gratitudeA very personal story… and a “thank you” to you, for hanging in with me as I finally found my way back to blogging. I’m back.

It was December 23, 2003.

I’d just flown across the country – from the San Francisco Bay Area to Washington, D.C. – to join my (now late) husband and begin our new life in the nation’s capital.

Why would we leave the Golden State for sweaty summers, snow, and a smorgasbord of self-important superiority ;), you ask?

Good question!

It was so that John (my LH) could re-enter federal service (he was a veteran) as a civilian. So, once he found his federal gig, we split our move.

He headed to the East Coast before me to start work and get the lay of the land.

I finished up with clients + organized the household move and was to join him, dogs in tow (that’s a pic of the OG Burke pups), just before Christmas.

And on Dec. 23, 2003, we were finally here.

John met the dogs and I at Reagan National, and we headed for our rental home in the ‘burbs.

I was so happy we were all together again, but the move was stressful. And a curmudgeonly “pet taxi” driver (no way the dogs’ cargo-safe crates would fit into our Camry) didn’t help.

I was tired and cranky, and literally in tears over how cold it was and ugh, this was going to be the WORST Christmas ever.

You see, ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved Christmas.

I love the atmosphere, and the caroling, and the whatnot… but I especially love the lights. And once the tree is trimmed, and the tinsel is on, and the switch is flipped so that the lights come on for the first time…?


With such a massive move coming up, though, there had been no time to do anything Christmassy.

And I was really upset about it. So, as we pulled up to the house, I was having quite the “conniption” (which was apparently a favorite word of my late mother-in-law). John, calm as ever, didn’t say anything.

And I looked up, and started smiling through my tears.

Because what did I see through the uncovered picture window but a massive – MASSIVE – Christmas tree… covered in twinkling lights.


Best. Christmas. Ever.

I know this isn’t your typical #gratefulfor #itsalmostThanksgiving post. Quite frankly, I’m not super-jazzed about this holiday season.

Though I have extremely dear friends planning to spend precious time with me (YAY!!!), I can feel the winter + holiday blues setting in.

And while I know I will have fun during the season, I *also* know parts of it – possibly large parts – are going to suck.

But it IS coming up to Thanksgiving.

It IS a time to express gratitude, no matter how hard that feels sometimes.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m grateful for SO much in my life, including you, but specifically today, I want to share with you how grateful I am for John.

I’m grateful that I know what it feels like to have an S.O. who always has your back, and knows exactly what to do to put a smile on your face.

Every. Single. Time.

I’m grateful that, thanks to John, I know to not settle in my next significant relationship, whenever that happens.

I’m grateful I got 20 years with him in this lifetime.

I’m grateful that I get to share him with you.

His memory is a blessing.

And I’m so grateful.

Thank you for being here, and for listening. In advance, Happy Thanksgiving.

PS: I would love to know who, or what, you’re grateful for. There’s no rush, but any time you feel like sharing in the comments below, I’m here to listen too. xo