Thursday, December 31, 2009

Snow Patrol

This morning I spent some quality time with my driveway and the snow blower.  To keep myself entertained I brought my iPod along and put on a little Snow Patrol, which seemed appropriate.  As I worked I pondered whether it was worse to be in Utah in January where I have the pleasure of digging out about every other day or in India in July when it is 105 every day but feels closer to 115.  I came to the conclusion neither is very fun and that next year I need to figure out a way to swap things and spent January in Delhi and July in Utah.

As I pulled the shovel out to do the front porch, a song I don't remember hearing before came on and the last couple of lines gave me something else to think about:

I'm so glad that this has taken me so long
Because it's the journey that made me so strong

Isn't that a great description of so many things in life?  It was only after I got back in the house that I noticed the name of the song, "Warmer Climate" which made it even more perfect.

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Christmas 2009

I was going to post a few photos of Christmas, but just realized I didn't load the pictures on to my computer when I gave them to my sister - who conveniently already posted them.  Rather than redo the work, I'll just say it was a wonderful Christmas.  The little ones are just starting to realize what the holiday is - and what it means to get presents.

Since it was just me, mom, dad and grandpa until mid-afternoon, we spent the morning watching movies and relaxing.  But take it from me, watching "Bad Santa" with your parent's isn't a good idea,  I'd forgot just how naughty that movie was - even after its been edited for TV.    It didn't take long before we switched to "The Proposal," a much more entertaining option.

Once the kids arrived we unwrapped gifts like crazy.  Even when we all think we know what we are getting, mom usually finds a way to surprise us.  This year she made us all aprons - in my case, the most adorable retro looking apron.  I was so inspired I even helped cooked dinner - something I usually avoid doing at all costs.

In my family we've decided that having kids around really does change everything and makes Christmas magical.  I hope your Christmas was equally joyful.

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Christmas Eve

By mid-day Christmas eve the snow had stopped and the sun was out - it was simply beautiful.  Dad and I needed to run to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute items so we took the long way there and back and grabbed a few photos along the way.

Not only did I collect some gorgeous photos of my hometown, I learned something new.  As a teenager my dad helped build the beautiful barn in the fourth row, right photo.  I love learning things like that.

Here's a fun little video for "Winter Song" from Sara Bareilles, it always makes me smile.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

In 2009 I’ve managed to circle the globe a few times over, but nothing feels better than being in my hometown for the holidays.  As you can see in my Christmas card below, Mother Nature cooperated and covered everything here with a lovely layer of fluffy, fresh snow. 

I hope wherever you are celebrating you are surrounded by those you love and that 2010 is an incredible year in every way.  

My favorite holiday song is  Joni Mitchell's "The River", here is a live Sarah McLachlan version which is simply gorgeous.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Living a Life in Limbo

One of the reason (excuses) I haven't posted in a while is because my life as been in a state of limbo.  Here's how strange things have been.

  • Nov 8 - Leave for Delhi, expecting to arrive on the 9th
  • Nov 8 & 9 - Get stuck in Cincinnati, arrive in Delhi on the 10th, planning to stay until Dec 19
  • Nov 10 - Luggage lost in transit
  • Nov 13 - Luggage finally arrives
  • Nov 15 - Move out of my normal apartment to a guest house
  • Nov 18 - Find out I'm leaving Delhi early to work on another project
  • Nov 19 - Find out I may be staying in Delhi
  • Nov 21 - Move back to the apartment and find out I'm leaving Delhi (this time for sure)
  • Nov 22 - Pack to leave Delhi (I hadn't even unpacked yet)
  • Nov 25 - Fly home
  • Nov 26 - Celebrate Thanksgiving with my family (perfect surprise!)
  • Nov 29 - Back to Salt Lake expecting to leave the next day to a new project
  • Nov 30 'til today - still waiting and expecting to leave any day
It's been a strange existence thinking I need to be ready to hop on a plane with a minutes notice.  While I've LOVED being at home I don't feel like I've taken advantage of the time because I don't want to get too invested in anything in case I have to leave.  On the positive side - I finally got my office cleaned and organized something I've wanted to do for months, so its not all time wasted.

