Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Picture in Paris!

So, until my entry about Italia is finished and posted, I have decided to abate the tension of the wait with a few pictures from the first part of my trip! I was in London before, so I didn't post any from there this time... Nope, I have below a slide-show with pictures from... PARIS! Haha...

Most know it wasn't my favorite city, but I LOVED the people I met there and had a good time... It was DEF worth a visit, even if it's not in the plans to return while I'm here. There's also a video uploaded below of the Eiffel Tower at night, but it's sideways, and I don't know how to turn it - anyone?

So... Enjoy!


Song of the Day: I am currently in love with this song... Timbaland and JoJo's song, "Lose Control." It's a good driving with the top down - aka: riding you bike with your helmet lose - jam! Enjoy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

PARIS: Highlights and Lowlights!

Paris: The city of lights, love, and French Bagettes! Haha... Unfortunately, it's also the city of a lot more not as fabulous... Overall, I had a good time and I'm glad I came, saw, and conquered. However, I'm over it. Haha! I know to some they're thinking I'm a spoiled brat, and perhaps I am, but really it just comes down to Paris not being for me. I LOVED the sights and such, but overall was very underwhelmed by it all. EXCEPT, the Eiffel Tower at night was FABULOUS! Haha...

Here are the highlights and lowlights:

- A highlight was seeing the Eiffel Tower all lit up and sparkling on the hour last night! I am in LOVE with how beautiful that was...

- Another highlight was the girls I shared a hostel with! I was in a room with two Aussie girls I got way close with fast and then we were joined yesterday by two girls from Ohio who were fabulous. We all got on SO well and went sight seeing most of the time together. I was SO sad when we were all splitting up today - I wish they could go to Italy with me, but hopefully I meet some cool people there too. Fingers crossed!!!

- Watching the France vs. Mexico game in a local pub was great! Even if France lost... I didn't care all that much about that though... Just sayin'. We made friends with the staff, so they treated us well! :)

- A lowlight was getting hit on EVERYWHERE I went - The pubs, the Museums, the Eiffel Tower... I have never gotten so many guys calling me "Babygirl" and blowing kisses at me - DISGUSTING!!! I even thought this one guy was a worker in the D'Orsay Museum when he asked to see my ticket, and he turned out to be trying to get me to sleep with him. NO JOKE. I was SO offended... I had many offers and it was just TRASHY. Sex is SO overamped here... I hate that.

- I will NOT miss the smell throughout 90% of the city, either. There was literally 10% that smelled like great pastries, and the rest smelled of urine and dog poo. This is not an exaggeration.

- A highlight was the architecture! It is SO amazing here - just beautiful! Everywhere I walked was a new, cool sight to behold!

- I will not miss the gypsy children and sellers there who BOMBARD you with offers to give money or buy junk when you just want to be left alone... Along with this, I will not miss the feeling of being under watch at all times to be robbed or grabbed. It is SUCH a shady city... Sorry, but it is.

- Highlight: Seeing a friend from Draper randomly under the Eiffel Tower!!! No joke - I just turned and there she was in the middle! She hqd to leave with her tour, but we got a picture and hugged - haha!!!

- Lowlight: How difficult the city is to navigate! You get use to it, but it's not an easy place to just wander, which I enjoy doing ni each city I see.

- I will miss raspberry tarts and brusseta baggettes!!! SO good! I also had hot cocoa at this famuos place called Angelina's and it was like drinking a chocolate bar straight - SO rich! I liked it, but DEF couldn't do that everyday! Haha!

- Highlight: Singing "Mmmbop" on the streets of Paris last night! Haha... ALL us girls joined in and it was CLASSIC! Also, getting a "Shhhhh!" in the Metro was pretty classic...

- I hate the keyboards here. I also hate the general non-smileyness... If that's a word!

- FROMAGE!!!!! (It means cheese, which was gerat here, but it was also the word us group of girls decide to use for EVERYTHING - Haha! We were crazy!)

