Friday, February 19, 2010

New Year, New Story.

Happy New Year.... in February..

Took long enough? Yeah I know. The times have changed, and with this new year and new semester that means I have no time. Period. Like really.. zero free time. I am only taking 12 hours but one of those classes is an internship in which I have to complete 300 hours over the semester.
So to break it down for you... thats around 20 hours a week at the Museum internship. Plus 10 hours a week at my Rec job, plus 9 hours class and studying plus 2 intramural basketball teams = no social life.
I practically live out of my car half the time. No lie, when I walk outside in the morning I have 5 bags: lunch, purse, backpack, clothes for work, and jacket/water bottle (which count as a bag in this case cause they are bulky).
I am sure it sounds like "complaint, complaint, complaint"- but its really not like that. I love working at the Rec. I love my internship and the people I work with at the Museum. I love playing basketball with my coed and all girls team. Classes... eh.. they're ok. Classes really feel like the biggest job out of them all.
Because of being so busy I haven't had as many crazy escapades.. well, thats a small lie, I have had few, big escapades.
A.k.a. My BSC Pro-Trip to Boston was postponed because of snow and - being a crazy random splurging traveler- I went to Mexico City to visit one of my best friends studying abroad there! One of my roommates came with and we just had a BLAST. Mexico gets a bad rap for being dirty and gross and scary but I think Mexico City was so uniquely beautiful- and at least the weather wasn't cold wet and rainy! Twas gorge porge and I came home feeling accomplished with a small sunburn. The Boston trip is coming next week, Wednesday thru Sunday, and I am pumped to be traveling with my roomies and some cool BSC peeps. Its going to be a tad chilly but it will be worth it all in the end.

Things I have realized this semester so far:
1. I love retail. I am good at it and it gets me excited. Potential store owner?

2. I love traveling. Flying anywhere to visit or see sights makes my insides laugh, which makes me squeal like a pig. My roommate Emily can attest to that ;)

3. I love my family. I have realized this my whole life, but I had such a good time with my parents over break that I just had to throw it in there. I am blessed for how and who they have raised me to be who I am now.

4. You can't do it all. Sometimes you have to cut back a few hours here and there or else you will seriously burn out.. hair on fire. haha

5. Everything happens for a reason. EVERYTHING. Two students in my small hometown passed away this year and it has been so hard, but I know that there is a reason for the pain. From the tragedies, the high schoolers and middle schoolers are more mature than I am.. they have been forced out of the small town bubble to see that tragedies happen, not just in big cities or in TV shows. Its so hard to take in or even wrap my head around, but I know God has a purpose in it all. A mysterious, wondrous purpose.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hear Ye Hear Ye!

"We bow real low, we empty kegs, so raise a glass and spread a leg!" - Imma Spreada Legga Renaissance Sorority chant.

Renaissance Festival... you never leave without a good story or two. I went almost every year with my mom when i was younger so I thought I would remember some things about ole Ren Fest.. The funny thing is: it hasnt changed ONE BIT. Even the same guys doing the mud show.. the same jokes.. everything. But hey- i still love it just the same.

The group of girls I went with were approached by two ladies -employees- that decided we were fitting for this years Imma Spreada Legga pledge class... All part of the act but funny just the same. I think I would have too much fun talking in fake british accents, wearing the poofy dresses, and making guests feel really awkward!

Alas, I need not attend their ye olde job faire because I finally got a job! Prayers answered Halleluia! I be working at le Rec center. I also got CPR certified -goes with the job- so I can swipe you to get in and maybe save your life, you never know. "Receptionist saves life.." i can see it in the headlines now..

Besides work and play, life is good. Classes are fine- but its the calm before the storm. Lots and lots of group presentations are upon me and they are- for the most part- all falling on the same week, much less the same day. YIPEE. Seeing as presentations are my favorite thing ever, why not pile them into one giant hell week? Professors really think that you are only taking their class so you should have no problem with it, but excuse me? I am a full time student...well barely, but still! There is nothing wrong with 12 hours.

I checked Denver off my college travel checklist.. I went about a month back and stayed with my old roommate Jenny. We went on a TEN mile hike that was beautiful and humbling and amazing and basically ate gelato the rest of the time. Mmmm

My next place is Boston- I am going in February with my business organization and I couldn't be more thrilled! I went to Boston when I was like 12- which means I remember nothing from it- so it will be exciting to see it again and really see it. Its gonna be freeeeezing though! I will be wearing thick thick socks, and then a pair on top of that. Can't wait! I also hope to go to Baton Rouge/ LSU next semester and then maybe who knows, Cali has been calling my name for a while now so there too ;) If just traveling and writing about it could be my job I would hop on that for sure!

Well. this post was the least productive or insightful thing ever. but hey- I wrote something.. If you made it this far you deserve a medal and you should read my Italy stuff for better entertainment :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back to the Same Ole Same Ole..

