I can barely control the all-Caps right now. I’ve looked forward to my 22nd birthday for years.
Since I was a child.
And it turned out to be everything I could have hoped for, and more. I don’t know why I’ve been blessed with such wonderful and thoughtful friends both near and far, but everyone just went above and beyond to make my birthday so special. So thank you all – to my lovely family, to my family of friends from home, to my family of friends from Pécs, to my family of friends from everywhere! I’m truly overwhelmed by the immense outpouring of love I’ve received today. Twenty-two is going to be such an amazing year!
I had an unconventional Thanksgiving this year (my second one, actually – for the first unconventional one, I was studying abroad in Paris in 2011). I spent the actual holiday in classes, later attending an art show by an American guy who had lived in Dallas for almost 30 years working for the US Department of Defense. The show is always held on Thanksgiving, as it’s his favorite holiday, and to celebrate, there was apple cider and pumpkin pie (and festive Thanksgiving napkins, too!). Thankfully, to cap the night, I got to FaceTime with my whole family back home and enjoy being a part of Thanksgiving there, too. So fun!
Black Friday is when the real dinner was held. My amazing Hungarian teacher, Aniko, offered to host Thanksgiving at her home, and her and her family went above and beyond to make it as homey as possible. They decorated their place with posters that said, “Happy Thanksgiving, Layo!” and baked traditional apple and pumpkin pies for dessert. The rest of my medical group brought traditional foods from their cultures for all of us to share. It was a beautiful night, full of food, laughter, thankfulness, music, great conversation, and lots of hugs. It’s definitely a Thanksgiving for the books – one I’ll never forget. I’m so thankful to be blessed with family and friends such as this, both here and at home. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!
This past weekend, I happened to be in the city center to do a bit of grocery shopping (bread, anyone?). My friend and I were leaving the store when we happened upon a rather interesting cultural gathering in the town square. We’re still not sure what was going on, but it was still fun to photograph as much as our phones could hold! Below are some pictures from the event, and from the weekend in general.
Yesterday, my family and friends celebrated so much: my graduation, my sister’s graduation, my other sister’s trip to Indonesia, long-time friendships, and even the great weather. I’m reminded daily that I have so much to be thankful for as I enter into this next stage of life, and this song truly begins to reach to the depths of what I feel in gratefulness to God for all He’s doing in the lives of my family and friends. Every time I begin to think of the many things the Lord’s done in my life these past few months, I can’t help but think of how awesome these next few months will be. He’s so unerringly good that I can barely stand it or can’t even begin to explain it. I think I say I’m thankful for things a lot, but in this season of life, I’m really, really grateful for just so much. Over the years, I’ve found that being grateful is the best medicine one can take. When I get in the mindset of thankfulness, other circumstances melt away as I realize that I’m truly blessed despite whatever else may seem pressing.
I also told my sister I’d love to share some of the photos she takes while in Bali, Indonesia, for her photography class, so I’m hoping she’ll email some while there or share others when she returns!
Also, I’ll be keeping the people of Oklahoma in my prayers; I can’t imagine the stress surrounding the families there right now.
This past weekend has been an absolute joy for me to experience in so many ways. On Saturday, two of my suitemates and I ran a 5K. It was our first official 5K (I don’t really think the Color Run 5K counts since it’s not competitive in the slightest), and something we were so glad we could do together as senior year comes to a close. It was difficult for me, no lie, since I run… never. I went out running the day before to prepare myself, which turned out to be a good idea, seeing as I didn’t feel like completely collapsing when I was done.
In fact, afterward, I. felt. amazing. We all did! The feeling of accomplishment, of pride, of unity, gotten from completing this simple event was palpable as we eventually made our way back to our room. I think I finally understand how running can give you that on-top-of-the-world feeling. I felt it all day long. (I’ve decided to embark on the Couch-to-5K plan to really begin my running regimen, too.)
In the evening, one of my suitemates and I went to Local Foods, this fantastic restaurant with fresh, organic, creatively-made food. The highlight of that meal? Not only did I enjoy conversation with my roomie, but when I went back up to the cash register to buy a cupcake after my dinner (the woman at the register was so happy that I was back to get dessert, that she yelled YAY really loudly), I handed my card over to pay and the guy looked at me and said, “It’s on the house.”