Sunday, April 27, 2014

As of lately...

It's been silent on the blog the past couple of weeks because life has just been so stinking full in the most wonderful, satisfying way.  So, in words in pictures, here is some of what I've been up to as of late.

  • Celebrated Easter with family and friends
  • Siblings on the front porch 

The cutest little Easter baby!

    Mama and (two of three) daughters

    Family picture after church
  • Received the prestigious American Council of Teachers of Russian Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award from my university
  • Фотография: Congratulations to my daughter, Chelsea, for being named the American Council of Teachers of Russian Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate at Indiana University for 2014! You have worked exceedingly hard during your college career, Chels, and that hard work has definitely been recognized. God has blessed you richly!

  •  Saw Under the Streetlamp, Gentlemen's Rule, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, and a dance performance call Hammer and Nail, all with dear friends 
  • With Chels before West Side Story
  • Presented my International Studies capstone thesis at the departmental symposium and then enjoyed the lovely reception  afterwards

    • Former Senator Lugar gave the keynote address

  • Spent the night at my grandparents' house with my mom, sister, and two favorite nephews the night before my first teaching certification exam, which went quite well! 1 down, 3 to go!
               Legos with Logan!

      He's getting so big!
  • Explored Indy with my friend Chelsea
  • The weather was simply perfect!
  • Went out with friends to see an awesome cover band to celebrate our last Little 500 weekend at IU
Before the show!

Two weeks from today I'll be a university graduate! Cue the tears! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15th

I zip my coat a little higher and pull my scarf a little closer to my neck. I shove my cold hands into my pockets and start to think that I should have brought my hat. 

Is it really April 15th? 

Friends post pictures of snow-sprinkled lawns and a dusting of sleet remains on the cars as I walk to the bus stop in the morning.

It's April 15th!

My day is filled with the usual routine of class and studying. I RSVP to graduation events and work on final presentations and papers with a cup of tea nearby and I realize...

....that it's Tuesday, April 15th and one month from today I will be in Germany!

A Supergeil Saturday and Sentimental Sunday

Supergeil - A slangy German word meaning "super cool" which is used entirely too often by the members of my German class thanks to this little video...

So while my Saturday was nothing like that guy's supergeil life, it was supergeil in its own way, none the less.

Saturday afternoon we headed out to go hiking in Brown County State Park.  The weather was perfect and it felt great to be out exercising in the fresh air.  I was the (self) appointed fearless leader of the group.

The trail was, according to the map, one big loop, but once we started the trek back from the lake, it seemed to be taking longer than it should have to get back to where we had parked the cars.  This wouldn't have been a problem, except that we had horseback riding reservations at 5:00 and were, in principle, supposed to be there 20 minutes early.  Ivana and I ended up running ahead of the group to get the cars and then driving back to pick up everyone else. We were cutting it awfully close, but luckily we were still able to go riding!

We showed up wearing the same shirt...typical!

We made it!

Sunday morning I went to church with friends, as usual, but this Sunday was extra special - it was Palm Sunday.The service was absolutely beautiful with some of my favorite hymns, including "Hosanna Loud Hosanna" and "All Glory Laud and Honor".  I just LOVE Palm Sunday - always have, always will!

As the Communion comes to an end, the congregation sings two short lines "Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom. Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.", which are repeated until the communion time is over. In the pew in front of us was a family with three little boys who had been squirmily sitting through the church service with their parents.  When this song began, however, all three little boys knew the words and melody and sang along the entire time.  Oh my heart it was just too precious! Seeing little children sing to Jesus is one of the sweetest things ever in my eyes and I may have gotten a little choked shame! 

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Palm branch crosses 

Sunday evening I had to go to a guitar concert for my guitar class.  The concert was good, as always, but what really made the evening special was that afterwards my friend Ivana and I decided to go adventuring since it was such a nice warm evening. We got bubble tea and just walked and talked. It was simple, but it was perfect! I really needed it and it definitely ended my weekend on a high note.  So thankful for such a dear friend! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

A blog post jam-packed with excitement!

I'm moving to Munich!!!

Bring on the bretzel and beer!

And I'm traveling to Belarus!!!

And my capstone thesis was selected to be presented at the end of the semester symposium!

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This is just too much excitement for one blog post!

Just a few short days after graduation I'll be on a plane to Germany to meet up with some of my favorite Germans, only to get on a plane to Minsk the very next day.  Normally getting a visa for Belarus is a headache and a half and expensive to boot, but due to the fact that Belarus is host to an international hockey championship this summer, ticket holders can enter the country visa-free.  Having found this out, we snatched up some cheap tickets for the Kazakhstan - USA and Finland - Switzerland matches, booked some beds in a hostel, and scored a sweet deal on flights! I honestly thought that Belarus would be one of the last, if not the last, country in Europe for me, so I am beyond stoked for some more Slavic sightseeing!

So much Belarus, so little time!

I have a few days to relax in Munich, but will also be making a quick weekend trip to Berlin! Berlin and Munich aren't exactly close, but how often is your dear friend and freshman year roommate in the same European country as you??? Plus it's been 3 years since my first trip to Berlin, so I want to give the German capital another chance. 
Berlin fun in 2011

And there's even more exciting news! After an action-packed month of May, I start a new au pair adventure in the beginning of June! This time, however, it's not just a summer gig, but a whole year! I can't wait to meet my newest "little sister" and German host family! My first au pair experience, short as it was, was unforgettable and my Unterhaching family will always hold a special place in my heart. I'm so excited to improve my German, make new friends, and travel! I have high hopes for the year and high expectations for myself and can't wait to see what the next year brings!