The latest news?  I still could get on a plane Tuesday or things could continue to move slowly and I'll still be here at Christmas.  I am however, dying to share where I'm headed to next, so check back again soon and maybe I'll finally have some news.

If you hate twangy music, stop now.  But if you like it or have an open mind, check out the latest from Gary Allan.  I don't know what it is about his voice, but his songs break my heart, I can honestly hear the pain in his voice and in the right mood he brings me to tears.  The way he delivers the line, "But I've lost everything, I've lost everything I every wanted, today" just kills me.  I also love that the video uses a live cut of the music and not the studio cut, it makes it even more real and beautiful.
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Thanksgiving Part 2

I can't resist adding a some photos of my favorite niece and nephew, Miss M and Tiny T.  They are growing up so quickly and make every family gathering that much more special.

Apparently Miss M has been watching a Walt Disney Cartoon with a section on gymnastics in it because I caught her practicing her dismount from the slide.  Every time she jumped she made sure she stuck the landing and the final pose, bent over at the waist with her arms held up and back.  

Tiny T isn't so tiny anymore, he grows and changes daily.  He loves to play with anything he can get his hands on and it only takes seconds for it to go in his mouth.  He's just the sweetest little guy.  We all have a tendency to call him "lil dude" and he just gets the biggest grin when we do.  So, in his honor, here's some old school, David Bowie, "All the Young Dudes."

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Thanksgiving in Aurora 2009

I got an unexpected surprise this Thanksgiving, the chance to spend it at home with my extended family.  I had planned to be in Delhi for Thanksgiving, but ended up coming home just in time to celebrate.  Mom planned a large meal for her siblings, their kids and grandkids.  It was so fun to see everyone!  Here's a few photos, can you see a family resemblance?  Thanks to my brother playing photographer there is even a photo of me in here, a first for this blog.

While I was still in Delhi thinking I was going to miss Thanksgiving I kept playing this song to enhance my pity party, one of my favorites from the Foo Fighters.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

London Calling

One last set of pictures from my Europe trip last month.  

After Copenhagen, mom and I traveled to London where we spent a glorious 5 days.  We were on the run the entire time, trying to fit in all the things we wanted to see:  London Tower, London Bridge, the British Museum, the National Gallery, the National Gallery Portrait Gallery, the changing of the guard, Kensington Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Canary Wharf, Covent Garden, Harrod's, Westminster, Big Ben, St. Paul's Cathedral and West End.  We also managed to score tickets to "Wicked."  What an amazing show!

London is such a fantastic city - I really think I could spend a month there and not run out of new things to see and do.  

The last several years there have been a number of female singers out of the UK that I find myself going back to time and time again - including Duffy - here is her "Stepping Stone."  Can you believe the smoky, bluesy voice that comes out of this tiny blonde?

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This week I'm staying in a guest house rather than my normal Delhi apartment which means I usually stand in the driveway for a while waiting for the rest of the team to pick me up each morning.

Today, I plugged in my iPod while I watched a driver wash a car, a housekeeper sweep the walk and a few of the guards playing cricket. The music gave the scene a movie feel - especially this lovely song by Ingrid Michaelson.  I love it when you hear a song and immediately need to track down the lyrics.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Out and about in Delhi

It was a rare no-work weekend in Delhi and I took full advantage.  I did a little more shopping that was actually necessary, but I also added a few photos to my colors of Delhi collection.  Check out the adorable little boy in this first set of photos!

This second photo is of a downed power line we had to get pass on our way home Sunday afternoon.  It took a while, but watching the process was fascinating.

My favorite song this week (and yes it could have something do with the fact that I won't be able to see a certain movie this week along with everyone in the US) but it is also just a beautiful song.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rainy Copenhagen

In early October my mom and I set off on our European adventure.  A first for her and a treat for me.  We started in Copenhagen - a truly beautiful city.  We explored beautiful old churches, the waterfront neighborhood and stately old castles.  We marveled and all the bicycles, ate at 7-11 too many times (don't ask) and tried to stay dry.  In fact, our only complaint about Copenhagen was the fact that it rained nearly every day.  

