I read an interesting article in the newspaper today about living dangerously. The gist of the article is that in life we allow our our unrealistic fears to control us. And how do we not allow this to happen when all we have to do is turn on the tv or go to a news website and we are inundated with horrible news - accidents, wars, murder, the fear of "the big one" and more. This keeps us from living and experiencing life to the fullest. This got me thinking...I have done so many adventurous things already but, there are a lot of things left that I want to do. And, I definitely don't want to let my fears get in the way of accomplishing these wonderful things. Here are a few I will share with you. Please let me know if you want to participate in any of these activities with me...company always makes things better!
* Skydiving...Laurie, this SO needs to happen! * Get more tattoos * Drive a race car * Be in a movie (I don't even have to talk, just an extra would do) * Go to Australia * Go on a helicopter ride
The bottom line is, I would rather say at the end of my life that I wish I hadn't experienced something rather than saying I wish I had. The path we are on shapes us into who we become. I want to be an adventurous, no holds bar, loving person. I know I am well on my way to being that person...In the mean time, I will continue to live dangerously by not using the cross walk, eating too much ice cream, taking too many transatlantic flights to count, speeding whenever I have the opportunity, holding the cell phone (with all its radiation) right up to my ear, not getting flu shots, not flossing daily and more. Look at me, living life on the edge!
So, a friend of mine invited me (or really, didn't want to face this alone) to body combat at the gym. Both of us went into the class blindly, not knowing what to expect. When we got into the crowded classroom, we discovered we were the only newbies in the class. But, the instructor insured us that we would catch on quickly. And, I figured if this class makes me look as buff as the instructor, then I want to do it!
So off we went, for an hour of horror. There were too many high kicks, squats and lunges to count. And it all happened so quickly. I definitely got a work out. My friend, who will remain nameless to protect the innocent, and I were covered in sweat. I mean seriously, it was nasty. But, having someone sweat it out beside me kept me going. Every time I felt like a dork, she encouraged me. And we kept going. We got through the hour of torture feeling better about ourselves. We even decided to go back next week! Of course, that decision was made before I woke up this morning in more pain than I have been in my entire life! So many muscles ache this morning. Hopefully it will be worth it!
Today I was on the bus when I overheard a conversation between a little girl and her dad. This little girl was talking about how her uncle loves her. And her dad responded to her by saying, "Yeah, he loves you, but only when you aren't annoying him." Instantly, many a thoughts popped up in my head...
Why would a dad say that to his daughter? Who only loves someone when they aren't being annoying? This girl is going to grow up with a warped sense of love!
But that got me thinking, what is love? I looked up the meaning of love...none of the dictionary definitions seemed to truly sum up what love is. Speaking of love in a general sense it's that willing to lay down your life for someone, put up with their smelly feet, make them any meal they want type of feeling. And when you (or shall I say, I) have that feeling for someone, that feeling can't go away just because the person does something annoying, mean, hurtful, bad, etc. When I think of how many people in this world that I love like that, it really isn't that many. There is the husband, the family and a few friends, but when I think about it, it really takes a while to love someone like that. And once you do, I don't think that feeling ever goes away!
I don't have many days where I dwell on missing people. But, the past 24 hours has been one of those times. I miss being able to drive home (to Modesto that is) and go to El Rosal with Chandra and Laurie. I miss my parents coming down and staying with Ian and I every couple weeks. I miss being able to drive up to Josh and Courtney's and hanging with Courtney and Tanner. I miss shopping trips, meals and free movies with my friend Kelly. I miss calling up my Aunt Willa and going over to hang with her. I miss running down the hall and chatting with Katie and Lisa. I miss distracting Julianne all day long. I miss JP bringing us (me and Julianne, that is) my favorite candy pretty much every day. I miss talking to my mom every day on my way home from work.
I do love living in Edinburgh, I really do. But making good friends is not something that happens overnight. And, you can never make a new family! I miss those friends and family. And, it probably doesn't help that Ian is in London for a couple days!
