We sat around our dining room table with friends of both old and new. My dad tried to quiet everyone down so he could pray before our Thanksgiving meal. But anyone who has ever been to the Candelora home knows that quieting everyone down is about as easy a task as Thanksgiving Day portion control. Some things just aren’t going to happen. Ever. But that’s part of what makes us “us”. He finally started praying, at which point everyone got quiet(er). He thanked God for our family and friends, for health and happiness, prosperity and peace. And before he could say finish saying “Amen!”, Brandon reached for the dinner rolls to make sure he didn’t miss out on them. As though there there was a lack of food on the table.
All week I had bee thinking about this idea of Thanksgiving. Facebook was running rampant with people expressing the things they wee thankful for. And me? Well I reflected on how very, truly, honestly grateful I was to be living the life I live right now. All of my needs are met and there is a surplus. I am surrounded by people I love and who love me back. I have the most incredible job in the world that allows me the freedom I have always dreamed of. I have so much to be thankful for.
But as my dad was thanking God for our family, I momentarily teared up as the thankfulness in my own heart for our family. we are far from perfect and each of us has major flaws….but all that is part of the beauty of family. So as cliche as it may sound, this year, possibly more than ever, I am so grateful for my family. Specifically….
For my dad. He has spent his entire life serving his family (us!) and doing whatever he could to provide for us. At times money was very tight, but somehow he always managed to keep his head held high and to make sure he lead our family with passion and servanthood. Even now, years later, family is still priority and I know that he would do or give anything for any of us. That is the mark of a real man.
For my mom. I have been thinking a lot lately about my lifelong dream of someday being an incedible hostess, perfectly domesticated. My mom has been my inspiration behind that my entire life. To this day she still can’t make a good apple pie and she always burns the bread. But she takes time. No matter who walks through our front door, she always take the times to sit down and has tea with them. And that, much more than baking skills of Betty Crocker, is a crucial part of being an incredible hostess.
For my sister, Katie. She is everything I aspire to be and more. Kind hearted, caring, gentle, slow to speak. She Is pretty much perfect. No, really. I know that nobody is perfect but Katie comes pretty stinking close. She is one of my best friends and is wise beyond her years. And this year she gave me a nephew.
And all of a sudden my love and appreciation for her quadrupled.
For my brother, Brian. Who never fails to amuse me. Whether he is trying convince me of he benefits of smoking marijuana (of which I never have) , or attempting to win me over to his side of believing that the world would be a better place without any law or order. Brian is Brian. Unique, creative, artistic and insanely bright. The polar opposite of me and, in so many ways, so much bette than me. I always have something to learn from him. Or laugh at him about. 🙂
For my sister, Cydney. Who is always up for $5 movie night to indulge me in romantic comedies. And who always makes me laugh. She is also my favorite go-to person when I want to pick on mom. But her punch hurts. Like, a lot. But I am convinced she beats me up cause she loves me.
For my brother-in-law, Bill. Because he is one of the most incredible men I have ever met. I never thought anyone would be good enough for Katie but Bill is. And He’s the only one. He is funny and witty, but also has incredible character and integrity.
For my sister, Bionca. Who you already know I adore. My mini me, my apprentice, one of my favorites people in the world. If I had a kid I would want them to be like her. She is equally as stubborn as she is sweet. Never afraid to offer up her opinion or a compliment. She is probably the coolest kid I know.
For my brother, Bruce. Because nobody is ever as willing to cuddle as he is. I hope and pray that never changes, but I know it’s only a matter of time before it will. And that killer smile that throughout his life will probably get him into as much trouble as it will get him out of.
For my brother, Brandon. Who makes me smile every time I walk in the door. He’s always the first to kiss me and give me a “huggy” and he is seriously the funniest 4 year old I know. A bit on the loud side, but never short of jokes and funny phrases.
For my nephew, Little bill. Because he’s perfect. And that’s all there is to it.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas season to you and your family!