A Wonderful Day of Thanks || Grateful Days 257-311

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetHappy Thanksgiving!!

I truly have so much to be thankful for this year. I have been blessed with a loving family. I have wonderful friends and a wonderful community. God has been so gracious and so kind to me as I transition in to a new season of life. He has shown me so much mercy and dished out so much grace. He has given me the freedom to be obedient to Him and given me more freedom in my life in general.

As I have tried to do this whole 365 Days Grateful thing, I have come to realize that being grateful is a state of mind. It’s a constant state of thanks. I’m not going to lie, being in a constant state of thanks isn’t easy. I’ve found it’s extremely difficult, not because I’m an ungrateful person but because some days are harder than others. Some days just don’t go the way you want. Some days it’s difficult to even be kind to people. Those days it isn’t easy to be grateful for things. But then there are those days that are absolute bliss. All the things are falling in to place and all the things are going as they should and it’s easy to be grateful for something. But I’ve learned that even on the difficult days there is something to be grateful for. Even if you’re grateful for the simple fact that you got to live life that day. Some days I’m just grateful I got to live a new day, even if it was an awful day I’ve found I was simply grateful to be alive.

On days like today, a day wholly dedicated to being thankful I’m reminded that I always have something to be grateful for. I have a loving family, a wonderful group of friends and a Saviour and Father that have been so kind to me. Today on this wonderful day of thanks I am thankful for life, for love, for the difficult days and the good days, for laughter, for family, for friends, for community and countless other things. I hope today and every other day you too can always find something to be grateful for. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

also, now the whole world can listen to Christmas music all the time!!

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Moments || Grateful Days 172-184

AsianDramaRainOh hello there friend!

So lately I’ve been thinking about being grateful and trying to write about a years worth of it. I’ve come to realize, that there are some things that can’t be captured through photographs. Some moments of gratitude are simply meant to be enjoyed. Between interning, moving and spending time with people I’ve come to realize that some moments can’t be captured in an Instagram worthy update. Nor can they be conveyed through a witty or meaningful tweet. Some moments are meant to be etched in your memory to be revisited every once in a while.

Eating dinner with friends, spending time with my niece, parents and sisters and watching Asian dramas with roommates can’t be captured on film properly. Finding words to convey these moments is difficult as well. Whether I’m sitting in my living room watching Asian dramas with my roommates or hanging out with my family, I’ve learned that enjoying moments is important.

I realize I’m only 22, but in my 22 years I’ve come to appreciate moments spent with people. Especially since sometimes being able to spend time with people happens rarely. Whether it’s having coffee or having dinner, watching movies or television shows I love the moments I get to spend with people more and more.

Family Weekend || Grateful Days 152-159

IMG_4671Nothing says summer like sitting poolside with your family eating, laughing and talking the afternoon away.

My family and I spent the weekend in Tucson, I spend every weekend in Tucson so I enjoyed a little stay-cation, in honour of my daddy’s 50th birthday!! It’s kind of crazy that my dad is 50. I never knew how old my parents were until recently, sad I know, but I always thought my parents would live forever! I thought my parents would forever be in their 30’s forever young and forever alive, but I’m coming to the sad realization that my parents aren’t going to live forever and they aren’t going to be forever 30.

50 years ago my daddy was put on this Earth. 22 years ago at the age of 27 he became a daddy. 8 months ago at the age of 49 he became a first time grandfather.

My dad has worn many hats in his 50 years of life and some of these hats he can never give back. He will forever be the baby brother of his brothers and sisters. Forever the husband to my momma. Forever the daddy to three daughters and countless nieces and nephews. Forever the grandfather to his grandkids. My dad will forever be the first love of his girls and the first man to hold me in his arms. My dad will forever be the man who hated being late to my band concerts and competitions. Forever the man who took me to school in the wee hours of the morning before I could drive myself. He will forever be the man who made me laugh with a simple glance and he will forever be the man who knew how to lay down the law. My dad will forever be the man who showed me that it’s okay for men to cry. He will forever be the man who taught me what love looks like. My dad is not a perfect man by any stretch of the imagination; but he will always be the perfect daddy for me.

