Whoa... it's been quite a busy few days.  I am now back in DC, and it has been go, go, go for the first 2 days I've been here. :)

What can I expect?  This is home... and I have so many loved ones that I want to see, and for the most part want to see me! :)  It was really great to see my dad, who I hadn't seen since he visited me in Honduras.  Of course he was ready with the camera, taking an awful pic as I was getting my bags. ;)  Sorry, it just so happens, I didn't ask him for a copy.

It was crazy to be back at the airport that I had left from so many months before to begin my crazy adventure, and see that nothing really had changed.

I was so excited to get back and see MY CAR!!!  We dropped my bags off, I plugged in my NEW iPhone to charge and we were off to get dinner (so I could drive!).  My dad's house looks exactly the same, and the town around hasn't really changed, either (with the exception of a few more houses and the addition of a Dunkin' Donuts).

On Sunday, I got up early to go to Mass (a beautiful, beautiful Mass... I really have missed the Arlington Diocese), swung by to get my dad to head over to DD for breakfast. :)  The rest of the morning we ran around getting things done, all with my dad, as I feel he wanted to really make sure I knew how to get to places and that I could still drive. ;)  That evening we went to Grammy's for dinner with my family!  It was SO wonderful to see them.  All of them are doing well, still busy and living their lives, just as when I left.  My Grammy is looking like a rockstar after having some cancer removed from her face recently.  With that minor exception, things are still pretty much the same.

I was then able to head over to MD to see my BFF, Colleen, and her almost 2 year old daughter, Juliana, who were in town visiting family.  It was nice to see Colly and get a good hug from a good friend.  AND, to see her cute baby belly, as well as, feel her babe kicking all around.

We had breakfast the next morning, and then I headed over to Children's to visit my old work place.  It was definitely surreal walking back into that place.  Nothing has changed!  It was so weird.  It really felt like I was still working there, had the day off, and decided to stop by for a few.  A few other people have left the unit I worked on, and new people have started, but for the most part... it's the same.

It all kind of hit me as I went by the National Shrine, walked around and did some reflecting/praying in front of the Eucharist:


And, I don't really know how I feel about it.  It's a very weird feeling to come back to this place after 9 months and have everything pretty much be how I left it.  There is so much that has happened to me, and changed with me in these same 9 months, I feel like everything else should, too.  I am seeing things a little differently, so I feel like it should be reflected in the environment around me.  I wonder if I had come back home straight from Honduras if this would have totally freaked me out, or I would have had the same reaction as now?  Who knows.  It's all happening how it's supposed to happen.  God still has these wonderful plans for me, I just still haven't discovered them yet.  But, transitioning, figuring out who I am and discovering who He is in my life are all part of what He wants me to do right now. :)

So, that's what I am doing.

Stepping on the scale.

Tomorrow I am leaving and heading back to DC, so I have started to pack.  There is really nothing that I enjoy about packing.  Nothing.  Ugh.  I digress... I decided, after the suggestion from my mom, to send a box of things back to my dad's so that my suitcases will be under 50 lbs. (Thanks to Southwest I can check my two large bags and they are FREE)  But, I needed to pack my bags and make sure they weighed ok.  To do that, however, I needed to weigh myself and then weigh myself with the bag (b/c I don't have the handy luggage scale that I got as a gift a few years ago).

Key words there... I had. To weigh. Myself.

I think it was one of the only times when I have ever stepped on the scale and literally said out loud, "oh. my. gosh."

This is a much cuter face than I probably made. Pic from here.

Now, I know that I am not fat.  But, I am not skinny, either.  My weight fluctuates like every other girl, but I have never been one to really worry about it.  I mean, as a girl, I do think about it, but never obsessively.  I want my cute outfit to look good, and I want to be attractive (I mean, hello?!  I am 27, and time is ticking to find a man.  Wait... did I really just say that?!  I guess I did.  And, let's be honest, there really is no rush. ;) ha, oh, Jen..).  

Anyway... I just feel... gross.  Ya know?  Not comfortable in your own skin, clothes fit just a little differently kind of gross.  I have been basically celebrate-eating (ya know, when you have someone visiting, or you just got a new promotion and you go out to eat!) for the last 3 weeks, b/c 1) I am back in the states and have access to good food all of the time, and 2) I am here visiting my bro, and we always go out and eat good things when I visit.  Oh, and 2 vacations back to back before leaving Honduras.  So, it makes sense. :) But, I think it's catching up with me.  And, the inactivity.

