Thursday, November 30, 2006

a little snappy "happy ever after"

1. I am grateful for good friends. I have many acquaintances, but I have just a handful of really good friends--the kind I can count on in any situation. The kind that I know will be there for me and will always be on my side. Today is the birthday of one of the best of my friends, and the last few years when we haven't lived close have been hard. Previous to Somebody, she knew me better than anyone ever has. She was there during the hardest parts of my young adult life and her influence and guidance made me a better person. Happy Birthday, Heidi. I love you and miss you, and hope you have a wonderful birthday.

"Truth and tears clear the way to a deep and lasting friendship."
"No lapse of time or distance of place can lessen the friendship of those who are truly persuaded of each other's worth."
"How lucky I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to."
2. I am grateful for a good name. I'm grateful for a family heritage that I can be proud of, and for the expectation that I do something good with my life to honor my family.

3. I am grateful for this challenge that has forced me to see blessings where sometimes I don't look for them, to look on the bright side of things every morning when I'm still tired and a little grouchy, and, most especially, for being able to read the things that my family and friends are grateful for. It's amazing how much good we have in our lives, and how the small exercise of naming just three each day can open up our eyes to all that we have.

"My plea is that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life, we ‘accentuate the positive.’ I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment and endorse virtue and effort"
--President Gordon B. Hinckley

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

we need a little music; need a little laughter

1. I am grateful for good neighbors, like Bill, who live upstairs from us. He has lived such a full life and listening to his stories and experiences makes me hope that when I am his age I will have also made so many wise choices, given so much to my family and church, and have such interesting stories to tell.

2. I am grateful for gifts that I wouldn't have thought to purchase for myself--like this cool purple bracelet that I love, but that I never would have found on my own.

3. I am grateful for a background of good morals and judgment that helps to guide where I am going in life.

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."
--Cynthia Ozick

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

i need a little angel sitting on my shoulder

1. I am grateful for good books.

2. I am grateful for a working car and a valid driver license.

3. I am grateful for snow that quietly falls overnight, a husband who goes out and shovels the driveway and sidewalks while I'm getting ready for work, and warm gloves.

"If gratitude is due from children to their earthly parents, how much more is the gratitude of the great family of man due to our Father in heaven!"
--Hosea Ballou

Monday, November 27, 2006

it hasn't snowed a single flurry

1. I am grateful for a timer on my Christmas tree lights so that they stay on until after we have gone to sleep, and are back on right before the alarm goes off in the morning.

2. I am grateful for the snow that's falling and that should continue to fall for the next several days. Which also makes me very, very grateful for a garage so that I don't have to scrape the snow off in the mornings.

3. I am grateful for comfortable shoes.

"Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart."

"The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life. Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!"
--President Joseph F. Smith

Sunday, November 26, 2006

haul out the holly

1. I am grateful for having the Christmas tree up and decorated. The house smells so wonderful!

2. I am grateful for football games that keep you on the edge of your seat until the final seconds. And especially for football games like that when BYU ends up winning.

3. I am grateful for yummy homemade pancakes and waffles, both of which I had this weekend.

"Thank God every day when you get up that you have something to do that day which must be done whether you like it or not. Being forced to work and forced to do your best will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know."
--Basil Carpenter

Saturday, November 25, 2006

because. just because.

1. I am grateful for my church calling. I always thought it would be kind of fun/challenging to be a Sunday school teacher, but I never imagined that my class would consist of half a dozen 15-18 year olds. I have no idea how to talk to those kids (even though my Amiga Tags says to use my normal adult words with them. What the? Adult words with kids? Just talk to them like I would my friends? That's crazy talk!) and I'm flustered by their lack of attention and hesitancy to speak up in class. I am grateful that at least I feel useful and that it is getting easier.

2. I am grateful for pony-tail days.

3. I am grateful for art that speaks to me; that draws me in so that I don't want to look away; that inspires me and touches me; that makes my world more beautiful.

4. I am grateful for Oral-B Essential-floss dental floss. It is the best dental floss ever, and I miss it terribly when I am away from home and don't have it.

5. I am grateful for two more days of this weekend.

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”--Dietrich Bonhoeffer

because it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

1. I am grateful for days spent outdoors. We went with Karla's family up to hunt a Christmas tree today and not only came back with a great tree and smoky clothes, but a camera full of fun pictures and memories of a very fun day. 2. I am grateful for a Thanksgiving that included two 20+ pound turkeys, one 15+ pound ham, nine dozen rolls, 15 pies, one migraine (not mine), five paramedics, four police cars, one ambulance (also not mine), one broken toe (mine), 21 friends, and 9 family members. It was memorable (especially that violent game of hide-and-seek) and wonderful. And the food was fantastic.

