1. MY FAMILY. Obviously, this is a big one. How could I not be grateful for my family? They define my entire identity... they make me laugh and smile, cry and yell.. they make me sing (even if they typically wish I wouldn't... ;). My family members are the only people that I can get so upset with I want to scream, yet still love them forever and continue to be best friends. I can't really hold grudges with my family. I'm stuck with them forever... I might as well forgive them earlier on and make it altogether more pleasant ;) My family is so funny... I can sing in the loudest, most obnoxious voice possible, I can play my Christmas music all year (even if they turn it off :( ), I can get upset with them and they can get upset with me... but they still love me. Who else would do that? Not many... maybe no one else but my family. Yes, they're kind of forced to keep loving me ;) but... I'm so grateful that they do! They probably get really annoyed with me sometimes (just like I do them), but we just go on loving each other.
2. NOISE. I'll want to erase this one as soon as I go home again... but it's honestly one of the things I sometimes miss the most while here at school. Sometimes it is quiet, and that quiet sometimes gets lonely. When I'm home with my loud family I can do nothing yet still be entertained by everything else that's going on with everyone else. I realized my first day down here that being bored here wasn't like being bored at home. Here I discovered the true meaning of boredom... at home there is always something going on. Sometimes it's a pain... sometimes you wish you could get your siblings to all quiet down so you could finish your homework or a movie. But you start to miss it when it all disappears at once.
3. FOOD. I know I talked about cooking in my list of school things... but there are also many things I miss about the food at home. My mommy can't cook for me anymore :( And when your mother cooks as good as mine, it's definitely an adjustment learning for yourself how to match that excellence :) It's nice having independence and choosing what I want, but at the same time... leftovers get a little old. At home my family all eats so much that there are really leftovers... and if there are we often fight over who gets them. Here I might fight my siblings to get them to eat my leftovers... as good as a meal is it gets boring and significantly less enjoyable after a week ;) Also, when you go grocery shopping for a big family you can get lots of different things at the grocery store... all sorts of varieties of produce and other food. But for me at school I can only buy a couple different veggies at a time because if I get all the kinds I'd like they'll go bad before using them all ;/ . So yes, sometimes it's a blessing having siblings that eat all the food :)
4. BOUNTIFUL. I miss Bountiful in general... Ephraim is beautiful. I really mean it. I love the nature and the farmy-ness around here... but sometimes I really miss Bountiful. Ephraim is teeny tiny. Like REALLY teeny tiny... like 2 miles wide tiny... Sometimes I miss having access to the stores in Bountiful and those in Salt Lake and Centerville which are just minutes away. Ephraim really doesn't have a whole lot.. which is fine most of the time. It's just that sometimes I miss good ol' Bountiful :)
5. FRIENDS. I have the greatest friends. Everyone might say that... but really... my high school friends are probably the coolest people ever :) It's weird being here at Snow while my friends are scattered around... literally around the world. Some are on missions while others are scattered around to different colleges. Sometimes I miss the close proximity of these friends I've known forever. I'm grateful for the fun I can have with those friends still in Bountiful though when I come home. Quite a few are still living in Bountiful- going to school nearby or just working... and it's nice when I get to come home and see them. I honestly can't say how grateful I am for my friends... they are the greatest examples to me. In a way they're like an extension to my family... I love them so much :)
6. GIRLS NIGHTS. Girls nights are the greatest... and I'm reminded of this every time my mom tells me they're having one on a Friday night... without me. It's okay though... it makes me realize how much I should appreciate and enjoy those moments when I am home and get to take part in them. Girls nights used to be somewhat of a hindrance sometimes (like when I wanted to hang out with Carter instead ;). But now I realize how much I should value and be grateful for those times I get to spend with my mom and sisters. When I'm at school I realize how much fun it can be to make dinner and watch a chick flick with the girls :)
7. SLEEPOVERS. I mean with my siblings... Almost every night that I'm home for a weekend I'll do this... whether sleeping in Heidi's queen sized bed, or camping out on my floor with Hayden... I guess I realize that I want to spend as much time with them as I can while I'm home.. so I like sleepovers :)... (is that weird?) Thank heavens for roommates though! I really don't like sleeping in a room alone... :) I guess I'm afraid of the dark and monsters/evil spirits :)
8. FOREST. I'm so grateful for the beautiful forest that is my own backyard. I'm grateful for the hikes that are SO CLOSE. Like Elephant rock.. I could do that hike over and over again and still love it. I love the beauty that is so abundant at my house in Bountiful. IT IS AMAZING. Those trees are so beautiful... I mean, Ephraim has trees... but I don't have a beautiful mountain and forest in my own BACK YARD. That is unique to Bountiful and I absolutely LOVE it... so much :) And those hikes... I love the elephant rock hike so much as well... I wish I had time to do it every time I came home.
9. MOMMY. I am so grateful for my mother. I've already mentioned some of her wonderfulness... but really. She needs her own place on the list :) My mom is AMAZING. She is WONDERFUL. I don't know what I would do without her.. really. It's so nice when I can come home and just talk to her- even if all she can currently think or talk about is our trip to Europe ;) I love her so much though. She is the most selfless person... she does so much for me... and I realize this even more now that I'm at school. Life gets harder when you don't have your mommy to take care of you all the time.
10. EVERYTHING. There are too many things to just say one final thing. There is so much to be grateful for at home. I am grateful for a real fireplace.. (not a cardboard one.... but one that can have real fire in it! :). I'm grateful for my sisters' clothes... really though... it is so nice that I never have to pack to come home. I just live off of their things for a weekend :) I kind of miss the variety granted by their wardrobes :). I'm also grateful for the ability to drive a car... I don't have that at school. Although I'm just fine not driving... it's just nice being able to go places when I need to. The independence in that aspect is wonderful! I'm grateful for Carter... he'll either be embarrassed that I mentioned him or sad that he didn't get his own place on the list... so I guess my alternative is writing about him in this final point with other stuff :) but I have to recognize everything he does for me. He is AMAZING. Really :) He is so patient with all my craziness and occasional moodiness. He watches Frozen with me- way too much ;) , he gets me fishy crackers, wakes up early to make breakfast with me, and so much more. Really he does TONS. He is the person I cry with when I'm having a bad day and he's the person I laugh and be silly with. He is my best friend. I can't describe how patient he is with me and everything he sacrifices for me. Words can't tell all I wish I could say about that boy... :)
All in all, there are a lot of really great things about being in school. There are definitely the hard times when I miss my family, friends, and Bountiful in general... Sometimes it's hard for me because I don't totally know why I'm supposed to be at Snow- but for whatever reason that was I still feel strongly that I was prompted to come to Snow. I don't know why. There are some times when things at Snow frustrate me and I find myself comparing it to BYU where I would have gone... but there are definitely things that I do love about Snow, and reasons that I'm grateful to be here. In those hard times I just have to remember that I'm supposed to be here... for whatever reason that may be, and remember all the wonderful blessings I'm grateful to have here :)