Being Thankful in Our Own Way

This time of year always does me in.  My JOB takes up more and more time the closer and closer it gets to the holidays.  I could write an entire book about how people make their procrastination MY problem, but I will spare you… this time.  Basically, if don’t have a camera to my face I have am sitting in a dark room perfecting images, writing emails and putting out fires.  I am not doing the fun stuff this time of year brings.  I am, like so many of us, rushing to get ALL THE THINGS done.  To add to my stress this year, my husband’s job is being pretty demanding, and my mom is on vacation in Arizona for three weeks so I have no day care on top of everything else.  So, right now I am a work at home stay at home mom who is frazzled to the core.


When my mom announced her vacation earlier in the year I didn’t think too much of it.   I knew it would be rough, but still things would be fine.  Except I forgot that the week before Thanksgiving break was also the week of parent-teacher conferences, so my daughters school day was  WILDLY abbreviated which meant I was basically driving ALL MORNING LONG.  FOR FIVE DAYS. On top of this, my work load was heavier than ever.  I was basically calling in every favor I had to arrange some play dates and school pickups.  By the time I landed at an 8+ hour wedding this weekend, it seemed like a relief. No one tells you how relentless parenting is.  So let me tell you, PARENTING IS RELENTLESS!  And when your network is skewed for longer than a day or two it can throw your whole life into chaos.

I knew with Mom being gone things would be harried, adding in the short school days and double choir practices and classroom parties and loads of work both us parents had to do and basically we have resorted basic survival around here.  My house is a mess, my car looks like it’s been attacked by litterbugs, we have a lot of takeout in our fridge and since there is no school this week I’m pretty sure we will  be in pajamas until midday or later most of the time. The fact that I should be preparing for a holiday feast in a couple days is WAY outside my ability right now.  So, we decided to have a different Thanksgiving this year – just our little family all on our own doing Thanksgiving our way.  Honestly, I couldn’t be more excited.

So!  Here’s our Thanksgiving plan –  IMG_2730 We (almost) have no plan!  That’s right, we are kind of flying by the seat of our turkey loving pants.  On Thursday morning our little family will rise early and make our way downtown to participate in Sacramento’s Run to Feed the Hungry.  Lauren has been training like a champ for this run, we just got her some long running pants and she is ready to rock.  The four of us will make it the 3.1 miles and then hop in our car and head back home.  There we will change into comfy clothes, pack up the car with blankets and sand toys and whatever food I’ve thrown together (probably turkey sandwiches) and head off to the beach for the day.  That’s right. THE BEACH.  There will be no turkey cooking in my oven, no homemade bread, no guests coming over.  There will be me and my people on the beach eating sandwiches, playing in the water, hiking the trails, building sand castles, singing songs and doing what is most important on Thanksgiving – we will be giving thanks.  Thanks for a day off, thanks for living in a place where we can drive to the beach and back in a few hours, thanks for nature and the solace it provides, thanks for the time out from life and work, but most importantly we will be giving thanks for each other.  Thanks for this family we made.  Thanks for having our people, always, by our sides.  There is NOTHING that sounds better to me than that.



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  • Reply
    November 24, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I love that you get to do what YOU want and don’t have the pressure of pleasing others for at least this day. Some don’t have that, but I would say for those who don’t there is still so much to be thankful for. So even if you are not doing what YOU want to do, take every hour of the day to focus on one thing that you are blessed with so it remains a day of THANKS.
    One of my hours will be you Cap City Moms ladies because I love you.

    • Reply
      Jill Mansfield
      December 1, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      I’m all super gushy reading that. Love you both. Tremendously.

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