If there was ever a gift to be thankful for on Thanksgiving, then yesterday our Matics-Lambert-Horne Family received it. My cousin Beth and her husband Marshall have been in my constant thoughts as they have tried and hoped for 3.5 years to conceive a baby. For those who love them, it has been a long journey for all of us. Many of us in the family have felt a part of their pain, and many of us have hoped as they have hoped. The waiting has been a difficult waiting—so full of longing.

I knew there was a chance that Beth might be pregnant within the last few months of this year, and I have wanted nothing more in my heart than to hear that she is. All of Wednesday night and Thursday morning I kept thinking, please let her be pregnant, please let this be the day they announce this.

And then, to our great joy, it was.

Beth told several of us who didn’t know the news yet (obviously, Aunt Diane and Uncle Brad and cousins Brandon and Hannah already knew). I have to say, this was definitely one of the most joyful moments I have been a part of this year. My husband happened to get a picture near that moment (Beth is in the black sweater, to the right of my mom as you look at the picture). She is seven weeks along and due in July. I do not want to wish time away, but I also cannot wait for July and for all the celebration that we will shower on her. This baby has been SO wanted, and not just by my cousin and her husband, but by so many of us. I hope the little guy or girl always knows how much his or her whole family was wanting, was standing in hopeful wait with his or her mother and father. Beth made a more official announcement when the family stood in our circle holding hands to say grace—and looking around, I got the full impact of how big our family really is and how much love has been behind Beth this whole time. As this next year unfolds, I cannot wait to see the goodness that this little baby brings to all of the Matics-Lambert-Horne clan.

Without a doubt, the best Thanksgiving EVER!!! And so much for which to be thankful…

Eric has his first bites of Thanksgiving turkey (last year, he was only a few months old and had no teeth)!

Katie loved playing with the Nerf gun. Marshall taught her how to aim at cans and bottles. Check out this pic… Do you see the bottle flying in the air? Apparently Katie has good aim, like her Mommy and Amie. 😉

Then there were other beautiful moments. Several of us took a walk down to the beach, which we had almost all to ourselves. The weather was crisp, the ocean icy, the sunset a flame of color, the tide low. The walk to the beach is a Thanksgiving and Easter tradition, and seeing such resplendence fills up the heart. I think my dad has a few pictures on his phone, though he was mostly helping to watch one of my children. Katie and Gracie (same age) had a sweet time frolicking together on the sand, and Eric was running all over the place in excitement.

I love Thanksgiving with my family, and next year, there will be another of the next generation among us. I am so thankful.