When I became a wife and mother I didn't know how important creating traditions was. In fact, it took me years to figure it out. We have a few things we do and will continue to do them.
One of my most favorite memories for Thanksgiving is in 2006. At that time it was me and my two kids. Their dad was overseas and we were in Oklahoma. This was a special Thanksgiving because I could feel the love from everyone near by. We had so many invites to dinner, dessert and all hours of the day. It was hard to pick one, so we went to many. Seeing my kids get to experience being served and allowing others to serve me opened my heart to the full feeling of gratitude.
My first Thanksgiving after my divorce I was alone. The next year I was also alone. But that was for reasons that were agreed upon and very ok with me. But since then I have only had one Thanksgiving without my big kids. However that first Thanksgiving I realized that while there is a big meal and a lot of people gathered together, being alone (like really alone) gave me time to reflect on my life and what I wanted to create for my future with gratitude. I was able to recognize what I was grateful for because I was aware of what I was missing. That night I ate ice cream and watched Christmas movies in my tiny duplex. And I cried. But I will never forget the plans and promises I made to myself.
Scott and I had been married about 2 weeks when we spent our first Thanksgiving together. I will never forget feeling so thankful that I had him in my life. I know I expressed a lot of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for putting us on each other's paths. And the way he ate my turkey made me laugh. He loved it so much.
And this year, the last Thanksgiving I officially have with Courtney in my home feels bittersweet. I know I will have her more times in life. However knowing this is most likely the last time it will be me, my husband and our kids has me feeling grateful that we have traditions for each Thanksgiving that will carry on to our children and their families in the future. I am truly blessed with a wonderful family and I couldn't be more happy to add to it.