You don't seem to know, seem to care, what your heart is for

Sunday, April 25, 2010


what a devastatingly amazing memorial. Dachau was one of the first concentration camps started by the nazi's and the longest running camp, operating a total of twelve years. You walk through the main gate, with the infamous words "Arbeit Macht Frei" (work makes you free), into the main square used for roll call. It's huge. To the left are the remnants of barracks and to the right is what was once the building where they processed the prisoners, it is now the museum.

Though I was prepared for an overwhelming experience, I must honestly say it wasn't as bad as I expected. The museum is extremely informative and very interesting. I was actually fine until I reached the descriptions of the Nazi's methods of torture and the medical experiments they performed on the prisoners. The museum is moving in that it allows you to ponder the events, but it lacks the individual connections that really move one to emotion, such as one finds in memoirs and films.

As I walked through the barracks, the crematorium, the gas chamber (very eerie), I'm left wondering how a human being could do this to another human being? How does one come to the point where your purpose for getting up every morning is to murder, torture, and demoralize another human being? And I'm even more amazed at the people who were able to survive the concentration camps. The survivors listed in the museum were men who had been imprisoned for up to 4 years. How does one witness such atrocities, endure such hunger and pains, have the hope beaten out of them, and still maintain the will to live?

Today was a gorgeous day. The sun was shining, there was a warm breeze, the trees were starting to bloom and the birds were chirping in the forest. As I strolled along soaking in the sunshine, I couldn't help but ponder the circumstances some 70 years ago. What would it have been like to not be able to pause? To not be allowed to enjoy the first spring days? To dread the winter for it's bitter cold and to dread the summer for it's unrelenting sun? Do you think the birds still chirped? For some reason I seem to think that animals sense when things aren't right and settle elsewhere (or perhaps the stench of a crematorium would do it as well). At any rate, I marvel at those who survived, for I feel I would not have the strength to live so long in such a place, and I mourn for the others who lost their lives. I pray for the time when all people are respected as the sons and daughters of God that we are.

I'm out the door, I'm gonna hit this city


-Again, Amsterdam/Holland is beautiful! I love the surrounding towns, but I also liked the feel of the city center. So many people are out biking and all the families and shop owners go out in the afternoon and soak up the sun on their front steps and porches. Everyone was very friendly, and always comforting-most everyone speaks english.

-I went to a cheese/clog making factory. Odd that these two are together? Yeah I suppose. Anyhow, the factory is in the small fishing town of Volendam. Which is green and reminds me of the grassier areas of North carolina right before you cross the bridge to Topsail Island. So I never understood the point of wooden clogs. I figured they were just for decoration. During the tour they demonstrated making a shoe (fascinating) and it's easy to carve the shoe because the wood is so wet, but after 6 weeks drying they are permanently waterproof, which makes them useful for gardening (where most people wear them.) Also, traditionally a boy had to make a pair of shoes for the girl he wished to marry and if she liked the shoes he married her... I can totally picture a modern chick flick running with this idea and implementing the mandatory Jimmy Choo's. So long story short people actually wear the shoes.

-More gelato tastings: Not as good as Germany's gelato, but kiwi gelato is quite delicious!

-The Anne Frank house. What an incredible story. I read the book before, but the house is just so amazing. It's such a testament to the will to live, and making the most of crappy situations. But I couldn't get over the tragedy that after all those years in hiding all but Otto Frank died in concentration camps. Though his is probably not the only case, I can't imagine the struggle of living through Auschwitz and being liberated only to find your family and closest friends have all been killed. Though your heart breaks for the lost dreams of such a promising young girl as Anne, part of me can't even fathom the challenge of being the one left behind.

-I really wish Utah girls and European girls could somehow meet eachother. It just seems really funny in my head. The utah poof, heavy make-up, stiletto's versus the air dried, make up free, acid wash jean, 80's loving look of europeans. I like to think of myself as a happy medium... of course some might call that a lack of fashion/style... whatever (eye roll).

