Talking Tuesday


Share your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What are your plans for celebrating Thanksgiving this year? What are you looking forward to the most?

I’ll get us started …

Every Christmas and Thanksgiving my husband, Steve, and I alternate between our two families. Having his parents in the bay area of California and mine in Pennsylvania, it was the only fair formula we could come up with. Based on that rotation, we will be spending Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania with my family this year, and I couldn’t be more excited! There really is no place like home, and I can’t wait to enjoy my mom’s traditional Thanksgiving feast while spending time with the family! What I’m looking forward to the most though is being with my entire family! As we get older, it gets more and more difficult for my three sisters and me to all wind up in the same place (we all live in different states), but this year that’s exactly what will be happening. All 9 of us will be bunking up in my parents’ home tucked up in the scenic mountains of Central Pennsylvania catching up, laughing, and just enjoying our time together. My heart is so full just thinking about it 🙂

Okay, it’s your turn!

LAST CHANCE to WIN this month’s special Month of Gratitude GIVEAWAY!!!

Gratitude Talking Tuesday Giveaway Details

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Author :

Ashley McIlwain, MA, LMFTA is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate who received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University. Ashley is the Founder and CEO of Foundation Restoration, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which offers a wide range of resources committed to helping relationships thrive. Believing that marriage is the foundation of society, she passionately utilizes her non-profit, therapy, speaking engagements, and writing to prepare, nurture, salvage, and encourage healthy, strong marriages from a biblical perspective. Her past experience includes partnering with Moody Publishers and Dr. Gary Chapman as Managing Editor to launch and develop a website focused on premarital preparation. Her areas of focus include premarital, marital, and individual therapy working through life transitions, relational issues, personal growth, boundaries, restoration, depression, and anxiety. She is certified as a Prepare & Enrich Facilitator, SYMBIS Facilitator, and is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors as well as the AACC Marriage & Family Division and AAMFT. Ashley loves connecting with, helping, and encouraging people professionally and personally. Her heart is to support those hurting and help them to feel understood, cared for, and hopeful on their path to healing.

18 Responses to “Talking Tuesday”

  • Sofia Says:

    Hi Ashley,
    I’m thankful for my family, recovering my health and my children. I’m glad for the opportunity of teaching them about gratitude. I did a picture book to teach kids about gratitude. It’s called: Thankful For Today by Roitman Trillo. You can take a look at it on this link:

    If you would like to give a copy as a giveaway this Thanksgiving please let me know.

  • Ray Says:

    Be safe traveling Ashley. I live in Pittsburgh and were getting a good chunk of this storm.

    Happy thanksgiving. I know I am thankful for the ministry you and Steve have.

    • Ashley McIlwain Says:

      Thank you Ray! Fortunately, we were able to make it up there smoothly and safely despite the storm! I hope you had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement; what a blessing they are!

  • Jerry Says:

    Presently my wife and I have two kids living at home, one, 21, that we unofficially adopted a year ago, the other 9, our niece, whom we officially adopted over a year ago. We will also have a few friends over as well. I have already taken out the turkey to thaw, and the ham, picked and cleaned some turnip greens, and will be baking sweet potato and pumpkin pies tomorrow. I am looking forward to the aromas of pies baking, the noise of different conversations, the sound of movies playing, some playing the Wii, and not to forget, a time that we set aside to give thanks and honor to God for keeping and blessing us another year. I love this time of year. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and may God continue to bless each of you.

  • Danielle Pressley Says:

    I love spending holidays with family! It’s such a great time to share in what God has been faithful to us in the previous year! I am so excited this year especially because as my family grows the group is bigger! Black Friday shopping is always fun with the family! Just as my husband Bruce posted! It is a huge blessing to be able to see both sides on the holidays!

    • Ashley McIlwain Says:

      Danielle, that’s a great point! Holidays with family is a wonderful time to stop and ponder God’s goodness and faithfulness in our lives! We do Black Friday shopping too 🙂 I know you guys will have a blast this year celebrating your first married Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Kristen Says:

    When I was little we spent every Thanksgiving with my grandma (Dad’s mom). At 17 my immediate family moved to California and have been doing a traditional, yet smaller version of Thanksgiving out here. My grandma is not much of a traveller so she has not been here since we moved (it’s been about 15 years…). Well….she’s HERE!!! For the very first time in my adult life MY grandma is coming to MY home and I get to make a holiday meal for her! And even better? Her sister came with her so I have my favorite two little old gals joining us for one of my favorite holidays. My dad and his wife will be here along with my husband’s best friend and his daughter as well. To say I’m excited might be the understatement of the year!!

