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Ten Things of Thankful: Two Weeks Edition

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!"
The 5 K run was Friday at 5 a.m., and the 10 K run was Saturday, also at 5 a.m. 

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
After the race, we drove back to our California town, picked up a U-Haul truck, and started loading boxes from our storage unit. We worked until we couldn't take it any longer, then drove to our nearly-empty house and crashed for the night.

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:
Two ideas are at the core of the Humanitarian Services response: 
  • 100% of every dollar donated is used to help those in need without regard to race, religion, or ethnic origin, and
  • Humanitarian Services helps people attain self-sufficiency so they can be self-reliant long after Humanitarian Services departs.
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?

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  1. Congratulations on finishing the race and the move! So many blessings in our lives, you cheered me with your sharing.

  2. Wow, you continue to amaze me! Finding time to run races in addition to all the running/hauling/moving you've been doing is a testament to determination and endurance! I'm glad that along with the trips back and forth you've been able to spend time with friends and family, and even a mini-vacation, precious memories made. I am always thankful for safe travel and good, reasonably priced places to stay too. Our senior discount helps a little with that!:-)

    It has been decades since I've been to Disneyland when the kids were small, but the Fast Pass thing sounds wonderful! Standing in long lines in the heat is not fun.

    I know what a good feeling it is to finally have your old house cleared out, it's a daunting process. You will be relieved when it closes, just as my daughter's should before the end of the month.

    The visiting teaching program sounds like the perfect way to get to make new friends in your church community, it will begin to feel like home in no time!

    I agree with you that looking for the good things in dark times helps us deal with that and remember that God is still in control! I am happy to read that LDS uses 100% of the disaster donation funds they receive for helping, that is sadly not true of all relief organizations. I also support the principle of building self-reliance. A hand up is always better than a hand out in the long run.

    Have a great week ahead, Kristi, and maybe even a more restful one! XOXO :-)

    1. We had signed up for the runs before deciding to move; I don't think we would have run otherwise. :-)

      I'm glad your daughter's escrow should close by the end of the month, too. It is a good feeling!

      Visiting teaching is a great program. I'm sure we will be settled into our ward soon.

  3. One little girl was asked how she trained for the run. She replied, "Well, our family did some stretches this morning."
    to be young, no?
    a busy and adventurous week, surely. congrats on the run and the completion of your move to Utah.

    1. As unprepared as I was for that race, I was happy to just pretend that a morning stretch made me qualified to run. :-)

      "Completion" might be overstated. We still have more boxes in storage in California. This whole year, I think, will be an exercise in decluttering. Downsizing is a lot of work!

  4. You and John sound like true road warriors Kristi :D
    I don't know about you but I would love a semi deserted Disneyland! I'd pretend it was my own private park. I have the utmost admiration for you and John running those races at 5:00 am! Congratulations on completing both!

    1. Oh, I love an uncrowded Disneyland! I would often go when rain was in the forecast. It's so cool to be able to see Main Street practically devoid of people.

  5. You two will miss Disneyland for sure... Or just short breaks together to get your Disney fix.... I've never been there and probably never will, but I admire your loyalty and running together.
    I hope for the both of you you don't have to go often to California and the old home. Are you done now or are there more trips to be had??
    Sorry I'm not replying that often anymore. I haven't been blogging much for the last year, but hopefully during and after our upcoming holiday I will find that mojo back. During I have lots to show and tell of course and maybe after I can show my pictures taken with my new camera and tell about all the new travelplans we have. Now that working outdoors is over due to the autumn/winter weather, I have more time and energy for blogging and quilting and other relaxing stuff. Are you already househunting in Utah?? Keep us posted, very curious! How is the Anglia coming along?? Does John have time to work on him? Henk would love to own one too, but the garage is full....
    Well, next week we'll leave for California ourselfs for three weeks, so if you want to see what we're up to you can on my blog. If I'm not responding to often on your blog, forgive me. I'll catch up once we're home again....
    Give John my love and take care. Hug, Bianca

    1. I think we'll need one more trip to finish the move, but as our grandchildren are still in southern CA, we will definitely be back every so often to see them.

      We are starting to look around for houses here, but have the luxury of taking our time for just the right one.

      The Anglia still sits in the garage, but it will patiently wait for John to find time. :-)

      Have fun on your California trip! I'll stop by your blog to read all about it.

  6. Wonderful thankful list. Congrats on finishing the race. I am glad you had a safe trip and got to see so many friends.

  7. I do wish I were there. I've been to world but not land. I would love to go back to California again.


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