Category Archives: Random Subject

10 Things I’m Thankful For

The other day a friend asked me to blog about ten “micro” things I am thankful for, which I thought was an interesting and creative question to answer. “Micro” meaning it can’t be any of the big typical things one would usually say like “shelter” or “health” or “family”. They either have to be really specific or just [literally] really small. So here you go! In no particular order…

1. I’m thankful I don’t have a gluten allergy. That would mean no more naan bread or beer and those (I think) are the most delicious gluten-containing foods so that would just be the pits.

2. I’m thankful for chlorophyll because without it, nature would not be as beautiful because everything that is currently green would have to be another color and green is my favorite.

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3. I’m thankful for Tyrel’s keen ability to understand and forgive. He really gets inside my brain and heart and knows what’s going on before I can even verbalize it. And he’s quick to show me grace and forgive faults when Lana Darkside comes out without warning.

4. I’m thankful for harmonicas and didgeridoos because their sounds make me really happy.

5. I’m thankful for the process of mitosis and meiosis because without them we couldn’t make new humans or generate new, healthy cells to repair ourselves. Plus it’s just really fun to think about that taking place in our body as we speak. Our bodies are so stinkin’ cool.

6. I am thankful for mountains because they provide adventure, fun, and beauty every single season out of the year. Camping, trail running, hiking, skiing…

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7. I am thankful for my sister’s sense of humor. We’re pretty evenly matched in the weirdness category which A) makes me feel more normal than I truly am and B) makes me laugh really really hard.

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8. I am thankful for my sleeping bag. It’s the warmest, happiest place in the whole entire world. (Thanks, Ty! Best. Purchase. Ever.)

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9. I’m thankful for hard times and difficult circumstances. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t particularly enjoy them, but I am thankful for them because they make me a better person and live life with more gratitude and contentment than I would otherwise. Some of the hardest things in life also seem to bring the most joy, ya know?…raising kids (not that I would know but I can imagine), marriage, being obedient when you don’t want to but you know it’s for your good…

10. I‘m thankful for sushi and that obviously needs no explanation.

**What is something random that you’re thankful for?** 🙂

 

can’t take a normal photo.

Tyrel and I are coming up on our three year anniversary next month. (I can’t believe it! Time has flown!) So I was looking through Tyrel and I’s engagement photos today and had a good laugh. There’s no photo of us sitting in a meadow in color-coordinated outfits, or walking hand-in-hand down a railroad track. We’re not making hearts with our hands or holding a chalkboard with our last name on it. It’s really quite hard for us to be serious when having our photo taken together. We just have too much fun together! It seemed like for every “normal” photo there was also a not-so-serious one, ha.  Instead, our photographer just told us to “be ourselves”, and so we took heed of that advice and this is what came of it.

Why not pay tribute to Elvis?

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Nothing says “love” like being photographed alongside a lonely old lady statue. (Tyrel humored me on this one. Ohhh the things I find hilarious sometimes.)

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“Can I wear your coat? Would you still love me if I looked like this?!”…

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#winning….

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“I forget…are we playing or having professional photographs taken? Please remind me.”

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[When was the last time you got professional photos taken?]

[What are you doing to enjoy this fall weather so far this season?]

“Into the Wild” – soo good.

Have you seen this movie?
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Or better yet, read the book?

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I just finished reading “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer, which is also a movie now directed by Sean Penn. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book I would highly recommend them both to you. It’s a true story about the life of the late Chris McCandless, an outdoor enthusiast who was raised by a wealthy family in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and graduated with honors from Emory. Upon graduating he donated all his savings, burned his cash and IDs, changed his name to Alexander Supertramp, and set out on an expedition to travel the U.S. freely. The book describes his journey as such:

“The trip was to be an odyssey in the fullest sense of the word, an epic journey that would change everything. He had spent the previous four years, as he saw it, preparing to fulfill an absurd and onerous duty: to graduate from college. At long last he was unencumbered, emancipated from the stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstraction and security and material excess, a world in which he felt grievously cut off from the raw throb of existence.” 

After two years of traveling across the U.S. with little to no belongings, he set out for his “Great Alaskan Adventure” where his goal was to spend the summer in the Alaskan outback living off of the land for some time. Unfortunately, to his demise, his unpreparedness and lack of training for such a feat led him to his death after consuming a poisonous plant he had wrongly mistaken for an edible one.

As a response to the book, many alpinists/hikers/climbers have had varying viewpoints and opinions on his life and legacy. Many applaud and admire his determination to set out on an adventure that some of us wish we could accomplish ourselves – an adventure that sacrifices the security and monotony of modern society for a day-to-day existence simply convening with nature and beholding with awestuck eyes of all that it has to offer. Others lambaste him for his foolhardiness and selfishness – to set out so ill-prepared, not having taken into consideration what tragic effect it would have on his family to lose their son/brother in such a way.

Tyrel and I both read this book over a weekend of camping, and were enthralled by it. There is something in the inner core of our beings that made us feel like we could relate to Chris. We, too, are passionate about the outdoors, lovers of adventure, and frequently disillusioned by the false sense of security that secure jobs and stable finances bring. Like Chris, we have everything we could possibly need and most things we really even want, but yet there’s still something so appealing about not having any of it at all.

After reading the book and doing additional research on my own about his life, I gather that Chris simply felt like there was “something more” out there, and being so fed-up with the “world”, he set out to find fulfillment where he thought it would assuredly be.

I’ve personally done the very same thing just not in the exact same way and not to the extreme. I, too, have sought to find ultimate happiness and fulfillment…in performance mostly. Performance in academia and sports. But after years of striving and chasing an illusive goal, I’ve still come up short and unsatisfied. I think the difference between myself and Chris is that I stopped chasing the false promise of contentment that “perfect performance” (for me) and “living unencumbered in nature” (for him), would bring.

Most of you know Tyrel and I really well otherwise you probably wouldn’t take the time to read my blog, so you know that we’re Christians. We’re not “preachy” or “bible-thumping” or “in your face” about it. That’s annoying and embarrassing. We just sincerely love Jesus and, as a result, have corresponding world-views that reflect those core beliefs. So, as a result, our understanding of how our own life experiences tie into the order of things is largely shaped by our faith. With that said, I totally believe we were all created with a void that only God can fill. Most of us go our whole lives trying to “fill” it with success, achievements, substances, or, in Chris McCandless’ case – nature and adventure. But in searching to find happiness for ourselves in our own way we always come up short.

Chris seemed to feel the “tug” for something greater, as we all do. That’s what makes his story so relatable, I think. Being out in the vast expanse of creation is astonishing. But it’s all too easy to worship (“revere” or “adore”) something created rather than the creator of it. So, after reading about Chris’ life and story, Tyrel and I were humbled and reminded that while there are many natural beauties to behold and to explore in our world, they only serve to remind us of the greater purpose behind their existence – to draw us closer to our Creator so that the void in our souls that we all possess can be filled with His magnificence and grace through having a relationship with Jesus. 

[If you’ve read the book or seen the movie, what did you think? Do you feel as though you can relate to Chris’ story? How?]

[“What” or “who” do you revere or adore?]

[Do you have a philosophy or ideology that shapes your worldview? If so, what? I’d love to hear!]