29 January 2008

I admit it.....I like her.....

I have always liked Britney Spears. I have never really admitted it though. I admit to liking Guns and Roses, Metallic, Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, Live...but its true, I have been a closet Britney fan for years! Its cheesy music. She doesn't have the greatest voice. But there is something so intrinsically appealing about the entire persona of 'Britney Spears' that keeps me supporting her regardless. I feel it is time to come clean, admit that I actually like Britney Spears, and offer some positive views of the girl.

We are all responsible for our own actions, but I feel really bad for Britney Spears. How hard it must be to constatntly be in the public eye! Since she was, what, 16 or 17....a huge star, sex symbol. I had a hard enough time growing up and finishing high school, figuring out who i was, what i thought was cool, without the entire world looking at me too! everyone had bad hair days, a little fat hang out every now and then, a mascara smear.....awful that people get paid thousands of dollars to bring those images to us! Her name even has a stigma with it now. People base the opinions on a few negative stories and images. Put yourself in her shoes, would you always make good choices? Remember she is just 26!

Imagine having to hide everywhere you went? Trying to do normal things and people watching you all the time. It creeps me out when people stare at me on the train, let alone 100% of the time! Then, on top of it all, she falls in love and starts a fmaily. But she picked an awful jerk of a guy, and he walks all over her heart.....and its all public knowlegde. How many of us want our break-up all over the evening news? Still worse though is that she lost her love. I would not even begin to recover if I had a child and Rhys turned out to be a jerk. Britney Spears is a girl just like the rest of us. I dont think she ever really got over this 'K-Fed' dude and is struggling to move on. More specifically she is drowning in her pain and making poor decisions out of hurt, anger, rebellion and confusion.

I wish people would just leave Britney alone. She is not the awful person people make her out to be. She was shoved into a cruel and harsh world when she wasnt even finished with high school yet! She had to mature and figure out who she was in front of millions of people. I went to New Zealand, away from everyone I knew and everything familiar, to figure out who I was! poor girl is floundering in a big world that loves to pick her apart. newspapers and magazines say she is a bad mother, they capaitalise on every stupid choice she has ever made, they laugh when she cries...and then sell the pictures. Leave her alone!!! Let her learn from her mistakes, grow up, make better choices and start again. I think she could be a good mother, have a decent life and music career if people would find somthing else to gossip about. Give Britney a chance! She is a good girl somewhere in there. Love and pain make us all do foolish things. So Britney Spears, I am rooting for you. No longer will I be a closet fan, instead I will proudly support you!

Arizona, Oklahoma and Home!

I never really thought of Arizona as a resort area. Mostly I think of the desert and burning hot sun. However, my views have recently changed. Last week I had a business conference in Phoenix, Arizona. We stayed at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa. I should have known by the name alone that the hotel would be fantastic, but it was beyond what I would have expected! It was amazing! And an amazing time was had by all. As a brief overview: I had an incredible massage and entire day being pampered at the spa, followed by a lively pub experience of 'American football', with 50 beers of tap, (the Brits were impressed with that!) then some time by the pool, excellent steak dinners, a ridiculously huge breakfast buffet, Starbucks constantly, more whiskey than I would need for a life time, and fun work colleagues to laugh with. Sure there were meetings in between all of the fun, but even those were interesting. Considering the surroundings, it was hard to not have a good time regardless of what was going on.

How amazing is this place?! I had to include pictures so everyone could see just how fantastic Arizona can be! Well....how fantastic my resort was! :)

The trip was significant for two reasons. One, I got to know the people I work with on a completely different level, and actually really like them! I didn't dislike anyone before the trip, but its different when you have a chance to share a laugh over a 7 & 7 as opposed to sitting at an office desk. Two, I found out that my home is no longer America. Yup, that's right. Being in Arizona, surrounded by my fellow Americans, I felt slightly out of place. I am used to the British twang. I am used to the lifestyle that Great Britain offers: relaxed attitude, dry sense of humor, pub culture. Generally just a lot softer and more laid back attitude to the Americans. Finally the UK is my home.

I love almost everything about this country. I think the only 3 things I don't like about the UK are that my family is so far away, the awful weather and nationalised health care. Other than that, I love being here and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world! I love the crazy outfits people wear, I love the diversity of people and culture, I love that they have Chip Shops! Fries anytime I want them! how perfect is that for me?! I love that people hang out in pubs and its such a different feel than saying you are going to a bar in the states. I love that rugby and football are on all the time, and people take it really seriously! I love so many things.

