Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thanks

Each day of this month I have recorded what I am grateful for. Most of the time, the thanks that I give pertains to something that has happened that day- which reminds me of the Lords hand in my life on a daily basis. There is something to be grateful for in each day.

1. Heaters
2. Air conditioners
3. Carpet
4. Clean water from the tap that I don't have to bleach or boil to avoid parasites
5. Snow.  (It's so beautiful, and so much fun to ski in!)
6. Church leaders who show up to church on time and prepared
7. Public servicemen such as: police officers, firemen, paramedics and alert systems
8. That I have made some good friends in my classes this semester
9. My jobs. I can never complain about work. "HERE'S TO JOBS!" (Thanksgiving '08)
10. My ability to read & write.
11. Nyquil, Dayquil, Halls cough drops & sore throat remedies
12. Umbrellas (I used for both sunshine and rain in Paraguay- mostly snow here in Utah)
13. The Eakins, my only family in Utah.
14. Pinterest, because I honestly could not come up with anything this creative on my own.
15. Long-distance relatives- it makes the visits much more meaningful
16. The gospel.
17. My Savior.
18. I have a deep gratitude for when someone remembers me.
19. My mom.
20. Happy moments.
21. Kory who stuck w/ me through 26.2 miles of laughs, songs, worries, pain & celebration
22. Memories of the mission
23. Siblings & in-laws who enjoy skiing
24. Very grateful that the Thanksgiving movie was so easy to chose this year. And that mom sold the boat so we can keep the condo & traditions.
25. Hand & feet warmers. And fireplaces for when they don't work.
26. A car. I mean it. Even though it's been breaking everywhere, I'm glad I have it.
27. Grateful for Christmas lights. I love Christmas lights, celebrating the season, and grateful for people who say, "Merry Christmas."
28. I'm grateful that I had covered parking for at least 2 months. Now it's gone, someone moved into that designated apartment. But I'm glad I didn't have to scrape off ice for 2 months! In process of finding another empty apartment so I can park in their spot...
29. The United States and EVERYTHING it stands for
30. What an excellent way to end November, a day full of thanks and surprises: SUPER grateful that tickets are selling for my event on Saturday, that the copy machine worked at Kinkos to get the fliers printed, that I nailed my mock interview, grateful that I didn't get attacked on the way to my car on the night I don't have my mace with me, for the trees lit up on Foothill that make me smile every time I drive to and from school, grateful that I have made good friendships, that things I was having anxiety about I suddenly became excited for... today was a good day. Full of things to be grateful for.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Good Tradition Never Dies

Every year my family and I have Thanksgiving in Utah. We've been coming up to Utah the week of Thanksgiving ever since I can remember. We spend it with good family friends (I'd say they're more family than some of our extended family), the Eakins, who live in Sandy. Each year the two families come together and traditions are made, funny memories are remembered and new traditions and stories are made for future years.

We kicked it off this year with a full day of skiing at Alta (where else?) This was a monumental year! Steve went skiing! And from what I've heard, he's had a blast skiing. This was absolutely fantastic! Kaitlin & I spent the two hours he was in a lesson taking over the slopes- which was her first time in 6 years! What a trooper.

What a beautiful day for skiing!

Later in the afternoon I skiied with Christian & Juanita. We were the last ones on sugarloaf- which felt great.

This year is different, not in a bad way, but different in that Jean & Jim, the parents of the Eakins, recently left on a mission for Guam. Jean is the master at making killer dinner rolls, and Jim is always the master of carving the turkey each year. None of the other Eakins kids planned on coming out for Thanksgiving... only Jenna. Who lives in her parents house, and had no other option but to entertain the Welch's for Thanksgiving. We had some new and fun memories this year. One being that Jenna saved the day by nervously cooking the turkey even though she had no idea how to, and no one was around to help her.

Followed by Buddy completely pooping in the middle of the kitchen where everyone was walking around and cooking, rather than finding solitude to poop on carpet somewhere hidden. And the Welch's do one thing absolutely fantastic- play cards while the Eakins prepare us dinner.

Doing what Welch's do best.

Don't be fooled by this shot. We really did help out. Jenna was right there playing with us because we were just waiting on the rolls to rise. But here are some other photos to prove we really did help out:
Cleaning up
Dad doing dishes.
Juan was really more helpful that this picutre portrays...
The dog man.

Here at this Thanksgiving tradition with the Welch's & Eakins, we don't know how to accomodate for a smaller party of 8. We only know how to cook for the masses. We had enough matinelli's so that each person could have their own bottle, and then some.

We had enough pies so that each person could have an entire pie, and then some.

Jenna made two different kinds of rolls recipes.

She was hesistant if they would turn out, and after the dough finally rising it became known as the "Thanksgiving miracle!"

Two different kinds of stuffings were made (and the corn bread stuffing was a HIT and is definitely a new tradition!) And a double recipe of the pink fluff was made as well... which we barely made a dent in though it was so dang delicious.
Steve and I peeled 10 lbs. of bite-size potatoes; him with a peeler, and me with a knife- which looked like we didn't even touch after dinner. Dad became the turkey carver this year, and for the first time in years, sat at the head of the Thanksgiving dinner table!

