H ere is how I thought our Thanksgiving was going to go: Bobby would go to work, I would prep a mini-Thanksgiving dinner for two during the afternoon, take Graham to the dog park, Bobby would get home, and we would enjoy a small feast before he got an early bedtime and prepared for another day of work the following day.

Here is how our (amazing) Thanksgiving actually went: we got to spend it with Pilgrim Leah (my sister) and her wonderful boyfriend Kelsey!

(Our family has been dressing up in Pilgrim and Indian costumes since I was about 12 years old. All my mom’s genius. I had actually mistakenly put my costume into storage in New Orleans this summer and my mom fashioned an emergency outfit to send to me in Miami. It’s a crucial element of a Nixon Thanksgiving, even when the entire family unit isn’t together.)

On Wednesday afternoon, Leah called me and said, “What are you up to right now?” “Writing a super important email. What are you up to?” I asked. “Uhhh standing at the front door of the lobby to your condo…”

I couldn’t believe it. Leah and Kelsey had driven all the way down from Kentucky to be with us as a complete surprise. As I’ve mentioned before, I LOVE surprises.

Our Thanksgiving in a brand new city went from ho-hum to EPIC in a matter of seconds.

So in the spirit of family, I present to you a co-illustrated Folk-Art Friday. Leah is an amazing artist and illustrator (she was a painting major in college and blows me away with her stuff. You can see more at her Society6 page if you’d like a peek. Leah, have I told you lately that I’m your biggest fan?). I’ll let you decipher who drew what in this masterpiece…

I know, I know – this picture is deep. So much going on! The obvious symbolism of the turkey, alive after Thanksgiving, the T-Rex we thought was extinct…

But then wait – is the T-Rex going to EAT the turkey who just narrowly escaped such a fate yesterday?!? Obviously, there are many layers to this piece.

At any rate, some days are going to feel like that – exuberant, wild rejoicing to be alive. Some days don’t feel so hot and there’s lots of muck involved. But the fact that we’re living and breathing for another day is miraculous whenever you stop to really think about it.

Thanks for the reminder, Lucky Turkey and T-Rex!

I leave you with one last family photo:

{Thankful for all of you who are living, breathing, reading this post. You are loved!}