To celebrate the 50 years my dad has been a member of this great big world we occupy was such a blessing! To have been part of 22 of his 50 years has been a joy and my greatest pleasure. The older I get the more I realize my parents are getting older as well.

My dad is 50. His body may not function the same way it used to but his heart, oh his heart still loves the same way. Actually, it loves better. My daddy loves my momma better now after nearly 24 years of marriage. His heart loves me better than it did when he held me for the first time 22 years ago. He loves my dear sister better after nearly 20 years of knowing her and he loves my baby sister more than he thought he could after 14 years of life. But the gal who stole his heart the most and who taught him and showed him love in a whole new light is my sweet baby niece who stole his heart only 8 month ago.

50 years ago God was kind enough to bless the world with my daddy and I am so glad he did!

2 hours 46 minutes (Grateful Days 136-138)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHere I sit, on the eve of my birthday thinking about the fact that in 2 hours 46 minutes I will have rotated around the sun 22 times. In 22 years I have experienced life in all the ways only I can.

I get older as the clock ticks away, and yet I cannot find ways to describe how I feel about being 22. My life isn’t a compilation of Taylor Swift tunes so I can’t dance around saying I feel 22, because I don’t know what 22 feels like. I barely know what 21 feels like! But I do know that 21 treated me well.

21 treated me the way I should be treated. It treated me with love and kindness; even in the hard times. 21 gifted me with a beautiful niece and it taught me the art of living.

21 showed me that the change I fear so much, is necessary. Without change, there would be no growth and that’s just not fair. 21 showed me with each new season new change comes. After all without April showers May would have no flowers.

21 taught  me even when I have little faith my Abba is faithful. When I was weak and had no where to turn, 21 showed me that my Abba is strong and carries me. When I was filled to the brim with joy, 21 showed me that my Abba rejoiced with me. Even when my heart wanders, 21 showed me that my Abba is a faithful friend and is always waiting for me.

21 taught me the art of friendship and 21 was kind enough to show me the beauty of my friendships. At 21 I saw and understood the depth of my friendships with each of my friends. I felt the sting of distance and I feel the upcoming sadness of goodbyes. But 21 showed me the art of learning to communicate in new ways and helped me see that sometimes there is beauty in goodbye.

21 showed me the depth of the love of my family. 21 showed me the grace of my mother and the gentle heart of my father. 21 showed me the beauty of sisterhood and introduced me to the joy of being an aunt. 21 also reminded me that my parents and sisters get older with me and 21 reminded me to tell my loved ones those three words no matter the circumstance.

21 taught me the joy of life and showed me the sorrows and the hurts. Mostly 21 taught me how to live life in only the way I can live it. 21 showed me the beauty of each new day and 21 introduced me to myself.

As I sit here, I begin to say goodbye to 21. 21 is introducing me to 22 in the way a gentleman introduces his lady to his mom – with love and tenderness. 21 was kind and taught me so much. It’s strange to say goodbye to 21 because we’ve spent so much time together.

2 hours 46 minutes later I say goodbye to 21 and hello to 22.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: May 2014 (Grateful Day 135)

So here we are at the beginning of a new month! Woo hoo!! Fun fact: it’s also my birthday week!! 🙂 But since it’s June now, I also get to share a few of my favourite things from May!

