Why This Thanksgiving Was So Spectacular

This Thanksgiving was spectacular for so many reasons.

I spent time on Thanksgiving morning, thinking and praying for those who are dealing with loss, loneliness and darkness during the holidays. I know that it can be difficult and extremely painful. However, I’m a living witness that it doesn’t have to last forever and that brighter days are ahead.

Even though it may feel like the fight of your life right now, know that God has greater days ahead and that we can fulfill our heart’s desires if we don’t give up.

Proverbs 24:10 – If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.

I realized that for the first time in a long time, I was not only grateful for my blessings but I was living in the manifestations of my prayers, my hope and my dreams. I remember, many years being grateful during the holidays but at the same time feeling empty. I was hurting, broken and lonely. After going through times of loss, I just prayed for strength to get through this time of year.

I’m so thankful that God didn’t leave me in that dark place. As I kept living, believing and giving to others — he eventually, in time gave back to me what I most deeply desired. I wanted companionship, a husband, a child, a beautiful home and peace in my heart.

This would be Kingston’s first Thanksgiving so we made sure to get a picture of him with the famous fried turkey that my husband makes every year. In fact, only 4 weeks after meeting me, he came to my house when my parents were visiting and made his Thanksgiving fried turkey and asked my dad for my hand in marriage.


Kingston with turkey - First Thanksgiving Nov. 2016


Of course, there is nothing like a holiday to give a new mom reason to take more photos and to find yet another outfit to dress up her baby!

Each year since we have been married, we have had family over for Thanksgiving. However, this was the first time we had close to 20 guests. Family traveled in to see Kingston and it felt like a reunion.

I believe welcoming people into your home is the ultimate sign of hospitality and I love to show my guest love and appreciation. I want you to feel special when you come to The Simkins!

Everyone pitched in to bring a special dish to help with the meal. I decorated the table in a festive way with one of my favorite decorations of fruit and flowers. This centerpiece had cranberries floating in water with white roses. It was just gorgeous! We also gave away post cards of Kingston’s first Thanksgiving and asked each family member to share three things they were thankful for this year.


Table setting 

The table was set beautifully and I contributed my dishes including: macaroni and cheese, collard greens and sweet potato casserole. I love to cook but I was so happy to see that we ate almost all of the leftovers over the course of the next three days.

Although hosting the holidays is a lot of work, I realized that it is worth it. Bringing family together is important to celebrate our blessings, reconnect, and stay grounded with who we are and where we came from. I loved seeing the generations connect and watching my father play with his grandson. Creating memories is priceless.


Dad with Kingston 2