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Awesomeness

I am so excited for the next couple of weeks. They are going to be amazing. This is my rough schedule:

Friday 15th and Saturday 16th: Hotel all weekend with my family. Nice warm pool, lots of shopping and nothing to do but relax and enjoy each others company.

Sunday 17th: My birthday! Woo hoo!

Monday 18th or Tuesday 19th: Off to Cancun, Mexico with my friend Kelly to enjoy margaritas, beaches, relaxation and girl time.

Wednesday 20th or Thursday 21st: Leave Cancun and head to California to see my sister.

Thursday 21st – Thursday 28th: Quality time with my sister, nephew and brother-in-law in California. More mild weather, and relaxation with people I love.

Friday 29th – Sunday 31st: Down to Indianapolis to visit friends. Also, attending a monster truck rally for the first time.

I couldn’t be more thrilled.

New Year

I hope everyone had a fabulous time bringing in the new year. I had a really fun night with people that mean the world to me. Everyone should be as lucky and loved as I am.

Since it’s the new year and all I’ve decided to change how I blog a little. I’m a perfectionist. It’s a blessing and a curse, but mostly a curse. Now, it may not be obvious to those who read my blog, but when I put together a post it has to be something major or interesting (to me anyway). I generally spend ages getting the content together, resizing and editing pictures, finding links or videos, rewording things so they’re just right etc. A lot of my posts take me hours to put together and I have a whole list of posts in draft mode that are waiting to be finished. This is why I don’t blog more often, especially when there has been an event in my life that I want to blog about. I get stuck working on a “major” post and it takes me so long I lose interest. However, I don’t want to post anything else because my “big” post isn’t done yet and there would be continuity issues.

Ridiculous, I know. Well, I’m done with that. Not that I won’t be putting together “major” posts anymore, because seriously I’m still me but I’m going to try to get on here and talk about the every day a little more. I figure, I enjoy reading blogs like that and my life and thoughts can be fairly interesting (at least I think so), so why not? This blog is ultimately for me anyway. Sure, I’d love it if someday I’m one of those bloggers with lots of friends that I don’t know irl and who gets interesting discussions going in the comments section.  Until then I’m going to use this as what it is, an online journal. I’m going to be who I am regardless of who is reading. I’m going to document my life, if for no other reason, than to be able to someday look back and see how much I’ve grown and changed.

I’m always excited for a new year. While I’m not one to make a list of resolutions on January 1st, I am excited about what this new year will bring. It’s going to be a year of getting used to being a grounded flight attendant, finding a new job while I wait for the economy to improve so I can start flying again, but most of all I hope this year is a year of learning, changing and growing. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about my life journey in 2010.

Happy Halloween!

Princess Phoebe

Yes, I’m one of those dog owners. She looks so ridiculously cute though, I can’t help it!

Growing up I never really celebrated Halloween so it has never very important to me. This year we got into it a little bit though and carved our first pumpkin ever! It was really fun.

I hope you enjoy our little video. Have a safe a happy Halloween!

Happy New Year!

newyearkiss

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to 2009 being a year of lots of learning and happiness.

Best Christmas Ever

As a flight attendant it’s very hard to get holidays off. This year was no exception and I was scheduled to be on call Christmas day. I actually got Christmas Eve off and then moved a few days around so that I worked a lot leading up to Christmas. I made up my mind that as long as I got Christmas morning off I would be content. When it came down to it, God smiled on me and somehow I wasn’t called all day long. It was the best Christmas present I could have gotten. I will let the pictures from the day tell my story for me.

grandpaandhunter

We spent Christmas eve at my Grandpa’s house as is our tradition. Here is Hunter snuggling Grandpa while we were watching The Polar Express.

grandmaandjordan

My grandma and the newest member of our family, Jordan.

lotsofpresentslong

Joel and I spent the night at my parents house and this is what we were greeted with Christmas morning. My family is so blessed.

babysfirstchristmas

It was baby Jordan’s first Christmas. Isn’t he adorable?

dadandfam

My dad, Anthony, Naomi and Bekah waiting to open presents.

dinosaurboy

What’s a dinosaur say? “Grrrrrr!”

helpfulcousin

Hunter was being a helpful cousin and feeding baby Jordan.

wiifitsurprise

My mom was really surprised by her Christmas gift.

annapresent

My littlest little sister Anna

lizgps

Liz has a little trouble with directions sometimes so this will come in really handy.

sleepypuppy

Madison was such a good little puppy and slept right in the middle of all the presents.

dadanddavidbreakfast

My mom made her famous biscuits and gravy for Christmas brunch, yum!

