Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Thirty

Well, it's here, the last day of November and the last day of my thankful posts. Last year I ended the month with a really spiritual post. It won't be the same this year. But I do feel like I have posted sufficiently about how thankful I am for my faith and my beliefs. I love the Gospel, and that will never change. So this year I'm ending with something a little bit more secular.
At my company, all full-time employees are required to go through an education program. Since we work with the healthcare industry, which is ridiculously technical, the executives feel that all full-time employees should have a decent understanding of healthcare. So all year long, I've been chipping away at the requirements bit by bit. Then this morning I woke up and one of my very first thoughts was, "Oh crap, tomorrow's December! I have to finish education this month!" Hey there, stress, how's it going?

I made some strides, though—I scheduled articulation, which is one of two verbal tests/interviews I have to do. It requires studying and all that jazz, and I'm not particularly thrilled about it. And I'm even less thrilled about the final interview that requires a bunch of memorization. Awesome.

But at the same time, I'm really thankful that it's December. I'm thankful that in the next few weeks, I should finish the education program and not have to worry about it anymore. I'm thankful that I won't have to go to vendor landscapes or courses or watch anymore videos. Plus, I get a diploma and a bonus for finishing. I can't complain too much about that.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Twenty-Nine

Today is Monday, which means FHE, of course. This is usually what happens with me and FHE: At the beginning of the semester, I try really hard to go and get to know the people in my group. I stay for the activity, then usually leave right once everything is done, because I always feel super awkward about mingling afterward. Then, when I realize that some of the people bug me or we end up doing super lame activities every week, I stop going. That's usually about halfway through the semester. So by the end of the semester, I'm ignoring the flyers and doing other really important things with my Monday night, of course.

Well, last night, my FHE mom roped me into bringing a treat tonight, so of course I had to go. And when I have to go, it makes me want to go even less. But I went, and it actually turned out to be really fun. There were only six of us there (because everyone else in our group is apparently even lamer than I am) and we played Christmas Pictionary, which was surprisingly fun. Everyone stuck around for a while, so we actually got a chance to chill and be ourselves for a bit. It was very entertaining.

I'm really thankful for these experiences that remind me of why I need to be social. There are a lot of really great people in my ward, but because I can be so introverted, I don't give myself the chance to get to know them. Nights like tonight let me know that I really should put myself out there a little more and make some new friends.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Twenty-Eight

We had a fantastic Sacrament meeting today. There were a few minutes left before the end of the meeting, and Bishop Clark invited his son Cliff to bear his testimony. Cliff has Down syndrome, I believe, and he is amazing. He is constantly smiling and happy, and he gives out hugs like candy. He brightens the lives of everyone around him. Any time either of his parents mention him or his family over the pulpit, Cliff bursts into tears.

When Cliff got up to bear his testimony, you could feel the Spirit so strongly. It was obvious that Cliff believes in this church with such pure, childlike faith. He has no doubt that his Heavenly Father loves him and that he needs to obey in order to live with Heavenly Father again. Cliff also told the ward that he loved everyone there, and I am sure that each person in that room could feel the honesty in his words.

Bishop got up once Cliff was done and said, "Is there anyone in this room that doubts Cliff when he says he loves you?" And there wasn't.

If one person can fill a room with so much love, how much more can the Lord give? As powerful as the Spirit was when Cliff was speaking, the Lord is capable of infinitely more. I am so thankful to know that if I live my life according to His will, I can always feel His Spirit and His love for me. My Savior is amazing, and I am so thankful that I know of His sacrifice for me. What a blessing it is to know that no matter what I am going through here in mortality, there is always someone there who loves me. That is so amazing to know.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Twenty-Seven

Though today didn't contain quite as much lazing about as I would have expected, I have had my share of doing nothing this long weekend. I watched movies and lots of sports and ate tons of food. I didn't have to cook or buy any food, which is always fantastic. I slept late and enjoyed the comforts of my electric blanket in the freezing temperatures.

