31 days of things I’m thankful for – a list

December 31 – Cliché, I know, but I’m thankful for the whirlwind of a year 2014 was. It started off with a much needed but perhaps too wild second semester of my freshmen year. Thank god I had some fun, it kept me at the school I now know is exactly where I should be. I’m thankful for the mellow summer I had, the tickets to Lollapalooza I scored and the crazy journalism 301 course I passed. 2014 propelled me into this year with some outstanding force, making me more eager and curious for what a year has in store than I’ve ever been. 2015 BRING IT ON.

My cousin Cayla and I celebrating NEW YEAR'S EVE

My cousin Cayla and I celebrating NEW YEAR’S EVE

IMG_1766December 30 – Chicago, Illinois and my family, who I unfortunately cannot even put into words the gratitude I feel for each and every member


December 29 – Ricky and Rosie

December 28 – My short-lived job at Pizza 51 for Christmas break, it was experience, easy $$$ and a warm, friendly place to be. I also got to make my own slices sometimes


December 27 – My new velvet, backless, black American Apparel dress and Gracie, who I watched ice-skate and nearly cried over how much she’s grown. I’m torn between wanting her to slow down and wanting to see who she becomesIMG_7918.

December 26 – The Corner Restaurant, a little restaurant in the heart of Westport that serves breakfast ALL DAY

December 25 – SANTA OF COURSE… and/or my dad Mike who got me a SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH OF CHARLI XCX (heart pupils)

Uncle Lenny!

Uncle Lenny!

December 24 – My aunt Mimi and 100% Italian uncle Lenny, god love em

December 23 – My puppies (specifically Mack this evening), a seat in front of the fireplace and Joe Cocker, rest in peace you dancing fool, hippie legend


December 22 – Kate Moss: whether she’s too nuts to call a role model or too skinny to call an icon, I love her and her quote that I doodled today

IMG_8313December 21 – Banana milkshakesfrom Winstead’s; a surprisingly scrumptious menu item, who’d of thought? BANANA??! and, Winstead’s too, a symbol of my shape shifting that happened when I moved from Dallas to Kansas City; a place where I went with my new, misfit, wild friends I met in the 8th grade AND The Black Keys who I saw live in concert this evening


Reuniting with an old friend at the Christmas party

Reuniting with an old friend at the Christmas party

December 20 – Our annual Christmas party tradition… or should I say, the comeback of this tradition we left behind in Texas. I’m glad KC is picking up on it, because it’s one of the coziest nights of the year and I love how much joy it brings my mother. I also love how it brings so many people, old friends and new, together.


December 19 – Adam Brown, the most patient little friend I’ll probably everhave. He’s like a compass in my life, bringing me direction and comfort when I am twisted up. Thank god for Adam Brown

December 18 – Crepes… especially from Chezelle in downtown Kansas City and downtown KC in general too


December 17 – SNOW… especially when it starts falling at night and you can sneak outside and hear it sprinkling onto the ground and dead leaves

December 16 – Wine, the basement in our house, movie nights, Step Up 1 and 2, Channing Tatum and my desire to learn to dance… but not so thankful for my ability, which is abnormally low

Today, Monday, December 15, I’m feeling content, embracing the unusual weather that is cold and overcast. While I am longing for an opportunity to sport my new sunglasses, I’m also really enjoying this weather that, after living in Arizona for school, is kind of refreshing. However, that’s not what I’m thankful for today. Today I’m feeling  grateful for visitors. I’ll be picking Sammy Witherwax, my roommate last year, up from the airport in approximately three hours and I’m really happy about it. While her and I teetered and tottered, we’ve turned out thick as thieves. Frustration and dependence flurried around our lives second semester of freshmen year and we were easily bothered and upset by one another. However, living separately this year has proved to be pretty good for us. I’m exciting to welcome her to Kansas City.

IMG_2434 December 14 I’m thankful for the Chiefs’s win! I think the fans would’ve been pretty blue if they’d gotten beat by the Raiders. I’m also thankful it wasn’t too cold because my blood has thinned out and a day at Arrowhead in December usually puts me through a fit of shivers and icicle-filled nostrils.