That evening we went over to my brother’s house and had Christmas dinner with them.

uschristmas08

I can’t imagine the day being any more perfect. I hope everyone’s Christmas was equally full of fun, laughter and magic. Merry Christmas!

My Little Dutch Holiday

I was feeling rather “homesick” so I decided to take a trip over to my second home, The Netherlands. Reason number 53 why I love my job: I fly standby and was lucky enough to get seat 1F. Yeah that’s right, first class baby. Ah! It was amazing. I ate a delicious meal, watched a movie and then laid my chair back and slept like a baby until it was time for breakfast. This is how an airline can treat their employees like crap and still keep them around because once you’ve flown somewhere like that it’s hard to imagine going back to seat 36E, back of the plane, middle seat.

Anyway, I got there without a hitch and feeling very rested I hopped on a train and made my way to Rotterdam to see my lovely Dutch family. It was a really fun, relaxing several days where I was able to just blend into their everyday life again and hang out with my girl. It was great. Then at the end of the week we celebrated Sinterklaas with Ineke’s sister Thea’s family. They were the family that I helped out three and a half years ago in Romania when their youngest was born.

Here are a couple pictures from my days there:

My little princess loved playing with my hair. She actually wasn’t bad at doing braids.

One of my favorite winter time treats over there is an oliebol. It’s a deep fried pastry dusted with powdered sugar and it typically has raisins in it although you can get many different varieties. It’s kind of like a giant donut hole actually. They only make them from mid November to early January.  They are absolutely delicious!

My iPhone was very popular with the kids because of the games. I barely got it back from them, haha. (I guess we know what will be on the list for next Sinterklaas, huh Ineke? *wink*)

For those of you who don’t know about Sinterklaas you can read about him here. Basically, Sinterklaas hands out gifts on the eve of his birthday in sacks like these.

Sinterklaas hid these in the basement of Thea’s house and left a note so the kids could discover them later.

Think there were enough? Sinterklaas even knew I was there somehow. Thanks again for all my beautiful presents Sinterklaas *wink*.

Another tradition is writing poems that tease the receiver of the gift and/or hint at what the present is.

Caroline is getting so freaking big! When I first got there she was only one, now she just turned six and she could read her own poem (with just a little help). *sigh*

Speaking of growing up, here is little Sam who I last saw when he was born! Now he’s three and absolutely adorable. If you look carefully at his mouth you can see he’s already had plenty of the candy that he’s eyeing.

So my visit this time was short but sweet. It was great seeing everyone again and hearing Dutch all around me. It just feels like home over there. As icing on the cake I even got a first class seat coming back home! It was a lot of fun and hopefully it won’t be too long before my company sponsors a trip back there for me. *crosses fingers*

Popcorn Festival

I got an unexpected day off so Joel and I joined my family at Valparaiso’s Popcorn festival.

Anniversary Vacation Part One

This month was Joel and my second wedding anniversary. I can’t believe we’ve been married for two years already! In celebration we decided to take a little vacation down to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We had four beautiful days together and had an amazing time. There is too much to put into one post so I will spread it out over a couple posts.

We left Dulles Airport late Monday night and were seated in business class. I definitely felt like a rock star sitting there with my husband and it enabled us to get some good rest on the ten and half hour flight down there. We arrived Tuesday morning and were greeted by our driver who had been arranged by our hotel to pick us up at the airport. We chose to stay at the Claridge Hotel which is a five star hotel in the center of the city and we were not disappointed. We had a very comfortable room and we spent the first day doing nothing but settling in and ordering room service. Hey, it was an anniversary trip after all. *wink*

The next morning we enjoyed our delicious, complimentary champagne breakfast. I very rarely get up in time to enjoy breakfast but this was not to be missed. We then went out to explore the city.

We started out on Florida Street which was just a block from our hotel. It has a lot of great shopping and is one of the busiest streets in the city.

We made our way past the Obelisk, which is a defining land mark of the city.

Evita!

Look, we really were there.

Here are several more pictures of the streets of B.A.

