Friday, November 25, 2011

Happiness is a grateful heart

Need help

I read this on a cardboard sign that was held by a man that on all counts was homeless. You know, tatered clothes, wrinkled face, a white beard. I usually look away and ignore people like him. I'm so ashamed to say that I often think negative thoughts like- "He just wants money for alcohol" without even thinking about what a hard life it must be. It was 10:30 at night and he was kneeling at the exit of a nearly deserted parking lot, on a night when many of us were getting ready for a big feast the next day- Thanksgiving. When I saw his sorry sign I was struck with sadness. I wished I had some food for him. It was hard to imagine how he lives with so little when many, including me, complain about trivial things.

So often I find myself getting caught up in wanting things without feeling grateful for what I already have. I hadn't been in a very "Thanksgiving" mood. Sometimes being surrounded by people that have so much just seems to highlight how little we have. We don't have a TV, or new cars, or a nice kitchen, or a big house... but that's okay.

Because we do have a LOT to be thankful for:

A warm house
Food to eat
Wonderful parents & family
Clean clothes
A beautiful quilt
An education in progress
A laptop
Kind neighbors
A hope chest built by my father
The gospel
A temple marriage
Love that will last forever
& much more
And that's plenty enough. Because happiness doesn't depend on how much you have.
Happiness is a grateful heart :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

My 22nd Birthday

This year my birthday was on a Friday! To make it even better, I'm not in school. WOO! Seemed like the perfect day for Six Flags Magic Mountain. We drove down to Valencia (Near L.A.) on my birthday and stayed in a hotel that normally costs $169 for $58 because we used Priceline. It felt like we had pulled a trick on someone, staying in such a nice hotel for a crappy motel price. The outdoor pool and hot tub were great and we were the only ones that even dared go close. Seriously people, the pool was HEATED. (But I was okay with keeping that a secret.) We ate at Olive Garden for dinner, and I even got a candle in my pumpkin cheesecake. I was feeling pretty spoiled :)

Saturday we got to the park just as they opened, and started a mad dash for the roller coasters. The first one we went on was called Goliath and had something like a 255 ft first drop. I thought my heart was going to stop beating it was so scary. Another of my favorites was Tatsu- which means dragon in Japanese. It is the world's tallest and fastest flying coaster (where you ride suspended underneath, and then the seats rotate 90 degrees so you are looking down at the ground.) It was just incredible, and it didn't make me feel nauseous at all. X2 was of course a blast- it's the first 4D coaster (?) All I know is the way my seat flipped independent of the coaster loops, as well as the flame throwers... well it just blew my mind.

I guess Viper is also one worth mentioning. It's the tallest multilooper in the world and has 7 to be exact. (Made me feel sick.) It especially made me feel sick when we realized that our keys had disappeared into it's jaws. This could have ruined the rest of our day, but we tried to stay calm thinking through our options. After several tries a few security guys were able to slim jim their way into our car. Alas, no spare keys. Our next option was to have someone make a new key, but that was pretty expensive. We decided to wait until the park closed and they searched under the coaster for us. But before that was necessary our keys were returned to the lost and found! So we dashed around and made it on a few more roller coasters- to the point where I could hardly walk straight. We didn't even have time to ride anything but roller coasters. Magic mountain is tied with Cedar Point in Ohio for most roller coaster in a park- 17, and we made it to about 9 or 10 of the biggest and best. No bad at all.

It was a good birthday :)

 A big thanks to my mom for sewing this quilt. It is absolutely beautiful. She started it for our wedding, but due to a crazy year I got it for my birthday. Definitely worth the wait. Thanks Mom! Also, thanks to Phil I got some sweet new boots.
 Hanging out at the outdoor fireplace by the pool at our hotel

And making candy apples! A gift from my sister. Thanks Karen! We had fun making them.