Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wow. It is the end of March. I just finished my fourth book today at the gym. This is cutting it too close for me. I don't have time to really sum up any of them, but here is what I read this month. Oh, and I am running out of books to read so send me any books that you think I would enjoy!!! I need books. Or at least I need a better selection of books... I just have a few right now so I am going to have to read the ones that I have. I like choices.

* The Silent Boy - Lois Lowry
* The Great Divorce - C.S. Lewis
* The Scarlet Pimpernel
* Respectable Sins - Jerry Bridges

I've also finished 15/30 thank you notes and have written 6/50 pages of my main paper. I've read 9 journal articles in the past two days and I am working on two different homeworks and a case study. So, I don't know where the April books are going to fit in, but I am determined to find time for them. I can't give up now!

Oh, and thanks to everyone who was involved in my wedding shower. I felt so loved and special. It was better than I thought. Thanks! Planning it around my favorite foods was such a great idea!! I loved it. I will always remember it fondly, especially when I use my awesome new cookbook with all my recipes from everyone. Thank you thank you Aunt Suzanne, Hayley, and Sarah, Mom, and everyone else. :)

And to think, I even got notes from people that live far away from me. Thanks Hornors, Stef, and Sarah Foley! Everyone was so sweet to me. I didn't expect notes and presents from people that couldn't come. That almost made me cry. It was so great that even though they couldn't be there they still took the effort to make me feel so loved. I have my stack of cards sitting by my bed and I read them when I get discouraged. :) They remind me of how good God is to me. I am richly blessed with some great friends both at home and far away. I am looking forward to seeing ALL of you in July!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

So far this weekend I have graded almost all my labs, helped Luke with math, gone to breakfast with Hannah and Elijah, tried on my wedding dress, and gone to dinner for Hope's birthday. ha. Coming home is such a distraction, but it is good. Seeing Hannah and little Elijah this morning put me in a much better mood than I was in yesterday. heh.

Off to go study for my midterm.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

o v e r w h e l m e d

Oh my goodness, I have so much to do. I don't know if it will ever get done. I need to lock myself in a room for at least the next two or three weeks to accomplish it all. I knew April was going to be this way.

I had homework due Monday and I have more to do for Thursday. I have labs to grade and more coming next week. I have two midterms to study for (one is on Monday!!). I have more homework due next week. I have a 6000 word paper to write about structural steel and I have a 50 page paper to write about flexible macroelectronics. I have a presentation to write about pre-fab steel. I have to teach labs every week and I have to grade an exam next week for my students midterm. sigh.

And that is just school... I want to visit my little nephew this weekend. My dress has been in since the beginning of March and I still haven't tried it on and probably won't this week. I should be deciding things for my wedding, but I just can't focus any attention on that. I am supposed to be doing pre-marital counseling with Jared, but I have also had no time for that either. I am going to have a ton of thank you notes to write after this weekend. I need to wash clothes from my trip and put away my clothes. My room is a disaster (both here and a home). I still have one more book to read for this month to reach my goal. There is no food in this house, but I don't have time to grocery shop. Last night I ate baked beans and grapefruit. It was interesting to say at the least. And I continue to eat my food left over from England (pretzals, chocolate covered raisens, and digestive bisquits). I have to schedule lasik surgery and find a place that will do traditional lasik instead of some expensive custom lasik that they are now all switching to. And although Jared said it was okay if I didn't spend time with him, I really need to spend time with him because I miss him. Oh, and I would really like to watch UNC play basketball the next two weekends, but I might just have to read about those games. I don't know if I will have time for that.

AH!! I have to go do work. Maybe you will see me in 40 days when everything is over. I will need several weeks to recover from this. If anyone wants to do anything mindless in May or June, let me know. The end is in sight, if I reach it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

3. 22. means 111 days...

I'm back. The flight back was the worst landing that I have experienced. It was rough for half and hour and I was so sick. The guy four seats over from us threw up; I really felt like it, but I refused. ha. I'm now unpacking and doing homework that is due tomorrow. The trip was awesome. Germany was so amazing. Wandering around the Maginot line for three hours with the Sperows was so much fun!! London was pretty cool. The Underground is impressive; I enjoyed riding on it and changing trains. I saw Sherlock Holmes's house, ate in the pub where Narnia and LOTRs was read for the first time by CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, and saw so many other neat things. I will try to have pictures uploaded and more stories by next week, but I have a midterm and lots of homework and 60 pages to write by the end of April... (I could start that later, but I should probably work on that now).

Oh, 111 days until I marry Jared and I don't have to leave him anymore and we can take little trips together. Isn't the date cool? It is 3.22. and we have 111 days left... how neat is that little number trick?!?! I love it.

