Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Wow! I survived! I can hardly believe Christmas has come and gone, the holiday shopping season is over, and 2010 is quickly coming to a close.

During this year I experienced things that I hadn't in years as well as a whole bunch of new things, I did a lot of growing up, and I learned a ton. Some of those learning experiences were painful but some were amazingly happy.

I'm thankful for all that happened this year. Honestly. And I can't wait to see what adventures await during 2011.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 70 - A Change of Heart

This morning I read Alma 5. I love that chapter. Every time I read it I ask myself those questions and wonder if I'm in a better spot than I was the last time I read it. As I read today I started thinking about my heart.

It's been through a lot this year. It loved someone in a way and more deeply than it ever had before. There were times when that love was overwhelming and it was hard to imagine anything happier.

Then it was broken. There were times when I wondered if my little heart would ever heal. Could it recover? It didn't seem possible.

But it was! The result of experiencing a broken heart has been a changed one.

While going through all of this a dear friend shared this quote with me. Speaking of the Savior, Elder Bruce and Sister Marie Hafen write that "the height of His infinite capacity for joy is the inverse, mirror image of the depth of His capacity to bear our burdens. And as it is with Him, so it can be for us. Our sorrows and sacrifices carve and stretch the caverns of feeling within our own hearts. And as these caverns are enlarged they expand our soul's capacity for joy."

This is what my heart experienced. It was stretched and carved and it hurt while that was happening and at times I didn't think I could bear it. However, those enlarged caverns have indeed made room for more joy and happiness than I have ever experienced before. While I'm sure there is still more carving and stretching ahead, I'm so thankful for the change that took place this year in my little heart.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 69 - An Amazing Team!

Tonight I am thankful for the amazing team of people with whom I work. They have helped to make this season so enjoyable and have made for some pretty fantastic days. Everyone is working so hard and getting so excited over the great things that are happening. Thanks so much you guys!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 68 - The Holiday Season

Since 1996, the year I came home from my mission, I have worked in the mall. Christmas was not fun. I dreaded it. It seemed like the worst in people came out at Christmas, rather than the best, and dealing with the public during that time of year made me less than jolly which I sadly admit made it harder for those around me to experience the true meaning of Christmas.

This year, however, things are different. I'm not working in the mall, which has made things seem less hectic, customers are still a little fussy, but not as much as usual, and I am enjoying the season more than I have in almost 15 years.

My days have been full, especially the last couple of weeks, but not just with work. I've been able to attend concerts, sing with my family, visit good friends, secretly deliver some gifts, attend the temple, participate in our ward Christmas program, and come home at night totally exhausted.

This year feels like what Christmas used to feel like. I am so very thankful for that!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 67 - Oh So Much

I have oh so much to share but I am totally exhausted! The last two days have been filled with thankful things. More tomorrow...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 66 - Final 15 Hour Day

Tonight I am so thankful that my final 15 hour day of the season (I hope) is over. And actually, it was a pretty good day.

Since one of my full time supervisors is out because of some knee surgery and since it's finals week, we've been pretty short handed. We were running around like crazy tonight, which made the day pass pretty quickly. I also have fantastic people who worked their tails off and will continue to do so for the next 7 shopping days (apparently my math was a little off last night).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 65 - Nine More Shopping Days

Tonight I am thankful that there are only 9 more shopping days left until Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 64 - Still and Quiet Time

Tonight I read a conference talk from last October. The talk was by Sister Matsumori and it was on the Spirit. She made a comment that I loved. She said that "if we provide a still and quiet time each day when we are not bombarded by television, computer, video games, or personal electronic devices, we allow that still, small voice an opportunity to provide personal revelation and to whisper sweet guidance, reassurance, and comfort to us."

This evening I am so thankful for the still and quiet times in my life. I'm thankful for the whispering of sweet guidance, reassurance, and comfort that has come to me. I'm grateful for gentle reminders of who I am and that I'm not alone. I know that taking advantage of those still and quiet times are necessary as we work to be better.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 63 - Good Friends

Today I got a Christmas card in the mail. As I read the kind words written by two people whom I dearly love, I was filled with so much gratitude for all of the good people in my life. I am surrounded by those who make a difference for good and feel blessed to have so many I consider as friends. Thank you!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 62 - Stars

Tonight, after having dinner with my family, I walked outside. It was dark, and since there are very few lights in Mapleton, the stars were amazing!

I love to look at the stars. When I was little I wanted to be an astronaut. I thought it would be cool to be the first woman in space, but someone beat me to it.

Earlier in the year I went to the planetarium at the gateway. We watched the move in 3D about the Hubble Telescope. It was incredible. It reaffirmed what I already knew to be true - that all was created by our loving Father in Heaven.

I'm thankful to know that. I'm thankful that when I look up at the stars I am reminded that He loves me - so much in fact - that He created those stars for me to look up at and remember Him.

Day 61 - A New Mattress

Last night I spent the night in Bountiful at my sister's house. I slept on the couch. I woke up this morning for only the second time all year without pain in my back and hips.

For a while I figured I was just getting old. I would wake up in the morning so sore that I could hardly move. Then in September I was in Lake Tahoe for a conference. I woke up in the morning with no back pain and realized I wasn't getting old. I just have a terrible mattress! However, I really wasn't ready to purchase a new one.

But, waking up this morning, feeling 30, not 80, even after running up and down the stairs several times with Haden on my back, convinced me that it was time to buy a new mattress. So, maybe in the middle of this crazy next few weeks of the holiday, I'll see what I can find.

I'm thankful that sometime in the next little bit I will have a new bed to sleep in.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 60 - No Traffic!

