Sunday, October 31, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love... Relive.

I was watching the movie Eat, Pray, Love last night, pretty much cause it has Julia Roberts and I adore her - I had no idea what it was about beforehand. As I was watching, she spends a great deal of time in Italy, learning a language and "soul-searching." I realized that all of these places she was walking around or sitting near in Rome, were places I had been. She stood in posts I had stood... and it made me smile. It made me love that I was BROKE after that trip, because I spent all I had on seeing all I could, and eating more gelato than a human should be able to eat.

I loved Italy. That was my favorite vacation next to my trip last Thanksgiving to Hawaii.

Italy is incredible, and I WILL go back someday.


There's a part in the movie where Julia's character states, "I feel so guilty. I have been in Rome for three weeks and all that I have done is learn a few Italian words and eat." I started to laugh because I have been in Germany for ten months, and though I've learned more than a FEW German words, my language skills are still schlecht (or, bad)... and I have definitely eaten more bread and pastries living here than I have eaten in my life. I eat healthier overall, but still... I eat a lot of yummy bread.

However, right after Julia's character says this in the movie, a random Italian man turns around and says, "You feel guilty because you are American. You don't know how to enjoy yourself. American's know entertainment, but don't know pleasure." I see the truth and the lies behind that thought... However, they use the coined the phrase, "The sweetness of doing nothing." I like to work - I really like being busy. However, I also like relaxing and just being chill. Moderation in ALL things...

Sidenote: Elephants in India = Remover of Obstacles...

Anyway, this whole part reminded me of when I was getting ice cream for the last time in Roma... Let me relive that moment:


"We ended up chatting with the owner for a little bit and his family. He father owns a bakery across the way and he was in there talking with his son. The dad and I tried to talk, but he doesn't know English, so the granddaughter and son translated a bit. I was telling him how great gelato is, but it's gonna make a big woman bigger – haha! He replied. 'Big is beautiful – many women could do with your confidence.'”

It was just one of those times in life where a memories comes rushing back to you, out of nowhere, and you're swept away in remembrance... and it's a cleansing feeling.

(I loved this movie.)
*muah*

P.S. I also saw Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps this weekend... Man, I adore Shia Lebouf. Not only does he seem to get better looking with age, but he is one talented actor - I'd LOVE to work with him someday. I remember his work with a Disney Channel movie called, "Tru Confessions," where he played a mentally challenged boy, and I called it then - a true, genuine star. He really is going to do great things with acting if he keeps his head on straight... For those who didn't see the first movie and thought they'd be lost watching this one, neither did I, and you won't be. It's a good one...

Song of the Day: I love dancing around to this song! It's a good "drivin' to the clubs" jam... even if I don't really drive to the clubs very much... Hm. Here's Hot Tottie, by Usher (Feat. Jay-Z). Enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cologne/Koln!

Recently, I made a conscience decision to see more of the areas that I live in. When I go back to the states, I already have a list of things to do and see in UT that would be new to me. I also found that while I have lived in Bonn, and been to Cologne a few times, I have not really checked out certain parts of these cities. So, this weekend a friend of mine helped me tackle Cologne (or, Koln)!

Friday after the boys violin lessons, I dropped them with Koko and caught a train to Cologne. I got into the city right after 5pm and headed to meet Steffi, so she could show me part of the city. Mike did this too while he was here, but we saw more of his missionary side to things. Steffi took me to some overlooks of the city, and showed me other aspects about the city's actual "sight-seeing" agenda. It was nice to just walk along and chat too - she's a great friend, that I'm lucky to have here in Bonn.



One thing about Cologne is all the locks... Some of the other countries I have been to (Italy - it's their tradition- and France) have this same thing, but NOT like Cologne. A few years back people began to confess their undying love for their lover by taking a lock, engraving it with the couples names or initials, locking the lock on the bridge's fence, and throwing the key into the ocean. Haha! It's a bit silly. It's a bit romantic. It is what it is... just fluff and fun. However, the locks cover the ENTIRE bridge, and it's getting harder and harder to find places to PUT new locks. Haha! It's really cool, and I hope the city doesn't send someone out to take the locks off. Other countries do that, because they're in more random places. However, in Cologne it's more centralized into one place, and it's a pretty cool aspect to the bridge.