Wow, I'd forgotten you don't have to be in Italy to blog. I think I've actually kind of missed this twisted journal, so here goes it again. Junior year: Take One.

This semester is all new. New house, new roommates, new church, new classes.. I thought at first that I wouldn't really like the "new"s but it hasn't been so bad.

The house is amazing: white with columns and a big red star, right behind the stadium, close to lots of other college students, etc.

The roommates are AMAZING and key to my everyday survival. Melissa always has a story, Emily always has an inspirational thought, and Rebekah always makes me laugh. Whats the best part is that all these girls are devout in their faith and are inspiring me in so many ways...

Thus leading into the new church. AH! I am so glad to have FINALLY found somewhere that is calling me. Brazos Fellowship is a contemporary non-denominational worship service that I can proudly call my permanent sanctuary! Oh, and when I say contemporary, I mean it.. Its not your typical hymnal style church. The praise band makes you feel like you are at a Hillsong concert and the pastor is casual in his button down and trendy jeans. So far these past two weeks I have felt like the sermon was like Jesus taking an exerpt from my diary and sending it to pastor Will with a note saying, "Oh yeah, and Nina is going through this so you might want to preach on it.. Sweet, Thanks!" Its an awesome feeling and I have also gotten involved in a small group! Things are just rollin...

New classes.. hm... Well nows the time when I start my Marketing electives and start falling in love with my major.. right? Um, well. I wouldnt say I am in love at all actually. I feel like this is all an annoying 5k and I have just reached mile 2. You cant stop now, might as well finish it out even though you aren't just in love with those leg cramps (presentations?). Alas, as father puts it, "school is just a test of endurance and most people are looking for just that. Not a specific major, but that you did it and finished it."
Note: that speech came after a call I made declaring that if he dropped out of school for hating accounting I should rightfully be able to do the same.. NOT!

Oh I almost forgot.. I have an immense amount of free time. Yeah.. wondering why I started blogging again? I get up early, say 8 A.M... EVERYDAY. Why you ask? Oh just a built in alarm clock in my brain that wont let me sleep late.. So I get up at 8 and diddle daddle around the house until my first class which is 11:30 mwf or 12:45 tth. Thats alot of free time. Then I am done by 2 everyday. Wow.. working out only takes out an hour or so every other day so I am left with a HUGE hunk of time on my hands.. Crafting is an option, yes, but there are only so many magazine rolled trash cans I can make before my hands officially fall off.

Moral of the story: Nina needs a job. BUT the job world doesnt necessarily want Nina.. at all. Try the last 3 applications I've gotten the "Sorry, you fail at life" email and one they just didnt care enough to do that. Humpf.. So unless I start to include the child care options (not likely) I am out of luck. Who knows, someday my optimism will actually work, till then... Ciao tutti!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Home Sweet Home

AMERICA! Well, it took me long enough but I made it back to the land of the free..the home of the brave. I didn't think jet lag would get me but it definitely creeped up on me. I got come on the 3rd around 1:55. Customs wasn't as bad as I had thought and I made it through with my Italian veno! My parents were teary eyed and excited, as was I.

I noticed many changes though that I am still overcoming... My ears were really confused because all I heard was english... English? So you mean I dont have to decipher one word at a time? I dont need my little pocket translator anymore? Then the money. You see, when we first left, euros (pronounced correctly A-oo-rose) seemed like monopoly money and the coins were big and heavy.. Now dollars look like crazy small pieces of paper and the coins (especially quarters) feel like I could bend them in half they are so thin.

Food is definitely different here, but I knew that would be a compromise. I guess the difference is that food there is so simple compared to here. There isn't much meat, but lots of carbs and vegetables. Drink options are generally water or wine, plus a few sodas. Coming back the first thing I wanted was good ole Texas Barbeque. We chose a bad place though, because it wasnt the best and my stomach agreed.

Using a phone before this trip was a necessity for me. I was always calling/texting/checking/updating/etc. Sure it would have been a convenience on the trip. but it wasnt THAT important to have. Well now I couldn't be more distant from it. I have called and texted a few people to tell them I am home but besides that I am not attached to it like I once was. There is life outside of texting and I am so glad to be living as phone-free as possible.

Alas, from all the changes I noticed, I made it home to the Burg safely. There were a couple surprises.. Italian flags on the ranch entrance and on our little house with signs saying "Tuscany in Texas" and "Benevenuto a casa Nina"..I am sure the guests were a little confused but I felt so welcomed and excited! I almost took one of the little hand-held flags to the 4th of July parade but I resisted..

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

Today is the last I will spend in the beautiful town of Castiglion Fiorentino. Its weird because my body is in the habit, I feel like I am here for longer but my mind is like.. no, you are leaving today. Its weird trying to convince myself that I am leaving. I am SO excited to come home though.

