I have much to be thankful for, especially this year. With much more time to take a leisurely approach to our family gathering at Thanksgiving, I was able to be very thoughtful and intentional about the preparations. Planning, decorating, cooking, and celebrating Thanksgiving Day itself were all especially meaningful for me this year, a bit of an early holiday gift for myself!

I didn’t capture every detail, but thought I’d share a few of the wonderful things that were part of this year’s celebration.

Setting the table using “found” decorations from around the house, including some that I bought many, many years ago but never used.  Fresh-fallen cones and dogwood burrs collected from the parking lot at our marina.

Time for little details, like washing the votives for the first time in I-don’t-know-when before adding them to the decorations scattered across the table. And taking time to set up twinkle-lights by the front door for a glowing welcome for guest. And, what ended up being one of my surprise favorites, scenting water with rosewood and lavender essential oils then using it to mist the table linens before I ironed them.

Bringing out our ‘holiday’ dishes which have come together as a collection over many years. Our main serving platter came with Tom from his home in Colorado, some dishes were wedding gifts (nearly 20 years ago now, though it seems like only a few), others have been gifts or collected with intention over the intervening years. And a big basket of cinnamon-scented ponderosa pinecones added to the delicious smells all throughout the house.

Recipes of tradition tend to punctuate our winter holidays. The turkey and stuffing we make almost every year is one that my father used for as long as my sister and I can remember. It’s nothing fancy – in fact, the beauty of it is the absolutely traditional collection of ingredients. No trendy chipotle or pine nuts or Aztec chocolate, just sausage, onion, celery, parsley, etc. The beauty is in the depth of flavor and it’s simplicity.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have begun your path through a beautiful holiday season.


3 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. Kelly says:


  2. Katie Ann says:

    You set a beautiful table, my dear. And a big thumbs up for the traditional recipes! You and I were on the same page this year, girl. 😉

  3. Isabel Schurman says:

    Shawn you write so beautifully – sometimes a tear to my eye – but usually a lovely time of reminiscing about the wonderful woman you’ve become. Thinking back today to a few years ago – remembering the day you were born. Where or where does the time go? Marci is accepting that she is getting older ha!! Kaci wants a party and wore her velvet/taffeta dress to school today – what a character!

    Wishing you a special time to celebrate your very ‘Happy Birthday’! Thinking of you and sending many wishes and love to you. Isabel and Ted

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