A thankful heart

Growing up, my family didn’t really do “traditions” on Thanksgiving: There was always a turkey, but sometimes it was at home and sometimes at friends’ homes. There was always family, but sometimes there were others as well. But one consistency over the years was rolling out of bed at 8:45 a.m. EST and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in my pajamas. The balloons, the performances, the random celebrity interviews: I loved it all.

Last year, on my first Thanksgiving in New York, I dragged my butt to my Manhattan office, schlepping through eight hours of menial tasks to earn an extra vacation day for later use. There was no parade for me, for the first time in history: Not a television in my line of vision, not an angle high enough to see it out the window.

Not this year. Today, I’m up even earlier than usual to stake out a spot on Central Park West. I’m rejoicing over the weather forecast (high in the 60s sure beats last year’s flurries!) but piling on the layers anyway. My Kindle is loaded with reads for the three hours I’ll spend sitting before the parade begins. I really, really hope it’s worth it. You know I’ll update you all soon (and keep an eye on Twitter and Instagram this morning!)

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Thankful that coffee is a universal necessity and available even in the African plains

In the meantime, here are a few things I’m thankful for all year round, but especially today – lifted straight from recent journal entries:

I’m thankful for sweet friends who carve out time for dinner with me when I’m working night shifts. I’m thankful for sweet and funny text messages just when I need them. I’m thankful for Mondays that are actually worth getting excited about. I’m thankful for Christmas markets and peppermint mochas and snickerdoodles. I’m thankful – today in particular – for friends who are willing to open their homes and roast 22-pound turkeys. I’m thankful for my church and my pastors. I’m thankful for days that go better than planned. I’m thankful for mac & cheese and for sunshine and for Instagram. I’m thankful for my roommates and that they love Christmas as much as I do. I’m thankful for little victories in my career, for Instagram takeovers and commissioned articles and the chance to meet amazing people just because I make little videos on my phone.

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As always, I’m most thankful for my incredible, supportive family, for the opportunity to live in New York City and for the ability to travel all over the world. These are the things that have come to define my 20s and I really don’t think it could get any better.

I’m thankful for all of you, for an amazing year of blogging and for many more ahead. Happy Thanksgiving!

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