1. I love taking the kids downtown on thanksgiving morning to see the parade. It’s been 3 years that we’ve lived in Chicago and 3 years that we’ve had kids, and we’ve been to the parade all 3 years. Its so fun to see State St. closed down and the blocks around it mostly empty where it’s typically crowded and bustling during the week. I pause more often to observe the architecture and find myself often looking up at the tall buildings I often walk by. It feels like the world belongs to the pedestrian as we jaywalk across the closed streets! And the parade is loud and colorful and exciting and I for one am not complaining that nearly every other act is a marching band! I love me a good drum line. We’ve also made it part of the tradition to get some sub-par donuts from any place that is open.

When we get on the L each time to ride into downtown, I really can’t be anything BUT grateful that we live here and get to ride the L with our kids and so many other walks of life.

2. I’m so humbled by our thanksgiving company every year. Our church connects families with international students to celebrate thanksgiving together in the family’s home. We’ve hosted this once and helped friends host the other 2 years. There’s something really wonderful and nostalgic about having a house full of families with kids running around. Every year it really does feel like one giant family on that day, and it’s a privilege to welcome students who are far from their homes into this setting. This year we stayed at our friends for a good 7 hours and it really did feel like the comfort and ease of spending a day with family!

3. I’m still a little uneasy at the whole idea of Thanksgiving (and the general founding of America) when it comes to the indigenous Americans. I've thought of them a lot this weekend, both the people who were wiped from history, and native people alive today still fighting for their rights and their land. I don’t have anything challenging or inspirational to say about it all, but it’s an unsettledness I feel deep in my gut. I’m so happy to be with loved ones and gather around amazing food, but Native Americans, I see you, and I want to honor and listen to you.

All things considered, I hope that you've had an enriching weekend with loved ones. 
Hilarious behind the scenes here. (Phin is a-okay!)

And in the name of tradition, Thanksgiving 2015 and 2016. (Those fresh lil babes!)


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