Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Princess and the Well-Crafted Frog Earrings

It’s time to toot my own horn.  I don’t mind saying that I am quite the crafty person.  I enjoy doing artistic things.  I am not a great painter, or drawer, or sculptor, or any of those other revered forms of art, but my scrapbooks have brought tears to eyes and my Christmas decorating skills rival Martha Stewart herself.  I’m not incredibly public about these abilities.  But when people ask about my purse, I’m proud to tell them I made it.  I think my greatest skill is my ability to not spend money…on craft supplies.  (My ability to not spend money in general, is well, generally nonexistent, and a whole other story.  But that's besides the point...)
Suzan works for a company that produces the majority of Disney magazines in Dutch.  And she’s high up too.  In fact, her name is second on the inside cover of all those magazines, under only the president of the company.  Some of the many publications she’s responsible for include, The Donald Duck magazine, dutch Nick Jr., and the Cars magazine (Nina's favorite.)
Well anyway, through this job, and Disney, she was invited to the Dutch premiere of, “De Prinses en de Kikker” or “The Princess and the Frog.”
In attendance were many important people of the Disney Company, as well as all the stars that had voiced the Dutch version.  It was very hoity toity.  One of the requirements was that they had to wear something princess, or something frog.  And aside from my constant attempts to get Rogier into a ballgown, neither of them had any idea what to wear.
This is where I came in!  I bought a seed bead necklace that was on sale for 50 cents, some thin wire, some earring hooks, and voila…
Little kikkers!  Do you like them? I used to make all sorts of beaded earring when I was younger for my family to stuff into Christmas stockings.  Of course not to leave Rogier out, I made him a little boutonnière as well…
But then Suzan brought home a little frog that the people from her division were all planning on wearing.  And she had no idea what to do with it besides string it on some green ribbon and wear it around her neck.  But Libby had other plans for it.  And a day off later, I had  completed her corsage to accompany the outfit…
So whaddya think?  I’m really proud of them.  It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to do outrageously crafty things, but I always enjoy it.  In fact I have half a mind to redecorate my house…but that just brings us back to that need to not spend money, and then we have a problem.  So until I convince them the house definitely needs an interior paint job, I’ll just stick to the occasional clearanced knick knack that I have no need for and will be thrown out in nine months when I realize it doesn’t fit in my suitcase.
Till tomorrow!

Word of the day: uh…kikker…duh - frog

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Must...make it...more...hilarious...too... much...sentiment...

It’s January 30th and you all know what that means!
1. Here in Holland, we are celebrating the end of the 80-year war.  (I don’t know of any actual celebrating, but Wikipedia tells me we should be.)
2. One more day before we are officially in Love-Makes-Libby-Sick mode (by that I mean February and Valentine’s Day)
3. I’ve been in this country for three months!!!

Now it’s time for a little sub list.  Because being in this country for three months also means several things…
1. I’m already one quarter of the way through my journey here in Europe as an aupair.
2. I’ve only got nine more months to get my butt in gear and do some more traveling.
3. I’ve officially been in Europe longer than I’m allowed to be without having a visa.  Fortunately, an application for a visa is an acceptable form of proof that I’m still allowed to be here.  And thank goodness for that, because I still won’t find out about my visa until the middle of April.

It really is crazy to think about three months.  So many things are happening, and I’m missing them.  But at the same time, I’m experiencing a whole new realm of things I can only begin to describe on this thing known as my blog.  I missed Halloween this year.  Sure I put on a shirt that was printed to look like a mummy, but I just sat around in my house that day, lack of confidence keeping me from going into Amsterdam for the Halloween couch surfing meet-up.  But I made Amsterdam Museum n8, meeting new friends, exploring a new city, and experiencing European culture full force. I missed Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family.  Of course when I worked at Disneyland, the same thing happened, but there’s something about being 300 miles away versus being 5000 (sorry...5371) that makes it a little harder to bear.  Then again, when you compare what I’m doing now, to wearing ugly and unflattering green pants and talking about the latest technology, Holland kicks Innoventions’ butt.  Plus being here opened my world to the celebration of Sinterklaas, and the welcoming arms of an adoptive family for the year.  I’m missing Pat’s one-man show, which is sure to be a huge hit.  I’m missing birthdays, parties, shows at school; so many things.  But then I look around and I see the possibilities for trips to far away lands, which thanks to having already crossed that pesky ocean, aren’t actually that far away.  I see the opportunities for cultural enrichment through museums, shows, and celebrations unknown to me before now.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that it’s been hard.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I’m happy with what I’m doing and I’m proud I’m out here doing it. So thanks to everyone out there who’s supported me – from my friends whose constant facebooking never fails to keep me in the loop, to my grandparents and extended family, who read my blog religiously and send me emails and letters of love constantly. From my sister who talks to me almost every day on skype, to my parents who make sure we talk at least once a week, and my brother whenever he’s home (get skype doofus!)  From my new friends and family here, who have made the transition so much easier, to you, the readers of the blogging world, who prove that in internet world, being 5371 miles away is the same as living next door to each other.  And knowing I’ve got the support of all of you will make nine more months breeze by just as the last three already have.
Aw shucks…it seems I’ve gotten sentimental.

