Monday, October 31, 2011

home again

finally home.

after two long weeks on the other side of the globe, with my favorite kiddos, and some new favorites, i'm just plain exhausted.

i have a 60 page list of all the american food i want to devour, 55 piles of disgusting laundry probably infested with bed bugs and cockroaches, pictures to edit, naps to take, and three million errands to run.

apparently, time doesn't stop for you when you're not here.

my trip was amazing. (sans the 17 hour plane ride on the way home. except i did get an exit row thanks to my mother.) i cannot wait to write it all out, to immortalize it forever.

saying goodbye is always next to impossible, but at the end of the trip i'm always ready to come home.

little decho, brand new last year, brand new kid this year.

it only took three trips to finally stop at an africa tree.
twins at the church, obisee and jitu.

stories and pictures and stories and pictures and stories and pictures to come soon soon soon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

week of thanks, week forty

373. being in a public place and not having a melt down. even though i oh so wanted to.

374. becoming an official employee early.

375. my supervisor telling me, "we're really going to miss you, you do such a great job." a job that appreciates me? so. weird.

376. free books for the kindle. and their "classics." i better enjoy.

377. cheating my allergies and letting puppies and kitty sleep with us. so much love!

378. fitting everything in one suitcase. i swear, i can fit 2 weeks worth of candy, snacks, clothes, toiletries in anything. except my carry on, i have the hardest time attempting to pack that stupid thing.

379. by the time you're reading this, i'm probably hanging out with my favorite kiddos on the planet. be very jealous of me. also, it's probably approximately 85, no humidity, and sunny. be very, very jealous.

380. being one of the very select group of people who could very easily pack up and move to ethiopia. equals being okay with never eating meat again. equals being okay with once a week showers. equals being okay with clothes washing in the sink. equals i love that place so, so much.

381. not really knowing what the second half of october is.

Friday, October 14, 2011

my heart

i've kept this to myself since last year when i found out i was going back to ethiopia. after the last trip, leaving and thinking i'd never be back, being broken hearted and lost... but God fixed that all up, patched my heart, and made all things new. (just like always.)

this is different.

ever since i received the confirmation letter that i was on the team, i've had this terrible feeling in my heart. just this black cloud over getting there. first, it was the literal "getting there." the airplanes. i despise, hate, loath entirely, riding in an airplane. thinking about it makes me want to puke. i hate when planes hit that air pocket and fall out of the air. i hate when we fly over something "neat" and ev-er-ry-one has to move to the side of the plane said thing can be seen and the plane tips and we all die. i hate that.

i come up with these stories in my head (except the last one. i swear, when we flew over that volcano in iceland THAT YOU COULDN'T EVEN SEE BECAUSE IT WAS COVERED IN SNOW AND CLOUDSSSSS everyone in the plane got up out of their seats and went to the right side of the plane and i swear it tipped. SIT DOWN and DON'T MOVE) and then i break evan's hand and crush the arm rests because i am so stressed out.

i make myself sick over it. i got sick on the planes last year because i was so nervous. but this year, my trepidation started a good year, year and a half early. every time i would think of ethiopia...instant fear. it became so bad that i would tear up thinking about it. i had this tug-of-war in my heart. of wanting to go more than anything in the world, but then not knowing how to get there because i didn't think i could physically make myself get on a plane.

i don't know what clicked, but i finally realized this wasn't my problem. i remember realizing i needed to stop, be quiet, and lay it before God and instantly feeling a peace wash over me. instant relief. i had gone from one extreme to the other, and there was no more fear. now, i just don't want to sit in the same seat for 25 hours. but that's my own ADD's problem.

then, a dear friend of mine brought up some issue she had with our church going. and taking jobs of unemployed ethiopians. and told me to just send money. for a minute, i was like, "oh my gosh. we are." and then i slapped myself and didn't let her get to me. she's been. she knows exactly how it is there, so i don't know where this anger came from. but just sending money? don't even go there. how about let's work on their eternities and their nows?

that was trial two. where my heart was worried that what i was doing isn't good. because this time, we're building a church instead of working in the orphanage. long story. different day. but God healed that, too.

and then, the stress of raising the money. we chose to send letters to a select group of people to fundraise. i feel that since this is my 3rd trip, i should be well aware of the cost and i should be frugal in saving my money to go. if this is what i want to do, then i need to get myself there. evan feels that there are people who can't go, but want to, but helping someone else go is the next best thing. i call it, "i-have-a-problem-being-humble." so we sent out a few letters, God provided. then i quit my job, had surgery, we had car problem, and a million other monetarily depleting events happened. and suddenly,  we were hit with another struggle. for the same trip. i couldn't take it and i wasn't going to go...since i was the one who hadn't been working i only felt it was fair that evan should go and i would stay. i had the e-mail all typed out butevan convinced me on one more round of letters, and at the last minute i talked him out of it. again, IHAPBH. clinically diagnosed. but he did it anyway, and slapped me in the face with the donations that came rolling in.

