Monday, November 21, 2011

Today I'm thankful for my family, particularly since I won't be able to see them during Thanksgiving this week. While they're all for sure a little odd, I want to separate them into three different categories.

My parents

While I've always loved and been grateful for my parents, only recently did I really realize how much of an influence on my life they've been. Earlier last week I was thinking about how I need to get around to sending a package off to Scott for his birthday and I was thinking about how if I was home I probably would have just made some candy or something. Then I started thinking about how I got into the habit of doing that from a suggestion my mom made years ago when Riley had to work at scout camp on his birthday. Later on I was contemplating the end of the semester which reminded me of the practice I had recently adopted of writing a thank you note at the end of the semester to teachers who's classes I had particularly enjoyed, another thing that I had picked up from my mom after she had written a letter to my teacher my sophomore year. Last weekend I wanted some real food and so the first thing that I attempted to make was chicken squares, something that my mom always made for us. The other night, I was editing a friend's paper at some mildly obscene hour of the morning and it reminded me of all of the countless nights I made my mom stay up to some obscene hour of the morning to edit a paper for me that was due the next day.

As I was talking to an associate the other day, we were discussing hobbies and I was asked what it was that I  could/ like to do. As I started listing off random skills that I've picked up and things that I've learned to do, I realized that this was probably something that I had acquired from my dad, who I swear has dabbled in every kind of skill and hobby on the face of the planet. Throughout my life I've discovered that I have the tendency to stay up far to late, often for no real apparent reason. In fact, Thursday night after I had stayed up until roughly 5:00 doing homework I decided to just not go to sleep. While this might not actually be something that I've picked up from my dad it's at least something that we have in common. I remember several nights of "adventures" where we've just both been up during some ridiculous hour of the night. I'm pretty sure that my little spiel the other day about how how excited I was to have a pre Thanksgiving dinner is something I picked up from my dad. For as long as I can remember he has always been making crazy concoctions in the  kitchen and it has become something that I have grown to love to (attempt) to do.  

Even where I went to school was somewhat mirrored after my parents. While I ultimately ended up going to BYU, where my mom went to school, I was seriously considering going to both Western (Somewhere else mom considered) and UDUB where my dad went to school. My dad also went to MP and EVCC.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Alright, so clearly I'm very bad at this but here is 7 things I'm thankful for to make up for the past week!

I'm thankful for modern day methods of hygiene. Have you ever really thought about that? In the 18th century they used to wear wigs because they showered so infrequently that their hair fell out. People used to get married in June and hold a bouquet of flowers because that was right after their like yearly bath and that's when they smelled best. During the pioneer times people used to have real dirt floors. Things we have today like showers, dish washers, vacuums, and disinfectant just make the world so much cleaner. While it's still important I think every once and a while to roll around in the dirt (some people today are just too clean), it's nice to know that a warm showing is available at home.  

On similar note I'm thankful for medical advancements. Back in the day people used to die from stuff as simple as diarrhea or the flu and now these are just minor inconveniences. We have vaccines that help to prevent previously crippling diseases ( literally if you're talking about polio) and the medical knowledge and skill to transplant organs, transfuse blood, and even though there is a lot of controversy over stem cell research, the very fact that is can be done is amazing.

Even similarly, I'm thankful for my good health. I usually don't appreciate it until I'm sick, but I've come to realize that I've got a pretty awesome immune system, or at least pretty good one. I hardly ever get sick and when I do it usually isn't for very long. I've also never had an big health problems. I've never had to go to the hospital for myself and I've rarely ever even had to go to the doctor. I've been pretty blessed health wise and I usually don't acknowledge it as much as I should.

I'm glad for all of the different types of medial available today. I know a lot of people dis on the media, but I love it. Sure, there is a lot of nonsense out there and if you aren't paying attention you'll find junk, but there is so much great stuff out there too. I love discovering a good show and just having a marathon of it. Sure, they're hard to find, but that just makes it all the better when you do. I love when you find an ad that is just fantastic and you want to watch it over and over again. When you feel an ad manipulating you and you enjoy it you know it's good. I guess that sounds kind of weird but whatever.

I'm thankful for all of my crazy friends. I'm pretty sure that they're all a little bit off of their rockers, but you know what they say, "birds of a feather flock together". So clearly, they all hang out with each other because they're all crazy and I'm the sane one that keeps them from going off the deep end. I really am thankful for all of them though and all of the great things we've done together. From the creation of "Margret the tissue," to running around as 6th graders giggling "I do" at each other, to aimlessly wandering around in the snow every year, to starting a revolution, to secret sister pineapples, to secret cookie missions, to starting a band called "$5 richer", to 2 am trips to Denny's, I've had my fair share of adventures. I'm glad that I could have met all of  you and I'm glad that we get to keep on having wacky adventures. You all are the best associates anyone could ever ask for!

