Riley and I celebrated our first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year spent as a married couple. I was more blessed than I could ever have hoped for, and being with family is what made that happen. My family is so loving, so ready to serve, and so close. I am grateful to be able to say the same things about my in-laws. Riley and I are always welcomed, and it is such a blessing to have family so close. Mom and Dad for me are far away. It has been hard to spend time away from them, but Riley keeps me positive. What's not to be positive about anyway? Riley is the perfect companion...he comforts me, he provides for me, he inspires me, and is ready to catch me when I fall. Just the things I loved about my parents. Riley drove Melinda and I 1217.26 miles to my town in Mckinney, Texas. Boy was I spoiled...he didn't let me drive an entire mile. Now there is something to be joyous about, thought I tried to put up a fight and I'll admit I allowed myself to think for just a second that he was being unfair and treating me as thought I didn't know how to drive. HA! How silly of me...he was only caring. Four weeks with my family brought joy to the front of my mind. I was reminded once again how important they are to me. Since I've left home for college, it has been hard to fulfill the role I've taken as the oldest sibling. I missed being a close part of my sibling's lives. But being home proved to me that just because I am away does not mean I don't have an influence on my family, or that I can't still be there for them.
The Holidays brought a plethora of emotions, but more than that were memories to look back on. Thanksgiving was hard for me because it was the first time I'd been away from my family for it. I was with Riley's side of the family, and it was hard for me to hold myself together! As a complete surprise, Riley and Leanne put together a ''second'' Thanksgiving and made my favorite meal: Hawaiian Haystacks. They told me they wanted me to have a positive memory to cover up the ''negative'' one I'd had. I was also blessed to be able to attend the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert. That's a memory in itself! I can always count on laughs when I'm with Riley ad Cherilyn. The music was truly touching, and was a great start to bringing in the Christmas spirit. Going to Texas was a blast. We went downtown, ice-skated, saw movies, stayed up late, partied with old friends. I got to celebrate Christmas with the love of my life and our very close friends. The silly hats from the pictures were from our ''poppers'' that sat next to our place mats at Christmas Eve dinner.
Hooray for smiles, laughter, joy, and a positive outlook. A personal resolution of mine is to replace any negative thought or down feeling with a reason to be happy, because if I can't think of one, I don't deserve to be where I'm at.