Today after work I drove to Bountiful. From American Fork to Bountiful, at 5:00 pm, there was NO traffic! As many times as I have headed north this year, that has never been the case. I made it in 40 minutes - very thankful for that.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 59 - Breathing

Sometimes I take breathing for granted. Normally it happens without even having to think about it. But sometimes it doesn't.

I have asthma. Normally it only bothers me during allergy season. However, for the last few weeks, since I've been sick, sometimes it feels like I have constant asthma (which I realize is my own fault since I should probably just break down and go to the doctor).

Tonight I am grateful for the times when I breath without thinking about it and I'm thankful that the times when I don't, there are things available to help me breath.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 58 - Happiness

Tonight I am thankful for happiness. I've often wondered if a women without a husband or children can experience a fullness of joy. I'm not sure. But I do know that there are things in my life that bring me absolute happiness. Lately, that list of things has been expanding, a lot!

I'm so grateful for the happiness I feel. I'm grateful to those who, on a daily basis contribute to that happiness, and I'm very grateful to be where I am in my life.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 57 - Blessings

Tonight I was driving into work to pick up some things. It had been a good day - a really good day.

While I was driving I started thinking about how blessed I am. It's overwhelming actually.

So tonight I'm thankful for all my blessings - blessings that are too many to list.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 56 - Service

One of my favorite parts about Christmas at work is the stockings we hang on the wall in the break room. Each employee, the day after Thanksgiving, is given a person who, in secret, they give a gift to every week until Christmas.

I love watching people give and receive their gifts. Some of them really struggle with what to give their person. This is especially true this year as we've combined two teams together. People, for the most part, have put a lot of thought into it and I've loved watching as people pull their gifts out of their stockings.

So tonight I'm thankful for the joy the secret santa's give to me each day. I'm thankful for the feeling it's brought to our team. We get along better when we're serving each other and we feel more united. It makes work that much more enjoyable.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 55 - President Monson

After church today I watched a devotion address by President Monson which was given at BYU in September of 2009. He talked about each of the prophets he had know and what they taught us. The talk was fantastic and incredibly funny.

As I watched I was filled with so much gratitude for this man whom I have grown to love and respect. I know he is a prophet of God and I am so thankful for him.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 54 - The End of the Week

Tonight I am thankful to be at the end of this week - not that it wasn't a good week. It was. But I am exhausted! Things are busy at work, but my employees are great and are working so hard. So far, the holiday season is off to a good start. It's nice not having to fight traffic at the mall!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 53 - A Haircut

I have not had my haircut since March. Then I had it cut pretty short and I kind of missed my long hair. Since it's grown a lot since then, it's spent most of it's time in a pony tail because it didn't look all that great down. So today I finally had it cut so it looks somewhat better. I'm sure there will still be plenty of pony tails, but maybe not quite as many.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 52 - Road Construction

Tonight I am thankful that the 40 minutes it took me to get home from work tonight is eventually going to result in a very nice freeway with more lanes than just the two I had tonight. It will also, once again, result in a 15 minute commute. Eventually. And I am thankful for that.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 51 - A New Dress Code

Today I am thankful that I no longer have to wear a white shirt to work! Our dress code changed today and I can wear whatever color shirt I'd like. Yipee!!! I can't wait to toss some of those white shirts that have so desperately needed tossing. Now I just need to do some shopping for some new work clothes.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 50 - A Good Morning

I worked the closing shift at work so I had a free morning. I was able to study my scriptures, read some conference talks, and go to the temple. It was just what I needed today.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 49 - Kindness

Someone came to my house early yesterday morning, shoveled my driveway and cleaned the snow off my car. Then last night, someone else brought me dinner.

I am so thankful for good people and the kindness they show me.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 48 - A Warm and Cozy Place to Live

Today I am thankful for a warm place to live on this snowy day. I have had a rotten cold since Thanksgiving and haven't really left my house since I got home from work on Friday (except for playing for the choir and teaching sunday school today). Now I am back home in my warm bed, listening to the wind howl, and being thankful for my little house.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 47 - The Plan of Salvation

Yesterday, after a great day with my family, I got home and turned on the news. It was then that I learned of a terrible accident that had occurred with a family in my ward. While traveling to Thanksgiving dinner, their car was struck by a semi. The father and one of his daughters were killed and the rest of the family were seriously injured.

I couldn't believe it. My heart ached for the family. I was up most of the night thinking about it. I felt guilty that I had had such a good day while others were suffering so. I wondered how such a thing could be endured by those who were left behind. I concluded that it couldn't, if it wasn't for one thing - the plan of salvation.

Because a couple of members of my family have passed away during the last month or so, I've spent a lot of time thinking about this plan. It is such a blessing to know that this life is not all we have. We know where from where we came, know that there is a purpose for being here on earth, and know that there is much more after this life and there we can be reunited with our loved ones.

This knowledge helps us endure hard things and it helps us keep going.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 46 - So Much to be Thankful For

This morning I woke up early but I had a lot on my mind so I stayed in bed a little longer than usual. The holiday season tends to be a little difficult for me, something that I can't quite explain. It takes a conscious effort on my part to be happy during this time of year. I realize it shouldn't, but it does. So, this morning when I woke up, and those feelings of disappointment started creeping in, I started thinking of all the ways I had been blessed.

Last night before bed I read a fantastic talk by Elder Holland about the Savior. The timing for reading that talk was perfect. I was reminded that He, more than anyone else, knows how I feel. He knows me. He knows the desires of my heart. He knows my struggles and He knows what causes me joy. I am so thankful for Him and for all of the many blessings that are a part of my life because of Him.

