Tag: gratitude

Things I am Thankful For 2016 (Belated)

My Thanksgiving was actually pretty tame on the political talk but I thought this was funny nonetheless

Hi guys! Sorry I am getting you my annual gratitude post a little bit late but that’s just how it worked out. Every year on Thanksgiving I try to think of what I am thankful for. Sometimes it is a list, other times it’s more of an essay about one or two particular points of gratitude. This year consider it more of a rambling list.

In 2016 I am thankful for many blessings in my life.

I am thankful for the new midsingles ward even if I need to do better in attending activities. I have loved making new friends there and the two movie nights I’ve hosted  have been very happy times for me.

I am thankful for both of my book clubs- my group in Orem that I love attending and my smaller group of 4 of my friends that reads together. I am grateful with all the movies I see that they keep me also reading.

I am thankful for beautiful music. I just went to the Messiah Sing Along last night at Symphony Hall and it was an amazing experience. I love that tradition and have participated most years of my life.

I am thankful my parents moved. They now live minutes away from my house. I still don’t see them that much but it is nice that when I need them they are close.

I am thankful I got to see all of my nieces this year. I miss them so much.

I am thankful I reached 1000 subscribers on my youtube channel this year. I have learned so much from making videos and trying to improve.

I am thankful for good movies that inspire me.

I am thankful for podcasting and for any friends willing to talk to me about all this nonsense.

I am thankful for Winder Dairy and delicious milk delivered right to my door.

I am thankful to have had Sam and Maddie close by this year to get to know them a little better.

I am thankful for my job. I love it so much.

I am thankful for rotoscopers.com and my movie blog and all I’ve learned from writing this year.

I am thankful for forgiving friends and family that help me relax and decompress.

I am thankful for Funko pops, scarves and candles that smell nice.

I am thankful for Disney and the amazing films they made this year minus Alice Through the Looking Glass. Without Disney my year would have been rough!

I am thankful for the Olympics and all the Olympians who inspired me so much.

I am thankful for SLOW and their patience with slower swimmers like me at the Deer Creek swim.

I think that about covers it. I’m grateful for so many things but those are the highlights. I am most thankful to anyone who takes the time to read my ramblings here on this blog. Next year will be 10 years since I started blogging. 9 since I started this blog. Crazy how time flies!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a blessed holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

Hi from California friends!  I just wanted to put a little Thanksgiving message on this blog.  I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday or if you are abroad and not celebrating having a great day just the same!  It’s kind of cool when you think about it that as Americans we have decided to dedicate an entire day to the virtue of gratitude.  We don’t do that for other virtues such as fidelity, trust, honor, etc but we set aside a whole day to think about all the things we have to be grateful for.

happy thanksgiving2 I for one have much to be grateful for.  I made this video for youtube where I talk a little bit about Thanksgiving in the Thanksgiving Tag.

Mostly I am thankful for the life I have.  I know that sounds cheesy but it is true.  My life is far from perfect but I think it is pretty great.  I am so thankful for my job.  I love being able to work from home and not have to be stuck in a cubicle all day.  I love being able to go outside and listen to music and not have a boss looming over me everyday.  It’s a pretty great gig.

I also love my current employment.  After working in accounting for a decade it has been so wonderful doing something creative each day.  I also love the challenge of learning to work in marketing.  Each day I do something different and new.  How many jobs can say that?  Certainly not accounting!  That’s for sure!

I am also thankful for my home. I never thought I would be a home owner but I’ve now been one for 3 years. I love my house and still feel it is the most Me place in the world.

I am thankful for my roommate of 3 years named Regan and for her putting up with me!

I am thankful for my blogging and youtube channel.  It has been such a positive experience and helped me interact with some amazing individuals.  I seriously love you guys more than I could have imagined.

I am thankful for my faith and that no matter what is thrown at me it stays strong.  I see people wilt and lose their faith and it makes me so grateful I have been able to remain steadfast.

I am thankful for great literature, art, music, dance and movies.  I am thankful a new Star Wars movie is coming out!  I am thankful for Disney and Pixar and all the artists/authors who dare to put something out to the world for all of us to enjoy/judge.