-The hostel though a little reminiscient of camp, turned out great. It had clean comfortable rooms, hammocks to enjoy the sunshine, friendly staff who were able to point me in the right direction, free internet, parking and breakfast. Oh and it wasn't in the red light district... So basically it was the best deal I could have gotten. It was a perfect location to get where I needed to go, yet have a relaxing vacation as well. I would definitely recommend it to anyone backpacking europe.

-Keukenhof Gardens were absolutely stunning! I'm in love with a country that supports itself off growing flowers, what an awesome export. It smells so good. Anyhow, I would say pictures to come, but my camera died :( Soooo here's the websites with random other people's pictures if you're interested

-Really the only downside, is the sickly sweet smell of marijuana that permeates the area. Of course, if you're in to that kind of thing...

Everybody's looking for Love

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Funny Story number 1:

While driving to Amsterdam I hit a traffic jam, and since it was a beautiful day I was driving with the windows rolled down and singing to my hearts content (it was the song "Be a Man" from Mulan, yes go ahead and laugh). Well these French guys drove past and gave me an approving thumbs up with a big grin, making sure to make eye contact. Ha ha ha. Was I embarassed... perhaps. Did I just sing louder? Yes.

Ponderable number 1:

Once when listening to Parachute's song "She is Love", Cary mentioned that the
song lyrics don't make sense to him. So it came on the ipod shuffle today and got me thinking... what if "her" name was actually Love. Then it would totally make sense, and this got me thinking about naming your kid Love. It would be kind of funny to always be saying "hey love, over here" or "love, you're ridiculous."

Funny Story number 2:

While in the gift shop at the Cheese and Clog Factory, there was an elderly spaniard gentlemen looking around. He was inspecting the chocolate and asked the clerk how much it cost and the clerk replied "one euro." He turns to his wife with his eyes all lit up "IT'S ONLY ONE EURO!!!!" Ha ha ha you would have thought he was a 3 year old kid who's mom is letting him pick out a candy at the grocery store. I laughed out loud.

Just a day, just an ordinary day

Friday, April 23, 2010

I've never been so happy to get out of a city as I was to get out of Brussels...

So I decided to salvage a trip despite mother earth's protests and figured I'd hit Brussels and Amsterdam in a little 3 day trip.

Downsides of travelling by yourself

1. 6 hours driving/just thinking is well... boring

2. There's no one to take pictures of you/with you

3. When you get lost in downtown brussels you panic, because there aren't lines on the street, they have like 7 way intersections, and a lack of street signs. Also cars drive in the trax lane (the aboveground metro? I don't know the official name), tell me that's not a recipe for disaster when I'm the only one looking around.

4. Hostels are much more fun with at least one other person

Reasons I haven't turned around and gone home

1. It was nice to be in a country that spoke French... and though the belgians tend to have a reputation of being rude and not willing to converse with Americans, I found it difficult to get them to speak French with me. Everyone automatically replies in English.

2. Amsterdam is beautiful

3. Although this hostel is unlike any other hostel I've seen/stayed at... ... it's kind of eclectic and interesting in it's own way. But, yeah pictures to come and/or view

4. Thank heavens for Mcdonald's! I left my folder of addresses and destinations at home. So i didn't have any info (address, phone number, name) of the hostel I had booked. So after mild (read major) panic I decided to stop at Mickey D's and check for wi-fi. Sure enough they had it... thank goodness. I was able to check my e-mail and all was well.

5. Borrowing my friend's GPS has been a life saver. Europe isn't the best at clear road signs. Oh and it totally beeps at you everytime there's a traffic camera ahead (europeans don't use cops, just random cameras all over to catch you speeding). Too bad I didn't figure out what the beeping meant until the 3rd or 4th time... fingers crossed the cameras weren't working ;)

They say it's your birthday

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Last year I wrote a birthday post recapping the year, so I figured why not again review the most exciting developments of my life in the past year...

