Tuesday, December 13, 2011


      I watched New Year’s Eve the other night. While lacking in substance, one of my favorite lines in the movie:

“What would you do today if you knew you wouldn’t fail? Now go do that.”

That is something to think about. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the “what ifs” and not take a chance on anything.

The twins I babysit on occasion were playing outside the other day. One of them fell down. As he laid there our conversation went something like this:

“What do you do when you fall down?” asks E
“I fell down!” said R
“R, when you fall down you get up stronger than before!” says E with energy, holding up her arms in victory pose.
R stands up.
“So what do you say?”
With some coaxing he says, “when I fall down I get up stronger than before!” complete with victory pose.

A new day always dawns regardless. Life never promises to always be easy and if it were, would we appreciate it?

Dear L-

Life was really simple and then somewhere down the road it changed. The slow sinking in of reality and the taking of responsibility began to represent the loss of youth and innocence. It’s the little setbacks and how they were handled that helped to shaped the person you are today. Right now I know you’re asking the question why. Dear L, don’t be afraid to open yourself and feel right now. DO it because it is hard. Don’t hold it inside, you find a way to let it out even if it’s tough. Because how you feel when you do let it out is how you’re feeling inside right now. Just because you ignore it doesn’t mean it isn’t still there affecting your outlook on life.  

Take an ECG machine for example which represents the rhythm of your heart. Up and down, up and down. Imagine that up and down representing your life – You’re feeling great about your life when it’s up and you’re feeling down about your life when it’s down. But imagine flatlining and feeling nothing. Life is meant to be lived and felt.

Time heals everything and I know you’ll pick yourself up and be stronger for it. Cause that’s just who you are.

Yours truly,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Eyes are the Window to the Soul

The eyes are the window to the soul and intrinsically I think I can understand you at that level. What if the moment we woke up instead of thinking about our day and ourselves we asked the simple question of “what am I going to do to help someone else today?” Often, the shoes or videogame we absolutely had to have NOW – is forgotten 2 months later. 

In a Starbuck, a few years ago, I made eye contact with a middle aged blonde woman standing in line to order her coffee. She smiled the biggest chance smile I’ve ever seen. Not one of those ‘’oh no! we just made eye contact!” Quick smile, look away.  No, she made direct eye contact and smiled beautifully. I’ve never forgotten the simple act of a smile.

How many times a day do we close our eyes and ignore something we CAN give? Something that would take only 5 minutes. 5 minutes of your time could make a difference in someone else’s life. Sometimes it is as simple as a 3 second smile- but other times it is not that simple. 

Because the truth is, even taking 5 minutes to help someone if it is out of your way is something people won’t often do. Now take a decision that involves you sacrificing something so important to you (example, changing your lifestyle etc...) for someone else. How often does THAT happen? We see broken people everywhere in our lives but do we care? Do we care at all?? Do we care enough to let go of ourselves and do something? Or are we content to only think about ourselves and our happiness? The definition of selfish according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary is:

1: Concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.

Dear R-

You have people in your life who love you so much. But it’s not enough, is it? I know what you really want and it makes me so sad because it’s impossible for me to give you that. I will always be there for you though. <3

Yours truly,

This is SO worth watching:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Letter to Myself

Dear Current Blues,

Rona- I miss you so much right now. And knowing you are returning to Europe and I’m stuck here in America breaks my heart.

Hanna- I miss hearing your Finnish accent and all your amazing stories. You inspire me to do crazy things.  Love you so much!

Anne-Lise, Mischa, Csenge, Princess, Milda, Rebekka,  Linda, Marie-Eve,  and everyone else who made my DK stay unforgettable- you all are amazing and I want to see you soon!

God- I think it’s so amazing how you planned everything and how you know absolutely everything. Even when life doesn't seem to be going well I can trust in you completely. My prayer right now is that you increase my faith where it’s lacking.

My Family- I’m so thankful for you all. I've been rediscovering how fabulous it is to spend time with everyone and become reacquainted. Megan, it’s so great to see you again!

Emily - by the time tomorrow rolls around you are aren't allowed to feel blue anymore.

