Friday, December 6, 2013

A Thanksgiving Post That's Long Overdue.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  Who doesn't like feeling all grateful, warm, tickled, and super-stuffed inside?  These past couple of years, however, I have not spent Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania, and that's kinda weird.  The whole family would be together, the kids would watch the Macy's Day Parade on the television, Christmas music would be playing on the radio, and Mom and Dad would be slaving away in the kitchen.  I miss that a lot, but fortunately, I was able to spend this Thanksgiving with Kylie, Cameron, Kristin, and Jon.  In other words... I spent Thanksgiving with some of the coolest people I know.  

This is Kristin's FIRST.EVER.TURKEY.  Usually, Kylie is the culinary master, but Kristin took over.  The turkey took forever to thaw, and she was having a cow.  She just submerged the turkey in a sink full of hot water for hours.
Yes -- that is Kristin's furry vest, and it is famous.
I would like to say that I was a massive help in the kitchen, but that would be lying.  I helped prepare edamame beans, and that was it.  Kristin and Kylie did most of the work.  I sat on my butt and ate cheese and grapes.
So here's the thing... I'm not much of an Xbox person because I've never really played that system.  When we were kids, we played N64 all the time, the holy grail of gaming systems.  Family Home Evening consisted of Mario Kart 64 tournaments.  Well, Cam and Jon whipped out the Xbox and started playing Halo.  And then they invited me to play...and then I picked up the controller...and that I started shooting people... and then I started throwing grenades...and then I started killing people...and then I died a lot... and then I liked Xbox and Halo.

On Friday night, we went to the Mesa Temple because the Christmas lights are up.  They are so pretty!  The temple lights attract tons of people, so it's a great opportunity to share the Gospel and to remind people to think of Christ's life and ministry during this Christmas season.  "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown!"
Hi, pretty sister.

On Saturday, we spent the whole day together.  Jon and his Air Devils buddies went to fly some of their airplanes.  Cam was absolutely fascinated, and the girls liked watching the guys get their geek on... it's kinda attractive.   For the rest of the day, we went to Sprinkles, World Market, and Lo-Lo's (overrated and overpriced restaurant).
The best part was being reunited with my sisters.  They are such great examples to me, and it was so nice to catch up with them.  Every time we go out, people ask, "Are you guys triplets or something?"  I look absolutely NOTHING like my sisters.  Mom and Dad also tell me that I was adopted.  It just occurred to me... I look so Asian in this picture.

As I have reflected upon this year, I am recognizing that I have so much to be grateful for.  This semester has been the most difficult three months of my life... and not necessarily because of my school responsibilities.  It was difficult physically and emotionally, but the outpouring of love and support that came from friends and family was amazing.  I cannot adequately express my thanks, but I am forever grateful to have a wonderful support system.  I am also grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Christ's infinite Atonement cannot possibly be comprehended, but the power it has in my life is incredible.  It is empowering, and it helps me to look to Christ when I find that my burdens are particularly heavy.  My challenges are not removed, but I have the strength to press on, and I take comfort in knowing that Christ weeps when I weep, and He has suffered as I suffer.  I absolutely love this season, and I hope that we can all cultivate a better attitude of gratitude all year long.    

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