So much joy

October may seem dull next to September, which is filled with birthday fun. A nephew wrapped up his first year; another turned four. Their adorable Western party was complete with cowboy hats and horseback rides. A neice celebrated her fifteenth birthday, and my husband and I turned 31 and 28, respectively. It was priceless when our four-year-old nephew called to sing my husband his rendition of "Happy Birthday." My in-laws celebrated 32 years of marriage, as well.

There will be at least one chance to celebrate in October—Canadian Thanksgiving. Even though I'm half American and have lived in the United States for more than a decade, I love to have a big dinner party, potluck-style, a tradition I began in college. Every year, the cool, crisp weather and changing leaves make me breathe a little more deeply and make me a little more grateful to be alive.

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