Trip Start Jul 24, 2011
Trip End Aug 25, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Thursday, November 24, 2011

So I was determined not to update as my laptop is in the shop & I hate writing on a foreign computer (let alone foreign notebooks in random cafe's but that's a whole other story) but I felt the need to as it's Thanksgiving!

I've literally just arrived home from the grandparents house, listened to christmas carols on the drive then fell asleep in the backseat, waking up only when we pulled into the garage. I felt like a little kid again! Thanksgiving was wonderful. I'm not sure what I really expected of it, but I feel it was more than adequate in living up to all the festive notions that the holiday encompasses. We spent the day baking, & in a last ditch attempt at bringing my promised Australian dish I threw together some terribly dodgy but still hopefully tasty lamingtons (as lack o time & oven management meant I couldn't make a Pavlova). Then we had dinner with all the family, who as I've already mentioned are so wonderfully like my own. After some glorious food & the long awaited pumpkin pie(!), not to mention the extensive (& in my opinion, intriguing) arguments about religion which seem to be a staple in the Pajerski family diet, we ended the night playing card games & bananagrams. Such simple contentment, it was infinite.

However, at no point did we succumb to the cliche'd discussion point I'd assumed the holiday would entail, that is, of course, what we're thankful for. So I feel the need to include it here.

I'm thankful for nostalgia & the varying but still minor degrees of homesickness I've felt since arriving here. I'm thankful that in leaving behind everything I got to find out what I truly cared for & those who truly care for me. I'm thankful for opportunities, both those taken & those we let pass us by.

I have to include I'm thankful for my parents, endlessly so. My mother for being everything I could ever ask of her, for sticking by me even in my darkest moments & craziest periods of reckless teenage abandon, and for indulging me in the openness of our relationship. And for my father, as well. For the fact that we managed to grow closer by moving further apart, & that even if he was completely against my coming here, he's offered nothing but support & well wishes. For the rest of my family as well, of course. The amount of love I was raised with is ridiculous.

I'm thankful for autumn leaves & the prospect of winter snow. For late nights & long talks. For the endless amounts of glorious photos that remind me of even more glorious times. For the times when we were having too much fun to even think about taking photos. For the random German girl who moved in down the street, & who's proved to be the best mate a girl in a new country could ask for. I'm thankful for the memories of my youth, the mistakes I refuse to regret. For cute boys & never-ending hope. For every little thing that would take far too much to write.

But really I'm just thankful for being here, right now.
For every moment in it's entirety, the good & the bad.
For life as we're living it.
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