Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

As a college student Thanksgiving break is something I've come to be extra thankful for. It's become a necessity in my life. It's the calm before the storm, a brief moment to catch your breath before taking the plunge, a spot on a lifeboat before the Titanic sinks.

Obviously the storm/plunge/titanic is finals.

However, this year I'm not stressed about finals. I think it's because although I have a lot to do, I know it will get done. It always does. I have never not done everything I needed to. So this year my feelings are less of stress, and more of peace. Due to this new look on life Thanksgiving was less "sleep now while you can because you wont again for 3 weeks" and more "lets watch every Thanksgiving episode of Friends, turn the house into a Christmas wonderland and eat.... a lot".

In other words it was less survival mode and more enjoy it mode.

And here is what I enjoyed:

*Pedicures with my mom and sisters.
*Making my first batch of chocolate peppermint bark cookies of the season

 "Please do no danger" is now my favorite saying.... 

*Watching a lot of movies (Lincoln, Christmas Vacation, Rudy, Pitch Perfect)
*Hanging out with my favorite cousins and their adorable children

*Watching every Thanksgiving episode of Friends
* Shopping and to see the lights at City Creek
*Spending all of my time with these two lovelies. Gosh they are the greatest.

*Decorating the house for Christmas
*Playing with the dog
*Watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade
*Hanging out with Stacie
*Sneaking treats to church
*Procrastinating my homework &
*Hanging out with my very favorite people

It was a lovely Thanksgiving.

It should be noted that for the first time in 2 years I had a normal thanksgiving. Thanksgiving 2010 was spent exploring Ireland, and my dinner was a Hard Rock Cafe burger. Thanksgiving 2011 was spent at the happiest place on earth, and although we had the "Thanksgiving Dinner" that was on the menu, sitting on Main Street USA sure is different then home. Now don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the opportunities I've had to travel, explore, and fall in love with these places, but there is something about being home, gathered around a big table with all the people you are most thankful for on Thanksgiving. It was so nice to have that this year. I can say with all honesty, there is nowhere else I would have rather been.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Before I head home to really celebrate, I wanted to make a final thankful list, for some of the most important blessings in my life. So once again, in no particular order, here are..

10 Things I'm Terribly Thankful For:

10-USA...Seeing more of the world has only made me more grateful to call this divinely created country home. Despite expensive gas, the lack of jobs and disappointing health care this place will always be the best to me

9-The various opportunities I have... School, a job, an internship, a club to run, a calling, service opportunities, etc. 
8-All the wonderful people in my life...I am overwhelmed by the quality of the people that I have in my life. My friends are the very best kind, my ward members are lovely, my co workers are inspiring, my professors are wise, my neighbors are like family and my family members are angels

7-BYU.... I really have come to love this school for all it has given to me-an education, a job, the opportunity to study in London, the opportunity to serve and the opportunity to grow. In the last 4.5 years I've grown up so much and here in this quirky town of Provo was the perfect place for me to do it

6-Abbie... For making me laugh, for being creative, for being hardworking, for challenging me in the bossy category, for wearing sweaters with cats on them, and mostly for being the bravest girls I know.

5-Megan....For loving the underdog, for being a peacemaker, for keeping coco clean, for sharing my diet coke love, for being exactly who she is and mostly for being one of the most tender-hearted girls I know.

4-Dad...For honoring his priesthood, for taking such good care of his girls, for not minding when we joke about his grey hair, for talking politics with me, for always fixing my computer/car/house etc., and mostly for always believing in me and my dreams.

3-Mom...For planking, for introducing me to the joys of chocolate, for being a lover of adventures, for creating double feature movie days, for being a friend to everyone, for her faith,, and mostly for always being there for me.

2-Prayer...For making me strong.

1-The gospel of Jesus Christ...It effects every aspect of my life, and it is my source for joy and happiness. It makes me optimistic, hopeful, happy, and strong. It is the biggest blessing in my life.

