I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family, good food, and gratefulness. I think that this Thanksgiving was surrounded by a very unique time – with the typhoon in the Philippines and the destruction from the tornadoes right here in central Illinois. Those extremely devastating situations were a blatant reminder of just how much I have to be thankful for while people across the world and also right next door are suffering from such great loss. Sometimes I think it’s healthy to step back from our lives and truly reflect on everything we have been blessed with. I am glad that we have a national holiday for that here in the United States, but I wish that it could be more of a lifestyle – spending time each day being thankful for all that we have. Our entire week of Thanksgiving break was very rejuvenating and came at the perfect time. I spent a lot of time lounging around watching movies, reading, cooking, baking, and spending quality time with family. Now it’s Monday and we are back at school and are already crazy. We have a week and a half left of classes and then comes finals week. This time leading up to finals is full of last exams, big presentations, group projects, and lots more. Thanksgiving break was definitely what you can call “the calm before the storm.” The good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! In just three weeks we will be home for a month of winter break and finished with first semester…and then will come even more lounging around and watching movies and family time. During these next few weeks when I am busy and stressed, I am going to do my best to remember how much I have to be thankful for – especially the opportunity to go to such a wonderful university.