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My department at work hosts themed lunches. We have tackled comfort food (mac n’ cheese, pork and potato casserole, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, Mexican chicken soup, veggie chili with cornbread bake), Mexican food (Mexican pot pie, veggie chimichangas, fresh salsa and chips, lemon tart and Tequila ice box pie), Irish food for St. Patty’s (corn beef, rye bread, cabbage, spicy mustard, Irish soda bread (with and without raisins), potatoes, cupcakes, cakeballs and broccoli casserole) and Spanish food (homemade pastelitos, arroz con pollo, tres leche cake and arroz con frijoles).  These lunches are manageable and special since it is the five of us. And it just shows you that a graphic designer, the head of sales, a sales assistant, a marketing specialist and the online communicator can make delicious meals together. Food really is the universal language.

Tomorrow we are celebrating Thanksgiving. Our own little Thanksgiving dinner for lunch. I knew that we would all be celebrating with our families soon enough, but I wanted to make sure we did it as a department. Having a workday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and spending more time there than in our “other” lives, makes you appreciate the people who get the work done. Ultimately, appreciating your coworkers makes your day better and allows you to leave each day with comfort and returning in the morning with relief.

The other thing preparing for the Thanksgiving lunch did was push me to start my “what I am thankful for” list. We are currently promoting the very concept through our Facebook and Twitter sites at work. We asked our customers, “What are you thankful for?” The post qualifies them for the chance to win a Healthy Back Bag and Baglett. Reading the entries has reminded me of the amazing people who are out there. These are people I don’t know personally, but believe in the same product I do. The common tie is allowing us to share thanks.

I hope each and every person I know, will know one day or is connected to me in some way, shape or form is preparing to give thanks this holiday season. As a community we have a responsibility to be appreciative of what we have. There are so many with out.

I am thankful for the ability to give thanks, the people who have shaped me to who I am today, the quality that magnetizes people to me, the love I feel everyday, potential and strength. And that’s on the short list.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s not often that you get to witness true love. Heck, I’m going out on a limb and saying it’s a rarity. I believe in love. The real mushy Love Actually kindof love. The get down on your knees and propose on national television kindof love. The walk towards your significant other and tear up kindof love. The your best friend is Amy kindof love.

A few weeks ago I helped my magical and slighty crazy little Italian Aunt Dee, of the wonderful Woodstock Hidden Kitchen, create a very special one-of-a-kind wedding in Woodstock, New York. The couple had rented a beautiful home where their friends and family stayed for the weekend. The perfect home for a reception.

The day of the wedding some people went to town for coffee and brunch, others mulled around and we got to business. Bringing in all local foods, including meats, vegetable, cheeses, breads and lots and lots of garlic was very important to the bride and groom. In fact, that is how they sought Dee out. Through the use of local and sustainable foods they wanted their wedding to be a foundation of earthly choices and an example for all.

As the couple went down to a landing for the reception…

The bridal party made a pit stop in the kitchen. The bride and groom had each had a chilled vodka shot before heading down. It was super cute that they had shared the same glass even though it was at different times.

When returning from the ceremony, the bride and groom made a toast to all of their guests. The day was truly about love. The friend kind. The family kind. The married to your love kind.

As the guests went inside tables of treats awaited.

After a long first course of cheeses, cristinis, olives, salads, marinades, figs, meats and herbs, the guests sat down to a multiple fabulocity course meal. Artichokes, stratachelli soup, manicotti, risotto and all with vegan options.

In our family, food is not only sustenance. It’s what we gather around the table for. Food is what you provide for the ones around you. Holidays, birthdays an celebrations all have food as a main event. That was the recurring theme of Kym and Tony’s wedding. Food and the people they loved all in one place.

It was a special little glimpse into a lifetime of happiness. We were blessed to have witnessed it. May we all find the happiness that they have. May it be infinite and cultivate goodness year after year.

“Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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