Thursday, November 26, 2015

Beyond blessed.

You know the saying, "you don't know what you have til it's gone?"
Well it's 12:30 am on Thanksgiving, and I'm alone in the Kappa Delta house with Lynette, and I'm missing the chaos that is my house before any major holiday. I hate that I'll be serving 1300 people all day tomorrow. But it's made me extra grateful for things this holiday--and even more excited to get home tomorrow night.

That being said, it's about time for a gratitude post. This year has been the roller coaster of all roller coasters, and I've been humbled on more than one occasion...and I've realized just how lucky I am, even when I don't know what on earth I'm doing.

I'm grateful not only for my mom and my dad, but for their marriage. They support me in everything I do, keep my head screwed on straight, give me advice on everything under the sun, and their support of each other is my ultimate #relationship goals.
I'm grateful for my siblings. A few nights ago, we were talking about the havoc we'd wreaked as kids, and I couldn't stop laughing at all the things the six of us had done. From Britt and I sleeping in the same bed til we were 12, to Ryan using me for my separate iTunes account and everything in between, I could not have gotten more lucky with the five monkeys I call mine.
I'm grateful for my extended family--and I mean the friends that have become family too. Our family group message is the highlight of my day, and driving into our culdesac feels like coming home to a piece of heaven. I've lived a charmed life, and these people are half the magic.
I'm grateful for my education--and the freedom I have to study what I'm passionate about. Mock it all you want, but the fact that I can nerd out about British Literature and Gothic writers AND get a degree out of it is something I take for granted. And someday, I hope I can instill that love of literature in the kids I teach, and I'm grateful for that dream too.
I'm grateful for my BFF's. Nettie and Em and Riley have taught me more about unconditional love in the last year than I could have ever imagined. They know when I'm being stupid, but still come to me for help--and know when to help me find my footing again. Liz and Zoe keep me sane and know me better than I know myself, and you don't get rid of friends like that.
I'm grateful for friends that never leave. Brian and I have been through hell and back the last three years and everybody has told us to walk away--but some people cause this sigh of relief to come over you, no matter how long it's been, and I'm glad that sense of comfort never leaves. Same goes for my freshman roommates: we've been through weddings, missions, and we've moved on to babies, but we get together and nothing has changed. They still know me better than anybody else and they will forever and always be my best and closest friends.
I'm grateful for my sisters. Everybody needs the kind of support that comes from 100+ women with the same ideals and goals. If I could put into words how it feels to stand in front of such a powerful group, or how it feels to stand next to them, behind them, or with them, I would. It's an experience that changes who you are--and I'm lucky to be a part of it.
I'm grateful for my trials. It sounds cliche, I know. But if I've learned anything this last year, it's that the things you experience shape who you become, and I like the person I'm becoming. It hasn't been easy, and I wish it involved half as many tears, but you don't appreciate the sunshine without a little rain.
Finally, I'm grateful for this gospel. This year has brought me to my knees more times than I count, and I don't know where I would be without the foundation that this gospel provides. Every heartbreak I've endured, every ounce of joy I've experienced, every desire I've felt, every blessing I've recognized...they've all been a direct product of the Savior and his presence in my life. As I've watched loved ones pass away, marriages fall apart, and especially as I've watched my little sister prepare for her mission, I've grown to appreciate my eternal family more than I can describe. The power of the Atonement is real. Our Heavenly Father is real, and he loves us--so much. He knows every pain and joy and doubt we're feeling, and I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of that truth.
My life is by no means perfect. But it is truly wonderful--and I know I take a lot of what I have for granted, when I'm really blessed beyond measure.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.