Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The latest little details...Shutters, new job, marriage

Here are the latest deets and tails of life on the east coast. :)

My last three days of nannying are coming up.  It doesn't feel like my days as a glorified babysitter are actually coming to an end. haha I will miss that little boy.  Because his health has been all over the place and I've spent so much time with him, of course I will miss him.  He's darling.   The job has been a blessing to me in many ways.  I've been able to save a little money, I've been humbled in realizing that I'm not entitled to any particular occupation just because I have a college degree, I've had glimpses of how wonderful (and stressful) motherhood will be one day, I've learned an awful lot about patience etc etc.  There were definitely hard things about my job that I will try to not complain about.  I'm blessed.  Punto.

I'm in love with my tiny little bedroom.  This morning I tried doing a Jillian Michaels video in it and it was hilarious due to the lack of space.  Finding enough room to do lunges or push ups was comical.  My inflatable mattress fills up the majority of the space.  But I love it.  It's amazing how nice it is to have a space that's mine.  I can unpack, pull out my pictures, and decorate a space that I can call home. Perhaps it's a silly joy but that's okay.

One of my dear friends gave me a plug in candle of sorts for Christmas.  It smells like a dream and the tiny little glow of this accessory surprisingly does a lot to make this room feel warm and cozy.  Easily pleased and loving it.

Because my job as a nanny has been coming to a close, I've been looking and not touching when it comes to the idea of decorating my room.  I just haven't felt comfortable dropping moolah on something like home decor--which I feel is semi-responsible.  haha But I occasionally drop by Home Goods on my way home from work and wander through the aisles brainstorming about how I'll decorate my little space.  I really want to have a cool collage of pictures, cool frames, and some fun painted shutters.  The street view of apartments in Italy is one of my favorite things.  There's something so charming to me about cute painted shutters and baskets of flowers lining the balcony.  So I've been trying to conjure up ways to decorate my room with details of Europe that I love without going for the obvious...you know, like a life size photo of the Eiffel Tower--although I am nothing but fond of the existence of that structure.  haha The shutter idea is darling in my head but it could be a gargantuan belly flop in reality.  Time will tell.

I got two job offers this week and have decided to accept a position as an Administrative Assistant for an endocrinologist.  They're later going to train me to be a Medical Assistant.  It's a huge blessing to be able to have a smooth transition from one job to another.  It's nothing ground breaking or even a ton of money, but I'm lucky to be employed and feel like it's a step up from where I've been...which is all I could really ask for.  I'm so excited to be able to talk to people during the day.  I've spent my last four months talking in a high pitched voice to a baby and am greatly looking forward to interacting with adults again.  Feeling blessed.  Just all kinds of blessed.

I got a message on facebook this morning from a friend in the ward in Africa asking why I'm not married yet. haha That question always makes me laugh.  I had several guys in Africa ask me that question.  I usually go with the true, but what I think would be obvious, "I just haven't met the right guy yet."  He then replied with how I probably have my standards too high.  And I probably have missed out on opportunities in the past because I expect too much of men.  He politely suggest that I lower my standards so that I can manage to find a husband. haha I just laughed.  What a dear soul. My previous boyfriend consisted of a chap who drank, smoked, had no fond feelings for the law of chastity and didn't care about my religion...or christianity in general.  So yeah...my standards are definitely too high. haha He hit the nail on the head.  Bless his heart.  I'm sure he has good intentions.  

I've been talking with a lot more italians lately.  It never ceases to amaze me how my heart floods with love for those people.  Well...I love everybody, but there's something unique about how much I care for those people.  Talking to them, noting their distinct and charming accents, the expressive musicality of their speech and way of being, the way everyone of them envelopes you as family.  Everyone should think their mission is the best in the world and I'm no exception.  Speaking that language and connecting with my friends there brings a joy to my life that I'd never known before.

Here's a Roberto Benigni interview...just because I'm obsessed with Conan and Roberto.  Oh the hand gestures and poetic manner of speaking.  Love all of it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Moved in, New Years Resolution, Italian

All moved into my little closet-sized room.  I'm in love with it.  When I brought some of my things on Saturday, I got awkwardly sentimental about how tiny it is.  My mind took me back to some homes I went to in Uganda--they were probably the size of my room but housed multiple people.  Even though by American standards my room is little, I still feel enormously blessed.

