Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Break Plans

Have I ever mentioned how much I appreciate LOVE paid holidays (& also paid vacations)? Well, I do. I LOVE it. I remember the first time I had a paid holiday time was Thanksgiving and the Day After Thanksgiving a few years ago. I took a trip to Disneyland with my roommates.  I remember thinking, "I'm at Disneyland and I'm getting paid for it!"...honestly, I'm pretty sure that I said that out loud...at least once. It was the coolest.

Well, I still love paid time off. And I get 2 days this week!  I'm so excited!  Here are things I plan on doing:

Wednesday night 
  • Homemade Pizza/Movie party for my mom. Her birthday was Monday, but Drake doesn't come home until today, so we decided to really celebrate tomorrow (make sense?)

Thursday (Thanksgiving)
  • Pick up Paper (to get the ads to look through!)
  • Turkey Trot - a 5K that I will likely have to walk for a good chunk of b/c I have not been a good runner for the past year...I was planning on building up over the last week and I thought I could do a pretty good job...then I got the Cold of Death last week...so, really, I'm just lucky to be alive now.  I'll try my best though
  • Watch the Parade (until the games start for my dad to watch)
  • Make Food
  • Eat Food/Spend time with family
  • Nap
  • Be lazy
  • Read
  • Plan for Friday Shopping
  • SHOPPING! - I plan on doing most of my Christmas shopping this day. I know some people like to avoid Black Friday shopping, but I find it thrilling. LOVE IT.  I'm not yet sure when I'll start...will I stay up for the midnight openings?  Will I get up at 3? 4? 5?  That's what the planning is for (see Thursday's list)
  • Nap
  • Read
  • Spend time with Familia
  • Maybe go to Del Oro High School Playoff Game to support my Alma Mater? Go Golden Eagles!
  • Maybe I'll even brave the YSA dance? So many possibilities
  • General laziness...although maybe I'll get around to cleaning my car...which I have been putting off for WAY too long
Anyway, I'm leaving a lot of room for options that may arise and to general do what I feel...but, this is going to be a GREAT weekend. I can feel it in my bones!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankful 14-20

Let the fun continue. I have to say, I am liking this idea so much that I've decided to write down something I am thankful for each day in my journal. I plan on some things repeating themselves, but I want to stop and think back on each day I live and find at least one thing to be thankful for. But, for the blog...I'm going to continue like this for now:

14. Health. I've been sick this week, but still I am thankful for good health. I have a minor disease that is unpleasant at times, but nothing that can't be tolerated and treated. I am so grateful that that is the worst I can say about my health. I am so grateful that I have generally good health. Very, very grateful.

15. An ability to speak another language. I speak Portuguese, and I LOVE it! I also speak Spanish fairly well. I am just so grateful for the opportunities I've had to learn other languages and to use them in my life. Today we had a new girl at church who is from Brazil!  She'll be in our ward for a year.  I am excited to spend time with her and get to practice my Portuguese. Yay!  I think it also helped her feel a little more like home in that someone could speak her native language with her...even though she does speak good English.

16. Friends. Oh am I so grateful for my friends. I have so many, many good friends, and I am grateful for each of them. I am especially thankful for my "Utah friends". There is a special group of girls (you know who you are) that continue to be such good friends to me even when we live all over the country now (and even one in Hungary). They are always there to hear my complaints, to give me comfort when I need it, and to celebrate my joys. I have made good friends since, but those girls and I share something special. I'll be forever grateful for them in my life and that Heavenly Father lead us to each other.

17. Brazilian Food. Random? Maybe. Delicious? No doubt. We had a ward party on Friday where people brought food from all over the world. It was amazing, but I have to admit that mostly I just wanted to eat my Brazilian food...I was craving it all week. I made Feijoada (a bean stew - the national dish) with rice and bananas, Brigadeiros (kind of like a little chocolate truffle...amazing), and Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread Rolls). All. Delicious. LOVE

18. Technology. Not only does the existence of technology mean I have a job, but it just makes my life easier. I recently purchased my first iPhone. I'm loving it. My favorite part is that I have the scriptures and other gospel resources on my phone. I love to read a little in the scriptures, or a conference talk, or something on my lunch break. It is a great part of my day. It is also handy to have when I'm studying my scriptures at night and I want to do a search on lds.org on whatever I'm studying, but I don't want to pull out my computer. Perfect.

19. Chocolate. I love chocolate. Possibly love it too much. In fact, I'm going to avoid treats twice a week from now on...but that's another post for another day. Chocolate does bring me happiness though. I really am grateful for it's healing powers.

20. The United States of America. I can't tell you how blessed I feel to have been born in this country. I know it was a blessing from the Lord and I am grateful for it. A part of me is Brazilian, but really, I can never deny how American I am. And I am glad. We are more blessed here than we often recognize. I am so grateful for my life here.

Thankful 7-13

Well, I didn't post last week, so it's catchup time.  This week I've been sick, along with everyone else in the family. I'm starting to feel better finally, and I'm hoping I can make it back to the gym tomorrow.  Anyway, that was this week, and here is my thankful list I should have posted last Sunday:

7. My parents. In case you didn't already know, my parents are awesome.  They have always been there for me and have always helped me so much. It makes me teary-eyed when I think about all they have done for me. I really am so grateful for them. Love you Mom & Dad!

8. My brothers. In case you didn't already know, my brothers are awesome. I have three brothers by birth: Bohdan, Zachary & Drake. And one by marriage: Josh.  They are all great. Fun to be around and great examples of hard work and great hearts. I love spending times with all of them. I never laugh as hard as when my brothers are around.