After Steffi took me a bit around the city and gave me the basic tour, we decided it was time to get our grub on... our German food grub. Haha! The best places to get good German food here TEND to be breweries, or beer gardens. That's what I've been told, and last night I was convinced. It's a fun atmosphere, good food, fast service, and it just has a German feel to it all. I was brave and tried new things too...

First, I tried brown beer. Yep, I had my very first beer. Now, lest some of my friends begin to panic and call me a sinner (judge me, go ahead), this beer is non-alcoholic and definitely doesn't even smell like beer. I had jokingly told Steffi that I couldn't be in Germany and NOT drink a beer, so she ordered us these kind and it was legit. It smells and looks like dark corn syrup, but tastes like bubbled water with a hint of Rye Bread. Haha! It was fine, but nothing amazing. I was glad I tried it though!

The second thing I tried... Blood Sausage (seen in the picture above of Steffi). Apparently, they're not only big in England. Who knew? I tried it here, with potatoes... not bad! Again, it's not really something I would eat a lot of, but it wasn't gross or anything. I can't believe I didn't try while I was in England ever. Two new things to add to my list... :)

So, I conquered a little more of Germany on Friday night, but only the tip of the iceberg, on the entire glacier. Haha! It was a good time - I was so glad I went, and SO glad for my personal tour guide. :)
*muah*

Song of the Day: I found this artist on MySpace. He randomly added me, probably to build his friend base and I was "friends" with lots of musicians. Well, he's actually really fabulous and he has a song that he does with Sara Bareilles singing his back-up, which makes him more awesome in my eyes because I adore her and love her music. So, here is Todd Carey (Feat. Sara Bareilles) with his song, Smile. To listen below, just click the "deny" button in the middle, and then play. He also has a song called, Masterpiece, that is quite amazing. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

FHE Pumpkins & Bedtime Songs

A few months ago, the missionaries in our area suggested we start doing young adults FHE (Family Home Evening) on Monday nights. We have done it a few times at Rahel and Glenn's house (a young couple in our ward) or at the church, but mostly we have done it over at my place. Every week a slew of young adults come, along with the missionaries, and we play games or do some activity, eat snacks, visit, and have a spiritual thought. It's fabulously fun, and we always end up ROLLING in laughter. I feel very fortunate that while I have been here in Bonn, most of the missionaries we have had here have been increidble. Not only are they great at being missionaries (why they are really here), but they each great character and are fun, hilarious guys. Thus, FHE is pretty classic most of the time.

This past week we decided that we would bring a bit of the US Halloween spirit to Germany and carve some pumpkins! On top of that, I decided we should bring a bit of Tim Burton knowledge to the table. So, behold:
Yep. We carved The Nightmare Before Christmas's Jack Skelington on a pumpkin. What up, Mr. Burton? We honor your fabulous work... and had some great fun while doing so.



After pumpkin carving, Father Nelson - Excuse me, Elder Nelson gave us a spiritual thought... Haha! We called him "Father Nelson" that night because he looked so "fatherly" sitting in the chair, with his glasses and the scriptures... Haha! In all seriousness, he has given MANY spiritual thoughts for our FHE nights and always brings SUCH a spirit into the place. He's incredible missionary, and a great person - I hope we stay friends after that mission (and my "mission" here) because he sure can keep me laughing.

Sidenote: The first time he was over for dinner (this is his first area -though he's been here MONTHS), his comp (Elder Gunnell - another STUD missionary!) was joking & being sarcastic with us about climate control, saying it wasn't real and stuff just because he knew Koko does that for a living. Elder Nelson got really into the conversation, stating that he didn't believe in all of it either. I started to try and stop him, but Elder Gunnell said, "Let him go." We were laughing quietly after a little bit, while Koko ran behind the Elder to grab some work material and finally Elder Nelson got silent. He asked, "What? Why are you all laughing?" Koko set down her work in front of him and said, "Here's something for you to look through, Elder. It's what I do at the UN." His face went white and he started stammering apologizes, which made us laugh harder. Poor guy! Missionary initiation? I felt bad, but it kinda bonded us all... We love Elder Nelson!