I am thankful for my friends and family and all the love and support they show me.

I am thankful for open water swimming and all my swim friends.

I am just thankful to be me and to be alive and living this strange life of mine.  Thank you all for being a part of it.

Now on to Christmas!

I Love My Job

love-my-jobIt’s funny because I have no problem complaining on this blog from time to time but for some reason when I want to sing my life’s praises I grow modest. I feel like people will think I’m boasting and don’t want to rub the good things in my life in people’s faces.  But then again you all put up with the complaining so I should give you ,more of the joy (you see the back and forth I have).

So please take this with a grain of salt.  I am not trying to show you how great my life is.  I just want to say how grateful I am for the good things in my life especially my job.  I just love it so much!

I think back to years of entering data.  I remember one project where I had over 27,000 lines of data to enter and it took me a couple of months of mind numbing boredom.  When my former boss gave me the job he told me ‘it is a really boring job’ but I thought it was going to be a short term thing.

I would never have taken it if I had known it would dictate the next 10 years of my life but that’s what happened.  In 2008 when I started this blog I tried very hard to make a change but it never worked. I had experience as an accounting clerk and it seemed I was doomed to do that till the end of time.

In fact, I had accepted it.  I had given up on the idea of doing anything else and decided to make the best of it.  Certainly many had it much worse and at least I got to work from home which made it tolerable.  But there was always that creeping notion in the back of my head craving doing something more but it seemed impossible. I mean after 10 years you kind of accept your reality.

Then this offer to go into marketing came and it really has been a dream come true!  It came out of nowhere and I couldn’t be more grateful.  I will do anything to keep this job. I love it so much!

There are a couple things I especially like about it.

First, deadlines are different.  In accounting we have so many deadlines and it doesn’t matter if you are sick or injured or on vacation in Hawaii stuff has to get done.  I was used to working all the time- weekends, holidays, evenings etc.  I would get emails from my bosses at midnight and then again at 6 am.

I was sick as a dog last Christmas and I worked the entire time. Marketing is just so different.  Yes you have deadlines but everything is more relaxed.  In fact, they tell me to be patient with them and to take things easy.

I find myself doing a lot of research and putting together presentations on all the stuff I’ve learned.  That is awesome! In accounting I was doing the same tasks over and over again.  In marketing there are new challenges. Like last month I was looking into tailgating and twitter.  Today I turned in a presentation on camping.  It’s so great!

And the fact I can still work from home and have freedom I want to pinch myself.  How did I get it so good?  When I think what it would have been like injuring my knee a month after starting a normal job I am overwhelmed with gratitude at my blessings.  I not only could work from home while I was immobile but they couldn’t have been kinder or more understanding.

on one hand I feel like I served my time and am reeping the blessings.  Probably somewhat like a grandparent feels with their grandkids.  They did the tough stuff raising their kids and enjoy the blessings of grandkids.  However, I know nothing I did made that happen.  I didn’t earn the new job and there are many who work much harder than me who have never gotten such an opportunity.

I am just grateful.  Very, very grateful.  Humbled and grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me this new opportunity.  I love my life right now!

Oh and the physical therapist says I only need to go 2 more times so good news on that front as well.  My birthday is coming up on the 23rd.  Like I said- life is good!

life is good2

Thank You for Reading

It’s late but I wanted to do a quick thank you.  All of my friends are posting daily thank you’s on facebook which is awesome but really today there is one major thing I am thankful for.  I am thankful to all of you. I had a rough October but November has started out great.  Thank you to all of you for reading no matter my mood or topic.  I know there are readers who follow religiously but haven’t made a comment in years (Becca and Suzanna I know you read!).  I am so grateful.  I hope you know that.

thank-you-for-readingThank you for reading when I inspire you.  Thank you for reading when I tick you off a little bit.  Thank you for reading when I bore you.  Thank you for reading when I make you laugh.  Aside from friends and faith, it is the best thing in my life.  Thank you especially to the people who read regularly not just when I do something bold.

