Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

*Warning! Nauseatingly sentimental blog post ahead!*

I’m not going to lie, today is a very tough day to be an ex-pat. I started the morning like any other day. I ran Bailey 8 miles, took a shower, and started working on my daily chores. And then it hit me- today is Thanksgiving. And I started moping. I sat on the stairs and hugged my pups and shed a few homesick-laden tears. I resolved that today, I would excuse myself from all household duties and lounge around ruminating over how much I missed my family and how badly I wanted to sit around the kitchen table with them for a not-so-friendly game of trivial pursuit.
And then I snapped out of it. Because today isn’t about focusing on what my life is lacking, the sacrifices we’re making, and what we’re missing out on. Today is a day to deliberately show gratitude for the multitude of blessings that my life is overflowing with. Because let’s be honest, I’m not with my family today because I’m out in the world, living my dream, supporting my wonderful husband, and spoiling my pups. So without further adieu, here are the things I’m most grateful for today.

I’m thankful…
...For long runs through Scottish forests. 
...For the best jogging partner a girl could have.
...For legs and lungs that will carry me 8 miles while my mind is free to wander, process, and pray.
...For friends who see the nasty forecast and offer to drive several miles out of their way in peak traffic just to take me to the gym.
...For a dog who gets me out of the house no matter how hard the wind is blowing or how freezing the temperatures are. It’s always hard to get started, but I never regret getting her out. 
...For my husband who is so much more than a best friend to me. 
...For my husband’s job that more than provides for our needs and still allows him to be home and present for dinner each night.
...For the choice to stay home and play mahjong instead of drudging off everyday to a job that sucks the soul out of me.
...For a husband who encourages me to go back to school, to write novels, to follow my dreams…even if my dreams never bring in any income.
...For my sweet Sam, who brings joy to my loneliest days and warmth to my coldest nights. 
...For Scottish sunrises. We don’t always see the sun here in Aberdeen, but when we do, it’s something to see.
...For friends who drive miles out of their way in peak traffic just to give me a lift to book club.
...For books, who keep my mind learning and my imagination working. And brilliant and interesting women to discuss them with.
...For the AWA who fills my social calendar up to the brim, as if to say, “Go away Seasonal Affective Disorder. You’re not welcome here.”
...For friends who in the last 6 months have become a surrogate family to us.
...For friends’ dogs, who have also become extensions of our family.
...For I-phone’s iMessage program which allows me to text my friends and family back home for free.
...For all four of my grandparents.
...For a brother who is fiercely loyal and kind hearted.
...For a sister who inspires me to have the right sort of values in life.
...For parents who modeled an expat adventure to us and taught me to color outside the border-lines.
...For parents who raised me to have a relationship with Christ.
...For my relationship with Christ.
...For the freedom to write this blog. For the readers who support it. For the archive it’s providing of our lives, that already we look back on and cherish.

My friend Tanvi is organizing a Thanksgiving Pot Luck dinner for the AWA tonight, so I will still get to gorge on turkey, potatoes, and pecan pie.   She’s even arranged for the Texans game to be playing while we’re there, which is just a small detail that means so much to us displaced Americans. I’m beyond grateful for such a large expat community who totally understand why days like this are tough. And for local friends who still reach out to send a happy Thanksgiving message, even though the day brings no significance to them.

For all of these things,  I’m extremely thankful. I’m constantly grateful. I’m undeniably blessed.  Happy Thanksgiving! I'd love to know the many ways your life is blessed, so please comment away with the things that you are grateful for!


  1. I'm greatful that Jonathan's job brought you to Houston so that I could get to know you as a supportive, lovely, caring young woman and now, long-distance friend who still shares her adventures and recipes with me via this blog.

  2. Your initial sadness but most importantly the deeply felt gratitude and the blessing that followed brought a happy tear to my eye. I too find through blogging , that my blessing are made very visual to me. I hope your day is/was filled with joy and love!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!! and I am thankful for you.

  3. My brain must have been deep-fried along with the turkey this morning - grateful is the word. Can I blame this on my almost-65-year-old brain?

  4. I am grateful for strong, christian friends like you who support and encourage me through prayers, faith, and love. I am so lucky that we are not only dear friends, but that are families love and care for one another. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Jon, Bailey, and Sam from me, Brian, Kyros, and Mirabell(who we hope makes an appearance any day now!)