Dear, YOU,

Thanksgiving in my family is always different and ever-changing. Usually Dave and I are invited to and attend four separate Thanksgiving dinners--all different in their own right.

The first few years we were together it was a little frustrating to have to rush through our holiday weekend making sure to stop in and see every single person. I felt like no matter how long we spent at each dinner, it was never enough. I always felt like we were disappointing someone by leaving too soon, not eating enough, not having energy by the end of the day, etc. It was always rush, rush, rush.

But, as I've gotten older, I appreciate the chaos. I look forward to spending time with each and every person at those dinners. I look forward to our family board games, chats about life, mom's humble brag about the dinner she spent her entire holiday preparing, the inside jokes that unfold when you're eating turkey at the kids' table, and the crazy relatives that have one too many glasses of wine and start spilling the tea.

Each year brings new faces to the dinner table but each passing year also takes some of those faces away. I've learned to cherish those memories because, for a short period of time, all feels right in the world. Your chaotic Thanksgiving dinner is a huge gift.

I realized that life is all about perspective. Sometimes you just need to remind yourself of your blessings. This Thanksgiving, if you are like I was, I challenge you to change your perspective. If you have family that you don't get along with or if you feel like your mother-in-law doesn't like you, put it aside and come up with a list of things you like about each of those people. Kill them with kindness and make this the best Thanksgiving ever. Gratitude looks great on you.

Play with the little kids, talk about life with your elders, and cherish every moment. Life is ever changing. The same faces at your Thanksgiving table this year may not be the same faces at your table in 10 years. Let that sink in and appreciate the chaos this year.

My hope for you this Thanksgiving is that your day is filled with love, family and memories that you can take with you for the rest of your lifetime.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Ashli

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