Monday, August 27, 2012

Here goes nothing!

And I'm off to Raleigh for my flight at 6!
See y'all on the other side, cheers y'all.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


At my "going away" party this weekend, one of my best friends shared this beautiful song by an amazing band called "The Head and The Heart". If you love folk, Mumford & Sons, or just great harmonies.. this ones for you.
I'll be listening to this as I travel 3,936 miles to London tomorrow. Remembering how truly blessed I am to have so many people who love me so dearly. Rivers and roads 'til I reach y'all...

Cheers y'all, see ya in the UK!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Favorite Things in Three Giant Suitcases

Imagine every one of your favorite things in your home. Julie Andrews did "My Favorite Things" right with this catchy song but I would have to challenge the "These are a few..." part. If I re-did the classic song my way, well let's just say it would take much more than a few minutes and an overzealous nannie. Think of each comfy blanket, old memento, gorgeous dress, funny poster, framed picture, sexy pair of shoes, dirty hat, and perfect pillow. Each drawer in your room is filled with tiny slices of you and your past. Every closet opens up to a world of possibilities and memories of the great times had. (Narnia!?) Your floor holds the weight of a thousand steps and all the adventures that accompanied them. Your ceiling traps the laughter inside so it will forever ring in your ears.

Do a 360 in the middle of your floor. You will feel your niche as it swirls and surrounds you with confidence and security. Your 'favorite things' are your material impact on the world. The choices you have made (good and bad), the people that have loved or left you, the best and worst memories of your life.. the 'favorite things' are the physical reincarnation of your many experiences. Too philosophic, you think?? Well, I agree. However, at some point almost all of us have had to pack up, move away, and start over with just the few precious items we have chosen to remind us of the past and to represent us in the future. What items have stayed with you no matter where you have moved or traveled to? A letter from a teenage love, a pillow cross-stitched by your grandmother, the field hockey jersey you scored so many goals in, a poster of your favorite painting... Each of the items we carry throughout our lives brings us closer to home, to ourselves, to love, and most of all to the people we want to be.

My struggle this week is deciding which of my many 'favorite things' will be allowed to go with me across the pond. For a whole year, I will take two suitcases, a carry-on and a backpack. Also, I think I'm going to have to ship a box or two... So, with these restrictions I have really been forced to narrow down my options of taking my whole 'life' with me. My 'favorite things' list has been cut drastically and to be honest, it is a bit upsetting. I've got pictures of friends and family that have been next to my bed since I was young.. sure, they can fit into a side pocket of a suitcase. I've got concert posters that I would be sad to wake up without.. maybe I can roll them and stuff into the bottom of a bag. I've got an entire four-poster bed that I need to have for a perfect night's sleep... okay, yeah that is just not happening.

While I am pining over all the 'favorite things' I will not be able to slam into a suitcase, a dear friend has given me a tip.. bring just a few things that remind me of home (aka mostly pictures!) and then buy a few things once I get there to spice up my flat. It sounds so simple, I know.. It will be the perfect connection of old and new.. "where I've been and where I'm going". I love this advice because it will lead me to build a list of London 'favorite things' that are tightly joined to the fabulous experiences that I will have over there. Letting go of a few old things and allowing new things to enter is going to be great for me. After all, isn't that what moving (read: moving on) is all about??

Our world encourages mass materialism and puts so much weight on us to 'have enough stuff' and 'have the right stuff'. Your 'favorite things' do not buy into this societal pressure and I do not believe they should. Our 'favorite things' consist of items that would mean just about nothing to the everyone else but they mean the world to us. Our 'favorite things' bring us hope in times of fear, sight in the darkness, and memories that spur us onward to make new, wonderful, and exciting memories.. and these new memories allow for even more 'favorite things' to be added to our ever-growing song.

Cheers y'all, Lis

Monday, August 20, 2012

So I'll just say fare thee well..