There are lots of cute, brightly colored buildings like this scattered throughout the city.

We wandered down to the water where we picked up some delicious ice cream and enjoyed the sun and the view.

A nice refreshing treat on a warm, sunny afternoon.

Part of our view of the water.

After we had seen all we wanted to see for the day we headed back to the hotel to enjoy the warm evening air by the pool and send some postcards to people back home.

We’ve got a lot of family!

Writing home.

Later that evening we decided to try one of the things Argentina is most famous for: steak.

We went to a place just around the corner from our hotel called El Establo. It was a traditional, little steak house. The menu had easily two or three dozen different options for the cuts of beef and how it was prepared. Our waiter obviously saw our overwhelmed looks as neither Joel nor I are experts on the different cuts of a cow. Even though he didn’t speak any English he did a great job of helping us pick out which cut we should get. And let me just say he knew exactly what he was talking about. Best. Steak. Ever!

I am not kidding you this may have been the best thing I have ever put in my mouth. I am completely spoiled when it comes to steak now. These cuts of meat made every other steak I’ve ever had look like hamburger, no kidding.

Here we are enjoying our amazing dinner.

After that we headed back to the hotel to get rested up for our next day of adventures which will be part two. Stay tuned!

My Japanese Birthday

I turned 22 this year, and since anyone who knows me knows I don’t do anything halfway I decided to do it in Japan. Ok, so the crew desk technically decided that for me but I wasn’t about to argue. Plus, since I started my birthday in Japan and flew home I got a 38 hour birthday!

My crew was so awesome. Our purser was like number 300 seniority which is…about 16,000 people senior to me! She was probably the best purser I’ve had so far. Plus, they somehow found out it was my birthday in time to get a card that the whole crew signed for me. The purser also gave me a really pretty id lanyard.

What a great birthday!

I look like a senior mama now, haha.

I also got to try the “Zen” meal on the plane which was very interesting.

Zen Meal

Notice the whole fish, head and all in the middle of the plate there? Mmmmm.

Once I got to Narita was when the real fun began though. I got a four hour nap on the plane so once I got there I decided to just change clothes and hit the ground running. Now, Narita is a little village about an hour train ride outside of Tokyo so pretty much the only reason people go there is because of a layover. As a result, at any given time there are about a zillion airline crew members there, so I knew I could find a good time. Anyway, I hadn’t even left the hotel before I met some ANA cargo pilots who invited me to join them. We had so much fun, but I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking for me.

ANA pilots and me

These were my pilots for the evening, John, Matt and Jorgen (Chad was taking the picture) at the delicious Italian restaurant they took me to.

Happy Birthday to Me

Birthday Dessert

They were so sweet. They told the restaurant it was my birthday and they all sang to me. This dessert was scrumptious, by the way.

When we finished dinner Chad hit the road since he had to fly in the morning. We then did a tour of all the night spots in Narita.

The Jet Lag Club

Thank you for getting drunk

First we went to The Jet Lag Club for a drink. I told you this town was all about the airlines.

The Barge Inn

Next was The Barge Inn. The story I was told about this pub is it was founded by Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin Atlantic. The name is because of how the Japanese tend to pronounce Virgin…Barge Inn, get it? Whether that’s truly how it got it’s name or not I don’t know but I think it’s funny. Plus, it’s a nice pub to hang out in and they usually have live music so it’s a really neat atmosphere.

We left there and on our way to our next destination the clock struck midnight.

Midnight

It was officially my birthday, yay!

Our destination was The Cage, which is a tiny karaoke bar.

The Cage

It’s named the cage because the inside looks like this.

First time karaoke

This was my first time singing karaoke and what better place to do it than Japan?!

Japanese Beer

Me? Drink beer? Yeah… I tried but even Japanese beer which is not too bad, is not my thing, sorry.

Finally, we decided to call it a night and when we came out it was so beautiful outside.

Snow in Narita

Apparently , it almost never snows there so this was a treat.

Honestly, this whole birthday was a treat and the best part was when Joel completely surprised me by being outside of customs with a beautiful rose when I arrived in D.C. I thought he was in Chicago! Thank you everyone for all the comments, messages and emails. You have all made this a very special birthday for me. *smile*

Happy Birthday, Mom!

You mean the world to me. I’m so glad that our relationship has grown from mother, daughter into great friends. You are one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I love you!

-Abigail

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