I went from Arizona to Oklahoma. Figured if I was in the states, I should stop off and see the family. It was great to see the parents and brother and sister and the kids. But I was missing the UK. Sure, a big part of that was missing my husband. But it was more than that. I was missing London. I was missing the bright white door and red brick that is my flat; I was missing the familiar beep of the train door shutting 10 seconds too soon; I was missing the hustle of an early morning commute; I was missing the little, red post boxes; I was missing the familiarity of smaller portions, higher prices and less variety! (yeah, if you can actually miss those things!) I was missing the UK and I wanted to go home. Finally...I am home....

16 January 2008

My Science Green Volkswagen

I am the proud owner of a 2002, science green, Volkswagen Polo. This is strange for several reasons. The most obviously abnormality of this situation is that the car is 'science green' as apposed to black. Cars should only be black, or at least the ones I own. While I do love my car and I specifically wanted a Volkswagen, the shape of my car resembles a space pod. It is slanted at the front, gradually increasing in bubble shape as you move towards the body of the car and finishing with a sharp cut off, making the end almost squared. It reminds me of the ship in the '84 classic Flight of the Navigator. But what throws me off the most every time I think about my new car is that it is a POLO. A Polo is not even a car that exists in America. Everything about it from the colour, to the interior (which is mutil-coloured spots on grey cloth) to the design is the complete opposite of a car I would ever buy in the States. It is even more confirmation that the life I am living now is completely different to anything I have ever known.

A totally different life stage. Not that buying a car is the only confirmation of this. Things like living with a boy, cooking meals every night (well the boy cooks most of the time), walking everywhere I need to go, riding the train to work, having my accent stand out, seeing Big Ben and Westminster Abbey on almost a daily basis....these are all signs that this is quite a different life stage. I have always been a fan of recognizing my 'life stages'. It is a very helpful way to put things in perspective and be able to approach life with a healthy, realistic outlook. That said, sometimes claiming 'life stage' was a way to hide behind, or hide completely, a time or situation that was negative, embarrassing, hurtful or otherwise better left untouched. It should also be noted that rarely can it be said of me that I am realistic. Nevertheless, I found it helpful to evaluate and analyze what I felt my particular stage in life was and how to progress from there.

I have always considered myself to be an 'external processor' I just feel the need to talk things out, be honest about all situations, feelings, thoughts, emotions, etc...This was my policy for years! Eventually, when some situations became a little tougher and out of the ordinary, people didn't stop listening or caring, they just started judging as well. Some in more overt ways than others, but the majority of people began to judge. The looks, the small whispers to one another when I would make any generic comment, the questioning of my ability to do even the most basic of tasks if they were in a religious or academic field. It got too much. and I stopped talking. But situations still came and went, some lingering longer than others, and I kept it all inside. Some good, and some very bad, things happened. My reasoning for not getting it out was I was tired of being judged and my 'life stage' of being surrounded by a tight knit community had passed. Now was the stage of more independence and maturity. A time to figure it out on my own.

I made some stupid choices in that stage. I didn't turn to anyone, but then again, no one judged. Its a cyclical pattern it is. You can choose to be open and risk what may come, or keep it in and again, risk what may come. As a result of some recent developments in this particular stage of my life, my recent car purchase included, I have decided that regardless of consequences, part of my personality is just putting it all out there. I like to talk, write, think, paint, run, collage--whatever I feel will express my emotion of the moment. I no longer feel like keeping it inside. So enter my blog. I am not even sure if any one has even read this, but putting it all out there on my blog is my current form of processing verbally. And I like that idea a lot.

So my current life stage is this: a wonderful husband, a tiny, hideously painted one bedroom flat, rugby filled weekends, a great little Chinese take-away a five minute walk away, the Notting Hill open air market, learning what makes my husband laugh, enough rain in one day to last a life time, long hours on a train, drinks in Soho, shopping on Oxford street, Tesco instead of Wal-Mart, fancy business men running with their briefcases and women running in heels to make sure they catch the right train, a giant weeping willow outside my window, only one American friend, a blackberry I use all the time, trying to learn enough Welsh words so that I can train myself to think those words first, skinny jeans (on other people), ballet flats almost everyday, long necklaces, always wearing flip flops to the pitch, beer in pints, getting to know about my great group of new friends and, of course, my 2002 science green polo.

15 January 2008

About Me

I was born in Oklahoma, spent one fourth of my life in Arkansas, truly discovered ME in New Zealand and have called London home for the last 4 years.

I am American by birth, British by naturalisation, a traveller at heart, a wanderer in my soul, a devoted follower of Jesus and a wife and mother above all else.

I was made for hot weather 100% of the time, but unfortunately am forced to live in climates that have seasons. I love the water and would live in it if I could. I eat some form of fried potatoes everyday and would live on a diet that excluded vegtables if I could get away with it. If the husband would let buy them, I would drink every drink with a little umbrella in the top. I love to run miles upon miles upon miles and have recently considered a career change to ultra marathon running. oh, and I tend to be unrealistic and dream big.

