Thankful Things Thursday: Thanksgiving Edition

I’m currently sitting at my mom and dad’s house in New Hampshire, hanging out with all my favorite people and being entertained by my BFF Ty.

I flew into Boston just in time to pick up the little nut from daycare. It was the highlight of my life. Do you know what he did at daycare on Wednesday? He made art. I’m not even kidding. He’s SO talented.

As I sit here in my baggiest sweatpants, surrounded by great people and a plate of Oreos (I wrote half of this Wednesday night — though I’m certainly not opposed to an Oreo Breakfast of Champions), I’m feeling more thankful than ever before.

So excuse the cliche of the day — this post is hardly original on a holiday such as this one (though, come on, we’re cool and do this every Thursday). But I’m about to get my grateful on in a big, big way.

On this official Day of Thanks, I have many feelings of appreciation. Some are deep and meaningful. Others are simple and shallow. All of them are about to get laid out right here…

I’m thankful for my health. This is the big one this year. You know how this year has gone. I don’t think I need to rehash the whole sick/injured/sick/sick/sick/want to die/hospital drama that seemed to plague every day of my life since March.

You know, just hanging out in my cutest dress with Lauren and the dragon.

I almost can’t believe I’ve been healthy since I left the hospital on Labor Day. I’ve felt great. (Hold please — knocking on wood.)

For the past two months, I’ve felt grateful every time I’ve taken the subway. I appreciate every time I can wake up in the morning and go for a run and I smile every time I pass a bathroom in Central Park and I don’t have to use it. Being so sick this year sucked, but it also did me a lot of favors and taught me some important life lessons. I’ve learned to chill out (meh, it’s a work in progress — but at least I recognize the necessity of a good mind calming) and I’ve regained perspective. As it turns out, some things — like running a marathon — aren’t all that important in the grand scheme of things.

I know I may get sick again. I may feel great for a few days, weeks or months, and I may find myself back in the hospital any day. That’s my life. But after the various struggles this year, I am strong enough to accept that and, if faced with another Crohn’s flare, I know I can get through it.

I feel good right now, though, and for that, I feel thrilled.

I’m thankful for my city.

I took this photo two days after Hurricane Sandy blasted through the northeast. The city had been through hell, but it woke up that Wednesday morning under a spectacular sky.

New York, you’re my home. You’ve never felt more like home than you have in the past month, and I’m thankful for your resilience, your strength and your determination. You’re beautiful every day. Thank you for having me.

I’m thankful for my incredibly unrelenting cheer squad and their nonstop support. My family doesn’t necessarily “get” running. They don’t see the fun in it and for a long time, when I had first started doing longer races, they definitely didn’t see the appeal.

Family! Love you! I’m gonna smell later on the car ride home! Sorry!

And whether or not they get it now, they’re there to watch me cross the finish line with their cowbells in hand. They show up, they cheer for me…

OK maybe everyone isn’t staying awake for the “big exciting finish.” Oh well.

…and they support me every single step of the 26.2 mile way. It means the world to me.

I’m thankful for my marathon PR. Yeah, I’m psyched about it. It was wildly unexpected and the day I ran the Manchester City Marathon was a much-needed Happy Fun Amazing Day.

According to the photos, I ran the majority of this race with at least one arm raised in the air. Definitely a good strategy, Feller. Way to go.

And I’m already, slowly, starting to think about what’s next. That is, of course, after I sufficiently stuff myself full of turkey, gravy and all the pies. Gotta say, I’m pretty happy to be forgoing the turkey trotting this year in favor of quality Tyler snuggle time.

I’m thankful for my job. I dreamed about having this job when I was 16. I went to college with this job in mind, I got an internship to get my “in,” and now here I am. It is, literally, a dream come true.

On set during one of the best days of my career, when I got to spend a day with choreographer extraordinaire Mia Michaels.

I work with passionate, talented people who make coming to work every day a blast. On a daily basis, our serious conversations cover topics including boobs, tutus, sparkles, legwarmers and body image issues.

I’m thankful for hot showers.

On that note, I’m thankful for mango soap and I’m thankful I got the chance to use it more than once this fall.

I’m thankful that zit I’ve had on my face for, like, two years finally popped. Told you some of these weren’t exactly profound. But seriously, I’m psyched about this one. For a while I thought I was just growing a permanent second chin.

The monster had been living about an inch south of the right corner of my mouth. See it? SO HOT.

I’m thankful for my bed. I never want to leave it.

I’m thankful for automatic magazine renewal systems. So easy, right? I hate getting the thing in the mail that’s like, “Your subscription is up, please go to this website and use this 62-digit bar code to log into your account and then enter your credit card information and give us your first-born child in order to renew your subscription.” No. Don’t want to do that. Renew it yourself. I’m too lazy. Thanks!

I’m thankful for my $7 headphones from PC Richards. They fail me time and time again — I go through at least four pair per training cycle — but I just can’t quit them.

The headphones also double as a really cute necklace. And then, when your sweat drips down into the ear pieces, they stop working. It’s so great.

My ears are too oddly small for cool-looking ear buds, so I’m sticking with the trendy headband style.

I’m thankful for David Beckham.

I’m thankful for David Beckham’s abs.

I’m thankful for David Beckham’s underwear ads.

I’m thankful to be spending a holiday in New Hampshire with the whole, newly-expanded Feller family.

Gangnam Style is so out. The new move is the Feller Family Fist Pump. Embrace it.