- Other things to note: The hostel was nice and in a good location! Out of the city, but I liked it... Also... RAPEHEART! Coming to a theater near you... Sorry. That's simply to record a memory for me. :)

That's all for me.... Now, I am off to catch a plane for ITALIA!!!!!!!

Song of the Day: Choose a song from the FIRST CD you ever bought!!! It's great to relive the past, as long as you're not still living it. My song is Hanson's, "Mmmbop." Haha... Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Revisting my English Roots!

I feel overwhelmingly blessed... Seriously, I am so lucky to be traveling Europe and having such great experiences. Let's list a few, shall we? Right now, I am in ENGLAND! Here goes:

- Seeing Kate! I got to see on of my good freshman-year friends while I was in England and it was great! We visited for a bit, I sat in on a mythology study session (learned a lot too!), and saw the BYU Center again. It was totally classic, and WAY nice to connect back to home. Plus, just fun!

- I went to church in English! Well, kinda... I missed sacrament meeting cause the time was written wrong on their bulletin board, but I went to Sunday School there and it was SO nice to be in an English speaking ward. My ward in Germany does a LOT to accommodate me and other English speakers, but ti was still nice to assume I could speak English.

- Watching the World Cup game at a pub here in London! Um... AND we tied.... classic. I was rooting for England - sorry my American mates! However, I felt weird when they scored on us - haha! I couldn't really cheer either way and feel content - haha! I know... fence-sitter. It wasn't the plan, but it happened. Haha... It was a happy compromise in a weird way when it was a draw.... and I'll take it! Haha...

- I have been given GREAT things to think about while visiting museums and formed so good opinions of things... plus, I have grown in new passions. For example - wind power. I am COMPLETELY pro wind power and have learned a lot about it in the last two months. They had an exhibit in the science museum discussing these ideas, as well as a campaign activist group handing out stuff down in West End. Especially with the rest oil crisis, but even before we should be thinking about this idea in a more prominent light... I mean, with cost of what happened and clean-up, the death and destruction of animals, plants, water, and an area - not that we should ban all oil, but there are other alternatives and I think we're so worried about initial financing for the projects, that we're losing sight of what the ending result could be! We could be tapping into the wind that is produced in the Great Plains and Midwest... and with that power, we could power half that country - that's not me exaggerating either. It might take some time and money to get there, but we would win SO much in the end. (I'm from Holland originally - my ancestors were smart cookies.)

Also, things like choosing a child's genetics, the poser of recycling, and how I think most learn best - interactive learning. It's been great to have real educated discussions with some... I love intelligent conversation!

Sidenote: Regarding History... It is totally shaped by the one who writes it. It is COMPLETELY subjective in that way. It's all a matter of perspective... and whose perspective are YOUR ideas formed by? This is something I have thoughts about over the course of my life, but it has resonated a bit stronger in me this past month for some reason.

- Sometimes we look at people and think, "What are they wearing? Did they really think that looked good this morning when they left their house?" Truth is, yes. I mean, we have to remember that most people looked at themselves and thought "This is as good as it's going to get," or "I look good!" This might not be the case to you, but why harp on them... They're children of God too,and just trying to look how they think they should (whether I agree or not in their fashion statements). We should try and find the positive in how people look... even if it's touch sometimes.

- Where one country lacks, another excels... and vice versa. Similarly, where one country might be strong in some ways, it's weak in others. This is a duh, but I was thinking about it again in relation to "going green," and how Germany is known for being SO great at recycling (They are too, and I love it!) but they produce SO much smoke. If you've been to other European countries, they have nothing on Germany... I'm not exaggerating. I'll keep you updated through my travels if it's worse somewhere else, but so far Germany has given off more ciggy smoke than any other country I've been too. Going green? Apparently not all the way...

