Goodness this year has been a blur—one filled with absolute joy and absolutely sleepless nights; with happy, healthy development and loads of viruses (oh, the weird diseases you get with kids around!); with giggles and tears.
But above all, it has been a year filled with profound thankfulness for all we have been given, all we have created and the future we seek together.
Two years ago, Thanksgiving took on a new meaning for us. I'll never forget the moment I glanced up at the clock in the hospital triage room and realized our first baby was going to arrive on this special day. In fact, I can still barely respond without choking up when someone asks me Cricket's birthday.
"She's our Thanksgiving turkey!" I joke to keep the tears at bay, so grateful I am for the little girl who transformed me into a mother. What timing she had.
This year, I am grateful for the doubling of my joy. Nora chose her own day to greet the world. No official holiday—just a beautiful, bright afternoon in May. We first gazed at her as parents who, though a bit more seasoned than we were the first time around, still wondered how we could ever do right by this new life, how we could ever measure up in the face of perfection. I'm sure we never will, but I am thankful for the certainty that we will never stop trying.
Our family extends far, far beyond the walls of our home, and for each member I am grateful. In the last year, our family has propped us up and walked with us when we were too exhausted or too sick or too anxious to move forward alone. How could we ever repay such selflessness?
Despite these blessings, I know several of our family and close friends are struggling through very difficult circumstances this Thanksgiving. My heart is with them, with those on whom they lean and with those who lean on them. I am incredibly grateful that they somehow find the strength each morning to climb out of bed, put one foot in front of the other and fight for their lives.
I could go on forever listing the things for which I am thankful, but enough of my rambling. Go enjoy your turkey. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Above: Japanese maple in our yard. Below: Red leaf at the neighborhood playground.
I'm Julia Soplop, writer and photographer. I believe there is something profound in bearing witness to moments of joy and pain in others’ lives. My husband, three girls and I live outside of Chapel Hill, NC. You can read more about me here.