Life Lately.

I know, I know.

You’re all D.Y.I.N.G. to hear if I’ve made my decision.

And I have.

But more on that later.

Right now, here’s a look at what’s been going on in my life:

Pictures include my parent’s visit, my cousin’s visit, activities with the kiddos, and a weekend in Rocky Mountain National Park!

I’ll update again soon, my friends. 🙂

A Birthday Post

Today is a special post, written in honor of my little sister’s 21ST BIRTHDAY!

She’s so grown up:

the birthday girl is on the right! oh and that's me on the left 🙂

Although, according to some, she’s always been more mature than me.

Plus, taller.

Since I can’t be there to make this milestone even more memorable, I made a list of thank-yous:

Kellie!

Thank you for putting up with me as “Santa” and the “Easter Bunny” even though Mom had already told you they didn’t exist.

Thank you for crying in the room with me every time I (as the official drama queen of house) slammed myself in there. Solidarity, for real, sister!

Thank you for dating a boy who is so nice we never have to worry, and who is already the little brother I never had.

Thank you for always going along with my schemes–commercials, movies, plays, new decorating ideas, elaborate Beanie Baby villages, strange names for your stuffed animals…

Thank you for giving me someone to corrupt, and for always (for the most part) resisting my attempts.

Thank you for sharing a room with me for so long and always pretending half of the mess was yours, even though it was always ALL mine.

Thank you for looking the other way as I continue to steal your clothes–and for knowing that I look the other way, too. 🙂

Thank you for having totally different talents than me–it makes life so much easier, don’t you think?

Thank you for letting me take over your parties with my baking shenanigans.

Thank you for reminding me that even though you’re taller and skinnier, I also have bigger boobs (I feel risque, saying that online) and smaller feet.

Thank you for having bigger feet so you could never (except that one time…) steal my shoes.

Thank you for always driving your new shiny car so we never have to take my old, battered one.

Thank you for being you! Have a great year…and as I’m your elder, I can still say that’s an order!

K and I's first time voting!

K with our parents...can you tell my dad just LOVES it when I break out the camera?

with our baby puppy Tess!

high school graduate!

Have I mushed you all out yet?? 🙂

From Old to Young, Wills to Homework

I think working at a nursing home is getting a little, well, old…no pun intended.

I actually am in love with several residents, and I really enjoy working with them. The first week, I was seriously depressed. I imagine it was the whole dealing with the mentally/physically disabled aspect, not to mention the near-dying part, but I cried every day. It broke my heart to see the the old husband come in every day to eat lunch with is wife who barely remembered him.

However, in about my second or third week, I talked to a different couple: this one includes the most adorable old man (who always kisses my hand!!) on hospice (sad) and his wife who faithfully comes in every day right after breakfast and leaves right before dinner.

The wife and I were chatting as I cleaned the dining room, and I got to asking how they met.

“Oh we met in California, got married a few years later, and lived happily ever after,” she smiled, patting his shaking hand. The husband is in his late 90’s, barely talks (although when he does he’s the sweetest guy ever) and is on hospice with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and a host of others issues. His heart is beating so slowly he shouldn’t be alive. Yet his wife still considers it “happily ever after.”

That sort of changed my mind about my job, and I began bonding with all the residents (the elderly seem to find my incessant questions and talking charming) and as I said, I love ’em.

However, the close proximity to death is what’s getting to me.

My residents are often right at death’s door and present the great fear of our society: the inescapable destiny we all face. While “to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure” (thank you, Albus Dumbledore) our society still carries a stigma attached to death.

This week, one of the aides brought up paperwork for a recently deceased lady accidentally…which was met by some amusement when the story of the mortician asking if said  lady would need her glasses was told.

(Perhaps she needed them for her paperwork…it’s nursing home humor).

To continue the theme, my grandparents were also visiting this week and discussing their will. They’re probably the most organized couple ever (perhaps they relate to Dumbledore’s above quote). I’m sure we’ll all be grateful when they do pass and everything is tied up in a neat bow; for some reason when I fast forward 50 years and see myself going through my parents’ stuff, I see an image from this episode of Friends (“The One Where Nana Dies Twice,” if you’re interested) where Ross finds his grandmother’s collection of Sweet N’ Lows.

I’m not sure what I’ll be getting in the will (not that I’m terribly concerned)–they were just double checking my middle name (which should be easy as my younger cousin has the same one, and there aren’t that many grandchildren, plus I was the first granddaughter, so you’d think that would command some space in the brain, but whatever, they are 80) but I do know I won’t be getting the antique beer steins my great-great-great-great something brought over from Germany. (Aw, bummmmmmer).

My mom thinks that her youngest brother (younger by the rest by at least 11 years) will get all the “good” stuff, since he got all of her grandmother’s interesting items. I pointed out that he did help clean out her house, and from what I can tell all he got was a weird rocking chair that for some reason my mom and her siblings all really wanted.

I lost the point of this post–mostly that I’m not used to being around death so much–it’s weird. Every day I am consumed with thoughts of how short life is, and so every decision becomes quite weighty.

Well, not every, I don’t think that picking out which shirt to wear is that monumental, but even spending a year with a job in Denver seems long and I am constantly questioning whether I should just head back abroad.

In the fall, I’ll begin working as an AmeriCorps member with the Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation.

courtesy of americorps.gov

Which will be an incredible experience. Which I will in no way regret doing–but it’s still a tangible decision and direction.

Despite my contrary nature, it will be fun working with the young. Although I’ve enjoyed working with the old (and I won’t be finished until August) it will be nice not to have to PROJECT my voice at decibels my vocal chords clearly find uncomfortable.

There are many more benefits–that’s just the start. The great thing about working with kids is the amount of hope and innocence they still retain. (Although if I recall my 7th grade year, I remember a lot of brats…maybe that was just my personal experience?)

In conclusion, though, my residents seem to like me a lot more than any kids ever have…so wish me luck.

Presenting…a top ELEVEN!

This week, I finally found out that I will, in fact, be moving in the fall (stay tuned on more devs with that). And SO, in honor of that, I’m making a list of things I will miss! Plus, my bonus number eleven is my latest favorite website :).

1. The mountains being two inches away.

 

2. That cleeeeeean mountain air.

3. My dogs. (Also my family, and my cat, and my FRIENDS!)

my little beagle!

4. Knowing the town like the back of my hand.

5. Running into random people I know everywhere (sometimes I hate this, but I’ll still miss this!)

6. Floating the Madison River in the summer!

7. Sunsets! Ain’t nothing like a sunset in the legendary Montana sky.

8. The ability to drive half an hour to end up in the middle of nowhere!

9. Those Montana-isms I can hardly describe…holes being in all of the road signs two inches out of town from gunshots, hicks and hippies intermixing, legit cowboys running around, people taking their dogs everywhere like they are children, cows being down the road, deer crossing every road (even in the middle of town) and many other things.

10. Downtown Bozeman!

courtesy of bigskyfishing.com


AND…

11. Foodily! I love this website.  As I have a small obsession with collecting recipes, but oftentimes I’m very specific on what I want to use–as in, I’m poor and I somehow need to make a delicious meal out of these six ingredients–that I sometimes have trouble. But not at FOODILY!!