I am so thankful that I could go home and just veg for a few days. I love spending time with my parents, and I got to see some of my nieces and nephews. I love holidays and days off so I can just have some time to do nothing of importance. It's fantastic.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Twenty-Six

I grew up knowing that the Christmas season doesn't start until the day after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is its own holiday, and just because everybody else skips it doesn't mean our family has to. Thanks to that upbringing, I am a bit of a stickler about that. I only start listening to Christmas music once Thanksgiving is over.

For some reason, it was much harder to stick to that this year. I have wanted to listen to Christmas music for a couple of weeks now, but I was good and didn't. (Okay, so maybe I played a couple of songs on the piano earlier this week, but that was it.) And I'm glad I didn't, because now that it is actually the Christmas season, Christmas music is so much better. I'm not sure why it works that way, but it does.

I love Christmastime. I love Christmas music. I love having white Christmases and seeing Christmas lights on houses. I love Christmas trees and decorating for the holidays. I love how Christmas brings out the generosity in people. I love the Sub for Santa and Angel Tree programs that give people opportunities to give to those who are less fortunate. I love watching little kids get so excited about Santa's visit. I just love everything about Christmas.

I am so thankful for this time of year. I'm thankful that for at least a few weeks, we hear songs like "Silent Night" and "Angels We Have Heard on High." When else are we inundated with reminders of the Savior's birth? The spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of Christ. It's the one time of year when most people allow that Spirit in willingly, when they might otherwise eschew it. This is why I love Christmas. It is a holiday completely about our Savior and Redeemer; how could anyone not love it?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Twenty-Five

Ahhh, Thanksgiving! The one day of the year when everyone is expected to pig out and be lazy. Such a fantastic holiday. I went to Uncle Paul and Aunt Kathy's house for dinner. There were only nine of us there, and it was really nice. I was kind of nice to just have adults and older kids there. There were no little kids running around, which was definitely different. But I really liked the smaller group this year. We could just sit and talk and not have to shout over a gazillion people.

I'm so thankful for a nice holiday, where I could take a break from work and even from Provo. I love lounging around at my parents' house for the holidays. I don't have to cook, I don't have to work, and I don't have to wake up early for anything. I can watch the rivalry game with Dad and see Harry Potter again with my mom. I'm thankful I'm close enough to home that I can spend every holiday with my family.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Twenty-Four

I left work early today. I felt absolutely awful. I was afraid that I would throw up, so I didn't eat anything for most of the day. I was going to try to stick it out at work, but it just wasn't going to happen. Luckily, Jenifer was super nice about it and let me take off early. Thank heavens.

So I went home, packed up some stuff, and drove up to Magna. I figured I could take care of myself, or I could drive home for Thanksgiving so Mom could take care of me. Yeah, it wasn't really much of a decision. I came home and spent the afternoon lounging. It was fantastic.

I didn't really have to be completely taken care of, but I'm so thankful that Mom was willing to help me out when I needed it. Mom would have done whatever I needed her to do today, and that is the case whether I'm sick or not. I have the best mom in the whole world. She always makes sure I have whatever I need. She's always making sure I have enough money for things, and she always offers to help, whether I need it or not. (I have to tell her no a lot.) I'm so thankful that I have such a great mom who taught me everything that I need to know. She is such a great example of willing service in the Church. Mom is always helping others and is the first to offer her time and talents if anyone is in need. I love my mom, and I'm so thankful I was born into her family.

 Mom in her most favorite place in the world—Hawaii.

Mom with her most favorite people in the world—her grandchildren (plus the three who were born after this picture was taken).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Twenty-Three

I got off work early today because of a (supposed) blizzard of the decade. I came home, grateful for an early day, and eagerly awaited the storm to blow in. I made plans with some friends, and we were all going to weather the storm together—playing games, watching movies, eating food, the usual. Unfortunately, no snow blew in. And I mean none. The "blizzard" blew out by the time it hit Utah Valley, so Provo got squat. And I was upset.