For me the highlight of the trip was celebrating with my friends from Rio as they were awarded the 2016 Olympics.  Years ago, I remember watching the announcement that Salt Lake City would be hosting the Games.  I thought then that it would be fun to be a volunteer, little did I know that I would find myself a part of the organizing committee or that someday I'd be involved in events around the world.  All these years later to be able to celebrate with Rio as they got their turn was a once in a lifetime experience.

Please excuse the blurry photos - between my jumping up and down and their jumping up and down I didn't get a single clear photo.

Because the theme of our Copenhagen trip was rain, a little Patty Griffin feels appropriate.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Third Times the Charm - Kathmandu

Way back in September I went to Kathmandu to celebrate my birthday.  I'm finally getting around to posting a few photos of one of my favorite places on earth.

This first set of photos were taken at the Monkey Temple.  Such a fun colorful place.

The second set of photos came from the Boudhanath Stupa - so peaceful and yet in the middle of a crazy city.

The last set were taken as I wandered through the local Saturday market away from the tourist areas, one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Here's a little Frou Frou in honor of one of my favorite places to visit when I need to let go of the stress of life.

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A Makeover

My blog got a makeover thanks to the lovely Erin at Designer Blogs.  If you are like me and read your blogs through Google Reader, take a minute to click over to my regular site and so you can enjoy her lovely work.

I thought I'd use this post as an excuse to post one of my all time favorite songs, Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes."

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vintage Friends

This weekend I was putting away some CD's that Miss M had pulled out of my shelf (one of these days I'll get around to childproofing.) As I worked I got a bit nostalgic about some of my favorite old CDs. I decided I would add some songs to my iPod so I could enjoy some retro music. Little did I know this would turn into a big project that would take up part of my weekend and several evenings.

Along the way, I rediscovered some old friends, the songs that got me through some hard days, songs that made me dance and some that made me cry.

It's fitting that I've spent a few days looking backwards, as that's how I'm going to spend this next weekend doing. On Friday I'm headed back to my college for a reunion with some of my favorite people. On Saturday I'm flying to Seattle to catch up with my friends there that I haven't seen since I moved four years ago.

Here's one of my old friends, Dido's "Life for Rent." I played this song over and over during a period of my life where I was trying to make a decision about the direction I was headed. It reminded me that taking chances and being willing to fail are an important part of living a full life.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beautiful World

One of the things I love most about living out of the country is that while I'm gone it is much easier to ignore  the negative stories that seem to saturate the media in the US.  While I'm in Delhi I almost never turn on the local TV - I get my news by picking and choosing from online sources - making it much easier to skip or skim through the really negative stuff.

I believe that living this way for the past four years has changed my view of the world.  I feel that without the media telling me what I should think and feel I'm better able to make up my own mind - and since I choose to see the world in a more positive light I think I'm in a happier place.

Don't get me wrong, I know there are problems in the world, I see examples of the ravages of poverty on a daily basis.  I just try to keep my focus on the slow improvements that are happening, the similarities we all share and the beauty in our differences.

This post is brought to you by a gorgeous song I heard this morning that got me thinking, "Beautiful World" by Dierks Bentley and Patty Griffin.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What I'm Loving Today

Today I'm loving:

Sitting in front of the fire while I work

Tazo Refresh tea

My cinnamon & clove bud candle

Brandi Carlile's new music

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Monday, October 12, 2009


My holiday is over.

I'm home and slowly getting back to work

Until I have a chance to post some highlights from Copenhagen and London, enjoy my newest love, The Avett Brothers with their latest, "I and Love and You"

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Friday, September 25, 2009


It's Friday.

I'm not planning to work tomorrow.

I'm getting on a plane headed homeward in 27 hours (but whose counting.)

One suitcase is packed.

Ain't no reason for this song, other than the fact that I love it.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009


Have you seen it yet?  I laughed so hard at this scene I cried.  And I'm still singing along 12 hours later.

If you aren't watching yet, make it a priority next week, you'll be glad you did.