We also made a "G" pumpkin, as shown above. Well, actually Elder Goodrich did the "G" pumpkin for his name, but when Nico saw it his thoughts were, "Cool! It's 'What Up, G!?'"

That's my boy.

Speaking of my boys, I have had the opportunity to put the boys to bed quite a bit lately. It's not usually my task, and it's been nice to read to them, pray with them, and just give them extra hugs and kisses. Those kisses are probably contributors to my cold symptoms, but I'll take em' for love from my boys. :)

Nico says thoughtful and well-spoken prayers. He truly loves his Father in Heaven and knows he's there for him. He believes in the power of prayer. I'm proud of him.

Finn and I like to sing songs together before bed. We started this halfway through the year, and did it a lot on the past two Family Vacation trips. There is a song to the tune of "Frère Jacques" that we have begun to sing... See the cuteness below:
video

I am a lucky girl.
*muah*

Song of the Day: I am LOVING on this song that Koko showed me - so funny and just a great dance jam. PLUS, this group is great! They're a funk, jazz group that has major soul. Here are the Brand New Heavies with Boogie. The video has a bit of sketchiness in it (to enhance the statement of the video), but I think it's fine. So, choose to watch if you will, but at least LISTEN. It's a GREAT one- Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Maybe not, FOREVER..."

"If I were old enough, I'd marry you." - Nico

"Really. You'd want to be with me for forever?" - Linze

"Well... maybe not, FOREVER." - Nico

Yea. HAHAHA! Then, the conversation continued. He walked over to me and sat on my lap to hug me for a long time. During the hug he said some more things...

"I really love you. I would marry you." - Nico

"I thought you didn't want to be with me for forever." - Linze

"Well, not forever, but a good deal longer." - Nico

"I love you too, Nico." - Linze

I love my little Nicolo-Picolo.

Sidenote: These pictures are an impression of a poster in the U-bahn station - Nico's idea. SO funny!

His is WAY better than mine - by far.
*muah*

Song of the Day: I am currently loving on Taylor Swift's new album. Thus, here is a song from her the album, Haunted. So far, it's my favorite... though there are a few of them. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Once Upon a Time, in Southern France...

Once upon a time, a lil' southern girl gone Utah was given the chance to live in Europe for a year and travel around to see up to 10 new countries. She took that chance and headed off to live in Germany for an entire year, taking trips to all the surrounding countries that she could manage. One of those trips was boating in Southern France.
For those of you who don't know, I've never been a boat person. I like boats and being out on the sea or lake, but it's not something my family does for common recreation. Before last week I had never ridden on a house-boat before, let alone sleep on a boat (which, I LOVED!) and live on one for a week. I told my mom I was a bit worried about being on a boat for a whole week, but her response was, "Linze, they stop the boat. You won't just sail all day, every day... They'll see cities along the way, I'm sure." Like I said, I've never been a boat person. I knew nothing.

Luckily, my mother was right (an accepted curse and blessing) and we spent a good chunk boating and sight-seeing each day... perfection. There was a good amount of both and I found myself never too overwhelmed by the somewhat confining space on a boat or lack of relaxation in my sight-seeing style. I'm not going to map out each moment of the trip, but I'll highlight some cool moments for your reading enjoyment...

First, I have to give recognition to the BREATH- TAKING beauty of Southern France, especially during the Fall. We rented a small house boat to share with another family (that I knew form my Switzerland trip earlier in the year) and took a route through the canals right up from the Mediterranean Sea. There were trees lining the canals the entire way, and the type of trees changed as we got closer or further from the Mediterranean, which was cool. My favorite were the deciduous trees, slowly changing colors... Also, the olive trees! They are literally blue/silver and just cool-looking trees... If you already knew this, good job. I had no idea.