Which made me think about how thankful I am that I live in Utah, in a place where we (well, usually) get four distinct seasons. The cold of winter melts to the warmth of spring, and the heat of summer fades to the chill of fall. I love the feeling I get when seasons change. Each season brings a different emotion, a different spirit. I wanted a good, solid snow storm today because I wanted to feel the upcoming Christmas season. It's not Christmas without snow.

I think one of the most comfortable things in the world is sitting at home, bundled up under a blanket, reading a book and watching the snow fall. It's especially nice when I know I have nowhere to go and nothing to do. I love it when the white of the snow on the ground matches the white of the snow clouds above—when the sky blends into the earth and it feels like nothing exists except you and the snow. The silence during those storms is so peaceful. The world seems to simply stop moving.

So I'm thankful for snow. I'm thankful that I live in a place where we get snow, Where nearly every year I get a white Christmas. I'm thankful I know that at some point, Provo will get a good storm, and that I will get to watch it fall and feel the quiet from it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Twenty-Two

Laura came over tonight to visit teach Amanda and ended up talking to me for a couple of hours. I think she ended up helping me more than she helped Amanda. Though I didn't know it, I apparently needed a good talk. Laura and I ended up discovering that we have uncannily similar experiences, which led us to have similar ideas and perceptions. It was kind of fun to figure out that we have much more in common than at least I expected.

I'm so thankful for the good people in my life, like Laura, Cora, Faith, and Kate. (There are lots more good people in my life, but I see these girls the most.) I love having those people around whom I can talk to about most everything. I haven't known Laura for as long as I have known the other three, but after last night, she's working her way up there. I love it when I find good friends. It's fantastic.

I am aware that I mentioned a lot of these girls in last Friday's post, but they deserve another mention.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Twenty-One

I love Sundays. I think they're are the best. I'm a little sad that it didn't snow more today, though. I think it is the most comfortable thing to be curled up under a blanket on Sunday afternoon, reading a book and watching the snow fall. That often makes for a crappy commute come Monday morning, but it doesn't make it any less comfortable on Sunday afternoon.

I think my favorite thing about Sundays (besides the spirituality of church, of course) is coming home and changing from my skirt to my sweats. It's fantastic. I love lounging on Sunday afternoons—eating food, reading books, playing games, watching movies. After church, Cora and I played a few games of Yahtzee. I won, of course. My high for the night was 284, and I rolled yahtzees in two games in a row. It was awesome.

My apartment also had apartment intro at ward prayer tonight. We each chose some items that exemplify our personal nerdiness. My items were my unabridged Merriam-Webster dictionary and my usage dictionary. I could have chosen from a bunch of different things, but I thought that might have been a much more unique nerdiness.

I am so thankful that once a week I get to worship my Savior and recharge for the coming week. I think I would be much more stressed if I couldn't take one day of the week to simply relax and put away all of my weekly responsibilities.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Twenty

When I was about five, my dad took me to my very first Jazz game. He took me to a pre-season game, just in case I couldn't handle staying up so late—that way he wouldn't miss any important games. I still remember being so excited about going to a game. We went to McDonald's for dinner, and I got chicken nuggets. Dad let me know over and over that if I ever got tired, we could go home. I didn't have to stay up to watch the game.

That night, the Jazz played the 76ers. I wish my memory was good enough to remember what the final score was, but I do remember that the Jazz won, and I stayed wide awake and alert the whole time. Dad was shocked. He thought I would get tired and ornery, but I was riveted. I loved everything about being at the game—I loved watching the players, seeing all the fans, watching the streamers fall after the win, and, most of all, being there with my daddy.

I have always been a daddy's girl. That's probably a majority of the reason I love sports so much. I love talking to my dad and doing things with him. I love that during football season I get to spend at least one day with him every two weeks. I love that I know how much my dad loves me. He's always willing to help me with anything I need, which more often than not has to do with car issues. He is such an amazing example to me of service in the Church—he just started his second stint as bishop, after only three years of being released from the last stint. Yet he said yes, and will serve willingly and faithfully.

