Bailey

Thankful for 2012

In 2012, life changed. Life changed fast. I could say it all to you, in one breath, a rush of words and emotion that would leave you reeling. I could replay the year over in my head, wondering how I got to this point, this place right here—November 22, 2012.

In 2012 I did so many things. So many things changed in my life, in my family’s lives, in my friend’s lives. These things, there were good. They were wonderful and magical and joyful. So, dear 2012,now it’s my turn. Thank you. Thank you for:

  • July 7. On this day, I married Mario. I don’t have words for this day. It was a day full of sunshine and laughter and red scarves and dancing. It was rich with tears and photographs and the grasping of hands. I wore a white dress; he wore a suit. We joined hands, and we said yes.

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  • New family. I’ve gained some new family this year: in-laws, cousins, aunts, uncles. I’m no longer the American; I’m prima or hija. I’m part of this family here in Spain, a grand family who has taken me in without a second thought, who has taught me to cook, lavished me with presents and love and welcome. I couldn’t be more grateful for my mother-in-law, Pepita, who worries about me as if I were her daughter or my father-in-law, Jesús, who emails me to wish me a happy Thanksgiving in his newly acquired English. I am so grateful to them and for them.

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  • Old family. One is silver, but the other’s gold? I don’t really buy this saying, but I am aware that my family has always been there for me, ever since the rainy Monday almost twenty-six years ago. My family has supported me through my on-again, off-again relationship with Spain, and I don’t think I could have done it without them. They love Mario like their own son, and they would do anything for us and for my brother and his wife. You couldn’t ask for more dedicated parents, the kind that go to every single sports event in high school, the kind that never say a word about driving six hours there and back to pick you up at the airport, the kind that pay for a brother and future-sister-in-law’s plane tickets just so that they can all be together on the most important day of the bride’s life.

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  • Thanksgivings past. My extended family was never one to fight. Our holidays were filled with food, laughter, and kids’ tables. There was no yelling, no hurt feelings, no real problems. As a girl, I took this for granted. Now I couldn’t be more grateful for an extended family that knows the value of togetherness.
  • New friends. I’ve met some new people here in Madrid recently, and I’m really excited to see where these friendships lead. You cannot underestimate the value of a nearby friend.
  • Old friends. Where would I be without my constant source of encouragement and laughter, Hilary? Roommates in college, friends for life. I cannot say enough about my cousin Bailey, just seven months older than me and already on her way to having her second child. It’s hard to reconcile what was with what is, but our friendships will never shrivel and die, just change and grow as we do.
  • This blog. This blog has been a source of encouragement for me over the past few years. I started it without knowing what would come of it, and I am ever so grateful for the readers who comment, email, tweet, or Facebook me. Thank you, readers! Thanks for reading, for caring, for helping me see things in a new light. Without you, I know I wouldn’t keep writing. Thank you.

So happy Thanksgiving, dear friends! If you’re in the States, please eat some stuffing for me! And—oh yeah—give your mom and dad a hug! They’re the only ones you’ve got.

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So Sorry, So Boring

Do you still read this blog? It’s okay if you don’t. Except you’d be lying. You’re reading this right now.

I realize my life lately hasn’t been all that exciting, but I wanted to tell you all—exciting things are right around the corner. I know, I know; I wish I could post about them now, too, but it wouldn’t be prudent, and, you see, I’m all about being prudent. Bo-ring.

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My cousin, Bailey, and me

So, here’s a few little life updates for you:

  • My super-smart, fantastic boyfriend received some amazing news that he totally deserves because he worked his you-know-what off for four years to get a very difficult degree. He would go to class from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and then study afterwards. Dedication—it pays off. Good job, amor!
  • My favorite basketball team, the Indiana Hoosiers, are doing super well—and, well, that makes me happy. Go Hoosiers!

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  • I am studying for the DELE exam, which, for those of you who don’t know, stands for the “Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language.” It’s a diploma issued by the Cervantes Institute in Spain saying you talk real good in Spanish. Okay, it’s not just speaking, it’s also comprehension (reading and listening), and general knowledge of Spanish. I’m going for a tough one and can’t devote a ton of time to it (hello, full-time job!), but I’m going. Slowly. It helps to have Mario quiz me and give me helpful hints. I have my own personal practice examiner!
  • People are getting married: I just attended my cousin’s wedding (congratulations to Bret and  Kelsey) and my brother’s wedding is in September. My “baby” brother. See also: smart, successful, and has a beautiful fiancé! Plus, there are others (who shall not be named)! Also, doesn’t it seem like everyone on Facebook is either heading for holy matrimony or having a kid? When did we get so old?!

I know, lame post, Kaley. But there has been a lot of exciting news lately, not the least of which is that Mario has picked up a new hobby: paddle tennis. This is totally a thing in Spain. Also: he’ll be running a half marathon later this month, most likely (100%) way faster than I could.

¡Vamos Mario!

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