- Some people take funny pictures that they think will look cute... Relating to my point about fashion above, I say give em' the benefit of the doubt - just smile, nod, and take the dang picture. It's hard not to laugh sometimes though... Really, it's hard. There was a larger lady who thought that putting her leg up on the underground railing like a ballet pole and pointing at the sign would look good. Her friend took the picture, but looked skeptical... I know I take dumb pictures too though, and sometimes my friends want to say, "Linze... just stop." I'm not sure if I should thank them for keeping their mouths shut and just taking the picture, or if I should tell them to be a better friend and slap me into reality next time... I'm debating this. I HAVE gotten some pretty cool pictures on whim poses.... Hm.

- I found my online journal from HS thanks to my friend, Julie!!! I am SO stoked to go back and read more of it when I'm back in Germany... for now, it'll have to wait. However, the little bit I DID read.... WOW. Was I really that person? In some ways, I'm still her... but in SO many ways, I'm not her anymore - and am thankful for that. Haha!

- I SAW MAMMA MIA!!! I went to West End, got a cheap ticket, and went on Monday night! It was fabulous, but I thought about something through the production... I thought, "I could do this. I could do it just as well as some of these girls... I can do this." I'm not trying to be cocky, but I felt so impressed to try... and so, I shall. It's also interesting because I truly believe that talent in the US is a different level vocally... The cast were all stunning actors and actresses, but singing voices were mediocre on many. We'll see how Billy Elliot is tonight...

Sidenote: My FAVE moment of Mamma Mia was this lady who was sitting in front of me... Near the end, the cast is encouraging Donna to say, "I Do," and there's a dramatic pause in the play waiting for her answer. This lady in front of me was VERY into the play and started singing along right before then... and kept singing - loudly. When the pause came, she kept going... Yep. Then the entire cast, kid you not, turned and looked up at the balcony toward her and cracked up. HAHA! They carried on after, but it was SO classic! The lady in front of me was laughing and bright red... it was great!

Also, I got to meet some people while in line for the production that had kids working in the cast and crew! I just overheard some conversations and decided to jump in... Haha! It led me to meeting a lady who had a daughter in the production management and we chatted about her route to doing so... it was great to get tips and insight! Then, outside the bathroom, I was trying to help the line to people's seats move around the line for the lady's room, so I started directing people - haha! What else would I do, right? Then, I apologized and said, "Sorry everyone, it's what I do back home... just trying to help." They all laughed and one lady said, "What do you do? Stage or house management?" I talked with her about that and perhaps doing acting and she said, "Oh, my son is an actor in this production." Oh, no worries, he was only Skye. Skye is leading young guy - haha! So, we chatted about that and his route to get there... It was fabulous!

Oh, last note on Mamma Mia... promise. The end = a HUGE dance party for ten minutes! Haha... It's the cast singing and dancing to Abba and you get up and do the same... haha! It was a blast - what a fun show that would be to be in!

- (This is a few hours later) Things today... were just good. I spent time wondering around just chillin' - it was great... i.heart.england.

- Billy Elliot is amazing. AMAZING. The little boy who danced as our lead was FABULOUS... and I was so inspired there. Also, He was not only a great dancer, but a FABULOUS actor - and like twelve or thirteen only. That's amazing. The voices in the show were better this time around - but it's hard to judge in a show that's so heavy on accents. However, the leading lady (ballet teacher) in the story was GREAT! she had some nice pipes and was a good actress. Overall, I LOVED IT! I was front row, but back a bit because the actual "front row" was removed so actors could be there at different points in the show... Oh - I was so moved by the story and the dancing... AMAZING!

Okay, this is an entry written prior to the show, as I sat in the theater, from my personal journal:

"I get emotional thinking about what I want to do with my life. This is partially because I want it so bad... I want to sing and act for a living. I always have - since I can literally recall. It is also partially because I fear I can't make it. I hate that I go back and forth because of fear. I love to sing, act, dance... Why not try? Because, I could fail.