Yours Truly,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sushi and Happiness

       Tonight my host mom and I are making Sushi.  Awhile back I went to a running sushi restaurant which begs the question, are “running sushi” restaurants common? It’s an intelligent concept- instead of your waiters and waitresses running around bring you your sushi, your sushi is running to you. How convenient.  When I googled running sushi they came up with running sushi Copenhagen/NYC etc…   so maybe not so well known. Oh FYI, no smoking in sushi bars even if it’s allowed.  Just last night I was forced (you know who you are) to put wasabi straight on my tongue. It wasn’t as hot as I expected. I think I’m slowly numbing my spicy sensors. 

I enjoy asking people I’ve just met to sing their national anthem. .  It kind of makes them do a double take, like “whaaa? Really?”  And it appears to causes them to panic a bit.   A couple evenings ago I met up with some friends at the beach. We shared a bottle of wine, chips, and great conversation. As we are all sitting around the clouds are getting darker and darker and we realized we were in for a big rain storm.  First came the lightening though. There was something alluring about sitting next to the ocean, watching the sky grow dark, and seeing the flashes of lightening. It would have been wrong to leave any earlier than we did. Reality hits you around the same time as a rain drop though. And then when it’s no longer just “a raindrop” you start wondering why exactly you felt you had to stay 20 extra minutes. It was a great night though – and no beach visit is complete without a swim. My friend Hannah and I went ahead with that. It soon began pouring and on the way back the bus driver took pity on us as we flagged him down at a stop light.

Last weekend I was in Gothenburg, Sweden with a friend from the Netherlands. We had the pleasure of couchsurfing with a guy from Germany who was a really nice guy. Whenever you see a new location for the first time you really have no idea where to begin sightseeing. The beauty of Couchsurfing is that you see things and parts of a city you would not see if you met up with someone living there.  

“If you want to be happy, be.” Leo Tolstoy

A great quote due to its simplicity and truth.


From the beach night, left to right we have: Miss Hungary, Miss Philippines, myself, and Miss. Iceland. :DD

Monday, February 21, 2011

quick brief update

Well the month of Febuary has been sorta crazy... and I really kind of fell off the face of the blogging world until I got a comment from Dull Boy saying something about January 31st. It's been forever! I do have some good excuses though. ;)

In the beginning of Febuary I had to leave my host family because it really was not working out. And I have to say, in the last 2 weeks I've been much happier then I was in the 2.5 months spent with my first host family. I was able to find a second host family who is living around Copenhagen. So now I'm close to the big city! It's made it much easier to meet people and it's made life a bit more fun. My current host family has 3 children. 2 boys- 7 and 11 and 1 girl- 4. They are all fantastic and very sweet! The 11 year old boy speaks English which is quite a relief. And he's quite the comedian actually.

So beyond moving (my goodness i acquired way too much clothing) and adjusting to a new family.... I just spent the last week in Paris! I made sure I saw the most important sights like... the Eiffel Tower etc... and it was a great experience.

So now that I am learning the routine in my second host family, I should be able to blog like I used to.

xoxoxoxo Em

p.s. someone just named there daughter Facebook. I think I'm going to name my daughter Twitter.

Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31st

Happy Last Day of January!

So I realize it's been a long while since I've updated my blog. Life over in Denmark has been just a bit crazy lately. ^_^ crazy in a good way though.

I'm still going to Danish Language classes and  so far- so good. I do realize I'm the worst in the class but I'm working on the remedy.  I will say, in general I pretty much zone everything I hear- out. So having ''danish'' tv in the backrground to help me get used to the language is a bit unhelpful because I don't pay any attention to it anyway. So despite being here for 2+ months I don't know near as much as I should. However, one of my classmates I sit next to DOES know her Danish and she's totally the best at helping me out when I need it. So I'm not completely drowning! The whole class is taught in Danish so you really do have to pay some attention. Soon I will be speaking in Danish. And things have been clicking better and better each time I do go to class. So it's definitely helping!

