‘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.
It’s only fitting on Thanksgiving Eve to share a few things I’m thankful for — I know it’s cliche but I have to do it.
The last few weeks have been quite the whirlwind. From traveling to Kenya and experiencing another world to the devastating fires in our backyard, it’s only natural to count your blessings and pray for those who are still fighting their battles.
We don’t always see it from smoke or impoverished communities. We don’t always hear it on the news. We aren’t even always listening.
But I’m grateful for the privilege bestowed upon me to help those in need, the values my parents instilled to put others first, and the opportunities granted to donate my time and money to worthy causes.
However you’re spending the Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you find peace, joy and comfort in the days ahead. And if you’re on the Island of Lost Children like I am this weekend, don’t hesitate to reach out.
It’s the inevitable WO-before-Thanksgiving post, so I won’t be offended if you tune out before you hit the end of this sentence.
If you’re still reading this, then I’m thankful for YOU. Those suckers who abandoned already are dead to me!
And for real, this year has brought so much change to my life, I have to be grateful for the many blessings — even when I’m missing my former studio apartment or relaxed office vibe.
I’m thankful to have a roof over my head, gainful employment, friends who treat me like family, electricity, food, running water, the means to take care of myself, and so many other “basics” that really aren’t basic at all. (And, I’m not referencing Pumpkin Spice Latte basic-ness.)
While my travel plans for Thanksgiving changed, who knew it was for good reason after all? Now I have a work trip Monday, to interview candidates for an open role on my team.
When my job hunt seemed endlessly futile, it culminated in TWO offers within 24 hours of each other — allowing me the choice to make my next move, which not everyone is afforded.
When my struggles have sometimes felt endless and disheartening, I can appreciate how small they are compared to the world’s larger issues. I can be an agent of change for women’s rights, sexual assault victims, hurricane survivors, healthcare issues, and more — and I am still allowed to think my small problems feel really big to me, too.
We’re all in this together, and I’m hopeful this boiling, ever-changing social climate we’re in will soon reflect a lot less judgment and a lot more compassion.
However you’re spending this Thanksgiving holiday, I wish you all continued blessings, love and kindness.
A week back in NYC turned out to be the best way to celebrate Thanksgiving. From time with family and friends to perfect parade weather, it was an experience I won’t soon forget. It’s true what they say: New York City is the best place in the world when you don’t live there. Who’s they, you ask? Idk. But they say it.
- Touring Bridgeport: After the parade, I ventured out of the city to my great aunt’s home in Connecticut. She took me on an incredible tour down memory lane: I saw the homes where my mom and grandpa grew up; the church my grandparents were married in; the college my grandpa and some of his brothers attended; the street named after my great-grandfather and much more. My heart is still so full from our special time shared.
- UCB East: After returning to the city Saturday, I went to a 3-on-3 improv tournament at UCB East to support my hilarious friend Chrissie and her talented group, Mannequin Room. They had a killer semis performance and advanced to the final show, where they placed 2nd. I’d never been to a show with this sort of setup, and it didn’t disappoint. There was a group who specialized in spontaneous song and another who somehow made infant mortality rates funny… yeah, just think about that.
- “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: I was super smart to do the math and figure out how far in advance free tickets go up for our fave talk show. All humble bragging aside, I’m so glad we were able to attend Monday’s taping! We laughed endlessly and enjoyed seeing guests John Goodman, Alexis Bledel and David Gray. Jimmy even did a Q&A with the audience while David and his band set up, which was super nice. Dare I say, it was my favorite Tonight Show appearance yet!
- “Babylon” – David Gray: True to form, I’ve gotta get this earworm back into your brains. To celebrate his Tonight Show appearance and greatest hits album, here’s a reminder of his most popular song in the US. It’s been stuck in my head since Sunday, when we played it on repeat to get pumped for his performance. I have no doubt it’ll be stuck in yours soon enough, too.
As ready as I am for 2016 to be dunzo, it’s only fitting to take time this week to reflect on the things for which I’m grateful. Cliche? Absolutely. But essential to the healing process? You betcha.
- Wittyburg Is Six: True to form, I missed my sixth blogiversary last month. With more than 280 WO posts, plus more than 22,000 visits to this little site, you readers give me reason to keep going each week. I can’t say enough how much it means for me to have your support and enduring readership. Here’s to the next year, and beyond!
- Macy’s 90th Thanksgiving Day Parade: I’m super pumped to be back in NYC for another romp in this iconic Thanksgiving Day tradition. The early morning, long hours and chaos are more than worth it to see the smiling faces of thousands lined up for the parade. Look out for Sinclair Oil’s green dinosaur balloon — I’ll be doing my best to hold him down!
- Family Dinner: After the parade, I’ll head to Connecticut to spend time with extended family. My maternal grandpa died in 2014 and his sister, Mary, is his last living sibling. She’s got some of the best stories, and a huge heart, and she’s graciously opened her doors so I can celebrate with her clan. I can’t wait for the craziness to ensue!
- “Hymn for the Weekend” Coldplay f. Beyoncé: You read that right; I’m litchrlly recommending a Coldplay song for your eardrums. Oh, and Queen Bey gets the “featuring” credit, which is potentially a first for her. What better way to celebrate an extra-long weekend — my first in about 10 years? — than with this soothing salute? Everyone enjoy.
I’m not complaining, but there are noticeably fewer 30 Days of Thanks posts in my social feeds this year. Is it no longer trendy? Do we have less to be publicly grateful for?
Whatever the case, I’m wishing each and every one of you a blessed Thanksgiving and hope you all have much to be thankful for.
Whether you’re fortunate enough to be with family or having your own Friendsgiving; whether you’re avoiding shopping at all costs or braving the Black Friday crowds for that ultimate deal; whether you’re a hardcore vegetarian or meat maniac, I hope you’re able to enjoy the holiday and time with people you love.
Until next time, here’s an all-too-true take on how Thanksgiving changes as you grow up.
Gobble till you wobble, y’all.
11/11: Make a wish! Or, you could consider one of these more productive ideas 😉
- Veterans’ Day: I say it every year, but today is just one opportunity of many to thank the servicemen and women who sacrifice it all to serve our country. I’m fortunate to know many active and retired military members, whom I can’t thank enough. I won’t get on a soapbox, but the freedoms we’re fortunate enough to enjoy come at a hefty cost — so JUST DO IT.
- Coffee Cups Cause Commotion: Surely, we have better things to do with our time than debate a coffee cup and its “hidden meaning.” I’m a Christian, and I celebrate Christmas because of Christ — not because of a billion-dollar company’s alleged agenda to take down Jesus. Unfortunately, it’s another example of a few bad apples (or pumpkin spices?) spoiling the bunch.
- Blue Apron Donates Thanksgiving Dinner: It’s no secret I love Blue Apron for its (literally) life-changing service, but here’s another reason to obsess. Now, you can donate your Thanksgiving box of food OR an additional box (and still receive your own). Either way, Blue Apron will match all donations to help feed local families in need! You can donate now until noon ET on November 20.
- “Hotline Bling” Parody – SNL: Last week’s SNL episode, hosted by Donald Trump, left much to be desired… until this ridiculously silly parody popped up. I’m still laughing so hard, I cry — not sure if that says more about the video or me. Either way, enjoy!