Thank you to fellow bloggers who inspire me with their posts especially Samantha Ferraro, Forest Hartman, Christine Plouvier, Abbey Kidd, Tracy Christensen  Emily at Blogging Runner for giving me so much support.  Some of you I have met.  Rest of you if you ever come to Utah dinner is on me. (there are so many but they have been so supportive).

I sound like I’m dieing or something or winning an Oscar but I really am grateful.  I told my siblings that all I really wanted for Christmas was for them to comment on my blog every week or so.  I’m partly kidding but it really does mean a lot to me when people read.   I am also grateful to my sisters Meg and Anna for being the standout family readers by far and away.  Thanks!

I suppose it means a lot to any writer when people actually read what they write (go figure I know) and I’m no different.  It feels like you have a legacy and people might remember you for something.  Who doesn’t want that?

I’m grateful to my swim friends, trainers, writing group, twitter friends, cousins, coworkers, voice teachers, fellow parishioners…I could go on.  I really am just grateful.

What brought this all on is I was talking with a friend in the stake presidency who has taken my letter on the midsingles situation and shown it to area leadership and asked a question on the topic to two apostles.  It meant a lot to me to be taken seriously and to feel like just maybe I did something good with my words.

Maybe nothing will come of it.  Maybe it will just make a few of the people who commented feel understood but that’s good enough for me.

Hey, it made me feel understood and isn’t that why I started this whole thing?

In my first post on my preblog I said “First, I am never going to be happy living my life for other people’s expectations. Second, I need to take more comfort from the love of those that care for me instead of being devastated by the criticism of those that don’t. Third, I have to be my own advocate.

Why is it that I seem to believe in other people more than I believe in myself?Honestly, I think I am my toughest critic. I am starting to accept that I am not proving anything to anyone by the way I live my life. I have to believe that those that come into contact with me, including my employers, are lucky to know me. That I am valuable just for being me” (pretty good advice.  I should listen to myself sometimes).

That was written in 2007 and the blog has certainly proven that last statement to be true 1,000 times.  I am valuable for just being me and writing.

“The best word shakers were the ones who understood the true power of words. They were the ones who could climb the highest. One such word shaker was a small, skinny girl. She was renowned as the best word shaker of her region because she knew how powerless a person could be WITHOUT words.”

Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Happy Turkey Day 2012!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you are all doing well and having a wonderful holiday with people who care about you.  This is the first Thanksgiving I’ve had in a while where I haven’t been with my family and I feel a little sad about that.  I miss seeing my nieces most of all but hopefully we can skype and say hello later in the evening.

I was determined to not sulk and feel sorry for myself this weekend so I have planed a lot of fun things (hopefully I wont’ work much but no guarantee I’m so behind on things and have to catch up!).  Today I was in a 5k walk for the food bank.  We did one last year with my family and this year my friend Suzanna and her family was there, so that was fun.  I finished in 1 hr 16 minutes which I felt pretty good about.  My legs and feet are throbbing.  I don’t understand how anyone could prefer running/walking to swimming.  Swimming can be intense on your muscles but so much tamer than running.

Too bad its a bit to cold to do a Thanksgiving swim; although my Poler Bear Club friends might disagree.  Burr!

So now I’m just watching the parade and icing my puffy muscles so they don’t seize up.

This afternoon I am going to Suzanna’s family thanksgiving which should be fun.  I have met most of her family over the years and they are from Indiana which is fun.  She said other friends were coming so I’m sure it will be a large group.  I’m grateful to be invited. (I have the best friends!).

Tomorrow after a morning swim,  I might try out some black Friday shopping- brave Ikea and Home Depot to see if I can get some things for my new house.  We will see.  I’m also getting a massage.  Can’t wait for that!

Saturday I am going with my friend Kate to a shooting range.  There is a scene in my book where the character goes to one and I wanted it to be authentic (plus I’ve kind of wanted to learn for a long time but with my eye sight I didn’t think I could).

On Sunday I am going to make a Thanksgiving for 1.  Yes, you read right.  I’ve decided to take on the challenge of making a feast for one person.  It seems impossible but I think I can do it. Should be fun!

So, I’ve got lots going on this holiday weekend.  The only reason I post all of that is some of my friends and family might worry about me (thank you for that by the way) but I’m fine and richly blessed.

