how to beat the back-to-school blues.

August 29, 2011

My last week of summer included a lot of last minute crossing off lists.

List for: Before School Starts, I Need To...
List for: Before Sunday Night, I Need To...
List for: Before Summer Ends, I Must...

The end of summer list included sidewalk chalk summer murals, newspaper boat river races, and of course, riding our bikes. Saturday night we took one last bike ride down to the river banks and watched the lightning and played with our sparklers (i think the words wingardium leviosa were used a few times too). Even though I think I sometimes sound like I'm 7 years old when I write about what I love, it was such a perfect way to end such a perfect summer.

But then it all abruptly ended this morning the moment my alarm clock went off. (My alarm clock is my radio, and I'm pretty sure that every song I wake up to I end up hating forever. This morning? Still Fighting It by Ben Folds.)
But I got ready, grabbed my backpack and books, and ran out the door ready to go. And even though driving on University Avenue isn't the most pleasant activity in the world, I learned on my drive over that you only need three small and simple things to help beat the back-to-school blues:

1. Christmas music. Yep, I listened to Mariah Carey sing Oh Come All Ye Faithful on my drive over to campus.

2. 1.25 liter of Diet Coke for 98 cents.

And 3. Finding out that Beyonce is with child. Fact: If I could be anybody in this world, it would be Beyonce. When my sister found out this morning, she told me she'd name her firstborn whatever Beyonce names hers. She really will, too.

And by that point I had found a parking spot. As I got out of the car and began my walk across campus, I realized that not only was I ready for it all to begin, I was maybe even a little bit excited for it too.

So thank you summer for being so great,
But thank you Christmas, Diet Coke, and Beyonce for making the end of it all pretty good too.


August 21, 2011

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement, the greater part of life is sunshine. -Thomas Jefferson

Really couldn't have said it any better myself.

will defend the silver lining.

August 19, 2011

Last night Kylie and I had a late Birthday celebration with lunch pails, sparklers, bubble gum and diet cokes. We sat in our usual spot and talked about what we usually do, like how life rarely ever goes according to plan. But something I can count on is friendship. She is one of the only people I can have a conversation with, without saying anything at all.

After hitting a bucket on the freeway the other day (never-ending road construction, thank you) I took my car in to get an estimate of how much it would cost to be repaired; the sweetest old man came out to take a look at it, and surprised me when he said, "For you, it's free!" Even when I insisted on paying him something, he refused. I went home and wrote the first thank you card I had in a while, and I felt so grateful I couldn't even find the right words I wanted to say.

And I'm sunburned. Sometimes I hate it when that happens because people like to tell you that you're red, but this time I don't mind because it means I had a summer day yesterday, and I don't have too many of those left.

So a combination of mosquito bites, early mornings and feeling blessed sums up most of this week. And even though it's almost the end of summer, I'm not that sad.
At least not when John Mayer comes on the radio.


August 12, 2011

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

I love being home. When you leave the country for a period of time and land back on American soil, there is a feeling you get that I can't really describe; it's like love and pride all mixed into one. When my friend lived in the Ukraine for a few months, I remember her telling me that as she went through Customs once arriving in the Chicago airport, they stamped her passport and said welcome home. It made her cry. And I know this may sound funny, but I honestly felt the same way.

However, I've got to be honest... after watching this video earlier this morning I felt like packing my bags again. This makes me want to travel and travel and travel and only come home after I've seen all there is to see,
(watch the videos eat and learn, too - both so inspiring!)
But school starts in a few weeks, work resumes on Monday, and I have a lot of friends with a lot of catching up to do.

So I guess this will have to fall into the category of: One day.

a lucky penny.

August 10, 2011

For my Birthday a few weeks ago, my parents took me out to lunch to one of my favorite restaurants, and on the floor I found a lucky penny.
And you know what they say about lucky pennies don't you?
"Find a penny pick it up,
All day long you'll have good luck."

