Tuesday, December 08, 2009
When studying in Europe, it’s OK to…
Stumble when the bus slams on the breaks
Compare everything by saying, “Well in America…”
Not speak when you hear Americans, and pretend like you’re a local
Choose sightseeing over studying
Eat at McDonald's (just don’t make it a habit)
Complain about the lack of ice, everywhere!
Never get over the bad exchange rate and complain about it from time to time
Bring peanut butter with you
Bring your own toiletries. Abroad they’re half as big and twice as expensive
Fall in a hole, due to missing cobblestone at the Vatican
Crave all the food you can only get at home
Wear clothes you would never wear at home
Climb all 700 steps of the Eiffel Tower
Get winded going up the Spanish Steps even if the locals don’t
Pretend your Audrey Hepburn, when eating Gelato on the Spanish Steps
Think about scenes from Gladiator while at the Coliseum
Close your eyes while riding in a cab, because the driving is so scary
Dance a traditional Irish jig with a random person
Order a café Americano, even if you’re laughed at
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
For the first time in 5 years, I will be home for the entire holiday season. During college I used to get bummed out after Thanksgiving break because I was back at school and therefore missing out on all of the holiday fun that happens at home. I missed the tree decorating, cookie baking, Christmas shopping with mom, etc. It was always hard to concentrate on school work, when all I wanted to do was go home! The only good thing about being at school was that it often snowed in Kansas City, making it feel more like Christmas. (Last year there was a particularly great distraction though :) At home in St. Louis, it was usually warmer and there was no snow.
I know it sounds really sappy, but I used to listen to certain holiday songs and cry because I either really wanted to go home or I was really glad to be able to go home. Side note: I highly recommend Kenny Loggins- Celebrate Me Home Haha. It was always such a nice feeling to come home for that month or so and have no job or school work. Not to mention the feeling of being missed so much by everyone. Walking into church I felt like a celebrity!
This year I am already at home, and I was not missed (it's hard to miss someone who lives in your house). Although I don't get the joy of feeling missed, I also don't have to miss out on holiday festivities like decorating, baking, and shopping. One of my favorite things to do is cuddle up with some tea (and my snuggie :), and watch Christmas movies with my family. There isn't a whole lot that compares.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
One of my close friends is getting married in about a month. Last Saturday night at her bridesmaids dinner, scrapbook messages that we wrote for her were read aloud by the person who wrote them. When her aunt read her entry, I could hardly hold myself together. She wrote about my friends grandma, and what she might say if she were alive.
My friend and I have had many talks about our grandmothers. They were so similar in their sweet demeanor, and flashy style. Also, both of them were named Betty. We found it funny that we shared our grandmothers flashy taste, and our mothers didn't at all. We both lost our Betty's too early, but they inspire us all of the time.
I don't think about grandma for long periods at a time because it always makes me cry uncontrollably. I think of how sweet she was and the way she talked to me and spent time with me. We used to build pyramids out of plastic milk lids, and castle towers out of oatmeal containers. We would make Christmas ornaments for everyone, out of pine cones covered in glitter and communion cups fashioned into bells.
When I got a little older, she would always say how beautiful I was. When I was dressed up for a special occasion, she would gasp and say I looked like a movie star. Grandma would marvel at my curly hair and long eyelashes on a regular basis. She may have been exaggerating, but I never felt that she was.
I'm fighting back tears as I write this, thinking of her selfless attitude and cheerful outlook on life. Also, because she deserved to be treated better than she was treated at times. She wasn't perfect, but I aspire to be like my grandma in many ways. I want to be as cheerful, giving, and as full of life as she was. Sometimes I get wrapped up in things that really don't matter, and sadly, in myself. She focused on making other people happy instead of herself, and that is heroic in my opinion.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Well folks I've actually done it! Tuesday I finished, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind, a book I have been working on reading since last spring. I know, it's actually very sad. I'm not even going to admit how long it has been since I finished a book. Needless to say I am very happy about this. Now I can finally get to the next book in the stack on my nightstand. I should start with the one that has been there the longest, but I think I'll skip to the newest one. My boyfriend got me Julia Child's' book, My Life In France, for my birthday. I have been eyeing it up for a while so I might even start reading it today. I don't want to get out of habit of reading; I've got a good thing going with this one book streak and all ;)
If you're like me, you may have trouble finishing a book (or really anything at all), because you have the attention span of a dog. Another thing that prevents me from reading is people. I think if I was always reading at the same time as a friend who was next to me, I would read a lot. Growing up I got out of the habit because I didn't want to miss any of the chaos going on in our kitchen. I'm an adult now though, whether I like it or not, and the only thing keeping me from reading is myself. So I challenge you other non readers to give it another try, you might really enjoy the break from socializing. As I write this I wonder if anyone has read this blog except my boyfriend...