I'm thankful for a good sense of humor and other people who have one. At least I feel like I have a good sense of humor. Humor is a weird thing, it's kind of hard to explain but so essential! Can you imagine how bleak and boring this world would be without humor.  I'm also thankful for my strange and somewhat skewed sense of humor. Not everyone can see the fun in watching the My Little Pony movie with friends and assigning each friend a pony and relating the movie to Communism, but I do. Actually, now that I think about it, is assigning characters in books/movies/ tv shows etc. a regular thing to do? I feel like it isn't but I've been doing it since I think Countdown in the 6th grade. Hmm... I think I'm going to blame Katy for that one.

And last and probably least, I'm thankful for dishwashers. It took not having one to truly appreciated how rad they are. I mean sure you can get dishes clean without them but it takes more work and I feel like they aren't really quite as clean as they could be. So dishwashers, you are fantastic, never change. Unless of course you are changing into a machine that can wash dishes even more epictastically.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I had a really great thing to be thankful for today but it'll take a long time to write so I'll do it later, maybe tomorrow.

So for today I'm thankful for kitchens. Kitchens allow me to make and keep fresh awesome food and have it not take all day. One of the main reason's I decided to live in Wyview was so that I could have a kitchen. Recently I had mostly just been eating frozen food or simple food or I'd eat at a friend's or at some kind of activity so I hadn't really cooked in a while. Last Tuesday I was challenged by Aaron to make better peanut butter cookies better than the ones in the vending machine. Obviously I couldn't let that challenge go unaccepted and so I made the greatest peanut butter cookies even seen in the state of Utah. From there I started making more and more things and real food and I suddenly remembered "Oh yeah, this is something I like to do". It's weird when you forget about how much you like to do something and then you do it again. It's like the joy in it almost surprises you but at the same time it's all too familiar.

This Thursday some friends and I are going to get together to have a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with each other. I'm going to help make a turkey (here's hoping that turns out well) and probably a pie, and some other kind of edible dessert. There's going to be stuffing, and rolls, and all other kinds of amazing food and I can't wait for it. I can't wait to make it and to eat it and to smell it and to look at it and pretty much everything about it. Ok, so I take back what I said I was thankful for in this post. I'm thankful for food and how magic it is and how kitchens allow me to make that magic.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

So.... an impromptu hiking of the Y to celebrate the magical 11:11 11/11/11 caused me to not get home last night until about 3:00 am (so I guess that would technically be this morning). That's the excuse that I'm using for not updating tomorrow, so I'll just do two today.

For 11/11 I think the choice of what to be grateful for is pretty obvious, I mean it was Veteran's Day after all. I truly am grateful for all of those who have served, are serving, and will serve our country. It takes a lot of courage that I know a lot of people don't possess to be able to sacrifice everything up to your own life in defense of your homeland and the people that live there. I'm grateful that I was privileged to be born and grow up in the land of the free and the home of the brave. A lot of people take the freedoms and rights that we have here for granted, and I know that I certainly have before but living here truly is a fantastic blessing and I try to be grateful for it everyday.

 For today I'm grateful for electricity. It's fantastic, it allows me to be productive and stay up until absurdly late/early hours do anything from using my laptop, watching a movie, using a microwave ,or anything else that is powered by electricity, or even just playing a game or reading in a well illumined room. It's fantastic, well done Thomas Edison, and everyone else behind the harnessing of electricity, you all officially rock.

Friday, November 11, 2011

For every thing there is a season

There is Christmas stuff everywhere and Christmas commercials and music are already playing...

Why? Seriously, why? It's only the beginning of November! Why can't you all just wait until after Thanksgiving and then you can celebrate Christmas to your hearts content...

So, a facebook associate of mine decided to post something she's grateful for every day in the month of November until Thanksgiving. I think that's an awesome plan and a good way to celebrate Thanksgiving in its season.

So... having just decided this I'm 10 days behind. I guess I'll just start off by listing 10 things that I'm grateful for.

1) I know that I always say this, but I'm really grateful for indoor heating, particularly here in U:AFWTD where it's already sort of kind of snowed ish and the weather likes to drop 20 degrees in 24 hours. As a warm blooded member of the human race I find this highly unacceptable but since I haven't yet learned to control the weather, I have to rely on indoor heating to keep me warm and I am highly grateful for its existence.

2) I'm grateful for temples. I went with my roommates on Tuesday and it was the first time I've been in like 1,000 years. Yes, I am mildly ashamed to admit that it took me about 5 months of living in Utah to finally get my sorry self to the temple but I finally did and I plan to go much more regularly. Especially since soon there are going to be 2 here in Provo, both within walking distance. Then I really won't have any excuse. Anyway, I'm grateful that temples are on the earth today and that I have one and soon two that are so close to me.

