A Dating Kind of Thanksgiving

It's going to be a very different Thanksgiving for my family this year. And to be honest, I've been feeling a little sad and lonely about it. My girls are going back to Houston; JD and I will stay here.

{My dad's photo from our Natchez Trace adventure.}

This wasn't the plan when we moved. Of course I thought we'd go back to Houston for Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family, right? But I didn't think through the details. One, I had no idea how expensive plane tickets are during the holidays...a small fortune! Two, I failed to consider my work. Nine years into this and I forgot how FULL this part of the season is for me. I've never taken more than one day off this time of year, so going home for four or five days wasn't really an option. I'll have to rethink things next year, because I'm really going to miss being around the table with family.

Figuring out the holidays when you live far from family is HARD, isn't it?!?! This is my first time. How do those of you with far away family do Thanksgiving and Christmas? Do you leave town for both? Does family come to you? Do you change it up every year? I know we'd like to create some kind of holiday tradition in our own home. How do you do that if you're always leaving? Maybe we'll leave for one and stay home for one? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Instead of focusing on what I'm missing this Thanksgiving, I'm going to give thanks for what I'm gaining: time alone with my husband. Maybe staying here is a hidden blessing. We haven't had any alone time since we moved {and Lord knows the months leading up to the move were a crazy whirlwind filled lots of emotions...a strain on any marriage}.

Here we are in a completely new place {both in location and in life}, yet we haven't had time to stop and get to know each other in this place. Even after 15 years of marriage, there's still a lot of "getting to know you" needed. I'm a big believer that you have to work at continuing to know each other over the years...or else you wake up with a stranger down the road.

{Thanks for taking this picture, Dad. It's the only one we have together since we moved.}

So while the girls are in Houston, JD and I plan to date each other again. Did you know it was 16 Thanksgivings ago that we first met? I was home from my senior year at Vanderbilt for nine days, and we had five dates! I flew home to Houston from Nashville...and now here we are living just outside of Nashville 16 years later! {In a nutshell, our story is we met over Thanksgiving, fell in love over Christmas, and got engaged on Valentine's Day.}

Even though I'll be missing my girls and the tradition of a fantastic feast with my family in Houston, I'm hoping to make the most of this time with my husband...to be fully present and thankful for this hidden blessing.

Wishing you a heart full of thanks today...
wherever you are!

Thankful for the love and joy our puppies
will provide while the girls are away!


  1. I hope you have a very happy thanksgiving, even though it's quite different than what you're used to. We are almost never with our extended family at thanksgiving so we usually try to do something special, like spend the holiday at an indoor waterslide park. Untraditional, but fun for the kids. What I want to start doing is inviting other people over for the holiday that are also new to town and may be missing their families too.

  2. make the most of your time together, even though the first 24 hours into your time alone are in parent mode!:) Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Linsey! I know your heart must be in two places, but hope you enjoy this wonderful time with your husband. Here in VA, we are miles away from all of our family who are in California. We moved into our new home here when my oldest was just 4 months old, just two days before Thanksgiving. It was so foreign for me to be away from family, especially at a holiday. But we celebrated that first Thanksgiving, with the same joy and anticipation even though it was just the three of us. We continue to spend every holiday at home, and occasionally will travel to visit after the holidays. My girls wouldn't want it any other way. Take care!

  4. I hope you two enjoy your special staycation alone, even though it must be hard to be away from your girls. And yes, not having family local is really difficult-we live in Atl and my family is in Amelia Island and my husband's family in France! Usually we go to FL for T-gving and my family comes to us for Xmas, and then we go back down there or to Charleston (our fave place) for New Years. France in June. It's tricky and this is my first T-giving without my family because I am about to have a baby any day now, so we are playing it very low key and sticking close to home-but you know what, it feels so nice and calm! We are just relaxing and having a few family outings just the three of us-we have a 2.5 year old. It's just perfect!

  5. Hope you enjoy this time alone, even though I can completley relate to missing your girls.

    Hope you have a blessed holiday in yoru new home.

