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Happy Thanksgiving!

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So this is my first Thanksgiving away from my family… I have to admit, I feel kind of old, haha! I’m getting together with some friends from church later tonight for Thanksgiving dinner. The guys are taking care of the turkey and the girls are bringing the sides and desserts. I just made green bean casserole and cheesy artichoke dip, and will be experimenting with sweet tea later this afternoon. (I actually didn’t like sweet tea until I went to school in South Carolina, but now I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving dinner without it. Sadly, I’ve never attempted to make any kind of tea before, so we’ll see how it turns out. If it’s not good I’m not taking it, I don’t anyone’s first experience with sweet tea to be a bad one)!

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I would post a list of some things that I am thankful for this year, so here you go:

1- My Family.

My parents are great and have been really supportive and helpful of me getting along here in Seattle, and I am incredibly thankful for that. My older brother decided a few years ago that he liked me after all and now we’re great friends, and I’m so thankful that I have a big brother who is also a best friend. I also have the cutest sister ever, wonderful grandparents, and a LOT of cousins who I’m pretty close to. (I actually will probably be calling one of them yet again later this afternoon for help with that tea, haha, thanks Sarah)!

2- Friends

Old East Coast friends, new West Coast friends, friends in Slovakia… I’ve been incredibly blessed with amazing friends all over the place. Moving to a place where I didn’t know anyone has shown me how wonderful the friends I have back home really are (as if I didn’t know that already). I moved 3,200 miles away and still get phone calls EVERY day from friends in the Carolinas. In just a few weeks my friend Meagan is flying up for a week- and she’ll be the fifth friend who has come up since I moved here at the end of August!

3- Blue Sky and my Small Group

Along the lines of friends, I’m incredibly thankful for Blue Sky Church and the people I’ve met there. From the very beginning everyone has been so welcoming and has gone out of their way to make me feel at home. I joined a small group with five other people around my age and they are all so fun and friendly. Tonight I’m having Thanksgiving dinner with the group, Saturday night I’m going to see The Nutcracker with a group of girls from church. It’s great to be so far from home but to already know so many great people 🙂

4- The Weather

This may seem a funny thing to have on a list of things I’m thankful for, but as I’m sitting here in the living room (with a fluffy white cat snoring, not purring, under my arm), the sun is shining in through the windows and the only clouds in the sky are the pretty white fluffy ones. It’s much colder here in Seattle than it is back home (the high is 47 today, compared to 76 in eastern NC), but I am really enjoying having a “real” fall this year. I’ll definitely be wearing a scarf and a pea coat to dinner tonight, which just makes everything feel more festive.

5- Christmas is Coming…

The goose is getting fat? I haven’t seen any geese in a while, but in just two weeks my first quarter of grad school will be over and Meagan will be here! After she leaves there will only be one more week before I head to the airport to fly home for Christmas!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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A Quick Autumn Update.

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I can’t believe November is already almost halfway over!  School and work are definitely keeping me busy.  The family is still searching for a new nanny, so I’m still here, but things are going well in the house and job search.  I haven’t found an apartment yet, but I have found roommates.  Two girls I go to church with have also been looking for roommates/new apartments, so now the three of us are looking for a place together.  I’m definitely glad to be looking for an apartment with people I know!

Although the apartment search continues, I have found a new job.  I’ll be working for a company that provides English tutors to Microsoft employees and their families who have just moved to Seattle from a country where English is not the primary language.  I’ll be working one-on-one to develop an appropriate, unique curriculum for each student I have.  Because developing a separate curriculum for each student can be time-intensive, I’m going to try to have just two to three students, and then maybe get a job at a cafe to have a job with coworkers again.  (I never realized how much I enjoyed having coworkers until I had a job without them)!

Wish me luck in the house search; although I’m going to miss the kids when I’m done being a nanny, I’m definitely looking forward to living closer to school and having roommates again!

“Life in these United States…”

“Life in these United States” was (is?) the name of one of the small sections of jokes in every issue of Reader’s Digest that always poked fun (lovingly, of course) at the idiosyncrasies that make Americans American. After driving 3,200 miles from the Southeast to the Pacific Northwest, I discovered that each area of our country has its own endearing quirks that makes it unique. These lists totally play off stereotypes, but I bet if you’re a Carolinian or a Washingtonian you’ll find yourself smiling at more than one of these!

You know you’re from North Carolina (many of these go for SC too), when:

