A Country’s Birthday

Happy July 4th! It’s been a minute and then some since I’ve written here, because pesky final exams for my first year of med school got in the way, but I’m back for the long haul (meal planning for the fall will hopefully free up more writing time for me!).

I’ve always loved Independence Day (hello, fireworks!), but there’s been nothing like this past year abroad to make me truly appreciate this wonderful country I grew up in. Although I’ve lived abroad before, this past year has made me acutely aware of the world’s views on Americans (and Texans). A lot of the perceptions stem from various sources – American movies or people met in passing while travelling – and for some, the views could cause a bit of self-consciousness. But for me, I think the things that might render Americans unsavory to some are the things that most endear me to them. Yep, I’m talking about things like the food… we certainly do serve somewhat “bigger” portions here in comparison to other countries, but nowhere else can I find the deliciousness that is Chick-Fil-A. But I’m also talking about things like the intense sense of patriotism, the general kindness of people toward one another (especially toward strangers, at least in Texas), and the work ethic evident in many of our citizens.

So I’ll take the American jokes any day. Because it means that I’m part of an amazing country where 239 years ago, our forefathers had the mettle, the courage, and the ambition to declare our independence and start us on the path to where we are today. I couldn’t be more proud to be an American than I am today. Happy Independence Day!


I’m completely overwhelmed.

I think this day has to be the most love-filled day I’ve ever experienced to date.

Today, February 22nd, is my 21st birthday and the joy and bountiful blessings have just been pouring in on me all day long! I always get introspective around special occasions, but this has been an especially poignant birthday for me as I’ve had time over the past few weeks to really ponder over just why I love birthdays so much. I wondered over my penchant for birthdays because I’ve known so many people who lament them, either because they’re getting older or because they don’t know of good presents to ask for or because they don’t get to spend it with certain people. But I love them (and let’s be serious – I adore mine) because it really is a celebration – God’s brought it to my awareness more in these past few weeks, but each day really is a gift. No day is promised to any person, so to have the opportunity to celebrate another year of life? That is truly a wonderful, heavenly gift that deserves to be celebrated. And even though it always shocks me how quickly time passes by, one of my co-workers put it into perspective the other day, saying that “when time passes so quickly, it’s because life is good.” So there’s no need to lament growing up another year… I see it as a time to be immensely grateful for all God has done in my life over the past year and as a time to look forward to new growth and maturity, both personally and spiritually.
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Bastille Day

Happy Bastille Day! This day celebrates July 14, 1789 in which the Bastille prison fell and ended Louis XVI’s monarchy all over France and its territories. This means… fireworks!

I really like this French holiday because it reminds me of my fantastically awesome Paris host family. One of my host brothers was named Bastien, and one of my study abroad friends used to call him “Bastille” as a play on his name. He was the cutest 11-year old I’d ever seen! This year he’ll be entering teenage-hood and I’m floored by how quickly time has passed and by the fact that I still miss them very much. I’ll hopefully drop by to visit them next year when I return.

So in celebration of Bastille Day, I’m sharing one of my latest Paris-related purchases: a coffee table book called Paris in Color! I’ve been wanting it for about a year, so it’s nice to finally add to my bookshelf. I actually didn’t get this book until a few weeks ago, even though I had ordered it at the end of May because I accidentally sent it to my old address at Rice. So it took a month to get to me instead of two days.
Anyway, patience prevailed, and I now have it for reading and reminiscing on rainy days like today.


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