From Where You Are, by Lifehouse So far away from where you are These miles have torn us worlds apart And I miss you Yeah, I miss you So far away from where you are Standing underneath the stars And I wish you were here
I miss the years that were erased I miss the way the sunshine would light up your face I miss all the little things I never thought that they’d mean everything to me Yeah, I miss you And I wish you were here
I feel the beating of your heart I see the shadows of your face Just know that wherever you are Yeah, I miss you And I wish you were here
Have you ever thought about how much we as a society and individuals allow the media to dictate our lives? We allow both good and bad news to affect our moods, our security and our spending. We allow ads, pictures and magazines to help us determine the next cool thing to buy, be it clothes, gadgets or otherwise. We allow songs to speak to us...they help explain good times, bad times and loving times in our lives. We see ourselves or who we want to be in characters on tv and in movies. We enjoy the entertainment of books and reading about lives that aren't ours....
Lately, I have indulged in two forms of media and for very different reasons. The first is the tv show Brothers & Sisters. My friend Chandra introduced this show to me and it has quickly become my favorite tv show...I just can't seem to get enough of it. This is for a few reasons. First, you can see how much this family loves each other and I think all of us deep down want a family that gets together often and loves each other despite our flaws and differences. Also, with so many kids, there is someone on the show that each one of us can relate to in one way or another. After getting all caught up with seasons one and two, I have now decided that I want a big family like the Walkers, so five kids it is! Ian has told me we should wait and see how one goes before we decide on five, but five sure looks fun!
The second is the book, The Last Lecture. If you aren't familiar, this book (which is non-fiction) is by a guy who is dieing and he is giving his last lecture as a professor...this lecture is not just for his students and colleagues, but is something for his children to watch when they are older so they can know what type of guy their father was. This book moved me because it made me have to examine how I am living my life. No one knows when they are going to die and we all need to live our lives in a way that we would be proud of no matter when we go...this means loving to the best of our ability, always giving what matters our everything, forgetting the small stuff and more.
Though I think we need to be careful what type of media we allow into our heads and how much of it we allow, I think it is alright to indulge from time to time...and I definitely think all of you should be indulging in both of the above!
After a six and a half hour train ride, I was more than ready to be in Prague! Also, after reading all I could about Prague, I was more than paranoid about the city! But, it turned out to be more than I expected. This city really is based on a crazy history of fighting for its freedom. We started out taking a walk through Wenceslas Square, where throughout history many rallies have happened; the most recent notable one being in 1989, when the end of communism was declared. We then continued winding our way through the city, stopping to see the astronomical clock do its thing (and see all the disciples make an appearance when the hour strikes), then for a walk over the Charles bridge. It was at the Charles bridge that I saw some paddle boats. Ian agreed to go on one with me. This was the biggest mistake of our lives! First, we got out on the river and there were huge boats in the area where the paddle boats are and this freaked me out. Then, it started to storm and was very windy and we had some trouble fighting the wind to get back in. I started freaking out and was ready to jump overboard, but luckily we were able to navigate our boat back to the dock and got off it as soon as possible! I don't think either Ian or I will be on another paddle boat for a long time! After the paddle boat incident, we decided to head back to our hotel for a break. Only, the weather had other plans for us. We got caught in a downpour. We ran for cover in a phone booth, but the rain was coming down sideways and still getting us, so we ran to a pub where we stayed until the worst part of the storm had passed. That night, we headed out to dinner at a New Orleans style restaurant with live blues music.
The next day, we got up and headed over to the palace in Prague (the largest in the world). It offered some beautiful views of the city. Then we headed over the the Miniature Museum...something that I wanted to hit up. Everything on display, you had to look at through magnifying glasses. My two favorites - camels in the eye of a needle (get it?) and the Lord's Prayer on a hair. Kind of crazy!?! After that, we hit up the Museum of Communism, which told the story of communism in the Czech Republic. We rounded off our 4th of July back at the same restaurant as the night before, where they were having a 4th of July celebration! It made me feel like I was back in the states ad not really far away from home.
