Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My ABC's for Belgium

A is for Adventure. I really had no idea what to expect when I decided to choose this job, but so far, I am enjoying myself. Thank you to all who were supportive and encouraging!
B is for British Airways. For those of you know know me well, I really dislike flying. I hold the hand of the person next to me, and of course, cry. But, through and through, I made it here safely. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
C is for Cars. The people who drive cars here are a bit nuts. The roads are super small and they drive really fast. I have a stick shift car here, and that makes me even more nervous. I am going to be the "grandma" on the road here.
D is for Daylight. I stays light here really late, until about 9pm, however I was informed that during the winter it begins to get dark at 5pm. This will be a huge adjustment.
E is for Environmentally Friendly. Here, you get charged per bag of garbage. It is one Euro per bag. The recycling bags are much cheaper, so it encourages people to cut back on waste and increase recycling. Also, here they have 2 flush buttons, one for pee and one for poo. Saving water one flush at a time....
F is for Friends and Family. I actually tear up when I think of them because I miss them so very much. This is the one thing I can't stand about being here, is that I am away from YOU. I love getting emails, facebook wall posts, and skype messages. THAT MAKES MY DAY!
G is for GREEN. Everything here is so green, I cant believe it!!!!!! It is beautiful!
H is for Humidity. It rains here a lot! I enjoy the rain, and because of it, everything is green. (But it makes my hair so so so frizzy).
I is for intelligent. The kids I watch are super smart! Sometimes John, (3 yrs old) starts speaking to me in Swedish. Enough said.
J is for John. I got him a glove and ball, and he loves to play catch. He also loves to play with bubbles. Being around a 3 yr old really brings out the kid in me. It is fun to jump on the trampoline, play with chalk, and go down slides. Maybe it says something about my maturity level.....
K is for Kate (and Joy). These are the two adorable girls that I watch, however they are both older and are doing summer camp right now. They are well behaved, and love to bead. They made me a cute bracelet that I like to wear. Also, side note, their accents are precious!!!
L is for Language barrier. A few examples: on the flight from london to brussels, I asked the guy next to me if I could hold his hand. He didnt understand (or at least he looked more confused than usual). Awkward. Also, a man came by the house today to give an estimate for how much it would cost to clean the house after we move in 7 days, and he did not speak English. We exchanged nationalities, and he said he was Turkish. I just used a lot of hand gestures, and we got along well! One more thing, I was out running at the park and heard a lady speaking French to her dogs. It never dawned on me that a dog could understand French, and I can't.
M is for Math. I am already beginning to study for the GRE, and I love doing the math sections.
N is for Nice. The family I am working/living with is really nice, and I don't think I could have gotten a better family to stay with for 9 months!!!
O is for Oxygen. There are SO many trees here, and I love it!
P is for Photography. I have taken about 200 photos already, but need to post them and will let you know when I do. It is breathtaking here. I love all the green trees, plants, native flowers, grass, and rolling hills.
Q is for Questions. Sometimes I question myself about my job/life/future/potential etc. Then I go outside and play, and just say to myself 'enjoy the moment'. I am working on that. A lot.
R is for Reading. I have been reading about the neighboring countries, and cant wait to start exploring!!!!!!!! Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. COOL!
S is for School. YAY. All 3 children start school on Sept 2, and I think I start French class on Sept 7.... I am really excited to be in the school environment!
T is for TFA. I submitted my application again, lets see if it is meant to be! Hopefully they dont hold grudges because I did not accept the first time.
U is for Unique. Brussels is like no place I have ever seen before, which is a good thing. Overall, it looks as though this will be a once-in-a-lifetime.
V is for Vossem. This is the township (similar to a city) where I live.
W is for White. Kate asked me, since I was from Arizona, why I was not brown. hahahahahahahaha
X is for ... I don't know.
Y is for Young. I realize 22 is just a number. I don't have to act my age.
Z is for ZZZZZZZ's. I haven't gotten much sleep b/c of the time change, and also the rain is just so soothing and nice, I try to stay awake to listen to it on the roof.

~ Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my blog, miss and love you all ~

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Bucket List

Hello Friends!

I am writing one last blog before I begin my new adventure in Belgium on August 22. Two nights ago, my mom and I watched Bucket List (for the 5th time), and I decided that I would post my own “Bucket List” on my blog. I have kept a ‘list of things I want to accomplish’ since 2004 (my senior year in high school) and have been adding goals ever since I began. I remember once hearing that people who write down their goals and review them every year are 10 times more likely to pursue them. So, here it goes (in no particular order)……

1) Graduate college with honors
2) Plant a garden
3) Open my own photography shop
4) Go skydiving
5) Become a teacher
6) Run a marathon
7) Get a tattoo
8) Go in a hot air balloon
9) Hike the Grand Canyon
10) Become a doctor
11) Live in a different country
12) Go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
13) Play a varsity sport in college
14) Become proficient in a new language
15) Complete a triathlon
16) Go on a cruise
17) Get published
18) Become a volleyball coach
19) Get my motorcycle license
20) Read the Bible cover to cover
21) Become a tutor
22) Begin a “Women in Science” Scholarship Fund
23) Donate my hair to Locks of Love
24) Start my own non-profit organization
25) Rescue dogs
26) Go White Water River rafting
27) Climb Mt Kilimanjaro
28) Work at Sea World
29) Learn how to tap dance
30) Build my own telescope
31) Be an organ donor

I have accomplished 8 of my goals, (soon to be 9 when I move to Belgium) and am excited to keep working at them.

If you have any recommendations, feel free to share J, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog. ~ Much love, Chrissy ~

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thoughts while being back in Arizona.........

1) I love my family. It is so nice to be home for a while, and just spend time hanging out with my mom and dad. My mom has been teaching me how to cook, and we have been having "Date night" together when we just sit in the study room and read and eat popcorn. I love it. I also have enjoyed seeing my dad, we got haircuts together, and I was able to drive up to Flagstaff to see his new make-shift office in his house. In 7 days, I get to see my sister 1 last time before I move to Europe, and I am just delighted. I am glad she gets a few days off work so she can come play with me!!!
2) I miss my friends so much!!!! I realize that I really do enjoy AZ, but my heart is in California. I never realized how much my friends complete me, and now being home, it feels like a part of me is missing. I just wrote many 'goodbye' letters today, which I feel is a good form of showing gratitude. I don't think it's ever possible to say enough times that I appreciate and love my friends.
3) The night skies here are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! I love the stars here :)
4) This is the first time I have been home since December, meaning this is the first time I have been home since Benji passed away. It breaks my heart. I come home and expect to see him, look for him at dinner to give him a treat, and feel like a part of my bed should be taken up by his cute, furry, little body. I still think about him everyday. He will always have a place in my heart.
5) I thought California was hot.............. I was wrong. Enough said.
6) I was under the impression that I didn't have many possessions. I sold just about everything on Craigslist, and gave the rest away. again. WRONG. I am now trying to pack, and realize just how much crap I really do have. I think I may just close my eyes and start throwing stuff into a suitcase. We'll see....
7) I leave in just 12 days. For me, this is really exciting, scary, and un-real. To sum it up, I am not ready to leave, but SO excited to go. It will be an adventure!
8) I miss work. I don't do well when I have a lot of time on my hands. I start to second guess myself and my life goals....
9) I applied to Teach for America again! Granted, this is only the first round, but I am already excited. Hopefully, if it is meant to be, I will be accepted into the program again.
10) Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. ~ much love ~