Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year in Review


Oh so cliché for New Years Eve, but whatever.

Highlights by month:

January: got a job. Learned my new favorite saying in Spanish “Si este vibora te pica, no hay remedio en la botica.”

February: Tickets to Guatemala are booked!

March: Apparently March was pretty pathetic, because I can’t think of anything significant that happened.

April: Easter. My obsession to listening to Disney songs in Spanish begins.  Veo en Ti La Luz es la mejor cancion.

May: Bought a wedding dress on eBay to take pictures in. Went to Florida. Saw 2 hammerhead sharks just swimming around—crossed seeing a shark in it’s natural habitat off my bucket list.



June: First “real” photoshoot.

July: Wore my wedding dress through the mall.

August: ….another insignificant month

September: Went to Guatemala. Passed my first CLEP exam.


October: Went to Ethiopia. (Cross seeing a wild monkey and hippo off the bucket list)


November: Thanksgiving.

December: Grandfather goes to heaven. Christmas. 1 year anniversary of my grandmother’s death.


The “Ests” of 2012 (yes, I will be inventing some words.)

Scariest: Guatemala. Driving in a truck, at night, get out of truck so it can go up a hill. Met by 3 guys with shotguns, two of which are wearing ski masks, who then lowered their guns at us. Turns out, they were just guards, but still.

Longest: Travelling home from Ethiopia. On the way back: 24 hours total.

Popularest: blog post: I’ll Just Continue

Dumbest: Tucker: “hey look at that volcano smoking!” Me: “That’s just a hill with a cloud over it.” It was clear by the nest day that it was a volcano.


Beautifulest:  Kalkidan.


Entertainingest: Lincoln. Best movie I saw all year, of course, I’m not exactly a frequent movie go-er.

Favoritest: (picture)

IMG_3088                                                              I just ordered it on  a canvas!!

Craziest: Taking my second trips to Ethiopia and Guatemala in less than 2 months time.

Quotablest: “There are far, far better things  ahead than any we leave behind.” –C.S. Lewis

I want it on one of these bracelets from BookFiend on Etsy.

Self-portaitest: I have taken more photos of myself this year than ever before. My favorite of the year:


Preciousest: (moment)


Relatablest: …thing found on Pinterest:


Songest: Many the Miles by Sara Bareilles. Actually I think it’s a kind of old song, but you know, I just discovered it recently, and I like to be behind on these things.

TVest: Sister Wives. It’s so stupid. So pointless. But so addicting.

Memorablest: (person) Selena from Guatemala.


All in all, 2012 was a good year. Lot’s of memories created.


Friday, December 28, 2012

What I’d Tell My Brother


Christmas has been weird for two years in a row, and I think, it will feel weird for quite a while.

Christmas 2010. My grandma (dad’s mom) was healthy. My grandfather (mom’s dad) was not entirely healthy. Still battling cancer, but it was “normal” and he was doing okay. He fried oysters. Grandma made gravy. Like it had been, every single year.

At the end of November this year, my grandfather was told he had “weeks.”  He died late on December 11.

Last December, on my birthday, the doctors told her she had 6 months. By Christmas, she couldn’t walk on her own. She died on December 28.

One year ago today, my grandmother went to heaven.

While I am glad she is there, free from pain and suffering, I selfishly wish she was still here, so she could see her grandchildren get married, graduate, and just watch who they have become.

Two months before we brought Teshale home, she was diagnosed with Leukemia. He only got to see her a limited number of times, as she had to be careful not to be exposed to any sort of illness. So if there was any question, he stayed home with somebody.

He won’t remember her at all. He was just over a year when she died. I wish he could have gotten to know her, because she was one awesome-sauce lady.