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Did you know it is National Singles Week?  Here's what I learned about single life in the US:

  • 92 million Americans over 18 are not married (42% of the US adult population)
  • For every 100 unmarried women in American there are 86 unmarried men
  • 60% of unmarried Americans have never been married

Suddenly I don't feel quite so alone in my singleness.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I'm in love.

I'm in love with the Genius button on my iPod.  It made the most amazing playlist for me today.

On Monday I hit shuffle and then a few songs in got stuck on "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles.  I must have listened to the song 5 times.

Today during my commute I pulled the iPod back out and "Gravity" was still playing, but this time I hit the genius button, and look at the amazing messages I found in the music I listened to on the way to work.

Here I am and I stand so tall
I'm just the way I'm supposed to be

I don't know what I've done
Or if I like what I've begun
But something told me to run
And honey you know me it's all or none

 Everything's falling, and I am included in that
Oh, how I try to be just okay

I asked God who I'm supposed to be.
The stars smiled down on me, 

God answered in silent reverie. 
I said a prayer and fell asleep.

Afraid to see that she's lost her direction
She never stays the same for long
Assuming that she'll get it wrong
Perfect only in her imperfection

An entire commute full of beautiful music with lovely lyrics that kept me going all day long. Pin It

Saturday, September 19, 2009


For most of my life my lucky number has been 36.

It started when a fortune cookie that told me 36 was lucky.  But I also like the number because of the orderliness of it.  You add the 3 and the 6 up and get 9, which can be divided by 3.  You can divide 36 by 6, by 3 and by 9 - as a bonus you can break it apart and divide the 6 by the 3.  For a former math geek like me it is a cool number that is the answers to lot of multiplication and division problems.

The real reason I’m going on and on about the number 36 is because today I am 36 and I’ve decided that this is going to be my lucky year.  I’m looking forward to the adventures that are coming my way and I’m determined to make it the best year of my life.

One of my favorite musical discoveries this year is Missy Higgins.  She has an amazing voice and some incredible songs.  One of my favorite is "Steer."  Its lyrics are perfect for the way I feel today.  I've decided this will be the best year of my life, and I have the power to make it happen.

But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know
That you control where you go
You can steer

Last year I enjoyed celebrating my birthday in Kathmandu so much I decided a repeat trip was in order.  Early Saturday morning I’m setting off for Nepal.  I’m hoping to catch up with friends, see  new sights, turn off the computer, and get a head start on the best year of my life.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009


In our neighborhood in Delhi, most houses/apartment buildings have a guard at the gate. I suspect it has more to do with status than actual protection - but at least there are enough of them they can keep each other company on our very quiet street. The lucky guards have a small shack to keep them dry in the rain and to give them a place to keep a few of their things.

Our guard has a shack, but as you can see in the photos, the shack straddles a ditch in front of the house. To keep it level, Delhi ingenuity was put to work. Now, to me it seems a bit unstable, but I haven't seen it move or tip in the nearly two years we've had this place.

A beautiful song that popped up on shuffle today while I was at work proofing a document.
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Sunday, September 6, 2009


This sign has popped up all over the office. Enough said.

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The one thing I love the most about being back in Delhi is getting a facial from Tania. She is the amazing. I met her at an expat women's meeting last year and my skin has never been the same. Not only does she give amazing facials, she has developed her own line of skin care. All organic and ayurvedic - I stock up regularly and haven't found anything I like better anywhere. I know they work magic because several times in the last year I've been having a conversation with someone and they've stopped in the middle to tell me how nice my skin looks and considering I wear far less make-up now than I did in my teens and twenties that is saying something.

When I get homesick I try and remember the good things about living her and visits to Tania is at the top of the list.

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Monday, August 31, 2009


I blog so I have a history of some of the events in my life, so excuse me for a minute while I celebrate and record a happy event.

My niece, Miss M, yes the one I can't stop posting photos of, finally said my name. I've been waiting for months, and wouldn't you know it, it happened while I was gone. She mastered mom and dad forever ago, gramma at least 6 months ago and papa a few months later. She even picked up my dog's name, which frustrated me to no end. After all how much harder is it to say Jamie than it is Sadie. But no matter what I tried I couldn't get her to call me anything.