Word of the day: reis - journey

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Copenhagen 2: This time we're not drunk.

Well, you'll all remember how the last blog entry and Saturday night in Copenhagen the morning.  So let's continue...
The next morning (I can say that because it was before noon) we got up, had some lunch and went on a search for the Little Mermaid.  Inspired by the ballet, inspired by the fairy tale, inspired by the Disney Princess.  Ok maybe the ordering of that is wrong, but you get my point.  It was ridiculously cold, and Mark was not having it...
But he still agreed to take my picture…
I also couldn’t resist reverting back to being five and reenacting “Part of Your World.”  All you girls my age know what I’m taking about.  Or those of you with daughters my age who were forced to go to the movie theatres seven times to watch that movie (thanks Mommy!) Since the rocks were covered in ice and snow though, I had to make do with standing and pushing on air.  I’m pretty sure the other people trying to take pictures just thought I was crazy…
Then on our walk back we took a detour through the park near the harbor and we found a playground!  This was the second set of swings in two days!  I was so excited…
They also had a crazy bridge.  It is purely coincidence that at this point Libby actually started to go crazy.  It was probably the lack of sleep, the bitter cold, but I began having way to much fun.  I also attempted to slide down the slide but was unsure of whether or not I would make it…
I did…
But then my pants practically became frozen to the metal and I was stuck…
We also came across a lake, which I had to go over to, because well, it was frozen, and I’ve never stood on water.  However Mark would not let me actually stand on the water only a tree…
Of course I didn’t listen to him very well…
Oh yea...and remember how I said I was starting to go crazy?  I then proceeded to explain and partly reenact the Invisible Bench sketch from the many many Girl Scout camp fires I had attended.  You know you all remember it, but if you don't here's a good summary...
"What are you doing?"
"Sitting on the Invisible Bench"
"Oh I'll Join You"
"What are you doing?"
"Sitting on the Invisible Bench"
"Oh I'll Join You"
"What are you doing"
"Sitting on the Invisible Bench"
"Oh I'll Join You"
(continue for as many girs as you have) 
"What are you doing"
"Sitting on the Invisible Bench"
"What are you talking about the invisible bench is over there"
"AAAHHH" *fall*

I know it's hilarious.  So while Mark sat on a real bench, I was sitting on the invisible one...

But then as he had promised me for not frolicking on the frozen (and completely sturdy I might add) lake, we went to a frozen canal in the middle of the city where there were people ice skating, and playing hockey, and just having a lot of fun.  And I was so excited to be standing on water…
Mark decided to show up a couple eight year olds by sliding on the ice in his shoes…
I tried it once…I almost fell.
For the rest of the day till nightfall, we just walked around the city admiring the lights and the center square…
But then it was time to go home, make some yummy Danish food, watch Dirty Harry, and go to sleep, because I had a flight to catch the next morning.  On the train ride to the airport the next morning, I started laughing, when I realized it was 5:30 and for the past three days I had been awake at this time but only 2 of the 3 times had been because I had just woken up.  But I have to admit, it was all worth it.
My trip to Copenhagen was truly amazing.  The city itself is so beautiful and full of life.  I can’t wait to go back when a couple more things are open.  Plus getting to see my fiancé wasn’t bad either.  Mark’s one of those people with whom, like family (because he basically is,) it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen them, you settle into your groove almost immediately and have the best time together.  Plus he’s a wonderful host.  Plus…you know…we’re getting married.