i don't think that we [i] faced these struggles because satan was trying to get me to buckle. i mean, obviously he was. but i think more than that, God was teaching me. getting me to learn more about myself when times are tough. when there's no where to go, where am i going to go? it took me 12+ months to figure out this thing called trust. and to be humble enough to let someone else know my struggles. hence why i'm writing this blog a year later when i'm leaving today.

i found this blog about a fellow ethiopia lover who has the most beautiful amharic tattoo on her wrist.  it says "tesfa" which means hope. i felt my heart explode when i read her blog about hope because it was not her writing those words to my heart, but God. i was so amazed by the perfect timing that i didn't even realize (until she pointed it out, hilarious enough) that our orphanage is called "new hope."

i really like the letter "c." when i pick baby names, i tend to lean towards "c." my last name starts with "c." i use a lot of "c's" in my life. but God, His letter for me is "h."

those are the lessons i'm currently, and forever learning. see you in two weeks, dear friends.

you can follow along as i blog to my church (hopefully, internet willing) over the next two weeks, here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

the weekend

this weekend was absolutely one hundred and ten percent perfect. our realtor gave us free tickets to the broncos/chargers (go packers!) game so made it a weekend and spent three days in one of my favorite places on the planet: denver, co.

I planned to spend the entire eight hour drive crocheting away and finish my blanket.

But then...

dundundunnnn. please see series of events.  first we drove head on into some pretty nasty looking clouds. low low low clouds. that rained on us. that made big nasty trucks spray water and rocks all over us. that turned into snow and 45 mph. that turned into a blizzard and not being able to see the other side of the highway.

remember that time i told you i got in a wreck on the highway? now, i self diagnose a lot, but i am pretty sure i have some slight ptsd from that. any sort of moisture on the highway and i am full on anxiety attacking the hell out of my handle and seatbelt. and stressing evan out. and forgetting to breathe because i'm terrified for my life.

but evan did marvelous at getting us out alive. we hydroplaned a bunch and we got caught in some nasty slush, but he kept his cool, managed to calm me down, and got me to denver safe and sound. and we hardly lost any time.

we spent sunday wandering around lodo, 16th street mall, and eating lunch at our favorite restaurant in the entire world, rodizio. i found the coolest rusted steps and evan made fun of me for taking a picture in front of a million people eating lunch. but i couldn't resist how pretty those steps were. i want rusted steps at my house. and those stairs? in love.

anyway, rodizio. if you've never eaten at a brazilian barbeque in your life, add it to your bucket list. it is the most amazing meal i've ever had and if you leave hungry, you're a loser. they bring swords full of every cut of meat you could ever want, all sorts of grilled veggies and fruits, and have a ginormous salad and pasta bar. it's endless food. so american of me to love this, i know. #thingswhitepeoplelike. ha. ha. ha.

evan and i went to churrascarias (that's their official name "chew-has-sca-ria") in brazil (at different times or this would be so much cuter and you might puke from its cuteness) so this tradition is super special to us. awwww....i know.

and of course we went to the football game. i had a lot of fun, minus the fact that someone couldn't read the tickets and put is in the wrong seats TWICE and some crazy broncos fan yelled and me and i was all sorts of flustered with my coat and camera and purse and evan's seeds and my ticket and my drink and only two hands. stress. AND THEN, when we got to our real seats there was another crazy broncos fan in front of us who kept giving us high fives with both hands. who double high fives these days? and he was pissing evan off because he kept trashing tebow but, oh, look who the new broncos qb is, mr. double high five!!! (go packers! ...and tebow!)

moving on.

they let a bunch of pink balloons go during halftime for breast cancer awareness month. which was so heartbreaking. we watched several women tell their stories and i was just blown away by the strength of these women. compared to me. i'm a child in the face of adversity.

after the game i convinced evan to drive me 16 miles to centennial and find ikea. ikea is so big and so new it has its own street. which, of course, garmin didn't have on its map, and of course we got super lost trying to find it. we did, however, probably find our future 50 million dollar home, so it wasn't a complete loss.

when we did find ikea, we pretty much walked around saying, "would ya look at this? would ya look at it?!" 139413 times at everything. i bought a pretty light to hang in my NEW house (!!!!!!!!) but i don't know where it's going yet so.........yeah. evan says we're renting a u-haul and bringing ikea home with us next time. and jamie and i are writing a letter to get us an ikea in billings. and we're not kidding.

