I refuse to let the weekend slip by again without a Ten Things of Thankful post, so I'm getting a jump on it (and including items from the past two weeks.)
Last week, we drove back to California (again). Months before we had decided to move to Utah, we had signed up to run at Disneyland over Labor Day weekend. We left here on Wednesday night, stopped at Mesquite, Nevada to sleep, then drove the rest of the way to Anaheim on Thursday morning.
1. I'm thankful for safety in travel. We drove through some pretty intense, though brief, rain storms in southern Utah. We had no problems, nor did anyone else that we saw.
2. I'm thankful for online discount sites. Thanks to Ebates and Expedia, our stay at the Rising Star Sports Ranch Resort in Mesquite was super affordable. (If you ever find yourself in Mesquite, and want to avoid the casino crowd, I'd recommend Rising Star. It was new, clean, and smoke-free.)
Once in Anaheim, we were shocked at how uncrowded the Disney parks were! Apparently triple-digit heat, combined with humidity, keeps lots of people home or in their hotels.
3. I'm thankful the lines were short, so we could minimize our time standing around in the heat. (Here's a Public Service Announcement: Fast passes at Disneyland are still free. You only have to pay if you want to get fast passes on your phone. If you approach a ride and see that the wait time is 30 minutes, and the fast pass return time is now, get a fast pass! Then you can bypass the 30 minute wait and get on the ride nearly immediately. I had never seen the return time match (or be within 5 minutes) the actual time before, and that happened more than once this trip.)
4. I'm thankful we met up with good friends and fellow Disney fanatics. We had a great time together!
|Photo: Our friends, Dehrl and Gina, pose with John and I behind a Disneyland postcard frame. In the top right corner is a stamp of Mickey and Minnie, and on the bottom of the frame is printed, "Wish you were here!"
5. I'm thankful the early start meant the temperatures were manageable. Conditions were still far from ideal--76 degrees with 60 percent humidity--but they were better than they were later in the day.
While waiting for the start, race organizers were interviewing runners in the corrals. One little girl was asked how she trained for the run. She replied, "Well, our family did some stretches this morning." With everything that a move entails, John and I had not trained well for this race, and it was encouraging to hear that if we just stretched a little, we'd be fine.
6. I'm thankful that even though we weren't well-prepared for this run, we paced ourselves accordingly, and had fun anyway.
|Photo: John and I cross the finish line with arms upraised and smiles on our faces
On Sunday, we attended church and enjoyed visiting with friends. Though we hadn't been gone long, we received a warm welcome. That afternoon, we spent time with our daughter and grandchildren.
7. I'm thankful for big hugs from little people, and I'm thankful for video calling when I can't be there for the hugs.
We were up bright and early Monday, to load the last of the things from the house and make the long trip home to Utah.
8. I'm thankful for friends who came to help. It made the task less daunting and far more enjoyable.
9. I'm thankful the house is now cleared out and ready for the new owners, and it is even possible that escrow will close early!
The trip home was uneventful, though long. We got home around 2 a.m. on Tuesday. We hired some help to unload the truck. This week, I've just been continuing to get settled in. Yesterday, my visiting teachers came. Next week, I'll go meet the women I am assigned to visit teach.
9-1/2. I'm thankful for the visiting teaching program, which allows me to get to know the women in my church ward and gives me a chance to serve.
9-3/4. My daughter-in-law surprised us with a visit this week! She and her parents were on their way to drop her sister off to college, so she stopped by for a bit. It was so nice to see her!
10. As always, I am thankful for John. He is so busy at work right now, yet we managed to go on a mini-vacation and bring another moving van to Utah. It seemed like a good idea at the time to combine the fun trip with the moving trip, but it was a lot of hard work! I appreciate all he does.
I am aware that fires rage, hurricanes threaten, floods destroy, earthquakes rumble, and generally bad things happen. Despite that, or maybe even because of that, it is helpful and good to look for things for which to be grateful. Find joy, and help others.
If you are wanting to help financially to relieve suffering for those affected by natural disasters, and don't know where to donate, might I suggest LDS Philanthropies? I appreciate this statement from their webpage:
Even if you aren't in a position to assist financially, you can help make the world a little brighter by joining us in our Ten Things of Thankful blog hop! Go visit Josie's link-up and read, post, comment, and enjoy. What are you thankful for this week?