I used Stampin' Up! papers and inks in the colors WW, Pumpkin Pie, More Mustard, Ruby Red, and Really Rust.
The holidays are funny, aren't they? They bring out the best and the worst in people sometimes. They bring back memories and feelings that you would have sworn you were "over" - again, both good and bad. When I was a kid, holidays were always spent at one of my aunt's or nana's houses. Thanksgiving Day was spent with my father's side of the family - Christmas Eve was spent with my mom's side, and Christmas Day was spent with my father's side. I remember those holidays so clearly - my father's side was a little more "formal" - there was an adult table and a kid table. I remember being a kid and soooo looking forward to the day that I would sit at the adult table... but that never happened. Before I could grow up, my father left our family. The family fell apart, my grandmother and favorite aunt passed away and by the time I was old enough to sit at the adult table, there was no more adult table, no more Thanksgiving or Christmas Day dinners at nana's or auntie Judy's house. So I incorporated some of their recipes and traditions into my own and when I got married and had kids, we made our own new holiday traditions by combining the stuff that meant the most to us. I make Chex Mix and fudge and watch the parades and shed a few tears while watching because I still miss my auntie Judy so very much even though it's been 15 years that she's been gone now.
Christmas Eve was always utter chaos. My mother is one of ten children and they are all about a year apart. They all have children, which means I have more than 20 first cousins. We always had pinatas - my mom was usually in charge and it was so much fun. She would fill at least 2 pinatas, one for the "big" kids and one for the little ones. She would also make sure every kid had at least 2 or 3 little gifts to open. We had a blast - everyone would bring food and drinks and we'd just have the best time. But the years went on and before you knew it, one sister or cousin was mad at another and the kids started growing up and having their own families. It was never the same again - you can't force people to have fun and love or even forgive each other, unfortunately. But I will never forget those Christmas Eve's, those are some of my absolute fondest memories of childhood, dancing and singing and then falling exhausted into the backseat of my parents' car for the hour-long drive home watching the sky for a sign of Santa Claus and being absolutely CERTAIN that I saw him! LOL
Things change, and change is hard. I happen to be an emotional person and I almost always get migraines around this time of year. I can't help it - I think about how different life is now, how hard it is to be a grown-up! I get so excited, I want to make everything perfect for my family. I want them to always look back on the holidays with joy and to look forward to every new year with excitement and anticipation. So I try so hard to stay upbeat and happy and optimistic - cuz that's my nature, anyway!
But I also can't help but think about the past and I can just feel the lump in my throat develop and I start to feel sorry for myself - because I lost my father to drug abuse at such a young age, because my mother and I are not as close as we used to be and I don't always feel like I have that unconditional love that a daughter should feel. Then I worry that my kids will feel that way some day, and I would rather die than have my kids feel that way about me. See - I'm crazy! :) LOL I can't be alone in this - the holidays must do this to other people, too, right? RIGHT?!? hee hee
So what AM I thankful for? I am so thankful for my family - I'm so thankful that my husband and I still love each other after 17 years together, but even more than that, I'm thankful we still LIKE each other and enjoy each other's company.
I'm thankful for the 2 wonderful, giving-me-gray-hair teenagers that I have. I'm thankful for Trevor's school and the fact that I send him there every day knowing that there are teachers and staff who truly care about him.
I am thankful for my sister, who is always there when I need her. I am thankful that my cousin Angela and I are BCF's again (Best Cousins Forever - hee hee). I'm thankful for all of my extended family and Jeremy's. I am thankful that my children have had their great-grandparents in their lives for so long and that even though grandpa passed away on August 31, my kids will NEVER forget him. How many people get to spend 16 years with their great-grandfather?
I am thankful for my good friends Tim and Shannon - for their friendship and for inviting us to their home for Thanksgiving dinner.
I am thankful for the fact that I have a job, even if it's making me crazy. ha ha I am also thankful that Jeremy is working.
And as silly as this might sound, I am thankful for Facebook and the fact that it has reconnected me with a lot of people/friends/family members who I otherwise probably would not have seen or spoken to again without it!
There is so much more - I am thankful for my life. Even when I'm having a bad day or whatever, I'm thankful to be me. I hope you all feel the same way. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friends. Peace.