I've blogged before about some of my family and how amazingly awesome they are. I can remember as a kid, I often preferred hanging out with my family then with my friends, and today, not much as changed. Any chance I get to head to Houston, I take it. Hanging out with my mom, dad, and brother instantly recharges my soul and reminds me how awesome life is. They are the backbone in my life, and even though we're separated by an ocean this Thanksgiving (they're in London), I can feel their love across the miles.
In Positano, Italy with my family last June. Such a beautiful place!
At my college graduation in May 2006
At the Roman Bath in Bath, England in March 2008
At OU's Homecoming my senior year at OU.
In the past couple of years, I have been so blessed to experience a major growth in my family with the addition of Matt's family. For years, I always dreaded getting in-laws. The thought of getting new family members just seemed weird, and I dreaded the thought of having to share holidays. Even as a kid, I remember sort of fearing getting in-laws, as I was terrified about having to sit miserably at a dinner table with a weird family while my family was back at home without me. But the minute I met Matt's family, all these in-law fears were put to rest. They are fabulous, loving, and more welcoming than I ever could have dreamed of. Matt and I have been SO lucky with the whole holiday sharing, as my parents were living in London for our first two Thanksgivings together. With school and our short break, it was impossible to fly over and back in time, so we headed to Arizona to be with Matt's family on Thanksgiving and then flew to London for Christmas with my family. Perfect scheduling. But this year, with my family back in the states, I feared having to tell my mom we wouldn't be spending Thanksgiving with them in Houston. I prepared to give her an intense speech with her about "when you're married to have to share holidays, blah blah," but two seconds into our coversation, she said, "Oh no worries, Dad, Ryan, and I are gonna head back to London to visit everyone." That was followed with a hug and a speech from her about "when you're married to have to share holiday, blah blah." Haha, crisis diverted. So this year, as Matt and I are in Arizona, I feel really lucky to have a new, extended family that is so awesome. They have embraced me with open arms and really love me for me. I don't have to pretend to be someone else or put on my happy face when I'm around them, I'm just me. Their love for shopping is out of control, so naturally we got along. They truly are wonderful, wonderful people. So this year, even though I'm not with my "immediate family," I feel so at home and am so so thankful for the new extended family that I've found in the Davis'.
Out shopping in Phoenix yesterday.
At our rehearsal dinner this past June.
After finishing the Turkey Trot this morning. (Please excuse my squinting, it was super bright, and I was stupid enough not to wear sunglasses.)
Shopping at Northpark in Dallas last summer. I told you they love to shop!
On Thanksgiving, I am always reminded of our Thanksgivings in Dallas with my adopted siblings (it is the longest story in the world, and to save you reading, I'll use "adopted siblings.") Sitting around the multiple tables we set up in our living room and kitchen was always so fun. My poor mom had to cook at least two or three turkeys to feed all of us and the friends my siblings would bring. It's been a few years since we've been able to be together on Thanksgiving, but man, do I think of them and smile on this day. My sister is particularly in my heart as she is working hard to play "mom" and keep the Thanksgiving traditions going with us not in Dallas anymore.
We're not your typical family, but we like it that way :) At Matt and I's wedding this past June.
With my sister and nieces last summer at Logan's.
And the last person in my family that I am particularly thankful for is my husband, Matt. It's still kind of funny to think that he is "family" now, but as we experience our first holiday season as a married couple, I am happily reminded that we are officially our own little family now, starting an exciting journey, just the two of us. Matt is a constant rock in my life, giving me the extra push I sometimes need to just go for it. He makes me laugh harder than anyone I know and constantly keeps me on my toes. He loves me for me, just the way I am. Although our journey as a family has just began, I can't wait to see all the cool places and things we experience together. Having him by my side certainly makes life more fun!
Stonehenge last December
Hanging out on our honeymoon this past July with our new friend (and drink), Pineapple Man.
Hanging out in the distillery district in Toronto this past August. I think Matt looks so handsome in this picture :)
A fabulous sendoff after our wedding!