This is my journey through the jungles of London, the life lived on a commuter train, the struggles of a new wife and a new mother, the joys of family, the and the wonderfully, crazy experience that we call Life. Welcome aboard.

I would love to hear from you:


10 January 2008

12 November 2007 and the Joy of Rhys

91 days. That is what the 12th of November 2007 marked. It meant that in all the 865 days I had known Rhys, 91 days was the longest amount of consecutive time we had spent together. The summer of 2006, he used a 90 days visa to visit me in Oklahoma. The summer before that we spent about 30 days together. And there were several spouts of two weeks here and two weeks there. But nothing longer than 90 days in the 2 years, 4 months and 12 days that I had known him. The 12th of November was a gloriouis day.

More importantly though, it marked the beginning of a lifetime together. I know the meaning of long distance relationship more than most. Not to say that is a special achievement; being away from someone you love is not cool. But it does still make me laugh when other people talk about how rough they have it with a long distance romance. My favourite comment still remains as the girl who, upon hearing my story of Wales to Oklahoma, responded with 'Oh, I know just how you feel! My boyfriend lives in Stillwater!' (for those unfamiliar with Stillwater, its about a 45 minute drive from Tulsa!) Yes, she knew exactly what I meant. Living 45 minutes from your boyfriend is exactly the same as 27 states, 6 time zones, 2 continents and an ocean!!

All that to say that my Rhys is once again away from me. Granted its only an hour which does not even begin to compare to the previous distance. But despite the fact that I get to see some of my girlfriends more, and have a much cleaner house, it is excruciating painful with him gone! I stopped counting the days we had been together once we hit 91. Yet, today I am reminded that he has been gone now for 5 days. And I miss all the little things I am accustomed to.

I miss the smell of canned spaghetti warming in the microwave.
I miss the smell of burnt toast.
I miss the sopping wet bathroom floor after his shower.
I miss the awful stench coming from the rugby kit in the front hall.
I miss the way his face sqwinches up when he laughs really hard.
Really, I just miss him!

So this is my post in dedication to the most wonderful, perfect man in the world. I am lucky to have him as my husband....i would be even luckier if we were in the same place! Come home now, Rhys!!

Look how cute he is! aww....

100 things about me

I realise no one actually asked to know 100 things about me. But its my blog. So I can do it. Plus, in the strange occurrence that someone random decides to read this blog, said person can now be quite informed about who I am, what I love, what I hate, and basically all the crazy things you would never really want (or need) to know about me.

