Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

There is exactly one month until the big 12.25 holiday. One month! Where did this past year go? I vividly remember it being this time last year....the feelings, the experiences I was having, everything. And here I am, one year later, starting to be overcome with those festive Christmas feelings all over again. The ads on t.v. and in the paper, the radio stations, the retails stores, and even home decor is all becoming Christmas-ified. Heck, even my little blog is now Christmas-ified.

So with this beautiful time of year beginning, I want to officially give one last shout out to the often-overlooked holiday of Thanksgiving and a few more things that I am truly grateful for.

Thanksgiving this year was just delightful. It was my family and my grandparents...8 people total. This was quite different for me because whether we are with my mom or my dad's side, there are always at least 20+ (if it's my dad's, at least 50+) people. However, I loved having it be small and intimate this year. My Grandma and Grandpa Mecham are two of the most incredible people I know. They have such wisdom and love in their hearts. They are seriously my biggest fans. If I'm ever feeling a little down or unsure of myself, all I have to do is talk to them and my confidence meter is boosted to full blast! :) But really, they are so wonderful, and I am deeply grateful for every single moment I get to spend with them.

Last Christmas (2010) with my grandparents

Needles to say, I am officially stuffed with enough turkey and pumpkin pie to keep me going for at least a week. Looking at our table full of more food than any of us could eat made me remember how blessed I am and how much I take for granted. How many people yesterday were a) not able to be with those that they love so dearly and b) have even enough food to fulfill their hunger? Probably more than I want to know. The Lord has blessed me tremendously. I am very thankful for a day to count my blessings and give thanks to Him who gives us everything.

A few other blessings in my life have been on my mind lately, and with all this "being thankful" business, I feel like I want to express my thanks for them...

My School
"Utah State, hey Aggies all the way! Go Aggies, Go Aggies, hey hey hey!"

video
Singing the Scotsman after our recent victory over BYU (11.12.11)

I love my school. Utah State has treated me so well over these past five semesters. The friends I have made, the experiences I have had, the professors who have taught me, the knowledge I have gained (both intellectually and socially), and the whole USU atmosphere have influenced and changed my life. I remember my mom telling me how much she loved her college years, and when I was in high school, I couldn't imagine how it could get any better than that? But it did. Oh how it did! I will always be an Aggie, but thinking that I have one semester left on campus and student teaching until I GRADUATE is freaking me out just a little bit. My "college years" are winding down and I am realizing just how wonderful they have been. I know that when I do finish, I will always look back on them with fond memories. Let me take you on a small journey through the past three years of my Utah State life in pictures...


The only thing that could possibly make my Utah State experience even better would be having my best friend live in Logan again. I am so thankful for this girl...

Whitney Davis

The Urban Dictionary defines a best friend as:

"Best friends are very special people in your life. They are the first people you think about when you make plans. They are the first people you go to when you need someone to talk to. You will phone them up just to talk about nothing, or the most important things in your life. When you're sad they will try their hardest to cheer you up. they give the best hugs in the world! They are the shoulder to cry on, because you know that they truly care about you. In most cases, they would take a bullet for you, because it would be too painful to watch you get hurt."

I would confidently say that this describes how I feel about Whitney. Whitney Ruth Davis is possibly one of the most incredible girls that I have ever met. Because she is 21 years old, I will list 21 things that I love about her (although let's be honest, there are way more!)

1. We have the same brain.
2. She is incredibly beautiful, in every sense of the word.
3. She is obsessed with BYU football. I know of no other fan that is as dedicated as she is.

4. She is hilarious. Hil-ar-i-ous. I am guaranteed to have some good deep-hearted chuckles when I am with her.
5. This girl has one heck of a voice. Whitney Houston, step aside.
6. She has more friends and admirers than anyone that I know. Everyone loves Whit.
7. She is partly Black...in many many ways.
8. She LOVES babies! And her nieces and nephews. Whitney = best future mom.

9. She is very generous and always so willing to share and give. Lately, I am thankful for her generosity of sharing her home when I go to visit.

Seeing White Christmas at BYU

10. I can guarantee that Whit will always be up for a good meal or a delicious treat.
11. She lends a constant listening ear and sincerely cares about what others have to say.
12. She has always supported everything I've been involved in.

13. Whit is a champ at whatever she sets her mind to. She is very determined and hardworking.
14. She and I are going to form a girl band "Waggles". It's going to be a big hit, just wait!

15. She loves sports. Volleyball, football, basketball...you name it. Her favorite TV channel? ESPN.
16. Whit has the best sense in fashion. She loves Nordstroms and the Buckle and nothing makes her happier than a good pair of jeans.
17. She is one incredible performer. She has grown up on the stage and is definitely made for it. I have been able to watch her and work with her in multiple productions, and she is insanely talented. Audiences love her. And she deserves every bit of fame and success that she gets.

