Thursday, December 17, 2009

new chapter.

i am one silly final away from my last fall semester ever! 6 hours from freedom.

then, an application, cleaning, and Christmas shopping! new addiction: ebay. i'm 55 minutes away from some great leather riding boots.

winter break goals:

spend time with family and friends.
update website.
create ASID website.
finish time traveler's wife.
study for LEED.
buy a ticket to NYC.
work on capstone/portfolio.
smile a lot.

pretty standard, really.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

blissfully unproductive.

i'm soaking up snow days for all that they are worth! the snow is up to my knees and makes me feel like i'm 7. if only i had some bright coveralls to wear.

Yesterday, I saw this:
today, dustin and i played in the snow until he got too cold. we are making a movie together and it will be epic! (and silly.) stay tuned.

Friday, October 16, 2009


goals for the day:

write 15 of 20 pages of research paper before work. run.

my day so far:

  • woke up. hit snooze on 2 phones (5 alarms total.)
  • tea, yogurt, and granola and being distracted by stupid "balloon boy", aka dustin's neighbor.
  • off to the doctor (1st time in fort collins!)
  • got a wad of earwax removed and i can hear now. received strange looks as i asked the doctor to keep the little remains. I had tubes in my ears when i was a baby, they were supposed to fall out but didn't for 21 years. the left one is now gone! i feel relieved but uneven.
  • home. really healthy lunch after being weighed at the doctors office. (converse weigh a pound each, right?)
  • killed a fly. actually, CONQUERED a fly.
  • tried to work on 20 page research paper due monday.
  • searched for the perfect pandora station.
  • cleaned room.
  • wrote an angry letter to CNN.
  • killed/ Conquered another red bodied bug.
  • changed pandora station.
  • made more tea.
  • did dishes. cleaned up after roommates.
  • started thinking about shoes. wanting some booties like these that i found on a blog i follow:
  • making hot chocolate out of sadness and considering taking a bath and reading time traveler's wife.

deep sigh. tomorrow will be better!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

mountains, (of) crafts, and snow.


i awoke to the wonderful gentle white flurries outside my window and decided to skip class and bury myself in the blankets. Tomorrow two of my incredible friends are getting married in steamboat. (the sad part of snow is driving in it.) i'm making them these hemp pendant lamps with a friend (how crafty of me, i know):
Here's another craft I want to make soon...

Happy Wedding tomorrow Dustin and MK!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

monday sun.

it is so nice out today. I choose to smile despite the feeling of constant dog paddling to stay above water. today and i are splendidly imperfect and alive.
greasy, squeemy, happy me atop a 14er.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

kindred spirits.

i miss her!
life is easier with a best friend around, you know?

Monday, September 21, 2009


oh to be back in school again. :( 2 hours of sleep last night only to find out all too late that class was canceled after rushing to get there and acquiring a parking ticket in the process. AND a freezing cold day today! today would have been great if i wasn't in school and could wear glasses and big socks and read and do laundry all day.

dear colorado,

please make up your mind. yesterday was AMAZINGLY hot! i wore shorts all day and volunteered at the Sustainable Living Fair. and today: FREEZING! sweaters and socks and still cold. i don't do well with change so please decide.

karen marie

Saturday, September 19, 2009


craving balance right now. quick blog about PEANUT BUTTER. I have recently purchased my first EVER jar of peanut butter. now, being the extreme label reader and bargain hunter that I am, I searched 3 stores before landing on Naturally More Peanut Butter. It has flax seeds and tons of protein and fiber (i am also a recent fiber freak too) AND half the fat! no tras fat (which i found out was invented by Crisco to lengthen shelf life but is so terrible for you that state laws are beginning to ban it in all food production from mcdonalds to gourmet restaurants. this has taken effect in New York and California.) the consistency is a little different, but it is better for you than almond butter and tahini. While normal peanut butter is almost exclusively monounsaturated fat, Naturally More contains omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.

my first jar of peanut butter. quite satisfied.... the joys of growing up.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

i hope frank sinatra was right.

this spring i am going to new york, new york with the my beautiful friend, carrie. no boys allowed!!!

new blog to follow: the love of my life is in Uganda now working with the light gives heat organization. she left her fiancee and is following God's calling. Pray for her!

