Thursday, August 15, 2013

One Year Already?!?!

Think back to a year ago… do you remember where you were and what you were doing?  Do you remember what you were thinking or maybe worrying about?  Most times I have enough trouble remembering what I was doing yesterday, let alone a year ago, but last year at this time things were different… I had just moved to the states and I was scared stiff.  Granted, I was excited about the opportunities that were ahead of me, but I was still terrified!!!!!! 

But that was a whole year ago already, and looking back I realize how much life has changed for me and how this has become my new “normal”.  So, being the list person that I am, I’ll list a few things out for you!!  J 

Life in General:
                Last Year-  Life was a crazy mix of trying to figure out where I was, who I was, and what in the world I was doing in the USA.  Where would I go to church?  What would I do with my free time?  How was I going to survive school?  Was I CRAZY?!?!?!
                This Year-  I think in general, life has settled down a little!  I found a church and I have found babysitting jobs and other activities to keep my free time full.  I have finished one year of school on campus and another one will start in just a few days!  I still might be crazy, but this time I think it’s a good kind of crazy!  J 

                Last Year-  WORK?!?!  I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on right now, let alone find a job!
                This Year-  I have an awesome job at Chick-Fil-A that I really do love!  I have a good relationship with those that I work with and I am in the process of becoming a team leader and opener.  While this job isn’t in the nursing field, there are still so many skills that I can use in the rest of my life and experiences that are preparing me for the future.

                Last Year-  Don’t go over the speed limit.  Don’t pass busses.  Don’t go over the speed limit.  Don’t pass busses.  Don’t go over the speed limit.  Don’t pass busses.
                This Year-  Let’s just say that I’ve loosened up a little…  ;) 

                Last Year-  Who do I know anymore?  Do people still remember me?  Where in the world am I going to build new friendships?
                This Year-  I am blessed, what else can I say?  I have so many friends and family surrounding me and supporting me that I know I always have someone to go to and others to lean on.  I have built friendships through work, through church, and overall through life in general.


                Last Year-  What am I doing here?  I just want to go home (Guate)!!  How is this life ever going to feel normal?
                This Year-  I have two homes.  Period.  I have a home in Guatemala with my family, my friends and life there.  At the same time, I have had to make this home for now, and even though Guate will always be home for me, it’s not a bad thing to have two homes! 

How is it that a single year can feel like it goes by slowly, and yet flies by at the same time?  I definitely feel like that’s how this past year has been for me!  Granted, the year hasn’t been all fun and games, but it has been a growing experience!  USA has become my necessary home for now, and Guate will always be home for me.  I miss my family more than words can say, but I also have a “family” here in the states that are a huge support.  I am one extremely blessed girl, and I’m excited to see what all this next year will bring!!  

So glad my mom was able to be here for a week!!!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Long Overdue...

Yesterday a friend reminded me that I hadn’t updated this in a while and she strongly suggested I do so, so here it is!!! 

Let’s see here, what all has been going on in life lately?  Well, I moved, I’m working, I’ve found some volunteer opportunities, and I’m pretty much melting in this heat.  Period.  The end.  Then again, I guess I should probably elaborate a little bit…

Move-  About 3 weeks ago I moved out of my aunt and uncle’s house and into Lancaster City.  I am living with another lady in a 3 story city home that she owns, just a few blocks away from where I lived for 11+ years!  I have my own room on the second floor, and Karen (my housemate) and I share the rest of the house.  It’s been different being a little more independent, but I really am enjoying it!!  I have my room all re-painted and pictures hung, so there’s no doubt it’s my room!!  J  If you live in the area and want to see my house, let me know and I’ll give you the address!!!!  Oh, and I love getting mail, hint hint.  ;) 
Part of my painted room!!

Work-  Where to even start with work??  Honestly, I love my job and I am so blessed to have an amazing group of people to work with!!  I am currently learning how to open in the mornings, so I’ve had some early work days lately!  Thankfully I don’t get (too) grumpy in the mornings!  It’s been fun getting to know the “regulars” that come in and overall interacting with the guests.  I have made several new friendships that I am so thankful for and I can’t wait to see what other opportunities will come with this job!
Gotta love the CFA cow!!!

Ready for cow appreciation day

The KCB car was stuffed with cows... 1474 of them to be exact!


“Other Stuff”-  While work takes up a lot of my time, I’ve still been able to find some volunteer opportunities to get involved in and house/dog-sitting to do.  Yesterday (Sunday, July 21) I helped with parking at Long’s Park’s free Sunday concert, it was a lot of fun!  A couple of weeks ago I house/dog-sat for a family from church, it was fun to have a Lab again!  Wednesday evenings I have been going to a small group with UCF.  It’s been nice having these interactions in the middle of the week and a time to be together with others as well.  I also recently started the process of volunteering with CAP (Community Action Program) which works with underprivileged families here in Lancaster.  They’re looking for someone to help with babysitting during weekly meetings, which is right up my alley!  Of course, there are also other random hikes, picnics, coffee dates, and fun activities that come up throughout the weeks! 
Puppy-sitting Archie!

Longs Park  concert!

Roots with the clan


Puppy-sitting Izzy


Meeting Jordan

Wedding time!

