Thanksgiving...Giving Thanks.

Now in case you don't know "Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated to commemorate the feast held at Plymouth in 1621 by the Pilgrim colonists and members of the Wampanoag people and... marked by the giving of thanks for harvest and health" Obviously its just something celebrated in America and we were luckily invited to Chris's work friend Sunjay's gorgeous home to spend it with him and his lovely family (wife Garah and two children Gavin and Gracie Jo). Its probably bigger than Christmas here and really felt like Christmas morning to me but without the presents, it might sound weird but it was a bit of relief to not worry about anything but enjoying the day, good food and company...well and what to wear?!

 They also invited Chris's three other colleagues and their partners so there was a nice crowd of us and were all asked to bring our favourite side and dessert. This was such a good idea because it was funny to hear everyone's story behind it, one person made Mac and Cheese as it reminded him of his Mum, like anything you think is easy he got a bit of a shock at how it was harder than to make than expected so had a new found respect for him Mum. My new good friend out here Jackie made delicious pepper stuffing again a family recipe but had a disaster when she put the tin foil trays in the oven to cook not realising the plastic lid wasn't oven proof! A quick trip to ours for some tin foil, catching me in my own cooking chaos and dressing gown, it was quickly sorted though...see really was like Christmas.
I decided to do a British favourite and made...Yorkshire Puddings which I have to say went down very well. Here they have "Biscuits" with their meal anyway, its kind of a cross between a roll and a scone so it was a good addition...does anyone not like them though?! For dessert a few of my favourites had already been taken like Apple Pie, Pecan Pie and new favourite Pumpkin Cheesecake, so I made the husbands favourite "Death by Chocolate" cupcakes. We all really liked the different twist on a British "Christmas" dinner with things like Corn Peg Casserole, Sweet Potato's with Marshmallows on and Green beans, but essentially this was "Turkey Day". Sunjay was up late smoking the two turkeys in his BBQ with Cajun spices. This is not unusual here though but a lot of people fry...yes deep fry a full turkey! It was all delicious, the kids had a hoot playing with "Big kid" toys * in fact we only saw Archie once in a mountain of Lego*...Oscar trashed another house so he was happy and the wine was flowing so we were happy (in fact so happy I sadly didn't take loads of photos...oops) I honestly felt so full I might explode though. A great day.
I would love to bring this Holiday to England as anything that encourages family to get together and more so think of what they are thankful for sounds good to me. Sunjay did a lovely blessing before our meal and we were all asked to think of something we were thankful for. Like a reflex your brain (also confirmed with the husband) is going "Well duh, I'm healthy, so are my family, we are not homeless blah blah...I hope someone doesn't say mine first!  However it really did make me have a little think because sometimes I am just so eaten up with silly things that don't really matter but I cant seem to shake them then I feel guilty for not being gratefulI That's irony right there. On the surface this year for us four has been good, we saw it in Florida, have enjoyed good health, own our home, two cars, Chris was offered this new job and in turn gave us all an amazing chance to live in America.
However it hasn't all been that simple like I'm sure everyone's hasn't, we have lost people along the way, my Grandpa Surrey to name the closest and I am honest enough to admit this has stirred up a lot of emotions for us all about a lot of things including my own Dad passing away. While on Maternity leave my department was made redundant and so was I, I know I am lucky to, for the moment have the choice to be a stay at home Mum but this was really hard for me to lose my plan I suppose and mostly my "Work Family". Another thing I think we have all found hard is Chris's job which has involved a lot of travel and especially with the new contract a lot of time away from us. I honestly don't know how family's with people in the Military or away for long periods of time cope and I know I am not alone to find this a strain on our family life. In one aspect I want to just get on but then it is really hard for the husband to fit in when he returns and on the other hand it is REALLY hard work bringing up children on your own especially when your with them.all.day. So we have really had to work hard on this and I have personally had to dig deep to embrace my new role because its not all rainbows all the time and even though they are my amazing, brilliant, cute kids they are exhausting. As Frank Sinatra said
"The loving is easy, its the living that's hard" 

Now I know to some people that will all sound petty, its hardly third world problems but lets face it do you NOT get annoyed when someone smashes into your car because there are people suffering in the Philippines? or do you NOT get even a tiny bit upset when your toddler crayons all over your cream wallpaper because after all there are kids out there with Leukaemia? ...No because we are all human and that's what is relevant to you right now and you know what I am very grateful to be eaten up by "small" worries and I think I am most Thankful for "small" things...everyone knows small things add up. Its certainly something I need to do more of, try to turn a negative into a positive and take a moment to think of all I have. It really does make your mind quiet down ...at least for a while about a messy house or gaining 12lbs!
So enough of the heavy and this year I am Thankful for:

  • My healthy family young and old...as my GG said she is "the only person I know over 50 never mind 75 that isn't on any medication or bloody statins"
  • My two boys despite driving me crazy they make me laugh and they also are 100% happier than a pig in poop...sometimes that's literal.
  • My husband and celebrating 6yrs of marriage just last week.
  • My amazing, gorgeous friends *you know who you are* who have been there and kept me going near and far.
  • Breaking Bad...enough said.
  • Turning 30, not everyone does.
  • Facebook and having the courage to start my own blog, its been unbelievable how words can bring people together and change your day...maybe even your life.
  • Living in Texas even just for a few months and experiencing this amazing country.
What are you thankful for?

Ash xox

20C...not quite like home.

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EVERYONES job to keep Oscar away from the BBQ!

Oscar entertaining the crowd.


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