November 30, 2011

Almost! FInally! (Hopefully?)

Do you guys remember how I didn't see the Civil Wars back in February? And then I got all excited because they were coming back to Cville? And how I bought my tickets for it back in like August?

What I didn't tell you was that they canceled the show the week before it happened, because Joy had laryngitis. There were tears and general disappointment, and they rescheduled the show for December 7th and we were all like that is so far away.

Not anymore though -- it's only a week away now! I'm so looking forward to finally using that ticket that's been stashed in my desk for three months now. It will be the perfect way to celebrate classes being done and finals being about to start (wait, what?). And I am so looking forward to telling all y'all how wonderful it was afterwards. (I mean, just look at how happy they look in the above video...)

And as an added bonus, the free iTunes download of the week is a Civil Wars Christmas song!!! Get it. Now.

November 29, 2011

Tea Party

Currently Listening To: Next To You, Chris Brown and Justin Bieber. (Ever since that video, I can't help myself. Also, C-Breezy and the Biebs?? Why has this song not taken the radio/iTunes charts by storm? It's coming, people.)

So yesterday, I found myself getting sick. The kind of sick that starts with pressure and tiredness building behind your eyes, and next thing you know you're having to take a break from chewing so that you can breathe through your mouth. Ughh. So as I was on my bed, trying to find the strength to overcome and start doing homework, I decided that the thing to inspire me would be a cup of tea.

But then I had the shocking realization: I don't actually have any tea right now. Not the right kind, at least. Now, this may not seem like a big deal to some of you...but then, you probably don't understand the house I was raised in. The house where tea (the proper kind, one spoon of sugar and a splash of milk, please) is made and served about eight times a day. In a tea pot, with a timer set to four minutes. This is not an exaggeration. So, to have been so completely converted to coffee that I do not have a single teabag? Especially in my time of need? What an outrage. Also, I think my mother might disown me.

Needless to say, I had to take drastic measures and steal a teabag from my housemate. (Desperate times, people.) And it was worth it. 

[image via Pinterest]

November 27, 2011

A Lil Something To Start Your Week Off Right...

 Abby just emailed this to our house, and we all just crammed into Brittney's bed to watch it. Believe me, it will make you smile. And it just gets better and better (4:14?! Be still my heart).

Happy week-after-Thanksgiving/last-full-week-of-class-so-a-bajillion-things-are-due!

November 26, 2011

A Good Ol' Ethiopian Thanksgiving Pig Roast

Currently Watching: UVA vs. VT. It's bad, people.

In Ethiopia, we didn't have Thursday and Friday off of school or work for Thanksgiving*, so we would celebrate on Friday night, usually inviting a host of families of a range of nationalities over to show them what a real American Thanksgiving (substituting pork roast for turkey) was like. One year I invited my Italian best friend Alessia, and a few days before she asked what we do, I didn't know what to tell her except for, "Well, we eat."

Saturday, though, was what we all looked forward to: when our compound, consisting of about eight or nine families, not all American, would have our annual Thanksgiving pig roast. The pig would begin being roasted in a cinder-block stove contraption at about 6 in the morning. And throughout the day, as our moms were cooking side dishes and the guys were playing football on the field usually reserved for soccer and kick the can, we would meander over to check on the pig, smelling it cooking, building anticipation. And finally -- finally -- it would be time for our feast. Everyone would gather in a backyard or on the court and we would get to eat it all, complete with about a bajillion pie options for dessert. It was glorious.

Of course, every year, it also happened that the annual 10k race fell on the Sunday morning after this insane feasting. This was always something you had to contemplate as you went for seconds on dessert...but, somehow, it all worked out.

What I wouldn't give for a good Press Compound pig roast right now. Even if I did have to run 10k the next morning...

*We did, however, have such holidays as Eid al Fitr and Battle of Adwa day off. You win some, you lose some.

November 24, 2011

Grateful & Blessed

Verse Love: "Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me." Psalm 103:2

Today, I am grateful that I got to sit on the beach and do my quiet time 
to the sound of low-tide waves.

I am grateful that it's okay to do nothing right now but lay on the couch and play Angry Birds on my aunt's iPad. And then play some Mexican Train with the grandparents.

I am grateful for an abundance of good food.

I am grateful for mercy, grace, unfailing love despite my brokenness, salvation, and 
being able to live in freedom, not in sin.

I am grateful for my family, the ones who are here and the ones who are across the globe. 
And I am thankful that they raised me across the globe.

I am grateful for community, especially La Bamba.

I am grateful for old friendships and long catch-up phone conversations.

I am grateful, and I am blessed.

[image via Pinterest]

November 23, 2011

I'm In Hilton Head!

(sidenote: I never actually know whether to say "in Hilton Head" or "on Hilton Head." Because it's an island, you know? So technically I am on it. But it is also a town, so I am in it. Thus, I am confused.)


Well friends, after driving nine hours solo yesterday -- spurred on only by the knowledge of MK's cooking, PJ's wine cellar, the beach, and Loft and J. Crew outlets on the other end -- I arrived in (on?) Hilton Head for Thanksgiving. My aunts are here too, and last night I tried to stay awake to be properly social as we ate lowcountry boil and mango-key lime pie, but then could fight it no longer and promptly went to slept for eleven hours. I'm so grateful for a break.

On the agenda today is: mindless TV,  a walk on the beach, a bike ride, and HOMEWORK. (Lame. But necessary. Ughh.)

*If you hadn't noticed, Freelance Whales are my jam right now. (Thanks, Kathleen.) I keep being struck by a new one of their songs each time. On my drive yesterday, it was 'Location.' So beautiful.