    • Ashley McIlwain Says:

      Kristen, that is amazing and so exciting!! What a special year this will be having the whole family together!! That gives me chills I’m so excited for you! I hope and pray it’s a wonderful and blessed time of fellowship together!! Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!!

  • Jessica Says:

    We also have multiple families to visit with great distance between. This year, we are flying to Florida for Thanksgiving and spending Christmas in Pennsylvania. Although I enjoy the snow, our family is looking forward to thawing out in Florida for a few days!

    • Ashley McIlwain Says:

      Jessica, Thanksgiving in Florida will be fun! My oldest sister lives near Tampa 🙂 If you’re going to enjoy warmer temperatures for a holiday, Thanksgiving is the way to go versus Christmas when you want it to be snowy and chilly. I hope you have a safe and wonderful trip! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Bruce Pressley Says:

    Danielle and I are so blessed that our parents live only 20 mins apart from each other. We try to see them both over Thanksgiving and Christmas. But, for this Thanksgiving my parents are coming to have dinner with Danielle’s parents and family so we will have both together for the first time since the wedding. We are from NC so we are not going to far, but I am looking forward to having both sides of the family together as I know it will be a great time. There aren’t many times were everyone is able to get together so it is exciting that this year we are able to all gather and enjoy each others company and catch-up.

    • Ashley McIlwain Says:

      Bruce, as I told you the other night, having your families so close is definitely a blessing so that you can see both no matter what the holiday or occasion is. I love that both of your parents will get to celebrate Thanksgiving together — such a rare happening in many families for one reason or another. I hope and pray it’s a blessed and wonderful time together, and your first married Thanksgiving is one that lingers in your hearts and minds forever 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!!

  • Vicki Says:

    Normally, my husbands mother has the whole family at her home for thanksgiving. It was canceled this year. Two of my husbands three brothers could not make it on thanksgiving. I decided to make dinner on thanksgiving for anyone who was able to make it. My husbands parents and one of our three children will be here along with my best friend and my husbands best friends. It will be about 15 people. My mom and daughter have to work. Growing up we had thanksgiving with grandma at her house. She passed away in 2005. This is the second time I had thanksgiving dinner at our house.

    • Ashley McIlwain Says:

      Vicki, there’s something a bit sad when the traditional “agenda” for the holidays change, but at the same time, the new ones present sweet memories of their own. We’ve learned this with our families being spread out across the country, kids coming into the picture for some, and just crazy lives to work around. We try to make the most of whoever is there and wherever it is. I’m sure you all do the same, and I bet your Thanksgiving dinner will be amazing! Enjoy, and happy Thanksgiving!!

  • Delta Says:

    I am very excited to be spending Thanksgiving in California with my boyfriend and some of his family. I am looking forward to getting to know his brother and sister-in-law a little better in a smaller group, and I cannot wait to visit a winery and the San Diego Zoo. Thanks again, Ashley for the tips!

    • Ashley McIlwain Says:

      Delta, I’m so excited for you too! Thanksgiving in California should be super fun, and I hope it’s a great time for the 4 of you to bond and make memories! Hopefully you can enjoy some of the things off of that list I sent you 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions once you get there! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Meredith Says:

    We are starting to alternate our holidays as well. My parents are now in Maryland and Scott’s family is still in PA. So this year (as long as the weather cooperates) we will be heading to PA for Thanksgiving! We haven’t had a Thanksgiving with Scott’s family in years…so we are REALLY looking forward to it ; )

    • Ashley McIlwain Says:

      Meredith, thanks for kicking off this week’s conversation! We are hoping the weather cooperates too since we’ll be driving up from North Carolina to PA. I hope you and Scott have a blast and enjoy every second of your Thanksgiving with his family!! Happy Thanksgiving!