I figured that since I found it on my birthday, it probably meant all year long I'd have good luck... which so far, has been proven true:
(in other words, this is just a long-winded summary of my New Zealand getaway)

-First time I've ever been in a five story mall, conveniently located just two blocks away from our hotel in Australia. Dreams come true in buildings like that.

-Took a ride on one of the steepest railways in the world (in a rain forest located in Katoomba, Australia). Seriously, we all felt like Indiana Jones for sixty seconds.

-As was mentioned before, I tried vegemite: I was one of the firsts out in a game of mafia and consequently had to take a bite (luckily I avoided a whole spoonful) and it honestly tastes like pure salt. But looks like Nutella. And they put it on toast? I'll stick with Tim Tams.

-I was also almost kidnapped one night. When they say your life flashes before your eyes, I can similarly relate - except it was more like my unlived life: there goes my wedding, my future daughter Summer, my career on Fox News, my retirement at Turtle Bay... etc.
As a group of guys surrounded and approached the car (that I happened to be sitting alone in/in a parking garage/at 11 at night) I tried to listen to my iPod and look unaware of my unknown approaching fate: Most likely being stuffed in the back of a trunk, probably a Taken-like-movie-scene, minus the fact my dad isn't Liam Neeson. I would probably die.
But long story short: I lived.

-Did you know that out here they call the hood of the car the bonnet and the trunk of the car the boot? Did you also know that I was particularly smitten with a certain boy because of this? (okay, in all honesty it wasn't only because of this) But all I'll say is: 12 hour marathon date/doesn't like Megan Fox/insists on offering his jacket/picks me a flower/and he opens my car door every single time? Proof that life actually beats Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen movies... by a long shot.

-I was able to visit both Sydney, Australia and Hamilton, New Zealand LDS temples. So special.

-Harry Potter on Worlds Largest Imax in Darling Harbor + Ferris Wheel looking out over the Sydney Harbor + stroll through Hyde Park on a sunny afternoon? No words my friends, no words.

-Gold leaf brownies (twice) amazing margherita pizza (everywhere we went!) And I only gained 30 pounds.

-And finally, (and most especially) out of the millions of stories I could write about, what the real highlight has been is the people who I've been able to meet and the friends I've been able to make. It goes to show that relationships always mean more than anything else in the world, and that there will always be good people and kindred spirits who will cross your path, no matter where life takes you.

There really is so much I love about New Zealand (and Australia!) now, it's not even funny. I have a feeling that this time as I board my flight back to the States, a part of me will feel like I'm leaving home, rather than returning to it.
And I think my penny was pretty dang lucky.


August 3, 2011

Thelma and Eleanor made a new friend before I left (a blue beach cruiser Sara so perfectly named Luna), and right now that is the only thing that makes me feel okay about having to leave New Zealand in the next little while. I didn't think that I'd be that sad to go, but I have a feeling I just might.

I have so (so, so, so) so many adventures that I want to write about, (like):
-The night I finally tried vegemite (it's awful)
-Gold Class Theaters. Watching a movie on a lazy boy recliner (seriously) and they serve you MnM's in a champagne glass? Why, thank you for changing my life.
-The fact that the pizza here is worth living for (not kidding). I have a new unhealthy addiction for pizza.
-The New Zealand International Film Festival. That deserves an entire post of its own.
-The fish market - which almost made me sick to my stomach. So many (ginormous) fish (on steroids).
-The cutest friends I've been able to make... I once believed the nicest people lived in Hawaii, but I changed my mind: they're in NZ.
-And going on the worlds best date (with yes, a boy who has an accent) traveling around to things like little quaint towns and the most beautiful beach I've ever seen... If I die tomorrow, I have lived a full life.

But I plan on writing more about all of that soon enough. In the meantime though: TGFT. Or in other words, Thank goodness for Thelma (and the friends at home who I miss oh so much!)
Because oh my, I will miss it here too.

Please listen to this song. He's kind of a big deal down here, and he should be at home too. #Love.

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