November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving A La Bamba

La Bamba! (minus Madeline)
Last night, our house hosted a Thanksgiving feast for our friends. Our goal was to invite one or two friends each who our house doesn't usually hang out with, so we ended up with a pretty random, wonderful, large group. There were Indian costumes, people writing what they were thankful for on the wall, and a 23 pound turkey named Tank. (Not to mention four pumpkin pies, courtesy of yours truly. Accidentally.*) 

Also, I invited my friend Mati, who is the only other person from my high school in Ethiopia who goes to this university. Yesterday morning he messaged me to see if it was okay to bring a friend...who turned out to be one of my ten classmates from my high school graduating class, who was in town visiting him! Best surprise ever.

Take a look:

Where It All Began.

Please note the turkey carving instructions being read off the iPhone....

And more feast...

Mati, me and Ariel. Bringing Addis Ababa to Cville
The Wall of Thankfulness
Happy Thanksgiving #1, y'all.

*I didn't realize that one can of pumpkin makes two I bought two cans of pumpkin and everything else for the pies. We now have 2 1/2 pies leftover.

[pictures courtesy of Margaret Montague's camera]

November 17, 2011


I suppose if one must spend their afternoon writing a paper, the way to do so would be to:

1. drink a Grande Peppermint Mocha (no whip) 

and 2. listen to Ingrid Michaelson's new single on repeat

(Her new album set to release January 24! YEAH YEAH YEAH Love her.)

while writing.

P.S. five page draft knocked out in two hours. HOLLER.

November 15, 2011


Quote Love: "I dwell in possibility." - Emily Dickinson 
Currently Reading: Persuasion, Jane Austen. (And about to write a paper on it. Oh, boy!)

Good news, world, Marcel the Shell is back! (And if you haven't seen the original, watch it here!)

"Guess why I smile a lot...uh...because it's worth it."

November 14, 2011

Book Sale!

Currently Listening To: Hannah, Freelance Whales
Lyric Love: If you're partial to the night sky / If you're vaguely attracted to rooftops...

Across the street and diagonally from La Bamba* is a little redbrick public library. (In the above picture, La Bamba is the gray building hiding behind the yellow leaves. See how close we are?) And this week, they're having a book sale. Apparently, this is a big deal: when we were walking back from our 5k on Saturday morning, the first day of the sale, at about 9:15, there were long lines of people with crates waiting outside -- and the sale wasn't even supposed to start til 10! So this afternoon I meandered over to check it out. And it was a labyrinth of rooms with a ton of books, all priced at $1-$2. Heaven? 

I bought four novels (stocking up for when I'm by myself for a month in Kenya this Christmas). Grand total: $4.50. Success.

* The name of my house, of course

November 12, 2011

Map Love

Currently Listening To: Home, Mumford and Sons

Love this map so much.
(And realizing that in about a month I'll be headed back there? Where did this semester go??)


P.S. I ran a 5k race this morning!

November 10, 2011


Currently Listening To: Josh Garrels

Today I'm grateful for:
  • The chance to go to Agape large group tonight; to be able to worship and be fed alongside good friends once more. (And that I'm not going to class to do so. Don't worry about it.)
  • Leaves and days that are still October-bright even though it's November. The trees have dulled from a blaze to a gentle rust, but they still line the streets with glory. Even against today's rainy sky.
  • My housemates, who make me laugh so much that I just want to sit on the couch with them and communicate via a googledoc all day long.
  • Waking up to a story that reminds me that my life is not my own, that God's thoughts are higher than my thoughts and his ways are higher than my ways, and that they are good.
  • The time between classes today unexpectedly spent with friends, donuts and coffee.
  • The finish of another week and looking ahead to a weekend not as mired in work as the past few.
What are you grateful for today?

[image, just cuz it's pretty, via Le Petit Bijou]

November 7, 2011

Thought Of The Day

Currently Listening To: Sort Of, Ingrid Michaelson
Currently Trying To Figure Out: what classes to take next semester. I always put this off til the last minute. Gahhh.


November 5, 2011

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

Currently: Babysitting.
Line Love: "Self under self, a pile of selves I stand." (from "Summer Farm" by Norman MacCaig)

When I remember, remember the fifth of November, I think of being eight and in Cambridge, of my family walking through cold and dark November to join the expectant crowd gathered at Parker's Piece. There would be a crush of people, the glow and boom of fireworks overhead with oohs and ahhhs echoing after, and, finally, an effigy of Guy Fawkes set atop the huge stack of wood and lit. The bonfire would burn and we would watch for awhile, carnival rides whirling and flashing off to the side (which our parents would never let us ride). Then we would melt to the back of the crowd to get sugar-covered donuts and hot chocolate from one of the food trucks parked around the edge of the park -- a rare treat. It was tradition, every Guy Fawkes Day during our England years.

And I see no reason why gunpowder, treason, should ever be forgot.

(image via We Heart It)

November 4, 2011

You Sneaky Mom!

The last minute of this makes the whole thing worth it.

Happy weekend!

November 2, 2011

True Life

Quote Love: “Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life.” - Brian Andreas 
Currently Listening To: Broken Horses by Freelance Whales

True life: we communicate via signs in the window with our neighbors, just like TSwift.

(Also true life: this is my bedroom window. Don't worry, I have blinds.)

While we're on that topic, why don't we all just take a moment to make our Wednesday nights a little happier* and enjoy that music video one more time?

You're welcome.

* although half-price margaritas and Modern Family are in the mix for my Wednesday night, so it's pretty happy already...
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