I love my dad. He is honestly the best man I know. I am so thankful that I was born into his family and that I will get to be with him eternally. He's the best. I'm sorry, but nobody else's dad is as cool as mine. There's just no contest.

Dad's goofy side

 Dad's grandpa side

Friday, November 19, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Nineteen

Tonight I got to go to Faith and Jake's wee little apartment for dinner, which was a lot of fun. I hadn't seen them since their wedding reception, so it was great to hang out with them some more. I love those guys. They're one of those few and far between couples where I know each of them separately and individually. I didn't meet Jake through Faith or vice versa.

I've known them both for years. Jake and I grew up in the same stake, and Faith and I have been best friends since tenth grade. They didn't even start dating until our senior year of high school. This whole situation is great because it means I can hang out with them even after they're married and not end up cracking inside jokes with Faith that Jake doesn't get. We can talk about things that happened in high school and chances are that we were all there. It's great.

I'm super thankful for friends like Faith and Jake, and friends like Marla, Cami, Traci, Kate, and Eliza. I'm so thankful that I made good choices about the people I spent time with in high school because most of us have stayed close throughout college. It's great to know that I have people in my life who care about me like these guys do.

I figured high school photos would be the best option here. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of Kate from high school. I still love her though!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Eighteen

My thankful post today is going to be a little silly, but I don't care. Because in all actuality, I am thankful for Harry Potter. I know it sounds a little dumb, but I've been thinking about it all day because I'm going to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 tonight. I'm so excited. I've never been a really huge fan of the movies, but I have definitely enjoyed the last few, and Deathly Hallows looks like the best of the bunch so far.

I really am thankful for the books, though. It isn't every day that you come across a series of books that you can literally grow up with. Plus, the themes and messages of the books are legitimately good: love, friendship, loyalty, courage. The idea that if you just do what it is you know you have to do, everything will turn out in the end. There are even some gospel themes in the book, such as the veil in Order of the Phoenix, and when Luna tells Harry that the loved ones they have lost are just on the other side, just waiting to see them again.

Plus, how can you not be glad for a book that taught millions of children how fun it is to read? And thanks to the success of the Harry Potter series, the YA genre has been catapulted into mainstream, yielding some rather amazing new authors, such as Maggie Stiefvater and Suzanne Collins (no, I will not include Stephenie Meyer—she doesn't come even close to amazing).

While I will always love the Harry Potter books much more than the movies, I'm super thankful that I get to go hang out with friends and see all the crazy costumes people will come up with tonight. It's going to be awesome.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Seventeen

I have carpal tunnel/tendinitis/whatever-you-want-to-call-it in my left wrist. I've had it since tenth grade, though I have no idea how exactly I got it. It has flare-ups occasionally, which is when I have to start wearing my brace more often. Since I started working a desk job where I am required to sit at a computer and type for eight hours straight, I have had more flare-ups, thanks to my normal, everyday keyboard.

Last week, I finally got around to requesting an ergonomic keyboard, which was delivered to me the beginning of this week. Boy, do I love that thing! It's fantastic. My wrist hasn't miraculously gotten better or anything, but typing is definitely much more comfortable now, and I'm thankful that my company was willing to order me a new keyboard with no questions asked. It's wonderful.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Sixteen

Today is one of those ridiculously blah days, and it is therefore difficult for me to think of anything to be thankful for. But that means today is a day that I really need to be writing this post. Even though I'm really not in the mood right now. Which doesn't make sense, really. Plenty of good things have happened or are going to happen this week: I got my car back, I'm going to see Harry Potter 7 at midnight on Thursday, and I'm going to have dinner with some of my very best friends on Friday. Yet all I feel like doing is complaining.