3. I am grateful for filtered water and flushing toilets.

4. I am grateful for the internet, which is pretty much my source for all knowledge even though I know that I can't believe everything I read, or every cautionary tale my mom forwards me. I love being able to find recipes, pictures, poems, articles, lesson aids, medical advice, games, and news with just the click of a few buttons. I'm addicted.

5. I am grateful for my education.

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”--John Henry Jowett

Thursday, November 23, 2006

because my cup runneth over

1. I am grateful for Somebody, who is celebrating his 30th birthday today. He makes me happier than I ever knew I could be. I love you, Somebody. Happy Birthday.
2. I am grateful for SweetTart jelly beans, and the fact that I bought several bags last Easter so I can still enjoy them on Thanksgiving.

3. I am grateful for traditions.

4. I am grateful for a living room that still looks like a party hit it.

5. I am grateful for baking skills.

“Forever on Thanksgiving Day, The heart will find the pathway home.”--Wilbur D. Nesbit

“Stand up, on this Thanksgiving Day, stand upon your feet. Believe in man. Soberly and with clear eyes, believe in your own time and place. There is not, and there never has been a better time, or a better place to live in.” --Phillips Brooks

how do i love thee? let me count the ways

"If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee." Anne Bradstreet

1. I love how your hands are always warmer than mine.
2. I love that you will just walk in to the kitchen and start washing the dishes, like it's no big deal and like it's something you are happy to do.
3. I love that you want to snuggle when we get into bed.
4. I love listening to you pray.
5. I love your ease with children, especially my nieces and nephews.
6. I love knowing that you are looking forward to being a father, and knowing that you'll be a great one.
7. I love the way my heart still sometimes jumps when I turn and look at you, or see you from across the room.
8. I love the way you sometimes follow me around from room to room, not for any particular reason but just because you can't think of anything else to do.
9. I love how childlike and innocent you are—especially when you watch cartoons and sit up close to the TV like children do.
10. I love knowing that you will never yell at me. 11. I love how you can raise just one eyebrow.
12. I love the way you say “yada yada yada” and “matter.”
13. I love that you work hard to build your resume.
14. I love the way you see the world through those red-colored sunglasses.
15. I love that you are an excellent cook, are comfortable in the kitchen, and appreciate good food.
16. I love lunch breaks with you.
17. I love that you have good taste in clothing, shoes, and earrings.
18. I love the way you said, that one night on our honeymoon, “You are my family.”
19. I love the way your smile lights up my life. I think you are gorgeous.
20. I love how you only have one ticklish spot on your body, but how it is VERY ticklish. 21. I love how patiently you teach me to speak Chinese, but how you always say you don’t want to teach me because you don’t want it to become a sore spot in our relationship.
22. I love that you won’t let me sulk around and how you always want to talk things through.
23. I love that you got your hair cut to impress my parents.
24. I love your energy and enthusiasm for getting out and doing things.
25. I love that you are a safe driver.
26. I love how you are trying to be a good son, even when I roll my eyes and call your traditions crazy.
27. I love hearing your voice on the phone.
28. I love that you can understand what I’m saying when I talk in gibberish.
29. I love how you always put my needs and wants in front of your own.
30. I love being married to you, and am looking forward to eternity with you.

Happy Birthday, Love. I so happy you are my Somebody.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

"It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."

Abraham Lincoln

because life is too short

1. I am grateful for new recipes that end up being as yummy as I had imagined. Last night I tried a recipe that Kathleen had posted on her website. She had called it a "fast and yummy recipe for dinner" and that pretty much sums it up. The prep time was very short and the dinner was tasty.

2. I am grateful for warm showers and soft towels.

3. I am grateful for a house-husband who does all the laundry, and remembers my random laundry preferences about what goes in the drier and what doesn't, and who is the best shirt folder I've ever seen.

4. I am grateful for last night when we were just getting ready for bed when Somebody suggested that instead of getting in bed we go to Wendy's and get mini-frostys. So, we did. And then we sat in bed and ate frostys and chatted, and it was a great end to a wonderful day.