It's more about not having money and security in the end than hearing the actual 'NO's I will hear. I fear not having an income... and I fear having to ask for help. I want to act - why not try?

(Later - intermission) The little kid who plays Billy Elliot just has 'IT.' There was SUCH a power in him! I watched him and his talent and felt a bit overwhelmed. I'm going to do it. Why have I been denying my desires?! Practicality... and it's done. I've been playing is safe, when those who reach their goals take chances. I've got it - and I'm ready to give it."

Okay... London = SUCCESS! There was success personal and emotionally... I just feel SO motivated and ready to take hold of things here. Germany was the best thing that could have happened to me. Really.

Song of the Day: So, in honor of Billy Elliot here is my FAVE song from the production - there was just something AMAZING that happens while watching... and my kid was the BEST! His face LIT UP when he danced in a rare way... even for an actor. He's the main one in this video too!!! Here's "Electricity" from Billy Elliot. Enjoy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Funny Girl

I know how this entry will read to some, but keep in mind that I'm completely light-hearted about it. The song and lyrics just struck me when I heard it on Glee the other night. Here goes...

Did you hear that?
Yeah, the guy said, 'Honey,
You're a funny girl.'
That's me.
I just keep them in stitches...
doubled in half!
And though I may be all wrong for the guy,
I'm good for a laugh.
I guess it's not funny.
Life is far from sunny,
When the laugh is over,
And the jokes on you...
A girl ought to have a sense of humor!
That's one thing you really need for sure.
When you're a funny girl!
A fellow said a funny girl...
Funny, how it ain't so funny
Funny girl..."

I think it's ironic how close to my life these lyrics are sometimes. Now, I'm not blogging this in a moment of self-pity or sadness.... just the opposite. I'm SO loving life right now - I'm happy! I just think it's... well, funny - that's all. It's funny how closely these lyrics from Funny Girl the musical seem to match with my love-life and guy patterns.

I'm the funny, quirky, cute one... and that's that. To quote, "Though I might be all wrong for the guy, I'm good for a laugh." I really like that about me - being the funny, best friend. For now, that's chill... It'll pay off someday, I have complete confidence in that. However, am I allowed to hope that it takes it's time for now?

Song of the Day: I think it's fairly obvious. If not... that's funny. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I Like To Sparkle!

Remember the time that I bought headbands from the "little girls section" in H&M and they fit perfect, were ten times cuter than the ones in the adult section, and three ultimately cheaper? Oh yea, that was today. They are the CUTEST headbands EVER too... serious. They're sparkly, have little bows on the side, and they come in black, silver, and pink. I got all three - for three Euros. You know what? They make me smile!

I use to have sparkling shoes too... black flats with bows. They grew old and broke down, but I LOVED those shoes. Haha!

Thought I'd share. It's the little things in life that make us happy... Like the sound of rain in the evenings or nutella on toasted crackers. It's traveling Europe and fitting all your stuff for sixteen days into ONE bag, or hearing your favorite song. It's talking to a friend you haven't spoken with in awhile or having a clean room...

... or sometimes, it's sparkly headbands.

Song of the Day: Okay, you may be skeptical of what I am about to suggest you listen too and watch, but HEAR ME (or it) OUT! You can hate on me all you want be I will not deny that HANSON'S NEW CD IS AWESOME! I love it - love them. They are not the same Mmmboppin' boys of before (though there's nothing wrong with listening to that song and reliving the sixth grade a little bit). So, here is Hanson's new single Thinking 'Bout Something, from their new album "Shout It Out." It's really SO good - fun even! So have a listen, and ENJOY!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Jonah Was A Man... He Was A Fish!

Tonight during FHE, we decided to read the story of Jonah and the Whale - to which I completely reverted back to a band trip I took in High School where my best friend, Brooke, and I went back and forth saying,

"Jonah was a man..." - Linze
"No, he was a fish!" - Brooke

HAHAHA... Good times... It sounds like a quote the boys would say, too! Haha... I bet you thought it came form them - you were wrong. It came from 17 year-old girls.

