May 22, 2011

our wedding invites

I have to say that I am extremely happy with the final turnout of the wedding invitations. After looking for a design that was unique and represented our wedding theme, I finally decided that the plantable invitations from Forever Fiances were the best option.

I hope our guests will enjoy planting this card and watching it bloom into beautiful wildflowers :)









[To plant the plantable paper, first wrap it in a moist paper towel and place it in the window so it receives direct sunlight for about 2 weeks. After the seeds start to germinate you can prepare a pot of soil or a special spot in your garden. Then place the moistened paper on top and cover it with a thin layer of soil. Water well (especially within the first 6-8 weeks) and make sure it receives plenty of sunshine. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that the seeds will bloom into wildflowers]

May 20, 2011

wow, it's been too long since I blogged.

Life has been crazy lately, but the transition phase from Ireland to the States is basically over now. It's back to real life: an internship at the Boys and Girls Club of Grant County, and preparing for our wedding. Only 43 days until the big day.

But this weekend we are celebrating the marriage of our friends Emilie and Logan. I know it's going to be so special :)


I am excited for this summer and everything that is to come. I always have to remind myself that the time I have in the waiting is just as sweet. This week there have been days where I want to fast forward my life, but then I think about the many hours I have spent with my family and friends recently, and I would never want to replace that. I cherish it. I have been waiting for this reunion all semester in Ireland, and now I have it.

Thank you God for the present.






May 6, 2011

last day.

It is my very last day in Ireland. It has been an amazing experience, and I am thankful to be taking home so many life lessons and Ireland knowledge.

I have been so excited thinking about returning to the States, but today I have felt a sadness about leaving that I never had before. I guess there are moments of both. I'm sad to leave the place that I have considered my home for the past three months, and I'm even more sad to leave the people that I have lived with. At the same time, I am happy. Happy to be moving on to the next chapter of my life.

Today I finished packing, ate my last meal here at the Y, and hung out in Dunleary, Sandycove, and of course our lovely town of Greystones. I made a final purchase of hot chocolate at the Happy Pear, and I bought 5 books for 1 euro at the local "charity store." I went out with one of our leaders, Laura, and three other girls from our group, Emily, Gueb, and Alyssa. We went to the coolest pub I have been into yet, where, lucky for us - it was 70's, 80's, and 90's music night. I wouldn't have spent the day any other way.












Tomorrow I leave for my 12:00 flight, where I will enjoy my ipod and movies on the plane for 6 hours.

The jet lag and reverse culture shock I'll be facing when I get back is worth hugging my parents at the airport and sleeping in my own bed again.

Goodbye Ireland, hello home.

May 2, 2011

reflection.

I leave Ireland in 4 days. It still hasn't hit me yet.

In order to process and fully transition from Ireland to America, this week is dedicated to our last assignment - the integrative 10 pager about our experiences here, and also packing all that we have learned about Ireland into this one assignment (which is a lot!). Along with the paper, we are taking some time to reflect on this semester as a group. We had our first debriefing session today, which included sharing our favorite stories and memories, and then time on our own doing a journaling exercise. By the end, we each had narrowed down our top 3 events/themes/things learned while being here.

My Top 3:

1. Finding solitude and rest, allowing myself to be quiet and alone: I have found my introverted side. I have recognized that being with people constantly is not healthy. I have learned to love my time in stillness with God.

2. Growing through conversations and intimate one-on-one time with specific people here: Jordan, Emily McCardle (Squirrel), Kyle and Kelsey, Laura, and Jen Lewis. These people have taught me so much.

3. Truly appreciating home. Being here has given me a whole new perspective on the U.S. I hope that I will never again take for granted the blessings I have. I am so so excited to be back in my familiar place with the people that I love and have missed everyday of this semester.


I have felt the ache of being away from the people I am closest to, especially the ones I am used to seeing all the time. Now I realize just how important they are to me. I have become so emotional and sentimental lately, because I can see that my life would not be the same without them.

My parents have raised me, loved me, supported me, and poured into my life in every way. My sister is my other half - she understands me best. My soon to be in-laws have welcomed me into their home and have treated me like their own daughter for the past two years. My friends at IWU (Hannah, Tim, Beth, Kate) are the people that keep me sane, grounded, and joyful, each one bringing their own unique and beautiful impact into my life.


Nothing can replace these people.








May 1, 2011

Starstruck

I walked past Bono on the street today.

I am still in shock.

Jordan and I were walking from Kiliney (where Bono lives) to Dalkey, and we were the only people on the street. As we were leaving the neighborhood area, Bono and his wife started walking towards us. We made eye contact, Bono nodded his head at us, and then we continued on.







Definitely one of the highlights of the semester.
Thank you, Bono.




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