Heat-  Let me just shoot down one common misconception right now, IT IS NOT THIS HOT IN GUATEMALA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I’m definitely not used to this kind of heat and humidity!!!!  Not much more to say about that… 

Oh, I was accepted into HACC’s Nursing Program for Spring 2014, which is quite exciting!  It’s nice to know that that’s for sure what I’ll be doing!!!!  Classes for this semester start on August 19, so I’ll be taking the prerequisites for the bachelors program, that way I’m doing something productive for the semester!  I have 3 online classes and one in the classroom, which will make for a very flexible schedule.  I’m looking forward to getting back into studying again, as crazy as that may sound.  J 

I think that’s pretty much the 500-word version of my life right now!  It’s amazing to think that I’ve already been in the states for just about a year and seeing how much has changed, but more on that later.  J 
Lancaster County Sunset

Larry my first lightning bug of the season!  :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Things I have Learned...

Since I have moved to the states, there are quite a few things that I have come to learn/needed to learn!  Granted, I’m still picking up on new things here and there, but here are a few of the things that have hit me lately (in no particular order!)!

-Having my own car is kinda nice!  In Guate I never had my own car and just used the family car.  Now if I want to go somewhere, I just jump into Logan and we’re off!  J

-Some old habits die hard.  Throwing toilet paper in the trashcan… or at least looking for a trashcan!  Oh, and wanting to pass school busses… 

-Springtime is awesome!!  Guate is the land of eternal spring, but it’s been years since I’ve experienced a USA spring, and I’m loving it!!!

-Sisters are still sisters, even 2000 miles away.  I feel like I’m just as close to my sisters now as when I left.  We send each other messages, Skype, and (thanks to technology!) can stay in touch without too much of an issue!!  Looking forward to talking to them face to face in a few days though!!!!!!

-It’s ok to have 2 homes.  This one took a little longer to learn, but once the reality of it sunk in, life felt different!  I can be completely at home here in the USA and yet still consider Guate my home just as much as when I lived there.  And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that!

-Being perfect isn’t essential, but giving it 100% is!  I entered college figuring that I would be able to get through it without too much of a challenge.  Enter grumpy professors, lots of memorization, and overloaded brains- perfection became a lot harder than I anticipated.  BUT, I knew that if I did my best and learned the material, no matter what the grades showed I could still be proud with the effort that I put forth!

-Nature is a great way to escape for a while.  When life feels overwhelming and all out of wack, the beauty, "realness" and miracle of nature is the perfect thing!

-Family doesn’t have to be blood.  I have known this for a while, but being so far away from my immediate family has just reinforced this knowledge 100X over!! 

-Becoming a big sister from 2000 miles away is still exciting!!!

-There’s nothing quite like a hug from your own parents.  I was fortunate enough to hug my dad (and spend time with him) in December, and I CANNOT WAIT to hug both parents in 6 days!!!!!!!!!

-Snuggling a baby does good things for the heart.  Ok, I knew this one… but still!  J

-The human body is an amazing thing, with LOTS of parts!!!  I knew the body was intricate, but when you have to memorize a bunch of stuff about it, you gain a new appreciation for it!!

-It is possible to miss your dog just as much as anyone else!

-Work at a place you enjoy with people you enjoy, and the day goes pretty quickly!

-Life flies by and changes CRAZY fast, so take it one step at a time and enjoy every moment of it!!  

Friday, January 4, 2013


Christmas has come and gone already, and 2013 is just beginning, and I find myself thinking, “now how’d that happen?!”  At the same time, I’ve come to the realization that while 2012 brought quite a few changes (moving to the states, starting college, etc.), life becoming more “normal” and I am really starting to feel like I’m more at home in the USA.  You might be thinking, “Wow, that was kind of sudden,” but it’s something I’ve been building up to… let me explain.

My dad came to visit me for the week over Christmas since I made the decision not to go back to Guate.  It was awesome having him around and it was a great time for us to catch up a little and just spend time together, but that’s beside the point.  Anyways, while he was visiting, I found myself in the opposite role of what I had been used to for the past 4 months… I was the “experienced,” US tour guide rather than the shell-shocked teenager from Guate!  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing wrong with being a tour guide, but after spending several months just trying to figure out where you are and not be completely overwhelmed by grocery stores, it’s kinda nice to be the “local”!! 

As I was taking my dad around to different places and showing him what my life is now like, it really did hit me how much the US has become home.  At the same time, in my conversations with my dad, I realized that Guatemala is still very much of my home and I think it always will be.  So then I started wondering, now how’s that work?  How can I feel at home in the US, but also still know that Guate is part of my home?

That’s when I came to the realization that it’s OK to have two homes!  I looked “home” up in the dictionary and here’s what I came up with…

"The place in which one's domestic affections are centered."

Well, when you put it that way, I guess I am at home in two different places!  My family and what I have known for the past few years is in Guate, but my current life and “affections” are here in the US.  While my body might be one place, my heart can still be in two, and the truth is, that’s perfectly OK!! 

So if you ask me if the US feels like home yet, I can honestly answer yes.  If you ask me if I still consider Guate home, I will again honestly answer yes.  And if you ask me if I’m ok with that, I can now say, “you bet I am!”  J  

A "piece" of Guatemala home in my US home.  :)