Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I am Grateful for: The Wisdom of Others

Most of the really great ideas I've had in my life, were born from the really great ideas of others. Most of my understanding about the things that matter most to me, grew from the understanding that someone else first shared with me. Most of the wise choices I have made, were encouraged because of the wisdom of others. I am grateful for the wisdom of others, it has definitely helped me to define my own beliefs and experiences.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I am Grateful for: Other People's Talents

I'm pretty good at a lot of things...but not really excellent at anything. So that means that I am blessed daily by the talents and skills of people who are really excellent at different things. I find medicine fascinating, but don't have the stomach for it...I'm grateful for those who do. I am constantly sucked in by social sciences, but don't have the emotional fortitude for it...and I'm grateful for those who do. I am enriched by the arts, but lack the finesse and I'm grateful for those who have it. My life is better every single day because other people are talented and willing to share those talents...I'm so lucky!

Monday, November 28, 2011

I am Grateful for: Weirdos

Of all of the many gifts given to us by the internet, the ease of finding weirdos on video might be one of my favorite. Sometimes I feel like I'm crazy...but then I see others and their weirdness makes me feel really, really good about myself:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I am Grateful for: Good Drugs

Aside from the drugs I'm currently prescribed to keep me from an untimely death or stroke, I'm particularly grateful today for things like sleep-aids and pain-killers!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I am Grateful for: Childhood Memories

I was dang lucky to have a really great childhood. Sure, lousy things happened along the way, but the lousy things always dimmed compared to the really great things. I loved getting lost in some of those childhood memories while at the movies tonight...and I look forward to figuring out an adult version of dimming out the lousy things that keep tripping me up. You know, for when I'm old and I have to be thankful for Middle Aged Memories.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I am Grateful for: Diversity

I am loving the Griswold family in my neighborhood. The house is ri-dic-u-lous! I wanted to snap a photo on my way home...but there was a crew of 4 out front still adding to the spectacle, so the photo will have to come when I can capture it without attention.
I would never invest the time or resources into such a hobby, but I really am grateful that they will...and that thought has helped me to appreciate the diversity in people all around me.
Sure! I like "my people"! You know, the ones who act and think like I do. The ones who agree with most of what I say...but the others are just as great to have around. The others probably play a bigger part in helping me to experience life and find my own way.
And I'm grateful for the diversity of my friends. They all offer me different things that I need at different times and I'm so lucky to be the recipient.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I am Grateful for: Invitations

I am the grateful recipient of more than a dozen invitations for Thanksgiving day festivities. It really makes a girl feel lucky and loved. There is a lot of security in knowing that there are at least 12 places to go to feel welcomed and loved at any given moment!

Just Because...

oh man! I will laugh about this forever!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I am Grateful for: Intelli-gel

That blue stuff is what my bed is made of. My bed is a-ma-zing!

I've spent a lot of time in my bed this year and I feel incredibly lucky that it is such a comfortable place to be!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I am Grateful for: Television and Movies

Aside from the fact that I've always hoped to one day grow up and do some acting, I love television and movies for the distraction they offer. It's good to be able to completely forget your own life and jump into someone else's!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I am Grateful for: Hugs and Kisses

This guy was the perfect medicine for a lousy day...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I am Grateful for: Hysterical Laughter

Aaaaaaaaaagh! HaaaaaHaaaa!

I don't remember the last time I laughed that really awesome consuming laugh....the one when your entire body seizes up on you and you can't breath! In fact, trying to breath only makes actually breathing that much more difficult! And then the thing that was so funny to begin with is only half as funny as the fact that you and your bestie have heavy tears streaming down your faces and are struggling to take a breath or make a noise!

And after this past weekend, I don't know if I could accurately count the number of times I was doubles over in laughter! Aaahh! It's good for the soul!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I am Grateful for: Courage

Today I rocked the ropes course, zip line, and archery course...I considered sitting out, but did it all anyhow. And when I noticed those who had actually stuck it out with the sitting out, I was glad for courage to try something new at the risk of appearing foolish...if only for a moment!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:lake arrowhead

Friday, November 18, 2011

PlusOne - Day One

such a fun day of travel. we started dang early but were able to fun up and have a fun day in Cali.

the single's event is starting out awkward. the event I had imagined in my head is not happening. facility, crowd, and itinerary are definitely different than what I expected...and the biggest obstacle so far is the individual insecurities of 40 single adults. I'm optimistic for tomorrow...hopefully a good night's sleep does us all some good!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

I am grateful for: Airplanes and Rental Cars

I have been incredibly lucky to have so many opportunities to travel and see amazing things. I feel so blessed to live I. a day when those experiences happen so easily!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I am Grateful for: Vacations

Believe it or not, an unemployed girl still needs a vacation. I am very excited to be joining 3 friends for a trip to Lake Arrowhead, CA...for a singles weekend: PlusOne Weekend

I guarantee interesting blog material is coming soon!