Monday, November 09, 2009
Well, yesterday was my 24Th birthday. If I would have asked 18 year old me what I would be doing when I was 24, I am pretty sure I would have said something completely different from the reality I am living right now. I would have said that I would definitely not be living at home, I would have a fabulous job that I love, and that I might even be married. Five years ago there were some things I didn't know. I didn't know I would start college a year late because of a missions program after high school, I didn't know the economy would plummet, and most importantly I didn't know that 24 IS NOT OLD.
In the circles that I ran in at 18, if you reached 24 and weren't married, and pregnant, it was unusual. I can not imagine getting married that young, especially when thinking about how much I have matured even in the past 2 years.
Although I sometimes need my space at home, I do not mind living at home. There are some perks. Can you say FREE with me?! So if you are at home like myself, take my advice and ENJOY. Enjoy free laundry, free food, and no rent or other utility payments. Most of all, enjoy the time you can spend with your family. You will never get that time back. Life with more responsibilities will also be extremely rewarding I know. It will happen soon enough though, and I want to enjoy every step along the way.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Lets compare personality types to animals for a second. There is a lion that ends up being the boss anywhere they go. They are forceful and can sometimes be a little harsh. There is a golden retriever who is extremely kind. They are easy to get along with, they go with the flow and they are laid back. Sometimes their feelings are easily hurt. There is a beaver. They work very hard and meticulously. They are more business than personable. Then there is the otter. They spin and twirl and play. They love to be near other otters and if you are looking at them at the zoo, they come right up to the glass and perform for you. Figured out which one you are yet? I am an otter myself.
Recently I entered the work world full time, and needless to say it was a shock to my little otter system. I have found that it is vital to my disposition that I make part of everyday like a day off. I am talking about simple little joys like reading a book that helps you escape reality, creative writing, baking something special, or whatever it is you enjoy doing. Or, you could use your efforts to make someone ELSE happy. You'll be surprised at how happy it will make you, and it's a longer lasting kind of happiness.
I am a person that likes to do exciting things as often as possible. This is a blessing and a curse. The upside is that I have a lot of fun and can often times be extremely happy. The downside is that I get bored easily, I am often restless, and others find it exhausting at times. This combination of extremes leads to the sanguine roller coaster of emotions that is my life. If you have the same issue as me, I suggest surrounding yourself with people who can bring you back to reality. Two very wise people in my life have recently reminded me of a simple truth: Life is not always exciting, and it is often monotonous. You CAN be happy with monotony I promise!
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
I hate to disappoint all of those that clicked on this post in order to settle in with chocolates and a glass (bottle for some of you) of wine, but we're not talking about romance as in a relationship. We are talking about romance the way the second meaning in the dictionary describes as: 2. A mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic, or strangely beautiful.
Ever since I was a child I romanticized everything. I would go outside, look longingly at the stars and just let my thoughts wrap me in a blanket of tranquility. This was the driving force behind asking my parents for a telescope from Sam's' and for several star gazing kits. I would also go to the bottom of the bowl like deep end of our 10 foot, kidney shaped, swimming pool. Here I would keep my eyes open and look at the sun beams all around me. To me it was just dazzling. This of course led to red, chlorine saturated eyes, but I did not mind.
This blog is not intended for reminiscing about my childhood. I said all all of the above to bring you to today. I am a 20 something, and still very much a romantic. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you about my crazy antics over the years. Picnics in the large city park, Martha Stewartesque dinner parties, and jazz clubs where we were the the youngest patrons by far, are all on my resume of ideas. In the past few years I have tried to be more of a realist, but I realized something. It isn't very fun, and it isn't me! I also came to the conclusion that just because you enjoy lovely things does not mean you are pretentious.
Hopefully this sparked your interest so far and you will watch for new posts. Here's to the good life!