2014: Ja, das ist gut.

 

I was thinking last night about how the past seems more certain than the present. It is, isn’t it? It happened. It’s done. We know the events. But then as time goes on, the events change in meaning, don’t they? We realize that this particular event didn’t really mean what we thought it meant at the time, so it takes on new significance to us.

It seemed certain, but maybe it’s changeable – not in physical events but in what the represent and in what they do and have done. The past continues to change us as we relive it and rethink it.

So, maybe it’s just as certain as the future. Since the future is partly determined by how we think about it and how perceive it, perhaps it’s nearly as certain as what we’ve already lived through. Perhaps there’s nothing to fear.

With that in mind, I’m going to relive my past year because when Facebook tried to sum 2014 up for me, it failed miserably.View More: http://kendraoxendale.pass.us/alexlovesbrooke

In 2014, my sister got married and changed her last name. View More: http://kendraoxendale.pass.us/alexlovesbrooke

All these people stood next to her and Alex as they committed to love and honor each other for the rest of their lives. I cried. And I still cry sometimes because change is hard, and she doesn’t live across the hall. But we knit together and meet up for lunch and bake and still are sisters. Marriage, with all the changes it brings, cannot erase sisterhood.

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2014 was my mosts caffeinated year yet. Here’s to many more.
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I spent a significant amount of time playing with buttons with these two and enjoying their funny shenanigans.IMG_20140214_070542

Then, I boarded a plane and headed to the land of schnitzel, müsli, and dirndls (which you don’t eat). This was my first encounter with müsli and the enormous spoons that Europeans seem to like. I was trying to identify the fruits in here at 3 in the morning in a new country, while also trying to fit this huge spoon into my mouth with my sleepy, uncoordinated hand.
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I attended school here. I sat on this grass a lot and listened to German being spoken all around, waiting for my next class to begin.
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I saw this view many times – never too many. A hike up the Schloßberg was always a joy, especially when we got ice cream on the way down.IMG_20140403_161323

I sat here, in the perfect little lakeside town and marveled that I got to be there.

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I attended mass here in German, not realizing that you aren’t supposed to take Communion if you aren’t Catholic.IMG_20140302_100557

Whoops. 1932206_10152643390323584_2048097247304214259_n

Back home, my mom turned 30 again. 10380557_10201958896789866_1765142068901202645_o

And my brother-in-law graduated from the University of Minnesota with his mechanical engineering degree.10294288_10152838526218298_7885028267258499097_n (1)

Then some familiar faces came across the pond and explored Austria and Slovenia with me.DSCN5907

We spent time relishing sunshine and walking… and walking… and walking…DSCN5747

We took a few pictures of ourselves, most of the time not too successfully.

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Then they left, and I jetted off to France, where I tried new cheeses, one being Babybel. (but also conté, camembert, brie, and more)IMG_20140424_191313

I spend a delightful week being shown the most Beauty and the Beast town that could ever exist by Elizabeth, who taught me a few key French phrases as we went. I could remember them at one point.
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I saw this. It was real.IMG_20140510_174049

I took the train eleven hours to spend a couple quick days with one of my dear friends in Germany, a most refreshing weekend.IMG_20140705_090556

I met this wonderful friends who ate with me and talked about priests and international relations and politics and Bobbit and MI5 and the OSS (all we know is they parachuted).

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I saw this. It was also real. IMG_20140614_192505

I attended my first ball and witnessed waltzing, mimes, lots of German being spoken, and saw expensive food I didn’t want to buy.

Good end to a classy evening.

So we fed ourselves much more cheaply at McDonalds in all our ball finery.

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Evelyn and I made it a point to frequent McDonalds.1001969_10154178117110241_4525028199620324965_n

Then I went to Budapest in a carpool with Hannah and spent some of the best hours of my life in the Szechenyi baths.wpid-wp-1400412735827.jpeg

We walked a lot and saw incredible views and ate new things.

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I went back to Graz and enjoyed this street as much as possible,

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coveted dirndls,

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and ate more with friends.

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I traveled north to Vocklabruck to meet Tiina and Wolfi, to marvel at the mountains, and… eat more. This is a pattern.IMG_20140607_192122

Zwiebelkopf – onion head. This is what that thing on the building is called. Fun fact. Also, I wore Creabelis in Austria, which was cool – foreshadowing a later event.
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I left feeling blessed to have made new, wonderful friends.

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I came back to my home home, where I saw this sunset over a lake. This was also real. Sometimes pictures are just a little too perfect, but I swear, this is what it looked like.IMG_20140830_190308

I was reunited with my roommate, who traveled in South America while I was in Austria. IMG_20141017_140307

I spent my fall break with the CEO of that pants company, my friend, who offered me a job on the spur of the moment. I accepted.wpid-img_20141126_142543.jpg

 

I went back to MN for Thanksgiving and celebrated dairy.photo-4And finished the year with a new family, well, sort of new.

And now I welcome 2015 with open arms, excited for the picture perfect moments and the unphotographable, ugly ones. May the highs and the lows each create something that will shape who I am in the years to come into more of a godly, thoughtful person.

 

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