Good Gravy, So Much Gratitude!

It's holiday time again...which is...odd. I could've sworn that I was just celebrating Thanksgiving a month ago...but, alas, it was almost a year ago. (I made that bold to really emphasize the fact that it was a year ago...A YEAR AGO - caps & bold means major emphasis.) Time flies when you're having fun...or, in this case, are busy. So many things to do, so few hours in the day. Sometimes I wish I could just not sleep, but then I become a crazy person...and that's even more unproductive. ("Crazy Nami" cleans the apartment incessantly and watches marathons of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, all wily-eyed and short, she doesn't get much work done...and she's not all that fun to talk to.)

Anyway, what I wanted to talk to about in this particular post was something super obvious: Being Thankful. (I know. Shocker.)

Crazy Hand Turkeys in full effect!

Yes, there's the tradition of making lots of food and gorging oneself on all sorts of delectable, high-carb delights around this time of year. Hours of prepping, basting, baking, frying, mashing, glazing, whipping, drizzling, and slicing...if you're fancy, there may be a julienne or two in there somewhere. Households bustle with the sounds of people getting along with drink and conversation. Parties and family get-togethers, the sounds of laughter echoing into the's all very lovely.

So, here's the thing. I've only missed Thanksgiving once with my family and that was, coincidentally, to spend it with my now-Husband Charles 3 years ago. We played videogames all day and took turns tending to our Cornish hens. (If you ever wondered, yes, a turkey for two people is too much turkey.) The dinner didn't come out so great, but we gave it a go.

The main problem, and I didn't really voice it at the time, was that I really missed my family. I missed them somethin' fierce. I'm fairly certain that that dinner tasted like familial sadness (which tastes surprisingly like Cornish hens.)  I recall being passed around to each family member on the phone...everyone sending their love and well-wishes. Hearing the children running around and laughing in the background...the general cheer. It just wasn't the same without them.

Not to mention my sister now makes her annual fried turkey. It's become quite the tradition. The best Thanksgiving dinners start with a fried turkey. Seriously, people. Go get yourself a deep fryer and do it. No sitting by the oven, no constant basting and tending...just drop that sucker in for 45 minutes and your'e good to go. Magic. There won't be any leftovers, I assure you.

Anyway, I'm getting off course...Yes, I missed my family.

And now, I'm back in the same position. 

As it turns out, flying back and forth from the coasts can be a little hard on the wallet. What, you didn't hear about Dante's 8th circle? It's LAX the day before Thanksgiving. So, yes, Husband Charles and I are doing our best to be responsible adults. Instead of flying back for Turkey Day and Christmas, we've just decided to stick with Christmas. Then we can at least show up with gifts and no resentment. (Insert a hard wink here...and then a nudge...and then me yelling, "hey, family, come visit me in Los Angeles!")

So, in light of the fact that I won't be making it over there this year, I now cordially invite you to listen in on my list of thanks. Also known as Nami's Thanksgiving Laser Show List Reading 2012. (You'll have to use your imagination with the lasers...and if you're imagination is awesome, feel free to add in the band of your choice. Maybe some light rock or easy listening so as to not detract from the list itself.)

Note: the order in which these "thanks" are listed means nothing!

Thanks no. 1

Thank you for supporting my crazy life and my crazy decisions. We've had our hardships in the past (remember when I had all those piercings and I was blonde? you never thought I would look "normal" again!), but we made it through and after some serious communication over the years, we've come to really understand and appreciate each other. Thanks for being great parents. I miss you. (COME VISIT ME IN LOS ANGELES!!!)

Thanks no. 2

When I was a kid, never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that we would be so close as adults. (I just called myself an adult...weird.) I mean, sure, we live on opposite coasts and we don't get to hear each others' everyday gripes very often, but I know that if I ever need a shoulder to virtually lean on, you'll be there for me...and vice versa. Honestly, I wish I could just hang out with you guys for hours and hours on end over coffee. You make me feel less like a crazy person...or more like an understood crazy person. Thank you for being amazing siblings. I miss you. (COME VISIT ME IN LOS ANGELES!!!)

