giving me some levity.
Whether it’s a parent, friend, partner, licensed professional, or some combination of these, I hope you each have someone (or a few someones) in your life whom you can turn to in peaks and valleys. It’s worth more than I can express in an overwrought week but the result is also a bit more sanity and not feeling alone. Who doesn’t want that?
If you’ve been around here a while, you may recall how September holds a smorgasbord of birthdays in my family. Well, add one more to the list because on Monday (the 2nd), my third niece was born!
She is absolutely perfect and healthy and squishy and snuggly and all the things I’ve ever hoped for these girls. Sister-in-Law is doing well, as are Brother and their older daughters.
It’s been an emotional week as we watched Hurricane Dorian decimate the Bahamas and prayed for relief of its residents (not to mention, a slowdown and fade-out before causing any more damage). Little Niec3’s arrival added more tears — albeit happy ones — and the remaining September babies have lots to celebrate as well.
High fives all around, yeah?
Our first seven days in Ireland have had their fair share of ups and downs, but as I’ve learned from the Irish to say, “It’ll be grand” and “We’re not here for a long time so might as well make it a good time.” These also remind me of a family favorite saying, “If you’re not having fun it’s your own damn fault.”
Quotations aside, we’ve done a TON of learning and laughing along the way from Dublin to Killarney, the Ring of Kerry and more. We have just a few precious days left here and I know we’re both trying to soak up every second of it (even if it means the 6:45am alarm comes way too soon).
From remembering my Grammy’s passing to my eldest niece starting kindergarten on Monday and tomorrow’s 24th anniversary of my dad’s stroke, it’s been quite the emotional adventure as well. I couldn’t be more grateful, though, to spend the time with my mom in her parents’ homeland and with unforgettable memories in the making.
So, that’s about all I’m obsessed with this week. No breakdown of the four top things, because I could hardly choose from the live music to my bag being returned to the stories to my bag being returned… well, you get the idea.
If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans, right? I’m going into my 12th hour of travel and have only made it to Chicago. Same for my mom and she’s JUST getting off the ground from Orlando.
Our destination? Dublin, Ireland! The luck of the Irish might not be on our side today but I have high hopes the delays will make the destination that much sweeter.
Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary since my maternal grandmother passed. I was studying in Ireland at the time and didn’t make it back for the services and to be by my mom’s side. So while my genius idea to take Magz to Ireland for Grammy’s angelversary has gotten off to a rocky start, I have every hope that the next nine days will be incredible.
May the road rise up to meet you 💚🍀
I haven’t been back to Florida in six months, so it’s just about time for waves of homesickness to set in. It doesn’t help that we just had Father’s Day (our sixth without Dad), my parents’ anniversary (their 39th), and my grandma’s birthday would be tomorrow (happy 89th in Heaven, Grammy!). Here’s what’s helping me get through the hometown blues:
- FaceTime: I mean, duh. There’s likely no way I would get through being far from family if it weren’t for the power of technology. I’m very grateful for my mom, brother, SIL, and the whole gang being up for FaceTiming regularly. It’s nothing like being there, of course, but it’s absolutely a great (and cheap!) alternative.
- A Cowgirl’s 3rd Birthday: Coming in hot this weekend is my younger niece, who turns THREE on Sunday! I can hardly believe she’ll be a three-nager in no time. Her current obsession with Jessie the cowgirl shows no sign of stopping, so it’s only fitting she dress the part in a sparkly hat and pair of boots to “ride like the wind, Bullseye!”
- “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” – Randy Newman: All this Toy Story talk has me thinking of the classic (how old am I?) song that brought us all to tears. Of the many musical moments we have Pixar to thank for, this one easily sits near the top tunes to take us back. I also can’t help but think of the show “Monk” when I hear it, but that’s another story for another week.
- #PrideForever: There’s no place like home, eh Dorothy? And there’s nowhere I’d rather be to celebrate 50 years of the modern LGBTQ+ movement than in gay ol’ San Francisco. Living in such an accepting, love-filled, progressive place can have its scary moments. But overall, I feel very privileged and special to reside in this Bay Area among people of all identities and backgrounds.
Sometimes the simplest things in life can truly bring the greatest pleasures. I got back to my simple roots this week and, I gotta say, it really helped me get through some shit.
- GoT Finale: Wouuuld we call this simple? No. But finally knowing how our beloved Starks and the rest of the Westeros crew fared brings such closure to the chaos. Didn’t love it, wouldn’t rate it 10/10, but does any finale ever really nail it? Thanks for the memories, GoT. And now our watch has ended.
- Olive Garden: I don’t know if there’s another restaurant that reminds me of home as much as the OG. My grandpa (Pop) was a daily visitor and everyone knows those breadsticks can inspire family feuds like no other. I had my first-ever Tour of Italy and will be visiting again soon.
- Lolli & Pops: Next to the only OG in town is a massive mall, containing this SF treasure. We were actual kids in a candy store as my friend gasped “Pineapple! Gummy sharks!” etc. etc. The massive candy bark and cookie-dough bites are worth the visit alone.
- “Candy” – Mandy Moore: Well, duh. But I also killed some time the other day watching “Center Stage” and was reminded of this perennial pop hit’s place in history. Doesn’t get sweeter than that. Love always, Mandy.