The weather here is getting very cold. I've seen snow flurries floating around when I'm on my way to school. I am looking forward to seeing Denmark in the Summertime. I hear it's nice and I'd like to believe it. And I just recently heard how much daylight Denmark gets when it's not winter and I can't wait! Sounds like the sun doesn't really go down till 11ish and comes back up at 4ish. I know my Mom would live here now. ;)

I went to Copenhagen last weekend and met up with four other au pairs from Finland, Germany, Poland, and Iceland. It was a nice get-away. :D And somewhat profound to be in Denmark with 4 girls from countries other then Denmark. All here working as au pairs. I take the train about 1.5 hours to get into Copenhagen so it's not something I do all the time. Transportation here is super expensive! But going to Copenhagen is worth it. :D

Copenhagen's Fashion week is coming up. I don't know if I'll be able to participate but it sounds like fun. I'd love to see a runway show someday and I'm sure I will.

And now the kids will be back soon- I'll update with a real post next time! :D This was just a pseudo post because it's been awhile and I don't have time to really put thought into what I say.

Take advantage of this being the last day of January and do something absolutely crazy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Budapest, Coffee, and Wine

I had my first real European adventure this last weekend. Around the end of December I decided it was time to start touring the European countries around me- I really didn't have a preference as to where I was going to go, I just had to be able to afford it. Fast forward two weeks- Budapest, Hungary. Absolutely beautiful city. There's an energy to it that I really like and I have a feeling that it has something to do with the many coffee shops everywhere. You see, the coffee culture hasn't hit Denmark yet. I'll give them 10 years. 

Honestly- I love being in Denmark but I don't quite understand how a coffee addict like myself ended up in a country with no Starbucks. The only Starbucks that exists in my area is in the Copenhagen airport.  How much do you want to bet that I had a ''real'' coffee before my flight? 

If you ever have a chance to see Budapest, I'd definitely recommend it. Here's a couple pics of me in Budapest that my photographer friend took. 

To get back home I had to take almost every form of transportation available besides a boat. 3 metro trains, 2 buses, one plane, and 2 trains. Sunday was a long day. :D

My home state is Washington and I just want to give a shout out to our wine there. Apparently it MUST be good because they served it at Obama's big State dinner where none other then Jackie Chan attended! And of course, the Chinese President Hu Jintao... And from the Washington Examiner:

"Obama repeatedly stressed that he is seeking "a level playing field" for U.S. companies doing business with China. The White House has been pressuring China on economic issues that include monetary policy and trade imbalance."

That's all very well to want a level playing field but in my opinion, when you owe someone a large sum of money you pretty much lose your chance at a level playing field. Just saying. It is a nice picture to dream about. However, I don't think the Chinese politicians like Americans too much. I seem to recall Sha Zukang saying just that at one point. I think he had too much to drink before he said that though- but I can't quite remember. 

But all of that really won't matter by December 2012 seeing as we will all be dead.. Or at least George Lucas thinks we'll be dead. At least we have until 2012- Dr. Kermit Gosnell made it so quite a few wouldn't ever even have the chance of dying on 2012.  From philidelphia.cbslocal.com we have:

“I am aware that abortion is a hot-button topic,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “But as district attorney, my job is to carry out the law. A doctor who knowingly and systematically mistreats female patients, to the point that one of them dies in his so-called care, commits murder under the law. A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law.”

I really don't care what your opinion on abortion is... the whole thing is really awful and I hope he gets the full extent of whatever they can give him when it comes to the law. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Reflection Two


Understanding vs. Agreeing


The other day I was loading the dishwasher and the silverware caught my eye. I have always wondered and I STILL want to know what is the proper way to load silverware. A lot of people load ''face'' side up and I don't understand that for two reason- 1) When the clean forks/knives/spoons are used, essentially someone's grimy fingers have been all over what you are about to put in your mouth. 2) When you are unloading you are more likely to ''accidentally'' stab yourself with the face up knives then if they were face down.

So, do you load silverware ''face up'' or ''face down?" And why? Because in my experience I see more people loading it face up then face down.  

That being said- usually I don't think any less of a person who puts silverware in the ''wrong'' way but sometimes in life we automatically think people who do things in a different manner then what we are used to are doing things the wrong way. And it's easy to get annoyed because they are obviously just not getting it!  

And you can face something like that two ways. One- get extremely frusterated (which sometimes there is no way around that one). Two- make a choice not to get extremely frusterated. 

