I love my big, fat, Portuguese family. And I really love how "normal" it is to hang out with them. I'm afraid I have sometimes taken them and the traditions for granted. It's nice to be reminded of the gift they are... even it may seem a bit "odd" to outsiders. Today we were invited to a traditional dinner of sopas, linguica, pork and beef (with cabbage and potatoes) in honor of a Promesa (Promise) kept by Leroy's aunt, Tia Rachel. Promesas are an offering of thanksgiving for blessings bestowed on an individual. They can be very specific or generalized. She made her "Promesa" to God and we received the grace of dinner provided by Tia Rachel and her family. (Pretty good deal, if you ask me.) Tia Rachel expressed her gratitude to the Holy Spirit for the gift of her beautiful family.
It was particularly fun to introduce Steel's friend Kristen to the tradition. We weren't a bit concerned about showing up with a couple of added guests. After all it was a gift... And it's not like there wasn't going to be enough to go around. I think there was enough food to feed everyone twice. Kristen was a really good sport and tried all of the food and kept up with the introductions and explanations.
Acknowledging the grace in our life is always a good idea. Celebrating with a meal...? Pure brilliance.