h a p p y | t h a n k s g i v i n g.

it's late. i'm in charlotte, which means there's no doubt i will be up early tomorrow morning, but i was scrolling through photos from today and i just can't help it.

thanksgiving, to me, is one of those times where i stop and look around and notice all the ways things have changed. i feel thankful, not necessarily because i have so many things to be thankful for (i do), but because i see that change. it's progress.

two years ago, thanksgiving was the first time my whole family was together again after five months apart. there were moves and transitions and (scary) exciting adventures – the evidence of big dreams and bold leaps of faith.

none of us really knew what we were doing, or why some of us were still in connecticut while others were in charlotte and i was in nashville, or how the distance would really work out for a family who shared more meals together than not.

we had all made our way to a tiny two-bedroom apartment in charlotte, where all seven of us would be staying, to hug and laugh and celebrate. we were all together, it was thanksgiving, there were birthdays that same week, and the exciting news that there would be another someone adding to our mix.

T and i were discussing earlier how we'd like to put a limit on what we say we're thankful for around the dinner table. we should be more intentional and remember to be thankful for the things that have happened specifically in the past year.

and with that:

i am thankful for my nephew, for the way he loves "mo" (motorcycles) and showing you his nose and mouth and eyelashes and belly, for the way he always has a kiss for me and the way he still likes to hold my hand, for the way he reaches for me and the look he gets on his face when he's trying to say "auntie."

i am thankful for my family, for the way we have grown individually and the way we have grown together – miles or no miles between us, for the way they love me and encourage me and always make me laugh.

i am thankful for my friends and my roommates, for the way they help define the word "home" for me.

i am thankful for nashville, for the way it is growing me and challenging me and pushing me and teaching me.

and i am thankful for soft sheets and good sleep and, maybe most importantly, coffee.

and with that.

happy thanksgiving.