The top twenty three things I did/happened while I was 23

23. Pride most of the year for Tarheels winning the National Championship in 2009

22. Discovered Blistex Raspberry lemonade chapstick... amazing

21. Jo and I discovering our talent for picking locks

20. Rang in the New Year in ATL, what what (without the voice that will just sound retarded)

19. St. George/Vegas trip to watch BYU v. UNLV

18. Consume ridiculous amounts of gelato in the past 2 weeks

17. Drive the autobahn

16. Wakeboarding on Utah Lake

15. Discover pie/cupcake shakes @ Sammy's in Provo

14. Showing heather the tastier side of Provo

13. Slurpee runs to 7-11

12. Finally starting my gnome collection. They're pretty freakin' awesome. Just saying.

11. Thriller (a dance production). It was amazing. Anyone who loves dance shows should go this coming year.

10. An overall great summer full of shenanigans, Seven Peaks, "Not Tub" parties, late nights, yard prayer with boys v. girls competitions, and other fun.

9. I got my dream calling! Munch and mingle co-chair

8. Visited Paris

7. Quit Macaroni Grill! (Twice... ha ha oh jo... technically I did quit twice, but this time for good)

6. Went to London and enjoyed broadway

5. Worked for a month in germany as an on-the-road developer for Macaroni Grill

4. Spent a long weekend in Seattle

3. Moved to Germany/Living in Europe

2. Black Eyed Peas got back together!!! (ok maybe this list isn't in exact order)

1. Met Cary and convinced him to keep dating me for most of my 23rd year... now, let's see what we can do about 24 :)

I don't wanna miss a single thing...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So my tales of an American girl in Germany have kind of fallen to the wayside. I'm sad to report that the past few weeks have not been with fun adventures as I would have hoped. And thanks to Mother Nature this last week won't be quite the adventure I had originally planned. However, despite my lack of travels, there are still always interesting things to see...

1. A prescription drug vending machine. Oh how I wish I had my camera handy when I saw this fun little gem. Seriously? Seriously! Hello percocet/oxycontin addicts... welcome to germany!

2. Everything is closed on sundays. Now, I normally find it frustrating that german stores close as early as 6, and the latest are only open til 8 or 9, but it's so refreshing to see everything closed on sunday. It truly feels like the day of rest.

3. There is a cute little old man selling bouquet's of flowers at the round about. He is out there 7 days a week, in the snow, pouring rain, heat, mostly pouring rain. And it's only 5 euros for a bouquet! If I was military and had a husband here I'd make him buy me a bouquet once a week because I feel bad for the guy, and well, who doesn't love fresh flowers.

4. Easter in Germany is huge. There are of course multiple aisles in stores designated for Easter candy, but there are festivals, and easter bunnies who walk around stores handing kids candy and real eggs (gross) and easter egg hunts (with real boiled eggs, again, gross). It's pretty fun.

5. I love book stores. I've always thought if libraries were arranged like book stores everyone would read more books. They're so enticing with the fresh scent of crisp untouched pages and the pretty pictures on the covers. However, there's something to be said for a used book store. I've found one here that is a stereotypical used book store. In the basement of a shop with the low ceilings, it's a small maze of hallways covered in books crammed in every direction filling every last nook. There's just something rewarding when you find a book you want to read in one of these stores.

6. I don't know how germans afford to live here. It is so expensive. Gas is about $10/gal. Public Transportation is at least $7/day (that's about $200 a month to take the bus!). Food is ridiculous... it's about $4 for a half gallon of milk. Phones are so expensive most people use prepay phones (which are still absurd). Basically this is one pricey country.... minus...

7. Gelato! Yummm. The only item here that is a fourth of what it costs in the states. Oh how I love it. I had three scoops today, and... it's just never enough. Today's fav is Erdbeer (strawberry, a flavor I normally hate), but it actually has the flavor of a strawberry sorbet with the creaminess of ice cream. Oh it's amazing. If the lady hadn't judged me for already getting three scoops I totally would have gotten a few more...

Well, hopefully I'll make it out and about this week and report back soon. Please pray the volcano calms down enough to let me fly home next week!

When you fall apart, dry your eyes, dry your eyes

Yeah, they're probably as disappointed as I am.

My sister was supposed to fly in today so we could go on a trip around Germany before I fly home. Due to unforseen volcanic activity, my plans have been foiled... yet again. I'm all sorts of disappointed. Not even gelato can fix the sadness which has fallen upon me.


