Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Look

After looking through my friend's engagement pictures I found this old poem and thought they would go well together. You should also check out Jasmine Star's photography. I am a bit obsessed with wedding engagement shots, but that's just cause I love LOVE! Enjoy!

How did all this time go by- and I not realize how special you were?

Now that I know, how do I live and love without you?

There are so many questions that rage on and on in my mind and the one it comes back to is, will I ever be able to call you mine? So many reasons I want to shout, ‘Yes!’ And so many more than make me cower away…

It’s true that life is funny in the way that it twists and turns. I am here, you are there. I am there, and then you are away. Yet- our paths cross and meet and then it’s like the two of us never miss a beat.

When you hug me I get lost in your strength, when I look in your eyes I get lost in the depth, and when you speak I get lost in your words.

For someone who all people see as so carefree, with my heart I stand fully guarded. It’s a blessing and a curse – but if I risk losing you forever- I risk losing a part that helps make me stay so lighthearted and filled with glee.

I hate the complications other than myself that hold me back. Some call it loyalty- I call it faithfulness. No matter the reason, It’s a difficult decision to logically standby, but deep down I do know that it’s right. To make you my sacrifice of love for something I am not sure ever was or is still there. But with the hope that it’s true, I chose to lose you.

There will be great love out there for us both. When I see you with the girl you currently adore and hear the way you speak of her, I smile and think, ‘she is so lucky.’ One day you will see me and the way I look at my future him, and realize it is the same way…

I used to look at you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Snipits of Thanks

We each have something to be thankful about. Some more than others. Today I have been overwhelemed with joy, love and thankfulness looking back and reflecting on this last year. I think this year I have had the most in my face experience of things to be thankful for. This list is only the smallest glimpse into the things I am thankful for this day. I love my life. I am thankful for the good time and the trials I go through that make my life worth fighting for, and for those who love me. May you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for:

Unexpected cards and words of encouragement

Laughs that make my side ache

Tight hugs from loved ones

Bisous from the French

The lady at my local Boulangerie

Getting to the Boulangerie when fresh baguettes are being distributed

Long phone conversations with my Best friends

The dance class that brought me my first, second, and third French friend.

“The Seine”

My daily email of joy

The prayers of each supporter from home

The adventures that each new day has the potential to bring

My parents visit


Even better- being quoted.

Each visitor that has come and been part of my experience here- and the individual
memories we have created. They each have had an imprint on my time here.

Internet in my apartment

That each crazy nuts-o event that’s happened in this last year… worked itself out in
time, and I am alive to tell about it, and laugh in the foolishness my learning curve.

My ten minute phone conversation with my brother today.

My French tutor

All of the flower shops that line the streets in Paris

My blog, to capture this year and all my lovely followers

The joy and ability to have lived in a place to watch the changing of the four seasons- and each one be dynamically different and beautiful from one another.


The fact that I can use Christmas colors in this blog- cause the Holiday season has officially begun.

God’s love and grace in my life

Having the funnest Aunt's in the whole world

Warm drinks on a cold day

Ice. Lots and lots of ice. Oh and ketchup too.

Surviving the jump

The ability to look back and smile at this last year- and see all the growth

Cute boys. Now if I can find one to keep!

The joy of looking expectantly and joyfully towards the future

Pretty scarves and warm warm warm coats

That the season of joy and love is here!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

When to start the holiday season?

I am sure it is no secret in the United States that this week kicks off the “holiday season.” With our first traditional holiday of Thanksgiving. For logical reasons Thanksgiving is a holiday that belongs to the United States and is not celebrated in France. So my ever so serious question I have to pose is: As an American living in France, how in the heck am I supposed to know when I can officially start off my holiday season?

While Thanksgiving is a sweet cozy holiday to me, it also marks many important, “It’s okay now to’s” for me. I never realize how much a a cutting the ribbon ceremony of the holiday season played, until this holiday was taken away.
I mean seriously how am I to know when it is suddenly okay for me to listen to Mariah Carey’s, Nsync’s, and Jessica Simpson’s holiday CD’s all the time. And I mean ALL the time. And no one say a thing about it? Other than the obvious friendly sing alongs.

How will I know while living in an area of dominantly apartments, that it’s now okay to start hanging up my Christmas lights? And… where will all those massive blow up Snowmans that are normally in the front yard go? I am sure it is much, much too big for my flower pot hanger outside of my window.

One fall back I could usually depend on, to know the season of joy and love is coming, if nothing else is the internal bliss of Starbucks winter drinks! Mmmmm so delicious- but with the fact that the two corners of my town are not landmarked by a Starbucks, this indicator is missing as well.

Coming from California we are generally graced with one day of rain and an afternoon of cozy sweaters to remind us of the lovely winter, Christmas “chill.” But being bundled up and always having an umbrella in tow, What will mark these winter days different from the rest?

When I wake up on Thursday, how will I really know if it is Thanksgiving , if when I turn on the TV the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, isn’t what’s on my tellie? Can it really be thanksgiving without high school bands, cheesy banter, and a giant Mr. Potato head balloon? I don’t think so!

