What Christmas looks like in Oklahoma.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

(at my household at least).

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{my grandpa, papaw, in his signature plaid + twinkly neighborhood trees}

{heaven on a plate x2: my mom’s homemade stuffing + my mom’s homemade cherry pie}

{me and scout, the chocolate baby golden-doodle…aka my new obsession}

{my daily winter uniform: flannel, skinnies, circle scarf, boots}


{crabcakes with eggs benedict, potatoes, mangoes, strawberries…so yummers}

{pretty pretty presents!}

before the tree comes down

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

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{eskimo boots from alaska + anthro owl}

{bavarian king ludwig, painted on an egg + george bailey}

{kayla and me in salzburg + arthur and d.w.}

{up! + osu & ou snowmen}

{misfit elephant from rudolph + lucy ricardo of i love lucy}

and now comes the time to take down the tree and pack away the ornaments, aka the most depressing day of the year.  agreed?

welcome to my family.

Monday, December 26, 2011

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my dad looks tired*, my sister looks pregnant**, my brother-in-law is wearing a flight suit, we’re playing wii mario kart & there’s an oil-well lamp in the background.

just your average friday night with my family in oklahoma!


*that’s because he is

**that’s because she is

my favorite winter coat & my favorite winter boots

Saturday, December 24, 2011

my favorite winter coat just so happens to match my favorite winter boots
and for that reason i say, yay winter!
{i try keep the subject matter pretty deep over here, ya know.}

p.s, Merry Christmas Eve!  that means there’s only one day left to watch the best movie of all time if you haven’t already done so this season.  and, no, i’m not talking about elf…sorry, world.

put the lights on the tree. (put them on the tree, put them on the tree*).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

If you had asked me a few months ago, I would’ve said that, due to financial complications, I would be spending Christmas in Europe, away from my family.  But, here I am!  A Stateside Christmas it shall be.

Initially, the idea of spending the holidays in Europe didn’t bother me.  I had already discussed celebrating Christmas/ringing in the New Year with Eva and her family in the Alps (and maybe even making time for a ski trip or two!), which, no doubt, would have been unforgettably beautiful and fun.  And I love the German and Austrian Christmas markets just as much as the next person, if not more.   But now that I’m here, I keep thinking, “Why on earth did I ever think that staying abroad for Christmas would be a good idea?!”  Because there really is no place like home for the holidays.

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Fun fact #1:  My mom’s most cherished possession is that ceramic Santa Claus in the above photo, center.
Fun fact #2:  My mom made every one of our stockings by hand.  Aren’t they terrific?
Fun fact #3:  I secretly get just as excited about Christmas Eve as I do Christmas (maybe even a little bit more).  I can’t believe Christmas Eve/Christmas is this weekend.  Where has the time gone?!

*lyrics from one of my favorite Christmas songs (the whole album sort of makes me cry…in the best way possible).

a sleigh ride through the austrian alps (otherwise known as: the coldest day of my life)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

apparently, i’ve been on a real big fisheye kick lately, but this should be the last of the lomos for awhile….

these shots were taken on our sleigh ride through filzmoos, austria (just outside of salzburg).


…or were we in narnia? it’s hard to say.

is this normal?

Monday, December 19, 2011

during a trip to berlin with friends, the following conversation took place at a salad restaurant as we pondered the menu, contemplating what to order:


girl-behind-counter:  if you guys need help translating the menu, i can help you with the german words.

my friend andy: oh that’s okay, but thank you.  we all speak german.

girl-behind-counter: oh.  i just heard you speaking english so i didn’t know.

my friend andy:  your accent sounds american.  are you from the states?

girl-behind-counter:  yeah.

my friend andy:  that’s awesome!  we are, too!  i’m from wisconsin.

my friend emily:  i’m from georgia!

me:  i’m from oklahoma.  where are you from?

girl-behind-counter:  i’m from upstate.

my friend andy:  huh?

girl-behind-counter:  i’m from upstate.

my friend andy:  like, new york?

girl-behind-counter:  well, yeah….obviously.

so, my question is…. is this normal?  we didn’t think it was normal. 

we thought it was stupid.

and also, shouldn’t a pretentious ‘upstater’ from new york be working somewhere that’s not a salad restaurant in berlin? 

wait, no – that actually makes perfect sense.  it was a vegan salad restaurant, after all….. she may as well have been re-stocking leotards at american apparel or waiting in line at a joanna newsom concert, polaroid camera in hand.

oh!  which brings me to these instax minis i took in berlin.  aren’t they neat?

