Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giving Thanks

This year, I have the pleasure of hosting Thanksgiving at home, with both my family and Nick's in attendance. This will be the first Thanksgiving in three years that either of us have had at home, and the first Thanksgiving (or really, any holiday) in three years that we have gotten to spend with our families. So today, I am spending this precious time enjoying family moments and celebrations. However, I wanted to also take some time to reflect on these past six months!

A few days ago, I posted about various things that I miss about living in Europe. While there are certainly aspects of living in Europe that I miss, there are many parts about being back home that I love! In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am going to take some time to reflect on all of the things I am thankful to have been able to be a part of over these last 6 months back in the U.S.!

Historic Grainbelt sign in Minneapolis, Minnesota
This year, I am thankful to have been able to spend many weekends in my hometown of Minneapolis. Most of my family and friends still live in Minneapolis, and it is so great to be able to have a homeless in this beautiful city!

Family at the Color Run Minneapolis!
I'm thankful for all of the time that I have been spending with family this summer and fall. We've done tons of fun events, such as the Color Run, in addition to our usual family dinners and nights out!

Anniversary Celebrations with my love in Coeur D'Alene
I'm thankful for my husband and the amazing 2+ years we have had as a married couple. Thank you for being my partner in everything that this life has to offer, and for always going the extra mile with me! I'm thankful for his patience, his support, and the love he gives me.

Wedding celebrations with my best friend!
I'm thankful that being home this year means I have been physically here for my friends. I was able to attend several weddings this fall that I would not have been able to if I was in Sweden. I'm also very excited that my best friend just got engaged and I will be able to celebrate her engagement with her in just a few days over this holiday weekend!

Stillwater Harvest Fest - or Pumpkin Fest - with my family!
Each year for the last 6 or 7 years, my Dad has grown giant pumpkins and entered them in a contest in October in Minnesota. This year, I was able to attend the contest and enjoy some great family time with my family!

Lily bulldog!
I'm thankful that this year I have had plenty of time to snuggle with Lily, our adorable English bulldog. Prior to this summer, I knew that she liked any food, beer, and whiskey- it was only recently that I learned how much she wanted to try champagne! Check out the tongue on that girl!

My Mom visiting me in Des Moines!
Just a couple of weeks ago, my Mom had some extra vacation time and used it to come visit me in Des Moines. I know it wasn't quite as exciting as the last few years when she has visited in Sweden and we have traveled throughout Europe, but it is always great to see her. Mom, your unwavering support and love means more than you know, and I'm so thankful for your friendship!

Hiking while in Hermosa Beach, California
Another thing that I am thankful for this year is all of the new and different travel experiences I have had. Perhaps I may no longer be traveling and exploring Europe, but there are still plenty of terrific places to explore right here in the U.S. I visited a friend in Los Angeles this summer, toured and tasted my way through Napa Valley, and relaxed while in Coeur D'Alene, in addition to spending time in Minnesota and Wisconsin. And this is all just in the last six months, not to mention two amazing weeks in the Dominican Republic!

All in all, I certainly have a lot to be thankful for this year. It might not be where I had expected I would be, but often the unexpected parts of life turn out to be the best! Here is to wishing each and every one of you a happy and memorable Thanksgiving, wherever you will be celebrating!


  1. These are a lot of amazing things to be thankful for! Such a beautiful tribute to this year also. Happy thanksgiving Samantha. I wish you many moment with your loved ones like this!

    1. Thanks Isabel! Hope all is well with you and that 2015 wraps up great!

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