A year ago I was bustling around my lovely little apartment in Pyeongnae-Dong, South Korea, getting a Thanksgiving meal together for about 20 expats from around the world. There were only a few of us from the States, and I felt a special need to replicate that feeling of family and gratitude that we get here, even though only some of us had anything to compare it to from back home. Jon took care of a beautiful bacon-covered Turkey (it was insanely expensive from Costco, and it barely fit in our tiny oven!), Marisa and I baked and baked, our guests all contributed a little something, and the menu was magnificent and took up every spare table space in our house. Before we all stuffed our faces, we went around in a circle and said what we were thankful for-it brought tears to my eyes. I was so happy to have the chance to spend such an important holiday a million miles from home, surrounded by good people who cared enough to share this piece of home with me.

I love this picture. We’d just had a little photo shoot with lots of nice smiles for the cameras, and the second the picture taking was over(or so we thought) we all immediately began stuffing our faces again! See that bag of chips and the dip? Yeah.

It was also my first Thanksgiving with this guy-even if it wasn’t in the right country, at least we were in the same country then.

This year I am thankful (maybe not all the time, but most of the time) to be back in my dear Ohio. I’m thankful for my amazing bf and all the love that he manages to show me from all the way across the ocean. I’m thankful for my wonderful, albeit completely crazy, family. I’m thankful for the people that love me and make me feel special every day. I’m thankful for my health. I’m thankful for the people that I’ve met here, there and everywhere, and the impact they’ve made on my life.  And I’m thankful for the chance to continue my education at one of the best universities in the country.

There are so many things to be thankful for-sometimes it’s easy to forget. I think that’s why I like Thanksgiving so much. It reminds us to take some time to count the positives in our lives-in between stuffing your face and fighting with Mom about the weight you’ve gained since the last time you saw her (not that that ever happened to me after going away to college, just hypothetical, coughcough), you have no choice but to give thanks for the fact that your life really, probably, just doesn’t suck all that much. With that in mind, Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Papa Sheets-he’s where I get at least 98% of my weird.

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