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top:   brandenburger tor

bottom:  checkpoint charlie, bundestag

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aaaand that’s what we call ‘coming full circle’.

3 reasons to love budapest

Sunday, December 18, 2011

1. you can buy pullovers at the grocery store (like the one i’m wearing, below) for the equivalent of $2 (the hungarian currency is worth less than the euro, the u.s. dollar and pretty much every other currency).


2.  when you cross the danube river via the chain bridge (seen below), you leave the ‘pest’ side and enter the ‘buda’ side, which makes all the difference in the world!  we stayed in a hostel near the train station on the ‘pest’ side, which is the far less picturesque of the two sides.  in fact, as we crossed over to the more desirable (read: less frightening) side, we looked at each other and said, “ohhh, so this is why people come to budapest”.181920

3.  no matter how chilly it may be outside, the medicinal baths feel amazing (the water is heated to a steamy 97 degrees!).  sure, a random hungarian man might swim up beside you and ask to borrow your camera while extending his soaking wet hands toward you, but after you tell him “no” 6 times, he should swim away (looking very offended, might i add).



a cloudy day in munich

Thursday, December 15, 2011

makes for some great lomography shots, dontcha think?


p.s. i’m picking a winner for this giveaway tomorrow. 

so far, only 25 people have entered (???) so the odds are in your favor.

what are you waiting for?!  enter here.

the funniest conversation i’ve ever been a part of? quite possibly.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

(photo of my school!)

when i was applying for my fulbright grant, however many years ago, i often stopped and envisioned what it was i was trying so desperately to achieve.  did i want to move back abroad?  yup.  did i miss my salzburg lifestyle – the traveling to other countries at the drop of the hat?  duh.  did i want to make more international friends?  of course.  did i want the title?  absolutely.  did i want to represent my university, my state, and my country to the best of my ability?  certainly.  did i want to help german-speaking children/teens improve their english?  sure.  did i want to perfect my german in the process?  yes, yes, a thousand times yes.  my ambitions were both self-serving and altruistic (i’ll let you decide the ratio), but there was one benefit of being an english teacher in germany that i never foresaw; the hilarity that is almost each and every conversation with my students and the laughter that results from it.  seriously, i know all teachers have cute stories about their students but i like to think mine are extra funny.  if you don’t believe me, read the conversation below.  but if you’re not a harry potter fan, then just forget it.  

sweet little german girl:  do you like harry potter?

me:  yes, i do.

sweet little german girl:  do you love harry potter?

me:  yes, i do.

sweet little german girl:  do you love snape?

me:  i do!  he is the best character of the whole series.

sweet little german girl:  do you love malfoy?

me: mmmm, no. 

sweet little german girl:  what about crabbe and goyle?

me: ….no.

sweet little german girl:  what about borgin & burkes?

me:  i probably wouldn’t go into borgin & burkes.

sweet little german girl:  do you like snakes?

me:  no.

sweet little german girl:  why not?

me:  well, they’re scary…to me.

sweet little german girl:  which house would you be sorted into?

me:  ya know, i think i’d be a hufflepuff.  maybe ravenclaw, but probably not.  and i don’t think i’m brave enough for gryffindor.  i’m guessing you’d be a slytherin?

sweet little german girl:  [30 seconds of silence  pass as she stares at me with a look of horror on her face]  I. HATE. SLYTHERIN!!!!!!!!!!! I’M IN GRYFFINDOR!!!!!!!!!!!!  WHY WOULD YOU EVER THINK I’D BE IN SLYTHERIN?!?!  THAT IS SO OFFENSIVE!!!

…yup.  happy wednesday!

hosting a birthday party in dresden

Monday, December 12, 2011

What do you do when you want to make an American birthday cake to celebrate your American friend’s birthday in a city that doesn’t sell “real” cake mix? {The cake mix sold in Germany should be marketed as ‘sugar-free’, if you ask me….and why would anyone buy that?}  I’ll tell you what you do.  You bust out the Funfetti cake mix that your friend Emily brought back from America for you.  And you bake it in the only pan you have – a bread pan.  And you melt chocolate for icing.  And then realize the cake looks like a giant tootsie roll but you serve it anyway (with milk, of course). 


What do you do when you get to the tram stop and realize you have to wait 15 minutes for the next connection?  You take pictures on the tracks, apparently.  {What daring lives we lead – I know.}


What do you do when you’re looking for a venue to celebrate the aforementioned birthday girl’s big day/night?  You choose the venue most reminiscent of America (read: the venue with the most dead animals hanging on the most walls).


And what do you do when you take a picture with friends and realize your fingers look freakishly long?  You tell me…I’m still working on that one.