Sidenote: When I talk about certain things I realize how smart I am in those aspects of life, society, etc. However, then I talk about other things, and I wonder... how did I pass elementary school?

It was colder than I would have liked it to be... I packed mostly shorts and skirts, so I had to recycle my leggings and pants because it was jacket and long pants weather all but two of the days - not freezing, but chilly and "Fall-like." Being on the front of the boat was WAY too cold for me - haha! AND, I did help with docking the boat and getting through the locks, so I did my share of time outside of the boat's interior. It's because of the wind... If it hadn't been so windy, it wouldn't have been bad at all, but that blasted wind - tricky stuff. Haha! There were a few days where we could open the roof in the kitchen area and feel more breeze without being cold. Also, the day we went to the Mediterranean beaches, I wore no jacket and FINALLY got a little color. Haha!

Another thing I MUST mention about my trip is the DELICIOUSNESS of french baguettes and croissants. Heaven... Haha! French produce was really great in some areas (fruit), but lacking in other areas, but overall the food we got was all great. I must have eaten half a baguette a day, plus a ton of apples and pears. I also realized how much I love peppers. I have always known this, but the last morning of the trip we fried some peppers and zucchini in light oil with salt and pepper and I ate half the peppers myself... I did that a lot actually... The peppers would be sitting there and that was my thing. It's good for you, so... good on my thighs.

Back to the boat in general...

We were with Dave and Hana's family (their kids are a 5 year old girl, Lexi, and 2 year old boy, Tom) and it was SO nice to talk with them more. With Lexi, it was nice to help watch a girl for once. I love my boys, but girls tend to be different. She talked to me about princesses and had me braid her hair, and told me about cute little boys... It was just fun. Tom and I would play games making funny noises and he would give me kisses - so tender! I would pretend to be a dinosaur and "eat him," and one day at dinner he stood up next to me, tapped my shoulder, and said, "Um... EAT ME!" Haha... Cutest thing ever. I love my boys, but it was fun to I spent a good amount of time visiting with Hana here and there - what a cool individual. She was just genuinely funny and kind, and exceedingly genuine. Her hubby, Dave, has to be the HAPPIEST person I have ever come across, and I've met lots of happy people. He lost his wallet in a small town while he was getting bread (left it on the counter, and when he went back an hour later it was gone) and he has SUCH a great attitude about it. You knew he must have been upset, but you couldn't tell... He kept a smile and treated us all without annoyance... It was incredible to see his patience and Christ-like nature.



That leads to me telling about MY little loss in France...

I decided to go biking along one stretch of the canal. So, I took a bike and told them I'd meet them at the next lock (Locks are pretty amazing by the way - click on the word for info, but there's a picture on the side here). I got lost pretty quick, so I headed back to the boat area and found Koko still there with the boat, which was perfect cause I could get directions. I parked my bike and hopped on the boat. About two minutes (or less) later, we heard a crash and ran outside the boat to see the bike knocked down. I saw my gloves in the river and Koko said, "At least the bike didn't fall in..." Then I remembered... My Ipod was in the bike basket. Yep, the French Riviera claimed my Ipod in one of the only deep areas of the canals. I was SO upset! I put the bike back on, went into my cabin, cried, and texted my parents. I know it's just a "thing," but it was a source of solace for me here in Germany, as weird as that sounds. Music is SUCH a piece of me and I use my Ipod EVERY day... Plus, it's more money to get a new one... money I don't have.

After a few moments though, I snapped out of it. I thought of Dave and his good attitude. I lost an Ipod. Dave lost a wallet with all his credit cards and other cards inside, plus 400 Euros in cash. EEK. My Ipod was about 100 Euros only, and it lasted about a year in my possession. I've been saying for weeks that I wanted one with more memory, too. My old one had 8GB and the one I WILL be getting has 160GB! It's a huge improvement I wouldn't have made if I hadn't lost my Ipod. I'm still not happy it's at the bottom of a French canal, but I'm dealing with it. My parents opted to split the price of the new Ipod with me as a birthday present (two weeks). They'll bring the Ipod to me when they come to visit in four weeks! It's cheaper to get them there, esp. with how the dollar is down.