  6. What a blessing Linsey!! I know how much you will miss your sweet girl's, but how exciting to have some time with your husband all alone! I haven't had alone time with my husband since we had our first son, 8 1/2 years ago, I know it is long overdue! I think it is important for parents to take that time alone to be excited again and to remember why you fell in love in the first place.
    I wish you a very joyous Thanksgiving!!~

  7. Happy Thanksgiving, Linsey! When my first child was born, my husband joined the military and we moved across the country. We were soon blessed with a second child. Since we weren't able to be with our extended family, we created traditions for the four of us. We made each holiday just as special as it would have been with our relatives. Your girls will follow your lead, if you're sad to be away from family, they will be, too. If you are excited to enjoy a holiday with your small family, they will be, too. I hope you will create wonderful memories together!

  8. We have Craig's parents in town for Thanksgiving, but it will be just us for Christmas. Now that both sets of our parents live away, we have had to rethink the holidays as well. My hubby wants us to always be home for Christmas, which I understand. I was talking to my mom on the phone yesterday, going over our Thanksgiving meals, and I was sad knowing I won't get any of her stuffing or pecan pie. Sometimes, no matter how happy we are where we are, it is hard to be away from family. You will make new traditions and memories and be together when you can. For now, enjoy that sweet hubby of yours. Go see a movie, have a nice long uninterrupted conversation, go out to a nice restaurant...enjoy being a couple. You two are so sweet together. I love that photo.
    And happy Thanksgiving to you dear Linsey!

  9. Dear friend, So hope you have blessings abundant, both in Franklin and in Houston. This will be full of memories, both for you and JD and your precious girls! We would still love to extend the offer for you all to come by for the meal, even if it is last minute!! May the Lord meet you anew with His grace and love!

  10. Happy Thanksgiving! Each one stands alone...let it be. Much love to you & your family. Such treasures you have & have yet to discover. Be blessed

  11. I just know you and your husband are going to have a lovely Thanksgiving and time together! Holidays are forever changing as you go through life, traditions are nice, but you make new ones as you go along.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving...love the picture of you two together! :)


  12. Hope you 2 have a wonderful thanksgiving......on your new farm with your poochies:)

  13. On an unrelated note, have you read the blog "A la mode"? I believe she lives near Franklin and talked about 2 or 3 stores near there (Franklin and Brentwood) that sound great!! Have you been yet?

  14. Such a nice treat for you and JD! I know you are sad to be away from the girls and the rest of your family, but I can only imagine how nice it will be to have some alone time with your main guy.

    Happy Thanksgiving sweet friend.

  15. Sorry it didn't work out for you all this year. My family is military, so we've done ALL sorts of things-Thanksgiving alone, trading years, coming & going, and everything in between. Obviously, one thing we do is to fly on off times (we flew in to the Carolinas on Monday and out on Saturday to ease the $$ pain this year). We do switch up the hosting-we've hosted in Houston for the last few years and flew out to my brother's this year. Who knows what next year will be?!

  16. Linsey - I hope your Thanksgiving with JD was wonderful. I love how you always look at the positive. I admire that about you and your blog. And your gorgeous photos and fabulous taste :) Bella and Buddy are wonderful together. Dogs are pack animals, and I'm sure they love each others company. My pups, Panda and Mocha, send hugs to them :)

  17. PS - Just like you, your dad takes awesome photos. Or I should say you are just like him :)

  18. Hi Linsey, I hope ya'll had a wonderful Thanksgiving. You look happy!! I'm so glad.

  19. When we lived in Orlando, we did something different with the holidays all three years that we lived there.
    One year we went home for Christmas, one year we went home after Christmas was over and one year we stayed in Orlando all by ourselves....that was a little bit miserable. :(

    I bet it was a bizarre change not having the girls with you...even though time alone with your husband is wonderful and much needed. I hope you guys were able to enjoy time together. Did you guys cook a big meal together?

    Beautiful picture of you guys! framer!


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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