Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm thankful for Thanksgiving

I'm on a blogging spree this week. Today was wonderful. I spent the whole day with family from both my mom and dad's sides and I loved absolutely every second of it. I count my family as one of my greatest blessings, advantages and assets. Can people be assets? I'm not sure that's in the accounting definition, but I don't know any of those definitions anyway so why start now.

I'm not sure how I deserve to be blessed with such amazing people in my life, I just know that I am. I found my essay for my BYU application 3 years ago on my family computer today and I thought it was pretty relevant to all the day's emotions. So I included it. It's not the best writing, obviously, but I still feel the same way.

“No man is an island.”
(John Donne)

I am a firm believer that if the character of a person is not clear, look at her (or his) friends. It is who we surround ourselves with that truly defines who we are and who we will become.
I have not won any state championships, nor am I the valedictorian of my high school class; however, I can say with confidence that I have succeeded in surrounding myself with the right people.
The people who encourage, listen, inspire, teach, and accept.
Because of one motivational teacher I was encouraged to maintain a better than average GPA while involving myself in numerous extracurricular activities. Because of a constant friend I experienced the elation of high school while also surviving the inevitable struggles. Because of my newspaper adviser I have been introduced to the stirring field of journalism and acquired a thirst for the future. Because of a supportive mother and father I have been taught to love my Heavenly Father and developed a firm faith in His gospel. And because of a compassionate Savior, I have been taught to accept and love others.
It is by no coincidence that through friends, family, and teachers I have found individuality. Through others, I have found myself.
The future is a mystery to me. I do not know who I will become or what I will be.
I do know that if I am in the right environment, surrounded by the right people, my greatest potential will become a reality.
I can think of no other environment than that of Brigham Young University that offers what I am seeking- a place to add to an abundant list of the right people.

There you have it.

PS- If you're interested in knowing who won the throwdown, here's the results:
We had a lot of positive reactions to both pies; however, word leaked on who made which pie (which is against the throwdown rules). So it was obviously biased. For example, my grandpa raved about the cherry pie until he found out mine was the apple, and then he was all about the apple. I called for a re-count but wasn't willing to make another pie. I did see my mom on tonight under the "pies" tab already searching for next year's recipe, so obviously she sees me as a threat.

(But I think she won)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day 1: shopping and a throwdown

Being back at home is never boring. Today I slept in, ate banana chocolate chip pancakes that Abby made, went shopping, had dinner with the whole family, then instilled a brand new Thanksgiving tradition. Continue on if you want details...
Since Mitch is now bigger than me, he automatically assumes he now rides shotgun. But how wrong he is.

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Lunch at my favorite cafe.
Then shopping.
ANOTHER Mizzou hat? I'm beginning to worry about this kid.
I told my mom this is her new default picture for facebook. She didn't go for that. Good thing.
Professional shopper at age 11.
Then we headed to target. Abby and I renewed our love we share for the notebook aisle.

Ok, now for the important stuff. We began a new Thanksgiving tradition tonight. It's called the Pie Throwdown. It's kind of a spin-off of the food network show, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, except way better. Here's how it goes:
Step 1:The night before Thanksgiving my mom and I will each make a pie.
Step 2: Thanksgiving day/ Judgement Day begins. Select family members will taste each pie, unaware of who made which one.
Step 3: I win.
We made several videos tonight documenting this monumental moment in McCain family history. I voted this the most entertaining video and therefore posted it; however, please don't judge my mom. Or tell her I posted this. Thanks.

I think my family is hilarious.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reunited at last!

I flew into STL tonight!! So of course Mitch, Abby and I all got in some quality bonding time around midnight. Here's the evidence:

Sistas. (Yes, this picture has been extremely edited. After spending a majority of my day either at an airport or on a plane, consider yourself lucky you don't have to see what I really looked like.)

Mitch tried to play it off like he didn't miss me quite as much as Abs did.
But, really, he did.

But I think I missed them the most. Obviously.

Oh how I missed them.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Just a little homesick

There's only one bad thing about going to BYU for school - my family is far far away.

I have a brother, Mitch, who is 13 and a sister, Abby, who is 11 and I'm not there to see them grow up. They are my two favorite people in this world and I'm a little worried they aren't going to have very many memories with me in them. I talked to them on the phone today and they are both doing fabulous, as always. They're both crazy talented and the two most amazingly accomplished young people I know. I'm not sure how they're related to me because they're way cooler than I could ever hope to be. I also have two little cousins, Stella and Jake, who are two and one. If I could photograph the word "adorable," it would be a picture of them. Jake is talking now, apparently, and I gave my sister an assignment to have him saying my name by the time I go home for Thanksgiving. Oh, I can't wait. I think Halloween is just as much a family holiday as any other. I would so much rather have been with my family than anywhere else this past weekend.

Mitch just keeps getting more and more good looking. At 5'7 he is now taller than me. I used to push him around all the time like a good big sister does, and this summer as I was continuing my good sister habits, he felt the need to inform me that if he wanted to he could flip me over and slam me against the ground. The sad thing is, he's right. He's in 7th grade now and is the star football player. On top of that he wins student-of-the-month every month (no exaggeration) and has never once received a B in his all honors classes. I know, he's such a little jerk. I love him.

Abby is the one on the left. She was a dead football player for Halloween which is so atypical of her. She's usually something super cutesy and girly which just shows how much she is changing. She lives at the dance studio and has more talent than she can contain in her little body. You will never meet anyone like Abby. She's so full of personality and uniqueness that she still surprises me sometimes. I love her.
Ok, seriously. Are they not the two cutest little people you have ever seen? It amazes me how people so young can still have such strong individual personalities. I babysat them all summer and sometimes I just want to be back spending my days with them. There was never a dull moment. I love them.

Some more pictures to make me miss home a little more...

I promise I really am happy at BYU and this is definitely where I'm suppose to be. I think I just expect things to stay exactly the same at home while I'm gone but I have to remember that while I'm growing, changing and experiencing life, so is my family. I'm so blessed.

I love my family.