1. Getting hugs from kids.  When a small child sees you and their eyes light up and they come hug the stuffing out of you, it’s quite possibly the most gratifying feeling there is.
  2. Formal gowns.  If it has enough fluff to sit on the skirt like a chair, it’s good.
  3. Ridiculous pumps.  I am that person who cannot resist trying on the highest heels she can find whenever in the shoe department.  No shame.
  4. Cover songs.  Especially when the new artist does nothing but add perfection to an already perfect song.
  5. Poetry.  Yeah, I know.  It’s poetry.  But I’ve developed quite the appreciation for it over the past few years.  Especially kind of contemporary stuff.  If you know of any poems that really scintillate for you, please share them with me.
  6. Reconciling with people.  I hate it when there is tension between myself and someone else.  It is an enormous relief when those situations are resolved.
  7. Sophie Nelisse.  May I please just point out how perfect this girl is?  I kind of want to kidnap her.
  8. That bittersweet feeling when you finish a good book.  It’s easy to tell that you’re reading a really quality book when you finish it and you feel cheated.  Like you need more of that book to survive.  I sort of love that feeling.
  9. Stereotypical teenager fru-fru coffee.  Yeah, I’m one of those people.  I drink mochas like a pro.
  10. The random questions that kids come up with.  I have a hard time answering small children’s questions with a straight face sometimes because it’s hilarious that they are completely serious when they ask me why my father has a name.
  11. Moms.  It’s mothers day, so I have to do this.  I would not have any chance of being the person I am today if it weren’t for my phenomenal mother.  Thanks for everything mom!
  12. Countdowns.  These make exciting things even more exciting.
  13. Falling in love with fictional characters.  I’m pretty sure I’m borderline certifiable because of how much I care about people who don’t actually exist.  Even if they are perfect.
  14. My school.  Today was supposed to be the Wednesday of finals week.  Instead, my school was opened up and students sat around all day playing classic video games, watching movies, singing around pianos, praying, hugging, and talking.  A friend and classmate of mine took his own life yesterday, so my amazing school dedicated today simply to supporting each other.  I love going to a small Christian school.
  15. My teachers.  They have all been so understanding and helpful through this whole year.  A friend and I showed up at my theology teacher’s house at nine this evening to talk and ask questions.  Without showing any sign that we were intruding, he talked to us for over an hour and reminded us of our amazing God.
  16. Kids’ intuitive ability to help.  Yes, I realize that I’ve been talking a bunch about things revolving around my friend’s death, but it’s an overwhelmingly huge piece of my life right now.  Anyway, I work with kids at a daycare and today was my first day back after he died.  No matter how hard I tried to act like everything was normal, they could tell that something was wrong.  This just meant that they all wanted to be extra sweet to me.  It’s amazing the kind of healing you can get from a mountain of four-year-old kids trying to hug you at the same time.
  17. The ability to sing.  God gave us music for a reason, and something about singing is so refreshing.  My school choir sang at the funeral today, and it was one of the hardest parts of the week.  The words we sang were “Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God.” Yeah, it was hard.  But it was so nice to convey a feeling that words alone couldn’t, but the music could.
  18. God’s amazing ability to heal.  This world is wracked with sin, but through it all, God can still make us whole.
  19. Doing spontaneous things for other people.  My friends and I were walking to get ice cream close to my house and we had to walk by the house of another friend.  We bought ourselves ice cream and then got him some.  Then, we proceeded to sit in his driveway for ten minutes while his ice cream melted waiting for him to get home.  He knows he appreciated it, despite his grumblings.
  20. The first day of summer.  You know, that first day when you wake up and laugh at the world because you no longer have to go cram for finals and whatnot.  When the whole summer stretches ahead of you so you just lay on the couch all day savoring it.
  21. Being acquainted enough with British actors that you start to make crossover stories of all of their movies.  Maggie Smith, much?
  22. Welcoming friends home.  One of the friends that I’ve had since birth was in Norway for the past three weeks.  We had s’mores and hugs to welcome her home.  It was really great to see her again.
  23. Getting all dressed up with nowhere to go.  I love dressing up.  I’m sure I’ve probably mentioned that before, but I really do enjoy it.  I put on a dress, a large necklace, and super fancy eyeliner knowing full well that I will most likely not be leaving my house today.
  24. Playing the accordion.  I was given possession of my great-grandmother’s accordion several years ago.  I don’t have time to learn it properly, but I know how to play it a little bit.  It isn’t easy, but it’s just a really cool instrument.
  25. Running around in the rain and getting soaking wet.  Yeah, it seems childish, but it is so much fun.  There’s something great about not being worried about getting wet.  Actually, it feels great to get more of less soaked by nature.  It’s even worth the damp cold and the bad hair and the no makeup afterwards!
  26. Quality time with my family.  I wouldn’t trade them for the world, but sometimes I’m too busy to appreciate my family.  I love having time to just be around them.
  27. Waking up full of purpose.  Most days, I wake up tired and have to force myself around until I actually wake up.  There are some golden mornings, however, when I wake up alert and ready to go.  Those are the days when I get everything done that needs to be done and have fun doing it.
  28. Disney Princess movies.  I’m always up for a good chick flick, but Disney Princess movies are the best form of chick flick in existence.  They are like childhood and romance all wrapped up into one lovely package.
  29. That feeling when you’re meeting a group of people that you haven’t really been around before but you love anyway.  As in: Wow.  These people are fabulous.  I can’t wait to spend my life with them for a few weeks.
  30. Mornings.  Yeah.  I’m one of those people.  No shame.
  31. Friends.  Cherish them, people.  Your friends are some of the most precious people in your life and sometimes you don’t even realize how much you care about them.  Trust me, you need them and they need you.

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