By Shanna, age 17, California

One thing that we must all learn to appreciate are the people who do a lot for us and continue doing as much as they can to help us succeed in any way. If there is one thing I am thankful for it is my mother who is my hero and one of the most giving people you will ever meet. She is always willing to do so much for me, breaking her back just to give me lunch money every week.

The type of relationship I hold with the rest of my family is very unforgiving which is sad. For years I have always been told by my immediate family I was pretty much a failure and they were always going to expect the worst out of me. Being the only child until I was 9, almost 10, left me always looking for attention from anyone who was willing to give it. So I guess you can already picture a bad child who would not listen to anyone, stealing from family members, talking back, cursing them out. You can only imagine how bad I was - words could not even describe.

My mother has always been the one going out of her way to make sure nobody hurts me in any way. As much as she tried, it hurt to see that my family did not like me. In return, bad feelings were retaliated, and I learned to grow a backbone over the years. My father left my mother fending for herself - left to be with more than one female at a time. So a father figure never entered until my little sister was born.

If there is one other thing I am thankful for it's opportunity because without it I would be nowhere in life. Opportunity is as simple as a chance to still turn in late work or redeem myself with my family, proving that I can do good, proving them wrong, and being a better person. If opportunities were never presented to me I would never be given the chance to do anything, let alone be anything.

Opportunity is a major issue - obstacles would never be overcome if the opportunity were not there. If there's any life lesson that teaches us to be appreciative it's that by comparing and researching and being taught you see there's a deeper meaning to everything. Also, everything happens for a reason, and we have no control over things that are supposed to occur in human nature. If every human being were to step back, and take a look at everything logically, and live for the moment, no opportunities would be turned down and people would be happier.

What do you appreciate? Think if there were anything in the world you could not live without ... What would that be?

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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