It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. Yesterday I drove up to Pickle Lake with M in the car — Matt had driven up with a few other people on Friday but they had lots of winterizing work to do at my in-laws’ camp, and we figured it would be easier for me to just bring myself and the baby for dinner then drive home later that night.

Luckily we had amazing weather yesterday. I was really shocked to be driving all the way up to Pickle Lake (it’s as far north as you can go on a regularly maintained highway in Ontario), in mid-October, with the car thermometer giving me a reading of 15C for the outdoor temperature. I actually really enjoyed the drive — M fell asleep and I listened to music and I had the road mostly to myself (I did see a mama moose and a baby moose). I also beat my own personal record for drive time but I probably shouldn’t brag about that. 😉

Thanksgiving has been a total gamble since I’ve moved here. We never do the same thing twice. We’ve hosted people at our home, we’ve travelled up north, and we have pretty much forgotten about the holiday completely and pulled something out of the freezer at the last moment. I do like the traditional Thanksgivings the most, with the turkey and the pie and the family, but I appreciate that they are still low-key. Gone are the days of an entire living room full of 26 people and fancy china — give me gravy and I am satisfied.

We talked about what we were thankful for, yesterday, and the common response was family. This has certainly been a year that embodies the idea of many hands making lighter work. I am thankful and grateful for the give and take, for the caring and balancing that happens across the miles. Without our family, near and far, we would be facing some challenges and I hope that we have made life better for our loved ones in some way this year, too.


I’m particularly thankful for my daughter, who eats pie the same way as her dad. She had a blast yesterday despite being tired and a bit under the weather. Every holiday seems to feel a bit more special with her by our side — well, every day seems a bit more special, actually.

I’m thankful for the opportunity I have had to stay at home with her these past months and I am also thankful that I am going to be able to return to work without issue (go Canada!). I’m thankful that we have a daycare provider for her and I’m thankful that M is flexible enough to roll with the changes we are introducing. I’m thankful that I wake up every morning to the sounds of a little girl screaming “KITTEEHHHHHH!” coming from the room down the hall. I’m thankful she let me sleep in a bit today.

I wish we had a way to bend space and time to visit M’s other grandparents more frequently, but on that note, I am thankful for the technology that allows us to share her life as much as possible with the people who love her, no matter how far away they may be.

Last year I was super pregnant at Thanksgiving and counting down the days until I had an outside baby. I was grateful then, for all the goodness in our lives (especially leftover pie), and I’m grateful now. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  1. Agnieszka says:

    I’m from the Greater Toronto Area, but live in VT. It’s kind of nice that Thanksgiving is the one holiday our families never fight over. It does make me sad to know that as our family grows and puts down more roots, trips to celebrate holidays with our “other” families are going to become more scarce. Traveling with kids is so exhausting though!

    1. Shayla says:

      My mom has an American boyfriend and she is thrilled to celebrate two Thanksgivings! Best of both worlds. 😉

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