So incredibly grateful and super excited to meet the new little one in March!
At Aaron's request, we are going to "spice up our lives" and not find out if it is a boy or a girl. The doctor claimed he couldn't tell based on the views he had, so we will all be surprised in four months.
I am grateful that Brigham has been able to see four of his great grandparents this year.
It has been such a blessing to watch him interact with them. We have been especially blessed this year to have grandma and grandpa Bodell living so close to us. It has been so nice to be able to visit with them often and watch my grandpa develop a relationship with Brigham. We only wish they could all live closer so we could see them all more often.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to live here for one semester.
I'm grateful to my mom who encouraged me to go. I think she was more excited about me going than I was. She even opened my first letter before bringing it to my dorm. It said I was rejected and put on the waiting list and she was definitely more disappointed than I was. But my number came up a few months later and I got ready to leave Provo for the first time all on my own. It was pretty scary for me at the time, but ended up being one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I learned so much about the culture and history of this place and came home to major in International Studies with an emphasis in the Middle East. I met 5 wonderful girls who turned out to be awesome roommates for the next 3 1/2 years and continue to be some of my dearest friends.
One of the greatest blessings of living and going to school in Jerusalem was the knowledge and love I gained for the Old and New Testament. I love being able to read from those books and picture the places in my mind and remember all the time that I had there to really study the scriptures.
Even though it has been 12 years since I spent Thanksgiving at the Sea of Galilee I still think about my experiences from that semester all the time and am still so grateful for the way that semester changed my life. I can't wait to go back one day with Aaron and my family and show them the place that I came to love so much. It is right up at the top of places we plan to visit. (I'm also pretty excited to go back with a digital camera and get great pics.)
Today and most days, I am grateful for the internet. I like that I can be inspired by others ideas and projects , shop from my living room, and look up answers to my random questions. But most of all I love that it helps me to keep in touch with friends and family that I may have a hard time staying connected with without it.
Today we have two for one, since I missed yesterday.
I am grateful to have a hobby that I love!
Apparently I've wanted to be a photographer from a very young age.
I've always enjoyed taking pictures and wanted a nice camera to be able to do that. I'm grateful for digital SLR's that are affordable and allow you to learn things, without having to pay for expensive developing of film and printing of pictures. I'm grateful that I can take great pictures of my family and friends and that it allows me to connect with and spend time with people that I may not otherwise get to see much. Lastly, I am grateful to share this hobby with my fabulous sister and sister-in-law. We have such a good time doing photo shoots together and it makes me love it even more.
As for today, I am grateful to live in a house with a heater. We have had some crazy cold wind out here today that we can hear howling and it makes our house shake a little from time to time. I'm super grateful to have a place to be warm.
Today I am grateful for jobs! Three in particular.
1. I am grateful that Aaron has a job and even more grateful that it is a job that he enjoys and is really good at. Ever since I met him he has known what he has wanted to do, and now he is doing it. He has lots of qualities that make him a great administrator and I'm constantly impressed with how he handles difficult situations. I'm pretty sure I would be terrible at his job.
2. I am grateful for my job at Provo Canyon School. I really enjoyed working there for seven years before Brigham was born. I love that I was able to work with students that are not the "typical" Utah county students. I had a lot of interesting, educational, humorous, and great experiences working there. I love that I was able to constantly learn and find news ways to teach things. I also was able to work with some really great people. I am grateful that they continue to let me work there, basically whenever I want (usually once a week for 4-6 hours). I wish I could post a picture of me with students...but confidentiality laws prohibit it, so you get a picture of my office instead.
3. Lastly I am incredibly grateful for my current job taking care of this little man. It is hard to describe in words how grateful I am for this job. Best job I could ever imagine.
In the spirit of the season I thought it would be fun to share some of the things I'm grateful for. I'll try to share one a day leading up to big day. The list will not be all-inclusive or in any sort of order, just some random thoughts of thanks.
One of my favorite conference talks was given by Elder Wirthlin in 2001 and was titled "Live in Thanksgiving Daily."
This is my favorite quote from the talk:
I agree with Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote, “The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life”.Unfortunately, because the beauties of life are so abundant, sometimes we take them for granted. Our minds have a marvelous capacity to notice the unusual. However, the opposite is true as well: The more often we see the things around us—even the beautiful and wonderful things—the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds—even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less. Those who live in thanksgiving daily, however, have a way of opening their eyes and seeing the wonders and beauties of this world as though seeing them for the first time. I encourage you to look around you. Notice the people you care about. Notice the fragrance of the flowers and the song of the birds. Notice and give thanks for the blue of the sky, the color of the leaves, and the white of the clouds. Enjoy every sight, every smell, every taste, every sound. When we open our eyes and give thanks for the bountiful beauty of this life, we live in thanksgiving daily.
