Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good Times China

Yes, I have moved on from China life (still miss it a lot though). However, it took me over a month to take a minute and put this together. If you feel the need and have ten minutes, enjoy!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's in a Birthday?

What's in a birthday? In other words.... what is all the hullaballoo for?! Eat some cake, receive some gifts, talk to some old friends, and maybe even get 42 facebook "Happy Birthday" messages. Right? Wrong.

In the last while, birthdays have become a bigger deal to me. I think for a good eight or nine years I really forgot WHY it is that we celebrate these days. Today, I celebrate the birthday of one of my dearest friends in the world: Lauren Nickl. Today isn't just a day where she can get a free dessert at Chili's and have a few pictures taken. Today is the day that friends and family can be thankful that she was brought into the earth on this day. Because of Lauren I have a wonderful friend and example to me. Because of Lauren I aspire to be a better friend, student, and person in general. Because of Lauren I have had some of the greatest memories and experiences ever.

very old ... :)

what we do best together

May we all celebrate those who enrich our lives and make us better people.

Happy Birthday Lauren Nickl. Love you!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Communication at its finest.

There are a few types of people in this world. Two of them include a) confrontational people, and b) non-confrontational people. I just happen to be a confrontational person. This can be a good and bad thing. Why do I prefer confrontation? In my opinion it's a more quick, efficient, and less problematic way of communicating. I was raised in a family where we openly and respectfully discussed issues or decisions we made together on a weekly basis. As you can imagine, it has been an interesting ride living with a new group of people each four months for the last two years of my life. Maybe you have seen learning situations similar to these as you've lived with different groups of people as well:

- Room mates learn what TO and NOT TO joke about.
- Room mates learn what they CAN and CAN'T borrow from each other.
- Room mates learn what boys they ARE and AREN'T interested in.
- Room mates learn who DOES and DOES NOT enjoy the heat at full blast each night.
- Room mates learn who CAN and who CAN NOT sleep through noise.
- Room mates learn who ARE and ARE NOT happy campers in the morning.

Each day you live with someone, you learn more about which buttons you can and cannot push. However, no matter how well any group of people get along, there will always be some form of friction from time to time. This is where my rant on confrontation comes in.

CONFRONTATIONAL people tend to say what they feel, address problems openly, and get to the bottom of things. NON-CONFRONTATIONAL people tend to beat around the bush, remain frustrated to themselves, and often times never solve or even address the problem.

One of my favorite encounters with non-confrontational room mates has involved hand written NOTES. People communicate best in different ways and accommodate to their personalities. These next few tidbits are some stories on confrontation via handwritten notes.

A particular room mate was unhappy that I had left some dishes in the sink to soak- even after completely washing all of the others. I was a little humored when I came home to find a note that said. "Do your own damn dishes!" This room mate was definitely non-confrontational. It was my pleasure to find this on the internet, print it, and tape it right next to her note:

This individual was frustrated with my paraphernalia I had left on the kitchen counter. Side note: I am NOT the cleanest person you have ever met, but also NOT the messiest either. While I was gone at church, she assumed I had already left for a trip I planned on that weekend. It was interesting to come home (no one else there) and see a post it note on the counter that stated "Everything is Brooke's . . . " After cleaning the counter of everything completely and leaving for my weekend trip, I was highly amused by her followup text message: "Well I'm sure you saw my note. Sorry, I thought you had already left." Nice.

Not too long ago, one of my room mates was frustrated with another room mate for not instantly cleaning off a pan she had used that night to cook onions. I was surprised and entertained to read her note she had left on our kitchen whiteboard: "Whoever left that greasy pan in the sink, it's really rude! It's not very nice to leave things like that for other people to clean." It was very liberating for me to instantly clean the 'greasy pan' and write "Love at Home" under the previous message.

Whether you tend to confront or not, enjoy the weekend. You deserve it.

Oh. And speaking of notes . . . Take a gander at this five star gem my mother found posted in the bathroom of Starbucks this summer in NYC :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm a fan of lists. While in China, I spent on average 6 hours a week in trains (fast, slow, double-decker) and sometimes up to even 30 to 40. I loved that method of transportation and the downtime for writing in my journal, sleeping, and reading. One of the first lists I completed was my "100 things to do before I die" list. Some of them truly might take a lifetime, and others I could go do this weekend. Either way, it kept me entertained for a few hours.

Let me know if you've done any of these.

13. Hike Kings Peak
57. Learn to drive stick shift
45. Make it to a summer olympics
65. Ski all the resorts in Utah
31. Read Frankenstein
19. Learn a second language fluently
56. See the Andes Mountains
92. Sculpt something
89. Get my shoes polished at an airport
70. Go to the circus
6. Visit my mom's family in Japan
76. Read "Where the Red Fern Grows" with my kids
78. Win something on the radio
66. See Les Miserables on Broadway
15. Successfully give birth to a child.
99. Be in Washington D.C. for a Presidential Inauguration
16. Read the entire Bible
21. Complete a triathalon
25. Learn to snowboard
38. Go hunting with my dad
43. Go one month as a vegetarian
98. Road trip across America
17. Sleep one day, all day
74. Go fly fishing
82. Meet another Brooke Foster
96. Camp on the beach

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wisdom Teeth

Why do they call them wisdom teeth? Why do your cheeks puff out so much when you take them out? Why was I so freaked out about this for MONTHS? How much longer can I survive off of applesauce? Why does the surgeon give people their teeth in a baggie after it's all done? Why am I so worried about getting a dry socket? Why aren't the stitches in my mouth dissolved yet? How long til I can give my teeth a good, thorough brush again? Why am I intrigued by the yellow/green bruise on my cheek? How was my recovery? Where do they put the wisdom teeth if they don't give them to you? How bad does it hurt if you just let them grow in?

Here are some friends I found that now share something in common with me:


must have lortab

laid there for hours

no going out tonight

webcam convo?

nice . . .