Thursday, November 22, 2012

Grateful for: Family

It's been quite nice to be home for a few days for Thanksgiving. I love being with my family. While we most definitely do put the "fun" in "dysfunctional," there's a lot of laughter and craziness. Jordan is extremely talented at being ridiculous, particularly. Dad just keeps throwing his football to everyone, hoping they catch it. Mom's been cooking a lot. Hannah ate more actual food at dinner tonight than Jordan. Something weird's there. You know the dinner scene from While You Were Sleeping?

Yeah, that one? Our dinner was something like that (including quotes from that scene). I'm grateful for my family even though they're cray cray sometimes. Hope y'all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family, friends, or other loved ones too! And check out this awesome song too:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grateful for: Good Friends

I've really been blessed with good friends all my life. As a kid, through high school, at college, on the mission and more. I've had really awesome people in my life.

Childhood friends
Some of these friends I don't really get to see anymore, but I sure had some good times with Krista, Heidi, Alicia, Kaitlin, and others. I especially remember playing school (often outside, writing on leaves with mud and sticks) with Krista, and jumping on the tramp! Heidi and I loved playing with dolls. I think we sent them to boarding school a lot. And Alicia and I would always dance around. Some of my childhood friends I do see quite frequently because they're in my ward right now...Jeremy and Ben...I love that. It's so fun to have them around!

Middle school to high school
My best friend for years was Kimberly, who today had her second child, a little girl! I'm so excited for her! I just wish I could meet this little one, but they live on the other side of the country! Kim and I met in 5th grade on a field trip. My family had bought her family's house when we moved. We discovered many things in common on the bus ride home, including the same house, same bedroom, being the oldest, only one boy in the family, wearing glasses, etc. We became best of friends and have been through so many fun adventures. We even went to college together and were roommates for a couple years.
Another bestie was Jill. She and I became friends in high school and soon enough were super close. We would talk for hours about everything. We also enjoyed ballroom dance together, school musicals, and of course, marching band. We were recruited senior year to do percussion. We were glad to have each other as we learned how to play everything.
Catherine and I became friends in junior high, I think. We were in choir together. We kind of drifted apart for a while, but then later in high school we became good friends again. Most of our time together was musically based...or talking about boys...and we went on a spontaneous date once. That was pretty fun.
There were also Arthella, Shara, Rachel, Trissa, Kadie, Kaitlin, Dani, Courtney, Stacy, Shawni, Aleena, Ashley, Kathryn and many more girlfriends with whom many good times were shared. All of these lovely people were involved in choir, drama, or dance, and we had a lot of fun experiences.
There were also a great number of guys in our group...Jeff, Ryan, Alex, Allen, Mark, Nathan, Jason, Josh, Greg, Sam, Nic, Kris, Spencer, Jordan...I'm probably forgetting somebody...we had a lot of fun dates and parties. We were quite creative.
My high school friends were just awesome. Again, I don't keep in great contact with all of them, but they were an important part of my life.
just a few of the high school gang

I made some great friends at BYU. Spencer, Matt, Lori, all my friends from SHA, who I've blogged about ward when I lived at Stonebridge...had the best home teachers of my life there, Nathan and Mike. (P.S. Kim, if you read this, remember when they came over the first time?) Post mission friends include those at the Bookstore: Emily, Skyler, Melissa, Tracie. My ward is great, and I have my roommates, "the box," and many more from there. And I've already blogged about my mission friends and how great it is to have several of them around here. Friends are awesome.

Moral of the story, I've been blessed with many wonderful people in my life!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Grateful for: Miracles

     Once upon a time, I served in a small branch in Oakdale, LA. Quite unusually, there were more men than women who were active church members. A lot more men. The Relief Society consisted of about three non-missionaries (no wonder they had three sister missionaries and a senior couple there for so long!). One of the faithful men, George, brought his family to church as much as he could. His wife, Sue, was quite faithful in attending sacrament meeting, and basically believed everything the missionaries taught her. She planned to get baptized, but she never could give up her cigarettes. We worked with Sue and always encouraged her, but we knew we needed a miracle.
     I've been home from my mission for over two years now, but yesterday, I got a phone call from Sue. Her miracle happened. It took her nearly dying, but in the ordeal, she quit smoking and she's been clean for two weeks. She's getting baptized on December 15. What a miracle! All of us who served in Oakdale are so thrilled for her and we're so proud of her! Miracles never cease. Yesterday as she bore her testimony of the Word of Wisdom and how much better she feels, I was just tickled and so happy. Couldn't wipe a smile off my face all day! So I'm grateful for miracles. Some big ones like this one, some smaller ones that we see day-to-day. Big or small, I know they happen!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Catch up...

Yikes, how embarrassing, it's been well over a week since my last post during this month of "daily" posts. It's been super crazy 'round here. Busy busy busy. Lots going on in school with the end of the semester/my undergrad career approaching speedily. But right now I'm feeling pretty good. Mostly because I have nothing due until after Thanksgiving. Doesn't mean I can just stop working, but still, deadlines are a couple weeks away anyway...

