Tag Archives: real life

Little of Life and Book Tag


I’m in a reading slump. Let me explain. September was rough on me. It was the first week back to school for my kids in Hungary and that hit me harder than I expected and, what I think is a bigger deal, my best friend and I parted ways. There’s good reasons why we did that which I won’t talk about. I miss her. I wish we were still friends but right now we can’t deal with each other. Pretty much the hardest thing I’ve had to do is not do anything with her or talk to her but it needed to happen. One day, hopefully, we’ll be able to get back to each other and explain to each other things reasonably. So due to the lack of wanting to people, I read. Also because of the month of September (really life started to suck before September but it’s when life imploded.) I threw myself into books because life was better in books. Now I’m tired of it because I pushed too hard. So I will go back to reviews just taking a break. I feel like I needed to say why the blog has changed for those people who have followed me before the book binge. I don’t want to make anyone feel like I’ve drastically changed. I mean I have but there’s reasons. And all I do is go to work and go home.

Today, I will be doing a random book tag because books.

1.Do you have a certain place you read at home? I recently said I have a book room. That’s where all my books live. But I really don’t have a certain place I read. I just read where I’m at.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper? I don’t have bookmarks. Right now I’m using a plane ticket. I’ve never really liked actual bookmarks. Why buy them when I can use something that has meaning. When I was sixth grader I had an envelope I used and everyone in my class decorated it. It was really cool.

3. Can you stop reading at any time or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, etc.? Typically it’s the end of the chapter. There are situations I wouldn’t go to the end of a chapter like an emergency or I am so tired I can’t continue.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading? I don’t really eat while reading but I will drink. Tea, milk, pop, whatever. I do something similar when I bake. I have to have something to drink when I bake.

5. Can you read while listening to music or watching television? Rarely I can have something on while I’m reading. I do have more tolerance for music while reading. Television I just want to watch. I need to do the visual thing. And using the word television makes me feel really old. True story.

6. One book at a time or several at a time? One at a time. I can’t handle several at a time. I get too invested with the characters.

7. Reading at home or everywhere? I always have a book with me in my purse. I generally don’t read it when in public but it does happen. Like if I’m waiting at the doctor or sometimes at a coffee place. But usually if I’m doing something at a coffee place I’m journaling.

8. Reading out loud or silently? Silently. Unless I’m reading to the nephew or nieces. But the nephew and the oldest niece can read now so they read to me now.

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages? How bad do I hate the book? There are books where I’m not enjoying them so I skim. So I don’t necessarily skip pages, I just read super fast. I have a problem with not finishing books. So I power through.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new? Generally keep it like new.

11. Do you write in books? Yes. Not as much as I used to though. It was a major thing when I was in college and I had to go to class and discuss the book. I had a method. I used a highlighter to mark where end notes were (like Barnes and Noble copies) and words to look up and I used a pen to underline lines to remember or that I liked and to write in the margins. I still write in the margins but not necessarily the highlighter.

So that’s the book tag. I might do another one. It depends on if I get out of my reading slump. I have started An American Heiress. I just need to buckle down and get into it.


Life Update. Re-entry Version.


Now I usually do 2 posts in a day but today is an exception because I’m at mom and dad’s (who have internet) and I’m working the next few days so I’ll be preoccupied.

A few weeks ago, I posted about how I thought that re-entry was making me a horrible person. And it was really raw for me. I still can’t go back and read it. That post is partly why I’ve been doing just book reviews. I mean, not much is going on in my life, but re-entry is very personal to me. And I’ve been dealing with it a lot since I’ve come back. But I’ve been dealing okay. It helps I’m not living with mom and dad. I have my own space. If I haven’t mentioned before, I’m living over at our other farm. It’s a little big for me but it works. Anyway. I have my own space and can come see my parents and my brother’s family (who have a house on the home place) whenever I want. I also feel like I can come and go as I please more. I feel like I don’t have to answer to anyone. It also lets me deal with things better. I’m journaling more which I wasn’t doing at mom and dad’s because I always felt like I was being intruded on. Living alone is a good thing.

So overall, I don’t feel overly overwhelmed by American culture anymore. Well, with the exception of yesterday. I went to the chiropractor yesterday and it’s a good thing because I was really out of whack and my knee was weird, which affected my calf. So it’s nice to feel normal and not have walking be a pain and sleep without waking up because I randomly hurt. Anyway, I met up with a friend of mine at one of the colleges in Bismarck, because there’s 4, to return a book she lent me on re-entry. This friend spent 2 years in China with Cru and now is working with Cru at Bismarck State College. So we’re sitting at the Student Union, which has changed drastically since we went there, and we were just catching up and talking about re-entry. We had this discussion about how difficult it is. We came to the conclusion that it’s never easy, it’s just different. Then at the end, before I left, she mentioned that she recently went back to a journal entry she wrote after she got back from China and how she struggled with God and the struggle has gotten more intense since then. I totally relate. I feel like it’s been underlying since I got back. I even journaled about it last night. After I left, I went to eat and then I went grocery shopping. Since I’ve been back, I haven’t had too much trouble with shopping. Except with toilet paper. Toilet paper has been a challenge for me…..to buy. I still know how to wipe my bottom. But I’m shopping and I’m trying to find something and I’m just frustrating because even though there’s signs, I can’t find this thing that mom asked me to pick up. So that was frustrating.