Monday, November 14, 2011

I am Grateful for: Modern Conveniences

I did a lot of laundry today and man! am I glad for a room to rent with access to a washer and a dryer in the home. I have really drab memories of apartment living and massive trips to laundromats. So, I guess it's more than just gratitude for modern's also gratitude for easy access to all of the things that make my life soooo easy...even though I take all of them for granted.... water, electricity, dozens of outlets in one room, air fresheners, cleaning supplies, cars and airplanes, telephones, computers, debit cards, running water, hot water, indoor plumbing, hair dryer, flat iron, waterproof makeup, video txt messages of my nephew (seriously, you have to see the one I got today!), media in every form, and on and on and on.

I've only ever gone without by choice...and even when I camp, I have it easy! I know that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I hope that I can become more grateful in my everyday appreciation for these things so that I'll never have to do without to be reminded.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I am Grateful for: What I Learned in Church Today: Examples

Today's Sunday School lesson focused on 1Timothy, 2Timothy, and Titus. These were letters written by Paul to two of his former mission companions. As Christ had lived as an example to Paul, Paul was living as an example to Timothy and Titus. He also counseled them to be mindful of their duty to be an example of the believers:

I am grateful to associate with hundreds of examples. As I witness their strength and diligence and sacrifice and joy, I am inspired and encouraged to continue in obedience and strive to be a little better.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I am Grateful for: Past Work Experiences

Cleaning Houses
Teaching Violin Lessons
Fireworks Stand
Screenprinting Shop
Dozens of temp secretary (etc.) assignments
Yogurt Delite
Media Play
Contact Optical
Checker Auto
Call Center
BYU Scheduling
BYU Graduation Evaluation
BYU Women's Athletic Department
Outback Steakhouse
Digital Globe
Corporate Alliance
One On One Marketing

I think that covers most, if not all, of the jobs I've had. Some were short lived (McDonald's probably being the shortest, and others still have a bit of my soul (BYU). I have been introduced to hundreds of professional scenarios and seen the best and the worst in terms of management, leadership, service, and integrity. I've found that I'm really good at doing a lot of things, and I've become painfully aware of where I fall short. I've met so many people who have made my life better, many of whom I hope to know my whole life. I have developed a confidence that allows me to find some level of success in any assignment..., I should be able to find myself a new place of employment no problem! (right?)

Friday, November 11, 2011

I am Grateful for: Veterans

I am so blessed to live in a diverse community where there are talented men and women who choose to do the things I can't ever imagine doing myself. Aside from the fact that my medical records alone would earn me a quick dismissal, I still can't picture myself serving in the military. There is a level of sacrifice required that I just don't think that I can make. And so I recognize that I am a lucky, lucky girl to be a member of a society where there are many who are willing and able to volunteer to do the things that I just can not.

So much gratitude for their service!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I am Grateful for: Being Unemployed


Someone is actually grateful for unemployment? Crazy, right? Nope, it's true. Especially today.

Last night I wrote out an agenda for today. There were specific things that I decided had to be done. I woke up at 7:00 to go to the gym, but felt I took a nap, then laid in bed and read for two hours, then I lethargically drug my body around the house trying to convince myself to get crackin' on that "To Do" list. I finally got out of the house around noon and headed towards the temple...but decided I wanted to stop by my Grandma's on the way. I had only intended to pop in for a few minutes...but we were having some good conversation and I stayed much longer.

I did accomplish a few things on today's list, but that morning nap and the long visit with Grandma were never part of a "To Do". In fact, there have been a lot of naps and visits with people I love and dozens of other things that I never would have had the luxury to indulge in if I were working my typical work week. So I'm especially grateful today that the timing of my unemployment has allowed me to do things that are important but would not be getting any attention otherwise.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I am Grateful for: Protein Style

3 weeks ago I began following a strict low-carb diet. I've executed my menu with impressive discipline and more enthusiasm than complaints...but today was rough. It's been coming on now for a few days...I'm just not loving my chicken and broccoli this week. So I splurged tonight and indulged in a Double Double protein style, mustard instead, extra pickle and enjoyed every bite!

I know this thankful post isn't well thought out...but my gratitude in this very moment runs very deep!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I am Grateful for: The Internet

I remember seeing the Internet for the first time. I had an older roommate attending grad school and she seemed so hip and advanced and some evenings she would get on-line to chat with her old mission buddies and the whole thing seemed wildly mysterious to me. A few short months later, I remember showing some of my friends all of these cool things that you could do and see on the Internet...and they would think that I was so hip and advanced and wildly mysterious.

Today, I don't even think about the Internet...I just use it like I use air. I have an entire grouping of Apps on my iPhone that I have titled "Look It Up". They are some of my favorite fact producing Apps (imdb, SoundHound, Wikipedia, ESPN, WhitePages, Dictionary). I really adore having the answers to so many questions at my fingertips at any given moment. This definitely assists in satisfying my curiosity in every aptitude!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I am Grateful for: Celebrations

Early this morning my phone rang with the best update from a friend...she's engaged! I might have been groggy when I said hello, but it was an easy transition to a big "YEEEEEHAAAAAW!". It was fun to chat through the details and imagine all of the happy things in her near future.

