Dancing in the Rain
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A Trisomy 18 Journey

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving

The cousins on Thanksgiving day

Since moving to VA our Thanksgiving routine has changed. Previously we would drive from Maryland to Kentucky to be with Marc's extended family. That was when Syd was in preschool and we could travel more freely. When we moved here, Sydney began kindergarten. That first year she was sick, and we had to cancel our trip. We discovered how nice it could be to relax at home instead of being on the road. Last year I was pregnant with Julia and on bed rest and unable to travel. We enjoyed a quiet and delicious Thanksgiving with my mom and some dear friends in our area. This year we just are not up to making the 10 hour trip with Julia over a four day weekend. And then there's the traffic in and out of the DC area to consider. It is truly a nightmare on a holiday weekend. While I'm a bit sad we have missed out on Thanksgiving in Kentucky for a few years now, I realize this is just another part of our new normal. We have gladly made and will continue to make the necessary adjustments to our life with Julia. Hopefully we can make a trip to Kentucky next summer sometime when school is out, the roads are less crowded, and it is not flu season.

This year my sister and her kids and my mom and stepdad joined us for Thanksgiving.  It was so nice to be at home and to not feel rushed to visit lots of people on the big day.  We did, however, overdo things a little by cooking for way more than the five adults and four children (plus Grady and Julia) who would be eating Thanksgiving dinner.  Everything was delicious, though, and we are working our way through some yummy leftovers.  The kids had a blast playing with their cousins, and the weather here was in the 60s and sunny (usually it's pretty cold by this time of year). 

We have much to be thankful for this year.  Mostly we are thankful to have Julia here with us.  I do feel a bit like I imagine the settlers did at the first Thanksgiving -- thankful to have made it through a very difficult year.  Its more like marking the passage of this year than a celebration.  We of course celebrate each day we have with Julia.  The accumulation of a year's worth of days is weighty, though, and I have felt that weight alongside my thankfulness this holiday .  I want to focus on the good of this year, but I feel that the good in this year cannot be seen or valued without noting the struggles.  Hopefully these ramblings make some sense.

We ended our week of Thanksgiving fun with an early birthday celebration for Julia before everyone had to leave for home.  Julia was a good sport as we sang happy birthday twice, made her wear a party hat, and opened her presents!  Of course she had a lot of help from her siblings and cousins!  We look forward to celebrating Julia's amazing birthday all week!

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