Friday, August 28, 2009


last night i had yet another tornado dream; on a boat. twister meets titanic. i've had so many that a real tornado will just seem routine.

photo: Baklava in Athens, Greece


photo: Acropolis, Athens, Greece

Thursday, August 27, 2009


i recently had my last first day of school and my last day of summer vacation... ever! so bizarre.

photo: Hamburg, Germany

photo: Santorini, Greece

i'm pouring out the money to do a photography gallery this semester. details to come.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


a really productive day and cooling down to breakfast at tiffany's and pier one cinnamon candles.

only audrey can pull off one-inch bangs.

looking for a place to live in fort collins, a real challenge.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

egyptian nuclei.

"The attraction is the force that overcomes the repulsion of the positively charged nuclei of the two atoms."
-the line i just read in my chemistry book on covalent bonding.

also, i've been exposed to egyptian cotton sheets and now i can never go back. i'm totally ruined.

Friday, June 19, 2009

sun sun sun.

it's finally nice out! this house smells like death. literally. there are dead mice in the walls. or maybe just one mouse and one wall. today is all about productivity and being totally distracted by playing in the sun! these unshaven legs are off for a hike.

photo: the remnants of a lunch and some found toys on the almalfi coast, southern italy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

chicken soup.

10 things i've learned from my dating relationship of nearly 2 YEARS now:

1. be intentional. in word, in action.

2. there should be an annual rocky movie marathon for healthy relationship maintenance.

3. patience.

4. i don't need to defend myself ALL the time. i have nothing to prove.

5. what it is to truly going after jobs, things that you want, desires of your heart. sleep on a doorstep or two if need be.

6. there is nothing a good bedtime story won't fix. AND i will never outgrow them.

7. the necessity of backing my opinions, beliefs and going confidently and humbly with them.

8. we make an intentional choice to be in relationships and we are completely free to leave them. it's a blessing not a burden.

9. have the "i'm here to see you!" attitude instead of the "i'm here, look at me!" attitude. serving brings so much more joy than pulling attention. God designed beautiful roles for the each gender; for the family. As the man leads in love, the female gets to submit in love and obedience and then they walk side by side, hand in hand.

10. dating is the hardest and most wonderful thing i have ever done. i don't totally understand it, i don't totally understand him. but i think that's the beauty of it, i get to observe and learn and grow and be challenged with my best friend. we are completely able to define and mold our relationship into something entirely unique. i don't want the relationship of my parents, it's theirs, works for them, i don't want the realtionship of his parents, i want exactly what God has for me and as for now, i am so blessed to share this part of my life with a wonderful boy.

dear readers: eventually i'll do a little more europe blogging. i think i'm avaoiding it, because i'm not ready for it to be over. to be here. learning to be right where i'm at, right where God has me.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

global warming.

drove through a snowstorm on june 2 2009.

i've been there and back again. too much reality. big giant double-decker plane to reality.







and completely ready to be done long distancing.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

he's here!!!

my wonderful boyfriend arrived in florence today. i was so nervous and shaky and it's not even real. amazing.

i am so blessed.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

shoes and arias.

so, i just googled myself. i'm pretty famous. there is a british karen pringle and an older painter that shares my awkward name as well. fancy that.just got home from la boheme. oh my. still taking it in. a little funny, a little piece of home. it was in st. james church here which is one of the few english speaking churches in florence. the opera was still in italian. but the small audience made me realize that the cliche chatty middle aged women (whom i thought to live only in grand junction) are everywhere! the two that sat behind me pronounced a few key italian words very poorly and loudly, "BRAVI! BRAVI;" they chitter-chattered between EVERY aria; they decided that this production of la boheme was the best in all the world. They were having some serious middle-aged catharsis.

i, on the other hand, was so distracted thinking about seeing my boyfriend in a week, the dress i will wear (found at an antique market this weekend) and trying to solve the dilemma of not having weather appropriate shoes that will match. then, i couldn't stop thinking of the little mountains of bothersome homework that need to be done in order to spend the maximum amount of time with him. the opera was quaint, good, it was two hours that felt entirely like home, for better and worse.

now, time to edit photos for final project time and fill out about 50 more pages of a journal that i should have been filling out for the past 3 months.
*scary doll: found in the antique market which is pictured above.

