Monday, August 27, 2012


You know that missing piece of my heart I was just complaining about? Yeah, well, it's been filled. Last week, just about everyone from Jerusalem went to Bear Lake, and thanks to SJ and Stuart, we were all able to stay together on one little resort. Oh, I could not have been happier. Hugging and screaming and dancing and incessant chatter filled the entire week. Seriously, every time someone new walked in the door, the entire group ran up and attacked them. It was heavenly. I actually felt like I was being reunited with my family. I wish I could describe it better, but I just can't. These people really are like family. We all know each other so well, and yet, we love each other, regardless of all those little quirks we have. I could not have asked for a better last week of summer. As we were leaving, there was talk of building a "Jerusalem house", so we could all just live together forever. (Seriously, mortgage and rent payments were calculated. I still don't see the downside.) I love these people. Most of all, I love that no matter where we are together, we all have a little piece of home.

And yes, we did hold our very own Olympics--synchronized swimming, volleyball, medal ceremony, and all.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

late night nostalgia.

I miss that feeling of love--that overwhelming, wrapped in a warm blanket type of love. I miss that togetherness--doing everything, with everyone, every day. I miss the city--how alive it is and the friendly smiles always coming our way. I miss the nights we stayed up on the balcony looking out onto the city, and the early mornings spent in class feeling the verity of the teachings our professors shared with us. I miss the dance parties and the clearly identifiable giggles heard throughout the hallways at any and all times of the day, both appropriate and not (like during church...oops). I miss having inside jokes that we actually thought we came up with all on our own (yolo, anyone?). I miss waking up to the sound of the Call to Prayer, rushing through the city engulfed by the smell of freshly baked pita (and smelly men), and being overly excited for banana bread muffins or ice cream in the Oasis during dinner.

It is crazy how I became so attached to a place I lived in for only four months. How it feels more like home than my actual home. How I am jealous of other groups having similar experiences, because I feel like it was mine and mine only, and as if I am the only person and my group is the only one that can truly appreciate it for all it is worth.

I guess they call it the Holy Land for that reason. It really is holy. It holds a special place in my heart. A section that can never be replaced. A place that some boy, a boy who is smart and wants to win my whole heart, will bring me back to one day and allow me to show him why it truly is the greatest place on earth.

I know I am not alone in my love for Jerusalem. Hello, there is kind of a war being fought over it. Well, that, and other things. And in a way, I understand. I am possessive over the city. And the people. And the history. I want it to be preserved forever. I want the world to see and understand what the people of Israel already know--Israel is the Land of God. God, the Holy One of Israel. And Jerusalem is where Jesus lived and taught and suffered and died and rose again. Jesus Christ, our Savior. Could a more important place exist?

I think sometimes it is easy, too easy, to get caught up in this lifestyle--this lifestyle of nice cars and big houses and fancy clothes. But I also think that is part of what I love most about Jerusalem. No one cares what you are wearing, or rather, they care that what you are wearing is so mute and covers so much of you that you forget about what you are wearing and focus on what is truly important--your faith. Everyone wants to be your friend. Everyone wants to see you happy.

It is funny looking back on it like this, because I remember times feelings of such hostility between Palestinians and Jews. But I also felt so welcomed everywhere I went--synagogues, mosques, the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, the Old City, everywhere.

I cannot remember passing an unfriendly face. I cannot remember a day spent without a stupid smile plastered on. I cannot remember a night that I did not reflect back on my day and think, "I am so blessed. God is so good. Life is so great." And that could not be more true. I am so blessed. God is so good. And life is so great.

I never expected to feel this way about a place, or to have this endless amount of love for a group of people. But I could not be more grateful that I do now--that I have had that experience. I feel blessed to be able to hold this place in my heart. I wish everyone could go and feel the love that I felt there. I want everyone to know what it is like to love something so much that you can't imagine your life without it. People say that is what it is like when you fall in love. So maybe I haven't fallen in love with that one special person yet, but I have with this city. And that has got to be a start right?

Here's an interesting article that caught my eye, and got this ramble going.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

my cousin is rad.

My cousin, Josh, is producing a CD of all the music he has written over the last few years. Seriously, all the musical talent obviously went to his part of the family, because...I mean, just listen. He is absolutely incredible. I'm a strong believer in saving the arts, so help me help him. And music. Pre-order a CD and be one of the first to witness the next...great pianist. All I can think of is Taylor Swift, but she plays the guitar. Anyhow, you get what I'm trying to say.

Friday, August 10, 2012

what if you get called to the moon?

My best friend is going on a mission! She will be serving as a representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Bangkok Thailand Mission, speaking Thai. ...Wait what? I honestly could not be more excited for her! We have been watching YouTube videos of Thailand's Got Talent and practicing our very best Asian accents ever since we found out. Mostly, we're all just excited for her to be able to understand the ladies at the nail salon once she gets back.

In all seriousness, I cannot think of a better person to go and serve and change the lives of the people of Thailand than Miss Liss. She is the best friend I could ever ask for and has been there for me through absolutely everything. She is such an amazing example, and I am so excited for her journey over the next 18 months. I love you, Meliss, and Thailand will too.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

it's a boy!

I am going to be an aunt! And thanks to a not-so-busy summer, baby boy Cleat is going to have the cutest little room.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

look at me, i'm the king of new york.

Top Ten Things to Do/Eat in the City: (in no particular order)
1. Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake Truffles (except this is actually number one. those babies are life changing.)
2. Good Enough to Eat Peanut Butter Chip Pancakes.
3. Cloud Exhibit on the roof of The Met. (It's like the ultimate adult playground.)
4. See Newsies on Broadway.
5. Shake Shack. (It really is all it's hyped up to be.)
6. High Line.
7. Go back to Milk Bar and get more truffles.
8. Prada Exhibit at the Met (Fashion Heaven)
9. Levain Bakery (Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie)
10. Drink enough Diet Coke to stay hydrated and energized, because it's going to take you a week to recover from all that walking.

There is really nothing better than a weekend with my sisters in one of my favorite places in the world. Thank you Kimberlingtonshires for letting us crash at your place and playing with us for the weekend. And thank you Mom and Dad for loving me enough to send me away :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

stars hollow.

Turns out Gilmore Girls' "Stars Hollow" is a real place, and Kristan lives there. There is literally one grocery store, aka "Dosey's Market," a little diner Kristan calls "Luke's," and a gazebo in the town square. All I needed was to hear Kirk's voice, and I might have actually believed I was sitting in the middle of an episode of GG. In the 12 hours I spent here, I fell in love with my sister's little town. There's something about small town charm that makes me feel at home. That and all the greenery. I've decided what my next job is going to be--a dog walker in Wilton, Connecticut.