Life has been a bit… heavy for us lately. Before I get going on this post, let me first say that I really dislike when people say “It could always be worse.” I see their point and I agree. What I don’t agree with is discrediting feelings and this, right now, is bad for me. If you know me at all, you know how my heart aches for the suffering of others with Africa holding a special place in my heart. That being said, it does nothing to calm my heart to hear that my badness could get… badder. BUT, it is good to take a step back from the junk and lift up some praise so you don’t just keep sitting there in your stank trash. Here are some of my favorite thankful things:
1. Ryan! Today is our 4th wedding anniversary. Ryan knows my propensity for craziness. And loves me in spite of it. He is kind and funny and doesn’t complain when I throw his clean?/dirty? clothes at the top of his closet because I am tired of trying to figure out if they should be hung up or put in the dirty clothes basket.
2. Our families! They too are aware of my faults! The list grows! As an interesting caption, the wedding pictures with Ryan’s family were taken before my family’s. We did them directly after the ceremony and the entire experience was really overwhelming for me to go directly into mass family photo mode and I was crying through most of Ryan’s side’s pictures. You don’t really try to explain something like that. You generally just try to show through later actions that you really WERE happy to have married their son…
3. France! I have been to France a few times and studied education there for a semester in college. This picture was taken a couple of years ago at Christmas time with my host mom Danielle. Danielle and France are largely responsible for the following things (to name a few):
-my liking grapefruit, strawberries, cherries… fruit in general (I ate none of these things until college.)
-my appreciation of wine
-my obsession with creme brulee
-my affection for lavender
4. London! This was also taken around Christmas on the same trip. I have been to London a few times and have studied there as well. London is my favorite city. I love NYC and Nice dearly, but London is my favorite for many reasons, some of which include:
-introducing me to… dressing. When I went there to study, I packed overalls and a t-shirt that said ‘Boys Lie’. It makes me cringe thinking about it.
-introducing me to the clothing color combo of black and tan suede with a pop of color
-wearing scarves to keep warm AND look awesome; hats also fall into this category
-confidence in navigating my way around a large city alone- and making it look like you aren’t a foreigner which I really, really hate. Sometimes Ryan unfolds a huge map in public when we are traveling for the sole purpose of making me crazy.
5. Egypt! I went to Egypt a few years ago with the money my world-traveled grandpa left me. Going to a largely Muslim country pre 9-11 was a HUGE blessing. What I experienced- parents laughing at dinner with their kids, being invited to tea by strangers, teenage girls giggling and gossiping outside a library- gave me a base from which to defend the majority while denouncing the extreme minority. Everyone should go to Egypt anyway. Freaking pyramids man. Most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen in my life. And Egypt introduced me to hummus and pomegranates which don’t really compare to the pyramids, but are pretty awesome in themselves.
As usually happens, the writing takes over and goes in an unintentional direction, today’s being that I am thankful for family and foreign countries. That’s a pretty solid list for the time being. I can go for a while on that.