Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Southern Style Thankfest

Hello! I hope all is well with you. The holiday season can be a real struggle for people. Those of us who live in daylight savings zones experience darkness by as early as 5pm. October through January is packed full of holidays. It's a busy stressful time for many people and I am seeing and hearing a lot of chatter about those who are struggling with depression.

My hope for those of you who are reading this is that you are happy and in good health. I send you well wishes, good thoughts, love, and prayer xox. To those of us who are happy...let's share the joy! One genuine connection at a time, let's spread some love. I truly believe reaching out to others gives encouragement, motivation, and hopefully inspiration. It's certainly helped me in the past. It's the very least I can do for someone else.

I'd like to share my holiday experience with you. I had the pleasure of traveling out of state with my family. My sister's family recently relocated to Tennessee. I guess I have driven through there a time or two, but I never actually visited. Let me just say, TN is God's country. We were nestled in the Smokey Mountains and were greeted with some very beautiful scenery.

I awoke on Thanksgiving morning to see a lovely doe weaving in and out of the trees just outside of the breakfast nook. I felt like one of my favorite childhood princesses with all of the forest critters outside dropping by to say hello :) Disclosure: I am no mountaineer or nature girl by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, I like a good nature trail. But I, like many other "lovers of the outdoors" am of the opinion it is best enjoyed from the comfort of a patio. Preferably with a tasty adult beverage in hand.

At any rate with the exception of playing sous chef, I didn't do any cooking. Being that I have cooked and hosted Thanksgiving dinner at my house every year since 2001 it was very strange. Try as I might to assist, my sister handled the dinner. And I might add she did a marvelous job! It was one of the best home-cooked meals I have had in recent history.

I am so happy for my sister, brother in law, and their kids. They have worked very hard to establish their careers. They absolutely deserve all that they have worked for. It's time for them to start enjoying the fruit of their labor. They have a ginormous home, sprawling property, adorable smart children, and successful careers. But most importantly, what they have is humility. I don't personally know anyone else who could have obtained what they have, and not changed one iota.

To say that the red carpet was rolled out for my family was an understatement. We were made to feel like family, and esteemed guests at the same time. I have seen quotes about how money and success doesn't change you. It just brings out who you are. I think we all know someone who gets a raise or upgrades some area of their life and they are no longer the same person who you used to associate with. I know people who do very well in life. I am friends with several upper middle class families. The one's that I associate with are generally very nice and pleasant people. But to see people who are so close to me transition from working class to wealthy and remain the same grounded humble personable people that I have always know was nothing short of inspiring. 

I know that their kids will grow up with good heads on their shoulders, and minds to make the world a better place. I am happy that my children have sound examples of what is possible to achieve. I don't know that my husband and I will ever be wealthy. We have goals, and we are trying to build a legacy. I am very happy with the course we are on, and the life we are building (financial stability and a decent retirement). My kids have a father who they witness working hard to take care of his family. They have a mother who is dedicated to making sure they will have a concrete plan to go in whatever direction they choose to pursue. I think that's a great foundation to start out with. But they also have examples in their aunt and uncle that illustrate that you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps become a great success and stay true to yourself. 

I will leave you with some of my favorite pictures to enjoy of our trip. Enjoy! 

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