I'm thankful for my sweet family. There is such strength in my life that comes from them. Their support for me is constant. They are the ones with whom I laugh and cry. I wish we could all be together today.

The gospel has been such a blessing in my life. Striving to live the teachings I know to be true and constantly needing to make corrections has made my life what it is. I have so far to go and so much to learn but the journey brings me joy.

I'm thankful that I've been able to teach gospel doctrine the last few years. It still makes me so nervous and I struggle with understanding things sometimes, but my love of the scriptures has increased in a way I didn't think possible. I have found strength and peace while studying that I desperately needed.

I love the temple and am so thankful for the time I've spent there the last six months. It has provided a place for answers, instruction, and for peace as well as a place where I have felt encircled in His arms.

I'm thankful for good friends. Some of you I have know all of my life, while others I have known for just a short time. Each of you has made a difference in my life.

My job is another thing I have to be thankful for. My income is sufficient to provide me with the things that I need. My job has provided me with opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I am a better person as a result of those opportunities.

I'm thankful to work with great people. They make me laugh and help me not to take things too seriously. They put up with a lot from me and I'm thankful that some have the courage to let me know when I need a time out.

I'm thankful to live where I do. My little house is perfect for me. I have great neighbors who look out for me and sweet friends here who I would have missed out on if I didn't live in American Fork.

I could go on and on. My life is richly blessed and I know that all I have comes from a Father who loves me. I'm thankful that He listens, that He loves me, and that He sees the whole picture.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 45 - Exits

Tonight I am thankful that the freeway exit by my house is open! I forget every day when I'm on my way home from work that it's closed. But tonight, to my surprise, it was open.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 44 - An Evening Off

Tonight I am thankful for a free evening. I was able to do some reading, catch up on some things at home, enjoy the wind blowing outside, and have a break from homework. It was a nice break before a busy weekend!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 43 - A Good Neighbor

Tonight I'm thankful for my sweet neighbor who came over to visit. I love when she does that. She and her family have taken such good care of me since I've moved here. She frequently brings me treats and even some meals, they shovel the snow in my driveway, and rescue me when things happen, like my water heater blowing up. We've laughed and we've cried. She makes sure everything in my life is going okay.

I always feel better after she's come.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 42 - The Good Shepherd

Right this very minute I'm sitting in my favorite spot in the living room, next to the Christmas tree, candles are lit, Christmas music is playing oh so quietly in the background, and my heart is unbelievably full.

Part of the lesson in Gospel Doctrine today was about the Good Shepherd. While preparing the lesson, I was so filled with gratitude for a loving Savior who knows my name. I was gently reminded of experiences lately where I have been sought out, gathered, fed, guided, and strengthened - all by Him.

Knowing that He is my shepherd, that He walks in front of me, that He knows who I am, and that He looks for me when I'm lost, are all things that fill my heart with gratitude.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 41 - My Christmas Tree

Today, on my last Saturday off before Christmas, I'm grateful to have my Christmas tree up, thanks to the help of the kids. For a lot of years I didn't put up a tree. I work in retail and am surrounded by Christmas decorations during this time of year. Did I really want a reminder of the crazy Christmas season when I got home from work?

When I moved to American Fork three years ago, I grew up. I realized that having the Spirit of Christmas in my home was an absolute necessity. Now I love to read my scriptures in the morning by the light of the Christmas tree. While it's hard to work in retail and remember the true meaning of Christmas throughout the whole season, my little Christmas tree helps me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 40 - Final Weekend

This afternoon marked the beginning of my final weekend off before Christmas. I can't even believe it. These last couple of months have passed by so quickly.

After work I went to Mapleton and picked up Isaac, Spencer, and Audrey for a sleep over. We went out to dinner, hit Deseret Book to get some individual servings of BYU ice cream, played with some fun stuff, and then watched Muppets Letters to Santa. In between all that I got the laundry done, vacuumed, dusted, cleaned the bathroom, and changed the batteries in the smoke detector.

Tonight I am thankful for my final weekend off of 2010.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 39 - A Night Out

Tonight I went to dinner and to see Harry Potter. I'll admit I left the theater feeling totally confused since I've only read the first three books and seen a couple of the movies. But, in spite of that, it was a fun evening.

It was good to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. I tend to be a little uncomfortable in social settings, especially in a group of people who all know each other and I know almost no one. But tonight was a much needed night of fun. It lifted my spirits and I am so thankful for it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 38 - Faith

Last night I was reading through some conferences talks from April of last year. Two right in a row were about faith, something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Elder Pino made this observation in his talk, "Living the gospel does not mean that we will everlastingly escape adversity. Rather, it means that we will be prepared to face and endure adversity more confidently."

I don't know how confident I am at facing adversity. I really don't like it. But here's something I do know - Heavenly Father always takes care of me and I am always better as a result of that adversity. While I frequently wonder if I have the faith necessary, when I really think about it, I trust Him. My actions don't indicate that sometimes. I'm good at feeling sorry for myself. But the bottom line is that I trust Him.

Elder Christofferson in that same conference said that "He will sustain you as you work and watch. In His own time and way He will stretch forth His hand to you, saying, 'Here am I'."

I'm thankful to know that is true.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 37 - One Beautiful View

I had to run to West Jordan today after work. While I was driving home I was thankful for exactly the same thing I was thankful for this morning - the beautiful mountains.

I love the mountains. I always have. We used to camp all the time when I was younger and while now, we seem to only manage one or two camping trips a year, I still love it. I think I sleep better in the mountains, on the hard ground, than anywhere else.

