I believe in transparency.  Not to gain sympathy or even complain about life.  Not to say that my life is better than yours.  But rather to share my life.  So I’ll be using this space not only to convey any daily musings I may have, but also to share my life.

To start, I’ll lay a foundation of basic details for you (with a few extras thrown in just for fun!), though nothing to specific to protect both me and everyone I know.

  • Name: Rachel
  • Age: 23
  • Relationship Status: Married
  • Living situation: 2 bedroom apartment
  • Location: Pacific NW
  • Job: Barista at a coffee shop
  • Favorite color: Blue
  • What’s playing on my iPod: Owl City, OneRepublic, Coldplay, and Lifehouse are in steady rotation at the moment
  • Height: 5′ 10 1/2″
  • Favorite outfit: Jeans and a tee (with a cardi or hoodie if its cold)
  • Hobbies: Reading, writing, cooking, blogging
  • What I feel led to do with my life: Be hospitable by having a guest room for anyone who needs to stay with us and hosting a weekly food night; write my blogs and articles; be healthy by cooking at home and exercising.
  • Goals: Buy a bike to use for transportation and exercise.  Host a weekly food night, preferably an Indian curry night.  Exercise five days a week.  Set weekly plans for writing projects.

I will no longer promise to write daily.  It’s just not a promise I can keep at the moment.  Some days I won’t post at all.  Some days I’ll post multiple times a day.  At the moment, I’m working almost forty hours a week.  That is supposed to change within the next month, giving me more time to dedicate to blogging and writing.  Until then, please bear with me.  Any feedback, suggestions, or ideas you have for me are welcome!

What do you want to know about me?


Post #60 – What I can’t say no to


Tree reflection in water

Good blogs, great books, fresh black coffee, lattes, writing, long conversations with friends, laughing, cardigans, black v-neck tees, sweet flats, traveling, learning new languages, baking, trying new recipes (especially from Espresso and Cream), taking pictures, experimenting with my camera, etc. … the list goes on and on.  I love all of these things!

But what I can’t say no (or at least I haven’t been able to say no to yet), is a cranberry orange scone.  I know, I know… scones aren’t the healthiest pastry on the planet.  But I just can’t say no.  I love them!  It’s ridiculous, but true.  I love cranberry orange scones.  I blame Starbucks for this since I first got introduced to them at Starbucks.  Oh well… such is life.  I suppose there are worse things to not be able to say no to.

What can you not say no to?

Post #1

Today’s topic at The Daily Post is to list three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go.

Since I’m from the United States but currently living in China, I really do want to go back to the United States to visit my friends and family.  My visa expires February 17, so I’ll be heading back by then.  I don’t want to count this as one of my three countries though because I’m from the U.S. and there are at least three other countries I want to visit and/or live in.

Country #1 – Spain.  I want to visit (and live in) Spain.  Ever since I began learning Spanish, I’ve longed to go to a country where I can practice and improve my Spanish.  As a Spanish major, my husband spent eight months in Spain, fell in love with it, and wants to go back, which just intensifies my desire to visit Spain.  Furthermore, I’ve always wanted to live somewhere in Europe and love every aspect (that I’ve learned about) of Spanish culture.  Spain seems to be an ideal country to visit.

Country #2 – the Netherlands.  Don’t ask me why, but I’ve always wanted to visit Amsterdam and then move there.  I don’t speak Dutch or really know all that much about Amsterdam, but it just pulls on my heart to at least see it.  Incredibly, this desire has not faded at all in the past four years; if anything, it is stronger now than before.

Country #3 – England.  I read a lot of Victorian novels as a young girl, and I fell in love with England, its people, and its countryside.  Additionally, I love clocks, and London is home to Big Ben.  So I would just love to visit the country and see the country that inspired so many of the books that bring back such fond childhood memories.  I would even love to live there.

If you can’t tell by now, I love being an expat.  Adjusting to different and foreign cultures is difficult, but I love the experience.  While I am currently looking forward to my visit to the U.S. to see my family and friends and settle in Portland, OR for a little while (to recover from the shock of China and improve my health after suffering the effects of severe pollution), I am just as eagerly looking forward to moving to a foreign country within a few years.

Things to be happy about!

  1. Skyping with a best friend
  2. Lovely weather
  3. A quiet evening reading
  4. Talking in Chinese with some kids on the street
  5. A good book
  6. Blogging
  7. Emails from friends
  8. Moleskine journals
  9. Candles
  10. Being productive
  11. Dreaming
  12. The local hand-pulled noodle shop (so delicious!)
  13. Local street food

Things I miss from the States

While it is amazing how similar life in China can be to life in the United States, there are few key differences as well, which is definitely to be expected of course.  The following is a list of things that I dearly miss in no particular order.

