Bing is oh-so-wise. These past few weeks I've been overwhelmed by how blessed I am. And considering the season, I'd say a cheesy, gratitude blog entry is definitely in order.
1. I have wonderful parents! I've been working on my semester project for my Doctrine and Covenants class this week; I wrote a 3500 word paper about Diana Baumrind's prototypical parenting styles--permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative--and comparing them to the advice we receive from Heavenly Father and our church leaders. Turns out, Baumrind is right on target when she discusses the importance of balancing limitations with autonomy and love. And, as it also turns out, my parents were right on target while raising me!
2. The beautiful Rebecca threw a surprise birthday party for me a few weekends ago, and it was so wonderful! I didn't expect a thing; it took me completely by surprise! She had some delicious BYU mint brownies and ice cream waiting, along with 20 or so of my favorite people! And, as if that wasn't enough, the next day she made a seven-layer cake for the cousins and us. What a sweetheart, right?
3. My parents and Granny bought me a new Kindle Fire for my birthday! It is pretty much the coolest thing I own. I've downloaded so many books already (all the free classics, of course) that chances are I'll never finish all of them! I have all of the Jane Austen novels, some Dickens, Shakespeare, Vanity Fair, Walt Whitman, Crime and Punishment, Elizabeth Gaskell, plenty of P.G. Wodehouse, Les Miserables, to name a few. I'm still finding my way through all the ins and outs of this high-tech gadget, but honestly, the biggest challenge will be deciding what to read first!
4. I spent the last few days in a lovely, homey condo in Park City with the cousins (pictures to come later). We had a peaceful Thanksgiving and even made our own traditional turkey dinner! Yes, that's right. Five college students cooked a complete, delicious Thanksgiving meal without any causing any national disasters... unless you count starting a fire in the oven. But don't worry, we just let it burn out and carried on with the cooking! We wouldn't let something so trivial as open flame keep us from food. What did we do for 2 days, apart from cooking? Well, we may or may not have watched the entire (extended edition) Lord of the Rings series while knitting scarves. It's definitely a possibility.
5. Last Friday, Dustin and I went to dinner at Tucanos so that I could use my birthday coupon. It was absolutely delicious. But that's not even the best part. As we walked out of the restaurant, we saw a crowd gathered around a gazebo in the middle of the square watching someone play the most magnificent piano I've ever seen. We decided to see what was going on and get this: JON SCHMIDT. Yes, that's right. We stumbled upon a free Jon Schmidt concert. He played all of his classics: "All of Me," "Waterfall." Then he did some upside down playing and some fun, jazzy Christmas carols. His beautiful music, combine with an abundance of Christmas lights and lightly falling snow... Well honestly, it couldn't get much more magical.
6. Last Thursday, Rebecca, Allison, Nikki, and I went to see BYU's theater production of my favorite Christmas movie of all time: White Christmas. It was absolutely fantastic. When they invited the audience to sing along with them at the end, I was on the verge of tears. I may have actually shed a tear or two when it started snowing on stage, it was too dark to tell. (In case you can't tell, I have this unpreventable emotional reaction whenever I see snow; I think it's a sort of medical condition.)
I'll leave you with a song from one of my new favorite artists. Her name is Camille, and she's a French singer with such a unique, interesting sound. Here's her song "Quand je marche."