Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Giving Thanks

The year after my mom and aunt died, we had our first Thanksgiving as a family without them. My three cousins -- they are like a brother and two sisters to me -- and my dad and uncle at Martin's home in Cleveland. We have a lot of smiles in this photo. Happy faces.

We're all pretty good with the camera. And with learning how to manage Thanksgiving dinner without the moms who did most of the heavy lifting.

It was a tough year, missing the moms, getting used to new holiday routines without them. Remembering and smiling and laughing -- but there were tears too. I don't think that at the ripe old age of 25 and younger that any of us could have seen how Thanksgivings would change over the years. We would grow up to have families and living far apart, those days of celebrating together became a thing of the past as we set our new traditions.

And yet, I think of that year when perhaps the thing for which we were most grateful was to be together in a time of sadness and regrouping, holding tight to traditions and each other.

These days, we celebrate Thanksgiving in different places, on different days. Rick and I will have a Thursday Thanksgiving table of shrimp and grits. Maybe we'll be joined by friends, maybe not. On Saturday, we'll have a bigger table, turkey and the trimmings. It won't matter the day, not really. (Maybe a little!) The main thing is being thankful. And being with people you love.

So, in a few photos, some of the things for which I give thanks this year and beautiful sunsets at the lake.

A world of nature.

Letters and cards that come in the mail, breaking up the normal fare of catalogues, magazines and things that come in window envelopes!

Sweet Lizzie.

My family of birth and all the family they added to my life (this photo was taken in 2005 at Uncle Marty's 90th!).

Rick, sweet wonderful Rick who has been more of a support that you ever could imagine.

My extended family, courtesy of Rick -- Kevin, Greg, Molly and thankful for Baby Boy KevMo, coming in February!

If I had a photo of all of you dear blog friends and my "family" of real-life friends, too, I'd put it here. Instead, a bouquet for you!

Happy Thanksgiving, from Rick and me.

And onward! Let the busy season continue!


  1. Jeanie, thanks for this sweet post. I am still sad at holiday seasons without my Mom, she passed away over nine years ago. But I continue the tradition of hosting and preparing all the food, just like my Mother. I loved seeing photos of your family! Blessings for a wonderful Thanksgiving

  2. What a lovely tribute.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  3. Hi Jeanie:What a nice post, well thought-out. I know I would have as long a list of things to be thankful for, too. And there's Lizzie. xo We are very blessed, me thinks. :)Love the last photo. Enjoy your dinners. Deb

  4. This is wonderful post about Thanksgiving. Its about is really important. Not having turkey on Thursday, but celebrating being with people we love, anytime you can. Love, family and friends are the most important. Wishing you a wonderful celebration weekend! Hugs-Erika

  5. This will be a very quiet year for me and HB but we can be thankful for all the holidays we've shared with friends and family over the past years. Just like you, I treasure those memories.

    Happy Thanksgiving from me and my Rick to you and your Rick!!

  6. I really like the funny picture of your "extended family". Have a nice Thanksgiving, whether it is small and quiet, or filled with lots of visitors. -Jenn

  7. Sweet post Jeanie! Our Thanksgiving certainly has changed over the years. Losing both my mother and mil. But every year we remember them as we enjoy dishes made with recipes handed down from both of them. You have a sweet family! Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  8. Thanks for sharing the wonderful photo. We all have so much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, hugs, Valerie

  9. May your Thanksgiving Day be as peaceful and serene as never before, darling Jeanie, sending blessings to you and Rick!


    Xx Dany

  10. Oh yes, how holiday moods change when those who MADE the holidays a great memory are gone. Moving from one state to another THEN another has caused us to create our own traditions. Jeanie, life is wonderful. HAVE A GREAT DAY!

  11. Jeanie, sounds a lot like life here. Oh those "first" without our loved ones is so hard. Lovely family photos. Blessings to you and Rick on this Thanksgiving Day..........

  12. Happy Thanksgiving!
    You are SO photogenic I almost can't stand it LOL.
    Pretty pretty lady!
    So wise to realize..all the blessings bestowed.

  13. Beautiful post...

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. Oh this is dear. You are so very, very dear:)
    I love this picture of you and Rick - so full of aliveness!
    I felt so deeply the words on regrouping - what a wonderful way
    to put that "just after" season that finds us on holidays and how
    grateful we are for the grace and support that comes.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful-ness with us, Jeanie:)
    It's joy to know you,

  15. What special things to be thankful for. May your whole weekend of celebrating be wonderful.

  16. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Rick! Love that butterfly. ;)

  17. Thank you Jeanie for sharing such a wonderful family tribute. Your family photos and pictures of you and your husband are great! Happy Thanksgiving!
    Hugs, Jody ♥

  18. And, of course, Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  19. This made me tear up a little. We had a good day, but it's impossible not to miss those who are no longer with us. I hope you have a wonderful day on Saturday. I'm wondering how your day went today (yesterday). Did you have friends over or was it just you and Rick? Whatever it was, I hope you enjoyed it.

  20. I hope you had a wonderful day. It was such a lovely tribute and I had lump in my throat as I read it.

  21. Tender, loving, family, regard, fun . . .
    Wonderful "ingredients" in life . . .
    Great post . . .
    (Oh . . . some wine too!)
    happy . thanks . giving

  22. Sharpie Queen (and Bleubeard) answering your question about protecting Sharpies on tiles. If I had to do it over again, I would use a spray permanent fixative, not that wax or polyurethane.

  23. I sometimes think that these "big events" in the year are merely an excuse for getting together and building memories, and giving thanks. Your photos are particularly beautiful in this post, Jeanie. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  24. Good Morning Jeanie,
    This was a beautiful walk down memory lane as well as a nod to the future.
    It made me tear a bit and reflect on the wonderous beauty of life.
    Wishing you a fabulous week ahead, my friend!

  25. Happy Thanksgiving Jeanie, Memory Lane is such a special place, and it is fun and sad to think back about how our Thanksgivings have changed over the years. I think shrimp & grits sounds great for Thanksgiving! I read somewhere that the pilgrims actually had lobster with their meal, I'm all for that! Family time is always a treasure, no matter what day you celebrate!

  26. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, Jeanie.
    The sunset picture is stunning.

  27. This is a happy and sad post all in one. Sad for the ones we will never celebrate with again. Happy because of the memories. We did two Thanksgivings-one with the husband's parents and then again on Friday with a friend-I bought a 5llb turkey breast and thighs and did it all over again-tonight was turkey pie.

  28. What a treasured picture of the family, Jeanie, and so many sweet memories for you. The sunset at the lake and the butterfly pictures are so pretty. I always love your photos, they are interesting and delightful. And this is a wonderful picture of you and Rick. Lizzie looks so content there. :)


  29. This is one of the best Thanksgiving posts I've read. I love how you change and adapt the holiday to suit the currents needs and situations of those involved. That's what it's really all about.

  30. I hate that you and your cousins had to experience the loss of a parent at such a young age. Life is just so unfair at times. But I am glad that you were able to band together and support each other during a very very difficult time.

    I love your list of things to be thankful for. I'm so happy that you are so happy with where you are in life. I remember how heavier your posts were when you were still working and battling a work culture that was less than ideal. I'm so glad you are where you are right now and are thriving! Much love to you and Rick!


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