My aunt and uncle were gracious enough to let me borrow a blow up mattress so I'm camping out until I dare drop the money on a bed.  It was really sad leaving my aunt and uncles home.  Not because I love being dependent upon other people, but because I so greatly value their company.  They're really amazing people and I've loved spending time with them and their cute kids.

I do, however, love the feeling that I've made a little bit of progress out here.  I don't have a dream job or anything yet but that's okay.  I'm in an apartment, closer to the city and I feel like I'm inching toward my original goal.  Progress.

My bedding currently consists of a right nice, fuzzy, giraffe print blanket.  I love it.  It was a great Target find.  haha Also, conveniently a way to deal with missing Africa. haha Pathetic.

My New Years Resolution is to be better about recording spiritual experiences/promptings.  During my mission I was consistent about keeping a scripture journal.  It is so valuable to me now.  It was where I wrote my insights, what I understood, how I could apply it to my life, etc.  I love that little journal.  Unfortunately I haven't been consistent in the least at keeping a scripture journal post-mission.  So this touristy Leaning Tower of Pisa gem has been used to record my scripture insights lately.  I've been loving it.  I get so much more excited to read the scriptures and love reading back over what I've written and learned.
This weekend was so lovely.  Saturday and Sunday I had skype dates with peeps from Italy.  Now when I say "skype date", it wasn't an actual date...just an arranged time to converse with a person of Italian decent. haha Both of these people are people that I'd only met one time.  They're members of the church that I met at a church activity or because they joined us touring the city on a P-day, but they were members of a different ward.  Well we talked for a couple of hours and it amazed me how people that I only met for a brief time over 3 years ago, are now people that I consider friends.  We talked, laughed, shared experiences, things we've learned, what we want from our future, etc etc  I guess I was struck with the beauty of how all it takes is a brief encounter with someone to make an impression.  Both of these people left distinct impressions on me when we met years ago and we were somehow able to pass hours of our time together as if we'd been friends all along.  I love that.

I'd forgotten how much I LOVE speaking Italian.  Oh my dear it makes me so happy to hear it.  It's hard for me to explain.  It makes me smile hearing it spoken by Italians.  I love the expressions that just don't translate into english.  I love the happy, musical inflection.  I love how poetic it seems. I love the warmth of the people who speak it.  I need to be better at keeping in touch with my friends in Italy because I was overwhelmed with how much joy it brought me using my mission language again and catching up with those that played such beautiful roles in a critical part of my life.

I discovered the wonder of Trader Joes tonight!  I'm obsessed.  I literally oogled at the cheese section with satisfaction and joy.  That's classy Trader Joes.  Real classy.  Though I've heard Whole Foods puts them to shame in that department.  I pretty much just want to buy a sack full of produce and live off it all week.  Now that I have unpacked, I'm ready to put my Vitamix to work and throw a bunch of produce in there.  So stoked about this....Til next time.   Happy MLK day.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New job, new place, new year

Things have been changing around here.  It's really great and exciting.

  • My nanny position will officially be ending February 22. I've been very fortunate to have this position because it's allowed me to save some moolah and get me in a better position to apply for other jobs.  So while I'm thankful for it and it's been a blessing, I'm excited to not be a 25 year-old glorified babysitter anymore.  
  • Speaking of my job really quick, maybe someday I'll write a post of all of the crazy train things that are said to me at work. haha One of my recent favorites is that when my boss found out I had broken up with that boy, she gave me a hug and said, "You know what you need to do?  You need to read this great book called 'He's Just Not That Into You'".  haha Yeah.  She didn't realize that I wasn't asking for her advice, or that if I had, she's terrible at it.  haha She says stuff like that quite frequently.  I realized on Friday that I need to pray to have charity for her.
  • I'm moving into a house in a week!  I'm so excited to have a place where I can finally unpack and make my home.  My Aunt Jane is fantastic and has been so fun taking me around to home decorating places.  I've never been able to do a lot of decorating in past apartments, but I'm excited to slow piece together a fun, darling, homey, tiny room.  I'm excited.  Hopefully my decorating skills aren't a total bust and my room doesn't end up looking like a twelve year old lives there.  haha  Time will tell.
A couple of new changes for the new year.  I'm excited about all of it.  I'll keep you posted with pictures of my tiny closet sized bedroom and the deets of the job hunt.  Best of times on the east coast!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

