Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Farewell, Memphis

I move to Budapest in four days! I've spent this past week entertaining friends from out of town. It was great to take them all around Memphis and get to experience my favorite things/places in Memphis one last time before I move.

My favorite graffiti in downtown Memphis.

Hyde Lake at Shelby Farms Park

Beale Street

Overton Square

Sweet Noshings candy store


My first time ever having Memphis BBQ

Autozone Park

My absolute favorite place in all of Memphis

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Two Weeks until Budapest!

I move to Budapest in two weeks. Whaa? When did that happen?! 

Tonight while I worked on some classroom management plans, I listened to a throwback playlist on Spotify. And then it hit me. I'm going to teach high school students. The songs on that playlist were all songs I listened to in high school. It was all kind of nostalgic and crazy to be listening to music from my high school days while preparing to teach actual high schoolers. Woah. When did I become an adult?! I actually think that thought on a somewhat daily basis. And tonight's playlist made me seriously stop and think about it! It honestly wasn't that long ago that I was a high school student myself.
I really like this One Tree Hill quote
While I was preparing some class stuff, I was also texting a friend who is about to begin her own crazy adventure for the next year. And it hit us both: we had no idea when we met two years ago that this is where God would have both of us this year. We had no idea last year as we talked about what we felt God calling us to. Now that we're both weeks away from moving away from the familiar to do things completely unfamiliar to us, it's crazy to see how far God has brought us.

Experience is going to be my greatest teacher throughout this next year. I have so, so much to learn about Hungarian culture and specifically the culture of the school I will be teaching at. I've learned some, but really, there's a lot I can only learn through experiencing it. I'm sure I'll fail often, but I'll learn. I pray that I remain humble enough to ask for help when I need it, and to let failure be a springboard for growth.

Here's to a year of firsts: first time living overseas and first year as a high school teacher. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Random Questions: August 2017

1. What did you have for lunch today? A hamburger from Belly Acres
 2. What did you let go of? tons of physical stuff I just don't need
3. What is the one thing you want to accomplish tomorrow? At least one Hungarian lesson
4. What was the last gift you gave? I can't remember...
 5. The last time I exercised yesterday when I went to the park to walk around the lake
6. What did you create today? Memories
7. What memories did you think about today?
 8. What is the last risk you took? Driving on 240 North ;)
 9. What made you compromise? The need to avoid conflict
10. Who do you look up to? Two of my friends
 11. On a scale of 1-10 my day was a 8 
12. What did the last text message you received say? "We have the membership so we can meet you outside and bring you in free!"
13. Do you owe anyone money? Nope
 14. What is your own favorite physical feature? My eyes
15. What was the worst thing you ate today? A good, but so unhealthy
16. I hope no one was looking when I poured my third cup of coffee of the day
17. How many miles did you drive/ride today? Probably around 75
18. Who was the first person you saw today? My youngest sister
19. What’s your biggest phobia? Spiders
20. What was your first full thought this morning? "I need coffee."
21. How full is your fridge? Not very
 22. What was the last healthy thing you did for yourself? Worked out
23. What did you have to wait for today? Traffic
24. What did you win? I survived 240North
25. Who had the biggest influence on your day? My little sister
 26. What can you learn from today? Enjoy the little things
27. What was the highest point of your day today? Going to Overton Park
 28. Did you pay it forward? Yep
 29. What would you like to learn more about? The history of Central Europe
 30. What new TV show do you refuse to watch? I can't even name any new tv shows.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

30 Days Until I Move

In 30 days, I'll board a flight to Budapest. In some ways, I'm ready to be there now. In other ways, I feel like I still have so much to do. If I try to think about it all, I get overwhelmed, so I've been making daily to-do lists and trying to think about what needs done each day rather than what needs to be accomplished in the next thirty days.

Even though I'm 22, I've never had more "adulting moments" in my life than in this past week. Something about preparing to move overseas alone sure makes me feel like an actual adult. One of my goals was to get my retirement savings started before I move--talk about #adulting. I was so relieved to check that off my to-do list yesterday! Other things have included sorting out tax information and creating a system for tracking expenses.  Finances are my least favorite thing about this whole transition, but God has worked it all out beautifully and I have nothing finance related left on my to-do list. YAY.

