Walking on the beach, the love of my whole heart and soul tells me he has to ask me something.
And getting on one knee, Seth says: “Will you marry me?”
Yes. forever yes, I say, shocked just as much at the size of the diamond as the fact he wants me to spend forever with him, and the fact our families are hiding and slowly emerging from the dunes.
I’m the happiest ever — I get another family to love with Sherri, Woody, Beck and Zoee, plus more, and move into a whole new chapter of life.
* * *
My sister walks across the stage at the University of Alabama, gaining a degree in food and nutrition. She’s on her way — and I’m the happiest and proudest big sister.
She did it. And now she’s one step closer to becoming a dietitian, making our society healthier one piece of advice at a time.
* * *
Seth and my brother Jason bond over the fire pit at my brother’s new home — they’ve basically been bros since they met.
They talk and bond over football and golf and loving God and their walks with the big guy upstairs.
And I sit back and think about how thankful I am for Seth and Jason’s relationship and openness to talk and be honest and vulnerable.
* * *
My parents gift us with a trip to Dominican Republic — one of our family’s best trips with laughs and pool time and lots of food and too many Mamajuanas.
It’s Seth’s first time out of the country and all of the Strong children’s first trip to Dominican, and a perfect time to spend together.
* * *
As we sit around our family supper tables this year, I can’t help but think of what I’m most thankful for: love.
It’s not just because I’m recently engaged. Or just because I’m in the midst of wedding planning. Or just because it’s what you’re supposed to say on Thanksgiving.
It’s because I have a hell-of-a-great family surrounding me, loving me, supporting me. It’s because I’m so thankful for who is surrounding me, who will be with Seth and I on our special day in less than 160 days — all people who have played parts in my life to make me into the person who I am today.
And it’s mostly because the Lord tells us how special love is in Corinthians: And now these three remain — faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Love is my favorite, but I’m also thankful for how life has played out this year, smoothly and just like God planned. And my Duchess and Chiba, Miller Lite, good health, cosmetologists who fix your hair after you think you can do it on your own, Mexican food, pizza, football weekends with Seth, allergy medicine that’s saved my life from spending most of my daily time in a very old building, and the after-school writing club I lead at a local charter school.
Cheers to another Thanksgiving, and here’s to another year full of people and things to be thankful for.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. -Psalm 100:4