Gratitude is the essence of good mental health and spirituality. -Unknown Author
Thanksgiving is the BEST! Food, family and gratitude are some of my reasons I love this holiday. This year I had more time off than I've had in a long time so I took advantage of it to take the 10 hour trip up to Grandma Priest's house. Boy, am I glad I did! It had been more than five years since I've been to Mt. Pleasant, UT--a quaint little town just north of Ephraim--a quaint little town just north of Manti--a quaint little town just north of Salina...ok, I'll stop :-) Suffice it to say...it's a beautifully quaint LITTLE town pretty much smack dab in the center of UT.
I'M GRATEFUL FOR SMALL TOWNS!
Anyway, we packed up the Jetta and drove up Thursday morning with Uncle Rick and my good friend Katie. We were fortunate to hit good weather and, although there was constant rain and snow on the way, none of it was sticking to the road. We had a lot of nice conversations on the way as I tortured Rick with a fabulous mix from my iPhone playlist (i.e. David Archuleta, Wicked Soundtrack, Britney Spears, Flo Rida, Chris Brown, Rihanna, etc.). He was a really good sport about it and he liked most of my music :-) We munched on snacks which were lovingly arranged in a Thanksgiving theme by my wonderfully witty mother (i.e. turkey jerky, dried cranberries, pumkin cookies, and even some Goldfish snacks [my uncle is a huge fisherman]). It made for a beautiful drive and we arrived just in time for the Thanksgiving Feast!
I'M GRATEFUL FOR A RELIABLE, FUEL-EFFICIENT CAR!
Grandma was smiling ear to ear (as only she can) when we got to the house. It was a very happy reunion! The food was superb and plentiful and I know we all ate to the point of having to losen our belts. It was so nice to sit down and catch up with my Grandma. It's interesting, having conversation with her as an adult I realized how much I really didn't know about her life and our family history. For instance, I had no idea that one of my grandparent's first dates was a Johnny Cash concert at the Bostonian Ballroom...HOW RAD IS THAT?! I guess it was before "The Man in Black" was at the height of his fame. It felt nice to sit down and talk with my grandma, feel her love and learn from her life. I definitely gained a great appreciation and understanding for her role in my life!
I'M THANKFUL FOR A GRANDMA'S LOVE!
Friday afternoon Katie and I headed up to Provo to visit friends/family. I dropped her off with one of her old roommates who is going to BYU and I continued up to Ogden to hook up with my cousins Annie and Jessa, her husband Ben, and their little baby girl Madeline--SO CUTE!!! It was cool too because I got to see my Aunt Debbie. They were all up there to see family. After dinner, we bumped the speakers to Flo Rida "In the Ayer" as we headed down to my cousin Corrie's house and had some gourmet hot chocolate with fresh whipped cream...mmmm! Later that night I met up with my friends Michael and Mark and we went out dancing in Salt Lake City. It was fun!
Saturday morning I got to sit down with Corrie and we had a great chat. I really love her! You can just feel the love bubbling out of that girl! Later that morning Annie and I went to IHOP with Carly and I got to see her BEAUTIFUL new baby girl Kennedy. It was really nice to hang out with them. Annie and Carly never cease to amaze me with their HUGE hearts!
I'M GRATEFUL FOR MY CRAZY COUSINS!
It was hard to leave when the time came but I was excited to get back to Grandma's house. I picked up Katie and we had a delicious BBQ waiting for us when we got back to Mt. Pleasant. It was some of the best fillet Mignon I've ever tasted--Rick really knows how to BBQ!
I'M GRATEFUL FOR THE COW AND PIG WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES SO I COULD EAT DELICIOUS FILLET MIGNON!
Sunday morning we set out early for AZ. Katie had to be back in Thatcher so we decided to take the 12 hour "scenic route" through Moab and down HWY 191 to pass through Thatcher on the way back to Mesa. It was a long trip but absolutely georgeous! P.S. I wanna move to Moab sooo bad and become a "professional" mountain biker...LOL! Katie took this picture of me in front of a mountain bike shop by the gas station.
I'M THANKFUL FOR RED SANDSTONE!
We even hit some snowy patches in the mountains above Springerville, AZ. The beautiful scenery was just one more thing to be grateful for!
After the 13 1/2 hour drive home I realized one more thing I'm thankful for...
I'M GRATEFUL FOR MY SOFT SPRING AIR MATTRESS!