and on monday when i told garmin to take us home (and cried a single tear) garmin told us to go "0.7 miles to home." so we almost didn't leave because apparently we're meant to live in denver. too bad we sort of just purchased a house.

but this weekend was perfect. stress free (except for the part where the roads almost killed us 5439 times) and very much needed before our giant trip in THREE days oh ma gosh.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

week of thanks, week thirty nine

365. A year's worth of thanks in 10 months. Win.

366. Having the most giving, generous, loving parents. Who did the most amazing selfless thing for us.

367. Spontaneous weekend trip to Denver. And free tickets to the Broncos Chargers game courtesy of our realtor/evan's bff.

368. Offer in on another house. And.......ACCEPTED!!!!! EEP!

369. Peach pie for my brother's birthday. Prettiest, girliest, yummiest pie I ever did have.

370. Jamie  teaching me how to crochet. Funnest project ever.

371. Getting to move out of the worst apartment I have ever lived in in t minus one month. You better believe I need to craft up a countdown calendar for this.

372. Denver getting an IKEA. Equals 16 hour round trip. Not a big deal. So totally worth it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

50 books for 2011

18. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Safran Foer.
I. Loved. This. Book. Easily, one of my top favorites of all time. Everyone should read it.

19. Still Alice, by Lisa Genova
Easy read, sad story.

20. Keeping Faith, by Jodi Picoult.
Don't tell anyone that I started this book last October and am just now finishing it. Whoops. Does that tell you how good it is? Because I don't really recommend this one. I just feel like a lot of Jodi Picoult's stories are the same.....and I love them....but sometimes they just drag on and on and on and on and omggggg why do we need every single detail of court? My goodness.  Get to the end already.  And then at the end she just ends it. I'm the pickiest reader on the face of earth.

I just got myself 423 samples of books because Evan challenged me to read 5 books in Ethiopia. Two 16 hour plane rides? Done and done. Except for the part of actually finding 5 books I will like...

Monday, October 3, 2011


1. i still make evan burp me. unless i'm drinking diet soda, i cannot burp myself.

2. i am from montana and i am the only person here who calls it soda.

3. i am also the only person who eats cup of noodles with a spoon. all of ya'll who eat it with forks? you're weird.

4. i used to have a place where i put people i didn't like. i called it "the hole." when someone pissed me off, i'd put them in the hole. i just read my listography about it and laughed out loud. i can't believe i forgot about the hole. sooo many people would be in it right now.

5. my love language is quality time and slash affirmation. evan patrick are you reading that?!

6. when i had my wisdom teeth pulled, i woke up. i remember they were finishing up, but he was totally still working in my mouth, and i tried to get up. i literally tried to push myself out of the chair and go. they had to push me down and re-sedate me. i learned about this phenom at work, it's called "anesthesia awareness" and it's a big deal. like medical malpractice big deal. i wish 16-year-old Larissa had known about that! (kidding. i've been sued. not fun.)

7. let's throw that in here, shall we? i was sued once. yep. 23-years-old and i've already been sued. it's a funny story actually. i got a flat tire on the highway in a snow storm, this guy ran into me, and then a girl ran into him. so he sued both of us for damage to his car (even though, hello, i was pulled over and had my flashies on) and then she sued both of us because her laptop was on the dash and it fell off and broke. i swear, some people need a swift kick. fyi-it settled out of court and i now work for the firm and with the lawyer that represented me. how hilar is that?

8. i absolutely loathe the sound of hearing noises through walls. especially, but not limited to car doors shutting, cabinet doors being slammed (because the other side of one of my walls has cabinets and people slam them all day every day), car horns, voices, music, etc.  basically, i hate any muted sound through walls.

9. i'm passive aggressive. yeah, i said it. everyone hates passive aggressive people but we hate confrontation. so don't.

10. i want to be a boy for just one day.

11. i hate spiders more than anything in the whole entire world. like, i would probably rather give a 25 minute impromptu speech than even look at, or heaven forbid, touch, a spider. and when i was in the philippines, i grabbed a shirt and put my hand right on the shirt's pet tarantula. i died.

12. i love my cheek bones, like the ones on my face. bahahaha
anyway. i touch them all the time, and evan will always say to me, "admiring your own cheek bones again, aren't you?" yup.

13. i've been to 5 continents, 8 countries (not including just airports), and swam in 4 oceans.

14. once my dad shot a pregnant elk and it had an albino baby. i was like 5, back when i was a fearless child and things like that didn't gross me out. but maybe all unborn elk babies are albino.

