29 May 2010

It's been almost a week, and so far, it's been good.

Traveling was crazy. I flew into Atlanta from Dayton on Sunday afternoon. That flight was fine, it arrived on time, and there were no problems. On our next flight, Atlanta to Paris, we were delayed three hours. Someone on the ground crew ran into our plane and broke a hole in something. All of the fuel and luggage was already loaded into it. They had to get another plane out of storage, clean it, put fuel in it, and switch all the luggage from the old plane into this one. At that point we were only two hours behind schedule. When we were boarding the plane, a lady was really upset and said that she was going to kill the airline. They told her that she wasn't going to fly on that plane, and she boarded anyways. They had to get Security in there to remove her, then put her on a plane to New York. After they removed her, they had to find her luggage out of all the other luggage loaded in the plane.

When we got to Paris, our flight had already left. The airline got us hotel rooms, and we had a day in Paris. We went down to the Eiffel Tower, on a boat cruise down the Seine, and walked down to the Champs Elysees. The Champs Elysees was completely closed down, and full of trees. There must have been at least a thousand of them, all up and down the Champs.

The next day, we were down in the lobby of our hotel waiting for the bus that would take us back to the airport. As we got onto the bus and sat down, I realized that I had left my passport and almost all of my money upstairs in my room. I had forgotten to put it back with the rest of my things after breakfast. We rushed back into the hotel where we got another key from the lady at the desk. I ran upstairs, grabbed my things, and then we waited for the next bus. On the way to the airport, our bus hit a customs van and one of the windows on the side was ripped off. After ten minutes of waiting for that to get cleared up, we finally arrived at the airport.

The flight here was good and quick, and on Tuesday night, two days after I left, we arrived at their house. It was dark when we got there so I couldn't see much of the city, and I haven't been out very much, but so far it reminds me of Arizona, just a little dustier.

It's been good so far, and I can't wait to see how the rest of the summer will be.

22 May 2010

Time: 12:17 AM, May 22nd.

I leave tomorrow.

14 May 2010

life is crazy, so they say.

NINE more days! I CAN NOT wait.

Grandma and Grandpa get here tomorrow. I can not wait.

It's so hard to believe that it's coming up so soon, that I'm really going, that this is really happening. I'm so excited.

We've been "under construction" again... Mom's redoing the hallway, the bathroom, building a mantel for the fireplace... the list goes on and on. Then there's preparation for my trip, and Grandma&Grandpa's visit. It's pretty crazy around here. Not to mention raising a five-week old kitten...

A stray cat (now named Polly) adopted us in the winter. Five weeks ago she gave birth to four kittens. One died. She moved the others. Then abandoned them. One more died. She took the remaining two back. Life was good. Then she moved them. We couldn't find them anywhere. We found Lucy left on the roof. Dehydrated, starving, really weak. We couldn't find Aslan* anywhere, turns out he was in the roof. Brought him, Polly, and Lucy into our covered porch and Polly was taking care of them. The next morning (Mother's Day) she moved them back up on the roof. We moved them back to the porch. She moved them. At that point, we just left them. Wednesday night, Dad found Lucy on the ground, he brought her in and we've been taking care of her since. Aslan is nowhere to be found.

So that's what's going on around here. What's up with you?

*Lucy, Aslan, Polly... seems there's a trend here.

12 May 2010

a snapshot of today.

Have I mentioned, 11days? I can not wait. Seriously, I am so incredibly excited.

Excited; definition: seeing Skillet in concert, seeing Liz at Starbucks today, coming home and finding a huge bag of Skittles* on my bed, rain.

This? Waaaay beyond excitement. I.can.not.wait. Besides the normal, yay I'm going to the Middle East feeling, I really can't wait to fly again. It's been almost (approximately) five years since I've flown, and I love airplanes. There's the added perk that we have a four hour layover in Paris, so even though we won't leave the airport, I'll still be in Paris.**

Oh, happy blog birthday :) Today is my blog's one year birthday! I ate ice cream for it :)

Starbucks love.

CLEARLY, I'm not prepared for this picture, and that's what I look like when I laugh hard. Can you tell who the college student is?

*I think it's funny that Skillet and Skittles are almost the same word.
**Oh, Paris. This is gonna be my third time. I love it.

10 May 2010


That's it. In two weeks from yesterday I'll leave. It's so soon. I don't feel ready.

Only thirteen days! I can't believe it. It's one of those things. You know it's gonna happen soon, and then it hits you how soon it really is. And then you don't know what to do because you're not ready.

I feel like I don't know what I was thinking. Half of me is excited, the other half is already homesick. How can I leave my family for so long?

In thirteen days I'll leave. And I won't be back for 82days.

I feel like singing, then I feel like crying. I feel so excited that I'll actually get to go, then I think about how long it is and how short of a time I have left and I think I'm crazy for even thinking about going.

