We almost didn't do Friendsgiving this year.
(And, really, it's not like we were under *too* much pressure to do anything of the sort since we've only done it for the past two years, not like for our whole married life or something like that.)
This weekend before the actual holiday (which is when we've always done it before) was busy, full of prepping for our church's Primary program, doing a baby shower and photo shoot with that awesome couple on the left up there (who are expecting their first child any day now), and editing editing editing photos any spare moment I could so that I can finish up all my shoots before the holidays hit in full force.
Some shots from our shoot on Saturday (my very first maternity shoot ever!)
It wasn't until less than a week before the actual day we set for it that we invited people over, and we had originally intended to just have a simple dinner and play some games and not even call it Friendsgiving.
But apparently I can't be trusted to go into a store the week before Thanksgiving without buying a turkey of some kind and then calling my mom for that cranberry salad recipe she's been making for years and then planning to whip up a big batch of homemade crescent rolls (naturally), so Friendsgiving it was.
And last night, when our few friends showed up with their dishes to share and their new games to try out, and we stayed up WAAAAY too late playing Andrew's zombie game (Dead of Winter) and eating pumpkin cheesecake, and we talked about the Owens's new baby coming up and Andrew's programming work (which none of us understands), and Harry Potter and the goodness of caramelized sweet potatoes and all the extra church meetings we were accidentally missing out on, it just hit me that this, this right here--this gathering and sharing and laughing and connecting--is why Matt and I do crazy things like plan a Friendsgiving for one of the busiest weekends of the year and why we're willing to literally spend almost every spare second in the 24 hours leading up to it cooking and cleaning and primping and prepping.
Because it's all worth it.
And because it's fun to see how it changes from year to year.
And because you never know where life is going to take your friends over the next 12 months, so you need to spend time with them while they still live by you.
And because you realize that while friendships might be a little different from when you were a kid just because of all the other responsibilities heaped upon you, you realize that the core elements of friendship--love and generosity and thoughtfulness and loyalty and trust--never change. You realize that you've picked some good friends when the Owens bring sweet potatoes because they know Andrew doesn't like mashed potatoes, and when Andrew brings mashed potatoes because he knows everyone else loves them.
And because whether you have only 5 people (like this year) or 11 (like we happened to have the last two years), it's always worth getting together with those people who only live two blocks away but who you want to see more of and sharing some turkey and some mashed potatoes and some almond punch.
So thank you, friends, for a wonderful (albeit last-minute Friendsgiving). Thank you for being a part of our life.
And thank you to our many, many friends who do not live nearby but who we nevertheless consider our dear friends, no matter where life has led you---
We wished you could have been there.
For last year's Friendsgiving, click here.
For the one we held two years ago, click here.