Sometimes, as a family, we would go up the canyon just to have dinner. I still love long drives in the mountains. I love to hike, sit by a lake, and watch the animals. For me, there is a feeling of peace and closeness with Deity in the mountains that is different than other places.

I am thankful for the beauty that surrounds me. I'm thankful to drive to work every morning up University Parkway with the mountains right in front of me. I'm thankful to live so close to them.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 36 - Homework

Okay, so I'm really not thankful for homework. Well, maybe I am.

The process of going back to school as a mature adult is an interesting one. I learned a lot about myself. I'm a much better student than I was as an 18 year old, but it's much harder for me to pay attention. I can't spend too long on the same task because my mind wanders. I procrastinate, but I'm better than I used to be. I'm more brave than I used to be. If I don't agree with the grade I was given, I have a conversation with the professor. (By the way, that's never gotten me a better grade.)

It's been a good experience for me and I am thankful that I am so close to graduating. February 21st!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 35 - This Great Country

One of my favorite things about afternoon church is that I can watch Music and the Spoken word on Sunday mornings. This morning's program was a tribute to all of the men and women who are fighting or who have fought to defend our freedom or the freedoms of others. Having witnessed this sacrifice, first hand, I started thinking about why they do what they do.

Right after September 11th my brother joined the army and it wasn't too long after that my brother-in-law did as well. Their military careers took them in different directions, but I believe they did what they did for the same reason - they love this country.

We seem to be bombarded with commentary about what's wrong with America. Decisions are made based on what is politically correct, not on what the majority wants. While we profess to be more tolerant than in years past, sometimes our actions would indicate otherwise. However, this morning I started thinking about the reasons I love being a part of this country.

I appreciate the fact that I am relatively safe. I don't have to have bars on my windows and doors and there are not police officers with machine guns standing on corners, like there were in Chile when I was there.

I can go to church every Sunday and worship the way that I want. I have the freedom to discuss my religious views without fear.

I don't have to be secretive in my actions or hide to listen to the radio or watch television. I can use the internet when I want and don't worry that the government will choose the websites I can visit.

I can have as many children as I'd like, live where I want to, and work in whatever profession I choose. I don't have to cover my face when I'm in public, unless I choose to, and my conversations are not restricted.

I can visit beautiful places - and there are many here, visit whomever I'd like, and travel in a variety of different ways. I take for granted that I have heat, water, and electricity in my home and I don't worry that those things will be turned off for an extended period of time.

I am proud to be a part of this country and am thankful for all the freedoms I enjoy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 34 - BYU Football

I love BYU football!!! Is that a crazy thing to be thankful for?

There was a point in my very young life that I knew the names and numbers of every player on the team. The journal I kept as a 7 and 8 year old has the scores to each of the games recorded in it. I have always cheered for them, even when they've had a rough season, although I always prefer a win.

Today's game was fun to watch.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 33 - Catching a Break

Today was not the best day. There are a lot of reasons why this may have been the case but none of them really matter.

After getting pulled over on my way home from work and being issued two tickets (It seems that in July, not the best month for me, my car expired. It also seems that I didn't change my address with the DMV the last time I moved), I broke down. I think the words "you've got to be kidding me", and "can't I catch a break?" actually came out of my mouth.

I was lovingly reminded that I had caught a break. Because it had been more than 90 days, my car could have been impounded and it wasn't. Other things could have happened, but they didn't. And while the last few months have not been my favorite, worse things could have happened.

So tonight, I'm thankful for those times when I'm reminded that I'm not alone, that I need to be more grateful, and that there have been several times in my life when I have indeed caught a break.

Day 32 - Good Friends

Tonight I got together with a few of my supervisors, past and present. We were missing a bunch of them and I honestly wish all could have been there. We went bowling and had dinner and it was so fun to catch up.

You'll be happy to know that I am the worst bowler of them all. However, each game got progressively better.

I was thinking as I was driving home late tonight that by next summer just about all of them will be married. It's strange to think that not too long ago some had just come home from missions, some were finishing up school, and some were trying to figure out life. Now they are husbands and wives, moms and dads, and college graduates. Basically, they're all grown up!

I rely heavily on my supervisors. Some of them worked for me during incredibly tough times, while others were there when we experienced our best year ever. All are my friends. They are the group who, more than anyone else, have experienced my good as well as my bad. They've seen me frustrated, angry, hurt, happy, excited, silly, and exhausted. They've put up with my short fuse, worked long hours by my side, and accomplished things no one thought they could.

I admire, love, and respect them and I am better because of my association with them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 31 - Home Safely

Traffic on the way home from work was crazy! I always forget before I hit the freeway that because of construction one of the lanes is closed as is my exit. Tonight, the normal 15 minute commute took me an hour.

About 45 minutes into my drive something happened. Traffic was crawling alone. The big white van behind me was tired of waiting so he decided to pass me on the shoulder. Since there was no shoulder, only the emergency pull out that is three feet long, this created quite a problem.

I don't know how he didn't hit me or how I didn't hit anyone else trying to get out of his way, but I didn't. I'm so thankful for that.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 30 - Visiting Teaching

Today, right after work I went visiting teaching. I'm not a very good visiting teacher and I seem to be constantly resolving to be better. I especially stink at it when things get hard in my life, which is the time when I should be better at it. Service seems to make things less hard in our lives. Someday I'll figure that out.

Anyway, I went today and, just like always, I loved it.

After, my visiting teachers came. It's such a blessing to have them in my home. We could talk for hours. I love the spirit they bring into my home and I especially love that come because they want to, not because they have to.