1. i am married to the best man in the entire world, Rhys. Technically, we are still considered newlyweds and people say that is why i think he is so great. but its not. I think he is perfect because he is.
2. i love jesus.
3. my husband is Welsh
4. we live in London
5. I am officially an ex-pat (it makes me sound cool, eh?)
6. i prefer to use only lowercase letters but sometimes freak about the grammar and capitalize even though i don’t like it.
7. I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma
8. i hate Tulsa
9. my family loves Tulsa. they try regularly to get me to move back
10. i was first attracted to my husband because he had an accent
11. i have one brother, a sister in law, a niece and a nephew
12. i am 7 books short of reading the entire Bible.
13. I have been the same 7 books short for 11 years.
14. I have naturally blond hair.
15. i do not like blond jokes. I am not stupid and in no way find them humerous.
16. i really like chocolate ice cream
17. i do not like chocolate on its own
18. I want to own a bike with a basket on the front
19. i steal all the covers at night
20. travelling owns a large majority of my heart. i would wander the earth forever with Rhys and my children (future children that is) forever if that was an option. I would rather travel than have roots.
21. i am very opinionated
22. as a result, I tend to be very argumentative. (to a fault for sure!)
23. i once had a summer job sweeping up the litter in an amusement park. I had to start with the parking lot and when i finished there, i had to walk around the grounds and sweep up cigarette butts.
24. The Beatles are my favourite band.
25. i own all of their original records except 3.
26. per book value, the collection is worth over $25,000.
27. I have thought about selling it 4 times. each time I hate myself for thinking such a greedy thing.
28. i love the military. They are true warriors, true heroes. (see #51)
29. i have great admiration for sacrifice
30. i would rather eat chips than vegetables
31. chick-fil-a is my favourite restaurant.
32. i have taken all the rubber bands in my office and made a giant rubber band ball. i refuse to let people use the rubber bands off the ball.
33. i am slightly OCD. i count steps, flick switches a certain number of times, check the lock on the door x amount of times before bed and if I open a drawer on one side of the room, i have to do the same on the other.
34. i like this rugby team and this one too. everyone should support them too.
35. i dislike recruitment consultants
36. i like beer in pints
37. i want a PhD just to say I have one. I dont actually want to use it, just show I am capable. (see #14 and 15)
38. i am really bad at learning languages
39. i hate close toe shoes.
40. i will wear flip flops well into winter, even in the snow.
41. in high school I played volleyball and tennis, ran track, and tried to play basketball. I did none of the aforementioned activities well nor did any last all 4 years.
42. i now run long distances.
43. i hang my running medals on the door so everyone can see them.
44. i like to talk
45. i sometimes make up stories when talking because it is fun.
46. i am very outgoing.
47. i like blue
48. i will always hold a soft spot in my heart for Chihuahua’s. they are real dogs people!
49. my major at university was European History
50. i minored in social studies and political science
51. I have a Masters degree in British Military History (see #28)
52. i 'found myself' while travelling along in New Zealand
53. as a result i think everyone should make an effort to travel alone and see what happens.
54. I am impulsive in almost every area of life
55. at one point in my life i was obsessed with 101 Dalmatians and tried to get 101 stuffed Dalmatians. I had 72 before i lost interest.
56. i went barefoot at my wedding. the entire day.
57. rhys choose to wear tails. he wanted a top hat and a cane as well. i said no.
58. i have been to all the battlefields of WWI located in France and Belgium. I went on my own one summer because I couldn’t convince anyone to go with me. The salient left me speechless
59. i have a scar on my chin from a childhood 'accident' when my brother decided to trip me as i was running around the family room. not cool.
60. said scar looks like a zit. also not cool.
61. i talk to myself
62. i love McDonalds
63. i love old country music. i.e. George Straight, Garth, Loretta Lynn, Travis Tritt, Alan Jackson etc...
64. i like attention.
65. i once tried start smoking. it was a stupid idea. i do not smoke at all. ever.
66. my favourite number is 7.
67. the number 6 freaks me out. seriously.
68. i think tattoos are cool.
69. i hate cats.
70. i used to worry that i would end up a crazy cat women when i was older. thank god for rhys.
71. i like to read for fun
72. i like airplane food.
73. i do not like America football unless it is college and only then when at the stadium.
74. i have written and published a book. i would like to write and publish more.
75. i want children. now. lots. probably 4.
76. i love all kinds of soup. even mushroom soup and i hate mushrooms in anything else.
77. i shop obsessively.
78. My top 5 favourite bands are: Beatles, Metallica, Guns and Roses, AC/DC and Dave Matthews Band.
79. Led Zeppelin is a close 6th.
80. My top 5 favourite singers are: Jack Johnson, Damien Rice, Kris Delmhorst, Britney Spears, and Alan Jackson.
81. i love french fries.
82. i try to recycle but i am not always very good at it.
83. i love to wear skirts
84. i say my favourite movie is Casino
85. my favourite movie really is Love Actually.
86. i am a messy person
87. i hate doing dishes
88. i love writing notes and sending people mail.
89. I clean out my closet at least once a month. I am talking rubbish bags full of things to give away. (see #77)
90. my chosen profession would be 'writer' nothing else.
91. i come up with hundreds of ideas every week and try to act out on each and every one of them
92. i truly believe i will win the lottery
93. i love driving
94. i love to swim
95. i am awful at math, especially percentages.
96. i love to dance
97. i cant decide if i am liberal or conservative
98. i struggle with jealousy, pride and envy. i wish i didn’t
99. i tend to have no filter which makes me more verbal and open than i should be sometimes.
100. rhys will forever hold my heart. he is more than i could ever ask for, more than i deserve. my life is now complete with him in it.

8 January 2008

The month of abstience

I have posted some pictures of the amazing goodness that are pringles. Please share in the joy with me of appreaciating Mr. Pringle and the sour cream and onion pringle itself, well at least the can.

Sunshine and pringles are two of my favorite things in the whole world. Sour cream and onion pringles to be exact. Ah, what a glorious taste. If I could come up with the most perfect day it would be sitting by the water, on the most glorious of sun-shinny days, with an endless basket of sour cream and onion pringles and chips from the chip shop on the corner of the high street in Watford. For those of you who have not experienced the joy that is that chip shop, oh heaven awaits you the day you put one of those delicious, hot, crispy morsels in your mouth!

Sadly though, all of the aforementioned things have been sacraficed. The sun becasue, well lets face it, January in the UK does not offer a lot of sun. Sadly, any time in the UK doesn't offer a lot of sun. The pringles and chips because my husband and I made a deal that I would not any crisps or chip and he would abstain from any sweets, chocolate...wine gums included. For those who know my husband wine gums are to him what chips and pringles are to me. So for at least the month on January I will be abstaining from all things I love the most.