Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the United States, and though we are thousands of miles away from family and old friends, we were able to celebrate with new friends! I did everything I could to make sure we had an "authentic American Thanksgiving" and it was a smashing success if I do say so myself. Several Thanksgiving posts will be coming soon - about shopping for all the ingredients, preparing the meal, and enjoying it - plus an amazing idea for something to make with your leftovers!
However, our computer is still down for the count, which means I can't share pictures yet, which all of those posts really need. But have no fear, we bought a new laptop from some Black Friday specials today! (They still have those here, even though they don't have Thanksgiving. No one really understands it.) All the picture heavy posts will be coming soon, but until then I thought I'd take full advantage of the cliche of the holiday and think about what I am thankful for this year.
So here are a few things I am thankful for this year:
- My husband, who is willing to go on this crazy journey with me. There is no one I'd rather be technically homeless in Europe with!
- My parents, who always encouraged me to dream big and then follow my dreams. I'm sure they didn't imagine my dreams would take me this far away from them, but I am grateful for their love and support.
- My brother, who loves holidays even more than I do, and is always ready to discuss the latest movie we've seen.
- My in-laws and all the family I gained when I married Joel, you all are wonderful and I hope your holidays are merry and bright!
- My covenant group ladies, and the way we are always there to support each other even though we are now scattered not just throughout the Midwest, but the world!
- Technology, which helps us keep in touch with all of the people listed above. Even when it's a pain in the butt (dropped internet, a lemon of a laptop, etc.) I just remind myself how much harder being abroad would be without it, and I'm grateful we have it.
- Our new friends in Wales - Emily and Andy who invited us into their home last night (and so much more during our time here), Steve who always makes us laugh and will soon be a travel buddy, Andrew who is always willing to talk politics with Joel (and his wife Fi is great, too; she was sick yesterday so I hope she feels better soon!), Pat and Dennis who are the epitome of the friendliness and kindness we have found in Wales.
- Murton Methodist, a church community that has welcomed two strangers and made us feel like family in just the two short months we've been here. Our time in Wales would not be as rich without this place and these people!
- The ability to travel - I know this life we are leading right now is one of incredible privilege, and I am grateful for it every day.
- The cats we are sitting for, Nessie and Hamish. At dinner last night we realized that none of us would have been there if it weren't for these two cats needing care, and their owners Andy and Christina choosing us to care for them.
- Speaking of last night, Thanksgiving leftovers! I won't have to cook for days and everything is still delicious!
- Cheesy Christmas movies! Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, may the season of cheesy Christmas movies begin! Between Netflix and a channel on TV solely dedicated to Christmas movies, my cup runneth over. P.S. Check out my list of everything Christmas related available on Netflix!
- My faith in Christ, and the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit I have felt through this whole journey. It has been a time of spiritual renewal for me, and I truly feel God has had a hand in every place we have been and every person we have met!
I could go on and on but I think this will suffice for now. I hope you take some time this holiday weekend to remember and appreciate everything you are grateful for. Whether you celebrate it officially or not, Happy Thanksgiving!