Overwhelmed with Blessings

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but the attitude of thankfulness is still present (& so are the leftovers- but not for long). Both mine and Mo’s family were able to come out East to visit us and let me tell you… we took advantage of every second they were here! They made it just in time before a big Nor’Easter hit on Wednesday.

Wednesday– After picking up our families from the airport, we ate at Owen O’Leary’s, which is conveniently right up the road from us. The snow and freezing rain didn’t stand a chance between Owen’s and hungry people! We showed them around our townhouse and relaxed. Everyone slept well Wednesday night after a long day of travel and a big meal. Michel, Mo, Anna and I ended the night with a close game of Settlers of Catan. (Mo won) 😦

Thursday– Anna and I woke up early to run in Southborough’s “Gobble Wobble” 5K. The streets had been cleared and we got to run through beautiful neighborhoods with the sun shining on us, keeping us warm. Everyone partook in the prep, cooking, and clean-up so it all went very smoothly. Before digging in to the Thanksgiving Feast, we each wrote 3 things we were thankful for this past year and hung them all on the Thankful Tree that I had made. Mo and I have so much to be thankful for and we felt that it was important to stop and reflect on all of God’s blessings. Then the feast began! We incorporated some New England classics such as clam chowder and Boston cream pie into our traditional meal this year which was a big hit. Our power went out for about an hour soon after we finished eating so we all got a taste of what the first Thanksgiving was like!

Friday– Keeping with the theme of the first Thanksgiving, we drove to Plymouth after eating breakfast together in downtown Westborough. We started at Plimoth Plantation to experience how the Indians lived and how the Pilgrims lived when they first arrived in America. It was a windy, winter day and the Indians seemed to know how to keep warm much better than the Pilgrims! We also saw the Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock. We took advantage of being on the coast and ordered LOTS of seafood for dinner at Wood’s Seafood Restaurant in Plymouth.

Saturday– We started Saturday off with an early Duck Tour of Boston! It was an hour and half tour that covers a a large area of Boston by land and water (the “Chaaahles Rivah” to be exact). It was a fun way to start the day and to show our family both the old and  the new sites that Boston has to offer. After the tour, we warmed up with some shopping in the Prudential Center and then walked over half of the Freedom Trail. Anna’s friend from high school that is now a student at MIT in Cambridge met up with us for dinner at a delicious, authentic Italian Restaurant in the North End. We couldn’t resist buying canolis (9 of them…!!) from Mike’s Pastries for dessert. Anna’s friend, Monique, showed us around the MIT campus in Cambridge and even showed us her lab where we looked at cancerous cells that she uses in her research. After seeing her amazing work, we dropped her off and headed back home. Soon after, we started playing the Mexican Game (also known as Fishbowl). We all had so much fun and many laughs!

Sunday– Our family came with us to church in the morning at LifeSong where we heard a great message. Our pastor made a great point that so soon after having an attitude of thanks, we move onto what we don’t have and what we “need” and want for Christmas. Being grateful is an attitude that we should have everyday, even if we don’t get what we want or what we want right away. We live in a culture where instant gratification is the only form of contentment, but his message focused on how Jesus is a perpetual provider. He challenged us to take 5 minutes a day and evaluate where we can give more praise to people or areas in our life. After church, I drove my family around the neighborhoods so they could see everything from beautiful New England houses to the creepy abandoned mental hospital a couple miles away from us. We all enjoyed Thanksgiving leftovers and watched the Steelers game. Too soon, it was time to take our families back to the airport.

Thank you to our families who made the trip out here and helped with all of the Thanksgiving festivities. We miss you already!

Click through the gallery to enlarge and view photos from this past week.

And last, but not least, some exciting news that Mo and I are RIDICULOUSLY excited and thankful for…

WE ARE MOVING TO AUSTRALIA!

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Mo’s job is transferring us across the world to Sydney, Australia! We can hardly believe that this is actually happening so SOON- we’ll be flying out in just over a month on January 7. Mo and I have had such a great experience in New England and will miss it terribly, but know that we can’t pass up an opportunity such as this. We’re looking forward to skipping winter, cooking shrimp on the barbie, and my personal favorite… KOALAS!

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