Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Today, my husband and I will be going over to my parents' house for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner. We're in charge of the stuffing (one of my favorite dishes, using Dale's mom's recipe), the green bean casserole, Jello and sweet potatoes. My husband loves making the big holiday dinners. I secretly think that's one of the biggest reasons he's so excited to have kids - so we can host the holidays at our house! ;)
Given the fact that we are now moving to Denver in just two short months, away from my side of the family (and Dale's side is back in Michigan), I'm especially thankful for family today. They're usually the first ones that I take for granted the most, because they're always there, through thick and thin. My brother came over for dinner last night, and I have to say, it's kind of cool to see our relationship evolve. I'm not sure I've ever mentioned my brother, Chris, on here before, but he's two and a half years younger than me and about to finish college. Generally, I would say that we're pretty different from one another...he tends to be a bit more of a laid back, surfer "dude," whereas I'm a tad more high maintenance =P With our differences, came conflict, growing up. I think that most big sisters can relate when I say that I've always been protective, and yes, even hard on my brother. But I think that it's even more pronounced than usual in our situation. For a long time when we were young, I felt like I had a significant part in raising my brother. My parents had divorced, my dad was missing 90 percent of the time and while my mom worked most nights, I was in charge of Chris. I don't think that he remembers this part of our lives as much as I do, because he was so young, but I think that time in our lives really affected my relationship with him. How I saw him, what I wanted and expected from him as a brother, as a person, and eventually, as a man. Until Dale, Chris was really the only steady, reliable guy that I had in my life, and with that, I think that I put a lot of pressure on him. I wanted him to be everything that my dad wasn't. Ha, it sounds crazy and totally impossible when I say it like that though, doesn't it?
Well, anyway, with those high expectations lying between us, we didn't always get along in high school and college. I always thought that he could do things better, and he always thought that I was judging him. As we get older though, it seems like we're learning to appreciate one another, and are slowly figuring out how we want our relationship to be. I've always kind of known that once we were both older, we'd get along better, and it seems to be happening now, slowly but surely. He's about to finish college, and start his career in environmental protection...which is the perfect career for him, in my opinion, and I have a feeling he's going to do amazing things in the next several years. It's a great, great thing, seeing him grow up. I have to say, it's also really cool to see my husband and my brother hanging out together and getting along. So yeah, that's what I'm most thankful for this year...my brother :) His 23rd birthday is on Sunday, too, so happy early birthday to him!
I hope you all have a great day, and take some time to think about what you're most thankful for this year. I'll be back to my usual routine tomorrow, so be sure to check back so we can catch up over the weekend!