Monday, November 25, 2013

Blessings

Good morning!
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.
We were busy the entire time...
from the moment we woke Friday morning till we went to bed last night...
on the run.
But it was a weekend that 16 years ago I never knew if I would get...
if instead I would be mourning what was lost...
or maybe even somewhere between the two worlds.
Because it was 16 years ago that two precious souls came into this world...

Hunter 3 days

Haley 1 day

13 weeks early...
and Hunter was never supposed to make it the first hour...
the first 12 hours...
the first day or week or even month...
and it would be 95 days and countless surgeries and procedures before they would both be home and we could begin our life as a family without doctors and nurses at every turn.

Hunter 4 months

Haley 4 months
1 year
But 16 sweet years later we got to celebrate what is a momentous day in almost every teen's life...
and while they are identical twins that don't lead identical lives...
Haley an almost average everyday teen with her own sense of self and confidence...
and Hunter blind with cerebral palsy but the absolute happiest soul you could hope to ever meet with a giggle that is so musical you would swear you have heard the sound of angels...
I am thankful for each and every single moment of those 16 years.
and I personally think it's only fitting that we are usually celebrating their birthday at Thanksgiving...
some years it's the Saturday prior...
some on Thanksgiving...
some the day after...
but always at Thanksgiving.
Having their birthday fall at this time of year really helps bring home the true meaning of being thankful for the blessings in our lives.

And while for some of you Thanksgiving Day will resemble more of a Norman Rockwell painting...
I would not know what that's like because a typical Thanksgiving Day around here is usually more Chevy Chase...
hubby dressing in his Detroit Lions jersey and sitting in front of the tv waiting for the annual Thanksgiving Day game to commence and all the while declaring this is gonna be the year they win...
all the way up to the point they lose...
and me telling him to get the lead out and get my Christmas lights up and him telling me not till after Thanksgiving which gives him 1 more day...
and the kids asking every hour when we're finally going to leave and go to Nanny's for our yearly dry turkey...
but don't even think of mentioning that it's dry or else you will be cut out of the will.
Only my favorite part of Thanksgiving isn't the food...though there's always too much of that eaten...
I just love getting together with our rough and ramble family and sitting down and talking about years past...
about those we love who are no longer with us here but are still such a huge part of our family that we include them the only way we can...
we laugh and cry...
and along the way some new memories will be made that will be brought up at future family get together's.
This is what Thanksgiving is all about to me...
family, friends, Detroit Lions, dry turkey...
memories.

What is Thanksgiving to you?
What is that thing you look forward to every year about Thanksgiving?
The turkey?
Maybe there's a dessert that Aunt Sara only makes once a year and you spend all year waiting on it?
Or maybe it's getting to see family that because of distances you only get to see once a year?
Well...as a special treat for all y'all today...
I am so happy to have here to share a little bit of her Thanksgiving traditions is Travel Advocate and TV Spokesperson Kendra Thornton...





It’s a Thornton Thanksgiving from Chicago!

With the leaves nearly fallen and a cold, crispy snap in the air, thoughts turn now to family and making plans for the holidays and all the cheer this season can bring. Thanksgiving is certainly one of my most precious times of the year because of the strong meaning it holds in my heart: the act of giving and gratitude. This year, at the Thornton household, all our relatives will be visiting Chicago, and I can barely wait.

My visits to Pinterest have borne lovely fruit in the way of finding appealing dessert ideas and appetizers that my children can help make in the soon-to-be very busy holiday kitchen. As they grow older, their desire to help mom in the kitchen seems to also grow. It’s best, though, to keep the food designs simple. Complexity in food preparation tends to create bigger messes and also consumes more time. Fun and fast, I discovered, is the best way to prepare food for this special day.

The traditional Thanksgiving dinner still beats all other alternatives; so traditional it shall be again this year. The staple foods of this holiday will occupy their usual places of honor at the table. That will mean turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and my all-time favorite - potatoes and gravy. My traveling experiences will play a role this year in creating different dishes, too. An article at Gogobot called, “Turkey Trimmed to the Nines” highlighted what specific luxury hotels will prepare for guests this Thanksgiving season.

I said, why not? I gathered inspiration from these sophisticated but homey dishes and decided to give them my personal twist and flare, including them as special fare in my kitchen. Yes, my fingers are crossed with hope that my special guests will enjoy every bite. One dish destined for the table will be a velvet pumpkin soup with lobster accents from the expert chefs at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando. This exquisite soup, offered as a pre-dinner treat, will certainly warm the heart.


One of the traditions at the Thornton household is to go around the table and ask each person to give voice to at least one aspect of life they are grateful for. That great humanitarian Albert Schweitzer touched on gratitude in his life when he penned these words: “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Perhaps this tradition of mine can become one of your traditions this Thanksgiving. May wonderful memories and delicious food grant you a safe and happy holiday! 



Doesn't she make it sound so wonderful and perfect?
I may have to skip the dry turkey and crash her holiday instead! *giggle*
You can follow her on Twitter at @KendraThornton for great ideas and tips on travel and holidays.

Now...
I'm off to get some things done before kiddos get home...
and then tomorrow afternoon starts Thanksgiving break which means I then have them for 5 straight days of madness...
which OMGosh...we're in the South people and they are saying we could actually see a light dusting of SNOW tomorrow night!!!
In November!!
That's insane because around here that just never happens!
But I'll be back soon so...
till then!


11 comments :

  1. I think your November birthday post is always my favorite of the year...love to see pics of how teeny, tiny those little girls were knowing how well they are doing today. Beautiful post...love the story of your mom's dry turkey!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a lovely post about your lovely girls Renee--so much to be thankful for!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy birthday to Hunter and Haley, and congratulations on 16 fabulous years!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congrats on 2 beautiful girls;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. A true Blessing indeed!! Wishing them a Sweet 16th Birthday and I hope you too have a Fabulous day/Thanksgiving!! ;) thanks for sharing and have a Fabulous Week!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I didn't know your story, Renee, and I have to say it left me with a smile in my heart! You wrote about your family with so much love and gratitude and it was a joy to read! Thank you for sharing! Happy Thanksgiving to your special family and enjoy that rare snow! Take pictures!! Hugs, Darnell

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was so touched in reading about your girls, Renee and what a miracle they are!
    Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Kendra's Thanksgiving sounds wonderful! Ours is more like yours! Chaotic, crazy, fun, and full of good memories! And some tears for all that are with us in spirit! Did you get snow?? My son is always hoping for it! And to be honest I am too! I still love snow days when he is off school and we have snowball fights and build snowmen and then come in and warm up with hot chocolate and cookies! I love when the world is forced to slow down for those too brief moments in time!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Catching up even though we still have a house full of family that spent the night.
    I always love hearing about your family. I still can't emagian what those first months mush have like for you. I love that you know how blessed you are.
    We had a houseful.It was a beautiful sit down dinner and crazy all at the same time. We were happy for our own in house paramedic with all the falls .
    Great job with your story but then I knew it would be...
    Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Renee...I always love reading your posts about your girls and your family. It always brings a smile to my face. I love your version of Thanksgiving and one year I think my family will have to give it a try. I am not sure anyone in my house would wear a Detroit Lions shirt, Ashleigh always roots for the Oakland Raiders and they too always manage to lose, but we all love listing to her saying they will pull it out. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your sweet family. I am so blessed to be able to count you as a sweet and kind friend and look forward to another year of card making and blogging with you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh Renee, hearing about your twins always touches my heart, and those photos make me cry! Your Thanksgiving story is beautiful...thank YOU! XO

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...