  • You know Pepsi originated in New Bern, Cheerwine in Salisbury, and that Mountain Dew was invented in Lumberton.
  • You know Coke tastes better in the little bottles and that peanuts make Coke taste even better.
  • You have an opinion about UNC. You went there and loved it, or you hate everyone who did.
  • Your folks have taken trips to the mountains to look at leaves.
  • Your school took a field trip to the State Fair in Raleigh.
  • You would elect Richard Petty or Ric Flair for governor if either ever ran.
  • You watched as Dale Earnhardt was the only man who ever lived who could go 200 mph, spin somebody out, call them a you-know-what, and win the race, all in the last lap.
  • You skipped school or work to go to Dale Earnhardt’s memorial service.
  • A tobaggon to you means a knit cap, not a sled.
  • You sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts for a school or church fundraiser
    before those glazed doughnuts went global.
  • When you’re traveling out of state, people ask if you’re from Mayberry.
  • You remember watching the ACC Tournament on television at school.
  • The local newspaper covers state, national and international news
    in one page, but sports requires six pages.
  • Most men in town consider the first day of deer season a national holiday.
  • Fifty degrees Fahrenheit is “a little chilly.”
  • You have no problem spelling or pronouncing “Conetoe” or “Topsail.”
  • Your school classes were canceled because of cold.
  • Your school classes were canceled because of heat.
  • Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waitin’ to pass a tractor on the highway.
  • Your school classes were canceled because of a hurricane.
  • Your school classes were canceled because of hunting season.
    Your school classes were canceled because of a livestock show.
  • You’ve ridden the school bus for an hour…each way.
  • You know more about ACC basketball than professional basketball.
  • You know the Carolina League is the greatest baseball league in the country.
  • You know tea is served sweet unless you specifically ask for unsweetened.
  • You’ve ever had to switch from “Heat” to “A/C” in the same day.
  • You think ethanol makes your truck run a lot better.
  • Stores don’t have bags…they have sacks and are called Piggly Wigglys.
  • You see people wearing bib overalls at funerals.
  • You see a car running in the parking lot at the store with no one in it, no matter what time of the year.
  • Most of the festivals around the state are named after a fruit, vegetable or tobacco.
  • Priming was your first job…and you know what it means.
  • Your idea of a really great tenderloin is when the meat is twice as big as the bun and comes with cole slaw on top.
  • You say catty-wampus, yunto, ill-ass and ah-ite.
  • You know the difference between a deer dog, a bear dog and a coon dog by the way they bark.
  • You put security lights on your house and your garage and leave both of them unlocked.
  • Your four seasons are almost summer, summer, still summer, and highway construction.
  • You can tell if another North Carolinian is from Eastern or Western North Carolina as soon as he opens his mouth.
  • You can spell words such as Ocracoke, Fuquay-Varina and Chocowinity.
  • When asked how your trip to any foreign, exotic place was you say, “It was different.”
  • Hyde County is considered a foreign or exotic place.
  • In the Piedmont, you see all the grown-ups go out and play in the snow.
  • Schools and churches hold barbecue fundraisers with banana puddin’ as the dessert.
  • Your folks would rather eat at Bojangles’s than McDonald’s.
  • You have actually uttered the phrase, “It’s too hot to go to the pool.”
  • You consider being a “Pork Queen” an honor.
  • You carry jumper cables in your car.
  • You faithfully drink Pepsi or Mt. Dew every day of your life.
  • You know what “cow tipping” is.
  • You have your own secret BBQ sauce.

and now, You know you’re from the Pacific Northwest when you:

  • Feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.
  • Know at least eight people who work for companies that manufacture computer parts, airplanes or athletic shoes.
  • Can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai food.
  • Return from a California vacation depressed because “all the grass was dead.”
  • Take a half day every July 1 to find your sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Remember the date, severity, time of day, where you were, and how long you were out of power and phone service for very winter weather event in the last five years
  • Feel guilty for days after throwing an aluminum can in the trash instead of recycling it.
  • Get very, very happy when the early morning weather forecast includes the term “sun breaks.”
  • Are able to use 10 words to order a beverage the rest of the country calls “coffee.”
  • Have ever called your insurance agent to ask if your homeowner’s policy covers falling trees, flooding, or mud slides-or if the number of your favorite roofing company is on your phone’s “speed-dial.”
  • Never go camping without waterproof matches, ponchos, and mattress pads that double as flotation devices.
  • Know more people who own boats than air conditioners.
  • Moved to the Northwest because you read that the two most popular hobbies are fishing and reading. Since arriving you’ve taken up fly fishing and learned to tie flies by reading a book.
  • Consider that if it doesn’t have snow on it or has not recently erupted, regardless of elevation, it is a “hill” and not a “mountain.”
  • Complain about Californians until the day you sell your house to one for twice what you paid for it.
  • Don’t complain about Californians because you’re secretly married to one or are dating one.
  • Personally know someone from Alaska.
  • Find a wallet with $500 in it, return it all to the owner, and refuse a reward.
  • Know the difference between Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye salmon.
  • Used to live somewhere else.
  • Believe swimming is not a sport but a survival skill to prevent boating deaths.
  • Believe swimming should only be done indoors, except in emergencies.
  • Own more than 10 articles of clothing that have the names of microbreweries/brewpubs printed on them. Bonus for embroidery.
  • Wave at people who drive Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles like yours.
  • Basically, you just drive down the road waving.
  • Can point in the direction of two or more volcanoes even though you can’t see them through the clouds.
  • Think downtown is “scary” because you were panhandled there, once.
  • Go to work and return home in the dark in the winter, even though you only work an eight-hour shift.
  • Replace your hiking boots with Birkenstock or Teva sandals when the weather gets above 60 degrees.
  • Believe people who use umbrellas are wimps or Californians, or both.

*These lists are neither from Reader’s Digest nor my own creation; they are from chain emails that have been going around for years and have no known, agreed upon author.