5. I am grateful for so many clothing options that picking out what to wear is often a chore.

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."
--H. U. Westermayer

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina
1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

because the red lanterns cancel out the curse of the white lanterns

1. I am grateful for fulfilled expectations.

2. I am grateful for the fact that "my" friends and "his" friends are becoming "our" friends.

3. I am grateful for the picture that is my wallpaper on my computer--the photo that Heidi took of me and Somebody with all my nieces and nephews in their wedding outfits. It is the cutest picture ever and makes me smile every time I look at it.

4. I am grateful for lip gloss that isn't sticky.

5. I am grateful for the times (few though they may be) when people see my wedding ring for the first time and think that it is both unique and beautiful (and sparkly.)

"Most of us miss out on life's big prizes. The Pulitzer. The Nobel. Oscars. Tonys. Emmys. But we're all eligible for life's small pleasures. A pat on the back. A kiss behind the ear. A four-pound bass. A full moon. An empty parking space. A crackling fire. A great meal. A glorious sunset. Hot soup. Cold beer. Don't fret about copping life's grand awards. Enjoy its tiny delights. There are plenty for all of us."
...United Technologies Corporation advertisement

Monday, November 20, 2006

because they remember where i've been

1. I am grateful for my brother, Russell, who always makes me laugh. He is spontaneous and fun-loving, but also almost as smart as me. I am grateful that I feel like we are friends as well as siblings, and that we have so much in common. I am glad we had those summers together, and that he likes me enough to introduce me to his friends and crash in my living room. I wish that he still lived close because I miss him and don't feel like we see each other nearly often enough.

2. I am grateful for my sister, Heidi, who always wins the white rose award. She is patient and kind, but also able to stand up for herself and what she thinks is right. She is creative and loving with her children, and she somehow finds time to send me the sweetest cards that make me feel loved and remembered. I am grateful that we have been close our whole lives, and for the years we shared at BYU.

3. I am grateful for my sister, Karla, who is an example of goodness and ingenuity. She is setting a great example of how to let your children discover their own personality and talents, but also gives them a structured learning environment. She often seems to operate on a higher spiritual plane than I do, and yet she never judges or criticizes the things I do. She is smart and thoughtful and is firm in her resolve to live her life in the best way she knows how. I am grateful that we became friends after we both grew up a little bit, and I have loved living so close to her all these years. If I ever leave Utah, she is the absolute number one thing I would miss. And I already know I would miss her so much that sometimes it is painful for me to even think about leaving.

4. I am grateful for my brother, Joe, who is always willing to help me. He is smart and funny and always makes me feel like my questions and needs are important. He is a very giving person who will rearrange his schedule and his plans to fit me and the things that I want to do with our time together. He is a good dad, and I love to see his children hanging all over him because they love to be close to him. He is one of the highlights of "going home" and I'm looking forward to spending the Christmas holiday with him.

5. I am grateful for fond memories of a happy childhood. I am sure that everyone can remember sad or hard times about growing up, but I am grateful every day that my childhood was particularly blessed. I had a family who loved me, and we lived and traveled together to memorable places. We didn't often live by our extended family (or sometimes even by other English speakers) so we had to learn how to stick together and entertain ourselves. I never felt like we had less than others, and my parents did a good job of teaching us to think for ourselves and to act according to what we know to be right.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, and to work, and to play and to look up at the stars."
--Henry Van Dyke

Sunday, November 19, 2006

because i have been given much

1. I am grateful for a mother who loves me. Who always wants to laugh and make people happy. Who is creative and hard-working. Who sees the good in her children and compliments them. Who is musical and artistic. Who supports everything I do, and never openly criticizes my life choices. I love you, mom. Happy Birthday.

2. I am grateful for friendly ladies in relief society who sit by me even when I'm wearing my grouchy face.

3. I am grateful for a clean bathroom.

4. I am grateful for good movie recommendations.

5. I am grateful for the comfortable feeling of coming home.

"Find the good -- and praise it."
--Alex Haley

"How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child's personality. A child is resentful, negative—or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people."
--Sir John Templeton

Saturday, November 18, 2006

memories light the corner of my mind

1. I am grateful for old family pictures. My dad scanned in a bunch of pictures from my mom's childhood, and it was so fun to look through them and chuckle at the hairdos and dresses.

2. I am grateful for my extended family and how fun it is to reconnect with them and feel a part of something so much bigger than myself.

3. I am grateful for cute nieces and nephews who, for some reason, think that the thing that Somebody and I most want/need for our birthdays is a can of peas & carrots, and a can of jellied cranberries.