Sister Thompson in the last General Women's Conference made this statement, "Because we follow the example of and teachings of Jesus Christ, we value this sacred assignment to love, know, serve, understand, teach, and minister in His behalf."

My visiting teachers do this - minister in His behalf - and I am thankful for them.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 29 - Time Change

Tonight I'm thankful for this time change. I hate the one in the spring. It takes me months to adjust, but I love the one in the fall. This morning I left for work at 7, and it was light outside. I know it won't last, but I appreciate it while it does. Also, I will admit to loving the extra hour of sleep. I really needed it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 28 - My Parents

Our lesson in Relief Society today was on being good mothers. There have been times in my life when it was almost unbearable to sit through one of those lessons. Other than making it back Home, there is nothing I want more than to be married and have a family. Not one thing. However, growing up a bit and realizing that I will at some point have that blessing usually makes those lessons enjoyable.

Today, however, I left after class with a lot of questions. After thinking about it for a while, I called my parents and my dad answered the phone. We had a great conversation, he put some things into perspective, and I felt better.

I am so thankful for good parents, for wise parents, and for parents who love me unconditionally. There have been several times in my life when hard things have happened when I just wanted to go home and talk to my mom and dad. I knew that sitting on the couch next to my mom I could cry and she would put her arm around me and stroke my head. Sometimes she would cry with me and she always has an opinion on how to fix everything.

My dad is a great listener. He rarely tells you what to do, but asks questions until you figure it out. He used to do that when he'd help me with math problems and it would drive me crazy! I just wanted the answer! But, asking me questions and letting me talk things out has been so helpful.

From them, my testimony began to grow. From them, I began to understand who I am. From them, I began to realize just how much my Father loves me.

I am so thankful to be their daughter!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 27 - Grandma's Funeral

Today was my Grandma's funeral. The weather was perfect. One never would have guessed that it was a Saturday in November.

I got to play the organ, something that under normal circumstances causes me much stress since I'm not an organist. However, I really enjoy playing for funerals, especially if I know the person well. I spend a lot of time thinking about what music they would want played. For postlude today I played Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. I hope she liked it.

The special musical number kind of fell apart at the last minute and so we scrambled to find something else. Some of the grand kids sang Lord, I Would Follow Thee, which I accompanied. They sounded amazing, honestly, and the song really brought a sweet feeling to the meeting.

My dad spoke. I always love listening to him speak. He talked about the need for families and how we should not let anything drive us away from them. He talked about kneeling at the feet of the Savior and having Him tell us that we were not as bad as we thought we were. Sister Beck in our regional conference a month or so ago made a similar comment. I thought about that a lot today. We need to constantly be working to be better, but sometimes we are really hard on ourselves. We forget the Atonement helps us, not just everyone else we know.

Today, I am thankful for the things I learned, for the spirit I felt, and, once again, to be able to be with family as we paid a final tribute to my Grandma Keddington.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 26 - Extended Family

I know I've already said that I'm thankful for my family, but today I saw members of my extended family who I haven't seen for years. We were at my grandma's viewing. People flew in or drove in from all parts of the country. It was so nice to be able to catch up, to see where people are and what they are doing, and to realize that none of us have aged at all!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 25 - Philosophy

My current class is a philosophy class. I spent the better part of the evening reading about ideas from different philosophers. Some of it was very fascinating. Some of it was a little ridiculous. But all of it made me very thankful for what I know to be true.

I'm so thankful to know with surety from where I came. I'm thankful to know that I have a loving Father in Heaven and that I am His daughter. That knowledge helps me during those times when I feel alone or when things are hard. It also brings me much joy and peace.

I'm thankful to know that I am a part of something bigger, that this life is not the end, and if I work hard here, making the necessary course corrections, not only will I be welcomed into the arms of those loved ones who have gone on before, but also into the arms of the Savior. This also brings me much peace and joy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 24 - A Productive Work Day

Today I'm thankful for all I was able to get finished at work today. This is a crazy time of year in retail. While we're not busy with customers, we are feeling overloaded with product and since our stockroom is ridiculously small, it feels like we're always behind. So while it was a very long day, I was able to get schedules done for the rest of the year, get the rest of the Christmas product out on the floor, and clean up some messes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 23 - My Grandma

Today, right before noon, my Grandma Keddington passed away. The last few days I've been thinking of my earliest memories with Grandma. I thought she had the most beautiful house I'd ever seen. I loved to look at all her dolls and her pictures.

I remember as a little girl spending Christmas Eve at her house and then going back for breakfast the next morning. I loved to see all my cousins, looked forward to sitting on Santa's lap, and loved the meal that Grandma would cook. We would watch the Wizard of Oz in the basement, waiting for Santa, and we would wait to hear the jingle bells.

I'm not sure how old I was when she started taking us to the Nutcracker. We did it every year for a long time. I felt so grown up when I was there.

When I was eight years old, right before I got baptized, she took me shopping - just me. She bought me a beautiful dress, which I still have in the cedar chest that she gave me when I turned 16, some shiny black shoes and some new tights. I felt like a princess.

When I was 12 I got to go to Hawaii with her, my aunts and cousins, and my mom. It was just the girls and it was such a memorable trip. It was the first time I'd been on an airplane or had been to the beach. I loved it.

I remember her trips to Europe. She would make sure to send each one of us a postcard telling about her adventures. I really looked forward to these.

Grandma lived a long and full life. She served and loved. She took care of people.

I love you, Grandma, I'm thankful for you, and I'll miss you!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 22 - A Little Behind

I'm a little behind, having missed yesterday. It's not that there was nothing to be thankful for. Yesterday I left church early in order to attend another sacrament meeting. When I got in the car there was a message from my mom letting me know that my Grandma Keddington wasn't doing very well an wasn't expected to make it through the night. I headed to Bountiful with my family and haven't made it back home yet.