Have no fear- I do have a place to eat the traditional thanksgiving feast. I was invited by a South African family to show them the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Today when discussing what time she will be putting in the turkey, I was given the following response, “A turkey? Oh… Did I need a Turkey? I don’t know how to cook one of those, I just thought we would do two chickens? Will that work?” I laughed. Of course it will work- but the question comes in- is it a traditional thanksgiving meal without the TURKEY?!?!?! Isn’t the turkey what makes this meal a bit different from the rest? How can I eat my leftover turkey and cranberry roll sandwiches’ for the next three days without a gobble gobble Turkey?

What will I do in the morning when I go outside and there is not a MASSIVE 20 pound newspaper sitting on my parents driveway jam packed with all the sales for the next day? What will keep me entertained and give me a plethora of paper cuts from all the pages I have to flip through? And how will my parents know what I want if I am unable to circle and tab all the best ads for them?

Without the forest equivalent of tree waste to flip through, I could always fall back on the great american tradition of Football!!! Go Chargers! Oh wait… that’s not going to work either. (But- I am very thankful the Chargers dominated the Broncos this last week. Sorry for the side note- I had to be thankful for something in this post.)

When Friday rolls around, how will my body know it’s OKAY to sleep in? That I don’t have to worry about being awake a 3:00 a.m. to stand in line for the latest and greatest electronic gadgets for my closest loved one. Stores in France NEVER open before 10:00. I will just be a silly ol’ girl standing outside of Fnac (Their version of ‘Best Buy’) or Galerie Lafayette (Their version of an even better ‘Macy’s’), saying “Open. Open. Open.”

And as I stand out in the cold waiting for the doors to rush open to signify the mass consumerism that takes over our holiday season and the day known as “Black Friday,” Eventually a Frenchie who knows how this “New American in France,” withdrawal routine goes, will walk by and say to a friend, “Silly Americaine, she must be new. We don’t have Turkeys in stock in November, and we most certainly don’t wake up and stand outside of a department store for a sale that will not exist.”

So to all those American traditions that mark the start of the holiday season. Enjoy Thursday to the fullest with loads of turkey, Christmas music, a Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha, looking at all the ads, and most importantly all of your family on this lovely day! Or, as N’sync would say, “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!” Cause you know come Friday, I will be rocking this CD!

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Small Double Life

Living here or I should say working here I have two lives. The first I call my normal persons life. I live in France, I wake up in France, go to work in France, come home still in France. Then Repeat.

Then there are my out of the country work days which equals, leaving in a hotel for on average two weeks. During this life I am working from the moment I wake up (and requires me to wake up earlier than normal by a minimum of two hours) till the moment I make it to my room to passout. Then repeat for a hectic 14 days.

When I am not in my office and in another land for work- I am generally working a conference. Working conferences there are so many details that require attention and immediate to dos, that you never get to just sit back and be done. Granted there are secessions that do not require your attendance per say- but really… you do have to be present, just in case something comes up and you must run to get another thing done.

In all honesty, I love the conference itself much more than the preplanning of the conference work. It’s much more interactive, on your feet, and interesting to be a part of. But at the end of it- I.Am. Exhausted. This is not me complaining. Trust me. I am simply stating the fact. But, I love the fast pace, looking back realizing it’s all a blur, and the “ I can’t believe we just pulled that off” feeling.

I am saying this for those whom I have received the, “Are you okay? Why are you M.I.A?” messages from in the absence of me posting a blog. I have not posted, not because I have deserted this page of mine. But because my fingers have not had the time to the type words, that my brain has not even had the time to think about writing in the first place. I will not desert the blog, that I promise. It is one of the small pieces of sanity I keep with me here- far far away from that place in Sunny San Diego, I call home.

Oh and for those who asked- thanks for missing me. I love and miss you too!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Watchers

A few months ago I wrote about being at a hotel in Turkey working out and having this German lady stop her work out and then come stand by my machine for the duration of my 30 minute run. I thought it was very odd.

Well this week I am back at that very same hotel. Two days ago I walked into the workout room where an elderly couple were sitting riding bikes. I hopped on the elliptical, plugged into my iPod and started my workout. Two minutes later the German couple got up from their bikes and stood also to my left shoulder and began saying words I could not understand. I had complete Déjà vu!

The last two days I have gone to the gym the couple has not been there, but they HAVE been walking past the workout room, turned around, and STOOD in the doorway and watched me work out again, saying gibberish I cannot comprehend. Maybe they don’t realize I can see them through the mirror reaction. But they stand their nonetheless chatting to one another and at me.

WHAT IS IT!?!?! Seriously- why can I not work out here with out these people standing behind me speaking in words I don’t understand? It not something fun to watch I can assure you that- it’s not that exciting to do in the first place. I cannot comprehend what they are thinking. I am sure they are trying to be encouraging, but really… It’s just kinda odd and creepy.

Sour Lemons

“When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!”

But what if you are the one that added the lemons to your life in the first place?