  2. coffee shops, namely Starbucks (note they do have 1 in the entire Hunan Province, but it is 2 hours away)
  3. public libraries
  4. bookstores
  5. Twizzlers
  6. plain milk (all the milk here is flavored)
  7. kettle cooked chips, especially bbq chips
  8. toilets
  9. toilet paper and soap in public restrooms
  10. free wifi
  11. binding straightforward work contracts
  12. individualism
  13. tampons
  15. Mexican food
  16. Jed’s
  17. dryers
  18. soft mattresses (you can dribble a basketball on my mattress)
  19. unlimited access to the internet, including facebook, hulu, and youtube
  20. boneless chicken breasts (all the chicken in China has bones still in it)
  21. ground beef
  22. regulated traffic
  23. 8-5 work hours
  24. family
  25. evenly paved roads and sidewalks
  26. convenience and proximity to grocery stores and restaurants

These things I miss dearly!

On beginnings

Beginning #1 – posting on this blog again.  I am ashamed to admit that my posting has fallen by the wayside as of late… well, the past few months.  So I am going to make a concerted effort to post regularly once more.  I am also working daily on my latest blog (I know… a new one when I can’t keep up with the old???)  This new blog is about beginning #2 which is…

Beginning #2 – China.  You know, the whole nation. 🙂  Ok, not really.  Actually it is about beginning a new life in China and adjusting to the culture.  So far, it is good.  It is hard.  It is overwhelming, and also surprisingly simple.  Some aspects feel so natural; others feel so foreign and alien that I have trouble even comprehending them.

Beginning #3 – a new career.  Yup.  I have started all over once again.  After graduation, it wasn’t grad school like I had anticipated.  It was being a secretary at the Language Company-Bowling Green – an ESL school affliated with BGSU.  Now, I have quit that job to move to China to teach English as a foreign language with my husband, John.  Which brings me to beginning #4…

Beginning #4 – my recent marriage.  Tomorrow is our one month anniversary!  And while I am excited, I am also sad that since I am in China and don’t speak more than 10 words of Mandarin, I have no idea how to celebrate or make our day special.  Aside from that however, marriage is spectacular.  Yes, it is work and it is hard and frustrating at times.  But it is so good.  My husband loves me, and he loves God more than me, which is fabulous!  We are growing together and going on adventures.  We are pursuing our dreams!  I feel loved and supported and encouraged every single day!  I am so blessed to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.  🙂

Beginning #5 – this is kind of an old beginning, but still more recent than my last post… oops.  Graduation.  I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a B. A. in English Literature (and a 3.45 GPA that just barely kept me from graduating with honors. :()  Real life began quickly since I started my secretary job two days before graduating.  Ohhhh… and I was proposed to (and said yes!) one week after graduation.  When it rains, it pours I suppose.  Or maybe the more appropriate saying is that life comes at you fast.

So yeah… lots of beginnings and changes in my life.  Keep checking back for updates!

Honesty Survey from Facebook

1.What was the last thing you put in your mouth?  My toothbrush

2.Where was your profile picture taken? Jake & Emily Miley’s wedding

3.Can you play Guitar Hero? Of course 🙂

4.Name someone who made you laugh today? Lo.  “I like ’em big; I like ’em chunky.”  Ummmmyeah.  🙂

5.How late did you stay up last night and why? 2:30ish to watch The Proposal

6.If you could move somewhere else, would you? Yes, definitely yes.

7 Ever been kissed under fireworks? No.

8. Which of your friends lives closest to you? Ummm… I think Andrew Bruner…

9. Do you believe exes can be friends? Yes, my closest friend is technically my ex.  But to be honest, it doesn’t always work, nor it is always a good idea.

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper? 23  flavors of deliciousness

11. When was the last time you cried really hard? Sometime in the past month…?

12. Who took your profile picture? Christy Boggs.

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of? Group pic of Rich, Katelyn, Cary, and Matt.

14. Was yesterday better than today? Ummm… I don’t know?  Both had their ups and downs…

15. Can you live a day without TV? Yes.

16. Are you upset about anything ? Upset? No…. worried?  Bothered?  Yea…

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? Definitely, but they are hard work.

18. Are you a bad influence? Depends… but I would say mostly good.

19. Night out or night in? I need definitions of ‘night out’ and ‘night in’ to really answer that question…

20. What items could you not go without during the day? Cell phone, clothes, water, pen & paper, coffee…

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital? My grandmother.

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say? “I love you too.”

23. How do you feel about your life right now? It is a rollercoaster.  Up and down.  Here and there.  But it is good.  🙂

24. Do you hate anyone?  No.

25. If we were to look in your face book inbox, what would we find? Many messages.  What else would you find in an inbox?

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass? Of course 🙂

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before? Yes.

28. What song is stuck in your head? Strangely enough, I don’t have a song stuck in my head at the moment.

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., who do you want it to be? Honestly?  One of my close friends.

30.Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50? Absolutely not.

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow? Write a Spanish presentation.

33. Do you smile a lot? I don’t know… sometimes?