French lover, french verbs and Adam Sandler

Tu me manques.  In english we'd say, "I miss you" but directly translated it means "you're missing to me".  I love that.  I first became fascinated with the translation of this verb back in Paris in '07.  I'd never realized the beauty of recognizing that something is gone from your life.  When something feels different.  Like your days, your life feels different because something is missing that used to be there...something that contributed to your life in a way that's recognizable now that it's gone.

I broke up with my little french lover yesterday.  Well, we went "on a break" when I was home for Christmas.  Yeah, like Ross and Rachel style.  But we got back together, gave it another honest try, but it was a no go.

I was kind of Bella Swaning yesterday.  Yes, I embarrassingly enough just made a Twilight character into a verb and then compared myself to her.  Not my classiest moment. haha You know, in the book/movie when she breaks up with Edward and she's a hot mess.  Thankfully, I was neither as pathetic nor as incessantly blinky, but I could sort of relate.  Something didn't feel right.  That dang french verb came to mind and realized that I missed him and was going to miss him for a little bit.  Crap bag.

I guess it's just hard because I've never felt that way for someone before.  I've been fortunate to date some really great guys, but while I adored them for how they treated me and the people that they were, I didn't feel the same way as they did.  But it was different with this guy.

It seemed like everything he did was good.  His hands are constantly aflame while my fingers are always frigid.  He would always take my hand in his, warm it up and kiss it.  It's silly, and normally that would stress me out if one of my dates randomly pulled crap like that.  But it was weird how something so simple could somehow seems like the most wonderful thing in the world.  It was strange to me how much I loved hearing from him, being next to him, the sweet things he'd say to me, how whenever I'd bring up something that was worrying me he'd look at me concerned and intent--wanting to fix it and make it better, or speaking french together--me butchering it while he spoke it with such ease and attractiveness that it was kind of a hate crime.

He was a lot of firsts for me.  First time I’d been in a relationship where we mutually adored each other.  First time I fell in love.  I’d never been able to understand what everyone was talking about when they talked about “being in love”.  I’ve always cared deeply for the people I’ve dated, but have never been in love with them.  Well I understand now.

But it was really hard too.  I'd never dated a member of a different religion before.  It was difficult meeting up with my boyfriend to go on a date and when he kissed me, he smelled like smoke...and not because he had a habit of roasting marshmallows.  It was hard that the Law of Chastity was such a huge sacrifice for him and having that standard frequently challenged instead of respected.  I missed having my religion as a common denominator.  With him, it was hard to talk about my mission or the church, because he didn't relate, understand or...necessarily care.  At some point, it was time to face the facts that were whack-a-moling me in the face and not postpone what needed to happen.

I’m not mad.  I don’t have bad feelings for him.  I won’t speak poorly of him.  He is a really great person.  It embarrassingly hurts a bit and I miss him. The feeling that something’s off because it’s gone, and aching a little because it’s not coming back.  But I think that’s okay.  It means that we actually had something to miss.   If it didn’t hurt at all then what we had wasn’t that great. 

So here we are.  Should I spend the evening binging on brownie batter and watching a depressing chick flick of my choice?  Nah.  I'll do a Jillian Michaels video, remind myself in my prayers that I was lucky to have the experience, not forget that I'll eventually find better, and fall asleep to an Adam Sandler film--Just Go With It, specifically.  haha  There you have it T. Swift.  Write a song about THAT!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas break, bulleted goodies and Parisian dads

I spent the last 10 days of my life in Utah.  It was not the worst idea.  Not at all.  I was actually surprised by how much I loved being back.  The girl that can't stop traveling and couldn't wait to move out of Utah found it oddly refreshing to be back.  I found myself noticing how pretty the mountains are when they're dusted with snow.  I love the tangible feeling of "home" that lingers when I drive around that little town.  And to top it all off, ALL of my siblings made it to Utah county for a few days.  The last time all of my siblings were together was at my graduation in May...for like 24 hours before I moved to Uganda.  haha I have the greatest siblings on the planet.  We love each other.

