Being Thankful

For the first time in 24 years, I wasn't in Wisconsin to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was weird and I don't think I quite realized how much it would impact me. I missed the Fargo clan, the homey-ness of my grandparent's home and familiarity with how things go. It's not that I've never missed Fargo celebrations before (I've missed plenty over the past six years) but that I missed one heavily rooted in traditions and memories (like making root beer in the root beer trashcan and playing Euchre even though I'm still hazy on the rules).

Luckily, I didn't have to sit at home alone, missing quaint Mt. Horeb. Instead, I am thankful that my mom's sister and family now live only four hours from me. I'm finally driving distance from a side of my family that I've been so far from most of my life. We had a relaxed Thanksgiving; I spent most of the day in the kitchen, catching up with my aunt, swapping stories, and helping cook. I made my mom's sweet potato recipe and observed the craft of making mashed potatoes (butter, milk, repeat). I'm thankful for their company and their ability to bring me into their fold. 

And I have lots to be thankful for this year. I graduated from grad school, landed an incredible job, moved all the way to Pennsylvania, became closer with my young brother and sister, and had an incredible support system of friends, family, boyfriend, and peers around me. I continue to feel like I'm figuring out how to be an adult and that the life I'm making for myself is one that makes me happy.

I'm thankful for this break too. I woke up today feeling refreshed, not tired and burned out. I forget that we all need a little rest where we read books for fun, watch calligraphy videos on Instagram (and trace the pen strokes in the air), and spend time watching Gilmore Girls and trying out those calligraphy skills. I'm still adjusting to the non-grad school, work all the time, tempo I've been accustomed to. This break recharged me.

Well, conclusions are never my strong suit, so I'm signing off. Time to work on a teaching philosophy and get my bullet journal ready for the next few weeks ;) 

A note on my mom -- on the 4th anniversary

Four years ago today, my mom passed away. She fought an incredible battle against terminal lung cancer for two full years. Usually on the anniversary of her death, I shy away from saying anything. It feels like such a private event, a time when I really bask in all that she was to me and all that I miss about her not being around. My brain goes through the timeline and I find myself transported to 2010-2012 and all the various events around her sickness. The feeling of going home, of seeing her change, of seeing myself and my family wrestle with this news. Then I think of all the wonderful things about her and all the ways she made me better. It’s a day of mixed emotions to say the least.

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Moving, new apartment, new job, and loads of updates

For those who know more personally, you know that July has been a busy time for me. I finished up six and a half weeks of digital literacy with the kids of Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center (UNCC) and packed all my belongings for a trek to Pennsylvania. The move was due to my new (and first "adult, full-time" job) as a reference and instruction librarian at Penn State in State College, PA. I'm two days in and figured it was time for an overdue.

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