Friday, December 31, 2010

A Look Back...

This year has held many firsts for me. While uploading pictures on my new digital photo frame, I was reminded of some of the funny and not so funny memories. So, naturally, I'd like to share them with the rest of the world. Cause you know, no matter what you think...NOTHING on the internet is private.

Jan-May: First time I've never had a permanent home and bounced around like a ping-pong to the homes of my many friends. Thank you to the Mitchells, Youngs, Gormans, Mom, Grandmother, Dad, Carlsons and anyone else who had the pleasure of hosting me during that time. Ha!

Jan: First time I've ever donned a hospital gown for longer than that uncomfortable visit at the doctor's office. Apparently, stomach viruses are NOT to be messed with.

Who says you can't have a little fun in the ER?

February: First road trip across the mid-west with a brief stop in St. Louis, Missouri for a tour of the Arch.

(Pictures from left to right: outside the arch, the "pod" we rode to the top in, a plane's eye view of St. Louis)

April: First trip to Seattle and British Columbia. Since I've always wanted to visit these places, it was truly one of my favorite "firsts" of this year.

May: One of the most obvious firsts is the first time living in another country as I moved to Romania on May 15, 2010. I waited over 10 years for this moment and failed to capture any photos to commemorate this experience. However, there were many tears instead.

June: First time experiencing summer camps with JPWM
(Joshua Project World Ministries) as staff. Very different than the 10 day experiences I've had in the past. Favorite Fun Moment: The Water Fight!

Instigating parties shall not be named...

July: This was the first, but not the last time that I got to see Eastern European handiwork at it's finest. Not making fun, but truly astonished at how people can make whatever they want if they put their minds to it. Case in point: The Boat House.

The conversation pretty much went like this while looking out at the Danube one summer evening:

Andy M: Say, what's that out in the water?
Me: Not sure, but it kinda looks like a house.
Andy M: Looks like a plank with a house and tree.
Me: Hmm, let me see with the super zoom on my camera.

Images from Camera

Me (laughing hysterically:) Dear gracious,
that's exactly what it just forgot
the bicycles and nearly naked dude with girlfriend.

August: First birthday in a foreign country...and by foreign and country...and I mean anything outside of Texas :-) Somehow failed to capture images of this day as well, however, I do have the bill from the birthday dinner I paid for. Yes, that's right. In Romania, you pay for your own birthday party. You do get some pretty SWEET gifts from those you invite, though.

Divide that by 3 and it's not so bad for 5 adults.

September: First trip to Odessa, Ukraine to visit a friend and met some new ones.

Need to add a few notes about these pictures. The first on the top row is a random statue at the large pier in Odessa. It's a random muscled up baby in a giant palm. A little disturbing, don't ya think? The second is a picture of some of my new Ukrainian friends. These ladies were so welcoming that is makes me want to go back just to see them! The middle is a nighttime view of the "famous" street in Odessa. I'd attempt to spell it, but uh...I can't. It was nice to stroll the street with the hundreds of other people...haha. The pictures on the bottom row were of sailboats on the black sea. It was only after I was sitting there for a while that I noticed the misspelling of the boat in the first picture. Cracked me up. Unless, however, I'm wrong and don't know how to spell what I thought is the name, "Sinbad."

October: Witnessed another great example of Romanian ingenuity. While on the way to Timisoara with Andy & the kids, I saw a most interesting site.

This was the best shot I could get of him, so in case you can't see what I did on that day I'll describe it for you. This would be a picture of a man on a scooter, with a chainsaw strapped to the back. If that wasn't enough, it's raining, making the journey quite perilous with the scooter alone, not to mention the chainsaw. However, he did at least try to protect himself as he is wearing a garbage bag for a rain jacket and the foamy INSIDE of a bicycle helmet on his head :-) Sheer genius I tell you. It provided quite a good laugh on this dreary day.

I'd like to say this was the last time I saw someone carrying their chainsaw on the back of a scooter, but that would be a lie.

November: First black eye. You probably thought I was going to say something about Thanksgiving, huh? Nope. The black eye takes the cake. I caught a virus days prior to Thanksgiving which resulted in the following chain of events: Virus caught = severe badness = dehydration = loss of consciousness = face plant on the floor = black eye, possible cracked cheek bone, and two very sore teeth.

And of course, I took pictures... the ones directly following the fall were kinda brutal looking so I thought I'd just post the aftermath. This one was the weirdest, so I thought it'd do.

Taken a couple of days after the fall, it's a shame I didn't take one a few days later, it was greenish-blue by then!

December: There are a couple of firsts in this month. My first time living in a country where snow is the norm, and my first Christmas in a foreign country. By "foreign" and "country" I mean, anything outside the U.S.

(Pictures from left to right: View from the day center of the Resita hillside, my discipleship group and me, lights in Timisoara square)

After such an exciting year, I'm not sure how 2011 will be able to top it. One thing I am sure of, the Lord is always full of surprises. I look forward to this next year with the King that is above all kings, and mostly look forward to the surprises that are in store.

May 2011 bring you peace, joy, and most of all, fulfillment through salvation in Jesus Christ.


  1. Loved the pictures and the recap. I'm so glad there wasn't any permanent damage done to your pretty face when you bit the floor. Enjoyed seeing your dad briefly at Christmas, and am excited that Zach and fam are no longer in a "foreign" country (by your definition)and getting settled in in Texas. Love you and hope 2011 brings more adventure and blessings!

    Aunt V