What Thanksgiving Is Like As An Adult

I know that it’s not technically Thanksgiving yet, but a girl can dream, right?

I’m headed home to Florida this week, because Thanksgiving tends to be a pretty big holiday in my family. Unlike Christmas, which my parents, brother and I spend at home, we head up to our grandparents ranch for Thanksgiving to spend it with my extended family as well. Which means I’ll get to see my grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles. Or, at least, most of them.

When we were younger, it went without saying that we would all be at the ranch for Thanksgiving. My cousins from Tallahassee would drive down, and my cousins who live on the ranch would absolutely be there. We’d spend the night, and sometimes the weekend, because it was rare to have all of us under one roof. But now that we’re older, things have changed. Three of my cousins are married, my brother is in med school, I live in Los Angeles, another cousin lives in San Francisco, while another has moved all the way to Alaska. Getting home for the holiday isn’t as easy as it used to be for us.

I’m taking a red eye on Wednesday night and landing in Florida on Thursday morning, the day of. My parents are picking me up at the airport and driving us directly to the ranch. My brother couldn’t get out of school, so he’ll be spending the holiday with his soon-to-be doctor friends. I’m going to probably be exhausted, and running on adrenaline by the time we get to the ranch.

But I also really don’t care, because I’m so excited to get the time to spend with the family who will be there. (Albeit, it’s a very small crowd this year. Maybe two of my cousins will be coming, and my grandparents, and one set of aunt and uncle.) Still, it’s a tradition that I’ve only missed once in my life, when I decided to stay in LA for the holiday and celebrate a Friendsgiving. Which was fun, but not what I wanted in the end. And now that I’m older, a lot of these holidays feel so much more precious to me. Probably because it’s hard to tell what it will look like even a year from now. Someone else could move away, someone could get married and go celebrate with a different family, who knows.

I’m really thankful for the opportunity to celebrate the holiday with my family in Florida this year. And I’m hopeful for many more to come.

Oh, and if you’re curious as to what E will be up to this year, he’s headed back to Arkansas to celebrate with his parents. We’re officially meeting each other’s parents over the Christmas holidays. (Eeeep!)

Here are some photos from our last Thanksgiving in Florida. It’s really beautiful down on our little Brooksville ranch, right?!

La Rosa Family Ranch

The sign that greets you when you drive onto our property. I’m a La Rosa, and my cousins are the Coopers.

La Rosa Ranch and our barrels of hay

It’s a real, working ranch, and we’ve got plenty of hay to feed the horses and cows we have.

White Horse

One of our gorgeous horses, posing for a glamour shot.

Grandma

My grandmother, and the woman I owe my redhair to, cooking up some gravy at the stove.

Homemade Biscuits

My grandmother’s homemade biscuits… Holy guacamole are these to die for.

Tree swing

This is me on our tree swing. It’s the same swing we’ve been using since I was a little girl, and it feels just as awesome every time I use it.

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