By Cassie Johnston
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My husband turned to me the other day while we sitting by the fire after baby girl had gone to bed and said to me, “You seem really happy. And you weren’t that way for a long time.”
It’s true. Both parts.
Sure, we could have a bit more money. My house could be a bit cleaner. And I wish I could fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans, but when it comes to the big picture, I am remarkably content with my life. I can safely say that for the first time in my life, I feel full. And I’m not just talking about my tummy being full of good food. I’m full in the, I really can’t think of anything that is missing in my life, kinda way. Like if someone asked me what one thing I want more than anything right now, my answer would probably be something stupid like, “Um, a self-cleaning kitchen would be nice?”
Seriously, someone get on that.
One of the biggest reasons I feel so content right now is my friends. That might sound like an obvious statement—I mean, duh, friends make people happy—but I have to be honest, for the longest time after I graduated college, I really struggled to connect with people.
I think a lot of people struggle with making and keeping friends in their late twenties and early thirties. In college, it was easy, you bonded over some drinks, and you were thick as thieves. But college ends, and people take jobs across the country and get married to out-of-towners and go to grad school three states over, and suddenly your über close group of friends is scattered and, while you’ll always be in each other’s lives, it just isn’t the same as being in the same city.
So now, you have to start all over again to find friends nearby. Except, this time, it seems just so much harder to find people you want to spend time with. You’re older and perhaps a bit more cautious about whom you want to dedicate time to, and that caution makes it incredibly hard to open up to new people.
Or at least, it sure does for me.
But as long as it’s taken me to build up a good group of local friends, man, is it ever a good group. I am so thankful for the people who the universe has put in my life. I don’t have a ton of friends, but the ones I have are some of the sweetest, kindest and most generous people on the planet. They make me want to be a better person—and that’s exactly what I think a good friend should do.
My husband and I are one of those totally co-dependent couples, and I 100% consider him my best friend, and I thought that was enough to sustain me for the longest time, but it turns out, having meaningful adult friendships is something that is important for my soul too. I am so thankful for my friends.
With these people in my life that I love like family, it felt wrong not to see them during the holiday season, so last year, we opened our home up for the inaugural FRIENDMAS. We invited one of our closest couple friends out to the country for some old-fashioned Christmas fun. We ate lots of sugary Christmas cookies and listened to old Bing Crosby records by the fireplace. We decorated gingerbread houses while drinking wassail and bourbon eggnog.
We all had our families to go celebrate with a few days later, but this friends-only Christmas celebration was an absolutely spectacular way to let loose and have our own kind of fun. Pretty instantly, a tradition was born. And this year, we’re opening up our home to even more friends. Craig and I are both so excited to get to host our incredible friends at Christmas. It is quickly becoming the event I look forward to the most at the holidays. It’s our little way of showing how thankful we are for the good people in our life. I’m terrible at writing thank you notes. I hate the telephone. And I don’t do a lot of entertaining, but this is the least I can do to celebrate the good people I love.
So what’s all that have to do with boozy eggnog? The drink of choice during last year’s FRIENDMAS was this bourbon eggnog cocktail that Craig mixed up. Since I was pregnant during last year’s celebration, I never got to try it, but the raves were so loud, I knew it would have to come back in 2014. So as soon as the holiday season came around, I asked my mixmaster of a husband to whip me up one to try—and it was totally worth the wait. It’s sweet and so warm and oh, so comforting. Which is pretty much exactly the way I describe having my friends in my home at Christmas. The is the drink I choose to celebrate my chosen family.
Butterscotch Bourbon Eggnog is a fun twist on the traditional holiday eggnog cocktail. Mix up a big batch for parties!
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New Reader here! Im not familiar with bourbon nor do I know how to get it, but this recipe sure looks good!
I’m thankful for stability in my life.
I am so thankful for my family and the lessons learned this year about perseverance.
I’m thankful that my husband gets leave for Christmas!
I am thankful for my health!
I’m most thankful for my amazing kids. Seriously, they’ve been through a lot this past year and I’m so grateful for them.
I am thankful for two healthy kids and a lovely husband that changes all the diapers.
I’m thankful I’ve almost finished graduate school and today I’m celebrating my anniversary with a fantastic boyfriend.
Having a very happy day.
I’m thankful for my boyfriend’s health. This past year has been quite the time and things are finally getting back into a routine.
Tweet link: https://twitter.com/kristin_quigley/status/539423746483044354
I’m really thankful for my health and my family’s health. As I’m getting older I’m realizing that’s not something you can bank on.
i am thankful for my parents’ health.
I am thankful for my 2 kids.
I am thankful for great friends that treat me like family
I am thankful for a family that lives me and keeps me sane :)
I’m thankful for my 3 month old son!
I am thankful for my health
I am thankful for my husband and my puppy!
I am thankful for having enough money. Or for not worrying about having enough.
I am very thankful for my husband and son, as well as our pets! Putting the tree and decorations up this year causes instant reminiscing and opens my eyes to how lucky I am.
I am thankful for my amazing boyfriend. He is truly my best friend and a perfect match for me.