(favorite picture ever)

So Teshale, this is for you, these are things you should know:

  • She made the BEST mashed potatoes, I kid you not, I don’t care how good you think my or mom’s mashed potatoes are, hers were better.
  • She was so excited to meet you. Your picture was up on her fridge as soon as she got it.
  • It took her a while to say your name right…actually, I’m not sure that she ever got it.
  • I’m definitely going to have to tell you the story about the Labor Day cookout when she broke her wrist, but wouldn’t go to the ER until everyone got their food.
  • You could never watch a movie with her, and actually catch every detail, because she talked during them…(but not in theaters, she wasn’t one of those people)
  • You made her laugh. The last time we saw her, you were squealing, and she laughed. She was in pain, and kind out of it, but you made her laugh. We left shortly after that. The last thing I remember her doing, was laughing. Thanks for that. It’s a good final memory.
  • We all used to have toothbrushes up at her house with our nicknames written on them, for when we slept over. “Weebie” “Wildman” I don’t know why, but that little thing is something I will always remember.
  • She always said taco as “tacko”
  • She had such a servant’s heart.
  • Anywhere she was, there were at least 5 Ricolas in reaching distance. Riiiiiiiiicola.
  • Thanksgiving/Easter she had to make sure everyone had their favorite foods. Mashed potatoes for Rachel. Certain kinds of pies for certain people. Oh..and she always made Kraft Macaroni for Josh, since he wouldn’t eat the real stuff.


“Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different....” –CS Lewis

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Do they know it’s Christmas time?

You know that song? The one we feel all good inside while shouting “FEEEEEEED THE WOOUUOORULLD.” It’s incredibly off if you listen to the words. I’m not saying it was a bad cause, raising $14 million for a famine in Ethiopia? Go for it. Awesome. Just write the song better next time.

Since this was supposedly written about Ethiopia, it will be my “country of reference.”

Let’s break it down.

It's Christmas time,
there's no need to be afraid.
At Christmas time
we let in light and banish shade

I am no poet,  and I really kind of hate metaphors and similes, so don’t judge me if I get this wrong. We let in light and banish shade? More like we pretend everything is fine and dandy everywhere and close our eyes to stuff we don’t want to see. Either way.

And in our world of plenty
we can spread a smile of Joy

Okay, sure we can use our resources to help others.

Throw your arms around the world
at Christmas time.

Only at Christmas? “I LOVE YOU WORLD!…okay, Christmas is over.”

But say a prayer,
Pray for the other ones.

Good thinking, I have no issue with that.

At Christmas time it's hard
but when you're having fun...
There's a world outside your window
and it's a world of dread and fear

Hardships. Not dread and fear. I’m sure during the famine it was worse, but the whole world outside your window is not full of dread and doom. That’s a bit of an egocentric point of view, don’tcha thing?


Where the only water flowing is
the bitter sting of tears

Oh really?

Where the Christmas bells that are ringing
are the clanging chimes of Doom sure this is another metaphor, geez, I’m bad at those.

Well, tonight thank God it's them instead of you.

Arguably the stupidest line in the whole song. “Dear God, I would just like to say thanks. I am so glad that little girl is starving and not me. Good thing that baby died and not me.” Erg.

And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time

Actually, it does snow in Morocco, Lesotho, and South Africa. During a particularly cold spell it snowed in Algeria and Tunisia. Good try though.

The greatest gift they'll get this year is life.

Where nothing ever grows
No rain or rivers flow



Actually a lake, not a river, but you know, large body of water.


Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

Actually Christmas is celebrated on January 7th in Ethiopia. Egocentrism once again.

Here's to you...
Raise a glass for everyone

Yes, drinking has been proven to be an effective combatant in fighting hunger in third world countries.

Here's to them
Underneath that burning sun

See, you’re just really stuck on this whole Africa is a big desert country thing. (also, not a country, a continent, but that’s another rant for another day) In case you still aren’t convinced on water in Africa:

Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

Seriously…January 7.

Feed the world...
Feed the world...
Feed the world,

Good thought, hard to do in reality.

Let them know it's Christmas time again.
Feed the world,
Let them know it's Christmas time again.
(Repeat several times and fade)

This song is just…it’s not a bad song, I guess, but it really shows how uneducated people are. Poverty does not equal a life of doom and despair. Africa is not a desert. And you’d think if you were writing a song you could do a quick google search and find out…oh wait…there is water in Africa…

and yes, I realize it was written because of a drought that caused a famine, but don’t tell me, “nothing ever grows. no rain or rivers flow” because obviously, ever, means like…ever.