Friday, April 17, 2009


quite possibly the best comfort and cure. italy, as you might know, is not big on tea. "un cappuccino, per favore" so, my trip to london was everything and more to me. theatre, tea, time alone. couldn't have been more perfect. i was completely overwhelmed by people's kindness to the point that i walked down the london streets crying and thanking God for continually providing for my every last need and blessing me beyond measure in the most unexpected ways.

tea. if you ever make it london you have to go to afternoon tea at Fortnum and Masons.
SO FANTASTIC. i felt a bit like a colorado girl in a fancy place but right at home with scones and tea. Darjeeling Broken Orange Pekoe, scones, clotted cream, and the fruitiest of fresh jams.

from here, i went to see billy elliot. holy cow, i have never seen a better dancer ever. at the ripe age of 13, tom holland ROCKED his role as Billy. cutest boy ever. (next to my boyfriend. who comes here in 9 days!!!)

tea. i got a haircut at an aveda salon i found here and had aveda tea yesterday. magic.

Monday, April 6, 2009

strong tannins.

today is bustling and full feasting in my world here in Florence. We have a mandatory FOUR course meal tonight, with 4 wines. The beauty is, I just got out of Food and Wine class where we made the most amazing THREE courses (paired with three wines of course.) Not even the condescending and socially awkward large and in charge professor could stand in my way of fully enjoying every last bite.

ah, bliss.

ah, weight gain. i was laying on my back last night thinking about how my hip bones generally protrude fairly high above my stomach area. but, now they are just gentle bumps in the less severe topography of my midsection. :( oh well, i hear you lose it all when you leave...

I hiked through the Cinque Terra yesterday. so so beautiful. it could not have been a better day. ok, coloradans: take the lush greenery in the mesas, mix it with palm trees, vines, and about 20 shades of greenery, beautiful exotic vibrant wildflowers, cliffs, villages, and the sea. oh, throw in a beach and some ports here and there and that's about the recipe for the cinque terra. BELLA

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


in the past 3 weeks the following has occurred:

1. i traveled to Hamburg, Germany. Stayed with the most amazing German family. (found on Discovered that Reeperbaun is the scariest place ever. (google it if you dare) Decided that being in Germany was like traveling to 1981.

2. i created a new language: Gertalian. I tried to study for my Italian midterm but 3 years of German was flooding my brain.

3. my mom and sister made it to Florence during my midterms time. i ate dinner out! (not eurostore pasta!)

4. i went to venice again and decided that it is one of my least favorite places here.

5. We (mom, sister) flew to Athens!!!! If you ever get a chance, fly Lufthansa. Germans are SOOO funny. They use tweezers to hand you a hot towel!

6. i mastered the Athens metro.

7. my mom turned 50.

8. i fell head over heals for Santorini and am glad that i WILL go there for my honeymoon. :) The people are AMAZING! we rented a car and drove the whole island. It's where they filmed sisterhood of the traveling pants. Our car rental man worked on the movies! I am going to email him, George, and ask for pictures. (yes, i know this makes me sound about 14 years old.)

9. i love Greek food. people think hummus is greek, but it's not. pita, moussaka, taziki, baklava. so good.

10. I searched endlessly for donkeys to ride. :( (someone said it was too windy for them.)

11. i cried watching a sunset.

12. i took a walking tour of Athens, frantically taking notes all the while. i wish i could retain every last drop of knowledge. The theatres, the history, so powerful and overwhelming. i needed about a week more to take it in.

