Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cherrio America, 'Ello England

Monday morning my parents took me to the airport. As I write this it's Tuesday afternoon in the UK, but Monday feels like eons ago.

After a misty eyed goodbye with my parents at SL international I headed off through security to meet my study abroad fate. ha ha ha Not really! Instead I just met up with my friend Rachel who flew to London with me.

Our first leg of the journey was on a tiny, tiny plane. Literally... tiny. Smallest plane of my life. Do you understand, it was tiny! This tiny plane took us to Chicago. During the flight I finished reading Persuassion and cursing Jane Austen for her wordy writing style. (Side note: Dear goddess of Jane Austen, please help me find the love in all Jane's books. Please.) Then I finally got to read my 600 page edition of In Style magazine-it did not dissapoint my friends. After reaching O'Hare I made a beeline for the womans room, just as my aunt Pat suggested. You see these bathrooms are magical, just take a look:



video

Then after perusing the shops, and eating I waited outside my terminal for my flight to Heathrow to depart.



This plane was much larger. Oh and first class, and business class are so legit it is not even possible to explain in my current dilussional state. Just know that it is basically heaven in the sky. Not that heaven isn't already in the sky. I'm just saying...



However, despite the upper classes being heaven and in my opinion probably worth every extra dollar my seat in coach was not. It was a tiny space, which was fine enough while I watched Letters to Juliet on my little tv screen and ate dinner:

When it came time to sleep my small seat was a big probably. Over the course of the 8 hour red eye I believe I got no more than 1 total hour of sleep. Thats right people, 1 hour.

After touching down at Heathrow it was on to the most adventerous part of all the journey-the trip to the center. It began with a short visit through the little boarder patrol people. They asked lots of questions but I'm glad to say we made it through just dandy! Then we proceeded forth to get our bags. When I went to pick mine up though my stuff went everywhere. I guess my zipper broke, and thats why everything fell out. Luckily a nice man helped me gather it all up and I quickly and shamefully threw it all back in my suitcase. Talk about embarassing.

After that I had my first European ATM experience, and I now have a few pounds to my name. Once loaded with money I made a quick phone call home (it was apx 2:30 AM there) to let them know I had arrived safely in the UK. We then hopped on the Heathrow express to Paddington Station. (which by the way.. gorgeous. Never seen a better looking train station) There we took a taxi on over to 27 Palace court.

Right now in my barely lucid state words can not describe the beauty that is 27 Palace Court. It is stunning here and I still can't believe I get to call it home for the next 3 1/2 months. Pictures will follow in a few days. For now let me just say that in order to get to my room one must hike up 8 flights of stairs. Oh the joy of the 4th floor. :)

Well, thats it for now. I'll write more once I'm coherent.

Love from London!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Today I Was Kind of a Smart Alek... Mom will miss it

I have a hard time justifying the time to blog right now. I have so much I need and want to do. But I also want to remember all these feelings I have right now.

Each night I get more sad about leaving my family and friends. I know it sounds like of immature, but I've never been this far away from home and it does make me sad to know I won't be seeing these people I love in so long.

However each day as I go about getting ready, or in my conversations with other people I get more excited. I still can't believe I'm actually going to be living in England! And I am so excited for this opportunity. I'm excited to learn how to be truly on my own, away from home. I'm excited to learn, explore and discover new things not only about England but about myself. I'm so grateful for this opportunity and I can't wait to live each moment their to its fullest.

So, here is a little update on whats been accomplished:
Rolling coins, trips to the credit union, lunch with mom, hair cut, laundry, family history run through, lots of Jane Austen reading, attending Abbie's tennis match, fhe at the desert star, hanging out with Lexi and Stace, shopping ( I LOVE the dress I'm taking), and cleaning my room. Packing has semi begun... it just needs to be transferred to a suitcase.

What I have to look forward to the next few days:
Hanging out with Rachelle, trip down to Provo, lots more Jane Austen reading, packing, lunch with dad, errand to the copy center for my genealogy info, book buying, dinner with friends, afternoon in Ephraim, wedding, baby shower, and spending as much time as possible with the family.

PS-Loving the new camera.. but for some reason the computer is tired and won't load the pictures right now. Sorry!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wait, Pause... You Did What?

I have a lot of cousins. And I love them all so much. But for some reason, most likely our closeness in age, I've always been especially close the the Child family.

Growing up that was Uncle Chip (a nickname that has stuck with me my entire life), my Aunt Debbie, Jeni, Lisa, Chris, Matt and Zach.

When I was little the older girls had me in awe. I wanted to grow up to be just like them: beautiful, smart, kind. In my eyes they were everything I wanted to grow up to be.


And the boys. Wow did I think they were all cool. They would talk about high school like I always imagined it, and impressed me with how much better they always were at Nintendo games I wasn't even allowed to play. I wanted to be like them too. I wanted to be old enough to light the birthday candles, and win the video games. I always thought those three boys were the coolest boys in the world.

Today the Child family has expanded and grown. The girls got married and have had kids (with another on the way). The boys all graduated and Chris even got married, to Liz. (my favorite, as she is affectionately known)


And as the years have passed we've all become even closer. The girls, including Liz, teach me to always laugh, through their example to be an excellent mother and through their words to enjoy the stage of life I'm at now.


The boys, with Scott and Clayton, all teach me what it means to be a quiet example and strength, despite not always being quiet. Each of them have a kind spirit about them, and I so much desire to have that quality.


