Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Official Day of Giving Thanks

And now, the fourth and final installment of my gratitude list:

76. To be back in Georgia!!! As if I wasn't already thankful to be leaving Utah for a few days, we got a taste of early winter Tuesday and early Wednesday with temps in the low teens. 
77. ...but it was nice to sit at home together watching a movie, cuddling, and drinking hot chocolate.
78. I'm also thankful that we made it to the airport yesterday in one piece. The storm had passed, but there was still a lot of ice and some packed snow on the belt route. It was definitely a blessing that we had no serious problems.
79. That security at the airport was a breeze. No body scanners, no protests, and no big deal.
80. Direct flights. I haven't been on one in years.
81. That the new Disney movie Tangled was not only not as disappointing as I was expecting, it was great! Jazzed up a bit more humor than most traditional Disney fairy tales, but still a great story, several very tender moments, and a great new addition to the league of Disney princesses. Seriously, go see it!
82. A bit off this Thanksgiving-break pattern, but black shirts. Who doesn't look great in a solid, long-sleeved black shirt?
83. Wifi
84. Board games
85. Good books. I'm reading Shades of Grey right now by Jasper Fforde and it's a thinker.
86. Our military men. I've mentioned American Freedom, but it wouldn't be right not to be thankful for the men and women who honor and defend it. My father-in-law is one of them.
87. My adorable nephew. He really is lots of fun. And I'm thankful that he likes me.
88. My cat Princess. I'm still sad that she's gone and has been for over a year, but I love remembering how much like a guard dog she was and what a great addition she was to our family for 18 years.
89. My awesome family. I love being all together laughing, telling stories, exchanging memories, and being ourselves.
90. The Christmas season begins tonight at sundown! (as is tradition). And no, I haven't been tempted to think about it until the appropriate time. I'm a stickler.
91. People that understand me when I talk too fast.
92. Accessible pianos. I really miss playing.
93. My ability to keep jewelry for years and years.
94. Fancy cameras and people who have them.
95. Getting two Thanksgiving dinners in one day. One with my my in-laws this afternoon and another one with my family tonight. A lot of calories, but they don't count today, right? Plus, the food is SOO GOOD.
96. Getting to help cook Thanksgiving dinner. I've actually never participated in the immense task of cooking it and I felt honored to help.
97. Running my first 5k this morning in McDonough!! I didn't do too bad either: 36 minutes, which is better than I was expecting. I might have to do more 5k's!
98. Warm weather in Georgia. The air felt amazing this morning in the race and I love not having to wear a coat when I go outside.
99.That after several years of being apart and several more starting next year, we had this great opportunity to share Thanksgiving with my whole family.
100. Finally, I'm thankful for this month-long challenge that has taught me to look on the bright side and be aware of all the blessings I have and so often take for granted.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I've heard its praises for awhile. It always sounded intriguing. I just starting doing it. I can't believe what I was missing.

I'd love to go to classes, but the only times they're offered at the gym here are when I'm at work. I guess I could buy the DVD's, I'm just cheap. Fortunately, I discovered this little gem on YouTube. Search for "Hickory Zumba" and you'll find 15 or 20 choreographed videos that also incorporate some hip-hop that an instructor in North Carolina has posted. Awesome! It takes a bit longer to figure out the moves without someone showing you step-by-step, (and I've realized in the process just how uncoordinated I am), but it's SO FUN! Being able to enjoy your cardio workout is so much more effective.

This is the first one I learned.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankfulness Week 3

51. Animals. My boss brings her dog into work sometimes and it always brightens my day - even if the dog is a bit crazy. :)
52. Alarm clocks (some mornings not so much, but the overall idea of them I'm thankful for)
53. Gmail and all of its sweet planning and organization features
54. My Samuel. I've mentioned him several times already, but I'm extremely thankful for him.
55. Being very tired at night, without which we would stay up all night, every night talking. 
56. That my car gets ridiculous gas-mileage. I spent all day Tuesday delivering samples all over Utah County for work and I barely used a quarter of a tank. Our road trip out here in the summer was even more efficient.
57. Buy Low Market. Wal-mart prices without the headache.
58. Georgia to come back to for holidays. One day it be our home again....hopefully
59. It hasn't actually snowed here yet. A little frost, a few flurries, but we may evade the real snow until December.
60. Butternut squash soup. BOY does it hit the spot!
61. That I went to bed early last night for the first time in a loooong time. I don't feel like a "new person" or anything, but I do feel quite a bit better and I'm certainly proud of myself.
62. On that note, I'm thankful that we have the power to change. Every new day is a new possibility and a new chance to get it right.
63. That we found Sam's ID card today so we can finally do laundry again. Ok, he found it. I admit I lost it.
64. Fridays
65. and Saturdays
66. and Sundays too
67. Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products
68. Nie Nie's ever-inspiring words
69. My yoga pants
70. "The Office" tonight.
71. BYU Catering for taking a huge load off our minds about the Ward Christmas Party
72. Wikipedia
73. Hair straighteners
74. The Dollar Tree for Christmas supplies and decor.
75. That my mom got to come last weekend! We chatted, dined, shopped for Christmas decor, and went to Ross' Choir Concert. It was amazing! I haven't been to a BYU choir concert since I was sang in Women's Chorus my freshman year. Plus, I captured this awesome moment of my mom and Ross tap-dancing in the HFAC after the concert.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankfulness Week 2