Exactly one week ago it snowed a good six inches. Lots and lots of tree limbs down. And power out! It was late enough I probably should have gone to bed, but who can pass up something so fun as a power outage? So we went to an apartment that has a gas stove, heated some water for hot chocolate and we had a fun night! I was glad we had some candles and a lighter and I found my flashlight even though it wasn't where I thought it was. While that night was definitely fun, it made me grateful for the many things we take for granted like electricity! It's so nice to have bright lights when it's dark out. I can't imagine doing homework by candlelight. And having a computer and a TV are so nice. I'm seriously blessed!

I also am really grateful for the devotionals and forums I've attended at BYU. They are an awesome opportunity. I am grateful that I made it a habit to attend them. It's funny how frequently one that I think "meh, I'll go, but don't have great expectations" will be absolutely amazing and really build me up. I just don't get people who don't go to devo. It's amazing.

Tonight my roommate had her 7 year old nieces here. They were so funny. And we watched High School Musical. As incredibly nerdy and un-grown up that is, I still love it. My roommates were a little weirded out by that, I think. Oh well. We're not the same, we're different in a good way. Together's where we belong. We're all in this together.

I'm super tired. Is it lame if you go to bed on a Friday night before 10? Meh. It might happen. I'm grateful that I can do that if I want to. :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Grateful for: America and a Sense of Humor

         Sooo....the election was yesterday. At the end of the night, my Facebook newsfeed was filled with negative woe is me, we're all going to die, it's the end of the world as we know it posts. And you know what? All I could do was laugh. I found some of the remarks so over the top I just laughed and laughed as I scrolled through all these statuses. I also really appreciated the other people who decided it wasn't the end of the world but posted humorous the one about not having a heart attack about this, but if you do, it's covered by Obamacare! I feel like sometimes we take ourselves too seriously. Whoever won last night, a lot of people were going to be mad. But it's not the end of the world. (And if it is, yay for us!)
          I really appreciated the Church's statement, congratulating President Obama. Regardless of your political stance, we truly are blessed to live in this country and we should pray for and support our leaders. That doesn't mean we have to agree with everything, and that's okay. What I think is really awesome is that in this election, a Mormon and a black man ran against each other. How amazing is that? Two minorities that have historically been persecuted for being who they are. And here they were, running for president. Pretty awesome if you ask me.
         I woke up this morning with God Bless America running through my head. These are the words:

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home
God bless America, My home sweet home.

Indeed, God Bless America. I'm very grateful to live here, where people are free to write angry post-election statuses on Facebook so I can laugh.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Grateful for: CES Firesides

So tonight we had a CES Fireside with Gerald Causse of the Presiding Bishopric. I really appreciated his message and the reminder that the future is as bright as our faith. I'm grateful for that message tonight. It really spoke to me.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Grateful for: Mission friends

Nearly let the day slip past without posting...but I remembered! I'm sure grateful for the friends I made on my mission. I got to hang out with a few of them tonight and it was a blast. It's fun that I have so many great friends of former companions and others too! I was blessed to meet these awesome people.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Let the Gratitude Posts Begin

So I want to do that post something you're grateful for each day thing again. The trouble is our internet is kind of wishy washy. Sometimes it works, other times not so much. So I could miss for that reason or for being too busy or whatever. But I think we'll give it a go again.

Today I'm grateful for nice weather. It's been so beautiful this week. Not too cold, sunshine, and just lovely weather. I love it. And of course I still am in love with the colorful leaves everywhere. Some are going brown, but there are still plenty of gorgeous red ones. I just love them.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012 Report

 Well, were you wondering how this Halloween went for me? Definitely not as epic as the Mark Boothe pumpkin carving/Freddy the Ghost year, but it was pretty good. It started with a stake Halloween dance. I had the idea of having a mini witch's hat instead of a big annoying one that you can hardly stand to wear. I couldn't find anything, so I made one instead. I think it turned out pretty cute.
 I made the basic hat shape on Thursday, and wanted to make it look a bit nicer. One roommate suggested glitter. I couldn't find black glitter (and I'm not that big a fan of glitter anyway), but another roommate suggested sequins. That sounded time consuming. Then I remembered I had some supplies from my Mardi Gras party mask making left over, including some sequin strings. Wonderfully, I had black! So it wasn't too hard to glue on the sequins. I was a little worried about running out, so in this picture you can see how there's a little gap between, but you can't really tell except in a close up picture with the flash on...The paper beneath is blacker looking in real life.
So my roommate did my hair and I put on a black dress and black tights and black shoes and off we went to the dance. It was so much fun. I'm pretty sure our ward made up half of the people there as is typical at these things. There was a photobooth, so we got some great pictures, too! These are of me and my room roommate, Kathi. I made her ears too. :)
 For home evening on Monday, we carved pumpkins. I didn't have any really awesome ideas, so I just did something pretty simple. Just some eyes. Last night I lit it up and it looked pretty cool.
On Halloween day, I had work and class like normal. I dressed up again for that. Then I did homework. I didn't have any exciting plans, but ended up going to Village Inn for dinner with a group of friends. We got free pie, which I had for breakfast today. Yum. It was a pretty good Halloween!

By the way, it turns out that these are the first pictures I've taken on my camera since April. Yikes. I probably should take more pictures!