The cosmos blessed me with this small gift of condolescences. In the midst of my despair, cancelling all reservations and attempting to refund my money, I happened upon this article saying "An australian publisher is reprinting 7,000 cookbooks over a recipe for pasta with "salt and freshly ground black people."

I laughed. Really hard. Am I terrible?

I'm all lit up, must be the good life

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm having a great day. I can't stop smiling. But rather than detail the hum drum details of my life, how bout I just share some of my favorite quotes of the week.

"Miracles are like pimples because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you would see." -Lemony Snickett

"Every night before Satan goes to sleep he checks under his bed for Elder Holland"- Overheard at BYU/Shelli's blog

"Life is what happens to you on your way to do what you planned"- Elder Wickman quoting someone famous

"Unwelcome thoughts can and do seek entrance to our minds. But we don’t have to throw open the door, serve them tea and crumpets, and then tell them where the silverware is kept! (You shouldn’t be serving tea anyway.)"- Elder Holland, always telling it like it is

How was I supposed to know

Friday, April 9, 2010

Can you blame me for wanting to come back to Germany? (The view out my window)

Yet, can you blame me for coming home?

There's only one me in the galaxy, I am an endangered species

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Occasionally Cary and I reach a lull in conversation. (I know *gasp*, yes sometimes I run out of things to say, shocking). When these situations arise, Cary usually asks me to tell him something he doesn't know about me. Well, as we spend at least an hour a day just talking, I'm usually left blank trying to think of what I possibly haven't told him yet. As I've paid attention the past few days here's ten things you may or may not know about me

1. I really like brussel sprouts
2. I use about 2 rolls of toilet paper a month (I blame a lot of this on runny noses)
3. My wisdom teeth are finally growing in at 23... seriously inconvenient as I no longer have a dental insurance plan
4. I would remove my moles if I could
5. I have a recent irrational fear of not only being pregnant someday, but of that pregnancy being triplets
6. I have a disease. I can't remember the name of it. It supposedly makes me prone to jaundice. Seeing as I have never had a yellowish appearance in my life, I believe the disease is fictious or the doctor mixed up the urine samples.
7. I love peeps! I want to go here

8. I am very frugal... except when it comes to gifts. If I have a good idea I'm excited about, I don't care what it costs.
9. Getting lost frustrates me more than just about anything.
10. Typically I'm completely anti workout videos, but the biggest loser DVD's are actually pretty good and I don't mind doing them.

There, I may be several thousand miles away, but don't you feel a little closer to me ;)

Tune my heart to sing thy grace

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I love conference weekend.
So much inspiration and information in such a small amount of time. It's always too much to soak in at once... that compounded by my human foibles which cause me to dose off or zone out during at least one of the talks...
But I still love conference, and even though I'm in Germany this year, I look forward to plunking down at midnight and watching it with my late night snacks. It'll be late but at least I don't have to roll out of bed early :)
Here's my favorite talk from last conference:

I love Elder Holland because he speaks with such power and assurity. This is the most powerful testimony of The Book of Mormon that I have ever heard in my life. It inspired me when I heard it, and continues to inspire me every time I read it.

Also, in my efforts to become more spiritually prepared for general conference I've been reading other inspirational talks and scriptures. Though not a general conference talk, or from an apostle of the Lord, this BYU Professor spoke on avoiding those things in life that counterfeit happiness. It's a great talk.
It's totally worth your time.
She's funny, and I appreciate anyone who can tastefully blend humor and the gospel.

my new mantra that I read on my cousin, Emily's, blog
"Spirituality yields two fruits.
The first is INSPIRATION to
know what to do.
The second is POWER, or the
do it."
-Richard G. Scott, Apostle of the Lord

But not a real green dress, that's cruel

Friday, April 2, 2010

So April Fool's isn't such a great holiday once you're an adult.... unless you wait tables.

I found it particularly amusing this year to tell people that we no longer provide boxes to take people's food home because we are "going green" and trying to be more environmentally friendly as a company. Ha ha you should see people's eyes get big as they panic and feel the weight of having to finish their meal or throw it away.

Of course, then i'd tell them I was just kidding. But it was fun for a few seconds anyhow.