i know lots of people are eager to just kind of skip past thanksgiving to get to the christmas season. but i'm all about enjoying thanksgiving while it lasts. i think it's an awesome holiday for a lot of reasons. all the delicious food and excuse to eat way too much of it...the long movie marathons...time spent with family/friends...plus you get the day off school/work to do all these things! but the best part about this time of year is that it always makes me take a second to reflect back on the past year and remember just how blessed i am. i could go on and on with lists about all the things i'm thankful for, but for now i'll just settle on my top five:

1. nicolaus. i never realized how close you could really be to someone until this boy came into my life. it still sometimes freaks me out how much he just gets me. he makes me feel so special and is always so sweet and thoughtful. not to mention he is the hardest working person i know. aaaand he makes me laugh. every. single. day. he is my best friend and i feel so lucky to share my life with him.

2. my family. only a fraction of my family were able to make it to my wedding since my relatives are a bit spread out all over south africa/australia. but i think they are all so wonderful and love it whenever i'm able to spend time with them. plus there's my immediate family. we're just a whole bundle of personalities thrown together to make one big, lively family. i've learned so much from each of them and feel so blessed to have been born into such an incredible group of people.

3. my new family. growing up i always heard horror stories of people hating their in-laws, so it's always been something i've been a little worried about. i didn't know how i would feel about sharing holidays/sunday dinners with a family besides my own, but turns out i love it. nick's entire family have been so welcoming and lovely towards me and i really just feel like a part of the family. not to mention, they are hilarious. some of the funniest people alive i'm pretty sure. i definitely lucked out with this one.

4. my friends. i'm sure lots of people think this, but i really am convinced i have the greatest bunch of friends in the world. all of them are incredible and so much fun in their own way and i really see them more as family than friends. i don't think i'm naturally the most social of a person, and think i would make a perfectly content recluse. but somehow i love my friends enough to want to be with these people all the time. i know i would be in a very different place today if it wasn't for all of their top notch mentoring.

5. and last but not least...my church. i was born into an LDS family, so the gospel has always been a big part in my life. i love the peace, happiness and hope it brings to me time and time again. as crazy as things can get it has always been the most stable and comforting source to keep me going.