Finishing the race!

A few things I am grateful for this year:

1.  I’m grateful for my family and for my non-family family.  This includes my swim family, church family, book club family, gym family, facebook family (my facebook family saved my life early this year), twitter family, and my friends family.

2.  I’m grateful to be building a house! WOWZERS!

3.  I’m grateful for a new beginning with a new year with a fresh start, new ward, new house, new experiences.  2012 was a doozy.  One for the recordbooks of Rachel Trials but I got through it and looking forward to starting over.

4. I’m thankful for NaNoWriMo and getting me to finally write the book I knew was in my head and proving to myself I can do great things.

5.  I’m grateful for SLOW (Salt Lake Open Water).  My 5k was definitely a highlight but it would only have been so with all the support and friendship.  I can’t imagine not having it in my life.

6. I’m thankful for MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and the outlet for my aggression it has given me.   I love it more every time I go.  My trainer Ben is awesome and such a funny guy.  He definitely believes in me.  My trainer Michelle is also unfailingly loyal and encouraging.  The best!

7.  I’m thankful for my eyes.  My eyes have been through a lot the last 2 years and going through the surgery and vision therapy has been hard but very rewarding.  To see the world in a new way is such a blessing. I’m also grateful for my doctors and their skill in treating me.

8. I’m grateful for my insomnia specialist and the pathways we’ve made in the last 8 weeks.  It’s been great! I’m getting closer to sleeping the way I’ve always wanted.

9. I’m grateful I was diagnosed with low thyroid this year.  It has helped me overcome all the pain I was experiencing last year.  The doctor that diagnosed it is named Dr.  Ling and she and her nurse practitioner have been so wonderful.

10.  I’m grateful that I live in a world where for the most part I can be a thriving, successful, happy single person.  I know I have my moments but in some societies I wouldn’t have even had the option of living alone, leading my own life.  I’m grateful that I can be single, awesome and wait for Mr.  Sunshine to get with it and get here! 😉

11.  I’m the most grateful for my testimony of the Book of Mormon.  I have needed it so badly this year.  I have needed it’s words and it hasn’t failed me a bit.   I know Heavenly Father loves me.  I may complain now and then about the ward environment or some other small thing but in the end I would be lost without the Book of Mormon and my testimony of the gospel.


Update on My Condition

I just wanted to do a quick update on my condition.  While I am still in a lot of pain I am seeing improvement each day.  Yesterday I went out of my apartment for the first time in days and that felt good.  I pushed myself a bit too hard at the grocery store (especially carrying up those bags!  Stupid me!).   I am working on discovering the balance between managing my pain and pushing myself to heal.  Tomorrow I am going to meet with my trainer Michelle, and she is going to have some exercises and stretches designed to alleviate my pain and get me back on my feet quickly.  I am sure it will be difficult but I can do it.

The medicines the doctor gave me help a lot but I’d like to be off them by tomorrow.  We will see!

I am so grateful for everyone that has been kind to me over the past few days.  The visits, calls,emails, posts have been overwhelming.  How did I get so blessed? If there is anything I can do for you don’t hesitate to ask.  I owe a lot of people favors after this week!  I can also sense all those prayers given in my behalf.  If you had told me on Friday I’d feel the way I do today I wouldn’t have believed you.  Thanks goodness!

I will continue to keep everyone up-to-date but hopefully it will be all up, up, up, from here.

Seriously I have the best friends and family- thank you!


Things I Am Thankful For III

Thanksgiving is here and that means it is time to trot out my annual ‘Things I am Thankful For List’.  Each year since starting this blog I have come up with 25 items I am thankful for.  This might sound like an easy task but my first list was frustratingly broad with such items as ‘my family’ only taking up one item.  I wish I had been more specific knowing there would be years of gratitude to come.  That said- it is probably good to dig a little deeper for my list each year.  Heaven knows I’m so blessed the list should be unending! Its interesting to look at previous lists to see how my life has changed.  For instance, last year I certainly wasn’t thankful for my gym or a trainer! My cousin Anne has done  tremendous list of 1,000 things she is grateful for.  I don’t know how I could come up with that many!