13. i got frustrated traveling with my family.

14. i prayed for patience.

15. i witnessed the militia parade for Greece's independence day. (there were no clowns. no candy.)

16. my sister turned 24!

17. my family left and i forgot all about previous frustration.

18. was confirmed that something died in the walls of my apartment.

19. i got sick and looked like death. I went to 4 museums in Florence to help cure me, sniffling all the while.

20. i made tiramisu that was a disaster. (not any alcohol will do. aka: absinth.)

21. i missed Greece and watched Hercules twice.

22. i ate all of the tiramisu in 3 days.

23. i decided that i really do love my professors here. especially photography. she is such a beautiful strong female; stands out from her culture quite a bit.

24. i walked by a theatre and cried. it felt like home.

25. i typed a three page itinerary for when Dustin comes here. We skyped. I counted the days: twenty-five left.

and so, tomorrow i am headed to Malta. trying to find a moment to catch my breath while seeing it all. every last drop of it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

just a little longer.

i've been having such vivid dreams here. realistic and vivid. last night i woke up and i was in grand junction (or somewhere that felt like home) and there was a massive window letting the sunlight fly in and give me a wonderful tingly warm and tired sensation. i had fallen asleep on the floor watching anne hathaway in the princess diaries on my laptop. i knew that dustin would be coming over soon and i could hear my mom doing crafts or cooking. it was wonderfully calm. i remember smiling with my eyes comfortably sealed, "please God, if this is a dream, can i just stay in this a little longer." i laid there in contented anticipation of seeing my best friend.

48 more days. and only 2 days until i see my mom and sister!

midterms are looming! i have mountains of studying and project-ing to finish for this week... it will all be over wednesday afternoon!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

it's just like riding a bike. tuscan style.

SENSORY OVERLOAD in the very best way possible!!!!

I just got home from a 12 mile bike tour through the Chiante region. I met three friends at one of the bridges over the Arno this morning where a rickety old (totally american) looking red van picked us up and we were off! To our delight, no one else had signed up for the tour today! Our guide, David, was from COLORADO!!!! there is just something about meeting people from your state. You feel connected, you can refer to Palisade peaches, the hot springs, and Colfax and they are right there with you. He had started his tour business on an "i don't know what to do with my life after college" trip to Italy.

The drive up was spectacular and i knew i was in for a memorable day. We got our bikes, helmets and took off. i am totally embarrased to admit that i hadn't been on a mountain bike in a few months and was a little shakey. I even tripped off the bike at the first rock :(

P.S. the weather was incredible! The sky could not have been more blue. I think it's finally jacket, not coat weather!

We rode for a bit and stopped at a stunning winery where we toured the cellars and the house where Machiavelli wrote the prince. The views of the surrounding villas and vineyards were unreal. We had a wine and olive oil tasting (all winerys also make olive oil.) of a Chiante Classico and Chiante Reserve. SO wonderful. Antico Ristorante in Sant' Andrea in Percussiva. Gosh, i'm turning into such a wino slash food and wine critic. We rode a few more miles to lunch! We ate at a very nice lunch at the (name to come) . I had a garlic/pepper pasta and the most incredible pear/chocolate/custard/pie desert. It gave me chills. The wait staff was wonderful and let us into their cellars!

The next nine miles was breathtaking, through the vineyards and open spaces, looking over villas and natural open area. There is such diversity in the vegetation, cyprus trees right next to olive tree groves. I got such a good workout and came to sad realizations about how out of shape i have become here (MOTIVATION to fix this!). We stopped at a cafe after a long uphill, sweaty but beautiful journey. After we finished our all-day trek, i wasn't ready to leave. I can't believe i almost didn't do this!