I have never been into exercise.  Ok, I swam practically my whole life up until college, and worked in a hospital where I was walking constantly, and then in Honduras where I had to walk over a Km to the clinic everyday, and everywhere else for that matter... but that's lifestyle.  I have tried the joining a gym, getting a personal trainer thing... and I don't stick with it.  I know, I know.  Judge me all you want.  But, it's just not something I really enjoy.  Yes, everyone says that exercise kind of grows on you and then you learn to enjoy it.  But, I just don't think it works for me like that.  I do well when I don't know it's exercise!  My mind and body have to be tricked... and then it's good all around.

So, I say all of this because... well, because it was on my mind.  I need to start doing something a little more active, and a little less eating.  But, what?  Maybe going for long walks?  Trying not to snack as much?  I dunno... something.  Something that will work for me.  Especially because I will be traveling and road tripping all over the place very, very soon.  And, I don't have extra money to buy new Fall clothes! ha... motivation?

¡Vamos a ver!

Some ramblings

Ok, I didn't think I was out of touch that much, since I was only in Honduras for 8 months... but, it turns out that I was wrong.  Really wrong.  And, now I am trying to play catch up.


I have been talking to my BFF, Mart, who seems to always be up on everything.  She is the one who hooked me on Twitter and blogging.  So, it's no wonder she would be the one that updates me on the new things that I have missed:

Linkups AND Pinterest.

Well, it's appropriate that the person who got me into blogging (again.  I have an on-again, off-again relationship with blogs) would also be up on the changes in the blogging world.  It really has become this amazing new way of writing, giving ordinary people a chance to write about anything that interests them, that can even lead to getting paid.  As in it becomes your job.  Sweet, right?  I think so.  Not that I ever think something like that would happen to me, for many reasons.  But, it's pretty cool. :)

Ok, so now there are these things called 'linkups' where a blog hosts a certain activity, if you will, and many other bloggers can join in on that activity.  The only thing required: providing a link to your post on the host's site and then the link to the host's blog on your post.  Mart does "7 Quick Takes" from Conversion Diary, which is done weekly and you just bullet point 7 things from the last week.  It's kind of a cool idea.  Makes blogging (which in and of itself is a solo thing, you are just writing and writing, with the occasional comment thrown in) a little more interactive.  You can choose to linkup with anyone, and about anything that interests you.  It's a way to meet new people that share the same interests, beliefs, etc as you.  It also can help with that "oh no!  What am I going to blog about now?" feeling.  I may be into... not too sure yet.

I think I may have heard of Pinterest right when I was leaving for Honduras last December, but really had no time (or interest) to learn about it while I was there.  Well, it has BLOWN up since I have been gone.  I think my sis-in-law mentioned it to me within the first hour that I was home! ;)  (that may be an exaggeration)  She couldn't talk enough good things about it, and then all of a sudden I feel like it's all I was seeing on FB and Twitter.  She explained it to me and then Mart went into it, too.  So, the next step?  Obviously signing up.  Well, I have spent a good chunk of time playing around, and I still have no idea what I am doing.  I feel like it works really well for moms looking for craft ideas, brides-to-be, people who own a home, or people into DIY projects in general. I don't fall into any of those areas.  So, I guess we will see.

Just what I need... more reasons to spend my time online and on my computer.  :)

I know, I know... I don't have a job right now and all of that, so yea... I have the time to be online... but it's not like I SHOULD be all of the time.  Right?  I mean, besides my eyeballs burning out from looking at the screen, it really sets me up for being kind of more, oh what's the word?  Antisocial.
I cannot become this.

I know that we all have a little antisocial-ness in us... that's just what technology has done to our culture.  For me... I love people.  I thrive when I am around others.  But, for some reason all of these fun things online keep sucking me in.  DARN IT.  It's also hard at this moment, as I am in KS with no car, don't know this area, let alone many people here... so feeling connected is easier when you have the internet.  It'll be different when I get back to DC and am able to see all of my friends and family!  Woo! :)

Ok, enough of this...  I am going to go make some pumpkin bread (from a box, don't get all excited!) and get ready for Em to get home with Charlie-girl.  YAY for human interaction.


...I have been doing the following:

A little jumping on the bed.

And a TON of park time:


So far, this is the closest thing that she has done at smiling in a pic with me. :)

Charlie-girls LOVES to hang and swing... or as she calls them, "Weeeeee"s.

Daddy has fun, too! :)

Oh, and playing with Mrs. Potato Head.

Yup, basically being an Auntie rocks. :)


Are you curious what "Jumping in Puddles" refers to?  Well, yes... it is indeed fun to jump in them, splash around and see how far you can make the water go. :)  But, I thought of an analogy, too.