So today, my thankful post is a bit of a cop-out (but really only a bit): I am thankful for sleep. I'm so thankful that I can go to bed and wake up to a new morning, a new day, and hopefully a new attitude. Oh, and I'm thankful for my electric blanket, which keeps me warm and helps me stay asleep once I fall asleep. I love that thing.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Fifteen

You know the saying that you don't appreciate what you have until you no longer have it? I'm feeling that right now. I went home to Magna for the weekend and left my car, Toothless (yes, he has a name), at my parents' house so they could take him to the shop. The struts have been going out for a while now, and I finally decided to get the problem fixed.

I am currently without my car, which sucks. I'm driving my mom's PT Cruiser, which is fine, but I miss my car. I miss parking in the parking lot, the bottle of windshield washer solution clunking in the trunk, and the Sherwood air freshener. I miss just being so familiar with Toothless that it takes no effort to drive.

So today I'm thankful for my car. I'm thankful that I can afford the payments and that I could get myself a nice little car that is in (mostly) good working condition. I'm thankful that I have money in savings so I can afford to fix it if I need to (even when it's $500—ugh). I'm thankful that I should have Toothless back in the next couple of days so I can drive comfortably again.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Fourteen

I taught in Relief Society today on the Holy Ghost. It was a great lesson, though it made me nervous because it was only three pages long. I wasn't sure how I was going to fill all the time with only three pages. But I know the Spirit helped me by letting me know what to say and by prompting the sisters to share thoughts and experiences. We had some good discussion, and I think the lesson went well.

As I was preparing the lesson and reading the additional scriptures, I just had this overwhelming feeling that the Church is true. It was like a wave that came over me, reaffirming what I already knew. I love the Holy Ghost for that reason. I am so thankful that I have been baptized and confirmed, which allowed me to receive the Holy Ghost. I am so thankful that I have a God with me always, to guide me and direct me as I try to be like my Savior. I love the comfort that gives me. The Spirit is real. He acts as a continual witness of truth so that I can know over and over again that my Savior lives and that His church is on the earth today. It is such a fantastic gift, and I hope that I can always live my life worthy to accept that gift.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Absolutely Perfect

This week was fantastic. In fact, it was perfect—at least, when it came to sports. Yes, yes, another sports post. I like sports, all right? And this past week has turned me into way more of a sports nut than I usually am.

It all started last Saturday. BYU destroyed UNLV, 55–7. It was fantastic to finally see BYU play like we've seen them play in seasons past. It was definitely a fun game to watch. That night, I watched the Jazz play the Clippers. The Jazz were down by 18 in the second half and came back to win in double overtime. It was awesome.

Then, on Tuesday, the Jazz played Miami, where they were down by as much as 22. They came back to win it in overtime. It was one of the most ridiculous games ever—ridiculous in a good way, of course. No one expected the Jazz to win, especially not on the road, and especially after getting down by so much. Then on Wednesday, the Jazz did it again against Orlando. Another double-digit deficit overcome in the second half. They did it again Friday against Atlanta and today against Charlotte. Five in a row—five double-digit deficits, four of them on the road. That alone would make it an awesome sports week.

Friday night was BYU's basketball home opener, which was such a fun game. It took the Cougs a little while to warm up, but once Jimmer got going, it was goodbye to Fresno State. It was awesome.

And today BYU crushed CSU on the road. It was great. Two weeks in a row shows me that this improvement in football isn't a complete anomaly. If they can do it again next week, I'll have even more hope for the Utah game.

While I try not to be the kind of fan that roots for BYU and anyone that plays Utah, I can't help but be happy about the icing on the cake for this perfect sports week: Last Saturday, TCU blew Utah out of the water, knocking them out of BCS bowl contention and out of the top ten. And today, Notre Dame soundly beat Utah, knocking them to the very bottom of the rankings. I honestly feel bad for the players—it really sucks for them. But I can't feel bad for the fans, especially the fans who have been loud and obnoxious in tearing apart BYU this season. I have to admit that it's nice to know that those fans have been knocked down a peg. Or two.

So, yes. This week in sports has been perfect on all counts. What a great week.

