It only took eight years of restrained pouting, but we finally scored an invitation to a real Thanksgiving meal. Three of them, actually, although we only managed to squeeze in two. I guess the extra child must have made us look extra pitiful, because our "traditional" low-key Thanksgiving was replaced with two days of full-on feasting thanks to the friends who are just like our extended family, except for their silly accents and uncontrolled drinking (my real family's, I mean. Maybe.).
On Wednesday night, we reconnected with Patrick and Nancy, our former duplex-mates and very first Memphis friends. We originally met as engaged couples, and coming together for the holiday with our five kids among us really emphasized how much has changed in the time since our displaced-Yankee days.
On Thursday, we celebrated the more recent additions to our social circle. Steph and Chip went all out, despite my reassurance that, after nearly a decade of pizza, it wouldn't take much Thanksgivinging to impress us. They're just show-offy like that. And we are ever so grateful for it.
Both evenings reminded us of how lucky we are to have met and held onto such great friends during what have been some of the most tumultuous years of our lives. We moved down here without knowing a single soul on this side of the Mason-Dixon, and it doesn't take much effort to remember those first months when I often went days at a time without talking to anyone outside our apartment (except people I knew online; hi, Stacey!). It's overly simple to say I wouldn't have made it without friends, because it's not just about friends in general, it's about these specific, irreplaceable people who have become my daily diversion and long-standing support. I hope you know who you are, and that I thank you, thank you, thank you.
Photo by Chip, of course.