IMG_2426On December 13 I met with an old friend for breakfast and, after doing so, realized I’m truly thankful for breakfast places. I’ve grown very fond of going out for a meal in the morning rather than the evening. Home and back at school I’ve well-acquainted myself with many breakfast spots. The one in particular that piqued my gratitude is Succotash on 2601 Holmes Street, Kansas City, Missouri. Where else would I be so inclined to order a slice of cake after eggs and bacon? Might I add the cake stands eight layers tall and, when ordered, sprawls across a plate flashing its red, green, orange and yellow insides, held together and coated with blue frosting. I’m also thankful for this old pal, Molly Sparks, that joined me for breakfast. We spent IMG_2382the entire day together doing what only us two would do, roaming around, taking photos on disposable cameras, stopping in every weird, smelly, vintage shop we saw and, of course, popping in the most unusual place for a coffee. There’s no one else in this world quite like Molly and no one else that would be down to do the things we fill our day-dates with. IMG_2420

December 12 made me nervous and gratuitous at the same time; I got a job! While I’ve worked as a nanny, firework seller and briefly as a hostess at my dad’s restaurant whenever I visit him, I can’t say I’ve ever worked a real job. In short, I wouldn’t have any type-able experience to put on a resume in efforts to snag a job back at college after Christmas break. I’m thankful for Pizza 51, my official place of work. Thanks for hiring me “based on smiles rather than experience.”

December 11 I’m thankful for boisterously kind people that don’t have a reciprocating creepiness. For instance, say I had a dead phone pairing with a brilliant lack of charger and was practically hopeless in finding a place to stay the night after my friends went god knows where and left me semi-stranded in a college town. I’d be thankful for people that would let me crash on their couch for the night out of sheer kindness, with zero ulterior motives, charging me no kind of interest whatsoever. If that ever did happen, I’d be thankful for people like that. So, even though I’m not saying it did happen, I’m still thankful to know there are people like that in the world. Whewf.

It’s 10:15 p.m. on December 10 and I’m feeling thankful for socks. It’s a culture shock to come home to a winter like this, but socks are saving me. If my feet are cold, so is my entire body. If my toes feel like little frozen cylinders, odds are my entire body is covered in goosebumps and I’m shivering. I’ve realized how far just a plain pair of socks can go in warming me up.

Statistics final homeworkDecember 9 I’m thankful that finals are over and that I have, or used to have, nails to chew off all week long. I’m even more thankful that I walked out of this semester’s last statistics class. But I’m also still sweating over that class even now that it’s done. All I can do is wait. Fingers crossed. I’m also thankful for airplanes today, but I’ll be even more thankful for them once the one I’m on right now lands in Kansas City. Escaping Arizona seemed wholly bitter this morning, bittersweet by 3 o’clock and now nearly entirely sweet. I can’t wait to settle down at home for more than a weekend. The next month and a half will be full of extra blankets, puffy coats, puppy kisses, home cooked meals, sister fights, sister funs, dad talks, treadmill runs, dog walks, yoga with mom, Christmas shopping, concert going, pizza place working and, right when the longing for Arizona creeps up on me, I’ll be headed back to the desert.

December 8 I am thankful for the killer shades I received from Nick Marciano. Gold aviators, blue fading to green lenses… And, to top it off, they’re from my demographic (hip semi-stylish half weird young women)’s wet dream of brands: Wildfox. *faints* I pulled them over eyes today, walking across the campus with more pomp and circumstance than ever before. My mascara coated lashes slid down their shiny eyeball windows. I can’t believe it. I’m wild and foxy and now I have my very own Wildfox something. *swoons*IMG_1261 I’m also thankful for Nick Marciano himself. What a guy; the single most gangly, goofy, intelligent gent I’ve ever come across. What a combo. He showed me the whole world of Arizona this evening: it was sparkly with Christmas lights in the suburbs and luminous downtown was short. Goosebumps flared across my arms as we sat on a cold, breezy concrete circle in the middle of a desert mountain scanning the skyline, the suburbs and our school. Thanks for the daytime shades, the night time scene and the bunch of your self you gave me this semester. (I forgive you for snoring louder than any kind of racket I have ever heard.) *blushes*

IMG_2230Today it was a brisk 75 degrees and I spend it at the park. I’m thankful for this Arizona weather that has spoiled, warmed, tanned and weakened me. Going home to 20 degree weather is not sounding good. I wentProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset to the park with three girls. We brought a hula hoop, markers, paper and music. It was quaint and memorable, a carefree quintessential day before we all scatter across the map and go home for winter break. I’ll be heading to Kansas City, Freesia to New Haven, Brooke to San Antonio, Andrea to Santa Barbara and Kass staying here in Phoenix: a web of unexpected friends streaming across the states. I’m thankful for the weather here and, specifically, the weather on December 7 that let me enjoy the youthful scene a park is with my pals before we say goodbye.

