Tag Archives: hope

My blogiversary

16 Mar
Amsterdam

{world traveler}

Somehow my blogiversary slipped by without me realizing it. Last year, I started sharing my thoughts here, not really sure what I would get out of it. It has become somewhat therapeutic for me. It’s nice to sit down and write what I’m thinking, and it’s fun to look back on what an incredible year it was.

In my very first blog post, I wrote a list of ten things to do in my twenties. And for my blogiversary post, I think it’s fitting to look back at that list and see how I’m doing.

1. Travel – In 2011 I wrote that I wanted to see the world, and I started doing just that. Since that first post, I’ve not only traveled to Germany, but Spain and the Netherlands as well.

2. Learn a foreign language – This is much harder than I thought it would be, but I haven’t given up yet. For awhile I was getting quite good at German grammar, and conquered a pretty long list of German vocabulary. But life became busy, and I stopped doing my lessons. I’m ready to start again though, so we’ll see how I do the second time around.

3. Develop an active, healthy lifestyle – I’ve definitely become more aware of what I’m eating and actually prefer healthier options. Don’t get me wrong, I love a Shamrock Shake every now and then, but it’s all about moderation. And I have to say, I’m much more active than I was last year. I currently play on an indoor soccer team, and I signed up for another 5K in April. Man, I sure love me some 5K’s.

4. Start a blog – I’m pretty sure I can check this one off the list. My goal this year is to post more than I did last year. I think I’m up for the challenge.

5. Create a monthly budget – Based on my bank account, and the ability to afford my travels, I’d have to say I conquered this list item. It was hard at first, but now I’m capable of setting a budget and sticking to it. And the key is sticking to it.

6. Learn to cook – I still make a mean grilled cheese – does that count? I mostly blame my poor cooking skills on living at home. Why cook when there is already dinner on the table? I know I’ll get better with this at time, maybe not this year, but somewhere down the road. At least I can bake!

7. Live overseas – This is still a dream of mine. After traveling overseas, I definitely feel this is an experience I want to have. Although I don’t see it happening soon, I have a hunch it will happen one day.

8. Live on your own – It’s been a year and I’m still hanging out with Mom and Dad. I don’t ever view it as negative though. I’m saving money, and more importantly, spending time with my family. I won’t ever look back on this time and regret it.

9. Live in a major city – One of these days it will happen – just like living overseas. Maybe I’ll knock out two birds with one stone. Berlin, anyone?

10. Surround yourself with good people – This is still one of my favorite things on the list. I’ve made it a priority this past year to rid myself of negativity and spend time with the people who matter most.

So as you can see, I still have things to accomplish on my list, but I’m happy with where life is going. Around this time last year I was heading to Chicago to visit my sister for St. Patrick’s Day, and today I’m heading to Columbus to visit my sister for St. Patrick’s Day. Even as things change, they don’t really change at all.

Cheers to all the things I will continue to do in my twenties – and to another year of blogging.

Advertisements

Miles apart

18 Jan

“Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the brave. It is for those willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those who know a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough.”

Most of us have been there at one point in our lives. Maybe it was a few hours away, maybe it was another state, or maybe it was like my situation, across the ocean. Long-distance relationships. They’re bound to happen – unless you’re like my parents and fall in love with your high school sweetheart (but even they spent time apart when my dad was in the service.)

Some people make them work. Some people don’t. In most cases it’s a personal decision. Either it’s worth it to you or it’s not. To me, it’s worth it. And despite being 4,000 miles apart, Sebastian and I are happy in a relationship. Is it hard? Of course. Do we make it work? Somehow.

I often get asked, “How do you make it work?” The truth is, we just do. We both realize that time spent apart is better than no time at all. But if I had to give words of wisdom, here are some things I’ve learned along the way.

Make time to talk every single day. Even if it’s only for ten minutes on your drive home from work when he’s really sleepy.

Write letters. There’s something to say about physically holding something the other person touched just days ago.

Share in each other’s joys and sorrows. Even though you can’t be there, celebrate the accomplishments and be there the best you can for the hard times.

Enjoy the time you do have together. Understand that it won’t always be perfect, but it will go fast, so savor every minute of it.

Maybe 2012 will be different. Maybe we’ll end up together this year. For now though, we’ll continue to make it work. And when the distance feels difficult, because some days it will, I’ll remember he’s worth it and only a plane ride away.

image

The most wonderful time of the year

24 Dec

I’m sitting in the living room with my family, waiting to head to mass.

Tonight I am happy.

Christmas is here, and it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

So from my family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

{happy holidays}

{welcome to our world}

images 1, 2

September 11

11 Sep

For many people, there are moments they will always remember. Their first kiss, graduating college, getting married, the birth of their first child. And for many Americans, September 11, 2001 will forever be on that list. I’m certain we can all remember where we were that day. I was in eighth grade, sitting in class. The secretary came in and told my teacher that the World Trade Center had been attacked. She started to cry and all of us wondered what was happening. As I sat in shock, I thought, I’ve been there. I’ve been to the World Trade Center.

In the summer of 2000, my family took one of our trips to visit cousins in New Jersey. During those trips, we usually spent a day in New York City, and on that particular August day we found ourselves in Lower Manhattan. Not really sure where to start, my Uncle Joe suggested we check out the South Tower of the World Trade Center. So we all headed up to the Top of the World observation deck on the 110th floor. The views were spectacular, and I remember feeling like I could see all the way to Ohio.

On September 11, I couldn’t believe that same building was gone.  It all happened so quickly, and our country would never be the same. In 2002 we went back to New York City and to Lower Manhattan. I remember standing at the edge of Ground Zero. It was a giant hole in the ground. I thought, is this empty space really where I stood more than 1,000 feet in the sky? Just like on September 11, I don’t think it sank in.

Today it does though. I sit and watch footage from that day, and my heart goes out to the friends and families who lost loved ones. As much as that day was an American tragedy, it went beyond our shores. Many who died were from other countries. And those attacks started a decade of wars and more terrorist attacks around the world. But, even in all the tragedy, on the ten year anniversary there is hope. I think Iryna Ushakova said it best, “Life goes on. Ten years is a good time to say goodbye to all that we’ve been through, a good time to turn the page to a new era.” She is a Ukranian woman whose father died in the World Trade Center.

I’ve been back to Ground Zero several times since 2002. And now I hope to go and visit the national September 11 memorial there. I want to pay my respects to those who lost their lives, to remember that life is precious, but most importantly to remember.

Image courtesy Google Images[hope]