Mari-Mac Designs Thanksgiving 2017

“If you want to change the way people respond to you, change the way you respond to people.”
-Timothy Leary

We spent our Thanksgiving in our hometown of Lufkin. During the holidays, especially the past eight years I seemed to have focused more on who wasn’t with us instead of who actually was there. We all tend to miss our loved ones so much more when we celebrate birthdays and gather for holiday dinners.

My sister Vanessa, her husband Albi and their daughter Liviana with our aunt Sally and my daughter Mia.

The bush behind us was planted around the time we moved in this house in 1990.

Perhaps because I have been so busy this year, I didn’t feel the void that I am use to feeling. Birthdays are hard for me because my dad was always the first to call and sing me happy birthday. This is the first year I didn’t cry for him. As long as I can remember, we have always celebrated my birthday on Thanksgiving. My mom would invite everyone in the Filipino community to our home to celebrate. Since most of our extended family was in another country or another state, it was nice to have a big group to celebrate with. I have lots of home movies of us eating.

Our 2017 Friendsgiving

Our Thanksgiving lunch celebration this year at my mom’s reminded a lot of my past birthdays. We had old friends and and new family members that made the day so special. My husband’s mom and stepdad joined us for lunch. My mom got remarried this year and our family had grown by ten times at least. It makes me happy to see her so happy.My mom and her new husband Roy.

Thanksgiving dinner consisted of a smorgasbord of desserts, a sister karaoke competition and watching home movies. Dolly Parton makes an appearance in our videos. Watch our Thanksgiving video/slideshow. Watch Here

Vanessa, my younger sister as Dolly.

We also took a day to see Ryan’s uncle and aunt that live and hour and a half north in Whitehouse. I love the drive to see them. I was watching the trees give way to pastures and couldn’t help remember a decision we made exactly four years ago. On that particular day, we were discussing my inevitable return back to work at the hospital. Madelyn was just two months old and I had one more month of maternity leave to go. I loved being with her and couldn’t help but cry at the thought of leaving. Ryan and I decided I would stay at home and work on this “sewing thing.” Our girls are now 4 and 6 and it has been the best decision I could have made for our family.

We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out and having great conversations. The guys spent time in the woods while the girls looked for Christmas deals. We also went on wild goose chases for matching pajamas and discussed the evolution of man buns. Ryan’s stepmom Cathy, aunt Tylia and sister in law Paige. My nephew Dean and Mia

We spent some time at the lake near their home and really enjoyed our days off together.

This picture was taken at the church across the street from my Moms house.

I will always miss those that cannot be with us, but I am learning to focus on those that are present.

Thanks for reading!



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