18. Whit has been through a lot in her life, yet keeps a smile and a positive outlook. She is one of the strongest people that I know.
19. We have similar opinions and mannerisms. I could probably finish one of her sentences in the exact tone of voice she would use. She could probably finish one of my dance moves with exactness... oh wait, she does do that. It is so nice having a friend whose values to sense of humor line up with your own.

20. Her testimony and love of the gospel are evident in her daily actions. She shines with the light of Christ.
21. Whitney is the best friend a person could ask for. Everyone's lives that she enters are truly blessed and bettered because of knowing her.

Well, with Thanksgiving thankfulness and Christmas cheer in my heart, I can't help but feel so happy today. There is so much good in this world, and like President Uchtdorf said in his General Releief Society talk, there is absolute reason to be happy now. There is no need to wait around for a golden ticket when life is surrounded by delicious chocolate....
Now if I can just survive the last two weeks of school and finals week, life will be smoooooth sailing. Let the Christmas joy begin!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Giving thanks for... holidays.

"I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending."
-Fred Rogers

While Mr. Rogers so beautifully illustrates the holiday season, I believe that this quote can be applicable to any holiday season, not just Christmas. Holidays are absolutely, positively one of the most memorable and delightful things in this life. Whether it is a big and exciting holiday like Christmas or the 4th of July, or just a small simple holiday like Memorial Day or Veterans Day, I love having reason to celebrate. Wearing festive clothes or making special treats or giving little gifts are all pieces of the fun atmosphere of holidays.

This time of year is especially festive. "The holiday season" is upon us, and now that Halloween has passed, it only gets better from there! So here are a few memories that accompany the most recent holidays in my life....starting back in August.

My Birthday

August 23 is one of those days that will always and forever be sweet to me. Why? Well, it's my birthday! Okay, okay, I know that birthdays aren't as cool when you are older as when you are a little kid, but I still LOVE them. Even though most of my birthdays now are just like any other day, the kind words and love shown from friends and family make a birthday what it is. This past year, I actually moved on my birthday....real exciting, I know. But I got four birthday cakes this year. Yep, that's right. F.O.U.R. It was lovely!


A little Taco Tuesday on the birthday.

First birthday cake... Tres Leches. And so delish!

With the bowling crew

Birthday Cake #2...
#3 came from my friends at Pickleville.
#4 came from my family.

One of the sweet cards I received from a little friend of mine.

My birthday barbeque with the family.
These are some of the most important boys in my life.

Labor Day

Labor Day is usually just one of those fun 4-day weekends with no school on Monday. Every year I typically just chill, relax, kick back, and enjoy my day off...at home. This year however I got to do something that I didn't get to do once this summer: boating! I love going boating, but my family doesn't own a boat and every time my friends went this summer, I wasn't able to go. So just when I thought that my summer would be pathetically labeled as never going boating, Labor Day came. My friend Brad invited me to go with his family and it was a BLAST! Gosh, I knew I always loved Labor Day...

Boating with Brad

Brad's brother-in-law Mark. He is seriously a pro.

See what I mean?

Brad's nephew Zac. Such a cute face right there!

Halloween

All Hallow's Eve. The holiday for witches, goblins, ghosts, ghouls and pumpkins. And most importantly, candy and costumes! Sheesh, Halloween is such a classy holiday. Classy? Hmmm maybe that's not the best adjective to describe it. Maybe more like creepy? Or crazy? Or creative? Or how about a mash-up of all of the above. The thing I love about Halloween (and October in general) are all of the fun activities that can be done that time of year. There is pumpkin carving, corn mazes, caramel apples, scary movies, haunted houses, trick-or-treating, costumes parties, murder mysteries....shall I go on? Here are a few of the fun Halloween things that I did this year:

Roommate Date Night. The group at the corn maze.

My cute date Holden.

Making caramel apples.

Caramel apple deluxe? I think so.

Treats for my piano student's Halloween Party.
Gravestone cupcakes.

Donut-hole eyeballs.

Mummy pizzas.

Frightmares at Lagoon!

Rylee and myself getting ready for the Howl.

Nerrrrrds.

Such a fun way to spend Halloween.

Thanksgiving

Alright, so I understand that Thanksgiving has not come yet. Hence all of the "thankful" posts. But, the fun November times have already begun. I will definitely blog about Thanksgiving Day, but let me share what has already been happening this month. My roommates do a "Roommate Date Night" every month. It's a great tradition that gets us girls asking boys out...we like to give the guys a little break. :) So each month we have a theme and since it is the month of Thanksgiving, we decided to make that our theme. So last night, we had a great night full of pizza, crafts, ph'zookies, laughter, chatter, and Pocahontas. My excitement for turkey, family and football is like ten times greater now because of last night...

