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Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Category

This was the first Thanksgiving that I’ve ever traveled, and what a whirlwind trip it was.  My uncle recently purchased a house in Niles, Michigan, and we wanted to go out and visit him before the weather turned too cold for us wimpy Californians.

His house is so cool, especially the 2-acre grounds.  I imagined huge garden parties in the summer, my nieces running with wild abandon in the backyard, and sipping cocktails in lounge chairs.  At least, that’s what I’d do with the place if I had it.  Not sure if my uncle has those same plans, but maybe I can convince him.

The city of Niles, Michigan is very quaint, especially the downtown area, which is peppered with funky stores, antique “malls,” and old-time businesses.  They city is so much smaller than the one we’re from, so it was very interesting.  My uncle seems to be making some friends which is good.  The main thing that I noticed is that the people are much more conservative there than they are in the Bay Area.  Then again, I think most small towns in middle America are much more conservative than the Bay Area.  😉  The one example I have is that we went to a converted mansion in South Bend, IN for Thanksgiving dinner.  When we arrived in the dining room we ordered two bottles of wine – one white and one red – for the table of four of us.  You should have seen the stares!  The woman at the table next to us nudged her husband and sat there agape, as if we were slugging back wine by the gallon.  I looked around and saw that every other table in the room had either iced tea or water – no alcohol of any kind. So weird!

After a day and a half in Niles, we left for Chicago.  I had seen pictures, heard stories, but nothing compares to actually being there.  Chicago is a stunning, immaculate, architecturally gorgeous city!  I still think San Francisco is more beautiful, but I do love Chicago.  I wish we had more than two days in this fun, lively city.  I’ll definitely be back.

I could fill many more paragraphs with all of our adventures in the two day trip, but for now, I think I’ll let my 200+ photos speak for themselves.  I tried to get some artsy shots, so I hope you enjoy them.

Thanksgiving 2009 – Michigan & Chicago
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Last night after the fabulous dinner had been eaten and the orgasmic pumpkin pie had been devoured (seriously, the pumpkin by was the best pie I’ve eaten in my life!), my dad decided to show some old home movies.  He had been fooling around with the computer and had made my sister and I our own personalized DVD of home movies that featured the first drive home from the hospital all the way through high school graduation.

It was pretty special really.  So nice to see so many relatives who had passed away.  Looking back on a more innocent time and realizing how far I’ve come, how much I’ve gone through, and how I had survived.

I saw myself as a precocious, chubby baby, who turned in to a chubbier toddler and then a chubby grade schooler.  Sensing the pattern?  This is what I remember — being heavy since I was little.

The most shocking revelation of the evening was that in high school I wasn’t as big as I remembered.  In fact, I was pretty slim.  So, no, I was no size 2 by any means, but I was probably about 150-160 pounds, which is more than 100 lbs less than I am right now.  I looked good.  Curvy, feminine, but very fit and healthy.  And back then I  thought I was so fat compared to all of my friends.  In reality, I was the same size that they were, and in some cases, my waist was a lot smaller, thanks to the hourglass figure I have.

What happened to make me gain so much weight since then?  18 years and lots of eating, I guess.  But there have also been some really emotional things that I’ve gone through and while I came out a stronger woman, I guess I also came out a fatter one.  With each major emotional upheaval in my life, I think I turned to food for comfort.  Not that I’m an emotional eater, because I’m not.  I mainly eat when I’m bored, or hungry, obviously.  The problem is that I eat too much, and lately, the wrong things.

Looking at myself 19 years ago was interesting.  I wish I could’ve somehow told my younger self that I was going to turn out to be an intelligent, funny, sarcastic, well liked person who had a major weight problem.  I would’ve warned my  17-year-old self that I really needed to workout more often and take what I was eating more seriously so that I wouldn’t be in the predicament I find myself in now.

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It seems appropriate to take a minute today and explain what I’m thankful for. I am lucky to lead a really good life, and here are a few things (people) that I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving:

1. My Parents. They have always been there for me through everything. They are supportive, critical, inspirational, and so proud of me. They make me feel like the person they know I can become.

2. My Sister and my nieces. My sister and I aren’t as close as we were growing up, but I still love her so much. I am so happy to see her with her two little girls, ages 5 and 4 months. She is such a great mother, and every day she amazes me. I don’t know how she manages to do it all — family, husband, career — and still stay sane.

3. My Friends. My friends are the ones who have seen me through my highest highs and lowest lows. They are used to my overly excited, energetic ways, and love me anyway. They are wonderful, and I don’t think I could make it through the day without all of them.

4. My Determination. I am thankful that I am an ambitious, determined person. I set my mind to something and I can make it happen. I have learned this through the example my family has set for me, and I’m so happy that I have such a strong mind.

5. This Blog. I don’t know what I’d do without a place to get my feelings out. This blog allows me to tap into my creative side and it chronicles my musings and hopes for the future. I may not write to it as often as I’d like, but I am so glad I have this outlet.

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Today I’m also glad (or thankful, if you will) that I got up this morning and worked out with BFF. It wasn’t easy, but we did it. I feel so much better knowing that I can go into Thanksgiving Dinner 350 calories lighter. 🙂

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