"There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude. It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance."
--Joseph Addison

Friday, November 17, 2006

get up ev'rybody and sing

1. I am grateful for paid vacation days.

2. I am grateful for a vcr so that I don't have to plan my life around TV. Because, like, who does that? (cough, cough)

3. I am grateful for the fact that after I had spent four hours trying out new recipes for birthday cakes last night, and had used, literally, every bowl and spoon in our kitchen, that Somebody was willing to come in and wash all those dishes. And he didn't complain at all.

"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’" ---William A. Ward

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."
--Thornton Wilder

Thursday, November 16, 2006

chosen e'er to witness

1. I am grateful for the excitement that surrounds someone receiving a mission call. One of the secretaries in my office (Whitney) just received her call to Illinois, Peoria, and no missionary has been more excited or eager to serve. It is thrilling to see that sharing the gospel is more important than the location or the language, and I know she will be an excellent missionary.

2. I am grateful for green plants--especially healthy looking ones at my home or in my office.

3. I am grateful for a great friendship with some of my co-workers. It makes coming to work that much easier to feel like I am part of a team, and that no matter how frustrating some people can be, that I always have a support system and a confidant. I never feel like I'm fighting the battle alone.

"Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend... when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present -- love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure -- the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth."
--Sarah Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

what are you doing the rest of your life?

1. I am grateful for Somebody's new, very short haircut. Even though he wishes I would love his long hair, I have to admit that it's the short hair I love. I also am grateful for the days he wears his "I'm a Keeper" shirt. Because, yes, he is.

2. I am grateful for enough food in the cupboard that we think we can go the rest of this month without going to the grocery store. Which is good because after establishing the "Family Financial Plan" earlier this week, we discovered that we have $4 left to spend this month. Bring on the canned goods.

3. I am grateful for pictures of my nieces and nephews. Just looking at their happy (and sometimes hilariously pouty) faces brightens my day.

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."
--Denis Waitley

"Gratitude is of the very essence of worship. … When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives"
--President Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

hey, good lookin', whatcha got cookin'

1. I am grateful for wise counsel that encouraged me to wear two coats today. All of a sudden, it's COLD.

2. I am grateful for a needed extension on an important deadline.

3. I am grateful for fun emails from Janssen. Even though she harasses me about not updating my blog, I think we all know that I update three times more than she does. But not only is Janssen a terrific and enjoyable writer, she is a superb cook who is not afraid to try new recipes and is nothing but fun on games night. I am also grateful to have plans with Janssen and Bart for during the Christmas holiday because it's fun to have guaranteed good times to look forward to. Happy Tuesday, Jansseb. May all my other friends be jealous that they aren't you.

"The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated."
--William James

"When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears."
--Anthony Robbines

Monday, November 13, 2006

oh, the weather outside is frightful

1. I am grateful for a sister-in-law who somehow manages to do it all. She makes, in all her free-time, the most beautiful quilts. Happy Birthday, Miriam!
2. I am grateful for the family calendar I have that has a picture and story every day of the year. It cheers my up every day.

3. I am grateful for the anticipation of spending time with family during the holidays, and at any other time of the year.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
--Melody Beattie

Sunday, November 12, 2006

i looked out the window and what did i see

1. I am grateful for this weekend of movies projected on the wall. And the best caramel corn recipe in the world. And good friends to share the experience with.

2. I am grateful for fleece blankets. Besides the husband, and possibly a child but I wouldn't know about that one yet, there is nothing softer and more snuggle-worthy than a fleece blanket.

3. I am grateful for my aunt and uncle being willing to make my favorite dessert (even though mangos are not in season) to celebrate my birthday. They always go out of their way to make me feel welcome and loved.

"Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary."
--Margaret Cousins

Caramel Popcorn
2 C. brown sugar
1 C. Karo syrup
1 stick butter
Cook in microwave for about 6 min.; stir.
Add to mixture:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Cook for about 1 more min. in microwave; stir. Pour over popcorn. Stir.
If you use bags of microwave popcorn, use four bags. If you pop on the stove or in a regular popper, it takes about 1 1/3 cup of unpopped kernels to get enough popcorn. This makes a BIG batch.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

on the new and everlasting

1. I am grateful for the feeling of satisfaction I get when I have done my job well, and when I feel like I am worth every penny I am getting paid.