26. videos
27. Having Ross out here and getting to spend time with him every week
28. This last election
29. Having a healthy body again
30. Low-fat, sugar-free banana chocolate shakes that satisfy my sweet tooth without breaking the scale. I rely on them.
31. All my bittersweet memories of the 2 years Sam and I spent apart while he was on his mission...
32. ....And looking back at their joyful conclusion
33. Having straight teeth
34. 5 o'clock
35. All the......possibilities.....that await with Medical School
36. Great in-laws
37. The Christian station that I listen to on my way home from work 
38. Snow at Christmas
39. Service opportunities to teach me how to love more 
40. Lady Antebellum and their songs always seem to speak to me.
41. Modern medicine
42. Planners
43. Facebook and blogs for keeping in touch with old friends
44. Pell grants
45. Friends having children before me so I know what to expect and what I have to look forward to
46. Family history
47. Getting the chance to serve as a missionary...even if it was only for a month
48. That we live in a day when it is socially acceptable for women to wear pants. I know that sounds weird, but think about it. It's a really nice thing.
49. Getting to go back to Georgia for Thanksgiving and Christmas
50. Workout videos when I don't have time to go to the gym

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Week 1: I'm Thankful For...

As part of a challenge in Relief Society to name 100 things I'm grateful for, I plan to post 25 each Thursday until Thanksgiving. I think I like 25 things in 4 weeks more than just one thing every day, plus it means having to think up four times more things I'm thankful for! It's an interesting challenge that I'm excited to take on. Here goes. I'm thankful for:

1. A comfortable place to call home
2. Coming home every day to my Samuel
3. Being married forever to him
4. A good job. I always describe it as a "high-stress job in a low-stress environment," but it's so true
5. Freedoms as an American
6. The Gospel
7. Having a temple so close by
8. The beauty of God's creations
9. Trials and suffering that help us grow and make us appreciate life
10. My red hair (which has never been colored and still gets lots of compliments)
11. Good food...and being able to make it :)
12. My family
13. Being perfectly confident about singing in public
14. Making new friends
15. Never missing a year at the beach to see the ocean and walk through the surf
16. Having a party blog. I thought about it and thought about it, finally did it with Sam's encouragement, and I love it. It's not huge, but I actually have a few followers!
17. That God always answers my prayers. Even if I'm not always looking for that answer or if it's not quite when I expect, He ALWAYS does.
18. The knowledge that it's obviously important that I learn about project management as I've been doing a lot of it in my job lately, and an awful lot of it in our calling.
19. The comforting rhythm of seasons and holidays
20. A car
21. Martha 
22. My gym membership 
23. Being from the South
24. My degree in Advertising from BYU
25. Music. Actually, art in all it's forms.

And more to come next week!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Festivities

Boy, what a weekend! I could tell you how busy we were with putting together our Ward Halloween Party, spending hours decorating for it (and it looked awesome!), making cider, setting up, attempting to quickly get replacement supplies and handle crowd control, and attempting to have time dress up, and how we were too  busy to take any pictures, and too exhausted after cleanup to do anything to our apartment that looked like the damage path of a tornado. I could tell you lots more details, but this post reminded me that you don't want to hear me whine. Oh....wait.

Very seriously, though, I was sad that we didn't really get a chance to enjoy the party much or that our costumes weren't much of a success. I decided very last minute that I wanted to go as an Egyptian queen and Sam really wanted to go as a mummy. I had all the costume stuff, the wig, the makeup, even the jewelry, and Sam had all the strips of linen to be the perfect mummy....but our costumes were last on the priority list that night. Oh well. At least we'll have some sweet costumes for next year.

The rest of the weekend we enjoyed some much needed sleep and relaxation. Sunday felt a little weird and not much like Halloween as we had church in the morning plus some extra meetings, visiting/home teaching, and the like. We had Ross over for dinner and to celebrate his birthday. I always loved how much we celebrated Halloween while growing up because it doubled as his birthday.

 Some of our spooky decor
We made pumpkin turkey chili (sounds weird, but it's actually really good) and birthday pumpkin pie. Don't you love the tombstone candles?

 Ross playing hide-and-seek with Ethan over Skype.

We had everyone on Skype singing Happy Birthday! It was so fun! After Ross left we planned to watch "Vertigo", but were too tired to do so for the second year in a row. One of these Halloweens we will enjoy a thrilling Hitchcock movie! As for this week, I'm sad to see Halloween go, but looking forward to the coming holidays and especially more than grateful for a little breather. Not to mention that the valley is absolutely beautiful right now. I've really become accustomed to Western falls.

P.S. I voted today! I didn't get my absentee ballot in time 2 years ago to vote in what would have been my first Presidential election, (I know, FOR SHAME!) but today I did. I felt so proud! What a blessing it is to have the freedom to have my voice heard.