Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Places I'm Most Grateful For

I knew I wanted to make posts about the things and the people I was most grateful for, but I felt like I needed a third thing. As a joke I thought of places, because nouns are people, places, and things. But as I thought it over I realized that there are a few significant places that I am truly grateful for.

Jackson Hole -Anyone who knows me, knows that my family goes to Jackson Hole, Wyoming every year (because I talk about it frequently and I feel half my t-shirts say Jackson Hole or Yellowstone on them). I am honestly in love with that place. We go with my cousins and my grandma. It started out having my grandpa with us until he passed away and that was usually the only time I would get to see my grandpa that year, and I was always grateful to see him. My cousins from Washington used to go with us and it was so fun playing with them in the pool, hiking, or shopping together. Later they stopped coming and my cousin from Austria came and it was incredible to really get to know her because the distance had never really allowed it before. Now I bring my husband, the condos are more crowded, but it has and always will be my favorite place to go. There is so much to see and to do and being with family the whole time makes it even more incredible.

Utah State University -Since I was about fourteen I always knew I wanted to go to USU. I didn't even apply anywhere else, it was the only place I wanted to go. And while I sort of gave up on college and only got my associates, USU let me become a different person. I grew up at USU. I met my husband at USU. I learned a ton, not just in school, but I learned a ton about myself. I was two hours away from home with no car, essentially trapped up here, but being on my own was an incredible experience and gave me the confidence I had been lacking my whole life. I used to be so shy I never spoke to anyone and I believe that USU helped me to overcome that (sort of, I'm still pretty shy). I'm truly grateful for USU and I still believe that I was supposed to go here.

Photo Credits: Utah State University

Eastridge 3rd Ward -I grew up in the same ward for most my life and the people there helped raise me. While I was too shy to speak to most of them, there were some that I allowed myself to get to know. My parent's neighborhood is filled with people who, despite having moved away, still love me and care for me. When I go visit my parent's ward they all come up to me and let me know how happy they are to see me. They care about my life and what I'm doing. I am so grateful that I grew up in the neighborhood I did. It changed my life and I am grateful for it.

My Parent's House -I still call it my house all the time because it's where I lived the longest. I love my home. I love the city it's in. I love the atmosphere around it. I love the neighborhood. I love the surrounding mountains (actually I'm more obsessed with said mountains). I love everything about that home. And while things keep changing, new carpet, my grandma moving into my old bedroom, new furniture, etc. It will always be a home to me and I love that place more than anything.

Temples -I was married in the Draper, Utah LDS Temple and that was quite possibly the greatest day of my entire life. When I was in high school the Draper temple was being built and I was chosen to sing in a youth choir for the dedication. When the day came, we stood on stands outside the temple, sang our songs, and watched as President Thomas S. Monson dedicated the cornerstone of the temple. It was by far, one of the most incredible experiences of my life to be there watching it happen and to participate as well. Later the valley put on a big show to celebrate the Draper and the Oquirrh Mountain temples and I sang in the choir there as well. These two events changes my perspective on temples. I am truly in love with temples, especially the Draper one, because of the experiences I've had, the feeling it give me, and for the love I feel inside of them.

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