Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pictures. Just Because.

The day before I left Brussels, I found a turtle in my backyard.  I looked out our window and just saw him moseying across the grass, hanging out in the sunshine.  So I whipped out my camera and took a picture of him (I named him Freddie Baby) and also took pictures of some more things for fun because the light was good.

I thought I'd post a couple here for fun.

Freddie Baby!  He was very nice.

The door of a little play house we had in the backyard. I love cracked paint.

Roses bloomed on our bush in the front yard right before I moved away!

The only wind chimes in the world that literally make zero noise.  But they look cool.


Anyway, that's all I've got for today!  I'm starting my first day at work this morning (I'll let you know how it goes) and I'm pretty nervous.  

Talk to y'all later!

Love, 
Caro

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

6 Blurbs

1---  It takes a lot to get me to do laundry, or to clean my room, or to do the dishes, or anything of that nature.  I procrastinate and hem and haw until I have no other recourse but to grit my teeth and do it.

But, oddly enough, once I do grit my teeth and get going, I always enjoy it.  I truly like organizing things, and I love the feeling of being productive.  It's a natural high to check something off of a to-do list, and it doesn't come with any guilt.  Nope.  It's pure, unadulterated satisfaction in something that took some effort.  And yet... I still groan when I have to do a chore. WHY can't I get it into my head that I enjoy it? 


2---  I want to get fit this summer.  I'm a stress eater, and I've been going through a lot of stress lately.  So I've started saying no to food, and not mentally.  I literally say "no" at the fridge. It works surprisingly well, and I haven't snacked at all today.  I also biked two and half miles on the stationary bike and speed-walked for twenty minutes on the treadmill.  I cannot let life get to me so I'm trying to man up and call the shots.

Why I do these kinds of things I can't explain.

3---  All of my shows have been disappointing me lately.  The Grey's Anatomy finale was dumb.  Dumb dumb dumb.  And Mad Men has been an absolute wreck lately, though I haven't seen the most recent episode.  And I had to stop watching Justified because it got too creepy for me.  The only show that I consistently enjoy is Modern Family.  Don't let me down, guys.

4---  I really love my brother.  I'm glad I've got such a good one.

5---  I think I decided what to do about my blog name, but I'll update that later.  I really appreciate all of your help/comments!

6--- American things I've missed?  Hulu, Pandora, no YouTube country restrictions, no language barrier, warm weather, being able to text my buds, fast laundry machines, family nearby, easy access to everything and anything, and did I mention no language barrier?


Love,
Caro


Monday, May 28, 2012

The Trip to End all Trips (No seriously I'm never getting on an airplane again)

Hey, y'all!  I'm officially no longer an ex-pat!  I couldn't be more excited.  I have to say, the culture shock has been kind of heavy, but otherwise, I'm jazzed.

Let me tell you what.  I was awake for over 26 hours straight flying over here, and that is not cool.  I do not do well when sleep deprived.  I haven't been sleeping well lately anyway, so I was already exhausted to begin with and flying across the world doesn't help with that.

My first leg was an eight hour flight to Philly.  I got a pat down and the lady dug through my carry-ons, and at one point, she accidentally dumped my suitcase out everywhere.  Stuff went flying, and I was worried because I had valuables and clothes in there.  I was so completely embarrassed.  Not to mention, I have four stitches on my rib cage and she was not uber careful when she was patting me down.  They need to chill, and BIG time.

On my plane, I sat next to a basketball player.  I'm pretty sure he was a famous player, too, because his face looked so familiar.  But then again, I don't know why a famous basketball player would be sitting in coach next to a nervous seventeen-year-old.  He was all arms and legs and took up half my seat with his elbow... but he slept most of the time so I kind of forgot he was there.  I didn't sleep because I caught a cold, somehow, halfway through the flight and I could really breathe.

At Philly, I had a sit down lunch/dinner/whatever of Chick-Fil-A, which eased all my discomfort.  Seriously, they make magic nuggets and the lemonade is kickin'.  And the fries?  Who are we even kidding?  Delicious.

On that flight, which I think was about three hours, I got a little nauseated (I don't like flying) so I took a Dramamine.  ROOKIE MISTAKE.  By the time I landed in Charlotte, I was delirious.  My eyes were rolling around in my head and pretty much nothing made sense.  Since I was by myself, I just kind of wandered around looking for my next terminal like a lost puppy, but I made it.

People looked at me like I was Hitler every time I sneezed or sniffled.  I'm not trying to kill you, fellow passengers.  I can't help the snifflies.  This one lady glared at me and proceeded to pump her kid with some hippie voodoo vitamin juice in a dropper every time I coughed.  It was a bummer but I didn't really know what else to do, and I was too drowsy to think clearly.

On the third and last plane, I fell asleep... sort of.  I wasn't fully asleep because I was semi-aware of what was around me, but I wasn't fully awake because my eyes were half closed and my head was kind of rolling around.  I was too sick feeling to even get water from the drink service, and only woke up enough to get off the plane successfully and walk to the baggage claim to meet my brother.  After that, I was weirdly wired all the way home.

My brother and our friend tell me I was super weird.  Saying weird stuff and laughing like a crazy person.  I remember a lot of it, but not all of it.  I just need to never take Dramamine ever again.

When we got home, I was kind of antsy until about 3 AM, so I tidied a little and I'm pretty sure I curled my hair.  Then I dropped into the bed and slept till noon.

Now, I have a cold, but I feel good otherwise.  Sleeping well, living well.

I'm sitting with him now in a cafe and we've got to go because we're going to eat at our cousins' house. I'll catch ya later, people.

Love,
Caro

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blog Name Change?

Hey, folks!

My grandpa (Hi, Papa!) made the point, very rightly, that I might like to change the name of this here blog since I'm moving back to the states.  I agree, and had actually been thinking the same thing myself!

My Papa threw out some titles, all of which I loved.  I got really close to picking Each End of Georgia, because I'll be living, well, in each end of Georgia what with college and family.  Also, his suggestion of Coon dogs and Cotton had a certain ring to it as well.  :)  My idea was to call it True Grits.

All of this got me thinking that maybe I should ask you guys!  Seeing as y'all are the ones who have to live with typing it and seeing it every time you read my blog.

So, let me know what you think.  Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments or just pick one that I've mentioned.

Thanks, y'all!

Love,
Caro

  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Little Things I'm Loving

///My mama making dinner.  I love her more than I can explain and her food... well, let's just say college is going to be a struggle without having access to it on a regular basis.





///A brand new Bible, complete with a pink cover and flowers.  I'm starting up a new Bible Reading program this summer, and I wanted a Bible small enough to carry around, and my mom found this cute one for me.  I had an ESV Study Bible that I'd been using before, and that doesn't exactly fit in my purse.




///Special K Dark Chocolate cereal.  This is a Europe thing and boy howdy.  It has rocked my world.  Good thing I found it shortly before moving away because having chocolate in my cereal every morning can't be healthy...




///Espresso.  We have a handy dandy espresso maker (which I will also miss) and it makes the most mouth watering coffee you can imagine.  



///Sharpies.  There's something about doodling with a thick, black Sharpie on pure white paper that, I swear, releases some endorphins. (And who doesn't love the smell of a fresh Sharpie marker?)



///Breaking out the summer clothes.  I love the colors of summer, and when I put on a bright shirt, my mood lifts.





Sometimes you get bogged down with everything that's going wrong, and that's when you need a camera.  Just run around your house and take pictures of things that make you happy, and that gratitude might put things into perspective for you.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. -James 1:17

Love,
Caro

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Haps

The countdown has begun.  I've got a job lined up in Georgia, I've got an empty closet in Georgia waiting to be filled with my clothes, I've got a bed in Georgia waiting to be rumpled by my sleepy body, and I've got my room here in Belgium almost ready to be packed out.

There are still a couple of piles here and there, and a large mound of things in the middle of my room to be shipped to my college.  This took me ages to manage, but I think I'm almost ready.

This week will be comprised of sorting things out and tying up loose ends, and then I'll leave.  I won't say what day I'm leaving because there are weird people on the internet, but it's too soon to believe.

I'm excited, scared, happy, sad... the works!  But the butterflies in my tummy are certainly cheerful butterflies for the most part.  Cheerful butterflies tend to exterminate the worried butterflies if you let them.  It can get pretty intense.

In other news, I'm trying to write again.  Nothing major.  Not a book or anything like that, but I'm trying to blog.  Also, I'm keeping a notebook in my night stand and forcing myself to journal every night, even if it's just a poem or two.  My love for writing nearly got knocked over by the fiction writing class I took, but I'm trying not to let it get to me.  I know I learned things from the class, but it killed my fire for a while there.  I'm going all Bear Grylls on the sparks, however, and trying to coax them back to life.  We'll see how it goes.

Oh, and hey, you'll know this if you're my friend on Facebook, but I graduated!  High school is over for good, and I'm mighty pleased.  I'm heading to college with a partial scholarship and I really do feel as if I accomplished something.  I tend to be a quitter, so finishing twelve years of school and getting a scholarship is a major gift from God and I am so blessed that he saw me through it.

Granted, school is mandatory, but you get the picture.

I'm excited!  And I'm watching lots of Gilmore Girls and sleeping in late and staying up late and it's wonderful.  Except for the (loads) of work I've had to do in my room to move out, I've been a summer bum and I'm embracing it till I start my job.  I've also noticed that, in conversations with fellow humans, I have been over-using the word "excited" so I think it's time to hit the thesaurus in all of my spare time.

So, off I go to watch some shows and then Skype with one of my sweetest friends.  I hope you all are having a great weekend.

Love,
Caro

P.S. Follow me on twitter if you so desire! Click click click here.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Name Game

There's something about your name.

It's something that's definitely yours.  Even if 400,000 people in the world have the exact same name, it's still, somehow, a mark of your individuality.  In your circle of people, you are the {insert beginning, middle, and last name here} of their world.  And if there are two people in their world with the exact same name, one of you has a nickname and people somehow manage to verbally distinguish you from the other {insert beginning, middle, and last name here}.

When you spend a lot of time with a child, there's a thrill when they first manage to say your name.  Even if they mangle it horribly, they're proclaiming that you're a person to them.  You're special enough to them to be distinguished from others they know.  And then you buy them a cookie and zerbertz their belly until they laugh and you're further burned into their memory.

When you grow attached to a person, they say your name a certain way that's recognizable.  Or maybe they give you a cute nickname that is only theirs to use.  But every time they say your name, there's a sort of endorphin rush that occurs.  I'm no scientist but I just know that it does something to you.

But sometimes you get tired of hearing it.  Some days you don't want to hear anyone call you or scream at you or tell you they love you, or to hear them tack your name on the end of their sentences.  Maybe you want to be nameless, just for a day, and wander through a town where no one knows you or your story.

I used to have a game every time I went into Jamba Juice when I lived in Hawaii.  The baristas always ask what your name is, to write on the smoothie cup, and I would never use my own.  But I would never plan it, either!  I would just say whatever came to mind at that moment.  I've been Cabriolet, I've been Jane, I've been Brita, and I'm fairly certain I've been Richard.  It's a fun game.

Someday I want to play that game again.  I want to tell someone I'm Amelia and put on accent. A brand-new persona.  Spend more money than I should because Amelia is rich.  Talk or laugh more than I normally would because Amelia is gregarious.

There's something in a name, and sometimes you just don't want to hear yours anymore.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Accent Tag!

Hola, muchachos.


I am suffering from a severe case of writer's block, so I filmed an accent tag.  I love watching these kind of things, and I figured I can't be the only human who enjoys 'em, so here we go!  (And forgive all the hair touching.  I am a hair pusher and there's no excusing it.)




video



Words:


Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught


Questions:




What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you change the TV channel with?


And that's all for now, folks!  Film one, if you please, and leave the link below.  I'll try to find something more interesting to talk about ASAP. 

Love,

Caro


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow

Sometimes, you forget how to speak, even to God.  Little things creep up on you until suddenly they turn into big things, and it's all you can do not to falter under their weight.

In those moments, it's hard even to pray.  Things will take over until you have no breath in your lungs and no words on your lips.  That's when Scripture comes along and gives you the wisdom and the strength to hold on for a while longer.

When I'm left wordless, there is always the Word.

I need this hope daily.  Maybe you do, too.


[14] Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
(Proverbs 24:14 ESV)


[16] So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. [17] For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, [18] as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV)



[19] God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
(Numbers 23:19 ESV)



Love,
Caro



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Let's be real for a second

So I want to talk to y'all about something.

Here's the thing.

This is very important.

Pay close attention.

I have a serious problem.

This has affected family, friends, and yes, even my own social standing.  It's caused people to simply walk away from me, and yet there's nothing I can do to stop it.

.....I snort.

Not snorting like I do drugs.  Nope.  I just plain ol' snort.  Like a piggy.  If I laugh too hard, I snort.  If I try to hold in laughter at all, I snort unless I hold my nose.  (I wonder how many times I'll say "snort" in this post)

It doesn't matter who I'm around.  There's merely nothing to do about it!  Not to mention, my laugh is like a mixture of a chipmunk and a dolphin anyway, and when you add the intermittent snorts, it's even more attractive.

Mom says it's ok.  Heck, Sandra Bullock does it!  I said that was only Miss Congeniality, but it seemed to work for her I guess.  But when you make new friends and one of them makes a joke that kind of kills you, it's not a time you want to snort, no matter how congenially.  That's the kind of thing into which you kind of need to ease people nice and slow.

Deviated septum?  Who knows.  Blocked something-or-other?  Maybe.  But it's madness and it's incurable and I'm sorry.  I'm sorry to anyone who's had to sit next to me in the middle of any movie starring Hugh Grant,  or to any kind soul who's been able to withstand the nuisance that is my past-midnight-everything-is-funny problem.  The snorting could not have been easy for you to bear.

I'm not a serious person, at all, so this compounds the problem.  Constant laughter.  And, you guessed it, constant snorting.

Love,
Caro

*Other side effects of hanging out with me include: Embarrassment, headaches, higher risk of caffeine abuse, higher risk of sugar usage, panic attacks, lightheadedness, and PTSD.  Do not hang out with me while operating heavy machinery.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Maybe doctors should prescribe happy newborns to anxious people

Well, I successfully braved the trip to the doctor's.  I'm not dying, it seems!  Still don't know what my problem is, but we're working on it.  Doc thinks the main issue is stress/anxiety.  I asked him if he could prescribe for school to be done now, in that case.  He did not do so.

Today, I get to babysit.  I say "get to," because I babysit some great kiddos and it's always a pleasure.  On this fine day I will be tending a sweet little four-month-old, who I've been babysitting for two months.  His sister, who is two, goes to Little Gymnastics and I take care of the baby then.  He is a total doll.  Poor guy has reflux, so he needs to sit upright after eating.  I take this as an excuse to cuddle.  Works out just fine for both of us.

He's the smiliest baby I've ever known.  You barely lift your lip in a half-smile, and he grins at you, open-mouthed.  It's almost unbearable, the cuteness.  And his laugh is the most adorable little squeak you'll ever hear.

After that, I'm going to come home and do school.  I'm trying to amp up my daily work-load so I can have Friday off, because I want to go find my mother (Hi, mom!) a Mother's Day present.  I'm only saying this publicly because Mama can think of nothing she wants for Mother's Day, so she would never be able to guess what I might get her.  Sweet woman, that one.

Lastly, I'm becoming increasingly terrified about my impending move.  No, it's not the fact that I'll be suddenly independent, but rather the getting there.  Yes, I'm freaking out about my first flight without a parent present.  And an international flight, at that!  Belgians aren't known for their excellent sign work, so finding my gate could be tricky, and  if I have a layover in some massive airport, I'm bound to get lost.  I get lost in the supermarket, for goodness' sake.

All this to say, I should have had a V-8.

I'm gonna go sniff a baby's head.  Byeee.

-Caro

"The pen is the tongue of the soul..." -Miguel de Cervantes

Well, I've got just about four weeks left of senior year.

Which, of course, would be the time that I have a nervous breakdown.

I had a little bit of a falling out with Economics homework and a literature assignment last night, so that was fun.  I'm doing better now, but I can't say that I wasn't medicated.  (Nutella is a drug.)

Also, I have to go to the doctor today which is like being on the outskirts of Hell totally my favorite thing ever.  I'm just having some weird symptoms so we'll see.  I'll let you know if I'm dying or something.

I feel like I spend a lot of time at the doctor's.  Honestly, I've never been sickly, and yet somehow I keep having to go back for one reason or another.  I think all the nurses know me by now, which makes the embarrassing questions they have to ask absolutely horrifying all the easier and more comfortable for me.  Mom joked that I should just rent a room there and do all my school at the clinic.  I did not laugh.

Anywhoo, in other news, I am struggling with words.  I am in a fiction writing class, and I'm made to churn out a short story every other week.  This is not going as I had hoped.

I have a good grade in the class, but only one of my story's has been a complete success, and that was the first story I ever turned in.  So sending in a story, having it be critiqued by your classmates and teacher, after having spent hours laboring over it and growing very attached to it, is no fun.  I do not like this one bit.

Stories are a little part of me.  I put a lot of work into them and I never do it halfway.  I analyze every sentence.  Every line.  And I put pieces of my heart into it and spend forever trying to convey them prettily... and then no one likes it, or a few people in your class confuse your female character with a boy or they all decide there are too many adjectives.

That, my friends, is what we call a colossal bummer.

It's taking away my desire to write fiction.

At least my parents like what I write.  But they also like it when I dance and we all know that that's not something anyone else wants to see.

Love,
Caro

P.S.  Would any of you guys be upset if I changed the name of the blog, or should I keep it Pasta and Waffles forever?