It sounds cheesy, I know. I promise I'm not trying to sound like Chicken Soup for the Soul or an Ensign article.
But truly, I am blessed and when I feel it so intensely, it's difficult for me to understand why I don't always remember it. In fact, I am ashamed to say there are many times when I refuse to notice the tender mercies; they are always there, but sometimes I don't want to acknowledge them.
WARNING: THIS NEXT PART IS EXTREMELY CHEESY. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
The list of things I am grateful for could fill the blogosphere, but I do want to say that I am constantly inspired by the people around me. I've been thinking about each good friend that I have and how his/her individual gifts have helped me. One friend is particularly kind and thoughtful and truly exemplifies living a service-oriented life. Another friend has patiently stuck by me through my not-so-great moments during and since my mission and she always makes me laugh. Yet another friend has shown me it's okay to take risks. And another one portrays a quiet steadiness of character no matter what is going on that I truly admire. Of course there are more and I could go on.
But you get the point. To all of my good friends, I say thank you for looking past my faults, putting up with me when I have not been a good friend in return, forgiving me and sticking by me. You know who you are. Thank you.
And, of course, while I'm on the cheese-mobile headed straight to the sentimental shelves of Deseret Book, I have to give a shout out to my family. I love to spend time with them. I love laughing with my sisters and talking about tv shows and music and what's going on in their lives. My life wouldn't be complete without either of them.
I absolutely adore both of my parents. We are all difficult to love sometimes and I'm glad they still manage even when I fall into that category. I enjoy talking to both of them and I value my relationship with them more than pretty much anything else. Dad, thanks for laughing out loud with me and talking about politics and taking care of "my" senile cat. Mom, thanks for playing word games with me (that I always lose), discussing books with me and being my best friend.
In short, as grateful as I am for my iPod, I recognize that much of the reason my life has meaning and joy is because of the interesting and cool people that are a part of it. To all of you, thanks.
Okay. I'm done. You can go throw up now. :-)