Why is it that Thanksgiving dinner, out of all the dinners in the year, fills you up the quickest? No one had any room for pie after dinner. We went straight to see the Muppet movie (HIT! Loved it.) and then had pie afterwards.

"What is it with people when you give them a camera, they turn into idiots!"

Friday after Thanksgiving, we always go to see the lights on Temple Square- another great tradition.
"I've been blinded by the light!" Wait for it... "Oh, haha, I get it."

We went over to see the lights at the conference center and went up stairs. Unknowingly to me, Jenna had asked how to get outside to someone working there and she said we had to go downstairs, outside, and then up the stairs outside. I saw a door and said, "Let's go outside." Jenna said, "We can't, it's locked." I went over and pushed on it, "No it's not..." Jenna whispered, "Hurry! Walk fast! Walk fast! Walk fast!" We then rushed outside laughing hysterically- followed by a man telling us we couldn't walk out that door.

Jenna was consistently taking photos for her parents so that they could feel like they were actually there.  Dad began taking photos on his cell phone and so Christian and I decided to jump into his photo. When Dad decided to jump into Jenna's photo- she kicked him out.

A bright red face after a bitter-cold day of skiing!

Thanksgiving is a week I get so excited for. I love traditions, being with my family and close friends, and creating memories. It's my favorite holiday of the year, because of our solid tradition of coming to Utah. All of the kids in both families have grown up, most are married & have kids, and not everyone can come out each year. But it's fun for those who can make it. I'd like to call us "the keepers of tradition" in the families.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

If you're ever feeling down, buy halls cough drops.

Thursday, my boss had my sanitize everything at the desk.

"Everyone is getting sick. I can't afford for anyone else to get sick!"

I sanitized, and then I came back that night for another shift. I sanitized again. I went back to the security office later to get myself a slice of some homemade bread, and before touching it I thought to myself, "I should probably sanitize my hands before eating this." The bathroom was far away, so was the sanitizer. "Whatever." I thought, and ate the delicious bread.

That night, on my way home from work, I began coughing.

I started work yesterday morning and felt incredibly exhausted, my throat began hurting. I went home after work to stay in bed all day and watch netflix while my throat was throbbing. I found some throat relief remedies on the internet (it is actually QUITE delightful- recipe to follow) and went to the store to buy some honey. I slept all night like a rock.

This morning I woke up, having to go to work, and stopped at the grocery store to buy some cough drops since my throat remedy would have been difficult to make at work. I decided to not go cheap and buy Halls lemon/honey throat something-or-others. To my pleasant surprise, each wrapper has a message, or five! Just like dove chocolates. It makes my cough drop experience that much better. Here are some of the things that the cough drop wrappers have told me to raise my spirits:

Tough is your middle name
You got it in you
Impress yourself today
Buckle down and go forth!
Go get it!

Go for it
Get through it
Put a little strut in it
Don't waste a precious minute.
Don't give up on yourself.
Fire up those engines!
The show must go on. Or work.
Take charge and mean it.
Inspire envy.
Push on!
March forward!
It's yours for the taking
Nothing you can't handle
You can do it and you know it
Get back in there champ!
Conquer today.
Hi-five yourself
Bet on yourself
Seize the day
Flex your "can do" muscle
Be unstoppable
Take charge and mean it
Power through
Dust off and get up.
Keep your chin up
Elicit a few "wows" today
Change your "can do" into "can did!"
You got it in you.

What a better way to uplift someone who is sick?!

Home-made throat stuff:
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1tbsp lemon juice
8 oz water

Heat up, and enjoy! I just kind of winged it with the honey and lemon to taste.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ch ch ch ch ch ch changing....

I have never, ever imagined I would be THIS excited to see snow fall. It's the first true snow fall of the season, where cars and streets are covered in white, and it just looks like a graceful Christmas morning at the beginning of November. I've lived in Utah for over 3 years and this is the first time I have ever been this excited to see snow (other than on my birthday last year when I went skiing in the middle of the week on a day when fresh powdered REINED). Why am I this excited? Is it because that means there will be snow on the mountains for Thanksgiving? Yes, I believe so. Is it because it's beautiful? Why yes... I do believe so!

This just strikes me as funny because this time last year, I was cursing the snow. I cursed the snow ever since I moved to Utah, other than on ski days. What has happened to me?

I used to curse mornings as well. I was NOT a morning person at all (and I have mission companions who could attest to that). Then I finally decided to change myself, considering how I have to talk to people at 5am.  Now, I love mornings. I feel like there's so much more that can get done in a morning and it's just this awesome feeling of morning-time. It's beautiful and crisp. I can carry on a conversation without wanting to shoot the person for trying to talk to me.

I guess I just realized how much someone can change. And it's all for the better. There's no one I'd rather avoid being around than a negative and cranky person all the time.  I used to be that person in the mornings and when it snowed. I'm so much happier loving snow (SKI SEASON!) and mornings. Who would've thought? I have a feeling this is going to be a really good season.
I saw this video earlier this week on twitter from Jimmy Kimmel, just another thing to make you smile: