it’s my birthday today!

Friday, September 30, 2011

i’m spending it in salzburg.

remarkably, i’ve never spent a birthday in salzburg,

so i kinda think this might be my best birthday ever.

what my walk to/from school looks like.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Every morning, I take the train to work.

It’s a 30 minute commute, which I don’t mind at all (I love train rides).

It also gives me some time to wake up (…or read The Hunger Games…)

since 2 days a week, I have to wake up at 5:30

in order to get to work on time.

And let me tell you,

for a person who never had a college class before the hour of 10 am,

this is sort of painful.

Anyway, when it’s time to get off my train,

I have a 10 minute walk from the train station to my school.

On some mornings,

I get there when the sun is just coming up

and it’s really hard to put one foot in front of the other

when all I want to do is go back to bed (…or read The Hunger Games…).

Luckily for me, the route I take is beautiful,

which sort of helps with the exhaustion (….or Hunger Games withdrawals…).

After I was done at school today,

I took the following photos during my leisurely walk back to the train station.


I imagine this is going to be amazingly gorgeous in the fall and winter.

Think of the changing leaves / falling snow?

I kinda can’t wait!


P.S. I leave for the U.S. in a little over a week…. and I am 150 pages into the 3rd installment of The Hunger Games…. there’s no way that book is going to last me all the way home.  America is a looooong way away from Germany in terms of book pages.  It looks like I’m gonna need to make a last minute trip the bookstore.  Either that, or Suzanne Collins is going to need to write a 4th book in the next 48-72 hours.  Personally, I prefer the latter to the former, but that’s just me.

i moved to dresden, germany.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

i no longer live in bavaria!

for a few weeks now, dresden has been my home.

and i think it’s pretty pretty, don’t you agree?


…i think i love it!

a question about the month of october.

Monday, September 26, 2011


i have 3 ad spaces opening up for the month of october.

if you have an etsy business or blog you’d like to promote,

inquiries about statistics and prices can be made right here.

that’s all. thanks!

have you ever fallen asleep while skyping?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

because that is what is happening in these pictures.


cute, huh?

real cute.

after flying from america –> europe, i broke the first rule of jetlag prevention.

i took a 7 hour nap in the middle of the day.

and then took another 7 hour nap in the middle of the next day.

and then slept from 4am-4pm the next day.

and then (!) slept from 5pm-2am the day after that.

and now that i finally feel like i’ve adjusted,

i’m preparing to fly back for yet another american visit

and i’ll get to do this all over again.

the uncomfortable flights, unnecessarily long layovers

and bouts of never-ending jetlag

are all part of the vicious cycle

that comes with my (occasionally) bi-continental lifestyle.

but hey – i’m not complaining.

a visit to america is a visit to america.

and ‘home’ has been calling my name ever since i posted this.


i love airplane food

and i’ve got the rest of the hunger games series

to entertain me throughout my layovers and sleepless nights.

but remind me again why there are only 3 of those books?

i’m trying to ration them but i’m almost done with book 2!

and why do we have to wait until MARCH for the movie?!

i just love jennifer lawrence – i’m so happy she’s playing katniss.

i thought she was perfect in winter’s bone.

…wait, what was this blog post about again?

maybe i should have titled it, “this is your brain on jet lag”.

i give up.


it’s official.

Friday, September 23, 2011

halloween weekend is 6 weeks away.

i’ll be visiting america again then…

(the only place to be on halloween)

…and i cannot wait.


this was my cousin’s costume last year.

daniel plainview.

isn’t it awesome?

i’ve been sewing my costume*….

and i’m pretty excited about it.

i bet my mom is reading this, thinking,

“my daughter can sew?”.

she doesn’t know i can

because i make her sew everything for me when i’m at home.

my dad can sew, too.

i know this because he once sewed the straps on my barbie’s swimsuit

after they broke off during a really crazy ride in the barbie minivan.

anyway, did i mention halloween is only 6 weeks away?

did i mention i cannot wait?


*sewing my costume = sewing strips of suede onto suspenders.  so i guess that means no, mom, your daughter can’t really sew.

the funniest thing, pt. 2

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In addition to these letters from my 5th grade class, one of my 6th grade classes gave me a parting gift as well when I finished teaching in July in the form of a book of letters. Some of my favorite notes are included below.
The boys in this class drew the Statue of Liberty and labeled the base of the statue (not pictured) with my last name.  Yes, I am the Statue of Liberty (thanks, guys!).  They also wrote, “All boys here love you but now we miss you” along with, “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” and “I hope you won’t be ill”. 
The boys also sketched a soccer field, in which FC Bayern is playing against FC Jennifer.  It’s difficult to read, but the score is Jennifer, 51 to FC Bayern, 10. 
This young girl, Annika, combined the US flag with the German flag, which I thought was really creative.  I had told them many times that I was not moving back to America, that I was staying in Germany (at a new school in a new city) but they didn’t seem to understand that; most of them wrote, “now you’ll go back to America” in their notes.  Maybe they just really wanted me to go back to America…
Beneath the title of ‘Good Luck and Goodbye!"’, this student drew 4 cars racing each other.  In last place is the principal of our school, in 3rd place is Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 2nd place is the main English teacher at our school….and in first place is me.  It should also be noted that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s car appears to be on fire.
One student felt that sketching a scene from Teletubbies would better express his feelings toward my departure. 

In the lower right corner of this letter, my student Niklas warns me (in German) to beware of gangsters.  When I asked the main teacher why he felt the need to include this, she said, “Ohhh, most of the kids think of America as the most dangerous place on earth…you know, lots of gangs and guns and stabbings and killings….lots of dark alleys and murders”.

This student wrote to me, in German, “You’ve taught English well.  We will miss you”.  Then, he switched to English to write, “Good bye” and  “Good Luck”.  Backwards.
My student Katja drew a mouse named Diddlina at the bottom and, at the top, wrote:  It was nice that you were here.  Much luck in the future.  Mabey I’ll see you again.  I don’t think it, but you can’t know it.
‘Least she’s honest.
And then this student reminds us all that sometimes…when words fail you…it’s best to just draw a giant peace sign.
Note:  For this new school year, I’m teaching at a new German school in a new German city.
So much newness in one sentence!

i lied about something.

Monday, September 19, 2011

that final american post wasn’t really the final american post – this is.

but the story starts in italy, a few summers ago.

i was in bridisi, italy, alone.  i was lying in bed, about to ferry to greece that afternoon, when i got a text message from my then-roommate, kaitlyn.  she asked what i would think about getting a puppy.  after some slight initial hesitation, she convinced me.  i came home a couple of weeks later to meet her miniature schnauzer, affectionately known as stella-girl.  and i was so, so  obsessed – instantly.  she was just a little baby puppy then.  she slept with us every night.  and even though she liked to cuddle kaitlyn more than she liked to cuddle me, we still found a way to all live happily ever after.

{until kaitlyn moved back to arkansas and i moved to europe and our happily-ever-after got cut a little tiny bit short.}

since re-locating to europe, there are a lot of people i miss at home and kaitlyn is at the top of that list.  but i’d be lying if i said i missed kaitlyn any more than i miss stella (well, maybe i miss kaitlyn a teensy bit more).

but anyway, during my month in america, i got to re-unite with both of them!  and spend time with kaitlyn’s new husband and his/their little puppy edie.  and i loved it!  and i think stella-girl loved it, too.


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The final American post…

Saturday, September 17, 2011

…comes in the form of a video, starring my (former) roommate Sally and myself.

But first (!), a disclaimer: Sally and her sisters grew up making fun of Gerbert, an ultra-conservative puppet whose television show they sometimes watched on a Christian network. While I was not familiar with the program prior to living with Sally and her sisters, they’ve shown me Youtube clips and I can attest that yes, the show is completely ridiculous. Because of his strict morals, it seemed that Gerbert spoke out against everything, to the point where it became a running joke between Sally and her sisters. For example, if one of them laughed, Sally might say in the Gerbert voice (her impersonation is impeccable), “God doesn’t want us to laugh, you know!”. I often prompt Sally to impersonate Gerbert and occasionally throw in a twist, ie, ‘sorority girl’ – another impression Sally does hilariously well – or ‘Gerbert speaking German’. One of my very favorite favors to request of her, though, is Gerbert singing Beyonce, since Sally usually takes creative liberties and changes the lyrics to reflect a more Christian message. All of this is, of course, featured in the video below.

My prediction is that one person will find this funny (besides myself), and that is Sally’s sister, who reads my blog regularly.

But in case you get bored this weekend….here ya go!

say what you will about america

Thursday, September 15, 2011

but where else can you find such a wide variety of anything and everything you’ve ever hoped to eat??  

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{vietnamese bulgogi, peanut butter brownies, homemade apple pie, homemade ice cream, baked beans with fried okra, homemade “american pie”, homemade caramel corn, cheese bread with marinara, corn on the cob, ribs, spring rolls and pinkberry!!!} {mexican food, for some reason, not pictured...although it is perhaps what i miss MOST while in europe.}

…now do you see why i never wanted to leave?

I, along with everyone else in the world, read The Help this summer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


“No one tells us, girls who don’t go on dates, that remembering can be almost as good as what actually happens. Mother climbs all the way to the third floor and stands over me in my bed, but I act like I’m still asleep. Because I just want to remember it awhile.”

I loved that quote so much that I gasped when I read it and then proceeded to read it again 3 times.  It is just so true, is it not?

the lomography version (stillwater, oklahoma)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Photos of the OSU opening football game + OSU’s campus, library and student union*.


*It’s the largest student union in the world, did you know?