Sunday Gamma and Miss M were looking at pictures on the computer. Gamma pulled one up of me and asked Maggie who it was and for the first time, she called me Jamie. I'm a very proud auntie and can't wait to see her again in a month to see if she remembers me.

And now for the most obvious song selection ever:

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Sunday, August 30, 2009


It was a rainy morning in Delhi and the weather seemed to suit my mood. I just wanted a day where I could curl up with a good book, good music and relax.

For the most part I got my wish (if you don't count the 5 hours I spent working.) The weather, my mood and a great new discovery, Ane Brun combined for a perfect lazy Sunday.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009


When I pulled the photos of the office off my camera I discovered a bunch of photos I'd forgotten about. Here's a peek.

On Miss M's second birthday my sister decided to go to The Gateway to let M play in the fountain (her birthday party was the previous weekend so the family could come.) Miss M loves the water, give her a pool or a sprinkler and she's in heaven, so we assumed she'd have a blast. Turns out she was a bit afraid to go in on her own - and her defense the place was crawling with older kids. Since N and I weren't up for getting wet we just watched M enjoy the show. She loved it, and as usual we loved watching her, well we enjoyed everything except the tantrum. Turns out she wanted to eat her ice cream herself, the kid has an independent streak just like her aunt. The little girl has also developed a love for accessories.

As usual, Tiny T sat back and enjoyed the afternoon in his own chill kind of way.

A happy little song for a happy little afternoon.

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While I was in the US the group I work with here in Delhi finally moved into their new offices. It's been great to work in place where I'm not worried about my chair disappearing if I get up to go to the restroom.

This week they started adding a little color to the place. Colorful banners and signs are a great side benefit from working in my industry. How many other work locations can decorate like this?

This last bit of color got its start in the office, but ended up brightening my apartment this weekend. One of the guys at work got roses for his birthday, he was headed out of town so the roses ended up with me. Can't say that I mind.

Love this guy - Amos Lee "Colors"

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I'm trying to get back in to the habit of posting regularly, so I set a goal this morning that by the end of the day I'd have something worthwhile to post about and then I'd post. Only problem? My day has been boring. I went to a bunch of meetings - and was late to nearly every one. Not that it matters too much here as time is a bit more flexible than back home. Any time I wasn't in meetings was spent either working on a report I have due or making travel arrangements. Just an average ordinary day and nothing inspiring in my head

The trip home was quick and easy - the best we've seen in a while, but only because we left the office early so we could be home in time for a conference call that got pushed back until later this evening anyway. I'm telling you, nothing in this day is worth a post, and yet, I've sat here and managed to write two paragraphs, so at the very least I'm achieving my goal. I may be boring you in the process, but I managed to post.

Here's hoping all my days in Delhi aren't this boring.

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Monday, August 24, 2009


Delhi got hit with a massive storm Friday in the hours before we all headed home from work. There was tons of rain and the wind was intense. I was in a meeting room at the office during the worst of it and I was ready to jump away from the windows on a minutes notice.

The rest of my team was smart and decided to grab a bite to eat and a drink before facing the traffic after work, but I was still feeling a bit jet lagged and just wanted to head home. My mistake. The trip that normally takes 25 minutes took over an hour and 45 minutes. Many roads were flooded and trees were down all over. Even with a very aggressive drive we just crawled home.

I finally made it home and was planning to catch up on the email I missed at work because the internet was down and then relax for the rest of the evening. However, I arrived home to a very dark house - the power was out and it stayed that way for hours. I finally gave up and went to be early - probably the best thing I could have done for my tired body.

The pictures above are from Sunday early afternoon and were taken just a half a block from my flat. Trees are still blocking the roads and causing traffic hold ups even this many days since the storm.

I just can't get enough of Adele - I love her voice. Here's her "Right as Rain." I know I've felt exactly this way on occasion:

Who wants to be right as rain
It's better when something is wrong
You get excitement in your bones
And everything you do is a game

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Saturday, August 22, 2009


At the wedding we had tiny bottles of bubbles to use as a send off for the bride and groom. We pulled them out a bit early to entertain Miss M (and ourselves) as the night was wearing down.