Then the check out. This is the major issue. In Hungary, I’d have to carry back my groceries back to the Bazis, where I was living. So I never bought any more than I could carry. I got my groceries on the conveyer belt and there was someone in front of me and I look down and I panicked because I couldn’t carry all of it. It took a lot of mental talking down to stop me thinking like that. Then they bag and put the bags back in the cart for me. Which is great. It is. It’s a service that’s so beneficial but it made me  uncomfortable. What do I do with my hands? What do I do with my face? Do I make small talk with the cashier? Because all my cashiers in Hungary knew I was American or at least not American. And they’re used to American teachers from the nearby school. So they know to keep the conversation to a minimum. But I got out okay. No tears, but I wanted to cry. Actually I almost did on my way home. I felt very convicted about how these people are bagging my groceries and putting them in my cart, when I am fully capable of doing it myself. It’s a minor thing but something that just bothered me. The rest of the day yesterday, I felt misplaced. But I’m better today.

And before yesterday, with yesterday included, I’ve put on a front. Being similar to how I was. Making jokes, being sarcastic but there’s a large part of me that isn’t like that anymore. It’s how it is. I will always have moments that I don’t feel American. Like I don’t belong anywhere. It was my new normal. As I almost typed, it’s my ‘nermal’. I could also do a series on how I feel misunderstood and the things I feel misunderstood about, but it doesn’t feel right to do now.  I feel like it’s something that I need to heal from more or get more comfortable with myself before I do. So maybe eventually.

I’m Conflicted


I have this thing. I have a love/hate thing with John Green novels. I have just read another John Green book. I started with The Fault in our Stars and I loved it. Green writes a convincing girl. I’ve talked about it before. I then read Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns. Meh. They both have very similar concepts. The Vlog Brothers was one of the YouTube channels that I watched a lot in Hungary. I love the Vlog Brothers. But I definitely have thoughts. I just read An Abundance of Katherines. There are definitely running themes in his books.

I don’t know why his running themes bug me so much. It’s not like I haven’t read other authors with running themes. Lurlene McDaniel and death. Ann Rinaldi and historical novels. And they’re both y.a. authors. But there’s a difference there. I am an adult, not a pre-teen or teen, reading John Green and I’m not feeling that I’m reading about the same characters. In all his books, I feel that Green has the same main character. A teenage boy with some nuance, usually intelligence, and a girl that challenges him to do more. There’s a road trip or something that helps changes the boy, not necessarily the girl. Obviously, Stars is different because of the p.o.v.

I didn’t get to deep into Kathrines. I kind of felt like I was reading something I already had read. It’s not like I hate John Green’s books. They are entertaining. It’s just repetitive. I do like John Green as a person. But that’s on the basis of the Vlog Brothers YouTube channel and their podcast.

I’m going to start a book called Love You More.

Recently I watched the made for television movie about L. Frank Baum’s life. It’s the one with John Ritter and Blanche from the Golden Girls. If you’ve been around for a while you will know that I’ve had a fear of The Wizard of Oz the movie. Nothing cures this fear. Blame my sister for that. Anyway. I decided to watch this movie at like 9:30 at night. Not too late but late enough for me to get creeped out. There’s parts of the movie where John Ritter/Baum are telling the story. And they do this dream sequence and it’s oversaturated with color and it’s so creepy. I turned on the light. 27 years old and I’m scared of an innocent movie. Again blame my sister. I did text her and blame her.

Yup. I’m still in Hungary.


I think a lot of times, when a person does ministry in a foreign place and that person is single and they come back, you hear a lot of the good. You will hear the bad but no one can ever prepare you for the emotional journey that you will take. It isn’t perfect. It has a lot of emotions and not all good. I have never felt more alone than I have since I’ve come here. I also have never felt like people wanted me out so bad too. It’s been an interesting few months to be sure. I’ll start with the bad and move to the good. Because the bad is always stuck in a person’s mind at the time.

I’m a shy person in person in real life. Like really shy. Until I am comfortable with you, it’s really tough to talk to me. So in Mid-October, the school was like “hey, you’re not doing great. We’re asking for another native speaker teacher.” That was the day before fall break. Great. That was the actually the first time that I broke down since I’ve been there. I mean, I didn’t do it at school, I came back to my place and did it. So my boss came out from Prague and got everything taken care of. It was not and is not easy to think about and deal with for me. Good thing is that I’m here for at least a while longer. That’s a very good thing. That means I can invest in the faculty and students a little bit more. I have a faculty member watching a few of my classes this week and then I’m sure after Christmas things will happen or something.