Throughout this transition up to this point, God has really been teaching me to rest in His comfort about the unknown. There's a lot I feel that I need to know, but I don't yet. But I'm going anyway. I've never taught in a high school before and the unknowns associated with my new job are enough to terrify me, but I'm oddly okay with the not knowing. That's God. I've never, ever been someone to be completely okay with simply not knowing much about my future. I often don't like to think about it because the uncertainty scares me. But in the past few months, God has just surrounded me with His amazing peace. I'm moving to a new city in a country I've only visited for short periods and I'll be changing professions altogether--but God's with me. It's that truth alone that has gotten me to this point and it's the truth that will comfort me for the rest of my life.

I recently heard the song "Hills and Valleys" for the first time. I really, really love it. I feel like it's the perfect song for me to be reminded of God's presence in my life, especially when I'm in a new country and facing many, many valleys but also experiencing hills.

I leave in 30 days and while I'm rightly just a bit nervous, I'm mostly so very excited to be following God's call for my life.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Colorado Vacation

I spent the past week visiting friends and exploring Colorado. It was such a nice break from my busy season of transition. Hiking and outdoorsy things aren't really my thing, but I really enjoyed my time in Colorado and seeing incredible mountain views. I'm down to one month before I move, and I'm so glad I took the time to spend a week enjoying time with friends and just relaxing.

"The sun will rise and set regardless.
 What you do with the light while
 it's here is up to you. 
Journey wisely."

Rocky Mountain National Park

 Taken by a 4 year old 
View from Grand Lake Lodge

Grand Lake, CO

 Polo match near Aspen

Glenwood Springs, CO
"Spa of the Rockies"

Friday, July 7, 2017

{Book Review} "Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move" by Bekah DiFelice

Rating: 5/5

"Home is more of an ellipsis point than a period, a continuation rather than a conclusion. It tends to be an ongoing list of people and places and experiences that have mattered, that have changed us one way or another." 

In 44 days, I'll board a plane that will take me far from "home" and thrust me into my new adventure as a teacher in Budapest, Hungary. This is exactly the book I needed to read in this time of transition. DiFelice's description of home resonated deeply with me. 

Almost There is written from the perspective of a military wife who is constantly having to move, readjust, get settled, then move again. DiFelice tackles topics such as wanting to go "home," the importance of establishing a community in your new town, the importance of finding a church home, the need for hospitality and more. Through it all, she tells personal stories of her life on the move that are incredibly easy to relate to. A transient life means hard things, and DiFelice writes honestly of her family's struggles. She writes so honestly that it leaves readers feeling like they're not alone in this life on the move stuff. 

Almost There encouraged me to push through the hard beginnings and to work hard to establish "home" wherever I God calls me. I definitely recommend this book to anyone living a transient life. More than anything, it's nice to just have someone state that "home" doesn't have to be a place. DiFelice's description of home is what made the book mean so much to me as I'm preparing to take off from my US "home" and head to Hungary. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Random Questions: July 2017

 1. What is your number one goal this year? To transition well to teaching in Budapest
 2. What are you most grateful for? So many things--God, travel, friends, family...
3. Are you content? Yep
4. What is your best memory of last year? Probably the day I spent at Lake Bled in Slovenia
5. What was the last major accomplishment you had? Earning my TEFL certificate
6. What possession could you not live without? Probably books
7. Can people change? Most definitely
 8. What is the last “good” thing you ate? 
 9. What is your current favorite snack? Apples and almond butter
10. What made you smile today? My family
11. What’s your favorite accessory? my "carpe diem" bracelet
12. What is making you mad? Politics
13. What did you have for dinner today? Hamburger, broccoli and a baked potato
 14. What did you get done? Errands and Hungary transition preparations
15. Who last called you on the phone? Hannah
16. Who are you in love with? Jesus :)
17. What are you grateful for? God's grace
 18. The best part of today was spending time with my niece . 
19. My current favorite website is
20. What was the hardest thing you’re dealing with? Saying goodbye to people I love
21. Today I wish I had more energy.
 22. Tomorrow will be better because I'll go to bed earlier tonight
23. What made today unusual? I'm off work, so I have more free time than usual.
24. What are you looking for from life? to glorify God
25. What is your favorite thing to drink? COFFEE
 26. Today the temperature was in the 90's.
 27. How much did you spend at the grocery store the last time you went? $56
 28. Tomorrow I will have a productive day
29. What was your last major purchase? My flight to Budapest!
30. My house is a home because it's where I'm most comfortable
31. Who is the last person to tell you they loved you? My little sister