Happy Thanksgiving, Sunshine!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown and the Gang, reminds us this day is not all about the food. Much to many eager Christmas shoppers dismay, it is not about the Black Friday deals either. As Marcie says, “Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck… we should just be thankful for being together.” Along with Marcie, my Papa “Toots” taught me this lesson as a child. Our family gatherings were always made special from Topsail Island to Southerland Street. One month before Papa passed away, he sent a letter to all of the grandchildren. It was a copy of a devotional and at the bottom he wrote, “You are going too fast when you don’t take time to enjoy each day God has given you.” Love You, Papa.

ImageThis photo is how I will always remember the man who sang You Are My Sunshine to me countless times. Ten years ago today our family celebrated Thanksgiving together in New Hanover hospital. We gathered around a spread in the hospital waiting room and cherished the blessing to be together on Papa’s favorite holiday. In the wee hours of Friday morning, Papa went to be with Jesus in heaven on November 28, 2003. This morning it brought me joy and peace to see the sunshine. While today is specifically recognized as Thanksgiving, I believe that every day should be considered as a day of thanks. We have learned that each day is a blessing. As Papa taught us years ago, we should slow down and take time to enjoy the simple things. 

In the past two weeks, Andrew and I have been given the blessing to meet other families within the NICU unit at Chapel Hill. As we have heard and witnessed other families stories, we are blessed with our two precious miracles and their health thus far in this journey. We have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day. What are you thankful for today?

While watching the Pioneer Woman the other day, (what else is new?) she named ten things she was thankful for this holiday season. I got to thinking– what would my ten things be? Here is what I want to remember from Thanksgiving 2013.

1. I am thankful for my salvation and God’s abundant grace for my daily sins and failures.

2. I am thankful for my sweet husband and the blessing it is to be his wife every day.

3. I am thankful for our two sweet miracles, Amelia and Leah. I am thankful for the team of doctors and nurses that have helped take care of them and me since we discovered about our mono-mono twins.

4. I am thankful for the unconditional love that is shown to Andrew and I by our supportive families.

5. I am thankful for the education I received at UNC-Greensboro and the friends that I made there during an amazing four years.

6. I am thankful for Andrew’s hard work ethic to provide for our family and a beautiful home.

7. I am thankful for an amazing group of friends!

8. I am thankful for everyone who has prayed for our girls- for everyone who has sent us a word of encouragement- for everyone who has given to us and our girls- for everyone who has shown love and support during this journey. SO THANKFUL.

9. As I am sitting here eating them right now– I am really thankful for my Ahma’s pecan tartlets.

10. I am thankful for sunshine.

You see, as the sun shines down on us on this Thanksgiving Day, I can’t help but be reminded of my Papa’s words of wisdom. So my friends, enjoy today. Enjoy every day. Each day that The Lord gives us is a blessing to be used to bring Him glory. As you gather around the table with family and friends, embrace in Thanksgiving that you are togetherAs John Denver says, “If I had a day that I could give you. I’d give to you a day just like today.”

Happy Thanksgiving from Our Family to Yours,

ImageAndrew, Mary Kate, Leah, and Amelia

This Thanksgiving post is dedicated to the sweetest ray of Sunshine. WE LOVE YOU “SUNNY D”!



2 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving, Sunshine!

  1. Aunt Ashley says:

    The girls look so snug in their special afghans their great-great Ahma crocheted them. Thinking of all the Carlton’s today as we remember Mr. Toots. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years.

    Aunt Ashley

  2. Gail says:

    What a special story on a a special day about a special man and a special family. Isn’t it great that those who are no longer here physically are still here embodied in the members of the family members left behind? Thanksgiving!

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