My schedule was crazy train.  I tried to meet up with as many friends as I could.  Much to my family's dismay, I love catching up with my friends when I come home.  It was especially nice this time because I'm a very social lass, so being out here in Virginia starting completely from scratch in the friend department has been new.  So it was nice to go home and realize that I do have a lot of friends and I'm not a loner just because I live in a new state and watch someone else's infant all day. haha 

Some highlights and random details:

  • My cute niece Abby was blessed.  I met her for the first time over the break.  She's so tiny and perfect.  I'm obsessed with her.
  • Kim and I worked out to Jillian videos which do nothing less than please.
  • Christmas day was magical--as always.  I still wake up in the night like an anxious little kid.  I love watching people open gifts that you've been thinking about and conjuring up for a month.  My sister made me a collage of some my Africa pictures.  Thoughtful.blogspot.com.  And my parents are always outrageously sweet and thoughtful.  It was a perfect holiday--like it is every year.
  • We saw Les Miserables and I'm pretty sure I have feelings for the gent that plays Marius but who doesn't after seeing that film?!
  • We hit up the new outlet mall--not a disappointment.  Bless the soul that thought a J.Crew outlet was a good idea.  
  • My grandmother passed away the day after Christmas--on her birthday.  Her funeral was beautiful and I loved learning more about her life, being inspired by her service, adventurous spirit and commitment to the gospel.  She was a wonderful woman and raised some amazing children.
  • Card game night--the best!  When all of my siblings lived in Utah, we had a Sunday game night tradition.  I loved it!  I think part of the reason that I started a game night up in Logan was because I missed playing games regularly.
  • My nieces and nephews ARE the cutest little beings on the planet.  You might think that yours are...but maybe that means you haven't met mine.  I'm completely infatuated with them.  They're darling to look at, sweet to talk to and hilarious to play with.  Aannddd their faces insist that I kiss them...all the time.  My siblings make cute babies.  Exhibit A:

I've been kind of sickly the last few days.  The flights back to Virginia were comedic because if I wasn't drowsily reading a Nicholas Sparks book, I was very berry unconscious.  My flight from California to Virginia was my favorite.  There was a father-son duo sitting next to me that had me entranced.

Ever since my Parisian excursion of 2007, I'm fascinated and in love with darling, involved fathers.  It was weird to me, in Paris, that when you went to the park you would see families there.  Not the kids by themselves, not the kids and the mom, not the kids and the nanny, but entire families--with the dads. I feel like you never see that in America...but maybe that's just my observation.  Even on my layover in Paris from Uganda, Kelsey and I grabbed a pastry for breakfast and went and sat at a playground to eat.  There were several fathers there playing with their kids.  They weren't texting or watching videos online, they were up playing on the playground with their kids.  It was the cutest thing to me.

So this father on the flight hit a soft spot.  He was busy writing on his yellow notepad brainstorming ideas for work, but whenever his 8 year-old son would inquire what he was doing, the father demonstrated no level of inconvenience.  He would put his pen down and explain in an enthusiastic, yet simple way what he was doing.  He read a book with him, pointed out landmarks outside as we were close to landing, and asked him if he was excited to start school tomorrow.  "That's exciting for you huh?  Which guys are you excited to see?"  The son lists a few names and the father comments that one of them doesn't come out for baseball.  He mumbled something about needing to talk to the boy about that.  "Which girls are you excited to see?"  The son pressed his feet against the seat in front of him, moaning that he'd have to answer.  "Ah, dad."  They talked about his upcoming birthday party.  And all throughout the flight (at least when I was alert) his father would occasionally put his arm around the son and kiss him on the forehead.  

I loved it.  It made me miss Paris.  It was a lovely Christmas break.  I miss everyone already but am happy and excited for the new year and new opportunities, adventures, challenges, friends and lessons that will accompany it.  Happy New Year dear ones.