During the last two days I've had many thoughts running through my mind. I've been reminded how much we are loved and what a beautiful thing Heavenly Father's plan is. I'm so thankful for the things I know to be true, that this life is not the end but only a preparation for what's next.

As my sweet Grandma struggles and waits during her final few hours on this earth, I'm thankful for the knowledge that Grandpa and others who have gone on before are there, waiting for her.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 21 - Christmas Music

I had to go in to work tonight to take care of a few things. While I was sitting in my office I put in the new Christmas CD by Steven Sharp Nelson. It's fantastic!!!

I know today is only Halloween and we still have 8 more weeks left until Christmas, but I love Christmas music. I could listen to it all year long.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day Twenty - Rough Road Ahead

I was driving home from Salt Lake tonight and passed a sign like this one several times. I started wondering if we do things differently as drivers when we know we are coming upon rough roads. Some seem to be overly cautious while others don't seem to care at all. What do I do?

In this last general conference, it was mentioned in a couple of talks that the rough times are not over. So what am I doing to be prepared for the rough road ahead?

I've spent the last few weeks reading through conference. Each talk has something in it that I should be doing to be better prepared. Elder Scott made this observation, "As the teachings of the Savior are constantly obeyed, life will be beautiful, the future secure, and there will be capacity to overcome the challenges that cross our path."

Following that counsel, making necessary course corrections, and seeking the help of heaven will ensure that I am ready for whatever rough road is up ahead. For that, I am thankful.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day Nineteen -Tired

You know that feeling at the end of the day when you are totally and completely exhausted because you worked hard, got things done, crossed things off your to-do list, and even managed to get in a few extra things? Well, that's what I'm thankful for today. That feeling.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day Eighteen - My Job

Today I'm thankful for my job. Really thankful.

Six years ago I was working for a different company. I was working 6 days a week, seven that last year at Christmas time, and I was easily putting in 14 or 15 hours a day. I did almost nothing except work.

I had been at this job for 9 years. When they announced that they would be open on Sunday, I knew that I couldn't stay. Fortunately, the next day a flier was given to me about a new job.

I was reading in my journal the other night about my experiences while applying and interviewing for this job. Everything fell into place and I knew that taking that job was the right thing - an absolutely necessary thing.

In this job I have worked with some absolutely incredible people who have influenced my life in ways that are hard to describe. They have seen me at my best and my worst. We have laughed and cried. We've played and worked our tails off. We've bagged a million rolls and sold countless books. We've put out fires and been robbed at gunpoint. We've gone sailing at Tahoe, repelling at Red Fish, and climbed to the top of Angel's Landing.

This job has given me the necessary time to finally finish school, something I've always regretted not doing. February 21st will be my last final!!! It's given me the resources (people, not just books) to be better in my church callings. I've taken necessary vacations to help family members, something that would not have happened with my last job. So many things in my life are better as a result of this job.

Realizing these things has caused me to feel some remorse because of the attitude I've had about my job sometimes. I feel bad for times when my attitude has caused others to not feel appreciated or a valuable part of my team and for that, I am sorry.

At the same time, realizing these things has been yet another reminder of how there is One who is in charge. He knows exactly what we need, even when we don't. He knew how badly I needed to make changes in my life and He knew that this job would provide me with opportunities to make those changes.

So, thank you to all of you who suffered through my worst and put up with me. Thanks to you who made me laugh - who still make me laugh. You have each blessed my life and continue to do so, just like this job.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day Seventeen - The Temple

This morning I got up early to attend the temple. It's my favorite time to be there. The session seems to be about the perfect size and the sunlight coming through the windows in the celestial room in the morning is one of the most amazing things I've seen. Plus, there's not a better way to start a day.

I was thinking this morning about the blessings that frequent temple attendance has brought into my life. Some crazy things have happened in the last 6 months and I'm sure more crazy things are headed my way. The temple has been my place of peace, my place of comfort, and my place for answers. It is there that I am reminded what is truly important.

So tonight I'm thankful for the temple.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day Sixteen - Electricity

This may seem like a silly thing to be thankful for. Of course I'm grateful for electricity. But here's why, today, I am thankful for it.

I didn't sleep last night. Not one bit. So at 2 am I decided I should just get up and work on my final paper that was due today. The wind was blowing like crazy and at 2:07 there was a very loud blast outside my house. It scared me to death and the power went out. I stayed in bed until 4, hoping the power would come back on, then got up and went into work.

Last night before bed I read President Monson's talk from this last conference. He told a story about a family who had used their savings to have electricity set up in their house. That year all of their crops died. For Thanksgiving dinner they had a rabbit and some turnips. No one was feeling very thankful. The dad turned off the lights and lit an oil lamp. The family was shocked that they were ever able to read by such a dim light. Suddenly they were filled with gratitude for what they had.

I do that. I don't realize just how blessed I am. Sometimes it takes turning off the lights for me to wake up. Sometimes it takes looking back at where I've been to realize just how far I've come.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day Fifteen - My Mission

Yesterday, while cleaning out my spare room, I found the box with all my mission stuff in it. I spent a very long time going through all of it, and, before going to bed last night, I read through my journal.

I absolutely loved my mission! I served with great companions and fantastic elders. We worked hard and, when appropriate, played hard as well. It was so long ago that we didn't have email, most of the places I lived in didn't even have telephones, and I think I saw one home with a computer in it my whole mission.