2. I am grateful for date nights with Somebody. Last night we went to the temple and did sealings, which was full of excitement. One of the other female patrons passed out on the alter, and one of the other couples was making googly-eyes and schmoopy faces at each other (and couldn't not be holding hands), and the names were really hard for the sealer to pronounce (um, like our name), and Somebody would occasionally space out and forget he was supposed to reply, and one of the other male patrons kept falling asleep in the witness chair (but luckily his wife was holding his hand and would wake him up. Luckily.). It was crazy happenings all around. But the good part was that we got to be reminded of the temple and marriage covenants that we have made. Every time the sealer said, "husband and wife," I could remember how excited I was on the day we got married to hear those words. It was nice to be able to look across the alter last night and think, "Yes, I would make this covenant all over again. Because this guy? This good looking fellow sitting across from me? He fits every sappy cliché in the book, and makes me happier than I've ever been, and treats me better than I've been treated. Can I make this covenant twice? Because one eternity might not be enough time with him."

3. I am grateful for colorful bouquets of flowers.

“Gratitude is a state of appreciation, an act of thanksgiving, which causes us to be humble because we recognize an act of kindness, service, or caring from someone else which lifts us and strengthens us.”--Elder Robert D. Hales

Friday, November 10, 2006

on cowboys

1. I am grateful for neighbors who are willing to come over late a night to listen to strange noises that our car is making. Even when the handy neighbors don't think they can fix the problem, they can at least identify it so that I have something to suggest to the mechanic about how it needs to be repaired. And then, when all is said and done, I'm grateful for a car that I don't have to worry about. It's like a new car anyway, these days, what with all new tires and so many new internal parts.

2. I am grateful for nights when I go to sleep and don't wake up again until the alarm goes off.

3. I am grateful for being introduced to new fruit. This week I had a persimmon for the first time. My best description of one, for those of you who haven't had it, is that it seems like the child that would result from the mix of a tomato, a pumpkin, and a pear. Doesn't that sound appetizing? You know you want to try one. Seriously. They are delicious.

"Of all the "attitudes" we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing." --Zig Ziglarfdfdf

Thursday, November 09, 2006

on reminiscing

1. I am grateful for my Amiga Tags who came to stay with us last night. I love catching up with friends who live out of state, especially when the catching up involves laughing and laughing and laughing. We stayed up entirely too late for both of us (who have busy days) but it was SO worth it.
2. I am grateful for evening football games. I love the cold, the bright lights, the late night, and everything else that screams "fall" about evening sports.

3. I am grateful for brownies for breakfast. Yum.

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.”--Buddha

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

on weather appropriate clothing

1. I am grateful for the way a denim jacket will go with just about everything.

2. I am grateful for a very quiet, empty office this morning so I can get some early work done.

3. I am grateful for days that are 70 degrees followed by days where it snows. I love Utah in the fall.

"Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality."
--Alfred Painter

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

on hanging chads, spiders, and parking

1. I am grateful that I live in a country where I can vote. Even though voting is broken this morning. And even though I stood in line for more than half an hour and voting was still broken. And even though the line stretched down the hallway and out the door. And even though I had to opt to fill out a provisional ballot, which the voting volunteers said they were "pretty sure would still count." And even though voting is still broken all over Orem. I get to wear my "I Voted Today" sticker with pride and know that I have done my little part to make sure that good people are making the decisions for our city, county, and state. The only thing that could make me feel better about it, besides knowing that voting isn't broken, would be if my sticker said, "Give me $20. I voted."

2. I am grateful for a husband who is willing to kill spiders every time I see them. It seems like almost every other night we are in bed reading scriptures and I'll blurt out, "Spider! Spider! Spider!" And Somebody sighs and says, "Jennifer, there is no spider." And I keep saying, "But there is a spider there!" And then he has me point out where, and I direct his attention to the teeny, tiny spider in the corner on the far side of the room. I have no idea how I'm able to spot them (I say I have Spi-dar) and Somebody wishes that I wouldn't. Unfortunately, I do spot them, and once I know they are there I can't sleep until I know they are dead. It's an agreement that I worked out with the spiders long before I married Somebody: If the spiders stay hidden then they are welcome to live in my house, but the moment they show themselves I must kill them. Sometimes, to make Somebody feel better, I'll actually yell this warning to all spiders in my house. If they aren't smart enough to stay tucked away then they deserve their fate. Which brings me back to the beginning, which is that I'm so grateful that day after day Somebody is willing to get out of bed and commit murder.