We stopped at an American World War II cemetery/memorial. GO HERE! my camera died. But it was beautiful and deeply moving. 4,407 (i think) men died and are buried here. It is so green well manicured. Not going to lie, i started crying here. reading lists of names. i'm sure they had girlfriends, wives, moms. to think that they died in this country that is so rich with beauty and history. it's unbelievable, so powerful. To think that we would ever be ungrateful americans...

today was so peaceful. i needed that. good for my soul. God is beautiful, can you believe He created this? He is so diverse. This is the Tuscany that I wanted to see. I would rather do this than go to the Academia. Is that bad? ask for David. you will learn A LOT!

Friday, March 6, 2009

black feet.

just finished cleaning my apartment for 3 hours! generalization: People at this school are extraordinarily flaky. THEY DON'T CALL! i am determined to do my part to be on top of commitments and calling people (which is really good for me as i have been flaky with the best of them... sorry tyler!!!) anyhow, here it is, 11:41 pm and i am just finishing a little dinner in one of my last weekends in Florence (i have travel plans for the rest.) tonight was supposed to be the "secret" bakery... it opens around 2 or 3 am and is the bakery for all of the cafes and such. you go and silently point to what deliciously fresh and piping hot "wholesale" treat you want. hmmm... we'll see. it's in a sketchy area, so i can't go alone. waiting by my phone like a 13 year old girl.

last night i had dinner with some lovely colorado girls and their friends. man, i miss that. same humor, same references. dinner was amazing!!! i brought a desert that got rave reviews :) we had made it in my pairing food and wine class. i modified it a little.

two nights ago one of my roommates and i got ready to go out to a French/ Moroccan restaurant/bar/live music. after a soggy walk in the rain, we find it: closed. :( we settled for Turkish falafel at around midnight. at around 1am we went to take the recycling to bins (a few blocks away.)

"do you have the keys?"
"ummm.... shoot. really?"

our other roommate was gone until 7 the next morning. we walked and made new friends for the next 6 hours. i had nothing with me, no phone. we met up with some little Dutch boys from school. (my roommate has a little crush on one, so she had a wonderful time.) i was just along for the ride. both of our umbrellas broke as we were trying to fashion them into weapons.

a long and memorable night.

i'm headed to Hamburg, Germany and Copenhagen, Denmark next weekend!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

self portraits and cemeteries.

doing a self portrait for digital photography has not been fun. I got too scared to do my critique today in class. :( i was playing with my camera, amelie, and i didn't really capture "karen." around 2 am last night i found myself sadly looking through my creative efforts and thinking about what would reflect "me" the most. i started photoshopping my wonderful friends together. there. that's me. this is what i'm made of. this is what i reflect. looking at their happy faces, thinking how they've shaped me.
i am blessed. so loved. so blessed. God is so amazing. this trip, this adventure could never ever compare to the feeling i get laying on the kitchen floor with becca laughing and acting our shoe sizes (NOT our age) or playing in leaves with danika, or holding dustin's hand, or laughing with lisa at things that only a humor cultivated over 20 years or sisterhood could understand, or seeing tyler get so excited about his new job, or floating down the the river, or hanging out with people way too late at danny's house, or having the most amazing dinners with carrie and seth, or going to bible study, or having gilmore girl and starbucks nights with roommates :), or having hilarious theatre memories (i miss this a lot!), or laughing at(with) my parents, or going on a midnight hike, OR praying/worshiping with friends.

i wouldn't trade them for anything. italy doesn't hold a flame next to the people that make me "karen." i knew this, i didn't need to come here to find this out, i'm just saying; i love my peeps.

when in florence:
1. obviously Piazzale Michelangelo. (probably the most romantic spot EVER that begs for young men to pop the question under the stars here. BUT... most people probably don't go up to the church/monestary that is up further on the hill. it is hidden. if you go at the right time, you can here the monks singing (Saturdays i think.) the cometary is breathtaking! unbelievable. Inside, the Portugese Cardinal is buried and there is amazing mosaics and frescos from the 14-16th century. (i learned this from my new 78 year old Italian friend, Giulio.
2. go to Sienna. don't overlook this town. cheap bus ride (13 euro) from florence. the chianti vineyards are so peaceful. Sienna is very very gothic yet eclectic. It's kind of a quirky little medieval city. Like Rome, it was built on 7 hills and it seems that none of the roads are flat. (you could get some nice calves.)
3. i found out where the secret bakery is! this bakery opens at midnight and is in an unmarked alley. no signage, just follow your nose. i plan to go soon. report to come.

well, world. it's 2 am and i have completely procrastinated about three more hours of homework...

