I was sitting here pondering, and thought I'd share some of my random thoughts with you.
Four years ago, I went to meet Cody's family for the first time. He and I had been dating officially for a month, unofficially for two months, and we'd known each other for three. Our courtship was, by the world's standards, kind of quick; by Thanksgiving we were saying "I love you" and I was quite certain I would marry this boy. So, this Thanksgiving time to go meet his family, I wanted to impress them, and I wanted to see if they could be my in-laws.
Cody and I made pies a few days before we went to his home. We made Apple and Pecan, and I used my favorite family recipes to make sure they turned out just right. I had my roommates help me pick out a cute outfit and I got all ready early on Thanksgiving morning. We drove the 2 hours together, and the second we got out of the car, Cody was trampled by his adoring nieces. I could tell how much his family loved him, and they were all so kind and generous to me.
Cody hadn't told his family much about me, only that he was bringing "someone special" to Thanksgiving (to which he got several raised eyebrows and excited laughter from his 6 sisters). Not long after we arrived, Jared H. and Bridget, 2 of Cody's wonderful siblings-in-law, cornered us in the dining room and grilled us on our relationship. I blushed furiously, but had to answer honestly questions like "so, are you in love? Do you think you'll get married?"
Still wanting to thoroughly impress this family, I sang my prepared Christmas solo "O Holy Night" for them, showed off my lovely pies, and offered to help in the kitchen. Mom (at this time known to me as Angie) put me to work making a fruit salad. I was ready to show off my knife skills and started cutting up a pomegranate, when I looked down and realized it had squirted red juice all over my cute yellow shirt. Kami and I had a good laugh about it, and mom generously took my shirt down to clean it and I wore one of Alisa's shirts for the rest of the day.
We gathered together, these people who would soon be my family and I, around the big table and said a family prayer. We talked of what made us grateful and Cody said my name. This was the time that the Spirit told me I was sitting with my family, and that these people were no longer acquaintences of a few hours, but people I would love for eternity.
The Thanksgiving of 2004 remains one of my all time favorites; that was the time when my family over doubled in size. (ps, sorry I don't have a picture of that Thanksgiving--this picture is obviously from our wedding, 7 months after.)