First and foremost Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. This blog will not have pictures or links but I want to take the time to say a small amount of the things that I am thankful for and I hope that you will take the time to read it. I was especially reminded of everything that I have to be thankful for this year. First and foremost it was my roommates, and not only the ones that are here with me now. Having them with me has definitely made this trip exponentially better than it would have been had I made it by myself. Them being here has also reminded me how blessed I am to have four amazing Christian men as living partners. I can not even express how thankful I am for them in this blog but do hope that each day I do something to show them how appreciative I am of them. Secondly, I am so thankful for my parents. I get a chance to see everyday, even at school, how much my parents and sibling (and siblings-in-law :) ) love and care for me but coming home I get a very special opportunity to see it first-hand. The depth and kind of love that my parents have and exhibit for and towards me is something that I probably will never understand but someday hopefully get to excperience in some way with kids of my own. The sacrifices they make for me on a daily basis truly amaze me and I hope that they see me as being appreciative and not taking that for granted. I also hope that I am doing things to make their hearts swell and give them a way of seeing my apprecitation in a tangible way. Thirdly I am thankful for my friends. The friends I have here at home, the friends I have back in California, and the friends that have been with me through almost every year of my life to this point. I got more than the amount of thanksgiving wishes from all aformentioned kinds of friends than anyone would ever deserve and it got me thinking, "I am so blessed to be surrounded by such encouraging, uplifting, loving people that care for me. I did nothing to deserve this, am I living in a way that shows them my appreciation and serving them the best way that I can to reciprocate my love for them?" (do you guys see a common theme in my thoughts today?) We spent thanksgiving with a family that mine has been very close with since I was in kindergarten. They became a second family to me in a way that would take too many pages to describe. Their son Patrick and I have been best friends since then and virtually inseperable. We have gone our seperate ways now as he goes to school in North Carolina and I on the opposite side of the country in California. Our families and we have remianed close friends however and were fortunate enough to spend the holiday together today. I was considering all the things that they have done for me in the past years of my life and things that they are continuing to do for me, and realized, there is no way I could ever repay or convey anywhere close to the type of gratitude that I would like to and they deserve. Even more, they wouldnt want me to repay them in any way. Again, with no surprise to anyone, I considered if I am living in a way that is expressing my gratitude. When I consider all these things and wonder and fret about how important it is to live in a way that shows my gratitude, I question how often I live my life in a way that shows Christ I am grateful for what he has done and continues to do through his Holy Spirit. If my blog had a little emoticon at the top that was telling everyone how I felt at this given moment, mine would say "thankful". I'm not talking about the cliche thankful that everyone puts up just because its Thanksgiving. I'm talking about the thankful that causes me not to say thanks but to live gracefully and gratefully. Are you thankful?

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy



Its finally here. Art, Zach and I arrived at Chicago Midway airport at 5:56 am.. To a cloudy, rainy, windy welcome. However dreary the weather was we did not let it damper our spirits though and were ready to go after some solid sleep on the plane. My mom picked us up at the airport and took us promptly to breakfast at Walker Bros. which i mentioned in my previous entry. We started the weekend off right by getting spoiled to the best breakfast I have had in a VERY long time.
Oven baked omellettes, chocolate chip pancakes, hashbrowns, bacon, sausage, toast, and orange juice. Needless to say we were more than stuffed. We had time to come back to my house grab a quick 45 min nap in my basement and then head off to pick up my dad at school and head downtown to hang out at ESPNZone and walk around Michigan Ave.
With it being rainy and extra windy down by the lake we were more than open to the opportunity the stores presented to get out of the cold. After we walked around for a bit my parents put us in the car and we headed for the surprise that they had been planning for weeks but wouldnt tell me what it was. When we pulled into the parking lot I realized that they were taking us to see Blue Man Group and we had seats in the fourth row (yea thats the splash zone!).
The show was ABSOLUTELY amazing and super entertaining. After that we headed back to my house for some Lou Malnatis deep dish chicago style pizza and real relaxation. The snow started coming down about 930 so we headed over to my best friend Brandon Hutchins house and sat outside in his hot tub with the snow falling down all around us. Let me tell you it was the PERFECT start to an AMAZING weekend if you ask me. I am SO looking forward to the rest of our time here with my parents. Well... the hot tub put us all absolutely to sleep so we're gonna hit the hay and hopefully there will be another exciting (used very relative here) tomorrow! Goodnight.


The Chi

SOOOO... as I mentioned for a moment in my previous blog, two of my four roommates are making the trek with me back to my home in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The specific town that my parents currently reside in and have since I was in ohhh, fourth gradeish is called Buffalo Grove. I am so excited not only to see my family and friends from back home because chances are we will probably not have a lot of time just to relax. I am most excited for the opportunity to get to host someone at my house finally. I am so thankful and will continue to be greatful for my friends and the families of my friends that God has put in my life. They have been especially hospitible and made me feel at home as much as they can while I am here at school. My parents are also greatful for this fact (especially my Mom, shes a worrier). However, it is truly far better to give than to receive and I am finally able to give some hospitality to my friends for a change. It will be a great chance for us to spend some time together on the road and away from our daily lives. I'm excited to see how our relationships are gonna grow while we travel together and Art and Zach get a chance to see where I have grown up. Where I went to high school, spend some more time with my family, meet some of my best friends from growing up, and eat at some of my FAVORITE restaurants

We are definitely planning on going downtown at least once which is going to be SO fun because downtown Chicago is so pretty in the christmas time and the tree will be lit. I am also looking forward to clean crisp cold air. Yes, I said it, COLD air. It amazes some people that I would miss something like that but when you have grown up your whole life with the temperature not making it over 65 from the middle of october til the end of April you realize that when it kind of makes you appreciate the hot. I want to appreciate the warm weather that we're blessed with here in Southern California.

Here are some pictures of my beautiful city for your enjoyment.. i dont know why theyre so pixelated sorry!




Oh and My Christmas Tree

One more cuz its the best tree in the world



soooo I realize that after starting a blog I got lazy and haven't blogged in an altogether unacceptable long period of time. So I very much apologize for that BUT if we're to be honest with each other... how important are my blogging thoughts in the grand scheme of things, not very is the answer to that question. So while I do apologize I'm kind of over it already so I hope you are too.

These past couple of weeks have been pretty long in the fact that its in the heart of the semester and things are beginning to drag on as well as I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving so much and going home!! on top of this two of my roommates Zach and Art are coming with me. Needless to say this is shaping up to be an AMAZING trip... My parents have already called dibs on the first day we are there to take us out to breakfast (which I'm TOTALLY ok with) and have a fun time with us for themselves. SO back to my thought I have been looking forward to all these things and getting very weary of the day to day, same old routine of going to school.

However, in the last week and weekend and so far in the beginning of this week, God has been teaching me amazing things about and from his word which have been really encouraging me. Its awesome to me to see that even though I'm feeling weary and apathetic with the daily routine I can be uplifted and encouraged through learning about things COMPLETELY unrelated and just being continually drawn nearer to God on a daily basis. While I'm still eagerly anticipating Thanksgiving and a break from school and not elated with the pattern I let myself fall into, God is faithful and is the Great Sustainer..

So, all this to say