The holidays, my favorite time of the year. It has been since I was a little girl. It reminds me of performing in the Nutcracker; it makes me appreciate the bitter cold weather we have in the ‘Burgh. Most importantly I get to spend time with my family.
I am blessed with having a huge family. My father is 1 of 9 and my mother is 1 of 5. I have 24 first cousins on my dad’s side and 9 on my mom’s. And now, my cousins are starting to have kids so the numbers are on the rise and I love it.
This has been very big year our nation, the Gingnation as we refer to ourselves as. We have 3 new littles that we can’t wait to celebrate their first christmas with, we celebrated the marriage of Brian and I but unfortunately we have lost a few family members, our uncle Bob and our Grandma in just the past few months.
As our family went through this emotional rollercoaster, I have found myself reflecting on the process we have went through.
One thing that has stood at to me the most was when trying to find the best way to tribute our lost ones. This led to all of us looking through photos find ones to put in a slide show or scrap book. Although I have not talked to all of my family members, I am sure it went something like this as it did with my immediate family. Get a ladder, find those old photos that are in the back of the closet, take them down and look through them. This starts with one person getting the photos down and ends up with a room full of people sitting down on the ground discussing the photo and the memory someone has associated with it. Some of the photos were out of focus, people were making weird faces and some even faded. Although the photos were not your perfect photos, they were perfectly imperfect.
This year, in honor of those special people in our lives, I changed the theme of our annual Christmas shoot a bit. We didn’t focus on clothing or a perfect image but instead, making the perfect memory. I wanted the day to be about us. We started with a little backyard tag football game, followed by the older cousins teaching the younger cousins how to make their favorite thanksgiving dinner recipes and lastly ended with a bonfire. There was an attempt chop wood but apparently that is very hard.
It was truly magical to see how much these kids love each other, how excited they were and how much they have grown since the first time we did this.
I think this year has made me realize life is happening. Let’s live it.
Happy thanksgiving from our family to yours.