This year for Thanksgiving I couldn't make it home to the states. So, I brought Thanksgiving to Spain in more ways than one.
Thanksgiving in the classroom
My students all brought a tear to my eye as we discussed one by one what we were thankful for. Even more than that, they made me laugh with their Thanksgiving questions and astonished faces when I told them about some of our traditions in the US. 

Some of the things my Spanish students were astonished with:
-It is the only day a year that a siesta is not frowned upon.
-We have to eat turkey. ("But why not chicken? It's basically the same...")
-Why anyone would want to cook something in a trash can. (For those who don't know...trash can turkey is becoming the new thing.)
-Black Friday. (¿Por que? Only for sales?)

Thanksgiving at home
I was lucky enough to be sitting at the table with my family while they teased me with delicious food, ahem... I mean... ate their dinner. The live Skype feed on the laptop let me be passed around the room, catch up with relatives from out of town, and at one point sit on the couch to watch a bit of the parade on TV. 
Thanksgiving in my piso
With about 20 Americans living in Valladolid, we got to share in a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner together. No, we didn't have turkey. But, I swear the chicken tasted the SAME!! (Oh my, I'm becoming Spaniard.) We had wonderful company and a fantastic meal together, giving thanks for our opportunities in Spain.

Black Friday from afar
In my family, we do black friday and we do it hard. Things my mom says: Why pay full price when you don't have to? This year I got to search the ads online, and have my family pick up the deals I needed. (8G memory card for 8 bucks!) The time difference worked out perfectly, and I was right there in the action waiting in line at Best Buy on Skype. I also made my most expensive purchase yet, a ticket home for Christmas!

"Home is where your mom is."

My mom has reminded me of many things over the last 23 years of my life. She's guided me and directed me down wonderful paths in my life.

And she's had a lot to say about each and every one of them. 
Especially about how her ONLY daughter has decided to pick up and move across the ocean. ....¿Quien?

We all have moms, and they all have their words of wisdom. Moving anywhere that isn't down the road is a huge change in a mother-daughter relationship. We've had our ups and downs about the topic, but I know more than anything what saying will be ringing in my head as I pack up these suitcases in the next few weeks:

A large magnet stuck to our fridge (and what will most likely be slipped into my suitcase before I go)..."Home Is Wherever Mom Is." She knows I will have many houses, casas, pisos, apartments, etc. throughout the next few years, but there is one that I can always call home. With her.

"If you don't know where you're going, then any road will take you there." -George Harrison

Just when things seem like they turned sour for me yesterday, the Florida sunshine awoke me with a new attitude. Opening my inbox, I found some pleasant surprises:

1. It is official. I have an apartment! The search is over and my fear about getting to Spain and becoming homeless, or fronting el dinero for a hostel is long gone.'s AWESOME!
It is in a great location (without giving away my exact address *ahem* stalkers...Campo Grande is my next door neighbor) and the pictures of the place make me smile...painted walls! Ikea furniture! And SO not abuela-ish as I thought a future apartment may be.
Won't you be my neighbor?
2. I have ALREADY been asked for private classes starting in September. I put up an ad a few days ago (Note: I am a planner. Due to, Things my mom says: "Early bird gets the worm!") and received an email this evening about a little boy who needs a private English tutor in a village close to Valladolid for the next school year. That means I won't be broke when I get to Spain either.