{On hosting Thanksgiving.}

Zack + I moved to Los Angeles 12 weeks ago.


And in those short {long?} twelve weeks we’ve made huge progress. We pulled into this city with just our Jeep. Yes, it was packed to the roof with “stuff”, but once we found our apartment and unpacked the Jeep, calling what we brought “stuff” suddenly seemed so… unqualified.

What we brought in our Jeep was broken down into this:

  • a tiny collection of Gussy materials
  • a couple of pairs of shoes + only the necessities in clothing
  • a small set of dishes — which translates to 4 sets of silverware, plates + tumblers
  • two favorite coffee mugs
  • a set of bedsheets + a few quilts/pillows
  • tools, a spare tire, extra rope, etc :)

We did mail a few more boxes of Gussy materials, along with some favorite items like lamps + home decor, but we really only traveled to Los Angeles with the necessities. And don’t think I’m some perfect lady for being able to do this. I’ve had my days where all I feel is angry over all we left behind in Minneapolis. We hosted a garage sale before we left, but I can’t tell you the number of items we donated — it was a lot. And sometimes I feel really angry that we don’t have that “stuff” anymore.

But then I think back to our trip to Tanzania. Pretty much all of the houses we saw were made from mud, wood or metal sheeting. Roofs — if they existed, were often unreliable. Beds were made from wadded up plastic bags. Drinking water came from leftover rain water. Home decor was sparse. But Hope + Gratitude, those things were abundant.

Over the past twelve weeks Zack + I have made some serious commitments to this city. No matter how challenging this new city is, we will make it the best it can be. We will find joy, happiness + lots to be thankful for. And then as Thanksgiving neared Zack tossed out the idea of hosting at our apartment. We’ve been so thankful to have friends refer us to other friends living nearby, to help us feel more comfortable in this huge, new city, and we love opening our home up to others. So we didn’t spend too long deciding whether we should invite a handful of friends over — and so invite we did! :)

This was my very first year hosting Thanksgiving, baking a turkey, preparing all the side dishes. I gathered hosting skills from three women I look up to dearly: my mom, Zack’s mom + The Nester. Combining the wisdom from these three ladies helped us to have a perfect Thanksgiving day. Our friends brought dessert with them, and we gathered around the kitchen, the table, our couch, and together we celebrated Thanksgiving with Hope by our sides.

Turns out Hope knows how to cover up fear of being “the new girl” in town — actually, all of our guests were Los Angeles transplants, which I secretly loved ;) Hope is a great thing to have in your home when you’re hosting, turns out. Hope helps you to feel brave. Hope reminds me of truly how much we have, even though all we have takes up so little space.

I know all of these moments feeling angry or sad over what we don’t tangibly have are to be filed under Life Lessons. The things we have in our hearts are more valuable than what we have here on Earth.

These moments have helped me to grow, to see straight to the root of life.

And so this Thanksgiving:


These little things of thanks? They are all big things inside my heart.


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  1. 1


    Congratulations on hosting your first Thanksgiving! What a wonderful way to spend the holiday in a new city. So happy to hear you have acclimated and are making lots of new friends!
    I think your honesty and attitude are amazing and can’t wait to read more!

  2. 5


    My husband and I went through something similar; twice in one year. There was a box of handmade (by me) blankets that was accidentally donated, along with a ton of really great kitchen gear. I felt sick about it until I realized that someone out there who needed them more than I do is using them. Plus I think what you give you get back tenfold. Starting over is liberating and terrifying in equal measure.

    Oh and I wanted to tell you that my first craft fair went amazingly well! Thanks again for your 31 days series. I was so inspired by it I actually named one of my designs after you. Someone asked me this weekend who “Maggie” was and I said “my business mentor.” :-)

  3. 10

    Crystal S says

    How great that you hosted Thanksgiving! So brave, the thought of cooking that much food terrifies me!

    What is crazy, though, is that as I looked at your photos, I recognized Max and his wife sitting on your sofa! I know Max’s mom from Pregnancy Help Center here in Youngstown, OH! What a small world:)

    I hope your Christmas is just as great as your Thanksgiving was and even better:)


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