Word of the Day: Den lille havfrue – The Little Mermaid (Danish)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010!

Ok…Denmark…it’s go time.
So as you all know, I went to Denmark last weekend.  And as you all know, I have not really written anything about it.  Mainly because I was tired.  Why was I tired you ask?  Because Libby’s sleep schedule got quite the run around this weekend.  It all started with my 5 am wake up call Saturday morning.  (I missed the price cut off day for Friday by one night because of the stupid black out.)  Since I have never been one to do things before the last minute, I had to make sure I got up in plenty of time to back my backpack for the weekend.  Fortunately I have a travel bag with all the necessities, so all I had to do was throw some clothes in a bag in the hopes that my choices would keep me warm.  Then I met Suzan in the main house where she was ready to drive me to the airport.  By ready, I mean in track pants without her contacts in.  She was semi-embarrassed about this fact but I assured her she merely looked like a Californian.  I was so thankful that she was driving me to the airport, because it takes twenty minutes by car, but over an hour by public transportation.  Plus she was able to help me figure out where I needed to go since there were different lines and terminals based on where you were flying, your citizenship, etc. and it all had the chance of changing on you last minute.  Everything went smoothly however and I was on the plane enjoying my coffee in no time.  How early was it?  Well here…
Yea that’s right…it’s the sunrise…that I saw from the plane.
Anyway, I arrived in Copenhagen and exited the airport to be greeted my Mark…looking happy and as awesome as ever.  We went back to his apartment to drop off my stuff and make a plan for the day.  And our plan: Copenhagen.  That’s seriously as far as we got.  So we just headed out.  But first…putting on about five more layers (thank God my clothing choices were correct.)  Then we headed to the city center and started walking.
Our first destination – the walking street.  Or shopping street.  Whichever.  Either way, you walk and shop.  We bought some roasted almonds and walked around admiring the stores, but not going in.  Past this we headed into the old financial/political/whatever part of town where there were lots of statues…
And the National bird…
Mark thought they looked cold so he fed them some warm nuts...they didn't like them which was probably for the better since you're probably not supposed to feed them.
We also went into a beautiful church.  We didn’t want to take pictures inside, but it was breathtaking.  There were paintings, and sculptures, and decorations, and so many things.  The outside was also gorgeous…
And Mark told me this urban legend about how the architect who designed it, designed the tower to spiral clockwise.  When it was finished incorrectly, he committed suicide by jumping off the top.  We don’t know if it’s real, but it’s certainly interesting.
We also got a really yummy tart at this fancy bakery. Chocolate and berries, and goodness…oh…so good.  Mark got some cinnamon twist thing that was also really good.  Apparently, the people in charge of naming things were not messing around when they decided to give pastries the name “danish.”
Then we went to the Design Center, which is like a museum, but much more hands on exhibits, about forward thinking things.  One exhibit we liked in particular was the analyzation of common every day things like swings…
And carwashes…
There was also an exhibit on CO2 neutral cars.  It said that Denmark could be the first green-friendly country, but they’re still working on the government support.  It was a really cool building.
We also went another museum, the Glyptoteket, which was filled with Greek and Roman architecture. There was also this amazing indoor garden filled with plants, fountains, and statues.  But my favorite room was a giant hall with pillars and full body statues encompassing the center area where chairs were currently set up.  Again, no pictures inside, but the statues were so cool.  I’ve always loved Greek Mythology stuff, and this was my first experience with such a large collection of the statues of the time.  I had fun going around to the gods and figuring out who they were.  And my Drama degree came in handy when I was able to say which Greek and Roman poets wrote which plays.  Oh Drama 40A…you did me proud.
Later that evening (after a nap of course) we went out to Christiania.  It’s an old army base turned basically freetown Hippyville.  It's really cool to look at.  There’s no real police presence here, meaning the presence of many other things in the back alleys instead.  There’s also no pictures allowed, so sorry.  We went to one of the bars where Mark’s friend was DJing, and had a couple lot of beers and listened to some awesome early 2000’s music (“Getting’ Jiggy Wit It” anyone?)  Since the booths there were quite large, we ended up sharing with and meeting these two really cool girls. We started a little dance party in the bar and later ventured to a much larger club called The Rock. The four of us hung out for the rest of the evening.  Oh, by rest of the evening, I mean rest of the morning.  Cuz it wasn’t until 5:30 that we were finally on the train back home, ready for a good night’s day’s sleep…
Well, I think that’s enough fun for one day.  Really, it's too much for a girl to type, and a reader to read.  So, I’ll see you tomorrow, for Copenhagen 2.