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Since it’s summer time now I’ve gotten the chance to do a lot more reading which is always a really great time for me! I’ve been re-reading a couple of my favourite books which are called The Truth About Forever and Just Listen! These are both books written by Sarah Dessen that I first read in high school, but find myself re-reading every so often. I used to think it was really strange that I enjoy reading Young Adult books as a Senior in college, but after reading this great piece by John Green where he explains why people like Young Adult novels as adults. I think he hits the nail right on the head with it too because I think so many times as we get older we start to view the world through this lens of ‘I’ve done this so many times before it’s not that important’, but as a teenager certain life events are new. Driving a car without parent supervision is new and freeing as is falling in love or getting your heart broken. Thinking about what you’re going to do when you grow up isn’t as daunting as a teenager because that’s years from now, but as an adult those decisions are more real and far scarier. But teens have the luxury of being able to put off bigger life decisions because the future isn’t staring them right in the face. So yeah if you know a young lady who’s in need of a good book, or are just a fan of YA I definitely suggest these two books, or any other Sarah Dessen books.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetThis month I have also celebrated many friends and family members. I watched people graduate and get married and began to understand the importance of making each moment count. I think I’ve started to appreciate more the people and moments in my life lately because I’m beginning to understand the fact that everyone around me is growing up, and some times that means they are moving to far off places. I think in another life at another time I would be more sad about that fact, but I’ve realized that my friends and my family are going to far off places to pursue a life they cannot find in the place they are in. For some people that means moving out of the country for a year or two and for others it simply means growing in to more of the person they are meant to be. Celebrating people as they graduate and get married has been such a fun thing to be part of and it’s been one of my favourite moments of the month!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThis month I also watched Once! Woo hoo oh yea hey o!! Seriously I suggest any music loving human being to watch this musical. Even if you’re a fan of music but not of musicals I think you’ll enjoy it simply because it’s about music. It is literally a musical about music! I enjoy a lot of musicals such as Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera, but Once is the first musical I’ve seen live in a really long time. The first I saw was Tarzan on Broadway in New York, which was so cool!! That was also almost 8 years ago, so seeing Once was so great for me! I went with my best friend, who even though she likes music she doesn’t listen to music to the extent that I do and she loved it!! I really think Once is one of the most beautiful musicals I have listened to and will probably be among one of the most beautiful I will ever see. I also enjoyed watching Once because it was one of those days that I will remember years down the road as a wonderful day with one of my dearest friends.

May was good to me in so many ways and in the business of finals and papers I am glad that I got to find moments to enjoy the month. God was extremely faithful to me and gave me such great peace in the face of stress during the month. I’m thankful that I got to enjoy my favourite books and one of my favourite musicals and as always I am glad I got to spend time with my friends and family!

Measuring Life (Grateful Day 133 & 134)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetOne of my favourite songs Seasons of Love from Rent. I remember the first time I heard it was when I was in high school because in band we played it as the tunnel song for homecoming one year. I love the song because of its beauty and all around loveliness, but I think it’s interesting that in the song they talk about measuring life. They list all of these great ways to measure life and the great one is love. I get to thinking a lot when I’m making dinner or washing dishes, basically any time I’m in the kitchen I’m thinking some pretty deep thoughts! Hehe. But really, I got to thinking about how I would measure my life and I realize I could measure my life in a lot of ways.

I could measure my life of course in love. I’ve been loved well. I’ve been loved by so many people and I have been loved so deeply by people that I know, no matter what happened in life that person would always love me. I have been loved by my Creator and I have been loved by my family and friends so deeply. Yeah at times I’ve been difficult to love and to be kind towards, but I never felt unloved by these people. I never felt like I was less of a person for the things I did. I always felt like no matter what I did they would stand by me, they would fight for me, with me and against me. I don’t know if I’ve loved people as well as I’ve been loved, but I’ve loved people. I’ve loved people the way I have been loved so I can only hope that I’ve also loved people as well as I’ve been loved.

I can also measure my life in books. I’ve read and re-read so many books that I feel I could measure my life in the stories I have read and the way certain stories have impacted the way I view life. There have been books that make me cry no matter what, and others have been constant companions through many season of my life. I’ve got a list of books that I want to read and a bookshelf of books that I want to re-read so many times I’m able to recite the story from memory.

Then there is music. Oh music. I have listened to so much music in my life, and still listen to so much music, that I could measure my life in how my music taste has changed!! I used to listen to a lot of interesting music. That’s the only way I can describe it. I listened to whatever my cousins were listening to,  which is so different from what I listen to now. Then I started to listen to what my friends listened to. I moved around a lot growing up and my friends never listened to the same music wherever I moved. I would just listen to whatever music my new friends listened to which was always something new and always an experience, to say the least! Then as I got to know myself better, I started to listen to music I liked and that fit my personality. That changes a lot, so my range of musical taste is vast! I will give everything a try, but I’ll listen to just about anything on a regular basis. Before I started writing this I was listening to a Led Zeppelin song, and now I’m listening to Big Band. It’s just kind of how I operate. Mostly though, I just listen to whatever I want to listen no matter what anyone says. Especially my sisters, who never really understood some of my music choices (especially the musicals).