Being Thankful: Day Thirteen

Tonight was the book club meeting for To Kill a Mockingbird. I loved this book. I loved how Atticus was so committed to defending Tom Robinson, regardless of his skin color, and regardless of what anyone else in the town said about Atticus or his family. I am so thankful for people like this, for people who persevered to do what is right despite persecution and ridicule. It makes me think of people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Joseph Smith, and all those German civilians who did their best to hide Jews because they knew Hitler was wrong.

I have always been fascinated with the Civil Rights Movement, the Holocaust, and Church History, and I think it's because of the intolerance involved in all three stories. Nothing makes me angrier than intolerance, and I love learning about the stories of those who stepped up when no one else seemed like they would. The courage of those people is so inspiring to me, and I'm so thankful for their courage.

I'm also thankful that I was raised to be tolerant of others, despite our differences. I was raised to look at a person for who they are and not to focus on race or religion, and I'm so thankful for how that has informed my perceptions of others.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Twelve

Today at work, we were talking about what our parents would do if someone did something really terrible to us. (Yes, it was a rather random conversation.) As I was thinking about it, I realized that while my parents would definitely be very protective of me, my brothers would be even more protective. They always have been. And I'm very thankful for that. It's nice to know that I have people who care so much about me that they always want to make sure that I'm okay and that nobody takes advantage of me. My brothers really are great, even though they may annoy the tar out of me sometimes.

The first picture is a picture of my parents, Ben, and our brother Bobby, who I'm sure would have been just as protective of me had we known each other in this life. Instead, he gets to be protective of me from the other side. The second is a picture of Matt, back when he was super cute.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Eleven

This week, Cora has been stressing about some tests that she has to take. Every time I hear people complain about their homework or about projects they have to finish, all I can think is, "Ahhh, I'm so glad I don't have homework anymore!" I mean, don't get me wrong; I have plenty of things I have to do. It's not like all my responsibilities have melted, but I'm certainly glad that homework is one of them that has.

I'm really thankful that I made it through college, and that I can now say that I am a college graduate. There aren't many things that have given me such a sense of accomplishment as graduating from college. I'm also thankful for all the experiences I had in college that helped me grow and develop. College was great. And while I'm still living in student housing and rooming with students, I'm so thankful that I am no longer a student. I like watching movies and reading the books I want to read. It's fantastic.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Ten

I just started reading To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time. Shocking, I know, but I never had to read it for school, so I'm reading it for a book club instead. I'm only about 100 pages in (even though I have to finish by Saturday), but I already love it. Scout is simply awesome. I'm excited to read the rest and get to the really good parts of the story.

I have been reading for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I would sleep with books instead of with stuffed animals. I started reading adult novels of 700+ pages when I was nine or ten. I've always had a special interest in words and language and books. I've wanted to be a writer since I was seven, and that's still a goal I want to achieve someday. I'm hoping that at some point in my life I'll find enough inspiration to write a novel.

So today, I'm thankful for books. I'm thankful for brilliant authors who formulate fantastic ideas and turn them into beautiful literature. I'm thankful for snowy, cold weather that makes me want to just curl up under the blankets on the couch with a cup of cider and a good book. I'm thankful for my forever-long to-read list that keeps growing no matter how many books I read. I'm thankful for the books I love so much that I read them over and over again without getting tired of them. It's amazing what those who are proficient in the English language can do.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Nine

Nothing in particular really jumped out at me as something to be thankful for today, but I did think a lot about my nieces and nephews. All of my siblings are married, and they all have kids, and thanks to that, I have nine nieces and nephews. Nine awesome kids who, despite being crazy at times, are the best kids in the world. They are the cutest nieces and nephews you will ever find anywhere, no contest.

I absolutely love being an aunt. I love playing with the little ones (and the not so little ones—my oldest niece is fourteen now). When I'm down, I know that I can go visit one of my siblings and their kids will brighten my day. There's nothing like having a three-year-old (or two-year-old, or seven-year-old, or five-year-old) yell, "Aunt Lindy!" and run to give me a giant hug. I don't think there is anything better than that in the world.

