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Giving Thanks

Thursday, November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! While I'm still bummed that I can't celebrate with a gluten free American Thanksgiving feast here in Spain, I feel profoundly thankful for everything else in my life right now. Although 2013 has been a year of monumental transitions, I have so many things to be grateful for this year. While my list could go on and on, I feel particularly blessed by all of the following:

My Friends

Growing up is hard. Now more than ever we are all sorting out which friends are here for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I'm incredibly grateful for my lifelong best friends, who have encouraged me and loved me through the toughest of times. We're all going in different directions and embarking on new adventures, and although I wish I could be in Seattle/New York City/Orange County with them every day, the physical distance between us irrelevant. I love you guys so much.

My Job

How I managed to score a well-paying job in one of Europe's most struggling economies is completely beyond me. Nevertheless, I feel incredibly blessed to 1) actually have a job, and 2) work at a job that I genuinely enjoy. While teaching English is exhausting, it is incredibly fulfilling. Even when they're being little monsters, I love my students with all my heart. And nothing cures a case of the Monday's quite like getting tackled by 25 kids at once screaming, "We love you teacher Courtney!"

Since Spain doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, it's my job to explain to my kiddos what it's all about. It's hard not to play favorites when some include me on their turkey crafts!


It's a well known fact that my first time living in Spain didn't go so smoothly. Thankfully, living in Madrid is pretty much the opposite of living in Cádiz, and I couldn't be happier here. (I take that back. It would be awesome if Madrid had a beach. But I digress...) I'm so blessed to live in a city that I actually click with. Every day I'm reminded of something that makes me love Madrid even more. Yesterday I stopped dead in my tracks and realized, "Wait a second, it's November. Why is it sunny outside?!" As a native Seattleite, I had forgotten that sometimes it doesn't rain 3/4 of the year in other places. Like, where did the rain go, you guys? It may be freezing here, but a sunny November is a novel concept to me. I don't hate it.

Life in Madrid is undoubtedly enriched by my roommates, coworkers and friends I've met here. I'm thankful for the community that I'm building, the support system I can rely on, and the adventure buddies I can explore the world with.

and most importantly...

My Family

The beginning of 2013 brought some adverse times for me, and I couldn't have survived without the support of my parents. Their love, encouragement and wisdom kept me afloat during those times when I didn't think I'd make it through. My parents are and always will be my best friends, and I am lucky to have them by my side for constant support (even if they're an ocean away). Also, this past August I gained a new stepdad and stepsister! I lucked out with two new superb additions to my family. Every day I am grateful for the many ways in which my family supports me and helps me grow.

So with that said, I hope everyone has a wonderful Turkey Day! (And don't worry about me completely missing out, I'll surely be stuffing my face with all of my favorite gluten free Thanksgiving dishes when I come home for Christmas!)
1 comment on "Giving Thanks"
  1. Awww, love this post! The picture of you, Olivia, and Dee is one of the most precious things ever. I agree, you have a lot to be thankful for this year with your AMAZING teaching gig. And I'm sure all your students are so incredibly thankful for you!!!!! : )