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Nanny Diaries

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I started nannying for several families this last month and it's been so entertaining. I've watched so many kids in such a short time I've had a hard time remembering them all! For just a quick, happy post today, I'll just share some of the funnies from the little ones I've been watching. 

Two adorable red heads I've been watching each week have won a piece of my heart. The oldest (2) is super sweet, repeats everything, and loves doing handstands. His repeating is one of my favorite things. His mom said it can be difficult though when she's trying to figure out what's hurting him and she'll ask "is it your stomach?" He repeats "stomach." "Throat?" ... "Throat." And keeps going.  They are just such kind hearted, easy going babes. 

This 2 year old girl I watched this week is a unique one to me. Instead of just doing typical 2 year old things like swinging and going down the slide, she was content with chillin and walking around the yard too. After counting the trees, she put a towel down in the grass, laid down, and just chilled there, staring at the sky. At this point, I said "this is my kinda kid." I hope mine will be this simple. 
After running around the yard under the parachute, thought it'd be cool for her to swing under it. Then slide through it. I think it was a hit. 

Today, I watched two active boys. When first seeing these 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old boys, I imagined that's how my brothers' dynamic was. With the oldest running wild, racing boats, a little hyperactive, yet still ridiculously sweet, and the younger very mild, going at his own pace, joining in the boat race when he pleased, then going back to his reading or basketball... Also a huge sweetheart. 

Then the rest of the day was filled with laughs from conversations like...

Me: "Preston, where do I put your brother's diaper?!"
Preston: "ooh, I think his backpack!"
Me: "I don't think that'd be too good. Where else do you think?"
P: "The stairs!" 
Finally, he directed me to the trash in the bathroom. 

A lot of the day's entertainment was around racing these boats around the house, stopping to explore the "Hotel City," and catching every possible animal they had. 

I also got a kick out of Preston answering most questions with "it sure does!" Or "I sure am!" 

Lastly, asking Carson when his birthday was and getting "CUPCAKES!" as my answer. 

These sweet boys improved my dreary mood and this rainy day.  
basketball with Carson. 

That's all for now folks. Why don't ya share some of your funny memories with kids?! Let's hear em. 
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On Fear and Free Spirits

Friday, February 14, 2014

My mind has been exploding with thoughts lately. This post might wind up being some jumble of crazy ramblings that may be better suited for a journal, but we'll see where it goes.

After my most recent adventure, I've gotten so many questions about why I do it, how I choose the people I stay with, how I'm not scared, and so on. I never really have a quick answer. just like with many of my life choices that people question... Like moving to TN straight out of high school, taking a greyhound bus on this roadtrip, moving to Denmark not knowing a soul or the language, hitchhiking, couchsurfing, and now this trip to Charleston with people that most might not find so safe, these things just haven't had this scary veil other people see.

I really don't know why moving to another country didn't even give me butterflies or why it seemed like nothing to stay on a stranger's couch. Then with Charleston, I just saw them as the unique, intriguing, loving, talented people they were. This characteristic of mine has especially perplexed me when I look at how far I've come... From being too shy to hug a close family friend at church or talk to my grandma's coworkers, to literally getting in cars with complete strangers. Doesn't make much sense.

A lot of people think I'm naive for a lot of the things I do, but I always disagree. I know what could happen, but I trust myself and people. I think some of it is me outweighing the possible bad with the good opportunities. Sure, I was able to morbidly see (and joke about) the possibility of my couchsurfing host in Lucerne leading me up that mountain to my death, but on I hiked, without any actual fear. Then trusted him when he passed that test and went into the country to stay at his "grandma's dairy farm," that actually wound up being his grandma's dairy farm. It wound up being an experience of a lifetime. It also doesn't help that all of my experiences that could go terribly wrong have gone ridiculously great.

"Fear isn't only a guide to keep us safe; it's also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life." 
-Donald Miller

While talking with my brother the other day, he brought up the time we toured a prison in Vegas. He didn't see how I had no fear when the group of male inmates came in from their gym time and were basically surrounding us. I'm pretty sure I just scooted over toward the wall to let them pass, smiled, and said "hello." I didn't want to treat them like they were some terrible people I was scared of. I remember my main concern hoping that they didn't think we were there watching them like a freak show or saw them as animals or something. 

