This past week has been tough as we said goodbye to our friend Stephen, whose stubbornness was only matched by his own heart of gold.  I’m going to miss his flirtatious comments, his youth-like antics, his boisterous voice and the twinkle in his eye when he was truly in the moment. So while I sit here in my happy place, in front of the fireplace with a hot cup of coffee, I am going to embrace these early morning hours of Thanksgiving, ask God to bless Stephen and his family and ask each of you to run a play from his playbook today and truly enjoy the moment!  

Don’t look at the hours and tasks that lie ahead as burdensome and don’t look past them to Christmas shopping, decorating or New Year’s Eve.  Look at your kitchen, dining room, living room and all the family and friends that gather there and embrace them.  Cook together!  Share old family recipes (or for the ones that would rather forget those, the best ones you’ve found on Pinterest), share stories of Thanksgivings past through the generations, family vacations, events, etc.  Watch the parade and football, share smiles, laughter and your hopes and dreams for the season and the year to come.  Live in that moment for it is these days that will live dearly in our hearts for years to come, that will carry us through the holidays long after our loved ones have passed on, and teach us all to hold a little tighter to what is truly important in life – the people in it and the impact they have made on us and the world around us.  Today I encourage you to ask a question that starts with, “Remember when…”

I am thankful for each and every one of you, the memories, the lessons, the love, the joy and the pain.  For without you, I would not be me.  May God Bless you all this holiday season.