This Thanksgiving, I really made an effort to focus on what this time of year represents. Our culture has made it hard to do that, especially when you see Christmas items being displayed in stores before Halloween is even over. Despite the big retail push that seems to start earlier each year, we felt like it was important to focus on those things for which we are thankful. No, I didn't post something new to Facebook each day. I'm not even sure I thought about it every day, but this Thanksgiving season was marked with clear reminders that nothing in life is guaranteed.

We started the Thanksgiving season by participating in a couple of different food drives. The boys and I picked out several cans of food for an initiative at their school, and it was really cool to see them carefully scanning the canned food aisle for items they thought families would enjoy. We also participated in the Live Thankfully event for the second year in a row. Our school is a partner in this event, and we had a great time gathering at Southwest Christian School to fill bags with canned food items and move them to a local church, where families would come to pick them up before Thanksgiving Day. I think the families also got a free turkey, but we did not have to move those. You can see a picture from the event below, where Gina and I are totally not looking at the camera. Oops!

This year was also filled with some sad reminders that holidays can be hard for some people who are experiencing poor health or lost loved ones. We had friends fighting for their lives in the hospital, families doing their best to celebrate with empty places around the table, and others who were unable to travel and be with family because of health conditions. For those of us, like my family, who are not experiencing extreme difficulties, we need to reach out to those who may need kind words, emotional support, or a helping hand.

On Thanksgiving Day, we started our celebration early by participating as a family in the Fort Worth Turkey Trot. The weather was unseasonably warm, and the rain managed to hold off until later in the day. It was a great event for everyone, and I am excited for the day when the boys want to move up to the 5K. Here are few pictures below.

We spent the rest of the day at Tommy's house, eating great food, watching football, and making a lot of memories together. The boys especially enjoyed getting to make a gingerbread turkey, which I have to admit, tasted better than I thought it would.

The next day, we had tickets to the TCU/Baylor football game. The weather was was rainy all day, and the temperature kept dropping by the hour. It became clear by about 1:00 that Gina and the boys were not going to make it to this one. I tried to recruit some of the neighbors to go with me, and I was able to get Ryan to tough the elements with me. The game turned out to be really cold and wet, but it was totally worth it to see the Horned Frogs pull the upset over the Bears. That is all I will say about that, since there are several BU fans in the family.

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More than anything, this Thanksgiving was a reminder that everything we have - our health, each other, our home - is a gift. Take nothing for granted and live generously from your heart. That is the theme we hope to carry with us all year long.