And Sarah is a great travel partner if you are looking for one. She loves to travel.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day four:
Monday, March 16, 2009

Today Sarah and I left on a train at 9:05 and headed to Heidelberg (which really isn't early unless you stayed up until 3am talking - I love Sarah). It is really weird traveling when you don't know the language. Two college guys found out that we were American because they handed their camera to us and said, "photo photo?" And since we responded in English they decided to sit with us. BLEAH. And ask us dumb questions the entire trip. I can't even explain how many stupid questions they asked and how they talked about how they were over here for three months, but had no idea what they were doing (each of them told us something different) or what the countries looked like or what tickests to buy... it was pretty sad. They didn't even have a map!! Man, I is funny now, but it was annoying then. ha. Sarah and I thought we were helpless until we met these guys. Wow.

We arrived in Heidelberg at 11:00 and took a bus to the bottom of the hill where the castle (click castle for the home page and pictures) sat, but we decided to go find lunch and wander around the old town for a few hours first. About 2:00 we figured we should stop wandering, give up on finding lunch, and get up to the castle if we wanted to see it. Several switchbacks later, we made it to the top and the back of the castle (things are so poorly marked around here as touristy things go... I mean shouldn't there be huge signs all around pointing you up the right roads? We just took random roads until we found the hill and some paths going up to the castle).

We wandered around the castle, took a guided tour, and wandered around some more. Then we walked around the gardens and in the moat. The grounds were beautiful. After all that, we walked down 310 steps from the castle to the city, walked over 2 kilometers back to our train station (which left at 17:05 or 5:05), road two hours home (7.05), walked 15 minutes (7:20) to the Sperows, and were greeted with, "we are so glad you are still alive" and dinner. :)

Dinner was shintzal, green beans, roasted potatoes, and brown bread, followed by Black Forest Cake and Lemon Celo. Mrs. Sperow says she loves company because she gets to have all her favorite foods. Believe me, if you come, she will feed you. I have eaten so much and gone to so many neat places thanks to them. I know they love company... So come and experience so many awesome things (hint hint Mom and Dad). Heidelberg seemed a little touristy, but other then that the city was gorgeous and fun to wander about (as you can see from the FIVE straight hours of wandering we did). My feet are tired.
I leave you with a picture of one of the towers that fell. This was done by the french during the thirty year war. The walls are 17 feet thick and they couldn't hurt it from the outside so once they got inside they blew it up from the inside. We saw it from the ground and it is really impressive. It is HUGE! Oh, and American tourists are so annoying and loud. It is embarassing.
Two days until London. Tomorrow we are touring France and some WWII historical stuff. Woohoo. Mrs. Sperow is taking off work early and taking us. :D It will be so much more fun.

A ruin must be rightly situated, to be effective. This one could not have been better placed. It stands upon a commanding elevation, it is buried in green woods, there is no level ground about it, but, on the contrary, there are wooded terraces upon terraces, and one looks down through shining leaves into profound chasms and abysses where twilight reigns and the sun cannot intrude. Nature knows how to garnish a ruin to get the best effect. One of these old towers is split down the middle, and one half has tumbled aside. It tumbled in such a way as to establish itself in a picturesque attitude. Then all it lacked was a fitting drapery, and Nature has furnished that; she has robed the rugged mass in flowers and verdure, and made it a charm to the eye. The standing half exposes its arched and cavernous rooms to you, like open, toothless mouths; there, too, the vines and flowers have done their work of grace. The rear portion of the tower has not been neglected, either, but is clothed with a clinging garment of polished ivy which hides the wounds and stains of time. Even the top is not left bare, but is crowned with a flourishing group of trees & shrubs. Misfortune has done for this old tower what it has done for the human character sometimes−improved it. --Mark Twain

Sunday, March 15, 2009

And the only thing I truely miss is Jared...

Day one:

Friday, March 13, 2009
Sarah and I left for the airport, after only having five hours of sleep because we stayed up late to watch a basketball game with six overtimes. Wow! We tried to sleep on the plane, but they kept waking us up to feed us. First is was a snack, then dinner, then breakfast. No one I know eats dinner five hours before they eat breakfast... I hate flying, but I can honestly say this was the smoothest landing that I have ever endured. I didn't even know we were so close to the airport until I looked over out the window and the ground was right there and we landed. We sat in the middle of the middle row next to two big people. So moving around was pretty much impossible.

Day two:

Saturday, March 14, 2009
I am not sure where the one day ended and the other one began. I'll just start at when we arrived at the airport. We arrived and cleared customs super fast and looked at the clock and it was 6:15am and the Sperows weren't getting there until 8. YIKES. We both felt so tired and so BLEH after being in the same position for so long. However, after some people watching and a nice walk outside in the 30 degree day, we woke up. The people are really fun to watch over here.

The Sperows picked us up at 8 and drove us to downtown Frankfurt where we walked around the old flea market (thing tables and tables of the most random things... phones, camera, cutting boards, shoes, carpets, tin boxes, dice... it went on and on and on). Then we went to the old town part of Frankfurt and saw the town square!!! Oh my goodness, Germany is adorable. We had coffee at a little shop with a crazy owner named Luegi. He was Italian and had a son that set a Guinness Book of World Records record and other tale tales. Very amusing. Click to see a bad translation of a story about him and a video. Click story for the story and video for the video.