So today I am grateful for seasons. I really do enjoy living in a place that has very distinct seasons. I am loving the fall right now. Some of my favorite things about fall include the cooling of the weather, seeing the leaves change, buying apples and peaches from the fruit stand, going to football games, enjoying time outside, holidays, chili, carmel apples, and drinking hot chocolate and eating almost anything made of pumpkin.
The little man is enjoying the fall as well. He was really entertained watching grandma rake leaves.
I suppose my title can have two meanings. One last trip for this year. This year we have made two trips to Oregon and four trips to California. This was the third trip for me and Brigham in six weeks. It also is our last trip to Disneyland as Annual Passholders. We first got them when my mom owned some property in Newport so we were able to get the Southern California passes, which are a great deal. Now that her property has sold and traveling is not quite as easy as it used to be, we are letting them expire. Of course this doesn't mean that we don't plan on making many more trips to Disneyland in the future, just not 3-4 a year like we've done for the past five years.
With our family getting bigger, my mom opted to fly to California and was so kind to take Brigham with her. Apparently he was a champ and enjoyed having his own seat and spending quality time with his grandma. And we enjoyed making great time on our road trip.
We went the first week of November and it was such a fabulous time to go! The weather was great (well for at least the first day), and the lines were so short. Do you see all that empty space to left of the picture below? Those switchback lines are usually completely filled with people when we go and we usually wait about 40 minutes for Toy Story. This time the waits were more like 10-20 minutes for Toy Story. And that was probably the longest line we waited in. First week of November may be our new favorite time to go. Only down side was Small World was closed to put up the Christmas decorations.
Disneyland with our family can be a bit exhausting for kids. This was only the early afternoon of our first day there.
Brigham started to enjoy the carousel this time around. Last trip he was terrified.
It was fun to see some of the Christmas decorations up around the park.
With less crowds we took time to do things we haven't done much like visit Toon Town, visit Bug's Land, and go to the Disney Junior show.
You may notice that we are dressed for cool weather. That is because our second day there was pretty cool by Anaheim standards and we had a crazy rain storm in the afternoon. According to the locals, it rarely rains like that down there. We were so soaked we went back to the hotel and put a load of clothes in the dryer before we returned for the evening.
This is the bench we sat on for the parade. Yet another reason we loved the lack of crowds. We were able to get bench seats for a parade about 30-45 minutes before it was started. Usually when we go these prime seats are taken more than an hour in advance. Brigham loved waiting for the parade because he got to share dad's popcorn.
The girls and kids took Saturday to visit Downtown Disney and enjoy some downtime in Irvine while the boys enjoyed golfing.
We had a great trip and we will definitely miss being super spoiled with our annual passes.
We had a blast on our annual trip to Disneyland during Fall Break. We love this time of year because the place is decked out for Halloween. It was so great for Brigham to spend some quality time with his grandparents.
We were so lucky to be able to spend a day with Adam who happened to be staying in LA for a work conference. He lives in Alaska, so unfortunately we don't get to see him very often.
I had to snap a picture of the three brothers since this is probably the last time they will be together for a few years.
Brigham loved all the lights. I think driving through Vegas at night was actually one of his favorite parts of the trip. He also enjoyed a few minutes of World of Color before he gave in to his exhaustion and fell asleep.
We let Brigham try his hand at the sword in the stone. Apparently he will not be the next King.
One of the highlights of the trip was Mickey's Trick or Treat Party. We did lots of trick or treating and came home with way too much candy.
Another great trip to Disneyland and a great way to start celebrating the halloween season.
When we left Oregon we brought Julia, Jacob, and Landon with us to enjoy some time in Utah. We kept very busy with lots of painting, glittering, gluing, sewing, eating, going on outings, visiting family, and taking pictures. These are some of my favorite pics from the week.
Grandma showed the boys how to paint Mickey Mouse.
We visited the zoo.
We did a photo shoot at the Great Salt Lake with one of our favorite families.
And we enjoyed lots of time with these cute kids. We attempted two photo shoots with the four of them and this was the best we got from this one.
The other one involved Halloween costumes and turned out much better, but I will save those for another day.