Anyway, this is a story about Nico -not High School. So, going back to earlier in the entry...

Tonight during FHE, we decided to read the story of Jonah and the Whale. As we started to read in the very beginning of the story, Nico chimed in and said, "I know why Jonah didn't want to go to Niniva. He knew that the people there were bad, making bad choices, and he was afraid that they would be angry with him and kill him. He didn't know that God would be with him and protect him. He didn't realize that people might not like him then, but they might remember his words later in their life." No joke. It was the most awesome thing... Nico does this often. When were reading scriptures the other morning before taking them to school (I try and do that with them each morning), we were talking about Ammon and Nico said, "Ammon was a missionary... I'm like Ammon!," and continued to tell the whole story of Ammon. It's fabulous how well he knows the scriptures. Plus, he's got SUCH a great memory all around... It amazing!

I'm proud of my little missionary advocate and all that he is becoming. Nico is SUCH an amazing kid. (They both are, but) Today, I recognize Nico for all he is and will become.

Song of the Day: Okay, so I have a GREAT one for today (and a STELLAR one for tomorrow, too!).... Sara Bareilles (whom I adore!) is FINALLY coming out with a new album in the Fall, and her newest single has already been released. It's SUCH a classic song, too! Here is Sara Bareilles with King of Anything! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

German Summers

Over the past few months I have spent a lot of time writing about the places I have traveled. While that may be exciting to some, including me, there is definitely more to being overseas than the travel. Many days I have written these words as well, “Germany is great! Things are going really well.” This is true, but again, there is definitely more to being overseas than a day just being “great” or “going-well.”

I have been been given a great opportunity to learn more and more about myself and about dealing with others – children, families, etc. - than I have ever done in the past. I have been so blessed in my life with great opportunities and experiences, but nothing like this. I am overwhelmed with all I have learned and become in these past five months. I'm still the same girl in many ways, but in so many others ways I'm different... improved. I see the world with new eyes, and I seize each day with new conviction. It sounds dramatic, but that's just the old “Linze” poppin' through... see, I'm still the same girl.

My point? Good question... I think that I spend a lot of time here being tired and I miss the little things when I get caught up in the mundane similarities that conspire with each afternoon. We all do this. Then, we reminder ourselves to take time each day to “stop and smell the roses.” We do that for a day or two, or a minute or two, and then forget this reminder all over again. We forget the little blessings that each day grants and fail to capture the little moments in our lives in our memories. We spend so much time “being tired” or chasing to catch-up with life (or the day) that we miss what's in front of us.
I realize as I write this that I will again forget these words in a matter of a few days, but at least I'm reminding myself of the importance in a moment for now.

That being said, or written, I want to talk about the “little moments” that help create the bigger picture as to why I am here in Germany this year... Summer in Germany is FABULOUS – at least, so far it is. It has also been a bit hectic and crazy as the climate negotiations have gone full-swing. However, it really is beautiful here... I love the places I grew up in the USA, but this is a different kind of beauty. Each place I have lived is a different kind of beauty, and right now, I'm very much appreciating this one. Part of the beauty in German summers are the two little treasures I get to watch out for... Yes, I just wrote “little treasures” and didn't even flinch at the cheesiness of the words.
Finni and Nico are adorable. There's nothing else to it! Okay, there's tons more to it than that, but this factor definitely plays a roll in how many times I smile each day. I take care of two amazing little boys who are cute, smart, funny, wild, and loving. They're also challenging, wearing, frustrating, and exhausting... but I love them.
We have had some GREAT times this summer already and it's only the beginning of June! When the winter months were here, I spent more time indoors with them making crafts, building forts, reading books, and playing hide-and-go-seek. Now that the summer months are before us, we spend a lot more time picking leaves and flowers, hanging on jungle-gyms, climbing trees, and playing soccer - we're in Europe, so of COURSE soccer is on the list. It's been fabulous! We spend a lot of time running and jumping around outside, and the boys have grown SO much in the past few months it's quite incredible.

