Wednesday, April 22

Short funny story

This morning one of our middle school girls got a cast of her arm after having it for approximately 6 weeks. As typically happens, the arm was noticeably smaller and paler then her other arm. This was understandably alarming to the student. So much so that she begged her mom not to make her go to school. As inhumane as it may have seemed to our young friend the mom felt it was important to attend. And to school the young girl went. Completely distraught. It was several periods later a co-worker of mine noticed the student's family car leaving the parking lot with the student inside. Curious, he went by the front office to inquire as to what the reason was. Casually the front office manager replied, "she threw up in the bathroom at the sight of her own arm." Now that is dedication.


Friday, April 17

Our spring break was filled with sunshine, friends near and far, and beautiful places to see. We had a truly relaxing time breaking away from school life for a couple weeks and enjoying the scenery. Luke and I spent the first weekend in Dublin to get away for our 2nd anniversary. I loved traveling to an English speaking country where I was able to get around so easily! We then drove to Prague with our good friends Adam and Laura. For our second week of break we meshed together our worlds from the US here in Europe by seeing two sets of good friends from the states. It was amazing catching up and hearing where they are at in life and what is ahead for them. We are back at school and loving seeing all the students again. There is nothing like BFA!

Our friends Tim, Rachel and Blaine came to visit us for four days. They are serving as missionaries in France and are currently in language school. We had such a great time connecting with them and hanging out with Blaine who is a talkative little man now!

Jersey had a great time over spring break too! She spent a week with one of our friends, Timmy, who is like the dog whisperer. She was spoiled with love and affection!

Bohemia Bagel is an expatriates best friend. In Prague we loved many meals we had in the city, but nothing could compare to a western style bagel with egg and cheese. Yum! We even brought some home to put in our freezer!

This is the scenery of Prague at night.

Luke and I on the Charles Bridge making the trek across.

In front of Trinity College. We were able to see the Book of Kells and the Old Library. Fascinating!

This is taken in front of St. Stephens Green in Dublin.

Thursday, April 16

Life's Tough

This spring break we did some traveling. One of the places we visited was Prague in the Czech Republic. An amazing city with hundreds of years of history. In one section you'll find castles and cathedrals dating back to 14th and 15th century. In other areas you'll see cold lifeless architecture stemming from the communist era that ended less then two decades ago. The aspect of Prague I loved was the abundance of beautiful, picture perfect vantage points. Its difficult to explain a view, but the way the city is laid out makes for an amazing sunset. Almost mesmerizing.

I've been to Prague before. I came in college. It was one of my first big adventures. We took night trains, slept in hostels, had absolutely no money, and had a blast. I came to Prague this time remembering those same views I described above. I Remembered standing on the Charles Bridge on the last night of our visit and looking up toward the old czar's castle and thinking there wasn't a more perfect moment in the world. It was more then a view, it was a frame of mind and the only word to describe the memory is "romantic." Not romantic as in pertaining to love, but romantic as in being dominated by emotion. Being overwhelmed by a view. Overtaken by a moment.

This time around we also had a lot of fun. We went with some friends and really had a great opportunity to relax and enjoy the uniqueness of the city. An old city in a new country. It's all very exciting. I was excited to see some of the same views and experience the same moments that so impacted me in college. I visited the same spots and again was quite taken back by the amazing view. The sunset was no less breathtaking. I was flooded with memories and nostalgia from the adventures of college. It brought a smile to my face. The emotion just wasn't there though. Not sure why. Probably had a lot to do with the situation. Traveling wasn't new to me anymore. There wasn't quite the adventure in it. Contributing factors.

It made me sad. Sad because I realized that more then just one instance this reaction was becoming more and more a typical response. There are so many things in life to think about, that require our attention. The less essential things like sunsets and cityscapes don't capture us. Don't trigger the emotion. Don't overwhelm us with optimism like they used to. We're not as easily overtaken by a moment.

So, I guess this is the natural progression. But it still makes me sad. It also makes me think that life is tough. I can't think of any other reasons why things tend to turn out this way. No one would intentionally choose to turn off the part of themselves that would be captured by something beautiful.

I think life kind of beats it out of us. I used to get my feelings hurt a lot when I was a kid. My parents used to say I was sensitive and it was a good thing (hard to believe in 4th grade), but it was good. I felt and thought deeply for someone so young. Life convinced me otherwise, however. Kids don't appreciate such characteristics. Life toughened me up. Makes things hurt less. Makes you feel less too. Tough consequences.

Wednesday, April 8

These boots are made for walking

On our recent spring break adventures I was reading a book by a British author that is now living in the US. He quotes a statistic that has become more real to me with more time spent in Europe. The average American walks less than 75 miles a year- about 1.4 miles a week, barely 350 yards a day. Since moving to Germany it has become normal to see people walking everywhere we go. The mentality of walking has gotten into my head and I'm starting to think a little more European about it. If it's within walking distance, people walk it. One thing I noticed right away is that I haven't seen very many people running. I enjoy a good run, but on the whole I think people around here and most of Europe get their exercise in by walking to the grocery store or to work or to their neighbors house in the next town. For the most part I believe it has to do with pace of life and that we don't have enough time in the states to walk to stores or to friends houses. I am enjoying picking up on this European trait. Since Spring Break started I have intentionally exercised zero times, but I've walked more than 3-5 miles a day. I don't know about you, but I would much rather stay healthy walking to the grocery store than to fit in another 45 minute slot of running into my day. This is an challenge to all of you who live close enough to  a store or a coffee shop that you frequent. Try once or twice a week to walk instead of driving in your car. It's not only good for you, but good for the environment! Don't worry mom and dad, I'm not become a tree hugger =)