Word of the Day: museet – museum (Danish)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Well, I’m back and I guess there’s no excuse for not posting a blog about Copenhagen…so I guess I’ll get on that…tomorrow.  It’s been a long two days back.  But tomorrow I have off.  So be patient.
Here’s a picture of Mark and me though…we’re pretty adorable I know.

Sorry!  See you tomorrow!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Becasue the internet said it was so...

I am off on my first European adventure tomorrow!!!  That’s right, after sitting around on my butt for two and a half months, I am taking said butt on a airplane up north to the land of Danes.  Yep…Denmark!  Copenhagen to be exact and I’m so excited!!!  I’m going to see one of my really good family friends, Mark.  He’s living in Denmark right now because he decided to take advantage of his Duel citizenship and LEAVE US!!  Kidding...sort of.  Some of you might remember in my January “Piece of Me” entry, I described him as my fiancé with that whole story to come later.  And I think perhaps the time is now!
My mom and Yvonne met somehow…I actually don’t know that story.  All I know is suddenly, a group of “yaaadies” (as my younger brother-who was at one point, adorable-would call them) would come over every week and they would sew.  The ladies are still besties over fifteen years later…
In the summer, I would go over to Yvonne’s where she also ran a day care.  It was at this point that my mom and Yvonne were bffs and I was falling in love with her son.  Actually it was Torben, the younger one, and actually he was my first boyfriend, and actually why I ever gave him up I’ll never know. Oh what being a twelve year old will do to a girl. :-D
So our parents got to the point of their friendship where clothes that children had grown out of went to the children in the other family.  So David got most of them but for some reason, I stole all of the button up shirts to wear tied around my waist – it was the 90s so don’t judge.  Anyway, they all had Mark’s initials in them – MC, and our parents used to joke that I was wearing my boyfriend’s clothes. (Fun fact – Torben’s actual first name is Maurice…ooo something to think about.)
So then flash forward not too long and I’m on the internet doing those things that middle schoolers do – take lots of fun quizzes and email everyone on your contact list the results and tell them to pass it on or they will have a horrible love life for the next seven years.  This one particular quiz I was taking, was going to give me the name of the man I was destined to marry…and it informed me it was “Mark.” (So what I did dating a Sean, John, or Will, I’ll never know.)  At the moment I was thinking, I don’t know a Mark… DING DONG! Who’s at the door?  Why it’s Yvonne!  “Gasp! YVONNE!  The internet says I’m going to marry Mark!” “Well of course, I would never doubt it.”  And a betrothment was born.
For years (by years I mean over 10 seeing as this is still going on) Yvonne would introduce me as her future daughter-in-law.  Even to whomever I was dating at the time.  But I don’t mind.  Mark will always be my fiancé, Torben my boyfriend, and Yvonne, my future mother-in-law.
BTW…this is me and Mark…I know, we’re adorable…

I have not decided if I’m taking my computer with me.  So maybe I’ll see you tomorrow, or maybe I will see you Monday.  But I’ll be back…with pictures.

Word of the day: bezig - engaged

Thursday, January 21, 2010

So He Waved Goodbye, Saying Don't You Cry...

Well as they say in the age old song…Frosty is Dead.  Ok maybe they don’t say that.  All they do is simply hint that the ice will begin to unfreeze, and just like the Wicked Witch, water is Frosty’s worst enemy.  That’s right…he is his own worst enemy.  Much like Christian Slater.  Except unlike Christian Slater, Frosty will be back again some day... But then there's also the sun.  Maybe there’s like a competition between ice and the sun although according to one of those science classes I took once, I’m pretty sure you should put all your money on the Sun.
Ok, clearly the lack of not freezing weather is causing me to start going crazy. Or maybe it’s the failure to have written a legitimate biographical post in about a week and I’m out of practice…it’s not like riding a bike people…I forget things quickly. Or it’s the fact that I have a tendency to pick at my fingernails causing my index finger’s lack of nail to writhe in pain with each word I type…BUT I DO IT FOR YOU READERS!!!  Well regardless, the point of that first sentence all the way up there at the top is that the snow is gone.  And it ain’t comin’ back.  At least to Noordwijk.  It’s still snowing all over Europe for another couple months and I plan on visiting it too!  So in honor of the lack of snow, I give you…

THE LAST SNOW DAY (in pictures)

All bundled up and ready to go…

Time to make snowballs…

Go Fien!  Throw it!!!

