This Thanksgiving week was extra special for William and I for a couple reasons; the main one being that we had our marriage convalidated by the church, which means the Catholic Church now officially recognizes us as married, and any future children will be easily baptized. We also celebrated our first Thanksgiving in New York and hosted my parents and brother for the holiday!
My family flew into Pittsburgh last Monday to spend time with our family there, and then drove up to New York on Tuesday. When they got in, William was at work, so my parents, brother and I grabbed a late lunch at a local tea shop before heading home to pick up the dog and head to campus to meet up with William for a quick walk and tour before it got dark. I had prepped chili in the Crock-Pot that morning, and William tried a new recipe for homemade cornbread that night for supper.
When I woke up Wednesday, I made a pecan pie for Thursday before Mama and I went on an early morning walk. Wednesday morning was our convalidation mass at the friary. It was simple, intimate and perfect because the focus was entirely on the sacrament and the intention behind what we were doing.
It was just William and I, my parents and brother, our sweet neighbors who’ve become like family, and Father. My brother read the passages from the Old Testament, the Psalm and the New Testament, and my dad read the prayers of the faithful.
The readings we selected we’re from Ecclesiastes, Hebrews and Matthew. We wanted to focus on the social justice teaching of the church in our readings and prayers of the faithful, because we believe so strongly in caring for our family and community. The reading in Ecclesiastes talks about how there is a time for everything, and with renewing our commitment to each other through the convalidation mass, it felt appropriate. The reading in Hebrews discusses caring for the marginalized and keeping a heart of hospitality. The Gospel reading was the Beatitudes and Father gave an amazing homily about how the Beatitudes are a new commandment that reflect the ten commandments. They’re a guide for not only how you walk through and interact with the world, but with how you build your marriage. We should be quick to show mercy, to show understanding and to feel our partner’s sorrow as we build a life as one. It was really wonderful and encouraging, while also giving us something to really strive for as we continue building our relationship daily.
After Mass we all went to lunch at a local restaurant that is an institution in this town. The conversation and company were wonderful and I was feeling truly thankful for everyone there and the reason we were together celebrating.
After we got home, mama and I got to work in the kitchen making rolls and pumpkin pie for Thursday. That night we also cooked the turkey overnight to free up oven space in the morning.
Thursday morning we did a quick neighborhood walk before the day was full of cooking, family and celebrating all we have to be grateful for! The same nighbors we spent Wednesday with came over on Thursday and it was wonderful to have that time and fellowship together!
Friday we headed to campus to walk the trail we love in the morning. That afternoon we went to another small town to do some antiquing and buy some of the cheese they’re known for to snack on during the Iron Bowl. That night we went out to supper at a local restaurant that just opened this summer, before catching the local Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony. It was such a happy night!
Saturday we went on another walk around the campus trail before heading to breakfast at the local maple farm. They have the best pancakes and sausage and it’s such a fun place to grab a filling meal! That afternoon we watched the Iron Bowl which was just a mess.
My family had to leave Sunday, but we were able to enjoy a relaxing morning of hanging Christmas ornaments on the tree before they had to hit the road to Pittsburgh to catch their flight back to Colorado.
It was a week or beautiful weather, wonderful people, joyous celebrations, and true thanksgiving.
How was your holiday?