She's still trying to learn how to blow bubbles, after all for a two year old it is tough getting the wand in exactly the right place and blowing just hard enough. She occasionally made it work, but grandma and uncle J also stood behind her and helped her out a bit when she wasn't looking.

She had a blast with the bubbles and it made the last 30-40 minutes of the evening a lot of fun for all of us as well. The last photo is a great shot of her evil cackle, if you know her well, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. It is this hilariously fake sounding laugh where she scrunches her face up and reminds me of Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies. I love that I caught it on camera.

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My baby brother J got married last week. The entire day was wonderful, from the morning ceremony that sealed them together forever, to the family dinner that afternoon, to the beautiful reception that evening. One of my favorite parts of the evening was seeing my entire family all dressed up. The bride and groom in their wedding duds, grandpa in his best suit, mom in her fancy dress and dad in his very first tux, aren't they a stunning couple? Miss M in her sparkly party dress, Tiny T in his red jumper, and N&T looking all spiffy.

My new sister J (yes, another J) is lovely and we are thrilled she's chosen to join our little family - even if she failed to deliver the bouquet into arms at the end of the night.

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If you've known me for more than an hour, odds are I've told you I'm a small town girl. I'm very proud of that fact - even if I've been known to use my small town roots to get a laugh or two. The honest truth is I'm so grateful that I was one of the (very) few who was lucky enough to spend my childhood in such a special place.

My hometown is one of those places where you really do know nearly everyone, where neighbors drop what they are doing when someone is in need and where you feel safe letting your kids go out to ride their bikes on their own. My friends and neighbors back home are an incredible group of people, they taught me what really matters in life and their encouragement keeps me going. I'll admit I'm not sure how I went from living in a town of 900 to a city of 20 million, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

A few years ago when I was living in Seattle, I was catching up on email on Saturday morning and, as usual, had CMT on in the background. A new video came on and within seconds I was in love with the song and the group. I quickly got ready for the day and didn't stop until I'd found a store selling the group's CD (this was back before I had an iTunes account, ah the trials we had back in those days finding music.) I loved the group for its beautiful harmonies but I loved the song because it spoke directly to me - it defined my love for my hometown. This is the song I go back to whenever I'm feeling homesick or I need to remember that small town girl that makes up the core of me.

I feel no shame
I'm proud of where I came from
I was born and raised in the boondocks
One thing I know
No matter where I go
I keep my heart and soul in the boondocks

It's where I learned about living
It's where I learned about love
It's where I learned about working hard
And having a little was just enough

It's where I learned about Jesus
And knowing where I stand
You can take it or leave it, this is me
This is who I am

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I've been a very lazy blogger, sadly it has been nearly a month since I last bothered to post. Now that I'm back in Delhi I'm hoping my life will settle into enough of a routine that I'll make the time to post a bit more often and that the differences in life here will inspire me.

For now, here is a song I loved at first listen and haven't gotten out of my head since, Holly Williams's "Alone"

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Thursday, July 23, 2009


I've had a couple of great conversations with friends in the past week about living life in the present and not falling into this trap:

"Life will be great / perfect / better when I (insert goal here - find a great guy, have kids, finish this project, get home from Delhi, etc.")

Living in the present is something I'm always striving to do, but I often need a reminder that some of my best memories are the ones that come from me surrendering and enjoying the journey and not being so focused on some destination.

As I drove home from dinner last night my trusty 3 Doors Down cd came on and a line from the first cut really hit a nerve with me - "I swear right now I'm right where I belong."

I realized that I may not know exactly where my life is headed or what else is around the bend, but I do know that I'm living the life I am supposed to right now - and I've resolved to enjoy it more for what it is and not spend so much time worried about what is next and how I'm going to get there.

Right Where I Belong - 3 Doors Down

If you want a little something else to ponder today, how about this line from the same song:

"There's a difference in spending time with me and killing time while I'm there."

Just a couple of reasons I love 3 Doors Down. Pin It

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