February 24, 2010

Update your RSS Feeds!

So it's official! I'm now a very happily married Denise Taylor. I have a new job and I'll have a few new nephews soon. Because of all of these momentous changes, I've decided to add another tiny one. I'm changing my blog.

This will be for Matt and I together and will hopefully help keep everyone up to date on our comings and goings as we join the Foreign Service and head out to another country.

So check it out. Thanks to everyone reads this one! It's been an amazing way to keep in touch.


December 20, 2009

What a Difference a Year Makes

This time last year, I was living in Albania, starting to look for jobs, considering graduate school or moving to Thailand to teach English, and who knows what else. I enjoyed my birthday in the company of Peace Corps Volunteers and open source Guitar Hero.

This year, I'm engaged, starting a new job, moving to DC and then (somewhere) overseas, and preparing to add 4 nephews or nieces to my family. Two from Matt's side (Levi and Luke) and two from my side. Whew!

I'm getting married on January 30th at the Kimberton Inn. It will be a small wedding with only a handful of family and friends, but I think it will be perfect. I've been having fun planning the wedding and it adds a dash of excitement that it's so soon.

A few days ago, I got official word that I am invited to the February class as a Junior Foreign Service Officer for the Department of State. I'll start on February 16th and be in Washington DC for at least 4 months for my training. It might be more if I need language training.

I don't know where I'll be posted yet, but I'll be sure to keep you posted.

December 01, 2009

I'm Engaged!

Matt came to Pennsylvania to spend Thanksgiving with my family (with a side trip to South Carolina to visit his sister and her family.) On Saturday, we headed out to Valley Forge to see the historical sites. After a walking tour and a gun demonstration from some Park Rangers, we went to the Washington Memorial Chapel and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes. The chapel is beautiful and the moment was perfect. The ring is turquoise and a diamond (his birthstone and mine.) It's non-traditional and just perfect for me.

He plays the guitar, wrote the famous Mire song, speaks Russian and Albanian, loves to read the almanac, and is the love of my life.

I'm happy, excited, and still can't believe that I'm engaged. The next couple of months are going to be a whirlwind. But I can't wait to start the marriage adventure.

November 01, 2009

Happy Halloween

I might be a little "bah hambug" about Christmas. (A tragic combination of too many retail jobs playing terrible Christmas music and my birthday being a week before the big day) But I do love Halloween. This year, I wasn't planning on dressing up, but at the last minute I decided to redux my pirate costume from a few years ago to give out candy to my parent's neighbors.

Gotta admit, I was a bit disappointed. First, there just weren't enough kids. I wanted to inundated. I wanted to have to make rules, stretch our candy to the last drop, and go rummaging through the pantry for something to give the lines of kids. Instead, we got about 30 kids who came in a few big groups. Secondly, there wasn't a single homemade costume. Isn't that half the fun? We got a Transformer, a couple of princesses, and even two Anakin Skywalkers. My favorite costume was a boy dressed as a taco. I gave him extra credit for not being a movie character, but it was still a store bought costume.

I'm not disappointed with these three little guys though. They are all too cute for words.

October 12, 2009

Flicker Photos

Reading back through my Albania blog, I realize that I definitely missed a few things. So I made a little flicker slide show. Take a look. Enjoy. It's not all of Albania, but it shows you the things that stand out most in my mind. Or at least the things I photographed.


October 06, 2009

What's on my bookshelf

The upside of part-time employment is that you have time to do the things that you've always wanted to do. The downside is that most of these things cost money. But one thing that is nearly free is reading. And I have been using this time to my advantage.

So what am I reading? Here goes...

Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. A famous author wanders around the US in a big, old truck with a poodle. It makes me want to go on a road trip and reminds me of all of the "characters" that I've met over the years.

Religious Literacy by Stephen Prothero - His main point is that Americans are very religious, but don't know much about religion. He spells out all of the things that we should know in order to be religiously literate. I'm only a few chapters in so I haven't gotten to "what you should know" part yet, but its an interesting idea.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown - It's like the Da Vinci Code but set here in the States. A slightly literate guilty pleasure. It's actually my Book Club book so that is added incentive to read it.

Twist of Faith by Anne Beiler - This is the story of Auntie Anne. It's interesting especially since I'm related to her in a sort of six degrees of separation way.

The Story of Christianity by Justo L. Gonzalez - I lifted this one from my Dad's library. It's a summary of the history of the church, but its still pretty easy to read. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good overview.

The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks - The story of a Haggadah which starts in Sarajevo and ends in Spain. Matt's mom recommended it and I think its awesome. Books, religion, history, eastern Europe... sign me up.

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer - Straight up guilty pleasure. It's the fourth book in the Twilight series. I read the first one in one day. Fortunately I was flying across the country so I didn't feel too guilty. Now I'm totally hooked and I'm on Team Edward.

September 29, 2009

Walk down memory lane

In my current state of suspended animation, I've been going through a lot of old boxes. It's been a fun walk down memory lane. I found a huge stack of papers that I wrote in elementary and high school. My teachers would always tell me that I would appreciate them some day (and then fail me for having a run-on sentence) and looking back... It's true. And having been a teacher (briefly) I now realize just how hard they were working to get our 5 paragraph essays in tip-top shape.

I also found a few parodies of nursery rhymes that I wrote when I was in high school. They are so ridiculous that I have to post them here. I must have been watching the news when I wrote these because I don't remember being all that aware of current events. Here goes..

OJ Simpson sat on a wall.
OJ Simpson had a great fall.
All the not-guilty verdicts of the jurymen
Couldn't put his reputation back together again.

Little Miss Croat sat on a tuffet
Fighting the Serbs all day.
Along came the UN which gave them a pen
and said sign this treaty today.