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Hey everybody! Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is November 27, 2014 – Thanksgiving day here in the United States. This is the day we pause to give thanks for everything we have and be grateful for our health, families, jobs, homes, etc. In my family, we have so many things to be thankful for.

If you were a listener to my podcast in 2013, you may recall the story of my brother who was in ICU for 3 months due to a brain infection he contracted, probably from pneumonia. He was released from the hospital in January of 2014 and has been steadily improving ever since. He survived an infection where the doctors thought he had less than a 10% chance of survival when they saw the infection on the CAT scans. He likes to joke that he has a great way to lose weight! Contract a brain infection, stay in ICU and when you finally come out, you will be the thinnest you’ve been in 20 years! Personally, I’d rather get on a treadmill and sweat it out versus going down the path he took. I’m thankful he’s alive though. He’s not the same person he was before he got sick. He has a new lease on life and I believe his next 50 years of life will be serving a higher purpose and he will do it with a smile on his face!

Also in 2013, my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. She had the lower right lobe removed in July and we thought she was in the clear. When she went back to the doctor early in 2014, they discovered spots in her left lung. Luckily she was a candidate for medication in the form of a pill. It has probably been easier on her than chemo would have been, I’m sure, but her treatment is not “easy”. She has still felt sick and lost a lot of weight (and she didn’t have any weight to lose). She has lost most of her hair, but she have a very cute wig to wear instead. She’s alive and seems to be doing fairly well. She still has a battle in front of her, but I’m thankful she’s alive and was here to celebrate her 80th birthday.

My stepson Tyler turned 16 today! He had a rough start when he was born but he survived and today he’s a typical happy, healthy teenager. I’m thankful for his life and the family he and his sister have been for me. I couldn’t have been blessed with better kids.

My parents also got married 60 years ago this week. For the first time in a decade my entire family was here to celebrate. My mom decided to have thanksgiving in the garage so 32 of us gathered around to share what we were thankful for before we started filling our plates with too much turkey, green bean casserole and dinner rolls. The group of people who stood around in a cool garage, holding hands and anxious to start eating a yummy meal, is the legacy my parents will be leaving behind. We are all basically healthy, happy and thriving individuals. My parents have been blessed with 60 years of marriage and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I’m thankful we were all standing there and participating in a wonderful family celebration.

After the filling dinner, washing dishes and a little nap, I decided to bring out my laptop and look at the SlenderSafari website again.

I visited this website and started updating all my gadgets and posts and then poked around some old posts I never actually released. I realized I had written a TON of content but since I didn’t have a picture to post, I never released them. Some of the posts were written to share my progress on a weight loss challenge I was participating in with guys from work, but that was going on about the same time my brother got sick, so I stopped writing.

I noticed that I had written my first blog post on Thanksgiving day in 2012. I remember that post I started. I went downstairs here in my parents house, to my dad’s office area, and started typing away. I felt motivated and inspired and ready to begin this weight loss journey. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it as far as I had hoped, but I did begin. I created something I thought I could really sink my teeth in and hopefully use to inspire other people.

I had a lot to say once before and I dropped the ball. I gave up. I heard something the other day that I wrote on my white board over my podcasting equipment which says, “You only fail if you quit”. That is a new mantra I am following. More on that subject later.

For the past few months, I’ve been contemplating returning to SlenderSafari and making more of a blogging presence on this site. Things have been changing in my life over the past year and I’m learning to take control of my health again. I think 2015 is a good time to start talking about this journey again.

I hope your thanksgiving was a great day and you took the time to reflect back on everything that is important in your life and gave thanks – to your friends, your family and God.

Tomorrow I will be sharing my goals for this site in the near future. In the meantime, share how you spent your thanksgiving in the comments below!