One amazing year

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, because it makes me reflect upon each year and count the ways I am grateful that I lived it. For me, 2016 isn’t just the year that David Bowie died and Donald Trump got elected. It is a year when I made new friends and transversed miles to see old ones. In this blog, I count three ways 2016 has been amazing and wonderful for me in the hope you will reflect upon the ways it has been good to you.

Road trip
Road trip

1) This summer, I saw states I’d never seen before, from Indiana to Nebraska, on a road trip with a dear friend from New York.

We headed to a friend’s wedding in Lincoln, where we were joined by another friend who traveled from Iowa with her family to be a part of the special day.

I met these ladies in an online forum when my oldest daughter, now quickly approaching 16, was an infant. In that time, our group of amazing women from all over the United States has seen each other through so much: battles with cancer, divorces, the loss of pregnancies and parents, and struggles with our kids. It is safe to say we are “real life” friends and have been for some time.pansy-4

Can’t you just see our joy when a few of us get to spend some “real life” time together? I am so grateful for my night with these ladies, dancing, laughing and celebrating a new beginning!

Seeing Hamilton
Seeing Hamilton

2) My kids saw Chicago for the first time when we took a trip to see Hamilton: An American Musical! The weather was perfect, crisp but sunny. The city was alive with the energy of its opening week for the groundbreaking play and the excitement of its beloved Cubs earning a spot in the World Series. I will always be grateful for the feeling of being a part of history-in-the-making.

3) Last but not least, I will remember 2016 for this past weekend, when I joined scores of my neighbors to take a very important picture.

This lovely group gathered at Hoover Elementary School to send a message of unity. We stood side by side on an incredibly cold afternoon to let the world to know that we value our neighbors of different races, religions and nations-of-origin. We do not know what lies ahead for 2017, but we are certain of one thing: we will have each other’s backs! We live in interesting times, and I am grateful that we are committed to facing them together.

A group of Mt. Lebanon residents poses outside Hoover School to symbolize unity
A group of Mt. Lebanon residents poses outside Hoover School to symbolize unity

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families! I hope you can find reasons to look back on 2016 fondly, too, with gratitude for the people you love and the moments you’ve shared.

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