I know I'm a week (almost two!) behind the curve, but I can't resist. I have to talk about Thanksgiving. And I have to talk about Thanksgiving because I want to talk about family. Which really applies on a year-round basis, right? Especially when we're right in the middle of the holiday season and (this is my experience, at least) everyone is running around with gift lists and family plans on their mind.

So, yes, Thanksgiving. How were your Thanksgivings, by the way? Hopefully filled with turkey and apple pie and maybe just a teensy bit of football.

This Thanksgiving was Shayne and my first Thanksgiving (as married persons) together! We flew to his family's home in Michigan and spent the better part of the week relaxing and having fun with his parents, brother and sister-in-law and their two ridiculously adorable children. It was perfect, highlighted by a fantastic Thanksgiving meal that left me very nearly gasping for air (I'm a bit of a fool when it comes to holiday foods. Cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing! How does a person resist?) and to top it off, my very own mini pumpkin pie, made by Shayne's mother (being lactose-intolerant, I haven't had pumpkin pie in years -I don't know how she did it, but Julie's lactose-free pie was exactly what the doctor ordered! I've been daydreaming about it ever since).

But the thing that really got me was how important it is for families to pull together, and how incredible the results can be. I know that Thanksgiving dinner isn't exactly a deep, emotionally-charged event for most people, but stress and deadlines build up quickly when you're preparing a meal with its own national holiday attached. So you do what you can to help, do what you can to plan, step aside when you're in the way and acknowledge that although not everything is necessarily going to turn out exactly the way you wanted it to, it's still going to be joyful and life-filling and you're going to be exactly where you should be: with the people you love.

Is this starting to sound like I'm talking about wedding planning to anyone else? I promise, that was not part of the original plan.

Happy-very-post-Thanksgiving! Thank goodness for people we love, and who love us back.