Good things: I went to Germany in October. There is a German woman who was an exchange student when I was a freshman in high school and I went to stay with her and her husband. It was a fun time. Went to Heidelberg and saw a ruined castle and just hung out and practiced my German. We had Thanksgiving for the kids the Saturday before Thanksgiving and that drained me and the other American. 20 some pound turkey and we, more like I assisted in, made all the food. It was fun. We laid out paper as a table-cloth and had kids write what they were thankful for. Some of the older kids did math on it. I took a picture because it was intense math. Stuff I don’t like doing. And I got sick after it. Not fun. We also went to someone’s flat for actual Thanksgiving and it was good. I haven’t laughed like that since I left home. And I saw a guy get kicked in the chest on the bus that night. It happened right in front of us. It was really scary. But it’s a good story. One day I’ll talk about it more in a post.

I’ve done a few museums since here like the House of Terror and the Holocaust museum. I’ve gone to a couple Christmas markets. Budapest has the best Christmas markets by far. I also went to Bratislava (in Slovakia) a week and a half ago. It was cold and rainy but still really cool. I’d go back when I had more time and it was nicer out. I also will be traveling over the holiday. Vienna, Prague and probably Kraków. I’ll be staying with people I know over Christmas so I won’t be totally alone, which is good. The holiday is going to be hard enough but to be alone would be even worse. So hopefully everything works out so I can relax and not worry about school stuff because I could totally see me worrying about school and the outcome of that whole situation. But I’m traveling. YAY!

I’ve gotten involved with a bible study, a church and a book club since I’ve been here. All are good and providing me with some community. I don’t have many people close with my company so it’s hard to get community with them. But I have friends! That’s a good thing. The school also asked me to judge an English competition for 8th graders last week and that went well. I didn’t expect that to happen. I also helped the freshman last week sing a song for the whole school. That was fun.

All is good back home. Sister is pregnant with twins girls, due in February. So my niece/nephew count will double. MJ and I are doing a lot of calming down of each other. Things happen in our lives and we know how to deal with each other. She told me that my stubbornness was getting in the way of something. I’m not stubborn. I still insist I’m not stubborn. I’m not. I’m very agreeable. Anyway, we go back and forth worrying about each other. It’s what we do. We’re pretty much family. The Atlantic Ocean makes constant communication rough for us, but we get through it. We email all the time and we complain how customs has kept her package from me for 2 months already. I was supposed to have it before I went to Germany in October and I still do not have it. Boooooooo. I miss home now over the holidays and there are things I wish I could take care of back home but I keep myself busy. Because there’s nothing I can do over here right now. I just have to wait until my time here is done. I can do this. I have this taken care of. Don’t worry.

I’m a Bad Blogger.


No. Seriously. I’m a bad blogger. I haven’t blogged since I first got to Hungary. Can you guys forgive me. How about forgiving me after I remind you that I’m in a new country, a new joy that is NOT EASY and I deal with a crap load of teenagers on an almost daily basis? I’ve wanted to, if that counts.

So here’s what’s going on in my life. I’m teaching high school. I’m teaching English as a second language in a Technical high school in the 21st district of Budapest Hungary. It’s October. I have about 8 months left until I go home. Now here’s the thing about going home. I haven’t hit homesickness yet. I’ve hit numbness. I had 4 people of varying importantness die in the first 2 weeks I was here, 1 since then, so a total of 5. I haven’t cried over it. I haven’t cried over not being home and seeing the kids all the time. I haven’t cried at all over anything. I’ve been a version of happy and a version of sad since I’ve been here but nothing extreme. It’ll hit me by the time I leave. Probably around the holidays. But I’m going to make it because I’m strong and I’m determined to get through this triumphantly. I’m too stubborn to give up. I’m determined to make it through this year and have a good time about it.

I have had some good times. Some of the kids are great. I have some not so great ones, but most of them are great. I’ve had kids speculate that I hate the sun because I am pale, I had a kid tell me he wants to be Batman one day because the kid next to him is named Robin. I pushed a kid off his chair today and he dramatically fell. The class applauded when I did it. So. Not all bad on the teaching front. It’s just that I’m not a trained teacher and I’ve always known it was a tough job but it’s tough. I’ve gone to Margaret Island, Fisherman’s Warf and I toured the third biggest synagogue. I live by the Danube and since my school is a technical school and I live in a property owned by the school, there are planes and helicopters in my yard. It’s interesting to be sure. I also have plans to go to Germany and Austria. I was going to Bratislava next weekend if I didn’t have to teach on SATURDAY. They have meetings on Monday so the kids have to make up the day of school on Saturday. Lame Hungary. Lame. OH and I went to a beer festival and I went to some kind of festival last weekend and had hot wine. I’ve done a lot more drinking here than I planned to. It’s not because I’m in depression. It’s because alcohol is everywhere. You can get it at the supermarket for like a dollar.