From there we went to Mainz, the home of Gutenberg. First we got lost in these crazy back streets (like you see in car chases in the Bourne movies, but much cooler because we are actually there!!) and for about half and hour we drove in circles because of our crazy GPS system. It was hilarious. Being with the Sperows is so much fun (Aunt Suzanne and Mom, you should definitely come visit soon. They treat you so well and know all these cool places to go, but not quite how to get there so ever day is an adventure and we get to see random little roads by mistake - I personally think they plan it - heh, but it is awesome and you should come!). We finally found the place we wanted to have lunch and we had sausage and soup and bread. So good! Man, the food is good around here. Mrs. Sperow gave us some of her Snitzal. Oh, wow. It was amazing. We toured Guetengerg's museum and read all the English words. We saw three REAL Gutenberg Bibles (SO COOL!) and some that were hand written and even older. I was fascinated by the security system. heh. It was really awesome. And we walked around the old town and all the neat little back streets and cool old houses. I can't even explain how adorable these towns are. So awesome.

Finally, we ended the day by going to Worms and just got to the Cathedral (they have an old one in almost every town) in time to see inside and see the crypt with old dead people from 900. Crazy. We walked around the grounds and the old town there and got our pictures taken at the memorial with Luther's famous quote (in German) on it. So great! The memorial had many of the reformers. And we got ice cream (which was also great) and then we came home. I walked where Martin Luther walked!!!

It is rather gray here and kinda flat. But the old towns have so much charm and history. Can you believe we saw a Gutenberg Bible and got to walk where Martin Luther walked?!? How is that for an awesome day. Well, I think it is dinner time. And then I think it is Apple Strudel time. Tomorrow we are having lunch at a castle and I am totally ordering schnitzel (because Mrs. Sperow let me try hers today - put it on my plate and told me to try it - heh, Jared it is great, we share food!! :) ) tomorrow. And for dinner we are having vanilla ice cream with hot raspberry sauce (called Himbeer). Yum.

P.S. Did I say that the Sperows are awesome and so much fun to be around. It is great to see them after so many years and actually get to talk to them. I was too little to actually hold real conversations with them when they left. They have treated us so well.

P.P.S. I got my first wedding gift today. :) They gave me one of those German things that has the fan blades and spins around. It has a nativity scene on the bottom. I can't wait to display it at Christmas. It will always be one of my favorite Christmas items, along with my runner that I made. I will get to tell my kids all about my trip to Germany and about the Sperows and how neat they are and how glad I am that they are in my life. God is so good to me. He has blessed me with so much. I don't thank Him enough. Just being alive is exciting and I am so grateful for the chance to travel around and with such cool people. Sarah is the perfect traveling partner. She makes traveling so easy. I love it. I love her. I can't believe how much great stuff I have seen and how much more we are packing into this trip. London is three days! I am so excited about that.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I miss Jared already.

I just thought you all should know that.

I never feel homesick, but I do right now and I haven't even left.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I have a lot of countdowns going on right now:
(God willing I will get to enjoy them all)

3 days until Germany with Sarah.

8 days until England with Sarah.

73 days until Graduate Graduation.

105 days until I turn 23.

111 days until I have been engaged for a year to Jared!

123 days until I marry my best friend, get to move into my own cute little house with Jared, and have my first kiss.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

"Lucky, to be in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I been
Lucky to be coming home today!"

I heard this on the way home today. I like the chorus.

The Mission's Conference is this weekend. If you are in the Salisbury Area you should totally come. It is my favorite conference that my church holds. Friday there is dinner at 6 and the speaker starts at 7:15. Saturday morning there is a brunch at 9:30 ... I don't know where, but if you come Friday night you will probably find out or you can ask someone.

In other news, I have had an itchy throat all week, but today I woke up and it was sore. It still isn't really sore and I am not really congested, just a little bit. This is one of the weirdest colds I have had. I hope it doesn't get any worse because right now it is bearable.

Also, I want to watch Fireproof this weekend. Does anyone own it? I would go buy it, but I registered for it and so I probably shouldn't go buy it for myself...

Alright, I am off to the gym and then to hold extra office hours (becaues my office hours on Monday were cancelled and so was my lab) and then to class and then HOME!!! Yay!

Monday, March 02, 2009

I sure do wish I could spend my snow day with the person that I love. Three years of living over two hours away from him is hard. Sigh. I want to be able to have dinner with him whenever I want and to spend more time with him then just Saturday afternoons. Four months and nine days and I don't have to leave him anymore (and I probably will be asking for time away from him - ha). I miss my Jared lots and lots on days like today.

I worked hard finishing all my homework so I could enjoy the weekend with Jared. And I did have a marvelous weekend at home, but now I have no work to do and lots of free time. I wish I could work ahead in my schoolwork, but I've finished everything that has already been assigned. I already finished one book and two grapefruits.

Seven inches of snow is pretty, but it would be a whole lot prettier if I was sitting curled up next to Jared being read to.