Thursday, 26 November 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 - Always Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!!

This day is the one I miss home the very most every year. I love the atmosphere in the lead up to Thanksgiving, everyone is so happy and content and strangers are nicer drivers and in supermarket parking lots. And this year Boise has snow!! Anyway.

I make the most out of every holiday throughout the year, even though my colleagues and neighbours probably think I'm crazy. Whether its an office Easter egg hunt, being the only house in my neighbourhood decorated for Halloween, or having sparklers and BBQs on the 4th July (no matter how rainy it might be!) I feel like I do the very best I can to bring the things I love so much about the USA to my life in the UK.

Exhibit A - Halloween 2015
But Thanksgiving is the only one I've really struggled with. Maybe it's simply because my work doesn't just let me have the two days off we get in America to cook and celebrate, maybe its because even if they did, the people I love would still have to work so wouldn't be able to celebrate with me, maybe it's because this holiday is about family, and most of mine are far away. It's also probably because strangers in the street don't know it's Thanksgiving, so the air of love and kindness just isn't there. I think mostly it's that I haven't yet found a tradition Sarah and I can make our own - to do Thanksgiving the 'American and wife in the West Midlands' kind of way.

Sign I came home to from my girls!
So while I'm waiting, and researching, and thinking of magical things we can do each year to celebrate along with my 'Americans in America' counterparts, this year we were invited to the opening of a brand new restaurant in Birmingham, called The Stable! It'll be so fun to have a nice date night in town, and get to sample all this restaurant have to offer, to mark the occasion. We'll post all about it afterwards, so keep an eye out!

Though Thanksgiving is slightly bittersweet for the lone Idahoan of Kings Norton, it isn't lost on me just how much I am to be thankful for.

I'm most thankful this year for my Mum - she has fought pancreatic cancer this year, and after lots of chemo, a surgery at Johns Hopkins, lots of recovery time in hospital, and more chemo, she is officially in remission as of last week! Mum is truly my hero, she handled everything that came her way incredibly well, continued to be the Mum we all love and adore throughout, and never lost her sense of humour. It may not be over forever, but for now, we are all just so grateful and happy.

I'm also so thankful for my Dad, the unsung hero of the cancer fight - he kept Mum going when she was down, made sure she walked and ate to keep her strength up, treated and surprised her to keep a smile on her face, went to so many 6 hour long chemo appointments, asked all the hard questions to all the doctors, became 'Nurse Bob' when he tended to Mum's post-surgery wound, and was the unwavering support we all needed the whole way through.

My wife, who tried to shield me from hurt and heartache every step of the way - from the day I came home from work and had to Skype Dad to find out that Mum had cancer, to driving me to the airport and packing for me to go to Baltimore for Mum's surgery, for holding down the fort while I was away, being my shoulder to cry on countless times and my reminder to stay positive throughout, for always thinking of ways to make my Mum smile from sending flowers and cards to 'take a picture of this, your Mum will like it!', for always knowing when a pizza and movie night is needed, and for being my better half every day!

I'm thankful for the caring and kind people I have around me here, my mother in law for being there for us from the beginning and for giving me a good luck charm I took to Baltimore and will keep with me always, my good friends, in laws and colleagues for checking in and asking how Mum is, but also for distracting me when I needed it with adventures and memories I will keep for a lifetime.

And finally, I'm thankful for this bundle of fur - it's our first Thanksgiving with her, and I can't believe we've had her for a year! She has changed our lives so much for such a little thing, and we can't imagine life without her. I put together a little video of her best bits from her first year, check it out here!

Happy Thanksgiving from my little family to yours - I didn't expect this post to be quite as heavy as it was, but 2015 has been a hell of a roller coaster. Here's to a healthy and happy 2016!!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to both of you... I am so thrilled that your mum is better xox

  2. I've followed your blog for such a long time that I don't even remember how I started, and so, in a weird way, I think of you as friends- even though we've only had a little interaction on Twitter/FB, you let me into your lives via the blog & that feels like such a privilege. The internet is so weird!

    I just wanted to say that this post brought tears to my eyes- I'm so glad your mum is in remission, so glad you're happy... and you will absolutely find your way to celebrate Thanksgiving in this country; it'll always be different from a *home* Thanksgiving (and as a nurse, I so get what you mean about the difference between working & not working a holiday!) but you'll find a way to make it special!

    Sending love xoxo

  3. This is lovely Lauraloo! It brought tears to my eyes too and I am very thankful for all the support you and Sarah have given me throughout this ordeal. I love you very, very, very much! Mum 💗 💗 💗 💗

  4. Being thankful and present in the moment. I think that's the "magic" of the Thanksgiving holiday. As you aptly described they are those few days around the holiday when people relax, are kind to one another and aren't rushing to get to the next big thing. As long as you can capture that, Thanksgiving can happen anytime or anywhere.


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