dad, family, happy birthday, italy, october 2011, rome 2011, summer 2011

happy birthday to my pop’s (aka the prof.)

[atop St.Peter’s Basilica ,Vatican City.july 2011.]

happy birthday, dad!

i am so grateful to have him as my father.

above is a photo from this summer when i met him in rome/vatican city & had the most amazing time. (a time i still need to blog about!)

from being the godfather of radars to his remarkable faith, i’m so happy & blessed to be able to say “that’s my dad.”

i love you, dad!

a wee bit homesick, adventures, au pairing, august 2011, family, growing up, joy that little things bring, note to self, summer 2011

nearer you.

[Kansas, August 2010.]
most days, it’s the littlest of things that make me miss home. 
a good ‘ole summertime thunderstorm. ice cubes. small talk in line at the grocery store. rapping in my car. “that’s what she said” jokes.
but sometimes, like today, skype just doesn’t cut it.
i want to sit on the patio with my friends & complain about the heat together. i want to swim with my nieces & nephews & scoop them when we have to run across that darn hot cement. i want to snuggle my very favorite poodle.  i want to laugh with my siblings, even if it’s at my own expense. i want to eat bar-b-que with my parents & catch them up on all of the adventures i’ve been dying to tell them in person.
but really, i miss all of those things everyday. 
(oh! and SYRUP drizzled on eggo waffles…)
and that’s okay. 
because a year isn’t so long & it’ll make home that much sweeter.
& after all, i’m going to miss a whole lot about this place, too.
a whole lot.

The years went by and never knew
That each one brought me nearer you
The Years, Sara Teasdale 
au pairing, happiness, july 2011, my future, my future love, summer 2011, true love, writing from the heart

I can’t wait to show you.

 [dubrovnik, crotia. july 2011.]
i don’t know where in the world my true love is at the moment.
quite literally.
i don’t know what his favorite book is.
i don’t know if he wears glasses or whether or not he has freckles.
i don’t even know his name.
i do know that whenever we honeymoon,
 we’re going to dubrovnik.
we’re going to swim in the crystal blue water 
& sneak a few kisses in the coves.
& i’ll tell him about when i went in the summer of 2011.
how i knew i had to bring him there.
how even though i didn’t know him yet, 
(or what on earth was taking him so long)
i knew he would have the same idea when he saw those coves. 
& i know just where to find the best pizza.
au pairing, beautiful, germany 2011, history, july 2011, summer 2011

The ever enchanting Neuschwanstein Castle.

You start by climbing the long, windy path.  You’re surrounded by large trees that look exactly like you used to draw trees as a kid: tall, skinny trunk, and the leaves start about 2/3 to the top.

As you walk you feel as if you are about to be swallowed up into the blanket of trees that surround you. It’s amazing & daunting all at once.

While you climb you will come across a few little pretzel stands (with real, Bavarian pretzels) & your nose enjoys a few minutes of heaven as you journey on.

As horses cart by carrying tourists (who chose to opt out of the hike) you can imagine what life might have been like in old Bavaria.  Lots of hiking the alps. Lots. And if you needed sugar from your neighbor, you’d probably rethink your meal before trekking it over. ; )

You climb & you feel like your breathing in pieces of the clouds. You want to reach up & touch them & bottle their fluff up into mason jars to bring back for your loved ones.

When you reach the top you feel like you might have just run a marathon. (Maybe that’s just me, since I’m extremely out of shape…) But you are in awe of its size & your anxious to learn every little detail about this immense masterpiece.

You look at the windows & you are sure Sleeping Beauty might peek out behind the curtains at any moment. (But then remember she probably doesn’t even roll out of bed until one p.m… on a good day.)

The big clock in the middle of the castle makes you wonder if it is the same one that changed Cinderella’s life forever.

And then you look up & this is the same castle you spent your childhood admiring on your 1995 Window’s desktop & you smile to yourself, holding back giggles of disbelief.

It’s as equally enchanting to both five year old Anna & 22 year old Anna.

And it’s just as magical as you had hoped.

adventures, au pairing, july 2011, summer 2011

Walking into a storybook.


Tucked away, in beautiful Bavaria is the city of Rothenburg While driving from Northern  Germany to Venice, we made a stop & took time to explore this amazing city.

From the Christmas shops, walking along the top of the entire city wall, to its fascinating history, Rothenburg is like walking into the pages of a storybook. (It was, afterall, the inspiration for the setting of Walt Disney’s Pinocchio as well as in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.)

It was  beyond dreamy. To say the least.

adventures, au pairing, europe 2011, italy, july 2011, my dad, photos, saw it loved it, summer 2011

falling madly in love…

[7.23.2011. Rome, Italy.]

with Italy.

the family i’m au pairing for took me with them on a Mediterranean cruise.
from Croatia to Italy, i’ve been immersed in beautiful history 
& sights for the past few weeks. please forgive me for being gone so long.
but now I am in Italy visiting my pops who happens to be here on business. 
that means the whole day he’s at work i’m exploring Naples & writing.
it’s a wonderful thing.
so much to share. photos, stories, ideas.
i’ve missed you heaps!
but i alas, i have returned! 
(though my love for you all never left.)