Saturday, November 24, 2012

#9: Christmas Tree

Number 9 is a family tradition!

The day after Thanksgiving, we put up the Christmas tree while listening to The Carpenters Christmas Portrait (the best Christmas album of all time!) and drink hot chocolate.

Fun ornament!

My mom is the master Christmas tree decorator.

At this point, Stephanie and I were taking a break and eating Thanksgiving leftovers.
What a beaut.

#8: Thanksgiving!

The number 8 American thing I did was Thanksgiving!

That awkward moment when you go to take a shower, but the turkey beat you to it...
This is Stephanie and Dennis eating the mistake tray of summer sausage and cheese that made us all really full before the real food was ready!

Stuffing is the best part.

The manly job of carving the turkey!
I am thankful for Jesus, my family and friends, my church, my job and my upcoming adventure to Uganda! Oh, and my mom's stuffing :)  
Victoria wrapped me up in this cacoon while we were watching The Santa Clause on Thanksgiving night. I was so warm that I fell asleep for two hours.

#7: Cracker Barrel

My seventh American thing is probably my favorite American thing. Cracker Barrel is the best chain in the whole United States of America. Old people, old people food, dumplins, rocking chairs...doesn't get much better than that. 

Urk, Josh, Jason, Lara and I piled in my car after church on Saturday and headed to Cracker Barrel. As you can see in this picture, we were beyond excited about it.

THIS HAPPENED. Probly my greatest accomplishment. I yelled at a waitress who was standing nearby "I JUST WON THIS!!!" She was unimpressed.

And this is a picture of Macho, the 3000 lb cow that was hanging on the wall by our table. 'Merica

Monday, November 19, 2012

#6: Football game

My parents, Urk, Justin and I drove up to Seguin, where Ingleside was playing football...ew...and Victoria's in the band, which is the fun part! She is really cool! Probly the coolest french horn player this side of the Mississippi. Jason met us there, which is the other fun part!

The horse was terrorizing Urk.

Definition of cool.

Urk let me borrow his rabbit to keep my head warm. It had some minor side effects (e.g. extreme sleepiness, impaired hearing, confusion)

Justin got really really into the game. When Ingleside scored for the first time of the game, he and my mom jumped up and yelled and did all of the normal football stuff. Then Justin, overwhelmed with emotion, hugged my mom. Definitely the funniest moment of the night. 

Can't tell if this was a photobomb, or just a hilarious coincidence. Looks like she's saying "OHNO GURL"

Justin was completely unaware of everything we were doing and saying because he was so focused on the game. Jason put half a package of sunflower seeds on Justin's hat without him noticing. 

Oh Urk.

And Jason bought me my two favorite candies on our way home because it was my birthday and he's a great friend! 

#5: Buffet

Buffets and being fat are kind of American, so...

On our way to Seguin to see Victoria play in the marching band at playoffs, we stopped at Cici's Pizza!

I was making a face, but it got cut off, so this just looks like I'm being dramatic. But yeah, this me, Urk, Justin, my dad and my mom on our way to Seguin! We were listening to What Doesn't Kill You by Kelly Clarkson because that's Urk's favorite song. hahaha

Urk being mischievous. 

Justin ate a slice of pizza in one bite. 

The key is to get it in both sides of your mouth, leaving an airway while you chew so you don't die.

Urk ate 8 slices of pizza. Amazing.

#4: HEB Adventure

Lara and I had an HEB adventure in which we bought hot chocolate ingredients!

We secretly got double sushi samples :) 

And we were very upset because they didn't have those sugar cookies they sell for every holiday with the turkey or pumpkin or Christmas tree on them! Apparently those don't come out until next week. So lame. 

These pictures are all blurry because we were late, and we didn't realize this was an American adventure thing until we were running out of HEB! haha

Sunday, November 11, 2012

#3: See Hannah!

So I know this isn't really an "All-American thing to do," but Hannah lives in America, and she's my best friend, so this totally counts. American adventure number three!

Hannah and I have been best friends since we were in 7th's debatable. It's the best friendship in the whole world!

Hannah moved off to college this year, and this was my first time visiting her! We had so much fun driving around and laughing and being know, the kind of stuff that wouldn't be funny if I told you, but we were laughing so hard we cried when it happened! Exhibit A...I will not even attempt to explain that lemon picture.

We had the same nail polish color! Because we're both geniuses!

This is Hannah being happy about the World's Smallest Sundae, which we shared because that's what best friends do!

We went to church together this morning, and then had lunch at The Mad Hatter Tea Room!


#2: Road trip!

American adventure number two! I took a (birthday!) road trip to Waco this weekend to see Gungor (my favorite ever!) in concert with my sister, Stephanie and my brother-in-law, Dennis (my other favorites ever!) It was an awesome present!

This is an official "Rule of Natalie": It's not a road trip until you see the first horse! I didn't see my first horse until like 2 hours into this road trip! 

 The concert was incredible! I was with my favorite people, outside, worshiping Jesus, cello...doesn't get much better than that!

Yay sisterhood! :)

It was a very road trippy three days! Lots of driving, snacks and music! The best part about taking a road trip by yourself is you get to sing as loud as you want! 

