Happy Turkey Day People!

I have to start this Thanksgiving with a hilarious story because last night I got my new passport with my married name, since we will be traveling overseas in April.  I thought I would get all the paperwork done while I had time, instead of waiting till the last minute.  I was so excited to get my passport back and ripped open the envelope so quickly.  This was a replacement passport so I went and got my picture taken at the Photo Summit in town.  When I opened my new shiny passport, I was shocked to see the HIDEOUS picture inside.  I laughed so hard.  I guess for some reason when they scanned the picture into their system the light must have reflected so there is a huge splotch of light on the side of my chin, and my picture looks disgusting.  I don’t really understand why they don’t let you smile at the DMV or for your passport.  Most of the time, I am happy when I am traveling…I do not walk up to the security guard with RBF!  I actually hate serious pictures in general.  When we were doing our wedding pictures, I specifically told our photographer that I don’t like serious pictures–they give me anxiety.  When I was getting my passport picture the girl had to retake the picture 3 TIMES because she said she could see my teeth and that I was smiling…I am pretty sure the people that check my passport when I travel see my teeth, as I am talking 95% of the time…I would love to be educated on the reasoning behind not smiling in these pictures!

Anyways, moving forward for today, and continuing on with my series of being thankful.  Today I am thankful for my extended family near and far, and especially those that will be traveling today to spend some quality time with us and our incredibly awkward dog, THOR!  I am excited that we are spending this Thanksgiving at my Mom & Dad’s house, who you heard about yesterday.  There is something about being “home” for the holidays that I always cherish.  It is funny because I still have my parents’ house number in my phone as “home” and I wonder if I will ever change that…probably not…

I am so thankful that I have a huge family.  Growing up with a big family always lent itself to a good time!  From spending time with my cousins from my dad’s side of the family down the shore in LBI when Dana and I got in trouble because we tried to runaway and go to “Teen Night” to running through the cornfields at my grandma’s house with my cousins from both sides of my family–we were pretending to corral up our fake cows and bring them into the barn for feeding time to many of Christmases spent making science experiments with my cousins on my mom’s side, and of course it wouldn’t be a true family gathering without a serious game of Cornhole or Baggo, as some of our South Jersey family call it!

This year I have been fortunate enough to add some more extended family officially…although I kind of already considered them my family.  Since I married Dan, I now have official cousins in Charlotte and outside of West Palm that I love with all my heart!  It’s funny because the first year that Dan and I were dating (we met in February) he asked me if I wanted to spend Thanksgiving with his family in Charlotte.  I obviously said yes, but was also so NERVOUS.  Mostly because we were going to be in Charlotte for a bunch of days, and I had never met his aunts, uncles, or cousins before.  What if they didn’t like me?!  I still remember meeting them all for the first time, and internally breathing a sigh of relief because they were nice and fun, and I couldn’t wait to spend a few days getting to know them.  Since, that first Thanksgiving, I now anxiously await the next Thanksgiving with them all because it is always a guaranteed fun time, not to mention Charlotte is so much fun!  I am super excited because in June one of our Charlotte cousins will be marrying his beautiful fiancé in Pittsburgh!  We can’t wait for the big day and talk about it often!!!  Dan’s dad is an only child, but he has some amazing cousins that have wonderful children that have become like family for me, as well.  They pretty much all came to our wedding in October, which was so kind of them, and we can’t wait to make more memories with them in the future.

In addition to our cousins, aunts, and uncles, I am also fortunate to have added an amazing set of nieces in August of this year.  I never imagined what it would be like to become an aunt.  Well, actually I did, but let me tell you holding my nieces for the first time–was a feeling I will never ever in my life be able to duplicate.  Actually I am sure I will, if my sister and brother-in-law have another baby.  Seeing my sister after giving birth was like a whirlwind of emotions.  I still remember the moment when my brother-in-law sent us a picture of my first niece after she was born…I burst into tears.  It was weird because I was so scared for my sister even though she was in the hospital and in very good hands.  We were all waiting in the waiting room, pacing, and trying to figure out what was going on back there.  In a way, I just wanted it to all be over and my sister to not be in any pain, and my nieces to be here.  There is often a lot of time waiting for the babies during childbirth, which from all of the TV shows, and movies…I did not realize.  It was also so different because it was my own sister and I just wished I could do something to help, although there was truly nothing I could really do.  Anyways, I am thankful for my ADORABLE nieces, and my sister who went through a lot to get them here, and my brother-in-law—who was a great coach and also a super fabulous texter in keeping us all up to date!

Lastly, I am thankful for my brother-in-law, Joe.  Joe and I have had some interesting memories together to say the least, but in the end, it is all the ups and downs that have made us closer.  For those of you that don’t know, I lost my biological brother in January 2009.  I will forever feel like a piece of my heart died with him.  I don’t think I will ever get that piece back, but I would like to think that having Joe as a brother-in-law has made my heart bigger.  He makes me laugh hysterically, sometimes with him, but most of the time at him.  One of my favorite Joe memories was when my sister and I were cooking, or drinking wine in their kitchen.  I believe it was the first winter that they owned their house.  They have an outdoor wood furnace that heats their house and Joe was outside tending to the wood and putting more wood in.  He came into the kitchen and began telling my sister about how he just fought with the furnace and the wood.  When we looked at him his eyelashes and hair were covered in soot (I think that is how you spell it?), he of course did not realize that he had the soot all over his face.  My sister and I burst into laughter and he had no clue why were were laughing so hard.  He finally went and looked in the mirror and saw what we were laughing about.   It was just the funniest thing, and may be one of those, had to be there type moments…but regardless, Joe certainly keeps us laughing, which in my opinion is the best medicine.  I love watching Joe as a daddy, he is such a hands-on dad that loves his girls!!!

In closing, I hope you all have a wonderful day today and get to spend some time with your family, if not today, then hopefully this weekend.

Thank you for reading and have a fun day 🙂

Here are my pictures of the day…



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