Happy Thanksgiving lovely friends. Life is full of peaks and valleys but one thing that has become abundantly clear to me since becoming a mom is how powerful gratitude is in accessing happiness, joy and love no matter if I’m high on a peak or low in a valley.
This little guy has brought me more smiles laughter through tears than I can even count in his 18 months of life and every minute of every day he reminds me to choose gratitude.
This passage from Melody Beattie’s book Journey to the Heart is my favorite reading on gratitude of all time, and I’ve been sharing it with my yoga classes for the last week. Personally, I find it so empowering that every day I have a choice. Even when things are so hard, I can still choose gratitude and acknowledge all of the things that are so right.
The truth is that despite all of the ways that I struggle, feel pain and experience heartbreak, I have so much to be grateful for. I thought I would list a lot of things that I feel grateful for in this post but now that I’m writing it, it there is no way to capture this in a way that feels as deep, meaningful and heartfelt as I want it to. Let’s just say that my gratitude ranges from cake and pizza to Finn and my family to my beating heart…and everything in between. <3
It’s been WONDERFUL to have my mom in town this week. First, I just love her and having her with us is the best company. I’ve mentioned this before but it’s extra sweet to have someone around to share parenting moments with. We have loved on Finn so much and cracked up together at all of his cuteness. (Zoey’s too, for the record. We were in tears over Zoey’s antics one night.)
Second, she’s one of those moms who helps in such an easy, natural way. She’s taken my car to have the oil changed and tires rotated, she’s watched Finn while I teach, she washes the coffee pot every day, she unloads the dishwasher and jumps in to help me fold clothes, she comes with me to run errands but also gives me plenty of space and time for myself…I could go on and on.
We have always had a close relationship but I am grateful for the even deeper level that it’s shifted to since Finn was born. (Side note, how was Finn EVER this tiny!? Look at those tiny little legs.)
And if you guys have ever wondered where my very strong sweet tooth comes from. It’s my mom.
We always seem to eat pie when she’s in town and we love the pies from The Fresh Market. We stopped by yesterday and got this apple, walnut and caramel pie. It’s very delicious!
We were debating whether to go out or cook for Thanksgiving and I love to cook so much that I just couldn’t get down with going out. I knew I’d be sentimental and miss some of my favorites so I’ve created a simple menu that I’m excited about. Here it is!
- Butter-roasted turkey breast
- Classic turkey gravy
- Italian sausage and bread stuffing
- Green beans with cremini mushroom sauce
- Orange ginger cranberry sauce
- Sweet potato pie
What I’m most looking forward to is having zero plans on Thanksgiving Day. No classes to teach, no meetings, no work to turn in. I cannot remember the last time I had a day that I didn’t have to be anywhere or do anything. I am planning to sleep as late as possible and then spend the day cooking…which feels like such a treat to me. I also hope to take Zoey for a very long walk and we may go see a movie…time permitting. I considered running our local 10K turkey trot this morning but I knew that what I needed more than anything was a restful, quiet day with my mom at home.
So this post is nothing like I planned it to be in my head but I like where it ended up. I am sending all of you an incredible amount of gratitude for the support you offer by reading my blog, and the connections that I have made through it. Please know that every day I realize how lucky I am to have this space, and for the opportunities it brings and the flexibility it gives me. First and foremost, I am here for YOU GUYS and always open to feedback, suggestions and requests.
Thank you for being along for this ride, and for sticking with it through all the peaks and valleys.
Jen, I’m Canadian so it’s not Thanksgiving for us, but I wish you a wonderful day. I know you will miss Finn but how lovely to spend the day with your mother. You are an amazingly open and honest woman. You deserve every happiness. I appreciate you.
Fiona – thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness. <3
Happy Thanksgiving, Jen! Thank YOU for sharing your life, your lessons and your love with all of us. Have a wonderful time with your mom and Finn.
Thank you Katie! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. <3
Happy thanksgiving Jen! Thanks for sharing your experiences and that beautiful gratitude passage today. I have a son a similar age and love hearing about Finn and seeing what he’s up to!
Happy Thanksgiving and thank you so much for following along. <3
Happy thanksgiving to you, Jen! I am a new(ish) mom to a 7 month old and its so incredibly hard that it makes me wonder how you superwomen single moms even do a single day. Grateful for your blog and it’s endless amounts of inspiration over the years! Have a great day.
Thank you Jill! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.
Love everything about this! You had me tearing up over the words about your mom. Moms are just the best! :). Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
They truly are! <3 Hope your Thanksgiving was great.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. You are such an inspiration. You are one of the strongest woman I know. You make the most of whatever situation or obstacles that come your way with such strength and grace. Thanks for sharing your journey. You help more people than you know..
Wendy, your comment brought me to tears. Thank you for your kindness. <3
Thank you for sharing your life with us, I am grateful for your perspective showing me the way to be. Happy Thanksgiving and I hope this day of rest fills your cup!
Thank you so much for these kind words Carla. I’m just doing my best, one day at a time, and hoping that what I share can somehow help others. <3 I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving Jen!
Thank you for this beautiful and brave post. And for helping me see how to navigate the valleys. I’m a single mom and didn’t have my boys today. I went for a run with a friend and got some yummy soup from Whole Foods … but it wasn’t the easiest day. Please know that your sharing is so appreciated. Thank you! ❤️
Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I know you’ve been adjusting to life as a single mom and gosh, it’s so hard when they aren’t with you. Holidays and special days feel extra emotional. <3 I always share with the intention of hopping that I'm helping others feel less alone in whatever they are navigating.