Greetings everyone! 

Although Autumn in Southern California is blue skies and 78 degree weather, I have still been trying to pretend it’s actually sweater weather. I absolutely love the holidays because I finally get to see my parents and my two brothers. My hometown is Charlotte, North Carolina, where it's around 40 degrees over Thanksgiving and Christmas break. However, the skies are always blue and the sun is always shining. 

This year, I was not sure I would be coming home for Thanksgiving. Our break is too short for two full days of travel and my family is split all over the United States anyways. My mom and dad had decided to visit my extended family and my oldest brother, Daniel, in Columbus, Ohio. However, one day, I woke up to a text from my dad. He told me that they missed me too much to wait till Christmas and they bought me a plane ticket to Ohio! I will be spending Thanksgiving in the frigid north with my extended family! We have a pretty traditional Thanksgiving. On Thursday morning, all the ladies help cook dinner in the kitchen. The house smells like homemade bread and cinnamon and my Grandma bakes pies. One of my favorite traditions before dinner is when my entire family holds hands in a circle around the kitchen and gives thanks for the blessings the Lord has lavished on us. 

I haven’t seen my parents since August, or my brothers since May -- sacrifices I have had to make because of choosing to attend a school across the country -- Thanksgiving will be a very sweet time of reunion with the people I love most. 

Before I knew I would be able to go home for Thanksgiving, my roommate invited me to spend it with her and her family in Irvine. If you are an out-of-state student and you are nervous that you won’t be able to come home on breaks, or that you’ll be left alone on campus--don’t worry! You will find friends who will welcome you into their homes or their family traditions. 

For Christmas, I am flying to Charlotte, and I am beyond excited. I will spend Christmas at home with my family. I have learned to not take the moments where my family is under the same roof for granted. I am excited to see my friends, go to my favorite coffee shop and spend some time on the lovely East Coast! 

It’s definitely been a process of adjusting to life away from home, but it makes it that much sweeter to travel back to see my family. 

Thanks for reading and until next time, 

Happy Holidays!