Aunt Debbie and Uncle Chip still teach me to worry less, and to be comfortable with the person I am. I always feel loved and accepted with them. They are both so loving to everyone they come in contact with, and I feel privileged to be on the receiving end of that so much.


And the kids, James, Anna, and Ben teach me to love more easily. I light up every time they remember my name, want my help playing a game, or give me hugs goodbye. They love so willingly, and that is something we all need to remember to do.


Tonight I said goodbye to the Child family. We had way too much to eat, played games, laughed at the kids, reminisced about grandma and grandpa, ate dessert, and hugged goodbye. It was just like any of the many other nights we'd done this same thing. It was perfect.

And when the door shut I only shed a few tears.
So, to the child family-know that I love you and that I will miss you each so much. Thanks for your constant love, and acceptance!

(I will see you at Christmastime. And oh we all know how much fun that will be!!!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To Do List #479

So, London is coming up very very quickly, and I have so much to do.

However, every time I try to sit down and make a list of all I have to do I get distracted. Or overwhelmed. Which ever you choose to believe.


So, I think that maybe if I write it out somewhere public and tell the world all the exciting things that must be done to make London possible that it will actually get done. So, skip if you'd like. It's more for me anyways.


And my parents because at this point help is necessary (Hint hint)

NICOLE'S LONDON TO DO LIST:
*Copy genealogy stories and information

*Figure out how I'm related to those in the genealogy information

*Remind Mom 8 times to invite my family over to dinner

*Buy more no show socks for my Sperry's

*Find a skirt

*Buy a dress

*Convince mom to buy this necklace because "Theres no place like home":


Shipping Address:

Nicole London

c/o BYU London Center

27 Palace Court

London W2 4LP

England

*Buy books on Provo excursion w/Mom
*Watch Abbie play tennis
*Clean my room... like crazy deep clean
*Buy a camera. I LOVE this one. But there are others that will do
*Buy more make up
*Get glasses prescription changed
*Refill prescriptions
*Pack my clothes
*Figure out what clothes I want to take (4 months worth fitting in 1 suitcase... this will be epic)
*Read for my Jane Austen class
*Read even more for Jane Austen class
Take a deep breath. This is about the point where I switch into panic mode and start to wonder how I'm going to get everything done, and if I'll like it there, and if I'll get home sick, and if I'll have cute clothes.
So, for now, I'll take a little breather, and then take it one item at a time! Wish me luck!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dear Mom, Dad and Megan:

I know you're in D.C. having lots of fun, but I thought I'd write you a little letter letting you know whats up here! Coco is recovering nicely. Today she even let me sleep in until 7:30.

She is a nut. But when she is on her painkillers she is a little calmer.


Oh and the Vet made me feel like a horrible puppy mama. He talked to me like I was an idiot-explaining that we can't drop little dogs, and that they are fragile, and how surgery would cost upwards of $2,000 oh and how she needs to go to obedience school-sorry Mom but that one is gonna have to be you. He did teach me something cool though-did you know Coco's bones are smaller than a chicken's? Who would have thought.


Oh, and luckily she loves the taste of her painkillers.


Abbie is doing wonderful. She is busy at tennis camp right now teaching lil chillins to play some tennis. Not sure how little kids understand it, I don't even understand it. Abbie has been trying to teach me how to keep score for weeks. It's not working out so well.


She got all registered for school, and is helping take good care of Coco.


And me, well I'm alright.


Last weekend I was laying in your bed so dehydrated that all I wanted was water, but I was unable to have it.

Now I'd do anything to not have to drink. Oh and I'm starving. Ironic.


Oh well, it will all be taken care of tonight when I can actually eat some food! I can hardly wait!


Well, sorry about the flood warning, tornado threat, fire, hospital visit, and fire alarm. I think all of these things just add to the excitement though! (and give me an excuse to say that the great god's of travel would like you to come home). Can't wait to see you later this week.


Love,


Nicole


PS-Megan, you're going to college this weekend!!! How crazy! Are you getting excited? I'm excited for you!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sliver of Nervous

I have loved this summer! Going to movies, church, roasting marshmallows, and just hanging out with my family. Spending nights getting Frozen Yogurt, crusin around and Target shopping with my friends. I'm also grateful for the time I've been able to spend working, the nice people there, the things I've learned and the money I've earned.

Butt very soon it will end.

And I am VERY excited for what comes next as well! London is all too soon!!!

I need to be honest I am SO excited about London. Sometimes I still can't believe that I'm going to be living there, and that this is my life. That I get such a great opportunity! And at the same time a little sliver of nervousness creeps in. I try to push it to the side but I think for right now it needs acknowledgement, because this is the truth...

I'm going to miss my family, a lot a lot.

There, now that I have that off my chest maybe I can just be excited...

Nope, still nervous about that part. It was worth a try.

The truth is that I have never gone as long as I will without seeing my family. I act the part of an independent woman, all grown up but in reality I am still very much dependent. And not financially (had to throw that in for my accountant Ahem dad. However I've been making great strides in that field!!) Honestly, I'm very dependent on the comfort of being close to home.

So, London is out of my comfort zone. And that is why it's so exciting. Learning to be away from home (I feel like Provo is so close it doesn't really count) and really truly on my own are two things I feel like I need. And that I get to learn these lessons somewhere I've always dreamed of going is so exciting.

So, I'll try to push that sliver of nervous aside, because nervous or not London is calling!