Thanks no. 3

I'm going to admit it. I feel like an absentee aunt and it's horrible. I'm just glad I get email updates about you guys often. You're all so wonderful! Smart, considerate, fun, and loving. I just want you to know that even though I'm 3,000 miles away, you guys are in my thoughts and I miss you tons. Thanks for being amazing and inspiring. (TELL YOUR PARENTS YOU ALL NEED TO COME VISIT ME IN LOS ANGELES!!!)

Thanks no. 4
My In-Laws...
Not to get all teenage-girl on you, but "O.M.G! I'm, like, the luckiest girl EVER!" (I just smacked my gum and twirled my hair out of enthusiasm.) Ok, but seriously...You often hear people say that you don't just marry someone. You marry their family and I gotta say, I made the best choice! I couldn't have asked for better in-laws! And I'm not just talking about mothers & fathers. I'm talking about brothers & sisters as well! Thank you all for your endless consideration, support, and humor. I'm truly lucky to have you as family.

Thanks no. 5
My friends...
You know who you are. I'm not naming names...that would be silly. Since moving to LA, it's been a growing experience. New friendships have been formed and strong friendships from back east remain. For those of you I don't get to talk to as frequently as I'd like, know that I miss you and you're in my thoughts. Thank you for sticking with me despite the 3,000 miles. For those I have the pleasure of seeing fairly often, thank you for your support and love...I wouldn't have survived this city without you.

Thanks no. 6
My company...
Thank you for keeping your faith in me, allowing me to keep working with you from the opposite side of the country, and for your kindness, understanding, and support. It's really not so much the company itself, but the people that make up the company. I'm grateful for you. Thank you for the laughs on tough days and the camaraderie on those days when we had to get things done.

Thanks no. 7
My readers...
Listen, I know there are billions of blogs out there...some with tens of thousands of followers. I know I'm not there (yet), so I want to take a minute to thank you, my readers, who are sticking with me at the beginning of this crazy ride. You have no idea how much I appreciate you. For your feedback, your comments, your support. It means the world to me and makes me feel like maybe I'm not writing into a void where my voice just disappears into the darkness. Thank you for listening to what I have to say. I hope I'm bringing some sort of value to your lives. Feel free to send me emails about things you want written about. I'm always up for feedback and suggestions!

Thanks no. 8

Yes, my dog got a category of his own. (Read: Crazy Dog Lady) He's the one I've spent the most time with this past year and his unconditional love, unwavering loyalty, nuzzles, and continued enthusiasm have helped me through some of my darker days. His being attacked this year and having to go through major surgery and a month-long recovery really made me realize what a positive force he is in my much he matters to me. He's the closest thing to a child I've got and I'm thanking him for being a fantastic companion.

Thanks no. 9

Everyday I learn something new. Everyday there's a reason to smile and a reason to laugh with you in my life. You've taught me more things about myself than I ever thought possible and all with patience, kindness, and understanding. Thank you for everything you do. Not a day goes by that I don't feel lucky to have you in my life. In short, I sure am glad I'm married to you...I'm still sad we're not eating fried turkey this year.

Thanks no. 10

I'm not a religious person...and sometimes I question my spirituality as well, but on those days when I'm taking a walk and feel this surge of well-being in my chest...just from breathing in fresh air, feeling the sun on my face, and seeing all the beautiful things around me, I'm overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude. I'm thankful for this life and what's happened so far...and I'm excited for what awaits me. So, thanks, universe! Keep me guessing with all the interesting things you have in store for me!

...aaaaand now I'm spent. So much thanks to give!

I know we're all busy and we can easily get caught up in our own lives, but it's good to take a minute to show gratitude and give thanks to those people (or dogs...or universes) in our lives that make life great! (Oh, look, the Life Enthusiast is getting all enthusiastic about life!) We should be giving thanks every day, I know, but it's difficult to do. (Hey, I'm being honest here.) We have school, jobs, children, chores, appointments, meetings, assignments, deadlines, projects...sometimes we don't sleep enough, we don't take care of ourselves enough, we didn't get to make that phone call or send that text...respond to that email we've been meaning to respond to. So, take today to figure out who you're really thankful for and let them know.

I hope you all have a fantastic day full of family, friends, food, and other things that are positive that start with the letter F...Festivities, floral arrangements (not edible arrangements), flamingos, flan, flamenco dancers (if you're into that sort of thing) on, so forth.

Life enthusiast, signing out! Lots of love to you all, wherever you are!
I gotta get back to being thankful. xo!

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