Hold on, let me give you a little background.  Once upon a time, when I was living in Honduras on a ranch with almost 500 children, I lived in a house with about 9 (depending on the time) other volunteers... sometimes we like to play fun games in our spare time.  We need to have some sort of stress release, right?  So, Hunter taught us Telephone Pictionary (this site explains it; we played a slightly different version.  But, you'll get the idea.).  Best.Game.Ever.  It's best if you have a large group, and everyone is able to laugh about silly things. :)

Well, one time when we played, I started my packet of paper with "jumping in puddles" and ended (after many versions of drawing and then writing what was drawn) with something that I will not post on here, as it may be a little embarrassing to the person involved. ;)  Nonetheless, it was a  HILARIOUS game... and a great time to spend with the volunteers.  I kept my little packet of papers... not really sure why.  But, as I was going through my journal recently, and pondering what I wanted to blog about, I saw it... "jumping in puddles."

I giggled at the memory, and then thought to myself, "what a great name for a blog." :)

Taken from this random site/blog

I kind of thought about it like this:  my life, like a puddle, seems kind of put together and maybe kind of boring (I mean, a puddle doesn't really do anything... right?).  Until... you jump in it.  The water goes all over the place and can be unpredictable.  I feel like that's kind of how I want to look at life.  Doing things, taking risks, and just seeing where the water goes!  Now, this does not mean that I have lost my sense of who I am, and who I live for.  I am a woman of God, and still strive to live a life for Him.  To serve Him.  To love others.  But, while doing that... I can have fun, meet new people, go on adventures and see the world.  Example 1: Honduras. :)  So far, so good.

Well, there you have it.  So, I guess I really should see what kind of adventures I can get myself into, huh?!  So exciting!


On my last blog, I always posted about my travel experiences and such... and I never was able to post about my last adventure to Nicaragua. :)  So, I am going to now.  Enjoy!

Our first bfast in Granada, Nica. Pic courtesy of Hunter

Pretty church.

Christina, Hunter and Celeste and our hostel.  Such great travel buddies.

There are churches everywhere in Granada.

And a lake... wish we had more time to hang out on the lake!

Cool view of a volcano and main church.

We made it to San Juan del Sur!!  Our first dinner. :)

Playa Hermosa... beach #1 of 3.

Just gorgeous. 

Another from Hunter... I love it.

Beach #2, the main beach in San Juan.  Has a cool bridge near it.

Paid a little bit of money to hang out at this pool all day, right next to the beach. Perfect, yes?

Thanks, Hunter.  One of my fave pics.

Beach #3, Playa Madera.  And the beer of Nica. :)

We watched a storm roll in... a few minutes after this pic it was POURING!

This was such a wonderful trip... with a small hiccup thrown in for good measure.  Ask me about it sometime. :)  I was so happy I went on this trip, as I was not sure I was going to go up until a few days before.  You see, I had just decided to leave Honduras and had let everyone know, and as experience in the past showed me, I wasn't sure if people would still want to hang out with me.  Seems silly, I know.  But, these people that I have spent 8 months of my life with, every day, every moment have become life family.  And, it's hard when a member of your community leaves, and I didn't want to be a source of frustration or resentment.  But, they are such awesome people, and I am SO glad I went.  By the time it was over, I was beyond sad to be leaving, so it kinda put a damper on the last day, but it's all part of the process.

So, to all of the volunteer peeps that are still on the ranch (and those that are not)... I love you all and miss you tons.  Know that I think about you all the time and am praying for you!  Such an amazing, inspirational and loving group of people, that I am SO blessed to know (even just for a bit).  Thank you for everything that you have taught me and showed me about life, and myself.  Basically, you rock.

On that note... I think I am done now. :)

Oh, another blog?

Well, hello there... why, yes.  I have decided to create another blog.  Welcome. :)

If you are here because you just loved my writing style, story-telling and humor (as I am just SO good at all of those!) from my last blog, or because you love me and want to support me, I hope you get as much enjoyment out of this one.  I can't promise anything.

I have been home from my great and wonderful adventure for a little over a week, and I have no real plans.  I am currently hanging out at my brother's in Lawrence, KS... yup, land of the Jayhawks:

Or as my niece calls them, "hucks"

... where Matt and Em have been AMAZING, just letting me relax, reflect, sleep and eat all of their food. ;)  And, of course play with my really sweet niece, Charlotte (aka Charlie).  I really have just appreciated all that they have done, I can't even put it into words.

Like I have mentioned, I have no plans.  I am ok with this.  My whole life has been a plan, and I am looking forward to just seeing what happens now.  God does have these great plans for me, that apparently did not include Honduras.  I just need to accept that (although really hard, as I still struggle with the guilt of leaving) and move on.

Therefore, this blog will probably become a journal of sorts... reflections, stories, funny moments, etc.  I am excited to start the devotional He Speaks to You by Sister Helena Burns, FSP.  It was mentioned on a blog that I enjoy reading, and thought I would give it a try.  I will let you know!

Entonces (Spanish for so, therefore, etc.. I miss Spanish)... here we go. :)

Amor y Abrazos!

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