It’s so relaxing and wonderful being here. I used to try to cram in a ton of activities whenever I’d visit. My mom and I would go outlet shopping and apple picking and we’d do a billion things in the 48 or so hours I’d be home.

But now?

Now we all sit in the living room for 48 hours, watching Tyler roll around and be hilarious. It’s straight-up blissful.

I took 12 pictures of Tyler within the first five minutes of seeing him this week. For Christmas this year, I’m asking for a new set of memory cards. Thousands of them.

He’s grown so much since I saw him just three weeks ago. For example, he’s been working really hard on his baby yoga poses and he’s gotten so flexible!

This pose is called “babylegstretchvasana” and Tyler’s a pro at it.

Proud Auntie Ali, right here.

After a week of vacation and now a long weekend with family, I think I’ll be cruising into 2013 in a state of ultimate relaxation. (Remind me to re-read this statement right around December 22 when I haven’t booked my holiday travel or begun my holiday shopping.)

And of course, I’m thankful for my main little man, Tyler. He brings me joy every day. I love Skypeing with him, snuggling with him, bouncing with him and then handing him back to his parents when he craps himself. It’s perfect.

Thankful for you, too, homeboy. He made this card at daycare yesterday. I suspect he had some help with the writing part, but you never know. He’s very advanced.

May as well keep this semi-short right? We do it every week. No need to kill the holiday with love-festing today.

Instead, you get back to your families food and I’ll get back to mine.

I asked Tyler what he’s thankful for. He’s still thinking about it. Life’s great questions…

One final note…

I’m thankful to everyone — that’s you — who stops by to read Ali On The Run. I love your comments and the stories you share. I love when you tell me about your triumphs and your struggles and your PRs. It’s a wonderful little community we’ve built here, and you’re all invited over for a sleepover. Brian says it’s fine.

I’m grateful I get to hang out with all of you online all the time. Thank you for reading, thank you for supporting me and thank you for being a part of my life.

Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you. May your day be filled with gratitude, appreciation, parade and dog show-watching and, of course, so much gravy, stuffing and pie.

From 1st Grade Ali to all of you. Such a poet at such a young age.

NOW DO WHAT YOU ALWAYS DO: Tell me what you’re thankful for on this very special day.



18 Responses

  1. i love that we are now 2(right?!) years into thankful things thursday. a few days late, but thankful for a wonderful thanksgiving day with my family, a great weekend with friends, and having some good news to share. I’ll bring cookies to the sleepover 😉

  2. No laughing…but Im thankful that last Thanksgiving I had horrible mono. About 4 days before I was diagnosed I was sitting on the couch too tired to do anything & thought I had reached “that weight” where I was a year of not cleaning away from being the next Hoarders episode. I cried & cried. Then was Thankful that I was “just sick” and it wasnt my weight slowing me down

    So I got healthy (took awhile) and the end of January, with fear that maybe I could still be close to “that weight” and I never want to feel as horrible as I did on Thanksgiving, I joined a gym and signed up for a half marathon. Then I was terrified to find out at the gym I couldn’t even run for 0.1 miles!! But I am not one to throw in the towel. I signed up for a bunch of shorter races between May & September when the half marathon was. I cried at the starting line of race one that I would be last…but I wasnt. So I kept going. I kept finding new blogs about running, (yours) or losing weight. And I was inspired daily.
    And 30 lbs skinnier, I ran/walked the half marathon and finished. I wasn’t first, I wasn’t last, but I did it.

    Now i have no more races to train for but I still run 2-3 times a week for pleasure. I have more weight to lose, but Im losing it still.

    So…I’m thankful for the kissing disease for scaring me into realizing that I deserve better health!

    That got long! Sorry!

  3. Happy thanksgiving. I’m thankful for good food and family and wine after having spent all day with the aforementioned. BOSE makes headphones which are expensive but come with little size contraptions that attach to the ear buds, and they make an extra small size. It’s the only bud which has ever fit into my teeny tiny ear holes.

  4. Tyler is so adorable! I am thankful for my own baby nephew who will be born sometime in the next few weeks. Also thankful for the Ander, he’s a good one. And I am thankful for Davines, the best jewfro taming hair system keratin-type thing ever invented as of 2012.

  5. I am thankful for everyone in my life. Well almost. Not super thankful for the creep who chanted at me this morning. But I am thankful for everyone else!

  6. I am thankful for your blog! You’re so inspiring.
    I’m thankful that I was actually able to get up and race the 5 miler in my hometown this morning! Even if I walked the majority of it because I’m injured. And now my hips hurt. Ouch.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving Ali! I’m thankful that my sweet friend Erika tuned me into your exceptional, funny, quick-wit humor. I look forward to your blogs and always can’t wait for the next one. Felt like an eternity while you were away with your double chins and drinks.
    Enjoy your time with your BFF and keep on writing! May your Thanksgiving be blessed with kisses and hugs!

  8. AWw can I just say that Tyler is ADORABLE!!! I’m thankful for one that I found your blog- I found it a few weeks ago and its now on my top favorites list!! I’m thankful that I found blogging this year- it’s life changing, I’m thankful for my amazingly wonderful fiance who has to work and I don’t get to share thanksgiving with him. 🙁 But I’m also thankful that I get to see all my friends this week while I’m home at my moms house! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  9. I am thankful for the many amazing opportunities that I have been presented with during my life. Specifically today, I am thankful that I get to spend this year living overseas and experiencing my first Thanksgiving!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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