Thanksgiving Fail. Kind of.

Our family had big plans for Thanksgiving. I’ve been training to run a Thanksgiving 5k — which we’ve always walked in past years. Following our run, we were going to attend a short Thanksgiving worship service that Joel was leaving at a senior living center, and then go to a friend’s house to celebrate and eat with some of our dearest, closest friends. I was so excited for ALL of these events, and even more excited that it was Baby Boy’s first Thanksgiving — a holiday I knew he would appreciate since it is all about FOOD.

Our plans did not include me breaking a rib from a violent cough — which also resulted in me being on “pneumonia watch” and ordered to stay in bed this week — Baby Boy having an allergic reaction to some Parmesan he accidentally consumed, and Yaya coming down with the stomach flu.

I have been super grumpy about having to spend the past few days in bed. I don’t suffer graciously, for one thing, and I also hate missing out on all the fun. So I had a serious case of the Thanksgiving-humbugs when I woke up to beautiful weather and Facebook pictures of friends participating in the 5K as I was sitting in bed with an inhaler instead of pushing my kids in the jogger and enjoying the sunshine.

But it turned out to be a pretty good day.

For one thing, when I awoke this morning, Baby Boy was toddling happily around my bed in his bright yellow overalls. I remembered that on Thanksgiving last year, I was looking anxiously through pictures of him at the orphanage following a hospital stay — pictures that didn’t exactly do my heart good to see because he was so small.

Since Yaya’s not a big TV watcher and prefers to be busy during her waking hours, it’s not often we get to sit in my bed and cuddle. Her fever wore her out, and I’ll admit that her company in bed next to me during the day did much to lift my spirits.

Would you also believe that my amazing husband bought an 18 pound turkey, which he stuffed and cooked by himself? So Baby Boy got to enjoy some yummy Thanksgiving food after all. (And desserts, thanks to a thoughtful friend who brought us the treats we were missing out on by not being able to join our group for the meal today!)

After the kids were tucked into bed, I looked in on our “gratitude tree” that we’ve been working on for the month of November. We have a closet-turned-playroom in our basement that a talented friend beautified by creating an incredible mural of the seasons, and we’ve been adding autumn leaves to the tree each day with items that Yaya is thankful for.


They include things like “Baking bread with dad” or “our next door neighbors” (we have the best next-door neighbors). The very first thing she wanted to write on the leaf  when we began this activity on November 1st was “my brother loves me”. It made my heart happy to look over the things she was grateful for from the past month.

And I know that I sound like a broken record here, but as I remember the ache that gnawed away at my very soul last year on this day while I longed to have my sick baby home with me, I realized that lying in bed with a broken rib and BOTH of my kids in the same room as me — one with a fever and one with explosive diarrhea — was something to celebrate.

Oh give thanks unto the Lord!


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