I love to think about what I am thankful for and reflect on the past year around Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. For starters, I get to share Thanksgiving with my husband, kids, and my parents! I am thankful my parents can join us this year because we don’t live in the same state anymore, so this doesn’t happen every year. 

Although cooking a big Thanksgiving meal is intimidating and overwhelming, I really enjoy it! My husband takes the lead on the turkey. He started brining our turkey on Monday, then he will deep-fry, season, and carve it on Thanksgiving Day. We have an electric deep-frier – it is awesome! This will be our third Thanksgiving using it. Have you ever had a deep-fried turkey? It is as delicious as it sounds!

Our Thanksgiving spread last year. We are planning a similar feast this year.

I take care of everything else – the sides and desserts. This year for dessert I’m planning pumpkin pie and apple pie. I love cooking all kinds of desserts, but my son requested these two pies and I’m happy to oblige. I’ll also be making my Grandma’s famous challah bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, and cranberry sauce. 

It’s a lot of food for 6 people – two of which are small children. But we love all the traditional Thanksgiving staples, and we will all gladly eat the leftovers for a few days. 🙂 

This is our Thanksgiving spread from two years ago. My son was so excited to try all of the food (which was obviously way too much for the 3 adults,1 toddler, and an infant present for that meal!).

I generally live a healthy and well-balanced life including healthy eating and regular exercise. I try to not to worry about calories or diet in general because I focus on eating a variety of healthy foods instead. But around the big holidays especially, I let food worries go. Sometimes I see segments on TV or pins on Pinterest talking about “healthy” Thanksgiving sides. I say enjoy your food the way you like it, healthy, unhealthy, or somewhere in-between!

If you want full fat milk and real butter in your mashed potatoes because it’s Thanksgiving and it tastes better to you that way, then do it (you know I will be doing that!). If you want a healthier green bean side without the creamed soup and crunchy toppings, do it your way (I’ll be making steamed green beans topped with just a little butter, salt and pepper)! Eat food that makes you happy and don’t stress about it! 

It’s nice to give yourself grace sometimes and enjoy good food and better company. I know by the weekend (or Monday at the latest), I will be back to eating healthy and exercising and it’s ok to take a break for a few days. As long as you don’t derail your healthy lifestyle long-term there will be no problems with a few days break. 

Here’s my son at his first Thanksgiving!

I’m an engineer, so it should be no surprise that I compiled the things I am thankful for into a list. I make lists for so many things in my life – they keep me organized, I feel sense of accomplishments when the lists have items to be checked off, and I have even used lists to help me make decisions. 

My Thankful lists has been different every year based on my stages in life. I remember in college it featured a lot of things like: thankful I passed physics, thankful for Wendy’s close to campus, or thankful only one more year until graduation. When I was a new engineer I was thankful for my engineering job, and the coworkers who made the job easier and fun. These days my list is more focused around family.

My Thankful List for 2018:

  1. Healthy family

    We’ve all gotten seasonal colds this fall, but overall my family has good health and I don’t take that for granted! We are very thankful to all be healthy and strong this year. 

    These family photos were taken by my talented friend at Lovely Little Snapshots

  2. My husband

    Hy husband’s patience and kindness to others inspires me daily. When I see him with the kids I silently remind myself to try to emulate more of his patience. He gets along with just about anybody and everybody, and always offers a helping hand. I am so thankful to have such a caring, smart, kind, and patient husband. 

    I mean, do Dads get any more perfect than this?

  3. My kids

    My son and daughter constantly keep me on my toes! Their moods, preferences, likes, dislikes, are constantly changing. I never know how each day will go, and that is exciting. Will we all be happy, wild, and silly? Will we spend most of the day in quiet activities like coloring and reading? Will they eat all their food today? Will we fight and yell or hug and give too many kisses? Maybe it will be a combination of everything, but I feel like the luckiest person in the world to get to be the mom of these two smart, fun, independent, loving, and adorable kids!  

    my “why”

  4. Family

    My parents, my sister and her family, my brother and his family, and my husband’s side of the family are all so wonderful. Everyone is so supportive of each other and we are all there for each other if anyone is in need of anything: from advice, to venting, to someone to watch a sports game with – I know I have someone to call or text anytime. 

  5. I get to spend everyday at home with my kids

    Not every mom who wants to is able to be home with her kids, and I’m thankful for this opportunity. I get to teach them things I think are important for them to know and I get to be there for them whenever they need me.

  6. Leftovers

    Every week I plan at least two big meals that provide leftovers the next night. The leftover nights give me a break from cooking, and sometimes the food even tastes better the second night! Sure, sometimes the food isn’t a hit the first night, so the second night is even more challenging to feed everyone the same thing again. But overall my family enjoys leftovers, so it works well for us! 

  7. Baby boot camp

    Baby boot camp has been one of my favorite activities since my son was born. I am able to keep my body toned and strong, hang out with my friends, and my kids get to play with their friends too! It is often the best 1-2 hours of my day whenever I go, and I’m so thankful for this group of women. 

    I love these strong moms and our sweet kids

  8. Instagram

    Instagram is my new favorite social media platform. Through Instagram I have finally connected to a large community of women in engineering and STEM careers. Instagram makes it easy to find communities with your similar passions, and the people I have connected with on Instagram have all been so positive, motivating, and supportive.

    You can find me on Instagram @engineering_emily

  9. YouTube yoga

    I don’t get to do yoga at a yoga studio anymore now that I’m a mom, but I’ve found some great yoga teachers on YouTube and I’m thankful they are constantly creating free, new, challenging, and motivating yoga classes for me to try during my kids’ nap time. 

    Two of my favorite YouTube Channels: Yoga with Adriene and Heart Alchemy Yoga

  10. You!

    Thank you for reading my blog! This blog is my passion project and I do it for fun and for free. I hope you enjoy the content I am creating, and I’m thankful to you for coming back to my site and reading each new post. My growing audience keeps me motivated to keep creating new and better content. 


Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoy some time off to relax with loved ones and reflect on things you are most thankful for.

Do you make lists for everything like me? What is on your Thankful list this year? 


Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link I may receive compensation at no additional cost to you. I only link to products and pages I personally use and highly recommend. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support!

You have Successfully Subscribed!