While this year has been a great one for change there are some things that will never change.  I will always be grateful for my testimony of Jesus Christ and the Restored Gospel.  I will always be grateful for modern scripture, forever families and temple covenants.  If I did repeats those items would make my list every time!  I know that Jesus is the Christ and that he died for my sins.  I know this from personal prayer and introspection.  He loves me and wants me to be happy.  Nothing inspires me more.  There is nothing I am more grateful for.

Thank you to all of you for all the love and support I have received on this blog, on facebook and in person.  This health journey has already been tremendously difficult and I could not have gotten through without each one of you.  God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving!

25 things I am grateful for

1. Prayer- Heavenly Father is always there when I need someone. Given I live alone there could be lonely hours but I do not feel alone with His presence in my life.

2. My Gym- Today I went to a gym here in El Dorado Hills and it made me grateful for my awesome gym.  I love the spa environment, the multitude of machines, the trainers whenever you need them and the POOL! I could not have lost 35 lbs without it.  Funny how you find just the right thing, just when you need it!

3. My trainer- Michelle has been great.  The perfect trainer for me.  She pushes me with new workouts and difficult routines; however, she doesn’t yell or demean me.  I am not the kind of person who would do well with a biggest loser type trainer.  She is just what I need.

4. My IPOD- My IPOD is currently only playing music out of one headset (no matter the headset); nevertheless, I use it every single day and love it.  I can’t imagine my life without music constantly adding the Rachel soundtrack!

5. Healthy Food that Tastes Good- I’m sorry but sometimes healthy food can be boring and tasteless, which makes me especially grateful when I find  recipe that has some flavor!

6. Swimming– I am grateful for one sport/fitness activity that I actually enjoy and am marginally good at.  Its nice to have a fitness reward that is great for my body and fun.

7. Stefanie and Emily being closer.  My 2 best friends Stefanie and Emily moved to Utah this year.  It has been such a blessing to have both close by- a tender mercy.

8. BYU- As great as my mission was BYU was the most trans-formative time of my life.  It gave me a voice I’d never been able to express before.  It is holy grounds to me.

9. Holidays- Even though birthdays, christmas, thanksgiving all provide bountiful opportunities to mess up my diet holidays are so great.  They give me something to look forward to when work gets drab.

10. Bruce and Tracy Grist- Bruce and Tracy are our new maintenance supervisors and are lifesavers.  They get things done without my nagging.  They like being around me and working with me.  They let me go on vacation and took care of everything.  May not sound like much but they are my heroes!

11. Visiting the Triplets- My cousin Kate had triplets in August and I get to visit them when I go to work in Syracuse on Friday.  It is so much fun and they are adorable!

12. Family Reunions- Sometimes I moan and groan about particular reunions but it is always great to see my cousins and grandparents.  I am lucky to be close to them on both sides.

13. Ben gay lotion- My Dad keeps telling me it doesn’t work but I don’t care.  To me it feels great!  While making my apartment smell like peppermint it has gotten me through many a sore night.

14. Good, Kind Doctors- After the incident with the crazy doctor I realized once again how great a good doctor can be.  Thank you to all the medical professionals who treat patients with kindness and provide accurate medical diagnosis.

15. Photography- I am not as into photography as the rest of my family but I still cant imagine life without it.  How sad would it be to not have life’s moments documented?

16. Broadway Musicals- I can’t think of much I would rather do then see a Broadway musical live.  It doesn’t even have to be in New York.  Some of the shows locally are great.  I am going to Christmas Carol at Hale Center Theater Orem on Dec 11th.

17. BBC Miniseries- one of the reasons I love Netflix is it allows me to continually check out various BBC miniseries.  Everyone knows I love Elizabeth Gaskell (see #18) but there have also been great versions of Jane Eyre, Emma, Little Dorrit, Wuthering Heights,  and Persuasion recently.

18. Elizabeth Gaskell– I can read her books (and have read them) over and over again.  I LOVE all of them.  The last three years I have read North and South at least 3 times.  I LOVE IT!!!  If you haven’t read it don’t be scared by the length.  It is so good.

