Thursday, November 26, 2015

This Thanksgiving, of all the years, has me in such a different place than I've been in years past, and I think it's helped me put things into perspective and be a little more appreciate and grateful for all of the tender mercies in my life. 

I think back to last year, home from my mission on medical release, spending most of my days in pain with excruciating migraines and dealing with the emotional aftermath of an early release (which included missing my Mexico with all my heart). Throwing myself into family history and reaping the some incredible and touching rewards as I found so many of my Polish-German ancestors that needed their work done.

I think of the year before, where I was a senior in college, and just went through the temple, all while most of my friends had left on missions, and one of my best friends was preparing to leave on hers. All while I was getting ready to do my student teaching, juggling work and class and driving an hour to St George to go to the temple (and warmth). 

There's a lot of years of thanksgivings, a lot of memories. Remembering my first year of college, and the roommate thanksgiving we held where we made turkey hats and ate monkey bread and pie.

The year I was a senior in high school, and we were having our first Madrigals Christmas concert the next week, and still had a lot of choreography to learn and master.

A few years before, our first Thanksgiving without our grandpa, who was the heart and soul of our family, and who's empty chair made us think back and really appreciate the good things in life, and how quickly they come and go.

Even a few years before that, where we had just finished our pool in Arizona, and Cassidy and I had to test it out, and jumped in the freezing cold water in November. We only stayed for about three minutes before we were chilled to the bone! 

We've had some really good memories over the years. I attribute a lot of that to my sweet family. Food and gifts, music and decorations are all well and good, but it's people that make the memories, not things. 

This year, I'm grateful for so many things- my wonderful job, my car that's already been paid off, my apartment and , but what I'm grateful for most are the people in my life.

My friends. My coworkers, and roommate. My Nana and Gram, my cousins and aunts and uncles, and second cousins. My cats and dogs- But especially- with all of my heart- my mom, my dad, my sisters and my brother and sister in law. 

Friends come and go- that much I've learned, more than once- but family is forever. They're my real best friends. 

And I can't imagine my life without them.