Sometimes people do things differently and instead of automatically pushing the way you do things onto them- first, understand why they do what they do. Not always, but usually, there is a reason for it - even if the reason seems silly at least you are aware of it. Second, there's always something you can take away and learn- even if it's "I will never ever do that." Three, if you criticize and tell people how wrong they are- they will not listen to you and you will lose any sort of positive influence. And why should they listen to you? You have succeeded in raising their defenses. 

So in conclusion, sometimes open communcation and being willing to compromise just a  little makes all the difference in the world. You can actually walk away learning something that you wouldn't have if you had not been willing to see another's view point. And I did not say agree. Understanding and Agreeing are two completely different subjects. 

And not to rehash everything over and over- I have taken the liberty to copy and paste a section from an article in the Hawaiian Reporter. I found the breakdown of what the money was spent on to be interesting:

Obama’s trip to Oahu has proved much pricier to state and federal taxpayers.
In a Hawaii Reporter story published last week, some of the cost estimates included:
  • Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One: $1 million (GAO estimates)
  • Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii: $63,000 (White House Dossier)
  • Housing in beachfront homes for Secret Service and Seals in Kailua ($1,200 a day for 14 days): $16,800
  • Costs for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel: $134,400 ($400 per day for 24 staff) – excluding meals and other room costs
  • Local police overtime: $250,000 (2009 costs reported by Honolulu Police Department)
  • Ambulance: $10,000 (City Spokesperson)
  • TOTAL COST: $1,474,200
  • Rental of office building in Kailua on canal
  • Security upgrades and additional phone lines to private homes where Obama and friends are staying
  • Costs for car rentals and fuel for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel
  • Surveillance before the President arrives
  • Travel costs for Secret Service and White House staff traveling ahead of the President

 Beyond the Obama's though- let's explore your cellphone. Police now have the right to search through your phone if you are arrested. I don't even think it matters what you are arrested for- they still have the liberty to go look through all your emails/text messages/ etc... I find that somewhat disturbing. Not because I have anything to hide but because it's an invasion of my personal property. So, go ahead and start password protecting your cellphone. You never know when it might come in handy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Year 2011

            Happy New Year everyone! 

"Tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes in it." 
— L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)

Same can be said for 2011- so let's make it a good one! Take advantage of it being a new year and instead of writing a list of everything you want to do better/new/differently - start doing them! We don't get to the top of the mountain if we spend all our time planning on it. Sometimes you just have to go for it, one step at a time. 

So this month in my au pair household we are trying something new. We have a set amount we can spend on grocceries for the next 3 months. We are in competition with another family to not spend more then that. But how exactly does one keep track of everything they spend?  That question had me thinking today because I will most likely be the person responsible for keeping track of where the money goes. On my last computer I had the program Quicken which can be fantastic if you are really into finances and keeping track of things. My current computer does not have Quicken and I was thinking of something a little bit simpler because all I'm doing is keeping track of receipts. Today I started looking online for a bit of help and came up with a solution. 


It wasn't my first choice but due to living outside the USA I couldn't be picky. A lot of free software has restrictions as to where it is used and living in Denmark makes it difficult to find something. This site allows you to log how much you spend or receive in particular categories. All I need it to do is keep track of groceries and it looks just about perfect for that. I'll still have to investigate it more though and try it out. 

Now, the first part to tracking and saving money is usually finding out what you are spending it on. Often times it's the little things that add up- kind of like, going shopping and buying a bottle of water while you are out. It doesn't cost much, but multiply it by how many times you do that a week, x52 weeks.  So the first two weeks of January will likely entail finding out where the money goes. The second two will be used to figure out how to cut back. 

One other site that looked interesting was: 


You can't use it outside the US as far as I know- however it would have been my first choice. 

I don't think my host family and I are the only one's who could learn how to become more money concious. I read a quote the other day which talked about the Obama's Christmas vacation costing us about $1.5 million. OUCH? Like really? Maybe we all have to try to do things a bit less expensively. A few less trips to Hawaii.... a few less golfing days.... but hey, you're only president/president's wife/president's kids for a few years, so why not take advantage of it? And have you ever noticed how much easier it is to spend someone elses money and how you usually think twice when it comes to spending your own money? Maybe if they pulled the money out of their own pockets they would spend less. 

CHEERS for the new year!