Friday, November 23, 2007


We thoroughly enjoyed our Thanksgiving Day together. It was just the two of us, with loads of food, and it was nice and relaxing. I couldn't help missing family though. Thanksgiving being the beginning of the holiday season, it really makes it hit home harder that this will be my first year away from family during the holidays. I've been okay with birthdays and all, but the holidays are just completely different.

I think we're both getting more and more anxious to get back home for a visit, as we were talking all day yesterday about what we want to do when we get there, things we want to take with us, and things we could only get in the U.S. We're both very weary of being so far away, and overly ready for a trip back home. It will have been almost a year since we've seen our families by the time we get back home to see them again. We're both family-oriented people, and that's getting to us, I think. This assignment is really testing our patience.

All day Wednesday and yesterday, while I was prepping and cooking our big meal, I kept thinking of how Thanksgiving back home would be. My mom had told me that my immediate family was traveling down to Florida to see her side of the family. All day, I was tracking where they'd be and what they'd be doing, and I couldn't help but feel a little wistful. What's funny is how easy it is to forget the stress of being around large groups of relatives, and still miss them all and almost wish you were there. Neal and I had a wonderful day, and I loved every minute of spending the holiday with him and how quiet it was, but it just felt so weird.

Since I’m from a large family, Thanksgiving usually includes a lot of people. Even if it was just the ones who lived in the same town, it was still six people, including two tweens, so it definitely wasn't quiet. When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was the stereotypical huge affair that you usually see in the TV specials. My mom was one of twelve kids, and usually her oldest sister hosted, and there were constantly people coming and going, kids everywhere, and hugs and kisses all around. I miss those holidays.

Neal didn't seem to miss a beat with our quiet day. I guess it's partly been ingrained in him, given how many holidays he's missed out on from being deployed or working and not able to get home. But he's also an only child, so the quiet holiday dinners are more common and familiar to him.

I really did enjoy the time we got alone, him helping me cook, sitting at the table and nibbling on what was left on our plates after we filled up, and enjoying a glass of wine and a game of cards together. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect, romantic, or special Thanksgiving. It was just very weird, and probably one of those things about being married now (especially being married to a U.S. Sailor) that I will just have to get used to. New marriage, new family, new traditions.

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