A few of us preparing to make our Indian headdresses.

Me and my date Milo.
Aka: "Rushing River" and "Buff Warrior"

The whole group

Our turkey! So cheesy and childish as this sounds, we decorated hands to make the turkey feathers. But, let me tell you, everyone LOVED it.


Needless to say, holidays are a joyous time for many reasons. I am looking forward to spending time with those that I love during the upcoming weeks. My goal this holiday season (and this whole next year) is to try and see the beauty of the holidays through the eyes of a child. They have such a pure and innocent excitement. They truly believe in holidays. The acappella group Eclipse says it beautifully in the song "Christmas as a Child" from their new Christmas album...

I remember a place where I could sit for a while,
When life was more simple and love was a smile.
The reindeer were magic and snowmen were real.
I'd be there forever cause time still stood still.

That was Christmas where magic and memories run wild,

I'll return to that place where the stars brush my face
And once again spend Christmas as a child.


I want to always believe in the magic that each holiday possesses.
I want to see all holidays through a child's eyes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Giving thanks for...

I cannot believe that it has been approximately two and a half months since I have blogged. I am the WORST! I have been itching to write again. And not because anyone really reads my blog, but just because I love to do it. And have missed it terribly. So I am making it a goal to try to blog at least once a week, if not a little more. We'll see how well this goal goes.

Halloween has come and gone and Christmas is pretty much here (at least the retail world would make you think that). And that little holiday that is tucked in the middle...yeah, that one we know as Thanksgiving...is often looked over. So this month I am going to post about things that I am thankful for while catching up on the past two months of my life. A lot has been going on!

To start off my "Giving Thanks" posts, I want to give thanks for my home.

Dorthy said it best when she clicked her sparkly red heels and said "there's no place like home." I'm sure that Kansas is a real nice place, but I would argue with her that my home is better than hers. But just recently, my home has changed locations a little bit. Logan is and always will be home, but I finally moved out this semester. So in August, I packed up all of my belongings and moved to an apartment with five other incredible young ladies. And it has been the best decision. Let me show a few pictures of my new humble abode...

My favorite place in my home. My little bed.

Mine and Hillary's bedroom.

Hill's dad made this desk for us. Lots of studying has taken place here.

I love this closet. So much space!

Our bathroom.

The kitchen and dining room.

Our family room, including the lovely Justin Bieber poster.

I love being moved out. Don't get me wrong, my family is great and my parent's house is always going to feel like home, but my home is here now. My little brother has even taken over my room and bed at my parent's house. But part of what makes this little apartment of mine a home are the awesome girls that I live with. Hillary, Rylee, Larissa (Lars), Ashlie, and Chelsea are the five greatest roommates I could have ever asked for. We have so much fun together. They are some of my closest friends now and I don't even remember what life was like before I met them. So yes, I understand that this sounds like the cheesy, pathetic testimonies in church when some chick starts crying and blurting out that "my roommates are the best ever. They complete my life!" But seriously, minus the tears and over-the-top emotion that the chick in church displays, I feel that way about my roommates. They really are great. And super cute! Don't believe me? Take a look...

Our first roommate dinner. The beginning of a tradition.

A few of us before church.

Cheering on our Aggies at the first football game.

With Chels and Rylee at the General Relief Society Meeting in Salt Lake.

Hillary, my room roommate and best buddy. As you can tell :)

At dinner for Chelsea's birthday.

I have learned a lot in moving out and living on my own. If anything, it has made me be more appreciative of so many things. I take a lot for granted. I have learned that:

1. My parents are the two greatest people in my life. They have done so much for me.
2. Cooking meals takes a lot more time than I have. So soup and cereal are my daily diet. I love my mom's home cooked meals more than ever.
3. Parking my car in the garage was the best. I miss covered parking!
4. I am more of a clean freak than I was when I lived at home. I have only missed one day of making my bed. Not too shabby! My mom would love to hear that...
5. If I wrote everything I have learned, my list would be far too long.

Perhaps the most important thing I have learned in my moving out is that of depending on my Savior, Jesus Christ. I feel like I have depended on Him more and developed a deeper relationship with Him than when I was at home. I know that He loves me and has a plan for me. Sometimes I wish that I could have a detailed blue-print of that plan...gosh, that would make life a whole lot easier. But part of the beautiful journey is learning to trust in Him and have faith that as long as we are faithful, we will be blessed. He has promised that.

I am grateful for my home. And I am grateful for the knowledge of where my home can one day be. And those that I love and care about will be those who surround me if I live my life worthy of that eternal blessing.
There is no place like home.