Monday, November 19, 2012

10 More

10 Things I'm Terribly Thankful For:

10- My room. It may be a disaster sometimes but it's my disaster-and I love that
9- That I have enough food, and means to obtain it
8-This girl. She is one of my very dearest friends
7-That even though we live far away I'm still friends with this girl.
6- Nail Polish
5- Rainy afternoons
4-This girl. Diet Coke, Slab, Grey's, forts, and life are just better when she is around.
3- The Child family. I'm so thankful to call them mine, and to have them in my life.
2-That I have people in my life who indulge me in some of my crazy adventures. here, here, here and here-to name a few
1- The opportunities I've had to see the world.

From a young age my parents took us on great vacations where we got to see what life is like outside of Utah. As we visited the likes of Washington D.C., New York City, Seattle, Orlando, Las Vegas, and of course Disneyland I came to appreciate all kinds of places and people. Since that time I've had the opportunity to travel on my own-London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Dublin-and I've fallen in love with this world we live in, and the beauty that is all around, found in people all over. I am so thankful for the opportunities I've had to learn so much about the world, and the variety of people in it.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

So Many of My Favorite Things in One Place

Thursday City Creek mall in downtown Salt Lake had their big Christmas event to welcome Santa.

I heard about it pretty early on, and although I had mixed feelings about Santa coming a whole week before Christmas I knew I wanted to check it out.

Lets get real here-I want to check out everything City Creek does. Remember opening day?

Anyways things came up and I wasn't sure I'd go, but unexpectedly and at the last minute Mom, Dad and Megan decided to join me, and off we went.

Overall the experience was kind of disappointing-for something owned by the church they sure are lacking in the lights department. However, there were some fireworks and special effects, Christmas music played, and I finally got to check out their Anthropolgie.

At dinner I realized this night had so many of my favorite things contained in it: Christmas music, lights, Tiffany's, Anthropologie, good food, free Godiva chocolate and most of the family. So although the event was just mediocre, the night was absolutely lovely.

The only window display I really care about...

PS. Nordstrom. I love you for the whole "we just like celebrating one holiday at a time." thing. Pure class. Not to mention an excuse to come back again soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

And the List Goes on...

10 Things I'm Terribly Thankful For

10-Twinkly lights. Really is there anything more beautiful?

9-This girl. And our spontaneous Diet Coke catch up sessions. (Jord-it's my turn next time)



6-Hot water. I swear the only time I'm not completely freezing is when I'm in the shower.

5-Understanding, kind professors.

4-Lovely smelling candles.

3-That I call Sandy, UT my home. It is the best place, and I was so lucky to grow up there.

2-This girl. She is my favorite fort building buddy, she cooks for me way too often, never judges me for my excess treat consumption, and really is just the greatest roommate and friend a girl could as for.

1-Living Prophets who receive revelation for me. I'm still in awe of how they can say exactly what I need to hear.

And here is what I've been up to lately (because blogs are just better with pictures)
Spending time with these lovely people, and the best couch ever

Went to a funeral, and was reminded just how much I love my sisters

Lace Sunday.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Still Feeling Thanful

10 Things I'm Terribly Thankful For:

10- The Bagel man. Friday on a particularly rough, snowy morning, before heading to a funeral I stopped by and got a bagel and a Diet Coke. Because I am a frequent customer, and they didn't have quite what I wanted the Bagel man said the Diet Coke was on him. His kindness made my day so much more bearable.

9-This girl. I'm so glad I got to celebrate with her this last week. She really is the greatest.

8-That I found the perfect coat (which was sure cheaper then this one), right before the snow came.

7-My dear friend Lexi. It's been so great having her stay here this weekend.

6-Christmas Music.

5-That snow is so beautiful. Otherwise it wouldn't be worth the cold. Luckily it is stunning.

4-Spontaneous snowball fights, coordinated church clothes, and Star Wars Sundays. My friends really are the best.

3-Having mom and dad stop by for dinner the other night. It was so kind of them to take me, and I'm so glad we could spend time together.

2-E-mails from my favorite sister missionary.

1-That I got to be there when the lovely Jessica opened her mission call this week. I don't think I've ever been happier for anyone to get their call. Her excitement was just contagious.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Day

I've said many times that there is truly no better place to be during the fall of a presidential election than a college campus. Poli Sci majors attempting to impress everyone with their knowledge of the electoral college, the snl clips being shared in each apartment, and (my favorite) the co-eds who think that not only is election day on a Sunday, but when they find out it is in fact on a Tuesday they say... "Oh yea, that's right... Black Tuesday."