I survived all sorts of crazy insect invasions as well as some strange allergies and parasites. I knocked (or yelled at) a billion doors, taught hundreds of discussions, fell off my bike, got mugged - twice, learned Spanish, and watched several people enter into the waters of baptism. All of those things were an important part of me growing up.

But, more importantly, during that time I realized that we never walk alone. I developed a significant testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ and gained a love for Him that, to that point, I hadn't imagined possible. I saw prayers answered, both my own as well as the prayers of others. I experienced the cleansing power of the Atonement as I sought forgiveness. I gained the love and understanding of the scriptures that Seminary prepared me for.

I grew up. I realized that I was capable of so much more than I ever thought I was. My mission was indeed preparation for other events that would take place later in my life.

I am so thankful that I got to be a missionary!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day Fourteen - Feeling Better

Today I'm thankful to be feeling better. I seriously spent all of Thursday and Friday in my bed - practically every second. So, this morning, while I was still not feeling all that great, I got out of bed and set out to finish the last room I had to clean and organize.

It took a long time. There were boxes in that room that hadn't ever been unpacked in the two years I've been in this house. I fell down the stairs to the cellar with my arms full of boxes (glad that none of the neighbors saw that), but it was so good to be out of bed.

Also, when I went to the store, I noticed the beautiful roses blooming in front of my bedroom window. I should have taken a picture because I'm sure they will freeze tonight. I'm thankful for beautiful things.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day Thirteen - Granola Bars

A couple of weeks ago while I was in Bountiful at Dre's house, she had me try the homemade granola bars that she made. They were delicious!

We spent a lot of time trying to figure out the nutritional content and then thought of ways we could make them have less fat and calories but still taste good. So, a couple of days ago, before I got sick, I made a batch.

The link for the recipe is below. I used non fat sweetened and condensed milk and pressed them on to parchment paper on a very large cookie sheet, making 36 bars. I must say, they are totally delicious, and have made for some nice treats while I've been home sick.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day Twelve - Sick Days

Today I spent the day in bed - the entire day - because I'm not feeling very well. So today I'm thankful for a mostly comfortable bed, netfilx, hulu, Emily - who covered my shift at work tonight, chicken noodle soup (the only thing missing was someone to make it for me), and cold medicine.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day Eleven - Kleenex

About half way through the day I started to get a sore throat. By the time I left work, even my eyeballs hurt. It seems like every time I get back on track with any sort of physical fitness activity, I come down with something.

So now, at 10 pm, I am very thankful for soft Kleenex and I'm thankful that I don't have to wake up to an alarm tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day Ten -

I was just reading Sister Wixom's talk from the recent General Conference. She was talking about staying on the right path and leading our children back Home. She made this comment, speaking to children, "Take my hand. Hold on tight. We will stay on the path together back to our Heavenly Father."

When I read that, I was reminded of a conversation I had with someone earlier this year. We were talking about what we wanted out of life, the things we expected, and how we were going to get there. I made the comment that I just wanted someone to take my hand and walk with me and our children on the path back Home to our Father in Heaven. I was sure that along the way there would be course corrections we would have to make, but we would make them together and eventually make it back, together.

So tonight, I am thankful for the hope that at some point in my life, someone will say to me, "Take my hand. Hold on tight. We will stay on the path together back to our Heavenly Father."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day Nine - One More Week

Today I am thankful that I only have one more week left in my literature class.

I love to read. There have been many days in my life where I have done nothing but read. In fact, on a rainy day, I would love to stay home, listen to rain, sip hot chocolate, and read a good book while still in my pj's. But, this class, with it's 2500 page textbook, is killing me!

So tonight, after 4 hours of homework, I am thankful that each class is only 5 weeks long and that I just have one more of this one.

I have three classes to go: philosophy, physical science, and math. So, on February 21st, I will take my last final and for that I am incredibly thankful!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day Eight - Family

This picture of my family was taken in May of this year. It was the first time we had all been together in almost 8 years.

It's hard for me to describe how thankful I am for my family. Being the oldest, and the bossiest as some will remind me, it's been such a blessing watching everyone grow up. Most are raising families of their own, while all of us are working hard to figure out life, making sure we are on the right track, and helping each other when there is need for help.

Change is constant in our family. There will be more little members joining our family in the next little while, hopefully those who live far away will be moving back home, but that also might take Joe even farther away than he is now. I can't wait till we're all back together again. There is a strength in knowing your family is around you, even if you don't see them often.

(Oh, if your wondering where Josh is, he's there. Just look for the guy with the hoodie over his head.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day Seven - A Clean House

Today I'm thankful for a clean house. I love a clean house! I love falling asleep knowing the house is clean and I love waking up in the morning and remembering that it's clean. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it's nice when things are put a way.

Well, today, I spent the whole day cleaning. I folded laundry that hadn't been folded in I don't know how long, I cleaned out cupboards, reorganized books and music, cleaned out a couple of closets, dusted, washed dishes (just like the pioneers), changed the sheets on the bed, vacuumed, and scrubbed. And at this very moment, every article of clothing I have is clean and put away. I still have one room to clean, really clean, but that will have to wait for another day.

I've noticed that the level of cleanliness in my home directly correlates to my emotional state of mind. I've also noticed that when I keep my house clean, in spite of my emotional state, I feel much better about life.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day Six - Peace

You know that feeling of peace you get when you're right in the middle of something big, hard, challenging, or whatever else it might be? Well, that's what I'm thankful for today.

I find it fascinating that in the midst of affliction, we can feel okay about things. We can feel the love of the Savior. And even when we don't know what the outcome will be, we know we will be alright, whatever happens.

