giving thanks

Thanksgiving: a time for reflection, for gratitude.

This year, more than ever, I am thankful for the life I am living. I am grateful for the people that helped me get through the past year: my amazing family, my friends (a few that were absolutely integral in where I am today), and I am thankful for the new people that have made their way into my life.

The weekend started off with the United Way Pie Auction at the MNR on Friday. Thursday night, I was busy, busy, preparing, frantic like I am every year. I ended up with a chocolate coconut pie (from Gluten Free Fix), and pumpkin pie truffles (from Six Sisters’ Stuff), and only one failed recipe of roasted pumpkin pie spiced chickpeas. I’m excited to find out how much money they went for, especially my Thanksgiving Treat basket, which included the truffles and Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend coffee that a friend donated to me.

Then, it was off for cocktails, cheese, and charcuterie at Le Petit Bar Friday night. I tried chicken liver pate for the first time. One word: delicious. I need more of that in my life.

Saturday was baking day. It was also finishing-reading-my-book day. Probably not the best book choice I’ve made in my life. Much like Anna Karenina, it touched on the subjects of infidelity and child-bearing. No more of those for a while. I sobbed like someone had killed my cat. Right in front of me. And I love my cat. Like, a lot. It was so pathetic. Normal people wouldn’t react that way. I promise, it was a beautiful book, just with topics that hit too close to home for me. Maybe you would like it? It’s called “The Colour of Tea” by Hannah Tunnicliff. I highly recommend it, especially if you like macarons. Unless you get emotional about infidelity and child-bearing. Then maybe don’t bother.

The book reading kicked my emotions into overdrive, and although it was a little overwhelming,  it ended being a weekend of healing, I think. It was a weekend of sharing; stories, families, grief. It was a weekend of really recognizing what I have and my heart embracing it and being all aflutter because of how lucky I am.

I shared two amazing meals with two very different but very wonderful families. I got to share my first Thanksgiving with Sean’s family – a group of around 30 people, piled into his parents place, the house filled with laughter and chatter, lots of food, balloons, and people spanning the generations.

Tonight, we had dinner with my parents. And even though it was just the four of us, I looked around the table and felt so much gratitude for all that we have and the love that I feel for each of those people sitting with me. Each one of them has played such a significant role me becoming the person I am today, and the success of how far along I have come in the past six months.

I was also grateful that my mum let me be in charge of the dinner. No more over-cooked turkey, or array of boiled and mashed vegetables. Most things were successful. The turkey was amazing. Roasted brussel spouts were a hit with everyone but Sean. Sweet potatoes with cranberries and smoked paprika, and the homemade cranberry sauce: great. And the tiramisu. God! The tiramisu was sooo good! (for being a lazy-man’s cheater version from Kraft). I did learn that if I’m going to stray from the normal boiled butternut squash, I’ll have to do a better job next time. If I fail at the next attempt, I’ll promise my mother to never mess with it again.

And just like that, Canadian Thanksgiving has come and gone.

I made a little wordle the other day (from wordle.net) to show all the things that I’m grateful for, especially this past year. For all of these words, there is a story. Some are more obvious than others. Of course, family, love and friends should be at the top of everyone’s list. But what about Twitter, Starbucks and womens rights? Experiences make you appreciate things differently, and make you appreciate different things.

So tell me, what are you thankful for today?