3. I am grateful for the new gate pass I picked up from the campus police this morning that allows me to enter campus without a twice-daily visual pass inspection from the gate guards.

"There is no better opportunity to receive more than to be thankful for what you already have. Thanksgiving opens the windows of opportunity for ideas to flow your way."
--Jim Rohn

Monday, November 06, 2006

on making it work

1. I am grateful for how loved I feel.

2. I am grateful for mornings when my outfit just comes together right away and I don't have to stare at my closet for ten minutes until I resign myself to wearing something I'm not happy with. It's also nice that the outfit that worked today just happened to be perfect for the great new pair of earrings I own.

3. I am grateful for how committed Somebody is to making our marriage work. I especially like it when he actually says, "I want this to work." Thank you. That makes two of us.

"Seeds of discouragement will not grow in the thankful heart."

"Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character. We like to be around those who are grateful. They tend to brighten all around them. They make others feel better about themselves. They tend to be more humble, more joyful, more likable. Gratitude turns a meal into a feast and drudgery into delight. It softens our grief and heightens our pleasure. It turns the simple and common into the memorable and transcendent. It forges bonds of love and fosters loyalty and admiration.
--Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Sunday, November 05, 2006

to sleep, perchance to dream

1. I am grateful for mornings like yesterday morning when I got to just sleep and sleep and sleep.

2. I am grateful for good music to match my many moods. And friends who share their music with me.

3. I am grateful for two radio stations that are already playing Christmas music. I know. I know. It's a little early, I know. But I LOVE it. Is it really ever too early to start get excited about the holidays?

"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some."
--Charles Dickens

Saturday, November 04, 2006

these s’mores are disgusting

1. I am grateful for times when you have good friends with you at slow restaurants because it makes the long wait to be seated and served pass quickly. It's amazing how fast two hours flies by when you are having good conversation.

2. I am grateful for a husband who gave me everything I wanted for my birthday. And then some.

3. I am grateful that Sarah introduced me to a completely divine peppermint/chocolate cake. Yum. And Chloe, on the same bright night, brought Swiss Chocolate (chip?) ice cream into my life. Thirty is turning out to be a good year.

"For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude."
--Clarence E. Hodges

"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation."
--Brian Tracy

Friday, November 03, 2006


1. I am grateful for those really soft and fuzzy socks that really aren't socks at all but are meant to be worn around the house to keep your feet warm. I love those things.

2. I am grateful for spontaneous romantic moments.

3. I am grateful for my live-in Chinese tutor who is so patient when I ask him to repeat the same words over and over and over and over and over. He is nothing but encouraging.

"No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks."
--Saint Ambrose

"Living in thanksgiving daily is a habit that will enrich our lives and the lives of those we love. We can live in thanksgiving daily by opening our arms to those around us. When was the last time you told someone you love how much they mean to you? When was the last time you expressed your gratitude to someone who has always been there for you, someone who has sacrificed for you, someone whose heart has always been filled with hopes and dreams for you? When was the last time you unselfishly reached out to help another in need? Every time we cheer another’s heart, every time we ease another’s burden, every time we lift a weary hand, we show our gratitude to that God to whom we owe all that we have and all that we are."
--Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

the most public card

Someone shouted at me!

Oh, Scrumptious Cupcakes, you are a good friend. And thank you for using a flattering picture.

the one year anniversay of my twenty-ninth birthday

Thursday, November 02, 2006

swiftly flow the days

1. I am grateful that I finally decided to move the sunrise alarm clock over to my side of the bed. I don't know why I waited so long to do this. Truly, it "gently wakes you to a simulated sunrise rather than jarring you awake with a loud noise.... and can help you start the day in a better mood and feeling more refreshed."

2. I am grateful for having two lanes of traffic to campus open instead of just one. I think it cut our "commute" time in half.

3. I am grateful for mornings when I come to work and there are not any messages on my office phone.

"You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you."
--Sarah Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


We had highly original costumes this year.

Girl with a Cold (I'd been practicing this one for two weeks, so it seemed appropriate):

Asian Punk:

Somebody painted his nails early in the morning and was embarrassed all day that he had dark nails. During the BYU Devotional (with President Hinckley) he actually hid his hands in his pockets because he didn't want to show any disrespect. Also, can you see that eyeliner? Hot.

an attitude of gratitude

1. I am grateful for earrings that go with anything.

2. I am grateful for Band-Aids.

3. I am grateful for days when I wake up and don't feel exhausted.

"To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you.
Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude."
--Albert Schweitzer