So I accidentally forgot to write on December 5 and 6. But I know what I was thankful for those days… December 6 I was thankful for Christina Aguilera. I watched Burlesque and it rekindled my passion for the icon of my youth. Her voice is pretty underrated. She rocks. That’s all. December 5 I was definitely thankful for home. I went to a friend’s house all day and sat there with his dogs, soaking up the comfortable atmosphere. Home has that familiarity, so familiar you could walk through the entire house with your eyes closed up the stairs and into your bedroom. It’s draped in invisible memories; home surrounds you with nostalgia, safety… It’s just nice to be in a home. And being in a home that wasn’t my own made me even more thankful for my mom’s feng shui and my own puppies trailing my footsteps around the house. I’m thankful that I’ll be in my own abode for the next month.


December 4 is winding down and all I have to say is friends rock. I’m thankful for my friends out here in Arizona who have taken me in as one of their own. Despite how odd, exaggerative and loud I am, these girls haven’t kicked me to the curb. They’re just as strange as my self and stand out just as much as I have. We all listen to our music too loud, set off the fire alarm when making eggs, yell “oh my god!!” just to say a heartthrob made eye contact with us, text each other the morning after a night out to reiterate everything all of us saw happen, keep up with the same pop culture elDSC_0004 2ements like it’s our day job and do such spontaneous things I don’t even want to mention. There aren’t words rich enough to describe them, but just know that they are a constant source of kindness, happiness, comfort and wild musings. That’s all somebody can ask for.  I’m just thankful for my friends out here in the desert. Goodnight.

frozen yogurtOn December 3rd I’m thankful for Zoyo – the frozen yogurt place I just wrote my business story on. I didn’t realize the business story was due tonight by 10 p.m. If it wasn’t for that delicious frozen desert shop that sits just a three minute walk away I’d be stressed out of my brain and probably earning a devious “F” on my second to last assignment of the year. So, thanks Zoyo. Sorry the article was about how the winter season curbs your business, but I made sure to add all the positive details about your winter implements to push people to keep coming in. I love you and I knew you’d mean more to me than a place to satisfy my grueling late night cravings.

Today is Tuesday, December 2nd. I woke up nice and early and walked to a little breakfast shack called D’lish. I ordered and sat down at a table for two, outside. It was a crisp 57 degrees and I sported a pair of comfy ASU shorts. I think being home so recently in the 20 degree weather a bagel/sitting at breakfast with no one sitting across from metoughened me up. It felt great. I waited, scanning through news about tonight’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, feeling semi-bad about myself looking at all their toothpick legs tiptoeing around in those pink silk robes that hug their matchstick figures. Then, as I was delivered my toasted wheat bagel, with cream cheese, and iced coffee (of course), I realized what I’m thankful for today. I’m thankful for my ability to be alone. I love people; they’re the root of all my emotions. But sometimes that makes being alone something to look forward to, something enjoyable. While I understand why many people, including a number of my close friends, won’t be caught dead eating lunch alone or walking into a party solo. I don’t mind it. I sat and ate my bagel in peace today, unaffected by what others may have assumed to be a lonely morning. I embrace the quiet, because its a rarity in my life. The moments without music thundering and flooding in my ear and conversation pin balling between me and other people, they’re rare, short and sweet. I’m thankful that I can be alone without feeling lonely.

It’s December 1st and today I’m thankful for coffee. Even though it makes me jittery, wild, driven and occasionally psycho; I love it. I imagine that brown liquid molding into some little man, turning the gears that electrify my brain and pump open my eyelids. I’m already two large coffees deep today and it’s only two o’clock. I like lattes, but sometimes I’ll drink it black with a splash of French Vanilla Coffee Mate – sugar free of course. I also like iced coffeeiced coffee exponentially more than hot coffee, which makes me startlingly oxymoronic in the winter, gulping down refreshingly cold lattes rather than sipping on hand (and belly) warming coffee. I’m hopelessly addicted. At this point, if I don’t have any espresso running through my veins by noon, I’m sentencing myself to a grueling headache. That’s all I’ve got for today; I’m just overwhelmingly thankful for the cup of joe that greets my sleepy lips every morning. It brings me to life, it makes late night escapades (both social and academic) possible and it tastes good, except for the notorious cup of ultra-bitter coffee that makes my stomach cringe and curdle at 9 a.m. Thanks coffee, you’re my fuel.


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