19. Poetry– Any reader of this blog knows I love poetry.  I find it amazing how a perfect sentence can encapsulate an emotion, a world.   I wish I had more talent in writing but I love reading it.

20. Book Club.  I mentioned book clubs on my first list but it was never a separate item.   After about 4 months of failures finally this year I have established my own book club.  I love it!  We have read a variety of books and the conversation is always good.  Thanks to all who come!

21.  Julia Child–  This year I have come to idolize Julia Child.  Her book My Life in France is one of my all-time favorites.  I LOVE IT!  She not only revolutionized home cooking but had the guts to change her life at 40.  She had the courage to be her best self.

22. Free Elections- As this radical election shows the American people have the power to change their democracy.  I am grateful to have that say and to be able to vote.  Never missed an election since I could vote at 18.

23. Computers and High Speed Internet- Last year I went on a cruise where it was very expensive to use our computers or the internet.  That trip aside, I can not think of another day in the last 2 years that I have gone without using the computer or fast internet.   I do everything on it- even my shopping.

24. Art- I love beautiful art from all periods.  Throughout my apartment I have paintings by Van Gogh, Minerva Teichert and other artists.  I wish I had some artistic talent but I appreciate those that do!

25. Christmas Tree– Over the years I have developed some of my own unique Christmas traditions including going to the Messiah Sing-in and seeing a Christmas Carol at Hale Theater (and watching every other version I can).  Another tradition I have is my Christmas tree.  It is called a memory tree and it is full of ornaments that either come from a meaningful place or symbolize an event of my life.  I also have little silver picture frames that have recent photos of my family.  I love it!  (this year it is a bit tricky to figure out where to put it but I will find a way!

Thanks again to all of you.  I love you!  I know that 2011 will give even more to grateful and I can’t wait to see what it offers.

Things I am Thankful for Part II

So last Thanksgiving I posted 25 things I am thankful for– a list enompssing all of the easy gratitudes including family, friends, music, work, my apartment and more.  I have decided to make this  a tradition, so each year it will get increasingly difficult but hopefully more meaningful as well.  To aid in this endeavour I have also been posting a “Today I am thankful for..” facebook status each day for the last month or so.  Here goes!


I am grateful for…

1. Anna being in Utah.  We have spent a ton of time together and I’ve enjoyed all of it!

2. Festival of Trees- I love the opportunity I’ve had this year to volunteer.

3. Visits from and with friends- this year I have been able to see Raelene, Emily (3 times!), Julia and Camille to name a few.

4. Visiting teachers- Mine come and it is great!

5. Hot tubs. Nothing more relaxing.

6. Creative movies- this year has been particularly rich with Up, 500 days of summer, and Where the Wild things Are.

7. Literacy- I can’t contemplate a life without reading.

8. My computer- sometimes I feel glued to it but its hard to imagine life without it.

9. Great teachers- I had some fantastic ones growing up and in college.

10. Financial security with an uncertain time.

11. Priesthood blessings. It is a power that is so comforting.

12. Greek and Icelandic yogurt. Delicious, creamy and low in calories.

13. Cute accessories- I love making an outfit special.

14. My Madame Alexander doll collection.

15. Reality Television- I know it is scripted and ridiculous but I still enjoy it.  Particularly Project Runway.

16. Great Roommates- I have been blessed this year with Sunnie and Jenni.

17. A perfect starry sky. Now I just need to find someone to share it with!

18. Successful parties.  I have had enough bad ones to be grateful for the ones that work!

19.  Board games- favorites are Cranium, Scategories, Scrabble and Boggle.

20. Flu shots and antibacterial gel/lotion.  I hate being sick!

21. Loving Grandparents that I have had the privilege of spending time with and knowing.

22.  My cousins- particularly the ones I am closest too.  My parents always made it a priority for us to spend time together.

23.  The Ocean.  I will live by the ocean sometime in my life.

24.  The Prophet- President Thomas S. Monson.

25. Temple covenants and the comfort of knowing I will be with my family forever.


There are so many blessings I can’t begin to list them all.  Next year I am sure I will have a whole new set!  I love you all and am thankful for your support this year.  Happy Thanksgiving!