I can also measure my life in television, movies and food. I really like food. It’s a family thing I think because I come from a family of eaters. I just really really enjoy food! Mostly though I enjoy sharing a meal with people because I am a big believer that people can come together over a meal. I like to cook, so whenever I cook for myself I always have leftovers because I’ve learned to make extras just in case someone comes over and is hungry. I have had a lot of bonding moments with the people I’m close to over food, so my love for food goes beyond the need to eat in order to survive. Movies and television are in the same category as food because when I hang out with a lot of people we do so and watch a movie or a television show. Growing up my family would sit at home at night before bed and watch TV together and ever since I’ve watched a lot of TV and bond over the television.

I can measure my life in cups of coffee and tea, laughter and many many tears. I think all of us can measure our lives in different ways, but I definitely think love is the greatest way to measure our lives. I think we all have a desire to love and be loved so I think Jonathan Larson got it right when he wrote Seasons of Love and used love as a measurement of our lives. It’s super cliche, but I do think that loving someone is the closest thing we get to magic in life and I think a good dose of lovin’ can change even the most stubborn of hearts.

 So friend, no matter what ways you can measure your life I hope it is measured well. I hope it is full to the brim with life, love and happiness.

Grateful Days 131 & 132

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetToday I finished re-reading one of my favourite books. Truly one of my favourite YA books on my bookshelf. It’s called The Truth About Forever and I’ve read it 4 or 5 times. My favourite thing about this book is the fact that Sarah Dessen touches on the beauty of imperfections.

I wrote a blog post a while ago about flaws and after re-reading The Truth About Forever I’ve found more beauty in the fact that people are flawed and the fact that nobody can be perfect. I also love this book because it touches on the idea of forevers. One of my favourite quotes from this book says “Life can be long or short, it all depends on how you choose to live it. it’s like forever, always changing. for any of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. you can never know for sure, so you’d better make every second count. what you have to decide is how you want your life to be. if your forever was ending tomorrow, is this how you’d want to have spent it?” I realize that I’ve written a lot about making each moment count and such things, but in my life at this moment that’s what I’m trying to understand.

I like that in this book Sarah Dessen just flat out says that forever is subjective; it pertains to a certain person. I could think forever is waiting three days for something to arrive in the mail, while someone else could think one minute of waiting is forever. It’s all subjective. She says the fact that forever is subjective is its truth. In the book the main character Macy, is trying to understand what forever is to her and how she wants to live her life. Even at 21 I am trying to figure out how I want to live my life. How I want to remember this moment when I look back on it. I like the above quote about life so much because it’s true that depending on how you view life it’s either really short or really long. I don’t know how I view life in terms of length, but I do agree that it all depends on how you view it.

There have been moments when I have thought I have been living a long existence, and others when I think oh my goodness time has gone by so fast. I realize I’m only going to be 22 next week, but it’s crazy to think that in one week exactly I will be 22. I mean, holy cow!! I look back on my nearly 22 years of life and wonder where time has gone because it feels like it’s gone by so quickly and I think 22 years isn’t a long time. Then I really think about it and 22 is a long time. I know of many people who won’t be able to say they lived 22 years for one reason or another, and that’s when I realize that I’ve lived a long life. I may even know people who say they have lived a long life at 18, it just depends on how we live it; how we make the most of it.

I don’t know what life is going to look like tomorrow or the day after, but I do know that each moment is different. Each season and each second I grow up; I change. I will never be 21 again and I will never get to be an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona ever again. I am changing and I am growing. I am also living my life the way I want to remember it years down the road. I will always hold dear to my heart the late night conversations, the time I drove a friend all the way to her sisters house in Maricopa only to find out her flight didn’t leave for another two days. I won’t forget the Star Wars viewing parties, or the weddings of friends I attended and was in. I won’t forget the classes I’ve taken and the things I’ve learned as a student. These are the memories I will take with me in each season.

When I look back at my subjectively long life, it’s been good. It hurt at times and it was so wonderful in others. But it has been beautiful and it has been mine.