because life doesn’t fit in a file folder
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Gratitude: It Is Decided

I am beyond grateful today.

When I asked people to help me to design a new header for this blog, I didn’t think anyone would do it.

As usual, I have been surprised by this wonderful writing community.

I communicated with all of the people who submitted entries to my contest, each of whom insisted that if I wanted to use the header that he or she designed that I could simply use it.

Steve from Brown Road Chronicles told me he didn’t even know there was a prize involved when he made the header in the first place and suggested that I make a donation to our local food pantry. Val Erde from Arty Old Bird thought that making a donation sounded like a great idea, as did Jules, who told me to hold onto her header and use it whenever I want. The two other bloggers insisted they remain anonymous, but agreed with everyone else.

So I made my decision.

If you look up, you will see my new header.

I love it.

And, shockingly, I love that I am not wearing my hat.

Who’da thunk it?

After Thanksgiving, I will make a donation at my local food pantry in recognition of all the participating bloggers’ names.

Even the anonymous ones.

In a few hours, my house will be filled with family. My parents are traveling to be with us. They will find a cozy place on the couch and plant themselves there. My nephews will talk about medical school and college, and I will cling to my eldest niece, knowing she will be heading somewhere fabulous in the Fall.

I will look at my son and his younger cousin, my niece, and feel a sense of awe. Too soon, they — like their older cousins — will leave home. My hope is that everyone comes back once in a while to share in this family tradition. In a few hours, while the men shout about how the damn TV remote isn’t working (because our TV remote totally sucks), I will be drowning in love and potato peels.

I am thrilled to host this year’s feast, which means Hubby and I are offering our house, preparing the table, making fifteen pounds of mashed potatoes, a bunch of side dishes, and a dessert or two.

Because like Jenny Hansen and Susie Lindau, I have major turkey anxiety.

I would rather set the table and wash all the dishes than be responsible for the bird.

There are the tables, ready to go.

May we all eat well and remember the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us.

I feel so fortunate right now. Truly, I wish I had long enough arms to give everyone in real life and this blogosphere a big hug.

With much gratitude,


38 thoughts on “Gratitude: It Is Decided

  1. I love the new header! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, and good luck with the dinner and stuff.

  2. Enjoy your family, Renee. Love the blog header, looks perfect up there. Happy thanksgiving!

  3. It looks great! Happy TG=)

  4. Awesome new header. Amazing readers. Uber impressive table setting. Things are good 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving, lady!

  5. Beautiful! Enjoy your Thanksgiving, your family, all those mashed potatoes, and the delegating of the turkey. I’m virutal hugging you right back.

  6. Love the new look, Renée. Happy thanksgiving to you, your family and friends! 🙂

  7. Love the header and the words that always follow. I am thankful that our paths crossed and i wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving Day. Oh, and don’t worry about the turkey. It’s always good.

  8. Thank you, Renee! I am so grateful that our paths crossed. Your writing is an inspiration to me. Enjoy your family and this day. Hugs!!!

    1. Oh my… Honestly, Clay, I didn’t copy you. I didn’t even read any comments until after I wrote mine. I guess our words just show how much Renee inspires so many of us!

  9. Love the new header. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  10. Happy Thanksgiving, lovie.

  11. Beautiful, in some many ways. Many joyous wishes to you and yours! XO

  12. Now there’s a Renzay header. Love it. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.

  13. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to all of yours!!

  14. You DO give good head(er), Renee!! Looks great.

    Have a warm and loving day with your wonderful family! Happy Turkey Day.

  15. Great choice! But then they all were, eh? Making a donation is the best idea and not surprising from you. Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Are the guys doing the dishes?

  16. it was wonderful reading ur blog…mark me as a regular follower..!

  17. Happy Thanksgiving, Renee – many blessings to you and yours! You’re a great lady and I’m thankful to know you.

  18. Thak you for writing a blog to get this Thanksgiving started off on the right foot. Great header!

  19. nice choice, renée…

  20. That’s a lovely header and d’you know what? If you’d put this to a vote, I’d have voted for that one! 🙂

  21. This is a great post, Renee…lots to be thankful for, including a brilliant new header. Love it. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend! xo

  22. The new header looks fantastic, Renée. The post is great too!

  23. The new header looks awesome, Renee. Happy thanks giving to you and your family. Enjoyy! 🙂

  24. LOVE the whole look.

    Happy Thanksgiving, sweet woman.


  25. Hey Renee, good choice 😉 I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, we did, and I am thankful for that!


  26. I love your new header and you without a hat! Bird anxiety, nah not you come on, you are a super-star and super hero. Besides, it is family and love and hugs and being together that really matters, the bird, well it is a side show.

    Happy belated Thanksgiving day. Hope you ate till you were tired and the remote worked properly or was a source of laughter.

  27. Fantastic new header, the others were very creative, too–Happy Thanksgiving (late) to you, Renee–hope you are resting after being the hostess with the mostest. No doubt it was successful. I went crazy peeling potatoes and now have a second bowl of mashed spuds in the refrig. that weighs about 30 lbs. Potato croquettes?

  28. It’s pretty solid, sis. I dig it.

  29. I just fired up my computer after a two day hiatus and wowzers, look at this! A new header, a GORGEOUS table and a link to me and Susie!! I rocked the GF Thanksgiving and Hubby knocked it out of the park on the turkey. Woooo-hooooo!!

    I hope your holiday was amazing…just like your new header. 🙂

  30. Ahhh! AWESOME choice, and so glad you’re able to do the donation, too!

    Your table looks INCREDIBLE. How did it (Thanksgiving) go?!

  31. Love it, Renee! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. 🙂

  32. Hugging you right back! Love your header choice (and your dining room tables – so beautiful and festive). Hope you enjoyed every minute of the holiday!

    1. I think we were posting on each other’s blogs at the same time! Glad you had a great holiday! 😉

  33. I agree. When the kids leave the kitchen is closing permanently. Happy Thanksgiving!

  34. […] Would Renee at “Teachers and Twits” employ this trickery with students on occasion? (Can someone tell me how to get the ‘ over a […]

  35. Yay! You know it was my favorite! OK. Second favorite. But I still LOVE it! Great choice!

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