So today I'm thankful for Amanda, Will, Dalton, Isabella, Aiden, Adeline, Penelope, Ethan, and Chloe because they are the best nieces and nephews an aunt could ask for.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Eight

Tonight was the ward talent show/Thanksgiving dinner. I like talent shows, and I'm one of those people who always signs up to do something. (No, I'm not trying to show off, I just like having an excuse to sing something that's not a church song.) For this talent show, I figured out "Come Home" by OneRepublic on the piano and sang it. It was the first time that I had ever figured a song out just by chords and not by reading the music. I must say that I was pretty proud of myself because it sounded all right. People seemed to like it, even though I messed up.

So today, I'm thankful for my talents. I'm thankful that I have a visible talent that I can share and that people enjoy hearing. I'm not terribly confident in many things, but I am confident in my singing voice, and I'm very thankful for that. I love singing, and I love that I'm good at it. It's nice when something you love doing coincides with something you're good at.

And now, at the risk of seeming presumptuous, I'm going to post the video of me singing at the talent show tonight. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Seven

Fast Sundays always make me think about my testimony. I didn't actually bear my testimony today, but listening to everyone else's testimonies made me think about what I believe in. And the complete truth is that I believe in the Gospel. I believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that I have a Heavenly Father. I believe that my Savior died for me so that I can use the gift of the Atonement to become perfect like Christ is perfect. I believe that my Heavenly Father knows who I am individually. He knows my name, and He has a plan for me. Joseph Smith was a prophet who translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I believe that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet today and that he receives revelation from God to guide and direct The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in modern times.

This only scratches the surface of what I believe and why I believe it. I have had countless witnesses that the church I belong to is Christ's church, and I never plan on straying from that. Not ever. I couldn't find so much happiness anywhere else. Following the commandments and trying to be like my Savior bring me peace and happiness. I am so immensely thankful for the surety of my testimony and for wonderful parents who helped me gain that testimony while I was young. The foundation they laid for me has only gotten stronger as I have gotten older, and I can't say enough how thankful I am for that.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Six

It is November, so it's officially time to go on snow alert in Utah. The snow could dump on us at any time (which is possible for next week), so any nice days we have left can't be taken for granted. Today, I'm thankful for the absolutely gorgeous day it was. It was an absolutely perfect day weather-wise. I went to the BYU game wearing capris. Yes, capris, on November 6. Since when does that ever happen? It was actually almost too warm at the game. My brother got a bit of a sunburn. It was fantastic.

Since it's supposed to drop down into the 40s and possibly give us some snow next week, I'm going to be thankful for the beautiful weather while it lasts. I am also thankful for a BYU beat-down of UNLV. It was about time BYU put more than 30 points up on the board (55–7 was the final). It gives me hope for a bowl game.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Five

Today I'm thankful for sports. Odd, it's true, but I like sports. A lot. And I like that I like sports because it gives me something else to enjoy, something else to get excited about. I spent my Friday evening watching a Jazz game. Sure, they lost, which sucks, but I still enjoyed watching it. And tomorrow I'm going to go to Lavell Edwards Stadium and (hopefully) watch BYU beat UNLV, and I'm excited about it. Then next Friday I'm going to the BYU basketball home opener, which should be SWEET because the Cougs have a chance to be ridiculously (and I mean ridiculously) good this year.

I know I'm a weird girl, that I'm out of the ordinary because I go out of my way to watch sporting events, whether I'm alone or with other people. But I've been watching sports my whole life, and it's fun to be competitive. I'm thankful that I have something that I can do with my dad and my brothers. I go get pedicures with the girls and watch sports with the guys. It's fun to have two such different sides to me.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Four

At work today, our HR director emailed everyone a list of all the days off for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. Six days off in seven weeks. Fantastic.