What a blessing!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day Five - One Crazy Day

This will be short. I'm totally exhausted today. The house is a mess. In fact the groceries I bought this morning are still in bags on the kitchen floor, except for the stuff that needed to go into the refrigerator, of course.

Today I went to the temple, had a picnic and a fun hike with Jaime and the kids - even some extra kids, went grocery shopping, brought a couple of kids home with me for a sleep over, hung up some new curtains (even ironed them first), started the dishes (yes, they are still in water in the sink), had baths, put on a movie for the kids while I attempted some homework, gave up on the homework, played with the kids instead, popped popcorn, and now I've been told that it's bed time. Once the kids go to sleep, I have until midnight to read 150 pages and write two essays. It just might not happen tonight.

But, I'm thankful that the mess in my house was created by someone other than myself and that I'm ready for bed, not just because it's time, but because it's been such a busy day.

My time off of work ends on Sunday and at some point I have to get caught up. But today, I'm thankful for the chaos.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day Four - Laughter

I was in Bountiful the other night with Sean, Dre, and Haden. We walked outside about 7:30, just when it was starting to get dark. Apparently, Haden doesn't see the dark very often. He kept saying, "Oh My Cow!" over and over again because he couldn't believe how dark it was getting. Dre and I were laughing so hard, I think I had tears running down my cheeks.

She called me the next day at work to tell me of another "Oh My Cow" experience, prompting more laughter. When I told the guys at work, one of them suggested we start giving an "Oh My Cow" award. He said it could only be for the guys because the girls would not be happy to get that kind of award. He's probably right.

So, on day four, I'm thankful to be able to laugh. I don't do it nearly enough, especially lately, which is something I need to fix. I'm working on it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day Three - Isaac

Today, there are many things that I could share for which I am thankful. But, narrowing it down to only one thing, I'm thankful for my nephew, Isaac.

We spent some time together today, putting together some bookcases. If you've never put anything together with the help of a three year old, you should. Especially a three year old who tells you what a great job you're doing and how shocked he is when it actually looks like a bookcase when you're finished.

The first one, with his help, took an hour. The second, all on my own took about 17 minutes. He was great at hammering things in and told me that because he was so much stronger, he should screw in the screws.

He couldn't wait to put the books in, and as soon as we did, and after we moved a rocking chair into that room, we had to have story time. There are few things that I enjoy as much a having a child on my lap, reading a story.

Isaac told me the other day that I was his "best Christy". He's my best Isaac, too.

(By the way, that picture was taken last summer. We were hiking up to the "Y". I don't think there's any way he could ride on my back like that now.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day Two - Long Walks

Today I went for a walk up Provo Canyon. I love that walk!

I was thinking back a couple of years when I decided that specific things in my life needed to change and I started walking at night. I would walk really late, after it was dark, so that no one could see me. This was not the smartest choice, but I was embarrassed.

Those walks strengthened me physically, but also emotionally. For more than an hour every day, I had time with just me. During those walks I took specific inventory of my life. I realized several things about my life that needed to be changed. Somehow on those walks I found the courage to begin to make those changes.

So, two years later, I still love to walk. While I am and probably always will be an emotional eater, I know the choices I need to make to be healthy. Now, I can do that walk that used to take me an hour and twenty minutes in about 45. While this year has not been my finest as far as a consistent exercise pattern, hopefully I'm back on track.

Today, on day two, I'm thankful for long walks and I thankful that those walks continue to help me be better.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Live In Thanksgiving Daily

Because of an incredible desire to feel better about life, I have spent much time the last couple of months reading conference talks. There have been many things that I've learned as I've taken copious notes. One of those things is that I need to be more thankful.

In Alma 34:38 we are reminded that we need to "live in thanksgiving daily". I stink at this. I spend too much time living in the past or worrying about the future. I complain too often and don't take time to realize how very blessed I am.

So, in an effort to attempt to "live in thanksgiving daily", I will post, each day, about something for which I am thankful.

Today, I am thankful for the opportunity to teach Gospel Doctrine in my ward. When I first got this calling, I was scared to death. Fortunately, it was during a Book of Mormon year, followed by a Church History year. While I was nervous beyond explanation, I had great friends who helped with incite and gave recommendations for resources. Fortunately, my job provided me with an outlet to obtain those resources.

However, from the time I was called, always in the back of my mind was the fact that 2010 would be an Old Testament year. I started to think of ways I could get released before that dreaded year. It didn't happen.

When 2010 began, and I was still teaching, I knew I had to figure out how to be released before I had to teach Isaiah. It didn't happen and today I taught my first Isaiah lesson. It was a sweet experience to read, study, and better understand about the Savior as a result of the words of Isaiah.

I'm so thankful for this opportunity that has forced me into the scriptures in a way I've not experienced before. I've have learned so much and have grown to love the scriptures in a way I haven't before.

Also, I'm thankful for the great members of my class. They teach me so much and are so patient with me while I learn.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Finally, a New Post...

Someone reminded me that I haven't posted anything this entire year. It's true. In fact, when I got on today, I'd almost forgotten how to post.

This has been an interesting year for me. Towards the beginning of the year, I met and fell in love with this amazing man. There were countless things that I loved about him and I was confident that the direction we were headed was absolutely the right thing. But, recently, things ended.

This caught me off guard and totally unprepared. I was left with a lot of questions and obvious heartbreak. I have really good days and incredibly hard days - sometimes both at the same time.

That being said, I would do it again, even knowing what the outcome would be. I learned a lot and am a better person having experienced what I did. I'm feeling a little lost but am confident that everything will be okay.

I want nothing but the best for him.