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Today is the first 4th of July in three years that I haven’t marched in numerous parades.  It felt really weird!  Instead, I made gluten-free pancakes with my mom – or tried to.  Here was my attempt:

We decided the issue was using canola oil instead of spray for the pan, and too many chocolate chips.  Mom tried next, with much more success:









It was perfect – I’m so jealous of her skills!  We’re not sure how we feel about this batter, though – it’s really potato-y.  It kind of tasted like a latke, which is fine, just weird.  It was the Bisquik brand, so next time we’re going to try making biscuits with it instead of pancakes.


I wasn’t the only one who had a kitchen disaster today… Nick tried grilling for the first time, and his fish ended up looking like this:

Oops.  A little overdone, and they kind of fell apart.  His burgers tasted great though! It’s probably for the best that we didn’t try grilling that corn last week… 😛

For the rest of the afternoon, we played games and watched the capital fourth, where most of my teachers played with the NSO.  Right now, I’m supposed to be (surprise!!!) studying for my final exam tomorrow, and I kind of have already started!  Go me!  x.x

On holidays, I always like to think about what I’m thankful for (even if it isn’t Thanksgiving).  I feel like once a year isn’t really enough.  So here are 4 things that I am particularly grateful for today.

1. My parents.  I’ve finally grown up enough to not only appreciate them, but really enjoy spending time with them.  I adore playing games, watching movies, shopping, trying to cook, and debating (arguing?) about philosophy with my mom.  I love biking and playing Frisbee, driving around, going out to eat (and being super regulars – more on that in another post), people watching, watching sports, and not talking but having a wonderful time with my dad – we have such a great relationship and we understand each other so well (even though he says about 1,000 words a day and I say about 10,000).  They’re the coolest, and I love that I don’t always have to share them, and they don’t always have to share me.

2. My brother. Nick is the one constant in my life, the one cheerful face at the end of every day, and the one who can annoy me the most because he keeps me humble.  I’m so glad we’re going to school together again this fall.

3. My intelligence.  I’m smart, which makes up for my awkwardness and completely average looks.  As my mom always says, ‘it’s better to be smart than beautiful’.  I feel so unique.  And I’m acing my Ad. Psych. class right now, which makes me feel pretty good. :]

4. My health.  Let’s be honest, my health kind of sucks.  But it could be a lot worse.  I could have cancer, a deadly flesh eating virus, or Parkinson’s, but I don’t.  I have ulcerative colitis, epidermolysis bullosa simplex, and eosinophilic esophagitis.  I have some good days and more bad days; I’m exhausted and irritable and I’m in pain a lot.  But these are things that I can live with, even if I have to deal with them for the rest of my life. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, to overcome the pain, defeat the anxiety and the depression that have come back with the new diagnoses, and to find motivation to do anything, even eating and sleeping and reading, which are all things I love.  I’m still not doing a great job with any of these things. Most days I wish I had never woken up because my stomach hurts so bad and my medicine makes me groggy and stuffy.  But slowly I will figure this out and I will be SO MUCH STRONGER because of it.  I’m learning how to fight, right here.  My poor health is teaching me to be the better person – to appreciate what I have and fight for what I don’t.

Happy Fourth, everyone! What are you grateful for?