Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I realized the quaint loveliness of my hometown over the break. What is it about a hometown that is so special? And isn't it funny how we all tend to talk badly about our hometowns when we move away? Well, my hometown is dusty, flat, and some might say boring. We're definitely lacking in the whole trees, lakes, and rolling hills kind of thing where I'm from. It's definitely not the most beautiful place I've ever seen.
Lord, thank You. Thank You for family, for friends, for West Texas sunsets and for always being able to return home.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Just like the rest of the planet, I presume. Music speaks to a part of my soul it seems no other art form has access to.
Lately I've been obsessed with a song called Love Story by Taylor Swift.
I feel like a little girl when I listen to this song. It's about a fairytale romance, equipped with a prince, a princess, a castle...the whole nine yards. Perhaps that is why I love the song so much. I love feeling little again, because I am scared to grow up. But I think there is more to why I have listened to this song on repeat countless nights the past week.
Watch this video :)
Romeo, save me.
I've been feeling so alone.
I keep waiting for you, but you never come.
Is this in my head?
I don't know what to think.
He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring,
and said marry me, Juliet, you'll never have to be alone.
I love you and that's all I really know.
I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress. It's a love story. Baby, just say yes.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The weather has taken a turn. Leaves are changing colors and falling to the ground. Soon I will be eating turkey and pumpkin pie with my beautiful family.
I am usually not a fan of change. Then again, who is? However, I am ready for a little change. Some renewal. A change in the soul. Yes, change can be beautiful. We all need change.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
In this busy season of life, full of more tests, presentations, papers and projects than I would care to count - I am in desperate need of refreshment.
Not the kind of refreshment you look for from your favorite beverage on a hot day, or after a brisk run around the Bear Trail. I'm talking about the refreshment you need for your soul.
It feels like every fiber of my being has been calling out, better yet, screaming out for this refreshment.
Where can one find such a thing?
"Be not wise in your own eyes, Fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones." ~ Proverbs 3:7-8
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I want my mom to make me peanut butter [no jelly] sandwiches with the crust cut off.
I want my dad to carry me on his shoulders.
I want to fight with my sister over who gets to sit in the front seat.
I want my brother to trick me into doing his chores.
I want to take family vacations.
I want to still believe in Santa Clause and fairy tales.
I don't want to pay bills, worry about graduating, or make 'grown-up' decisions. I want to avoid responsibility. Is that terrible?
"This is about that."
So, my affection for coffee probably isn't really about the coffee.
My affection for organization and creativity is probably not really about organization and creativity. Because this is always about that.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I want to walk down memory lane, because didn't someone once say 'You never know who you are until you know where you've been'?
Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco.
Enjoying the beach in Barcelona.
Why? I'm sure you're dying to know...
1. I'm afraid of the inevitable inconsistency of my blogging. (I was in Europe for four months and blogged a total of three times...pathetic.)
2. I'm afraid I will have nothing to say. Shocking, I know.
3. Mostly, I am afraid that if/when I do begin to blog, the real me will shine through. You know...the me that I don't want anyone else to see. Blogging is vulnerable, I believe. Vulnerability scares me. See? The real me is already beginning to shine through my blogging...
However, despite my [irrational] fears of blogging, I am diving into the blogging community...quite late. Besides, all my friends are doing it. :)
Sunday, February 24, 2008
This is a view of Wurzburg, Germany, home to some of the nicest people you will ever meet.
This is a famous cathedral in Wurzburg.
After climbing several hundred stairs in the freezing cold, Katherine and I were thrilled to see this famous Castle in Wurzburg! Built in the 13th century, this Castle was home to several generations of German nobility. The Castle was almost destroyed in the 1940's by a bombing during World War 2, but was rebuilt in the 1990's.
This is Rothenburg, Germany. No picture could really do this town justice. It is the most idyllic and peaceful town I have ever seen in my life. Imagine the mock German town they have in Disney World. It's way better than that!
A view down Rothenburg :)
These are called schneeballers. No really, they are called schneeballers. They are delicious! They are kind of like the German equivalent of gelato.
Monday, February 18, 2008
So...Florence, Italy is simply an amazing place. It is absolutely beautiful here! I live on the Arno River, near the famous Ponte Vecchio Bridge in the Santa Maria Novella district. My apartment is very European and full of character. We don't usually have hot water and we line dry our clothes because we don't have a dryer. However, I really don't mind it. I'm learning to embrace these differences! :) I live with my good friend Katherine from Baylor, as well as one girl from the University of Alabama and another girl from Colorado State. I really enjoy my roommates! I think it's a great experience to live with girls I would never ordinarily have the opportunity to live with...it's teaching me a lot. Having Katherine here has also been a huge blessing for me. We are able to be there for each other if we're ever feeling homesick or want to talk about friends and familiar things back at Baylor.
I walk about 20 to 25 minutes to school each day from my apartment. This is becoming one of my favorite things. I stop by the same cafe each day on my way to school and have my cornetto (croissant) and my espresso shot (Italians love their morning espresso). I walk along the river each day, passing the Ponte Vecchio bridge and the famous Duomo cathedral. I literally pause at times, just to admire the beauty and remind myself how blessed I am to be here this semester.I am forming relationships with store owners at the cafe and restaurants I usually go to, and at the local market I shop at. I love that about Florence. This is a community and the Italian people here definitely view it as that. People here are very relational and intentional about their time with one another. For example, when someone says "Comestai?" (How are you?) -- they really want to know how you are doing. I think this is a foreign concept for most of us in America. "Hi, how are you?" in America is simply an everyday greeting. We don't usually care how someone really is. We just ask as a formality. It's not that way in Florence at all!
A few interesting things I've noticed about Florence so far...
1. The streets and sidewalks are very narrow here and sometimes you have to jump out of the way of cars, taxis, motorinos (mopeds), and intimidating Italian women.
2. Italians, and Europeans in general, love nutella (a hazelnut/chocolate spread). If you want peanut butter here, you can except to pay about 5.40 euro for a very small jar. This is about $7.20 in America!
3. Italians generally have pretty small refrigerators and so they usually go to the market every day.
4. Italian guys really do say things like "Ciao bella" when they pass you on the street. I thought people were just joking when they told me that.
5. Already mentioned this, but no dryers here for your clothes...it's all line dry.
6. People love their dogs here! You can bring your dog into just about any cafe, hotel, or restaurant...they actually encourage it.
Overall, I can not believe I am really here most of the time. I saw THE David (yes, Michelangelo’s most famous sculpture) at the Academia museum here in Florence about a week ago. I also went to the Uffizi museum here in Florence and saw paintings like "The Birth of Venus" by Boticelli, paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Donatello...I could on and on. I couldn't believe I was actually seeing these original works of art. It was a very surreal and incredible experience. I am taking a class here called Renaissance Art in Florence and I am so excited about this class because we are learning all about these famous artists and their work and then going on site to visit these galleries. I feel so honored to learn about these things and then see them in real life.
I have dealt with a little homesickness and culture shock the past few weeks I’ve been here, but it seems to get better each day. I find myself missing the little things like…
1. Being able to pick up the phone and call my family and friends anytime I want
2. Peanut butter
3. Hot water
4. Driving my car
Just those little conveniences and nuisances about America we can often take for granted.
However, I am just pushing through any sadness I might feel at times and embracing the very short time I have here. I know this time will fly by and I don’t want to miss a minute of how interesting and beautiful Italy is!
More to come…!
Katherine and I on the Ponte Vecchio
The Duomo Cathedral