Great post! I am thankful for facing my fears and finally going through a fantastic yoga teacher training program so that I can move ahead with life goals. It has been an amazing experience and I’m so thankful for everyone I’ve met in the process and who has supported me along the way. Happy Holidays!
I am thankful for my job that gives me so much appreciation for the world around me. Also thankful that I get to go home for Christmas and spend time with my family.
I am thankful for people’s ability to love. Whether with family, friends, or strangers, it’s wonderful to see what such strong feelings can do. #KeepGoodGoing
I am thankful for such a great support system, I have the best friends and family!
I’m thankful for my amazing family and friends! :-)
I’m thankful for our first holiday season as a family of four! Our little guy has been such a sweet addition to our family, and our big kid gets cooler by the day.
So many things to be thankful for! My amazing family, my loving husband, a roof over our heads, food on the table, and a warm fuzzy cat on my lap on a cold, winter-y day (just to name a few :)
I am thankful for my little nephews and family!
I am so thankful for my strong, smart, amazing daughter.
Yah for friends, family, food and fun! I love this time of season especially because everyone seems to be in a nice mood. Like today–a guy waved me through an intersection when it was clearly his turn. And did it with a smile. I love the holidays!!
I am thankful that I get to visit my family and get a break from my studies this holiday season!
I’m thankful for many things! I’m really blessed to have my family and friends and also my health.
I’m thankful for my sweet baby boy.
The incredible people I’m surrounded by!!
I’m thankful for the opportunity and ability to be receiving a phenomenal education and degree at a top university. As the end-of-the-semester flurry begins and finals stress becomes overwhelming, I remind myself how few people, especially women, have the same privilege, and I am immensely thankful.
I am thankful for my family. I am grateful that we are all still together and close and enjoy spending time with each other for the holidays.
I am thankful for my dogs and my family. :)
I am also thankful for welcoming a new baby this year!
I am thankful for my amazing job, for American Sign Language, and for my friends who help keep me sane in Midwestern winters!
Every single member of my family. And most especially my boys:).
I’m thankful to be home for the holidays this year. I’ve spent the last two years in Korea, and I get to spend these holidays with my family and my pup.
I am thankful for my healthy kids :)
Very thankful for the good health of my family and friends!
I am thankful for family and friends…and pets!
I am thankful for my two crazy, wonderful boys and how much they teach me every day :)
I’m thankful for my health, job, and family!
i am thankful for my new job!
I’m thankful my mom is doing better!
I’m thankful for the good days.
I”m thankful for the times I get to spend with family and friends
Basic, but oh so important- I’m thankful for my family!
Awesome giveaway! Very thankful that I’m bringing a baby into the world next summer – eek!
I”m thankful for family, friends, food and health!
I’m thankful for being healthy enough to not feel like I have any physical limitations.
I am thankful for my family.
I’m thankful that my family members are traveling over 1,000 miles to visit us in our new city over the holidays! And I’m thankful for the smells of the season…fresh-cut pine, cinnamon, nutmeg…
I am thankful for my family, good health, and a wonderful Christmas season ahead!
I am thankful for the simple things in life … good coffee, family all healthy, beautiful new granddaughter, and reading this blog. It is the only one I ever subscribed too.
I am thankful to be in a profession that helps the community.
I am thankful to get to spend the time with family that lives far away. Even if only for a few days, it’s nice the holidays bring everyone together. :)
I am thankful for having more time with my family and my friends this holiday season.
I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/lil_lady_dz/status/539564208728178689
I’m so very thankful for two healthy, vibrant children, an amazing husband, and wiggly dog who totally fulfill me!
Bob (the better half) has been thru chemotherapy for a rare leukemia, and the treatment has worked!!
I’m thankful for my husband and kids.
I am thankful for each morning that God allows me to wake and spend with my husband and children, I am thankful for the Job my husband has that helps provide food, shelter, clothing, schooling and other necessities our family needs. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to work with Gleaners food bank and help provide food to families in need. I wish there was more I could do to help them.
Here is the link to my tweet https://twitter.com/Galpal46241/status/539577254117117952
I’m thankful for my new job and the joy it brings me.
I’m thankful for so many things; mostly friends and family.
I am so very thankful for my family – and for my wonderful fiancé!
Well, of course I am thankful for my daughter everyday. But lately I have been so thankful that her transition to middle school has gone so well. She looks forward to going everyday. And actually missed being there during thanksgiving break!
I am thankful for the sweet little baby growing in my tummy!
I am thankful for family, friends and pets.
I am thankful for my Dad being here this Holiday season and not being sick anymore!! I am thankful that all of my sisters and brothers will be spending the Holidays with me! And I am so thankful for my new baby niece who was born a few weeks ago-healthy!
I am thankful for my two beautiful children!
I’m thankful that after years of infertility, my sister is finally pregnant
I’m thankful that everyone in my family is currently healthy.
I’m thankful that I still have my job. Wasn’t sure if we would still be in business a couple months back.
I am thankful for my family this holiday season.
tcarolinep at gmail dot com
I am thankful for my hubby, family and our health!
I tweeted about the giveaway as @tmt121172 on 12/24/14
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