Oh honey.

And this election was even more exciting. I've never seen college students so involved in a presidential campaign than I've seen here the last few months. I know friends who dropped everything to intern with "the campaign" (no clarification is necessary as to who's campaign it is) in Boston or Colorado, or who gave up weekends to knock doors, or mornings to make phone calls. There has been a special election excitement in the air this fall, the type of excitement that I just love.

And yesterday, although the results were not what I personally wanted, I had a great opportunity. I had the opportunity to vote for a man who I really believe in. Who I admire. Who I actually trust. I've never had the opportunity to do that before, and I don't know when I'll have that opportunity again. However, I am so thankful that there are good, smart, inspiring leaders still out there and that sometimes they are brave enough to give their heart and soul to this divinely created country. I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to vote for one of those leaders yesterday.

Although Mitt didn't win, he has left a legacy in my life. One of faith and hope in and for our leaders, despite the troubled world we live in. I will always remember this election as the time where I voted for someone I trusted, and fell in love all over again with the United States of America.

Looking at it this way, it's hard to see a loss at all. This country IS better off today than it was four years ago, because over the last year Mitt's given us more hope. I feel very strongly that no matter who the president is we must, after a winner is determined, all unite again together to support him, pray for him,  and respect the office. I plan to do just that.

God Bless America.

PS-As if I didn't love election day enough already, yesterday my very favorite place (Einstein's bagels) offered free bagel and schemer to anyone who voted. So really-we all won.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The America Edition

10 Things I'm Terribly Thankful For:

10-That I am a citizen of the United States of America

9-Our traditions-apple pie, football, consumerism, confidence, and Thanksgiving

8-The way people all come together here after heartache-September 11 and Sandy are just a few examples

7-Our belief and confidence in our ability to change the world

6-Those who desire to be good political leaders-from any party

5-Freedom of speech

4-Freedom of religion

3-Equality for all no matter race or gender

2-The freedom to vote and by doing so the ability to "self-govern"

1-That despite my love for other corners of the world, this country will always be home to me

This election day I'm especially thankful for this country I call home. May we all remember that, no matter who wins tonight, America is not determined by the president but rather by what the citizens decide to make of it.

God bless America.

Monday, November 5, 2012

And Here We Go Again...

Happy November

Here in my little corner of the internet I like to spend November focusing on the many things in my life that I am grateful for. 

I'd like to start off by saying how grateful I am for the life I'm living. This week I was reminded that life is short, and that time is such a precious, often undervalued, commodity. I'm grateful for the activities, places and most especially the people that make my life what it is. It doesn't often go according to plan, and it hardly ever matches my dreams-but this is my life. And truly living it, with its ups, downs, surprises tears, and even the mundane tasks, makes me terribly happy.

So although some of the things I list this month may seem trivial in nature (spoiler: Diet Coke always makes the list ever year) each of these blessings are things that are dear to me, because they make this life mine.

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, are:

10 Things I'm Terribly Thankful For:

10-These girls. My own roommate Natalie, and the girls of 897- my "other roommates"
9-That my commute to work is 10 minutes, on a bad day

8-Football season

7-My apartment. I couldn't ask for a better "home"then 231

6-My ward. Really, this is the best ward in Provo

5-LONG phone calls with friends

4-Einstein's bagels

3-My London friends (I can't imagine my life without them)

2-My car. It's nothing fancy but it has carried me from Provo to Sandy and back again countless times

1-The plan of Salvation.
This week I got to see my cousin, just a few years older to me, become a father. I loved having him introduce me to his new boy. A half our later, in the same hospital, I sat with a grieving father who was so close to losing his adult child. As my own father and I reflected on those two events that night we both mentioned our gratitude for this wonderful blessing. To me it just makes sense that there is more than our brief time here on earth, and that the relationships we develop here can continue on.

*previous Thankful November posts here here here and here 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Scenes from a Halloween

This October I got into the Halloween spirit by carving pumpkins, dressing as Snow White, baking a lot of caramel apple cider cookies and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, wearing Halloween socks, and also eating way to many Pumpkin bagels and schemer.

Overall it was a very successful Halloween season. 

Take a look!

Previous Halloweens here, and here and here.