Plus, because I was not riding my bike I stayed on the boat and could help Koko through the locks, which was nice because it's hard to do alone. I don't know how she would have done it without the lock operator in that place getting mad at her... He yelled at me for holding the rope too limp for five seconds. Oops. Haha... Also, we kinda took a wrong turn and I noticed before we went over a waterfall, so that's good. Haha! I walked out of my cabin and looked out the window and said, "Koko... Is that a waterfall?" She looked around and then her eyes got wide and she started trying to turn the boat around. I must have offered the most sincere prayer that moment... because out thrusters had not been working properly the entire time, and this was no exception. We somehow didn't get pulled into the waterfall and made it back around the bend and on our journey, safe and sound.

On to other things...

The old, rustic villages and towns in Southern France are really exquisite. I think there's beauty in the "run-down" sometimes... Not if it's like monster ghetto, but a quite, simple wear-and-tear is beautiful. You can see what I mean in the pictures... It's just beautiful! The smells of the hot-coals, bon-fires and burning away of vineyard parts were fabulous, too. There's something about the smell of fire in the Fall - it reminds me of High School, camping, smores, holidays, falling leaves, and college. It's my favorite smell, I think. As are the castles and churches we kept seeing. You can't really tell the difference though because they look alike in many ways, and the political castles are attatched to churches - many still in full-use. No separation of church and state there, eh? Haha...





One experience I must share before I close out is specific to the first little town we stopped at for the evening. We got there in the late afternoon and ventured around the little place for about 2 hours to see the "sights" and just get off the boat to get energy out before dinner. We walked across the bridge and back, and then walked up the canal for a bit. I broke off from the group for a bit to write in my journal and just have a moment to ponder the trip so far. I caught up with Koko a few minutes later and we walked for about 15-20 minutes before I started to feel like we were missing someone... I noticed Finn wasn't around, but he makes a habit of running ahead of everyone and jumping out at us. Koko and I were near the back of the group and I thought he must be ahead, but I asked anywhere. I said he wasn't behind us because I would have seen him when approaching everyone. Patrick ran up ahead, and he wasn't around anywhere. I ran back to try and find him, feeling like I should look on the other side of the bridge.

I was praying with all I had to find him, and for him not to be so scared. I felt that I should stop and just listen... So, I did. I got the impression to go back to the left after going over the bridge, did so and began to run down the side of the canal. Two minutes later, I found him sitting on a bench we had been by when we first got to the little city. His bike was there, no helmet or shoes, and he was just crying. I grabbed him, held him, and called across the canal to Koko that I had him. The shoes and helmet...? They were back on the boat. When he got lost he tried to go back to the boat and find us there, and when we didn't show up, we went back to the place we first were in the city and waited there. I told him over and over that he did the right thing, just waiting for us there and not going everywhere looking...

Point is, I truly felt the spirit guiding me in so many ways to first, notice that he was missing, and then to find him. I am so grateful that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me enough to provide me with a means for receiving guidance and for comforting the little boy who had lost his family. I made sure to let him know how grateful I was...

France was great! I wondered around some really fabulous cities, saw huge castles and churches, and more of a culture there. I saw REAL, in the wild, flamingos!!! No joke. I saw the most incredible sunset of my life... I was off the "beaten-path" for most American tourists, and that was cool too. I don't regret seeing all the "main spots" I could while I have been here (i.e. Rome, Paris, London (3 times), Prague, Copenhagen, Oslo, etc.), but it was nice to see another side of things too. I really enjoyed that aspect of this trip.


By the end of vacation, as great as it had been, I was ready to be back here in a routine. I love traveling and sight-seeing, but I like to work and have "normal life" too. However, our trip home was definitely NOT what we planned... After a rental car (six hours through France to the German border), four trains, a taxi, my first experience with a "squatter" toilet, an hour in Luxembourg, and a night sleeping on a train station floor, I was beyond ready to be home. I learned how a homeless person feels on a cold night - I never want to do that again. NEVER. Twenty-one (21) hours later - YES, 21 HOURS later - we arrived back to our home in Bonn. Other than that, I'd say it was a successful trip! Haha...