Monday, February 23, 2009

boyfriend count.

62 days.

in good company.

yesterday was the closing day of carnival and all the festive italionos come out to show off their fancy costumes. and while florence carnival didn't compare to venice, there was still a good crowd and plenty of decent people watching.

then. i walked right on out of florence with a friend. into fiesole. (google map this.) hours and hours later we were in the most beautiful modern italian villas and neighborhoods that looked out over the valleys of the arno river. we couldn't see much but through the cracks of closed off gates. people are very protective of their views. it smelled incredible. (the first good clean air smell of florence so far.) it was so green and lovely at sunset. i am completely confirmed that i was not made to live in a city. a breath of fresh air, open space. i ate what i thought was an olive from a tree... when in italy, not something i recommend. the sun was nearly set and a nice man asked us if we were lost. we asked him how to get back to ponte vecchio. his eyes got big, "oh, si, you are distant!" we made it back hours later.

i got home and learned the cha cha and some new yoga moves. (my roommates mom is opening a yoga studio and is a yoga addict. she took me through a whole class the other night and i loved it!!!! it was much better than any yoga class i had gone to before. i felt so good. we have a trade-off now, i tutor her in sketching and drawing lessons and she gives me yoga classes. good stuff!) we were all feeling the need for some fresh air, so we went up to piazzale Michelangelo. you get the absolute best view of florence from here. STUNNING! the more i get away from the city and look at florence from differnt angles/perspectives, the more i am loving it! don't go to piazzale Michelangelo on a friday or saturday night. it is very crowded. we went around 11pm sunday night (a good time to go.)

i just found out my mom and siter are coming here in three weeks!!!!!!!! very exciting! they will love it! it will be sooooooo good for them!!!!!

i am off to italian class!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


camper shoes are my new favorite things! this company is amazing! i am designing a temporary exhibit/ store for my exhibit design class for CAMPER (conceptual project) and they are incredible. there is so much history and focus on creativity and community in this company. They are completely off-beat, unique, wonderful. all of the stores are different, the shoes are all different. so fun! check out the website:

Monday, February 16, 2009

from modern to gothic.

so much has happened!
this past weekend i went to venice and the islands of burano and murano. italy/ europe is ever-increasing in its diversity and it is wonderful :) it didn't rain the whole weekend!

first, some updates:
1. i traveled to rome 2 weekends ago and it completely blew me away. i have never been in a place with so much depth and richness. the Colosseum literally took my breath away. the pantheon had previously just been the cover of my trig book book in high school and now it's completely real, completely alive. Rome was so lush and green. It was intensely extant. the contrast of ruins/ history, and beautiful green hills gave the city such a unique pulse. our hotel was amazing (first hot shower in italy! heated towel racks and everything) and the 5 course (2.5 hours) dinner completed my "mountain-top high." go to rome!

2. i moved! housing emailed us and told us that we were moving the next day. (didn't ask... told.) so, we packed and peaced out of the cold shower, no electricity, living ontopofeachother apartment! we loaded up the taxi and moved into one of the oldest buildings in florence right in the heart of the historic district. the building was built in the gothic period.

oh no... getting kicked out of the lab... i will finish this soon! i have tons of homework so wednesday afternoon will be my internet time.

ok. time to finish this. so, new apartment is um... dark but more spacious. It definitely feels more like a home. The tiny gothic windows don't let light in so that just gives me motivation to go out and explore everyday. I just have no concept of time in there (this makes waking up very difficult.) :) i live above a trattoria (restaurant of sorts) and a barber shop. It is a very loud part of town, but i've decided that when you are very tired sirens and cars kind of sound like the ocean... (this is my attempt at playing the "glad game" from Pollyanna.)

