For me to write about Thanksgiving in my home last year I truly have to go all the way back to the beginning. As a young married woman I loved to entertain. I loved to host holidays, I famously hosted two Thanksgiving dinners in one day at our home four hours apart. Some would call me crazy, some might even say insane, my kids, they would call me “extra”. I have been married 13 years to my high school sweetheart, we desired to grow our family about 7 years ago. After two long, hard years of trying and doctor visits we came to a crossroads. Where do we go from here? We began to both pray and ask God what he would have for us. We began to cry out for direction, peace, and boldness. At the same time my husband began to feel a tug at his heart to do more. We had heard about a ministry called Curbside. I won’t get into our entire story today, but from this ministry we met and fell in love with four siblings. They were 6, 10, 11, and 13 at the time. God led us to fostering and then ultimately adopting these four children.
When our family grew from two to six overnight we lived in a 1700 square foot home. Entertaining became much more difficult. My dining room became a playroom and every square inch of our home was filled with all the things kids have and need. I was much too busy and overwhelmed with adding four to our family to even consider entertaining. As the years went on I began to feel the tug of wanting to open our home and share our space with friends and family. We of course had people over, especially when it was nice weather and we could be outside, but holidays were spent in other homes that were larger and easier to accommodate our new family. I can remember talking with my husband about moving and saying to him, “I just want to host a holiday dinner again. I miss everyone gathering in our home. It is such a special way to build memories for our kids and our extended family.”
Two and a half years into our fostering journey we got up the nerve to put that for sale sign in our yard. We tried initially to sell our home on our own, but quickly realized hiring a realtor was the way to go. An old friend, Elizabeth Oakley, reached out and offered to help. She sold our house in one month flat! To say we were overjoyed is an understatement. She absolutely exceeded our expectations and went above and beyond to make our dream a reality. From there we moved into an apartment and began building our new home with Kirb Appeal Construction. Again, another answered prayer. The neighborhood we chose, the lot we got, the builder who meticulously worked long hours to ensure our home was perfect, it was like a dream come true. We would finally have room to spread out. Room for the kids to have privacy and their own space. Room to grow and have friends and family over. Room to host Thanksgiving!!
We began building in July and I kept telling our builder that I was hosting Thanksgiving. He would laugh and say “maybe Christmas.” I am here to tell you we moved in the Friday before Thanksgiving. The painters were staining my door as I hung curtains and unpacked my dishes. Everyone thought I was crazy, but five days later we had our first Thanksgiving in our home, well we hosted two actually! I can remember as everyone came through the door excited to see our new place I was so excited to open our home again. To smell the delicious foods that had been lovingly prepared, to show off all of our hard work, to make new memories for our kids in a home we had built together. Oh, what a joyous time in our lives. Since that time, our adoption has been finalized, our kids share our last name, we have hosted many, many special occasions in our home, and each day I am so thankful to walk through that door into the house that we built.
The pictures shown below are not from that first Thanksgiving, but from last year. Yet another opportunity to open up our home and shower our family with love and hospitality. I realize not everyone enjoys entertaining, it is stressful, can be expensive, and a lot of work. I realize that gathering family together can be emotional, awkward, and even ugly at times. For me, I see it as a chance to spoil my family, make them feel special. It isn’t about showing off or being “extra” it is about pouring yourself into the details to express your gratitude for who they are in your life. It is about welcoming them into your home so that they feel loved and cared about. Creating special touches and an environment where they feel honored. For generations families have gathered around turkeys, hams, or other amazing dishes to share in a time of Thanksgiving. I am sure some years are peaceful and joyous, while others have been difficult and overwhelming. Why not make this year a year of true Thanksgiving? A year where your family enters in and feels the labor of love you have invested into your home? Shower them with a spectacular tablescape that warms their heart and creates memories of a lifetime. It’s ok to be “extra”, as long as it is extra loving, extra caring, and extra thankful. As always, KB Events and Design is available to assist you in all of your “extra” holiday cheer. From designing and creating a beautiful table, to decking the halls before Santa arrives. Allow us to create a space that is welcoming and inviting to all of your holiday guests.