Or smash it on the wall…

Take a picture with me Fien!

Ok fine I’ll take one by myself.

Ok now take one with Mama.

Hey Fien!  The sled is empty!

Well then Mama, you sit down!

Pull Fien, Pull!!!

The way every walk should end...covered in snow

I’m glad I got to go on such a fun girl’s walk before it all melted away, or was driven over too much, or created a frozen tundra of un-walkable ice.  It was a great way to bid farewell to my first (and you can bet your ass, last) frozen winter.

Word of the day: slee - sled

Monday, January 18, 2010

Make it a Better Place

Well I kind of made my last blog all about me, so today, I’m making it about others!
There are tons of causes out there.  Some of which you support, some of which you are strongly opposed to, and some of which you know nothing about. Some are political based on your beliefs and your resolve that one candidate or issue is better than another. Some are based on current events like the recent tragedy in Haiti.
I support many causes which some of you may or may not agree with.  But I decided to post a couple links to things that I think as a person, you should care about (especially since most of these don’t cost any money.)  So check them out, and pass it on.
Make the world a better place a couple clicks at a time.


This is probably my most advocated cause.  You’ll notice the link on my sidebar as well.  With one click you can help fund free mammograms.  Make it your homepage and just click every time you go online without having to even think about it.  Attached to this site is also the Hunger Site, Literacy Site, and the Animal Shelter Site, which also have pages where clicks help.  And if you buy something from the store, you help even more!

This site allows you to choose a card, then choose or create a message, and Xerox will print and mail it at no cost to you to our troops.  Whether you’re for or against the war, support our troops.  Check out the one I sent -

The two women at their blogs listed above are “collecting” comments and donating money to the March of Dimes based on the number of comments they collect.  Make sure to visit both since they are operating independently from each other.
This site is all about connecting with cancer patients and sending them words of encouragement and cheerfulness.  Although it does involve sending letters, can you really compare the cost of stamp to motivation in the struggle against cancer?

I can’t actually join this year based on lack of book availability, but basically, you sign up to become an online book penpal with a student.  Teachers sign up their whole class who then choose books based on different genres.  These books are generally really quick reads – it usually took me less than a day – and I found them all at the library (ask your kids to check their school library too.)  The site even helps you write the letters.  And don’t worry about it being the middle of the school year.  Teachers were signing up all year round when I did it.  You end up reading four to five books a year and you get to create an anonymous connection with a kid over a dying art form.
 *note – you have to pay for a background check.  But I found, if you fill out the registration and then stop before you complete it, within a week's time, they send you a coupon code to waive the fee.  You still have to have the background check done, but if you’re worried about $14.95 or so, it’s just a little hint.

Answer quiz questions and vote for your state to receive funding for books for the public education system.  Who cares if you haven’t read all the books?  Getting a question wrong isn’t going to affect children’s literacy, but getting one right, just might.

And while we're at it, donate to Haiti.  You can go online, call, text, mail, anything...but if you can...HELP!

Word of the Day: geven - give

Friday, January 15, 2010

HAPPY 50th!

Today is my 50th Blog!!!  Isn't that exciting?  I only started this blog a few months ago, but I really love it.  It's already become a place for me to express my emotions, connect with my friends back home, and make some new friends as well.
So because it's my fiftieth entry, I decided to give my site a little vamping up.  Check out the about me'll find I now have a mini website...all about me (because one blog isn't enough).  One of my blogger friends had one and it looked like a good idea.  You like?  I thought so.
So go enjoy the about me page.  That's really my entry for the day.

Some of you may be like, "HEY!  I am cheated out of a blog entry!"  So for all of you feeling that way, enjoy some pictures of things that look good at 50...


Word of the Day: vijftig - you guessed it...fifty


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