3. FUNNY FACE. A little Japanese man sketched my face. He stopped me on the street as i was walking home from class around 9 pm and asked to draw me. I thought it was a stupid Italiano "chiao, bella" boy. but no! it was a nice little man who had an italian fiancee and we sat on the steps of a church and he sketched away. It was so fun! he was totally insane! he would stop every so often and use his pen as a baton and conduct imaginary music with it, eyes closed and all! he wants to sculpt my head... i told him i would get back to him. apparently i make "very interesting facial expressions." haha! i had just had a nose bleed and been crying a little when he found me.

4. VENICE was so incredible! GO THERE! Carnival was so so so so crowded. at one point i used the fur coat of the lady in front of me as a hand warmer. I just nuzzled my fingers right on up in there. nice and warm. i have never experienced anything like it. intricate costumes, beautiful historic setting, tradition, festivities. it was lovely. i got a wonderfully gaudy blown glass ring in murano too!

anyhow. that is that. this is my first weekend in florence. i think i might go for a day trip tomorrow. i am feeling not so great and think i need to have some time to be alone and sketch here.
new italian goals: NO nutella. Do homework on Wednesday nights and Thursday. Make a new friend every week. NO nutella.

I am starting to miss having friends. i really don't want to sound so negative, it's just a little funk i'm in, but gosh, what i wouldn't give to have a good friend here. my roommates are fine, but we just value very different things. (don't tell: i don't really want to travel with them and i don't have anyone here to travel with, talk to.) all in good time. all in God's time. it will be fine. just a little lonely funk. i am very blessed for these experiences.

Monday, February 9, 2009

hot pants and hunger.

this just in: my inner thighs are burnt. Tonight, after web design i rushed into the asian market before it closed, got told that the store was closing in both italian and chinese. starving after 9 hours of hunger... i really wanted to eat something a little nicer than tomato paste and dollar store noodles. i arrived in the wonderfulness that is my apartment (note sarcasm) cooked up my zucchini, thick sauce, and noodles.

1st bite: so so good.
2nd bite: pasta in my lap like you wouldn't believe. hot hot hot. no dinner, ruined clothes, no washing machine. sad sad.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

coming soon...

dear readers, my internet is in and out here in florence. however, i have three blogs to post and will do so tomorrow using internet at the school. i just got back from rome a few hours ago and am incredibly in love with the city. i want to live there, it is green and lush and completely ALIVE. amazing. you must GO TO ROME! i am going back.

i have some fabulous pope postcards! they sure do love to photoshop the pope into every postcard. SO FUNNY! i have some new friends too! most amazing weekend... blogs coming soon (tomorrow my time.)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

sunday in firenza.

today was my favourite day here so far. the cathedral bells ring more frequently on Sundays (i suppose to increase attendance at mass.) The weather was a complete blessing: calm, grey, drizzling rain. I slept until nearly one. I could blame the jet-lag but i was simply enjoying the peace in my room with my roommate gone (loud sleeper, loud waker-upper, loud get-readier...) So, between my good book, the lack of heat, the warmth of blankets, and the sounds of wet streets and drainpipes, i slept soundly into the day.


i bundled up and went for a run to Ponte Vecchio (literally: "old bridge"), the surrounding bridges, and along the river. (pictured above. i didn't take it.) it was the first time here that i've been able to feel completely independent. My roommate(s) like to travel together and aren't into sightseeing and exploring. They are very concerned with not being American and FITTING IN WITH THE ITALIANS. I was most definitely the only person here that i've seen running and very much an american doing so. i've decided that it's really not that important for me to "be an italian." for a moment i'll be a terrible person and make a judgment slash generalization: italians seem very insecure. their culture centers around pleasure yet very few of them look happy. i'm sure this view will change but for now, between the womens' smug looks and "high fashion" and the mens' forwardness they are trying to exude with a confidence that makes up for insecurity. tangent.