Just a few hours later, Sassy sent a text letting me know that she had completed the GRE and done well. I called her to talk and laugh and share gratitude that it was over.

And that was just this morning!

I am grateful that I have people in my life who share their celebratory moments with me...almost as grateful as I am to have so many who share my celebratory moments with me. The sweet stuff in life is just so much sweeter when you get to share it!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I am Grateful for: What I Learned in Church Today: Humility

"And no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care."
Recently I have been feeling very humbled. Occasionally I've felt shame for needing to be humbled. But while reading this verse during Sunday School this afternoon, I felt a great sense of gratitude for the experiences and insight that help me to be a better daughter and disciple.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I am Grateful for: Personal Growth

When I was 19 years old I met a pretty incredible man and spent the following five years falling head over heels for him...he never spent any time feeling the same way about me. When he finally met and married his match, I was crushed and I wondered what sadness would consume the rest of my life.

Well, that was silly. My life was never consumed by sadness and I actually went on to have some pretty incredible experiences with some pretty incredible other men. But the best part was that I continued to become improved and refined through the process. I often reflect back now and feel a huge sense of relief that the girl I was at age 24 didn't get married! I like the girl I am today so much more!! I'm convinced that this girl, the one that I have grown into, will be an even better wife and mother than the girl I was 13 years ago.

And that is just one example. There are so many things that are more and better and improved because of the personal growth I have experienced in my life. Recognizing the opportunity to become better is exciting. Convincing myself (and sometimes those around me) to let me live up to that improved expectation seems to be the next challenge.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I am Grateful for: My Parents

I have taken a few opportunities to talk individually about my mom and my dad, but today I am specifically grateful for the two of them together as a team. I am grateful for how I've been blessed by that team, and how I've been taught by that team.

I don't think most kids get to grow up with parents like mine. Parents who like each other, parents who love each other, parents who share the same "big picture" goals, parents who want the same things for their children, parents who thrive in the roles they chose to play in our family.

I carried around a lot of concerns as a child, but never did I have to carry around the concerns that come from a discontent or broken home. I wanted to be "cool", but never did I wonder which behaviors were acceptable. I felt lonely and lost at times, but I always knew that there was a place for me in our home. I hated learning that the world was unpredictable, but loved knowing that my family was. I detested the work and expectations place upon me, but can't imagine any other way to have learned how to be a useful adult.

As any team of parents does, I'm sure my parents have things they might have done differently. And as grateful as I am for the sacrifices I know that they made, I probably can't comprehend the entirety of those sacrifices. And while I've been able to list a few of the advantages that I have because of them, I imagine that it will take me at least the rest of my life to really recognize all of those blessings.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I am Grateful for: Second Chances

...and third, and fourth, and fifth...

I am feeling sad today. But that is not a good start for a gratitude post.

A dear friend, Sarah Hays Shurtz, passed away Tuesday night after an 18 month battle against cancer. I am one of the fortunate who got to know and love Sarah in this life. We met as she moved in, a stranger, to the condo at Riverstone. We weren't strangers for long, she and I hit it off immediately and her laughter is the soundtrack to so many fantastic memories! Through her entire fight, she has been the kind of person I wish I was...namely, hopeful.

Between moments of unexpected tears, I have spent some quiet time hoping for understanding...trying to make sense of how a fighter, full of so much life, had to go while I, barely "living" my life at all, is left here instead.

And so I am grateful that we get many chances in life to learn some things and then start again. I can let Sarah's example shape how I will live my life tomorrow, I can let the love that she felt for her friends mold the way I treat the individuals in my life. I will take the time that I have here and learn to live with the kind of hope Sarah taught me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I am Grateful for: Freedom

Like I mentioned yesterday, I could use to be more grateful. I feel sorry for myself far more often than I deserve. Often, it is the recognition of my freedom that snaps me out of my funk. I can not even imagine what my life would be like without the freedom with which I have grown-up.

Because of the freedom promised by this land, I have been able to worship God as I feel best...I have been able to pursue an education...I have been allowed to participate in politics on a local and national level...I have been able to live and work however I see fit...I have been able to experience the consequences (good and bad) of my own decisions...I have the right to dream up whatever I choose for my future.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I am Grateful for: My Testimony

I have a testimony of God as my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as my Savior.

This testimony has brought me power and peace throughout my life. Because of this knowledge, I find hope when logic would suggest otherwise...I feel love in moments of loneliness...I have direction when life seems topsy-turvy...I strive to be better when no one is looking...I crave understanding and knowledge in every topic...and I feel blessed when I don't get my way.

My testimony is the foundation for how I live my life and the woman I hope to become.

November - Gratitude

The popular Thanksgiving trend on Facebook is to post a status update everyday stating something that you are thankful for. My first reaction is cynicism (it's the part of the holiday I dread the most, the going around the table forcing everyone to make some half-hearted declaration)...


I need to show more gratitude in my life. I've been so consumed with thoughts about what is missing from my life that it can only do me good to focus on the things that aren't missing for my life.

So, for the month of November, each day I will post thanks for something that I have probably been taking for granted for too long...I have no idea what direction this will take, so be prepared or anything!