3) In the same train of thought, I'm grateful for my knowledge of the plan of salvation. I know a lot of people who are afraid of death because they don't know what comes next or because they think that death is the end.   Honestly, I can't imagine what it would be like to live thinking that after you died that was it. It would be terrifying I suppose. I'm thankful for the knowledge that I have and the comfort I can take in knowing that death is not the end and that families can be together forever.

4) Alright, so clearly I'm in somewhat of a religious mood because the next thing that I want to say that I'm thankful for is missionaries. Those guys are the greatest. I always used to think that missionaries were so much older than I was but now that my brother and some of my friends are starting to leave on theirs I kind of just realized that they really aren't that old at all, in fact, they're my age! These boys (and girls) are willing to take two years of their young lives and dedicate themselves entirely to their religion and their loving Heavenly Father. That is a huge sacrifice, one that honestly if I was faced with myself I might not be able to make. I'm proud of all of the missionaries serving, especially those that I know and I'm thankful for their sacrifice and dedication.

5) I'm grateful for fire. This is probably only on my mind because I just got back from a bonfire but fire is great stuff. It keeps you warm, you can cook with it, you can play with it (although I would never ever do that ^_^) and it's awesomely entertaining to watch. Fire also, although not as much as it used to, fuels countless other things. You can also make some pretty awesome analogies with fire. If I was a bender I would totally be a fire bender.

6) I'm grateful for music. I know this is something that I bring up a lot too but I can't stop appreciating it. Music has something about it that is just special and listening to it, playing it, singing to it, or dancing to it, you can just feel it. I wish that everyone could be musically talented and know how amazing it is. While I wouldn't call myself musically gifted I'm glad for my chance to learn to play different instruments and for the influence music has played in my life. I'm grateful too that while I'm not gifted, I have at least some degree of musical ability. I have a friend who literally does not know how to play a kazoo and I know other people who are tone deaf. I would hate to be like that.

7) I'm glad that we have so many fantastic modes of transportation. At the beginning of last month I traveled home for my grandmother's funeral. The distance from Provo to my home is just under 1,000 miles. I was able to drive there in about 17 hours and this was even considered a moderately slow method of transportation. Had a taken a plane, I could have traveled that distance in about an hour and a half. Had I needed to make that same trip 100 years or so ago it would have taken days. Hey, cars were around in 1911 right? Cars have been around for over 100 years! Cool! Congrats cars, you've darned old now.
8) I'm thankful for modern day methods of communication. I can share something with someone thousands of miles away in seconds. I can use the camera on my laptop (another thing I'm grateful for) to give my associates a virtual tour of my apartment even though we're in different time zones. I can share something with the entire world if I want to in a matter of seconds! Communication has never been easier and I love it! 

9) I'm grateful that I grew up in the northwest. There's nothing like living in a desert wasteland to make you realize how much you truly miss the color green, rain, and sea level. A lot of my associates here are from Nevada and have never had a real Christmas tree. Never! I almost feel like that's a crime against humanity. Over the summer I hiked the treacherous "Y" (and stupidly forgot my camera, now I'll have to do it again). The view from the top of the mountain at night was the closes thing to home I've seen since I've been here. Looking out over Provo from the top of the mountain you can see the rather large Provo lake and the city below and you can pretend that you're looking out over the Seattle waterfront. I honestly don't remember the last time it rained here, I think it was some time in September. Next time in rains at home (so tomorrow) all of you who are there go out and walk around in it. Sure, since it's November you'll probably catch hypothermia and freeze to death, but just take a moment to appreciate that hypothermia before you go to the hospital.  

10)   The last thing that I'm grateful for today is human willpower. My roommates and I recently started doing this 30 day work out challenge thing. So far we're only on day three and I'm about to die, but I know that I'll finish it because I possess the willpower. Every morning when I wake up after having stayed up studying or working all night, all I want to do is roll over and sleep for another three hours, but I don't because I have the willpower to overcome the natural man (or the id or whatever you want to call it). On days when I have 6 tests, 3 papers, and 7 assignments all due at the end of the week I just want to drop out of school, run away to Canada, and become a world famous hockey player but I don't. Mostly because I'm a horrible hockey player and I don't think they even do anything else in Canada, but also because I posses the human willpower to overcome the occasional horrific week of work and set my sights on the greater goal. Humans are fantastic, they have the ability to overcome just about any obstacle with the right amount of perseverance and persistence. Thinking about willpower reminds me of the story about the guy who said that he could out dig a machine. He ended up working so hard that he died of exhaustion but he ended up beating the machine. While literally working yourself to death might not exactly be the best story to inspire or motivate, I still think it's pretty darn impressive and shows just how much people can accomplish. In the words of Brandi's favorite person, "If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything."

So, there's 10 thing. On a totally unrelated and actually somewhat ungrateful side note, why is there school tomorrow? It's Veteran's day! Why????

Also, Happy Birthday Scott! I hope it was awesome.

And that's all I have to say today so... the end.