It's easy to talk big. It's easy to tell my friends that I'm leaving, tell them how much I'll miss them. It's easy to be excited about this huge adventure. But then it comes right down to the last 13days, and I realize that it isn't just flying over the Eiffel Tower and experiencing the Middle East. This is 82days gone. This is 82days of huge incredible amazing things. But my family isn't going to be there.

I never realized how much I love my family. I never realized what it'll mean to not see them for so long. I'm not even the one who gets homesick easily. I'm the one who wants to leave, who's ready for whatever adventure comes her way. I've always said that when I grow up I'm not gonna stay in Indiana or even the US. I've always been ready to move. And I've been so excited to go this summer, but now I think about leaving my family for so long. At the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the narrator says, "In the end, Charlie Bucket won a chocolate factory. But Willy Wonka had something even better, a family. And one thing was absolutely certain - life had never been sweeter." It's gonna be really hard to leave them, but it will be worth it, and it'll be so much fun when I come back to them.

04 May 2010

the black canvas.

"Why are you painting it black?" she asked.

"Because I want to paint something over it and black covers the old painting best." I sat beside the old canvas, a gift, along with an easel and two other canvases, from Christmas years ago.

I'm no painter. For awhile after I got my easel I painted just because it was fun, and I hung my art up on the wall and wrote letters to my friend Emily (who truly is a good artist!) about them.

But then the paintings came down. I looked at them from others' eyes. I saw that I couldn't paint people, that my table was at the wrong angle, that the sky outside the window was white, unpainted, that you couldn't tell what my rose was, and the book looked like it was standing up on its own. So I took my paintings down, and put them behind my bed.

Gradually, I got tired of them. They were taking up space. They were hard to clean around. They were a reminder of things I couldn't do. I gave the little painting to my younger sisters.

One noticed the white sky and crayoned it blue. I nearly cried. It wasn't good art, but it was my art.

For years I kept the big painting behind my bed, vacuuming around it, hearing it bang the wall whenever we moved the bed too much, letting it take up space.

For years I kept my last blank canvas sitting on my easel, waiting until I was better, until I could actually paint. In the end, I gave them both away.

Then I cleaned my room. Deep, get-rid-of-everything-you-don't-want cleaning. I looked at the painting. I decided. And then I gave it away.

Today I changed my mind. I wanted both painted canvases back. I bribed the sister I gave them to, bribed the other sister for loan of paint, kindly requested use of paintbrush from the other sister, then began.

I painted the small one white. White, to begin again and start over fresh. The colors underneath blurred. They ran. They blended in until it look like a rainbow in a snowstorm. I let it dry, then I applied more paint, trying to cover up the colors. I did this three, maybe four times. For the most part, all the color was covered up, and I was left with a blank canvas, right back where I started. This time I decided to paint something meaningful on it. I looked at the draft I have of all my favorite quotes. I thought about the books I've read, the things I've heard. And I decided.


As soon as all the white paint dries, I'm going to boldly paint that across the redeemed canvas, a reminder that the people who love me think my paintings are beautiful. A reminder that "You (God) make everything glorious, You make everything glorious, You make everything glorious, and I am Yours, what does that make me?" A reminder that love doesn't care about the world's standard of beauty.

The other canvas; the big canvas. I painted it black. Few things have been so satisfying as pulling the brush across the canvas and seeing the deep black splash across the surface. Again, I searched for a quote, something meaningful that I wouldn't grow tired of. I decided on Mark Twain:


Paint like no one is judging.

01 May 2010


"Today will soon be
Gone, like yeterday is gone,
Like history is gone,
The world keeps spinning on,
You're going going gone,
Like summer break is gone,
Like saturday is gone
Just try to prove me wrong
You pretend like you're immortal you're immortal"
Gone. Time is gone, gone, gone. Just a few short months ago my trip this summer was just a thought and a wish, and today my sister was telling me how she can't believe I'll be gone in three weeks.

Me, gone? Sometimes I find it hard to believe that God really thinks that I can handle everything that this summer entails, and I find it hard to believe that my parents think that I can handle it, and I find it hard to believe that they can handle it. :)

This isn't small anymore. This isn't just a trip to England, a country I know and love. A country where I actually speak the language and can communicate with the people. This is big. This is halfway-across-the-world-life-changing-in-huge-ways-I-can't-even-see big. This is once-in-a-lifetime big.

I'm so blessed that I have this opportunity, that I actually have the chance to make friends and meet people that I may still know when I'm fifty. I'm so incredibly crazy fortunate that this is happening, and I can actually go this summer.

Time flies. Today I'm typing this in my room in Indiana, this time next month I'll be typing something in the Middle East.

I'll leave on the 23rd or the 24th. Yes, THREE WEEKS from today, less if I leave of the 23rd. My grandparents are getting here on the 15th, leaving on the 22nd, and I'll leave the next day. Thank you so much for all the prayers and funding. It means so much to me and I can't wait to see what happens this summer.

And at the end of the day, I find it hard to believe that soon, I'll be gone, like yesterday is gone, like Saturday is gone, like history is gone, like summer break is gone.