15. i carried the olympic torch for the winter olympics of like 2002. i was in 8th grade and awesome.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

instagram ettiquette

i know i really have no clout to write this. and evan says, "when are you going to learn that people are rude, and no one cares?" but i want to know when people are going to realize there are 6 billion other people in this world BESIDES them? and this more applies to smoking in public places, littering, and driving like you're blind and in nascar. but mostly, this applies to anywhere you are in interaction with people. let's all be kind, let's not make this a popularity contest, and let's just have a good time? shall we?

1. be nice. i mean, i even need to bring that up? don't tell someone, "if i see one more comment saying, 'you're beautiful,' i'm going to puke." woah. unnecessary roughness, strike, you're out. if you're jealous, buhbye. no one wants your attitude and your rudeness in this space.

2. for pete's sake, people. STOP with the "everyone check out my pictures and follow! i follow back!!!" this is not a popularity contest and i will follow you if i like your pictures. if you have to ask beg for followers, how far do you think you're going to get?

3. this. is. not. a. popularity. contest.

4. if your caption is only hashtags, and it is longer than your picture, and you hashtag everything in your picture, see above. "#brown, #sky, #green, #baby, #igers, #iphonography, #ifollowback, #followme, #ihave9148012983likesonthispicture, #spring, #sunday, #everything in the world, #everything else in the world, #etc, #etc, #etc. just don't. this is not a popularity contest and have you looked at those hashtags lately? you posted your picture 5 seconds ago and there are already 900 new pictures on there. good luck.

     a) Funny hashtags, popular hashtags, every once and a while hashtags are a. okay. you go. you #flash back that friday. you #no filter that picture you awesome photog.

5. no one wants to see your half naked body, your drug paraphernalia, your empties.

6. take your own pictures. don't post pictures of "cute" sayings (because no. not cute, and not even a picture), random pictures you found online of shoes and clothes and animals that are clearly not your own, pictures of how many times so and so liked your pictures, and how many times you made it to the popular page.

7. to the people who are trying to follow as many people as humanly possible, why?! that is a goal in your life? this is a picture community. this is not a i-follow-so-many-people-it's-not-even-a-real-number-anymore community.

8. you're 13?! why, oh why, do you have an iphone? unnecessary.

i could care less if i have a million trillion followers. this is a place for me to document my life with my family and i am the least annoying person in the world. (kidding.)

soapbox, over.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

week of thanks, week thirty eight

354. Wise words from mother-in-laws: "God not only opens doors, but he shuts doors when the time isn't right, as well." Could that be any more true in our situation?

355. Good talks with husbands over tacos. Shrimp tacos, specifically.

356. Husbands who have their heads screwed on tight and can keep their wives grounded. I'm a little lofty sometimes.

357. Being less than two weeks away from Ethiopia number 3. I'm so excited I could pee.

358. Finding a new blog, fellow ET lover, fellow adopter, who told me the meaning of "tesfa" in amharic. It's hope. Which, hihello. God speaks.

359. Time with the parents. Tons of laughs. "When I was a kid....oh I like how everyone stops talking when I start a story like that. Ya'll are like 'oh boy. she was crazy. this is gonna be a good one.'" I adore my family.

360. Saturday's off with my husband. Oh how I love.

361. Group prayer. Strength in numbers. Have I mentioned that I AM SO EXCITED FOR ETHIOPIA? I AM SO EXCITED THAT I'M SCREAMING.

362. Ethiopia.

364. Holes in jeans in awkward places... (It started out as a baby hold like an inch from my zipper. like to the left of my zipper. weird, right? i think it got caught in the washer. so i wore them to work. i had a long shirt on..... and then every time i got up, sat down, walked, bent over, etc, i heard it rip, and rip, and rip a little more until hihello that's my entire leg. don't mind me as i walk around with my hands in front of my crotch all day. i'm so profesh.)...resulting in 4 new pairs of jeans for $54. (plus a shirt.) brand new consignment? 4 pairs gap jeans, all with orig ($70) tags? i can control my OCD for this awesomeness.

23 before 24 update

17. Take a picture of the same place once a month for a year.  Part four.

it's been fall for what, two weeks? i found the only two yellow leaves in all of billings, i think. everything is green. everywhere. still. and by everything, i mean the trees. (which is fine, not complaining. just sayin.) and also, 89 degrees isn't fall. which is what it was today. but that's okay, too. i might as well have hot weather since i'm rewinding to summer in 2 weeks. whatevs.

ps. the rims are going to fall onto this town someday. that crack is ginormous and terrifying AND it's not the only one! eek!