Making a Lifetime of Memories

Growing up, Thanksgiving always meant driving across Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi to be with family. My grandparents lived next door to my aunt, uncle and three cousins; who lived next door to my great-grandparents. IThanksgiving Tablet was a one-stop shop! We could hit everyone at once, have cousins to play with and endless fun together. The five of us cousins would spend HOURS in the woods creating games, building forts. We would climb trees, swing on the rope swing my grandpa made and play until late at night chasing fireflies and laughing. Our family would gather for breakfast, lunch, and dinner reading the Bible and a daily devotional as a family. And the main meal was always a hilarious spectacle where we would fight over my grandmother’s sweet pickles. I loved my grandmother’s china, crystal and serving pieces and marveled at the china cabinet that was a prominent fixture in the dining room. Her candy dishes were always full of “mints” and homemade cookies, and I always made sure to ask her to make her ambrosia salad.  My dad would plan the piano and I would occasionally play, or sing. What wonderful memories. Even now they bring tears to my eyes. I don’t recall ever graduating from the kids table that was in a separate room from the adults, but I didn’t care because or the laughter and silliness between us kids.

Now, as an adult with my own family it’s up to me to create traditions, participate in the making of the meal and play a role in the holiday flow. Creating memories is important to me as catching up and sharing what’s been going on in our lives. With the pace of life, kids activities and the excitement of this year it’s so nice to be together as a family, even stuck in a car together for 11 hours with two kids and a dog….because we are making memories. Just being together is a blessing and while my husband wasn’t able to participate in the fun this year brought, we have big plans to create even more memories together as a result of him missing so many. It’s difficult to re-live experiences with someone who wasn’t there and even more difficult to put into words what Summit, Italy, Leadership and Superstar day were like, or what traveling all over the country with soccer was like.  I can’t ever truly put into words what watching our kids faces light up on the soccer field was like but we are thankful for every moment and memory made. Now, it’s time to create more memories.


I think that’s whatGod's plans I’m most thankful for today. I’m thankful for the opportunity we have to look forward to more memories, experiences, and to what God has in store next. It will be hard to beat this year but I have complete faith that God has so much more in store for us. Today we are together in a place that is near and dear to our hearts…..Aggieland. Just being able to do this together is an incredible blessing and sacrifice. But, the blessing and memories far outweigh the minimal sacrifice to get here. We’re creating new traditions and experiences for our kids and for each other that weren’t possible last year. I honestly could have never dreamed up 2014 if I tried so it makes me crazy excited for 2015 and for the experiences, memories and growth that I will experience and that my family will enjoy.

So, today I want to say Happy Thanksgiving, but I also want to share with you that no matter where you are right now or think you are headed, you have no concept of the incredible journey before you when you let go and let God. I thought I was simply following a desire to help people. I had no idea that that one open door would lead to confidence, strength, travel, recognition, an incredible family of like-minded people whom I look up to and learn from daily, a team of coaches I am humbly blessed to lead, and stories of transformation that I’ve played a part in. You never know what’s ahead until you take a step, and then another, all the while trusting that the path IS there even if you cannot see it.

Give thanks….with a grateful heart today and everyday. You know not what is in store but I promise you it is FAR greater than anything you could ever imagine.

Duke Family

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