#1: Eat a burger

So I have fifty(ish) days left in the United States before I move to Uganda for 5 1/2(ish) months! The plan is to do one "American thing" every day until I fly out and write about it on here! Yay fun project! So here is my first thing!

Burgers are super important to America, so I figured this was a good place to start! Keep in mind that I normally only eat a burger once or twice a year, so this was a big deal for me!

I went to San Antonio to visit my best friend, Hannah, and we decided to just drive out of the city and see where we would end up. We are very disorganized and spontaneous people! We had been driving for about 40 minutes, and in hungry desperation decided "Okay, the next food place we see, we're just gonna stop!" So we were driving along the highway and Hannah slammed on the brakes and pulled in to this place. If you asked us to take you there, we probably wouldn't be able to find it again! We were somewhere outside of the city where it looked like there should be no restaurants, and this one just appeared. It's possible that we were in New Braunfels or Boerne. I honestly have no idea. It was called My Place Bar & Grille-a local joint! The e on the end of "grille" was our first sign that it was going to be awesome.

We were so excited when we walked in, and we pretty much think we're geniuses for finding this place! It was so cute and old, and we knew every song they played, which, of course, resulted in some sing along.

We had cheese fries for an appetizer (the official food of our friendship), we each drank three or four strawberry lemonades and I had a Guacamole Bacon Burger that was bigger than my face. It was amazing.

We also shared "The World's Smallest Sundae."

Me: Can we get the world's smallest sundae?
Waitress: Of course! So two sundaes?
Me: No, I think we'll share one!
Waitress: Umm, are you sure? It's like...really little.

So my first of the last American adventures was a success!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


OHMY. Today I woke up at 5:40 to an email from Watoto, informing me that my application had been accepted, and I should start booking my flight! Tears started pouring before I even made it out of my bed! I just kept saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you JESUS!" I texted my parents "I'M GOING TO AFRICA," because I didn't want to wake them up, but I wanted them to know before I left for work, and then I jumped up and down for a bit. I went to the kitchen to get some Cheerios, and my dad came out of his room, all sleepy and funny, and said "What?' and I said "My Watoto application got accepted! I'm leaving in January!" He responded by handing me a dollar. haha! So needless to say, it was the best day ever!


I forgot I had a blog, then I was like "I want to have a blog!" and googled "How do I start a blog?" and found this. So, yeah...I guess I should say something to the world! Even though I'm totally not going to tell anyone about this right now!

Here's a picture of a day in my life this week:
Monday: I woke up at 5:40 am, ate Cheerios, put on my pink shirt ("On Mondays, we wear PINK!" -my work), made a spot of tea to go, and went to First Baptist Preschool of Portland, where I work! I got off at 12:00, checked my phone ASAP because I was supposed to hear from Watoto on that day...nothing. Cried. Then I went to HEB and got some cheese to cure my sadness. Then I went to church, where I planned a few weekend set lists, and did other random stuff, went to the staff meeting, and then did Leisure & Leadership, where I had to speak! Scary! After that, I packed a few little friends in my car and we went to the dollar movies and saw Brave with all of our adult and student leaders. Then I went to sleep!

So yeah, I work at First Baptist Preschool of Portland, and I'm usually a floater between the two toddler rooms. But sometimes I get to be in the three year old room, which is CHRISTMAS to me. They're my favorite! There's a baby Will Ferrell in there. But anyway, I love the kids! I'm learning a whole lot about babies, which will be really helpful in the future! So I wake up at 5:40 am on Monday-Friday to work there, and I get off at 12:00. Then I eat a granola bar, and at 1:00, I go to Bay Area Fellowship, my church, where I'm an intern in BAFstudents in the worship department (The best thing ever!) My life is really full! I'm bored with this post. Good bye!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Longing for Home

(This was written in August, btw)
Today I'm in my backyard, sitting in the Texas sun, being eaten alive by mosquitoes. I'm 18 and just graduated high school (FOREVER! YAAAAY!) and it's that awkward summer where you're kind of an adult, but you don't really feel like one, and people expect you to know how to do all this stuff you've never had to do before. I'm supposed to get a job, and for gas and food and stuff. It's really ew. That kind of stuff makes me want to join the circus. (This isn't a real blog right now, so I can pretty much say whatever I want and it doesn't have to be all poetic and stuff.) So yeah, I'm moving to Africa in January! I'm really excited. There is really nothing else I would rather do. College sounds disgusting, staying here sounds good, but not right, becoming a mountainman sounds tempting, but not as good as Africa. Oh, Africa. I love Africa. I love the way it smells, I love the food (except there's no Mexican food!), I love the culture, I love the people, I love the orphans, I love the freedom, I love the nature, I love rawness, I love everything about it. I miss it so much. Every day I find myself dreaming of being in Uganda again, just wishing I could be there holding hands and laughing with my friends at True Vine, or holding that tiny baby in the Bukirayi village. I'm longing to be home, so much sometimes that I feel physically sick. It's funny because when I was in Uganda last time, I was longing, too. Not for Texas, but for my mom and dad, for my sisters and Dennis, for my church and my friends and my puppy. Now that I'm here with all of those things, I'm longing to be back in Africa. I have a feeling this is going to be life-long tension.