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Well, let me begin by saying that I'm Thankful for to-do lists, and post-it notes reminding me every day that I'm weeks and weeks behind on blogging!

We've had a LOT of life going on (but who hasn't?) this fall, and I wanted to pause a moment before the very busy week we've got next week and reflect on all we are thankful for.

We had a beautiful Thanksgiving. Brock, Ruby and I stayed home in VA, and as always, our door was open to anyone who wanted to come and visit, but it was just us three. I had 4 perfect days of no work, so we focused on spending time together, and being present, and with each other. Brock and I have almost always spent Thanksgiving alone, focusing on ourselves and our relationship, and relaxing. When we lived in Seattle, it was impossible to fly east to visit family, because of our jobs, so we just ordered food (never cooked!) and spent time together. Our first two years in VA we bypassed our own traditions for those of our family, and spent time in MD. But the last two years, with traffic and our work, we decided to stay home and be relaxed. Travel is HARD with a small child, no matter what, but travel in the DC metro area during holidays? No wonder no one came to us on thanksgiving: it isn't fun!

We enjoyed our Whole Foods dinner with the turkey that Brock carefully smoked all day, our time together, and then when Ruby went to bed, Brock and I decorated the whole house for Christmas. When she woke up the next day, it was Christmas magic.. including Santa Clown!

I'm so thankful to be a mama. I feel it all the time, but especially during the holidays... they're so much MORE with a child! More magic. More love. More fun. More everything! I'm also super thankful for coffee! :-)

Speaking of thankful... Brock and I are incredibly thankful to Mimi and Podge for offering to keep Ruby while we took a much needed, adult only vacation to the US Virgin Islands at the beginning of the month.

It was the most selfless, kind gift Brock and I have ever been given: the gift of time with each other. Both of us feel SO fortunate to have a daughter as amazing as Ruby, but our relationship is also important to us, so taking the time to explore a new place and travel was priceless.

While we were lounging in the Caribbean, Ruby was having grand adventures. She visited Santa with Mimi, enjoyed Chick-fil-a, had plenty of delicious Mimi-cooking (and in her very blunt yet adorable 2 year old way, informed me that Mimi's homniy is much better than mine), visited a trampoline park, and really spent some quality time together. Ruby even got to visit Nanee and Hop for a short part of our trip.

Christmas is only 10 short days away. Next week we adventure to MD to squeeze in time with Mimi, Podge, Aunties, Grammie Roe, Grandpa David, Great-Grandpa John, Nanee, Hop and Davis Family, and maybe even some other cousins/aunts/uncles. we are so THANKFUL for family and the love they have for our sweet Ruby. It will be a FULL, BUSY, FAST few days, but we will drive home Christmas Eve so Ruby can have her own Christmas morning, in her own house. We've gotten all the presents wrapped, all the cookies baked, all the cards sent, and so now, we'll prep to pack it all up and head north. It will be a whirlwind full of love and hugs and cookies, but hopefully Ruby makes lots of beautiful memories with extended family...because who knows where we'll be next year??

As the holiday fast approaches, we are thankful for so much. The jobs we have. The ability to have a generous Christmas and exchange gifts. We are thankful for our health, and think often of those who fight battles with health every day. We are thankful for our home, our memories we've made in 2018, and most importantly, for all the future has to offer.

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