I've always loved getting days off work. I mean, really, who doesn't? But until this year, I always just got the day off, and I'd have to make up the hours the rest of the week if I wanted the pay. (I'm not sure why I'm explaining this . . . it's not exactly an unknown thing.) Now that I'm full time, I get paid for those holidays. So this year I'll get paid to pig out on Thanksgiving and to spend time with my family on Christmas. I know this isn't a foreign thing to most people, but this is the first time I've been paid for holidays. And it's awesome. And I'm really thankful for it.

Return of the Blu-Ray

Today is a very happy day. I got my Blu-ray player back, which is fantastic. It's really amazing how big of a difference a Blu-ray player makes even in regular DVDs. I won't have to mess with the aspect ratio on my TV anymore when we watch movies, so no picture will be cut off and no images will be stretched. Hallelujah.

I went home for lunch today, and it was a good thing I did. The UPS guy left the Blu-ray player sitting in front of my door. Awesome. I love it when they leave my expensive purchases sitting out like that.

As soon as I got inside, I ripped open the box and hooked up the player. I couldn't wait to see if it actually worked. I popped in Beauty and the Beast, which had been giving me the worst problems, and the Blu-ray loaded just fine. Happy, happy day! Then I came home from work and watched the whole thing, just to make sure it's really working. And it is.

I think I'm pretty safe to go and buy the Back to the Future trilogy now. I can't wait to watch it on my newly working Blu-ray player. (Or my simply new Blu-ray player . . . I think they might have just shipped me another one. As long as it works, I don't care.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Three

I'm thankful for money. To be more specific, I'm thankful that I have money. I may not have a lot of money, but I have enough for what I need, which is more than a lot of people can say. I don't have to bug my parents for money, I don't have loans to pay off, and I don't have to barely scrape by. I can go to the grocery store and accidentally spend more money than I planned on and still be okay. I can see movies and buy books and go out to eat and pay my car payment and build my savings. I don't have to stress about whether I'll make rent or have enough food to eat. It's amazing how much I don't have to worry about because I have a steady job. As much as I hate dealing with money, I'm grateful that I have a way to earn it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Being Thankful: Day Two

Today I'm thankful that I have an artistic brain. That's not to say that I'm particularly creative or that I am able to produce great literature or moving pieces of music. In fact, I would say that I can't do those things. I don't feel incredibly talented at creating art. However, my brain is wired to appreciate great art, whether it be painting, photography, literature, or film, and I'm grateful for that. I love well thought out ideas that are executed to perfection. I love dissecting films and books to find the driving force behind the story, behind the characters.

Tonight I watched Inception for the second time, and the brilliance of the story blows me away. The simple idea that transforms itself into complex plot and dynamic characters. The genius mind that recognized the idea as being worth pursuing. The visionaries who translated the paper version to vivid images.

This is what I want to do with my life: I want to create art. But until I can get to a point where I know how to do it effectively, I'm incredibly grateful that I can look at the art that others have created and see the beauty in it. Without art, life would be dull and colorless, and that wouldn't be much of a life at all.

I get lost in the beauty of everything I see,
the world ain't half as bad as they paint it to be.
If all the sons, all the daughters, would stop to take it in,
then hopefully the hate subsides and the love can begin.
-"Come Home" by OneRepublic

Monday, November 1, 2010

Being Thankful: Day One

This past year has simply flown by. It's ridiculous how much faster time goes when you're not living your life in four-month chunks. And now it's November (already), which means it's time for more thankful posts. I did this last year, and I really liked it. I found myself looking for something every day that I could write about in my thankful post, and it felt really good to constantly be looking for the good things in my life. So today I start my month of daily thankful posts, which I hope I can make an annual tradition.

Today, I'm grateful that Cora lives with me. Don't get me wrong, my other roommates are also awesome, but Cora and I just understand each other. We have the same sense of humor. Plus, we understand each others' families, which is also a huge thing. The amount of inside jokes we have that stem from our families is rather astounding. People often look at us funny when we burst into laughter about something that no one else understands. It's fantastic. Plus, today's her birthday, and I figured no longer being a teenager deserved a blog post.

Thanks, Cora, for being the awesomest roommate/cousin ever.