They say the funniest things too! Nico speaks with such adult phrasing for a six year-old and is SO smart. For example, “A Rhinoceros Beetle is quite strong actually. It can't pick up a car though, in case you were thinking it could.” I mean, “quite” and “actually” aren't exactly common place words for a six year-old to be using. Two days later he was playing with his magnet board – making new shapes and characters out of magnet patterns – and he started saying, “Now these Americans were very unhappy with the British because of the new taxes. So, they threw their tea into the sea and ATTACKED!” Haha... His memory is great!

Finni is funny in different ways. He'll make these hilarious faces and is constantly pretending to be a funny statue or monster. Where he is so remarkable is his athletic skill. As a four year-old he has quite a good arm, even if his aim could use a little refining. He also is getting better and better with soccer. He can play with a ball for hours and really likes to wear soccer clothes – in fact, it's kind of a current obsession of his. He can kick well and I taught him how to stop the ball with the side of his foot instead of jumping on it when it's about to roll past him – haha! He still grabs the ball and runs with it when he's afraid someone is getting to close and could steal it... Perhaps American football IS his thing? Haha!

Finni Quote: “You can't just slurber your soup like that.” - Instead of slurp or slobber... Haha!

These boys are really great... they make me smile all the time. I am SO blessed to be here! There are days when it's hard and I wish I was back home (even living in Europe can be challenging – haha...), but I KNOW I made the right choice to be here. I needed to be here now. I am blessed to take them to the park or pool, and to talk with them about their ideas or concerns... to teach them about plants, history, or their Savior. I am blessed to sing them goodnight lullabies and say prayers with them... I am blessed to say “I love you” to them, and have them throw their arms around me and say, “I love you too, Linze Pinzie.” Haha! I am blessed to be their “big sister” and friend. I am just blessed.

If you don't believe me, check out the pictures through-out this entry (or in the video below) and you won't be able to deny it.


Song of the Day: I have a bunch from the Pop, Indie, or R&B world to chose from, but I really wanted to choose a song for Sunday... I was listening to it this morning (I had the WORST migraine I have had in about a year, and was bed-rest this morning) and it's a song that brings me SUCH peace since I heard it a few months back (Special thanks to someone sending me the EFY 2010 CD!). Here is Nicole Sheahan's song, I Am His Daughter. She's a girl from BYU, friends with some of my friends, though I have never met her, and she's fabulous. Check it out – I made the video with pictures from throughout my time here (and one from home at the end of the "daughters" in our family)... and a few from before. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happ 5th Month Mark!

Happy 5th month mark to me! Haha... It's crazy to think that I have been here in Germany for 5 months... and now, I have seven more!

I made the decision on Sunday night that I would be coming home in December. I was debating staying on as the family's Au Pair until next summer, but I just feel like I should come home and start the job hunt. That's another thing I decided. For one reason or another, I was feeling as though no Graduate School or program was where I needed to fit myself into. I kept praying about it and asking... and never feeling an answer come. Then, I thought, perhaps I'm asking the incorrect questions... perhaps the reason I'm not feeling good about any path I've presented is because none of them ARE right.

So, I presented this idea: I'll come home in December and get right to subbing while I find a real, big-person's job - in entertainment, hopefully. I'll audition for local theater and talk to some talent agencies... I'm ready - finally. Do you know how I know?

For the first time in over a year, aside from my decision to come to Germany, I have made a choice that feels RIGHT for me. I thought that route might be a cop out from Graduate School... but it's not for me. If I'm going to spend that much money on Grad School, I had better really want to be wherever I go, and really want to do that program. So with this choice, I feel good. I feel peace.

Song of the Day: Chris Brown's song, Fallin' Down. I heard it on So You Think You Can Dance, and I love it! Enjoy!