Goodbye is permanent. It reminds me of someone dying and I refuse to say it. Goodbye is all too harsh and long term. Goodbye represents sadness and loss.. an uncomfortable and depressing event. To me, goodbye signifies a lack of control of your own life and an inability to change the future. I prefer a cheerful "See ya soon!" or a simple "I love you." that end conversations rather than the ominous "Goodbye". Now don't get me wrong, some goodbye can be good, even wonderful, events. Goodbye to a terrible friend who stabs you in the back. Goodbye to a painfully boring class and professor who spits when he talks. Goodbye to a city that doesn't have sweet tea or southern accents. Goodbyes have purpose and meaning and they can be a catalyst for a significant and positive change in your life...but those are not quite the goodbyes I'm writing of today.

Today, just one week until my move to London, I'm writing of goodbyes to family, to friends, and to home.. to comfort, to love, and to peace. Two weeks ago, I hugged the necks of my extended family on my mother's side and it was slightly more difficult than I'd imagined. We are incredibly lucky because we are very close to one another; we talk frequently and visit each other on more than just the annual holidays. Saying goodbye to this group of hilarious, crazy, and loving people made me remember how truly blessed I am to have a family larger than just two cool parents and a funny 'little' brother. I know they are supporting me and praying for me; they are a support system stronger than I could dream of. So.. See all y'all real soon and I love you!!

Oh my dear friends, my loud friends, my sweet friends. My home friends, childhood friends, college friends,  and my new found friend... Goodbye is not an option. This summer has been spent in a whirlwind of road trips, beach trips, dinners and drinks, phone calls, Skype calls, laughter, tears, and love.. so many quick Hello's and even faster Goodbye's. All of these moments of wonderfulness and happiness lead me to say that this has been one of my best summers ever. I've traveled to and been visited from the North, South, East, and West and it means so much to me that I've got friends who are willing to make the effort to call, text, visit, and love me with all their heart. I'm so thankful for each one of you and the memories that wake me with a smile each and every morning and put me to sleep with a hope and a strength each and every night.

Driving hours and singing Weezer, floating the river and talking about everything 'under the sun', drinking cheap red wine and our teeth turning dark, watching a shooting star and wishing on love, dancing at the front of the stage and singing Wagon Wheel, crying around a single candle and giving compliments, being too tired to move from the couch but not too tired to laugh, yelling Chi O cheers and talking until we lose our voice, beating you at cards and laughing at your competitiveness, remembering at our past mistakes and dreaming for our futures...

Most of all, just the memory of being surrounded by friends who amaze me with their strength, love, hope, and success. So to my friends, all my friends... Y'all better not forget about me. I'll see you crazies soon and I love you with all my heart.

To my small, southern city.. my little slice of Heaven and humidity. I have left you before but this time it will be a greater leap. A year away from you, the place where I have lived since I was 2 years old. My parents and sweet brother, my 'second families', my best friends' parents who treat me like I'm their daughter, my car, my restaurants, my shops, my roads, my home, my room, my bed, my dog... Each of these are a comfort that I will part with in just a week but I know that I am not saying Goodbye but just a cheerful See y'all soon, I love you and I will miss you dearly.

Goodbye is permanent. Life is not. Nothing in life is forever, there is rarely an aspect of our lives that we cannot change or at least try to change. However, patience is sometimes the easiest way to find change...and trust. Trust that all will be taken care of and all will be okay. Whether we trust in ourselves or a higher power, having faith that all things happen for a reason and will give us certainty and comfort in our lives.

Cheers y'all, Lis xx

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Packing has begun! I leave in less than three weeks and I've got a few piles started. It won't be too cold until about October but I don't come home until December so I've definitely got to think ahead! Trench coats and scarves are some of my favorite winter clothing.. I love cold weather and all the great clothes that come with it. I can't wait to slide on some boots and snuggle up in my infinity scarf!
Cheers y'all, Lis

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Oktoberfest: Round Two!

Schutte and me circa 6am waiting for the Houses to open!
What happens at Oktoberfest,
stays at Oktoberfest??
Just booked a hotel room (aka a twin bed in a 10ft cubic space) for Kate, Laura Grace and me for Oktoberfest 2012! I'm so excited to be going back.. I'll just make sure to stay away from Canadians and Horses this time around.. they're more dangerous than they seem.
Cheers y'all, Lis