On our last day (really, a half day) in Prague, we headed over to a memorial/museum in honor of the men who assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, the guy Hitler put in charge of the Czech Republic. Then, we holed up for a while on the patio of a coffee shop. Now here I am, sitting in the Prague airport waiting to head home...and get back to my plants and laundry!
So much goodness has happened in Germany, it’s hard to know where to begin. Ian and I started out in Munich. We stayed two nights at a nice, modern hotel. We wondered around the city and saw some of the sights. The highlights were BMW world (the welt, headquarters & museum) and dinner out at Hofbrauhaus (a famous brewery). We went to Hofbrauhaus on our anniversary (5 years!). The place is kind of like Disneyland, in the sense that there is a lot going on. There is a group of guys playing and singing typical German music (and dressed in the funky overall-esque getup) and people dancing around. For seating, there are large tables with benches on the sides that you share with anyone and everyone. The benches are where my story begins. Ian & I picked a table and sat down. Very quickly, the guy sitting next to Ian (who we will refer to as “Franz” from this point on in the story) seems to become enamored with me. He didn’t even speak English, but took our camera from Ian to take a picture of me…kind of weird. But, the trouble began when a large party came and sat at our table. For some reason Franz felt the guy sitting next to me was too close and began to argue with him about me. Then Franz stands up and is wanting to fight this guy over it. A manager was gotten, Franz calmed down and the large group moved to avoid any further trouble. But, I must say, it was the weirdest thing in the world, sitting at a table, having all these people yell about ME in another language! Makes for an interesting story though! After Munich, Ian and I rented a car and headed out into the country. We went and visited Neuschwanstein, a castle by the border of Germany and Austria. That night, we stayed in Fussen at a campground on a lake. From our car (which we camped in, by the way) we could see Neuschwanstein, the castle we visited earlier in the day, and another castle (Hohenschwangau) right next to it. Pretty cool. The next day, we got up and took a trip into Austria. We spent about 4 hours driving in Austria (most beautiful drive ever) and found a cool ski resort for Ian to visit in the winter! Then, we headed back into Germany and went to Hitler’s Eagles Nest. The views from this place were amazing. It is like 11,000 feet up on top of a mountain. Honestly, both Ian and I started getting a little paranoid on the bus trip up there because it is quite the steep climb. After visiting the Eagles Nest, we were going to have to wait an hour to take a bus back into town where our car was, but Ian found a nice couple from Brussels to give us a lift back into town. The next day, we drove up to Rothenburg, a mid evil walled in city. The two highlights of this city were 1. Climbing up a tower that had stairs that went almost straight up and down and handrails that were not too well off! It made me a little nervous, but I survived. 2. Stumbling across a cute beer garden, complete with a fountain and everything…and getting sausage and sauerkraut there (my favorite!). Then we headed down to Burg, for another night of car camping. Burg, is pretty much a nothing town, but we stayed there because it was close to the BMW factory, so we wouldn’t have to drive too far for our early morning tour. Our tour was great, the people on the tour with us (a group of college students that seemed to care less about cars) grated on my nerves a bit. But, I got to see a bunch of beautiful cars being made! Did you know it takes 32 hours to make a BMW? Anything BMW and I am all ears! After that, we headed over to Dachau. Dachau really deserves a blog of its own. This place where thousands of people lost their lives in inhumane ways, really touches the soul. It made me question what I would do if my government ever decided to do something like that.
Well, that’s it for Germany. We traveled over 1200 kilometers in our little Kia, spent two nights in it and three nights in hotels. We maxed the bad boy (the Kia, that is) out at 170 kph (about 105 mph) on the autobahn, saw some beautiful sights and used McDonalds for the free internet. It was a good trip! Now on to Prague…
Hello! I'm Jess, lover of Jesus, my hubby, my kids, coffee and taking pictures. I am married to Ian, my high school sweetheart and partner in crime. We are figuring out this parenting thing on a daily basis. Our teachers are Connor (7), Isla (5) and the baby, Callum. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to stay a while.