July 5, 2010
July 2, 2010
I can't start this post without first making myself some Napoletano espresso...be right back.
March 18, 2010
January 28, 2010
January 1, 2010
My beautiful cousin, Jillian, came up to Seattle from Olympia to stay with my mom and I for the weekend after Christmas and we had a blast, reconnecting, shopping, eating, cooking dinner, singing, and just laughing about all our wonderful memories growing up. It was a hard Christmas for her and her brothers, seeing that her mom, my aunt, just passed away months before. I am so grateful for the time I spent with her and she is now in the planning stages of buying a ticket to come visit me this summer! Wohoo!
Eating delicious hot dogs
I was also so so so grateful to have spent much-needed time with my besty, Kristin, who is due this April!!!!!!!! I cannot believe it and I am just beside myself with joy. I laid my head on her beautiful belly one night and as that little girl moved around, I, of course, cried tears of joy. I am so extremely sad I will miss the birth of this little treasure but am looking forward to the day where I can hold my little niece.
Kris and I in our high school pose :)
see how perfect her belly fits into mine!
For the day of Christmas, my mom and I headed down to Olympia to spent time my cousins and had a Christmas like we haven't shared in a long time; together with actual family. It was difficult to know that Aunt Jonnie wouldn't be there with us but to know that our family is somewhat coming together after such a long time of strife, will hopefully put a smile on her heavenly face.
- Am I satisfied with the constant traffic?
- Am I satisfied with having to take the bus every day to work, which is absolutely packed 70% of the time?
- Am I satisfied with how difficult it is not to be able to speak the language fluently, even with my own in-laws?
- Am I satisfied with my little water heater that takes 1 hour to heat up so I can take a shower and wash the dishes in warm water?
- Am I satisfied with the MILLION people who smoke here all the time?
- Am I satisfied with not having my neighborhood and familiar roads surrounding me daily?
- Am I satisfied with living so far away from my mom...again?
- Am I satisfied with not having my good, solid girlfriends around me?
- Am I satisfied with not being married yet and desperately wanting to start that part of my life?
Then, the kicker. I think back and read through my journals of how I ended up here in the first place. God brought me to California, to Twin Lakes Church, to go on a missions trip, to be placed with Antonello's family for lunch that Sunday, to take an Italian class at Cabrillo College where my professor adored Napoli and knew of a great Italian school I could go to, to go to that same exact Italian school, to find an apartment right across the street from where his mom works, to have someone at Antonello's church, recommend me for a job teaching English, to being hired to work for St. Peter's where I am currently working....
...am I satisfied? I feel as though my spirit longs for my "comfortable" life I had back in the States but I have to stop myself and think. I would have missed out on seeing and living this beautiful plan that is now part of me.
I am reading back through one of my favorite books, "Ruthless Trust", by Brennan Manning, and I will leave my post with this:
"The reality of naked trust is the life of a pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious, and secure, and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered it his presence and his promise."
Am I satisfied? Tonight, I'm overflowing...
December 17, 2009
I worked a very long day on the 14th, from 11:30-7:00 pm that night, so I was pretty exhausted by the time Antonello picked me up from work. He drove me back home so I could rest a while and then get ready for our "date" together. I had no idea that he was planning this dinner so when I walked into the restaurant and saw little 'nonna' (grammy) standing there trying to hide, I knew something special was up.
It was a wonderful night full of amazing appetizers, wonderful pasta and bread, and champagne with strawberry/whip-cream cake to top it off.
I just couldn't believe my eyes....as I screamed "MAMMA MIA"
one of the many beautiful walls that covered the entire restaurant
my birthday cake with fireworks on it :o)
the manly men
December 11, 2009
I am so so so looking forward to traveling back to the States for Christmas and having some time off of work, of a different country, of a different language, etc., but I will miss my love. :o)
There was a point, a wall, that I hit sometime in these last three months where I didn't think I could fall deeper in my culture shock, what am I doing, this isn't for me, I miss my comfortable life I used to have, HOLE. I fell into a hole that surrounded me and wouldn't let me go. I was feeling pretty horrible, to say the least, with all my different emotions/feelings/actions/words/thoughts and I prayed every day for some kind of release, for some kind of answer.
Isn't it usually true, that the way we come to a place of light is by going through all the darkness and climbing our way through those holes? Well, I've been doing alot of climbing and am coming to a place in my life where I can finally see how beautiful it is. Not because I'm living in Italy. Not because I'm engaged. Not because I'm living some sort of romantic movie because I'm not. I'm seeing how beautiful God is through all of this and that is a song worth singing.
I am grateful to live life among these Italians, with Antonello, with his family and now with my new work family. WOO-HOO for a new song!