I don't do these things looking for danger. Adventure, yes. But it's not some sort of self-harm practice. It's to meet people with different lifestyles than me, to experience something I've never done, to learn something new, to grow, and see as much as possible.

One of things that my roommate said about me the other day was one of the best compliments. Following his statements about how, though he may not agree with all my ways, he mentioned that I can see the beauty in anyone; that I could meet a murderer and find something beautiful about them. This was awesome to hear.

Kind of off topic, but simply on being a free spirit and traveling, just do it. Travel solo. I see it as one of the best opportunities to be truly free. You can do whatever you want with no conflicts from peers about what activities to do or what to see, etc. It also frees you to meet whoever you want. You don't have anyone else's opinions, attitudes, or biases affecting who you speak to in a bar or on the street or wherever you encounter people. 

You don't have a connection that makes it less important or necessary to meet people. I think that's a big one. If you go with friends, there's not as much need to mingle. You have your friends or your comfort zone. But if you're going solo, you have the chance to meet whoever, and you're free to be who you want to be. Sometimes friends or families' expectations, opinions, or self fulfilled prophesy kinda factors might affect your behaviors. But going solo leaves it all up to you and who you think you are, who you want to be, and to just be you. 

An example of this, was at the wedding I went to this weekend. I was at a wedding with my best friend, her boyfriend, hers and my parents (which there's no complaints here), but I did notice how I felt somewhat stifled, and wasn't as free as I would've been if I was by myself. So to fight that feeling, I did a couple jigs with some randoms but was still not quite as free.

Traveling solo gives you the opportunity to see, feel, and experience everything with your own mind and heart. Now, I just want to challenge myself to do this no matter the company.
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Today's Gratitude

Monday, February 10, 2014

Lately I've been grateful for
A roommate that brings me soup and Gatorade when I'm sick. 
And gives me such an awesome compliment as "she finds the beauty in everyone."

Celebrating a good friend's wedding this Saturday. Even despite the rain, venue mishaps, and glitches they experienced, it was a beautiful, special wedding filled with love and excitement for such a deserving couple.
A ridiculously loving mama that has endured the stress I put her in like a champ, and the heartfelt andtear-filled  conversations that bring us closer together. 

Best friend Leslie and bike cruising to reflect and let go. Or help let go at least.
New nanny jobs with beautifully sweet ginger babies. I love that in adding more work to my life for extra money and something to keep me busy, I also get more joy. This will be a week full of nannying plus work so I'll get back to you about that by Friday. I'll probably be doing one giant High Five just for Friday. 

A new opportunity to develop a new skill and job possibilities with this TESOL course I just bought. Thanks for the awesome deal, Groupon! 

Show some gratitude, friends! It seriously makes what you have enough. 
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Brother Chris

Friday, February 7, 2014

Today is my biggest brother Chris' birthday. To continue tradition, I'm writing him a poem. To mix up tradition, I'm taking it old school with this elementary school biography style poem. Wish I was there to celebrate with you, doing silly dances, drinking PBRs/driving around for hours to find em and then not drinking em, and cracking up from your ridiculousness. So grateful for such a great big brother that, even though you may not understand or agree with my hippie ways, you still support, accept, and encourage me. Love you and hope you have an amazing birthday and year ahead! 

Chris
Hilarious, unique, hyper
Son of John and Julie, Brother of Matt and Abby
Who loves Liesl, planes, and Buddy and Merlin
Who feels excited about his Baby Chriesl
Who needs water, mountains, and backrubs
Who gives laughs, raps, and love
Who fears hippies, gun control, and getting fat
Who’d like to see everyone in red, white and blue
A pilot for the Air Force
A soldier for Jesus Christ
Brother Chris 
Day trip to the Grand Canyon during Spring Break 2011

Teaching me his swing dancing moves at his beautiful wedding 

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