Saturday, November 24, 2012

Not Lucky, but Fortunate.

Our Thanksgiving for two included locally sourced turkey, spinach salad, mashed (butternut squash-spiked) sweet potatoes and bubbly. And it was mostly free.
It's too perfect that, over a holiday meant for giving thanks,  we received so many things for which to be grateful. It's to the point that saying "I'm grateful," doesn't cut it. I have to acknowledge we've been straight up fortunate. Chris taught me the true meaning of that word. I would frequently say "I'm lucky," but Chris believes that one gets what they deserve whether they know why they deserve it or not. A professor once told him, "You don't get lucky. You have to work hard to get lucky." So we've been fortunate that it's just been gift after gift these past few days.

It started with Thanksgiving dinner. A few days before Turkey Day, Norbest came on KUTV's "Fresh Living" show. Their chef showed viewers how to season, roast and carve a turkey. After their segment, my dear friend who does PR for Norbest said, "We're leaving you that turkey in the oven. It'll be done around 4." I asked my co-workers if I could take it, and they said go for it. So I took home a chef-prepared, perfectly roasted, locally sourced, AMAZING turkey to serve up for dinner. For free. I'm fortunate that I have a job that affords me the opportunity to meet these people who sometimes leave stuff for us to enjoy.

We kept Thanksgiving shopping to $26.
Now, for the sides. It was just the two of us this Thanksgiving, and with our goal to live simply, we didn't want to make it extravagant. Why do we build in that stress of spending the bulk of the day cooking a million dishes then stuffing ourselves to an uncomfortable end - and then, cleaning all of that up? Sure, family recipes should be enjoyed and appreciated, but is four really better than two? So, we came up with a couple of SIMPLE side dishes that fit our clean eating goals; then it was time to shop. Fortunate for us, Chris' sister had just sent us a $25 gift card to Target for our wedding. So, with some careful choices, I ended up paying just $1 for all the food we needed to complete our Thanksgiving meal.

And guess what? We didn't even pay for that bubbly! Chris' mom sent us money for our wedding, so that was free to us, as well.

The next day, we visit my mom, who sends us home with a big casserole (another meal we don't pay for), and lets us borrow some movies from her massive DVD collection.

Later, one of my best friends - Stephanie - invites us over for drinks, and provides us with an array of our favorite kinds. Astounded, I say, "You shouldn't have! You probably spent so much!" Her boyfriend shrugs, "Nah, just $150." Stephanie has always put experiences over material things; a mantra I aim to live by. She'd always have me over to her house, then send me home with a necklace she thought would look better on me than her, or a shirt she bought brand-new but thought I should have. One time, I complimented her badass Rockwell watch. "I like that, Steph." She whips it off her wrist and tosses it to me. "Have it!"

Not only did Steph and her man wine us, but they also dined us. A roommate ordered pizza for the whole party.

My dear friend Steph, one of the most giving people ever.
We are still kind of shaking our heads at how things have worked out this Thanksgiving. But rather than feel indebted, we're choosing to feel fortunate. 

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