I’ve done some reading here, gotten involved with a book club, I’ve been writing with MJ. I’m actually expecting a package from her and I’ve also gotten several letters from back home. But. I will post more regularly. I promise. I’m in a beautiful city and I have an amazing opportunity. I’ll have a great amount to post from now on, if I sit down and actually right.

Yay for Posting.


So last weekend, over the 4th holiday, (BTW, happy late Canada Day and Independence Day) we had a family reunion. My mom has 4 brothers and one of them has a lake house in Minnesota and that’s about half way for point for a lot of people so we met in Minnesota. 3 of the 4 uncles were there and almost all the cousins. I say almost all the cousins and, in my head, it sounds like that’s a lot of people but let’s break this down.

All together there was:

4 out of 5 siblings and 3 spouses.

9 out of 12 cousins

6 spouses of cousins

11 children of cousins. Actually 13 because sister is pregnant with twins. That’s right my niece/nephew count will be doubling around my birthday next year

4 dogs.

So at the most at one time, because some cousins left early, (cough sister, brother and their families, cough) 31 people in all. (that are out of the womb) It was a good time. Here’s some highlights of the weekend.

I got to drive the new pickup. That makes my life. But my dad and I changed spots after a while. There was a sign that said that there was work being done on the shoulder. Now here’s further proof I’m like my father. We both go at the same time. “I have 2 shoulders.” and we motion to our shoulders exactly the same. See proof. Also, on the way back, after stopping at implement dealers, we stopped to eat and we came up with a master plan to drive mom insane. That was fun.

My cousin and his wife, (FYI, there’s only 3 girls out of the 11 cousins and 2 of us were there, so when I say cousin, most likely it’s a guy) they adopted a little black boy. He’s only a couple months old and super cute and super black. At one point, some of us were in the kitchen getting supper ready and somehow, I procured this little bundle of joy. Not sure how this happened. But we were standing there and he was facing out and looking around and I was bouncing him around and my uncle comes around the corner and goes “Holy shit if that’s not a contrast.” Because I’m super white and this baby is super black. So he really wasn’t lying when he said we contrasted.

Another cousin has a little girl that has Downs Syndrome and she provides some entertainment. My cousin’s wife was holding her and we were talking and this little girl loves Frozen, like any little kid. And this girl started calling me Ana and she was Elsa. My brother-in-law brought up the Frozen songs on his phone and she started singing along and doing all the actions to the songs. It was so much fun to see. Then that night she was going to bed and I go “Goodnight Elsa.” And she looks at me and goes “ANA!” with this big grin on her face. Talk about melt your heart. The rest of the weekend I go “Who am I?” Ana. “Who are you?” Elsa. Pretty sure the family will be calling me Ana for the rest of my life just so they don’t have to mess up on the M names me and my siblings have.

The day after the fourth, we’re all standing down by the lake for breakfast. My sister and her husband were late getting up. An uncle comes up to us and says, “Megan’s up at the house, awake.” We all look at him and ask him to repeat himself. So he repeats it exactly how he said it the first time. I look at him and go “Hi, I made it down to the lake.” He looked at me and goes, “That was fast. But I meant the other one.”

So that was my weekend. I also went back to the nursing home this week. I just finished 4 shifts in a row and have 3 in a row starting tomorrow. For not being put on the schedule this month, I’m sure working a lot. 10 shifts in like a 2 weeks. Who knew that there would be so much work at a nursing home……I did.

So I’ve been back at home for about 2 weeks now from the Chicago area and I’m kind of missing it. Like the social part, being around people my age and similar personalities. It was like college except not.

So remember me talking about friendish/acquaintance at church? I still don’t know what to call him. Sure, let’s go for it. We’re friends. So today, he walks into church with this girl and he comes over to me and gives me a hug. ugh hugs. I am not a hugger but I deal with it. So he introduces the girl, who I think is his girlfriend, but I don’t know because he didn’t say she was his girlfriend just told me her name. Ok, here’s my deal. If it was his girlfriend, he should not have hugged me, even if it is in his personality go be a hugger. Right? Anyone agree with me?

I went to the doctor this past week, waste of my TIME! and I swung by Barnes and Noble and picked me up Book 8 of the Outlander series. Only a month and a half after it came out. Megan for the win. I am just starting it and love it. YAY!

OH! MJ and I are having a girls trip in like a week and a half. We’re going to Fargo! No jokes please. It’s the first time we’ll have actually seen each other in like 3 years. This is going to be EPIC! And maybe a yearly tradition.