If anything this trip has made me appreciate the beauty of Fredericksburg more. There are SO many parallels between the Hill Country and Tuscany.. It really is the Tuscany of Texas. I am so lucky that I get to call Fbg home and I am so excited to see my friends and family. Also I am so glad that its 4th of July when I get home, what better welcoming party to America!?

Anyway, I haven't gotten really sad about today yet, but as soon as I see someone else start crying or being sad I will probably be drawn in too. Or it will all just hit me like a slap in the face when I am back in my bed at home. Either way I wouldn't trade this trip and experience for the world. I have learned so much about myself and I have changed for the better- more optimistic and outgoing for sure... I plan to use some Italian phrases (out of habit and just for fun) when I get back and maybe continue my Italian studies.

I had planned to go to Florence today while we are to be packing and stuff but decided I should not be rushed to get back. I would rather spend my last hours with my favorite people, in my favorite place, eating my favorite food, looking at my favorite view. Its no wonder Italians dont travel, there is nothing in this earth more beautiful to see.. but then again, maybe the Texas Hill Country...

Monday, June 29, 2009

La Dolce Vita

This is a poem I wrote while waiting for a train in Chiusi, Italy. (yes, I am a closet poet) It kinda goes along with my last post so I thought it was relevant to add... Enjoy!

La Dolce Vita

Laying on a bench waiting for a distant train,
I wonder how far I've come and if I'll see this place again.

Five weeks may have seemed long at first,
but now I beg to differ.
To see this world in all entirety
could take, at best, forever.

Will I make it back to my daily streets?
See the sights I took for granted?
Will the memories flood when I arive once more?
Will a seed sprout from the roots I'd planted?

For in this place I find myself,
I'm exactly who I want to be.
Apart from stresses of the distant real world
I'm living la dolce vita in Italy.

note: the words in the picture are drawn on my thumb from boredom of a long train ride. no tattoos here

Indecisive Feelings

I couldn't be more torn right now. Last week I was a sob fest because the thought of leaving this place was killing me. This week I am more excited than ever to come back to my small town world and family and friends. I am right in the middle of the gauge.. flip a coin for me?

It feels like these past weeks have just flown so fast. The only way I can grasp the true length is to read my journal from the first several days and then I realize, "Wow, I have been here a while." I have made some amazing friends that I hope to stay in touch with back at A&M. Its hard because we've lived in this environment where we are all each other has. When we go back it is back to the same ole groups and organizations and distractions, and As much as we want to keep in touch its going to be difficult. I guess thats the tough part for me.. well that and leaving my home of Castiglion Fiorentino.

I have gotten attached to this little town and finally know it like the back of my hand. Some of the locals are even starting to look familiar. I have the stores' siesta times down and we know exactly which day the Coco Palm (gelateria) and Pirate Bar (pizza) are closed. We know the exact amount of time it takes to walk to the train station from the center and how much time can be allotted to make it to anywhere else on time. The food. oh the lunches and dinners.. I dont know how I am going to overcome the distance of that. I will forever CRAVE Santa Chiara caprese, lentil stew, salmon, potatoes, and chocolate salami. Its going to be hard eating/cooking Italian when I get back due to the highest standards ever that have been created while here.

Ah, now all this talk of my home here is making me miss it already. Fail... but on the optimistic point of view, I dont think this is my last trip to Italy ever. I've tied to many roots here to never visit again (besides I threw the coins in the Trevi Fountain in Rome and rubbed the pigs nose in the Florence market... I'm golden.) Also I want to keep up with the lingo- the language. I think its awesome to know another language and I feel like I have about a half semester of knowledge just from being submersed in the culture. And as much as I want to broaden my horizons and travel to other countries, I have become SO familiar with Castiglion Fiorentino, Florence, and Rome that I want to come back and walk the familiar streets again.

All this makes me wish I could have studied after the trip. I know that before I left America, traveling by myself was a huge no-go and even I wouldnt have trusted myself with a week by myself in a foreign country. But now I am SO confident in how to get around this country and wise of my belongings and myself that I think that traveling by myself after this trip would have been the best part of it all. If you know me then you know I am independent and like to do things for myself (if you didnt know that well now you do..) and I feel the most liberated when I accomplish something bigger than myself. In our huge group, I have so much fun and good conversations, but by myself I think I can actually take in everything better. There is always a rush with a group and I feel like I dont see the sights to their full capacity. Anyway.. thats just a little tangent.

All in all, this trip has been the most amazing thing I've done my entire life. Hands down. Its been a dream of mine and I know looking back it will all seem like a fairy tale that I made up. I cant express how grateful I am to have made it this far - my parents and myself will surely be in debt for some time to come... Oh well.. I wouldnt have missed this experience for anything in the world. I have learned so much and have changed A LOT. I cant wait to share the million more stories I have when I get back and share the thousands of pictures I have taken. Have a wonderful day!
Buona Sera!