9. My sisters. In case you didn't already know, my sisters are awesome. I have three sisters: Candie, Sierra & Abigail. I LOVE spending time with them. We are a lot the same and a lot different at the same time. Candie and I have done pretty much everything together our whole lives since we are so close in age. Sierra & Abbie are a lot younger than us, but they've always been fun to be around...and I love now that they are older too that we can spend time as adults together (Abs is practically an adult now)

10. Eden & Ezra. In case you didn't already know, my niece and nephew are awesome. Seriously. They make me laugh whenever they are around. They are hilarious. Almost 2 years old and so fun to be around! They are beautiful and wonderful. I am so thankful that I live close to them so I can see them as often as I do....and that Candie & Josh share them with us. :)

11. Words of the Living Prophets and Apostles. There have been a lot of times lately that I have felt like I needed some direction and somehow I've been led to just the write talks by our living prophets and apostles that have been exactly what I needed. I am so grateful for these men in my life and how they bring the words of Christ into my life.

12. The Scriptures. Like the words of the living prophets, I love the words recorded by ancient prophets. I am so grateful for the direction I receive as I read the scriptures. Over the years, there are many scriptures that I have been able to memorize. I have been blessed so many times as I've had those scriptures in my mind at the exact moment I have needed them.

13. Right now, I'm really loving Michael Buble's new Christmas Album, so I'm going to list that right now as something I am grateful for. It is bringing a lot of joy into my life. I am especially in love with this song right now:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Time for Thanksgiving

Its probably not hard to see that I just may be the worst blogger ever. I have been pretty bad about writing in my journal too, which is weird.  I wrote every day for 5 years or so during and after my mission, but the last couple years haven't been so easy. I need to fix that. But, just like I always say I'm going to be better at blogging, it doesn't really seem to happen.

I've pondered why. I think it is in large part because my life seems to be constant. There doesn't seem to be much different from month to month or year to year, let alone day to day.  Whenever people ask me what is new in my life, I've got nothing. I work, I do church stuff, I spend time with my family. The same, always. I don't have a new husband, or even a new boyfriend. I don't have kids that are constantly changing and growing. I really think my trial right now in life is that life is the same. I've been in singles wards for WAY too long. I've been serving in a Relief Society Presidency either as a counselor or a president since 2005 (minus a few months in there that I was a ward missionary). I've been at the same job for 2 1/2 years. Life is constant. And, that is hard for me. Some people like that, and in some ways I do like it. But, I crave change. I need a new challenge, I need to grow in a different way.  For that, I'm actually really excited to turn 31 in a few months. At least then I'll get new opportunities in a family ward.

But, it also scares me. Where in the world am I going to find someone to marry once I leave the singles ward?  I mean, I haven't even been able to find one here.  Sigh.  Through it all, one this is sure: God loves me. He knows me. I trust Him. He has never let me down before. In fact, life really is good.

Which brings me to my point. Gratitude. Sometimes I fail to be as grateful as I should be. It's easy to see how I'd like my life to be different, but in reality, my life is beautiful in its own way, and it always has been.

In sacrament meeting today, a lady stood up to bear her testimony.  She was just visiting because she had a friend that is not a member of our church that wanted to come to church, so she brought her to the singles ward. This woman, herself, is married and has 4 children.  She said she wanted to bear her testimony because she was so impressed by the testimonies that had been shared. It was obvious to her that everyone had a strong personal relationship to the Savior. That got me thinking. I think we are all so close to the Savior because we are single. Not that I don't think married people, and especially parents aren't close to the Savior. But, as singles, we often only have the Savior. We have family and friends, but there is something missing when you're single. You don't have a spouse to talk to about things, so we turn to the Lord. At least that's my experience. I think I am closer to the Savior because I've been single for so long. That's what I needed in my life. I know the Lord knows what's going on and what we each need, and I needed to be single for longer because I needed to develop a deeper relationship with him. I'm sure other people find that elsewhere, but I needed my singlehood to do that.  So, I am grateful for that woman who shared her testimony with us today.

So, for the month of November, I am setting a goal to write down something I am thankful for for each day of the month. I know this isn't something new. I also know that I will not do it every day. So, I've decided to type it all up on Sunday nights for the previous week. Things won't be in order and some may seem silly, but I need this right now. So, let's begin:

I am thankful for:

  1. My Savior. I love Him. I am so grateful for Him and all that He has done for me in my life. He is with me everyday. I am grateful to feel him in my life. I am especially grateful for the Atonement so that I can be forgiven of so many failures.
  2. My family. A lot of people love their families, but I love mine the most. :)  My family is amazing. I know we were meant to be together. I learn so much from them, and continue to do so. I'm so grateful that they are so patient with me. I become a better person with each passing year with their help.
  3. My job. I seriously am so grateful that I have work, and that it is a good job. I have awesome co-workers. We do amazing work together. Especially in this economy where it is so hard to find employment, I am grateful for my job.
  4. My membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know the church is true. It brings me peace and joy and happiness. It gives me direction and support and purpose. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father to giving us an organized Church to help us in this life.
  5. Rain. Even though it has been FREEZING the last few days, I am so grateful for the rain. I love the way it cleans and renews everything. In California, this is the green time of year. It NEVER rains during the summer. Ever. So, this is the time of year we get all our moisture. I am so grateful for it.
  6. My calling. Even though I look forward to having new opportunities, I really do LOVE my calling. I have seen so much growth in myself during these years. I am so grateful that the Lord has given me this opportunity and responsibility. I hope I am a help to someone.

What are you grateful for?