the run was beautiful, my new worship music that becca gave me really helped me to remember that God is just as much in Florence as He is in Colorado. it helped me to see the people as He sees them. (CHECK OUT "JESUS CULTURE")

tonight i went to a small church that was in English! There were maybe 20 people there and i am still mulling it over. i think the pastor is from africa. i loved it; the overheads with misspelled words, communion, new friends. i honestly didn't get much out of the message, but sometimes basics are so nice. it was refreshing to worship. it's easy for me to feel too 'american christian' and take for granted the beauty and ease of gathering in His name. tonight, it meant the world to me.

Chaio! buena notta!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

counting my italian blessings.

(views from my window.)
i made it to florence and have sporadic internet which makes me so unbelievably happy. I am so thankful. My apartment is tiny and my new roommates and i feel like we're living on top of each other. I was feeling really disappointed that we were paying as much as people with exponentially nicer places until i read: "it is better to be a doorkeeper for the gates of heaven than to dwell in (fine) tents with the wicked. so, i am accepting my little bed as my home and counting it as italian charm.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

puffy and blushing

I'm in DIA right now and am running on two hours of sleep, I caught a flight out of snowy grand junction this morning at 6:30 where my toothpaste was confiscated. I feel like i have really terrible breath right now... so, my eight hour layover in DIA. I finally found a place to rest and eat an overpriced sandwich. I had my computer up and popped in my headphones. LITTLE DID I KNOW i plugged them into the microphone plug. SO i blasted my worship music and Jason Mraz to all of Seattle's Best and the greater DIA area. I just kept cranking that up. and now, i sit, writing, avoiding eye-contact.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I want to win this. I find out on the 31st. Packing is so impossible to do before the last minute.

Friday, January 23, 2009

dropping eves.

Yesterday I was in the changing room at Herbergers (finally exchanging a Christmas sweater.) I was the only one in the dimly lit row of jenkity dressing stalls. By the way, why do stores put the least amount of energy possible into the lighting design of dressing rooms? Who are these commercial designers, lighting designers, or architects? Don't they know that when the end users, customers, are at their most visually vulnerable, they need to be well lit!?
So, in walks a young couple.
Boy: "Don't take too long, baby. Baby, hurry up. Baby..."
Girl: "Shut up! I want a tatoo. Wait so we can get them together."
Boy: "@#$% NO! I'm not waiting for your mom to let me get a tatoo and I'm not waiting until your 18. Baby, baby, hurry. I want one on my bicep. HURRY."
Girl: "Maybe my mom will let me." (comes out in her dress.) "What do you think. I look fat."
Boy: "Baby, you just need to workout."
Girl: "I have been."
Boy: "Well, you need to do my workout, baby. Baby, I want to refinance my car. I want a new truck. You should work out hard for a few weeks and I bet you'll lose that. You will be hot and I will buy that dress for you. Go change. Baby, hurry. Baby. I am wearing a pink tux to prom, I don't care how much it costs, I am going to look so good. I'm wearing pink and I want you to match. That's final. Hurry up."

REALLY????? Dear Girl: If you read this, you're no treat but please get rid of him like a bad habit, you're 16 and your body is fine! SO SAD!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

s'wonderful, s'marvelous.

Publish Post

movie recommendation: funny face. -audrey hepburn, fred astaire. vintage graphic design up the wazoo. i'm inspired to pack only black clothing for my trip.

Fred Astaire and dancing are like peanut butter and jelly; kind of feels like home.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"trebuchet" definitely sounds french.

hello world, this is my very own, brand new blog. i am going on a little study abroad trip to italy and wanted a place to pour out all of the incredible experiences that i will no doubt have. a beautiful friend told me that i don't have to be a great writer to have a blog, i just have to be honest.

i intend to do just that.

ps. i've developed a terrible habit of not capitalizing. I'll work on that.

And, check out my new site: Seth and Carrie made it with me tonight!