Last week, I was in love with life and everything around me. Probably the high I had after surviving the skydiving extravaganza. But this week, has been a tough one. I have been challenged in many areas of my life, and with many friendships I do hold dear.

I am teetering on finding the balance between doing the thing that was right for me to do, being open to correction, and making right the pain it all caused. I am having conversations with friends that need to be had. And listening to words they need to speak. Honesty during an open wound hurts, but it’s best to get it all extracted rather than having to open it all back up later. I sure hate being stitched back up to health.

I have cried many tears. Cried for the loss of trust, cried for the false comments, and cried for the shame of holding back for so long. I don’t look for sympathy, I accept the responsibility.

All I can do at this point is trust that God is in control. That His knowledge surpasses mine, and that I faithfully walk in His path. It’s all hard, but it’s a good hard.

Life was sweet last week. And this week it is a bit more sour, but in the end when the sweetness returns it will make the sweetness remembered that much better.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This time last week

This exact time last week we were jumping out of a plane together!

We headed off to Interlaken and Stayed at Balmer's Hostel

Saturday Morning we woke up and went on a nice hike in the local area- having fun and enjoying all the beautiful colors of fall.

Stopping along the way to play and climb natures playground.

We then loaded up in the van and headed for our Drop zone.

We were trained in how to fall properly

And I was given a pep talk by a lil 4 year old girl yelling at me "TO BE BRAVE!"

We all enjoyed the spectacular views while going up

Though I was actually just really scared and held tight to Bob's arm and Annie's hand. Hoping that my gripping them I wouldn't die.

Falling out and going DOWN I was even more petrifed! But, now looking back safely on the ground the time of my life.

We landed and tackled one another because we SURVIVED!

Our first photo being back safe and sound on the ground.

The next day- was a calm and relaxing one. Strolls through the town and a cute little village watching all the para-sailers in the sky.

I deviously threw grapes

We watched adorable lil lambies

We played on playgrounds made for children, so we decided to act and play like kids once again.

Bob was taught to not taunt or push girls.

While Annie learned that Bob taunts girls.

We chowed down on some delicious schnitzle but left once the spider appeared.

And then headed home back to our world of reality.
This time last week was the best weekend of my life- we all had so much fun together that I have to relive it all again right now!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Something To Be Proud Of.

You put your heart out there and were vulnerable for the first time. I know that’s scary and that it hurts now, but be satisfied in knowing that you tried. Love doesn’t always work out for the first time around. Actually it’s more rare for that to be the case. But you have a beautiful heart and the Lord will bring you a man with an incredible story to tell. You are an example of patience, faith, and love. Don’t lose hope, he’s out there, somewhere.

I can’t imagine the strength to do what you have. I am not so sure I would have the same strength. Life may look really hazy right now but you will land on your feet and most likely a giant smile on your face laughing in the end. You are a bright light and a joy to be around. You are strong, much strong than you give yourself credit for.

What an experience. Watching you explore, discover, and learn has been a joy. You take the small tasks and turn it into something fun. When parts of your trip went wrong you didn’t give up but tried again and succeeded. It’s not over for you, I am sure you will continue to travel, search, “and know everything” but it’s been great witnessing the first time around.

You have faced many great challenges this year and have stood up to each and every one of them. You have given up an addiction and fought for a better life. You have stood by your family through difficult times, and every day you work harder to making your life better. Keep pushing on.

You have made it so far. I can’t believe you will be leaving France soon. You took a risk in leaving home for a great opportunity and now you are thriving. Through the loss of family members, roommates, and many others you have stuck it out when others have run away. Keep going strong your almost finished and will need that same strength to leave and return home.

Each of these people should know who they are but don’t need to be named. I am proud of so many of my friends and what they do in life, but these are just a few of the extraordinary at this point and time. I will always be each of their biggest cheerleaders! Who are you proud of, let them know or participate in Mamakat’s workshop.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stray Thoughts

I am supremely blessed with life at this moment. France is flourishing with color and life from the changing of seasons. I have been blessed to spend a great amount of time with a friend from home, while also bringing together and fitting into my life here with friends of the present.

I am impressed with the character and strength some of my friends have possessed. While being able to laugh and cry through conversations- but even with the difficulty of life, I am able to rest confidently on the knowledge that all things will work out, because God is in control.

I was able to take an adventurous trip with friends. I usually travel for the purposes of work, and when I see groups of girls walking around with their bags I think, “What amazing memories these girls are building.” This weekend I was able to have that experience and I will forever treasure it.

Work is busy and satisfying. I see great purpose in what I am doing and like watching things work out and come together.

This week I have been very reflexive on life, friends, family. I am overwhelmed with how fortunate of a person I am to be surrounded with such great people. Life isn’t always easy or pretty but it is a grand ride. I am so happy I have who I do, to carry me through.

There are many things none of us could ever pretend to understand- but when things start changing- I believe something great is on the brink of the horizon. I have faith. I know and believe it all will settle into something new and something beautiful on this journey of life.