My parents, who have been together for something like 35 years, who playfully banter, show affection, understand each other on some deep inexplicable level that comes from years of just being together. My dad who gets a happy faraway look when he starts to tell stories, sometimes serious, usually funny and goofy, who knows how to make someone feel seen, who is hardworking, fierce, kind. My mom who nurtures with food and an energy of comfort by just hanging out around her, who stitches love into quilts, who doesn't want anyone to be or feel alone, who has spunk and tenderness. Both who are open with hugs and I-love-yous.
My sister, who is artistic and playful, always longing for less chaos, willing to walk to her own beat, one that has soil and chickens and paint on her fingertips. Her husband who pretends he's not that open with emotions, but will sneak and beam out love toward her. Her kids who are four bundles of energy. The oldest who has a deep zest and spunk, whose face opens up with light when she's excited. The next who is deeply connected to the earth, who lives outside when the weather is mild, who is interested in the practical workings of the world we live in. The third who creates worlds with his art and smiles so lively when he's acknowledged. The youngest who hangs to the comfort of her mama, who experiences the world with sweet intensity.
My brother, who is creative and personable, who loves the rush of speed and height, of new gadgets and things that zoom, who gives incredible hugs that are very near chiro adjustments.
Ryan, my husband, who got on the computer one day - all those years ago - at the exact time I did so that the whole Universe could work magic and our worlds would collide beautifully, even while oceans apart, who took that leap, that plunge into the unknown, who allowed himself to be caught in the currents of love with me, who uprooted and said goodbye to everything he'd always known to come to the USA and be with me. Who looks at the world in a compassionate, level-headed way, who fills our home with music his hands and heart create, who provides for our family, who has quick wit that adds laughter to every single day, who makes me feel completely accepted and loved.
Our children, who fill our life with energy, joy, excited-noise. K, who is deeply, deeply kind, who is sensitive to the world, who creates whimsical and funny animations & comics, who has a love for the old as he dreams of the new, who thinks of grand ideas late at night and lucid dreams when he sleeps, who is at peace in nature and observes the beauty all around, who plays the keyboard and can figure out songs based on sound-memory, who slays zombies and monsters, who is an incredible oldest. A, who is thoroughly nurturing, fiercely guiding, who gives gifts of creation and love to everyone she possibly can, who practices singing diligently every day, who puts on performances of voice and dance to her people and to our backyard birds too, who adores organizing, writing letters, making art, and collecting bits of nature, who snuggles and communicates with our cats, who sees spirits and angels, who beams the brightest light when she smiles. J, who is so very happy to be here on earth, who absolutely walks his own path, in his own way, in his own timing, with full authenticity, who listens to symphonies, who creates art that is detailed and entirely innovative, who is constant motion, who has a cat alter ego, who is a lover of condiments, mild days outside, superheroes, and being a part of the sibling-pack.
And, also, Ryan's birth family because they are good people who nurtured him into adulthood and remain a positive force in our lives through phone calls, mail, annual visits, and much love.
(I'm not going to detail extended family because even my fingers / mind have writing limits, but... there have been a couple in particular who helped create the foundation of who I am, and I'm thankful for them too.)
... It's late so if there are typos, forgive. Basically, the summary: I'm thankful for my family. :)
Our Thanksgiving lunch:
The kids pretending to riot for food -
The kids pretending to riot for food -
A teeny bit more normal -
Mom, brother, dad, bil, sis, Ry -
My parents' dog, Blue -
Ry and me -