If I’m being honest, writing this post in 2020 is proving to be a little more difficult than it was in 2019. Not that I don’t have a lot to be thankful for, it’s just, 2020…am I right? Although I fully recognize how many blessings I have in my life, it’s been easy to get caught up in all of the pandemic, political, and racial tension that’s been going on this year. I also have a hard time putting my feelings into words, so although I’m going to try to adequately express my gratitude here, I hope it’s understood that I am infinitely more grateful than I’m able to convey in a blog post.
If you’ve read any of my other blog posts this year, you probably know that I got MARRIED in 2020! It still feels a little surreal. Scott and I put so much time and effort into planning our perfect day, only to have our plans totally derailed by the coronavirus. In some ways, not having the wedding we originally planned has been completely devastating, but it also shed a very bright light on some of the most wonderful things in my life. Our friends and family have been amazing over the past 6 months. The amount of love and support that they’ve poured out to us is almost unbelievable. My bridesmaids and my mom deserve a special shout out, because they went above and beyond to support me and make me feel special, and they tried their absolute best to make our covid wedding feel like a normal, non-pandemic wedding. Our wedding day was beautiful, and I will never forget the joy I felt that day. I am also incredibly thankful that the vendors we chose for our special day have been so flexible, understanding, and empathetic. Changing our plans (twice) could have been incredibly stressful, but because of the awesome people we’ve been working with, it was fairly easy, quick, and totally painless. We look forward to the day when it’s safe to have large gatherings again, and we plan on throwing an epic party to make up for the one we had to postpone 🙂
Speaking of marriage, I could not be more thankful for my husband. This year has been hard. We’ve spent more time together in the last 6 months than we had in the 2 and a half years we knew each other before that combined. Add to that the stress of the pandemic, adjusting to working from home, political unrest, wedding changes, moving…it’s been a lot. Though we’ve had our moments, I’m so glad he’s the one I’ve been stuck at home with. He continues to be my biggest supporter, always encouraging me to do something when I’m nervous about it or unsure if it’s the right move. He gives me a hug rather than making me feel crazy when something that seems completely miniscule makes me start crying. He makes me laugh every day. He works hard to provide for us. He’s really just the best. I could not be more proud to be his wife, and I look forward to spending forever with him.
My friends have been such an amazing source of support this year. I’m thankful for my friends every year, but this year I’m a little extra grateful that I have such amazing people to lean on. We’ve each had our own challenges this year, and there have been many “Today I’m crying because…” texts exchanged between us. Even though we haven’t been able to see each other in person like we normally would, knowing that we have each other to lean on when we need to vent, cry, celebrate, and everything in between has truly been a blessing this year. I’m so thankful to have surrounded myself with such selfless, caring, thoughtful women.
My family grew this year. Not only did Scott become an official member of the family, but my sister and her husband had our goddaughter, Norah, this spring. We moved just down the road from them in June, and it has been such a blessing to live so close. That little girl has brought so much light to my life, and I’m so thankful to live close enough to see her grow up right before my eyes. Living closer to them also means living closer to my parents, grandparents, and other extended family, and that’s been pretty incredible too. It was our plan that Scott would try to find a job in this area after he finished his master’s degree, but I had no idea how much I would appreciate living so much closer to my family. My relationship with my sister has grown so much stronger now that I can see her more than a few times a year, and I’ve been able to spend more time with my grandparents, who usually spend half of the year in Texas. The older they get, the more I value the time I spend with them. Finally, I would be remiss not to give my parents a shout out. They do so much for me, and have done so much for me throughout my 33 years. I could never fully express my gratitude.
Lastly, I think it’s important to acknowledge that I’m thankful for all of the privileges I have. I’m thankful that I was born into a white, financially and emotionally stable family. That I didn’t ever have to wonder where my next meal would come from. That I’ve always lived in a place where I have easy access to fresh, real food, whenever I want it. That I was never held back by the color of my skin. That I grew up with classmates that looked like me, and dolls that looked like me. That I had access to a quality education. I’m still learning about white privilege and what it really means, but I can say with certainty that my life has benefited because of it. For that, I’m thankful, and also hopeful someday we’ll get to a point where ALL people are truly equal.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that this time helps you to focus on all of the good things that have happened this year. I know none of us will ever forget the year 2020, but my hope is that all of the inconveniences of this year help us appreciate our normal lives a little bit more.