Next trip on my agenda? Berlin (FINALLY) in two weeks. I am heading there with Luise for the second weekend of November, and am dramatically excited to finally see the big-city sights in Northern Germany! It's going to be fabulous... The week after that, my parents and sister come!!!

Time is just FLYING! Flying fast... Less that two months is left here in Deutschland.
*muah*

Song of the Day: I will restrain myself from posting Christmas songs yet, but I have to admit I have already begun listening to Christmas music. LOVE IT. So, today's song Yeah (X3) is by the one and only, Chris Brown. The dancing in the video is sick-good, but I also dig the song. Enjoy!

Chris Brown - Yeah 3x (Official Video)
Hochgeladen von Henrietta-Aime-Fumer_Tv. - Sieh die neuesten vorgestellten Musikvideos.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tickets!

I write to tell you about getting tickets... the good kind!

Tonight the family I live with booked my ticket for the LOOOOOOOOONG plane ride back to Utah... and I get in on the 23rd of December! I am SO excited because I'll be home for Christmas Eve! Christmas Eve is a HUGE deal in my family. We have our major traditions on that evening, and it's the BEST. I feel SO thankful I will be able to rejoin my family just in time for the celebrations to begin!

As a note, I have a six hour lay-over in London... I am SO tempted to go run around the city - my second home. Thoughts? Yea, I know I probably shouldn't... and I know I actually won't. Boo. Haha!

Also, I booked a ticket to see my brother and his wife (two of my besties!) in Seattle, Washington for the beginning of January. I know that they can't come down for Christmas, so it just makes perfect sense for me to go to them and see their city - their new home. I have never been to Seattle, so why not?! Haha... I'll be heading there from the 7th through the 17th of January, and then heading back for training before....

The Sundance Film Festival!

Haha... Yep, I applied to be a full-time volunteer and talking with the phone interviewer yesterday was told I was going to be offered a spot - mostly likely in Theater Ops. I am SO ecstatic! What an amazing opportunity... It's a chance to see more about the industry, learn more about events and theater houses, make connections that could potentially lead to a job, make some more friends, and see Films for free. Plus, I get to go to the big parties... and I get an all-access credential. Love it. It's like Stadium of Fire, but even better... I love what I want to do with my life, and now, I'm about to take a step and start doing it.

*muah*

P.S. French Riviera, anyone? Oh, yea... I'll be there in two days. Score.

Song of the Day: I love Mindy Gledhill. I always have since I heard her song, I Will Rest In You. The emotions that song brought the first time stuck with me... her voice is magically simple and yet drawing. Her newest CD SHOULD be big even outside of the LDS community, but I fear it shall not be... we'll see! I keep hoping for her. This is Mindy Gledhill's song and video for Anchor. It reminds me at one point of the Eleanor Rigby music video by the Beatles, or Series of Unfortunate Events. You'll see what I mean. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Artistic Side of Life

In a previous entry I expressed that I have had a desire to hon in on my photography skills, and I have spent the last few months doing so in my free time or when out with the boys. My camera isn't very high-tech, so it's not an easy task sometimes to do snazzy things... but I'm attempting it with my little camo camera. Here are so examples of my "work" I hope to refine one day... It's mostly nature shots, cause that's what I have good access to - it's all around us! Haha...












In a past entry I also said that I try to give appreciation or understanding to all art... but I don't have to like it all. The same here - to each his own. I tried to be artistic (or mostly just tried out the Macro settings...), but I don't really know what I'm doing. Haha...
*muah*

Song of the Day: I guess I'm obsessed with this weeks Glee songs, cause I am choosing another one. I also must be in love with Fiddler on the Roof as of late, because I keep listening to this song and Sunrise, Sunset from the Sex & the City Soundtrack.... I'm recommending "Rachel Berry's" version of Papa Can You Hear Me? Click below for a listen, and click on the song title for a video from the show - so great! Enjoy!!!