Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bon Voyage - Nesiya Tova

Monday, January 9, 2012- 3:32 pm EST

So, as I sit here writing this-- somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean-- Tel Aviv is 8 hours and 30 minutes away.

At this point, I'm nervous. Not as nervous as I was last night-- I couldn't sleep for the life of me. Even now, however, I'm not really nervous for all of the reasons I expected, like meeting people and traveling to the other side of the world (okay, I am a little nervous). I have already met a group of girls that I know I will spend time with over our 10 days in Israel, and my plane seatmate AJ, a photography student from Chicago, and I have already had some great conversation. I can't wait to get to know everyone else in my group!

So yes, I'm nervous, but more so about practical things-- did I pack the right clothing? Do I have everything I need?-- Guess I'll find out soon enough.

My flight left Newark a little after 1:15 pm, but the day started at 6:30. After getting ready, eating breakfast at the hotel, and doing one last inventory on my suitcase, I arrived at the airport to meet my group around 9. Then, we had to wait in a never-ending line (that gave us a chance to chat and get to know each other a little) to individually be questioned by El Al security officers. With a mixture of body language analysis, answer interpretation, and following their gut feeling, the officers deciphered our answers to determine if our intentions in going to Israel were pure or not. Some of the questions I was asked were:
  • Do you know any Hebrew?
  • Did you attend Hebrew/Sunday School? What was the name of it?
  • Were you Bat Mitzvah'd?
  • What's the name of your temple and rabbi?
  • On what occasions do you and your family attend synagogue?
  • Who's the Prime Minister of Israel?
  • All the normal questions about the contents of my luggage, who packed it, etc.
Pretty intense, huh? I'm grateful for their thoroughness, though. El Al is famously known as the safest airline in the world. Why? Because they have to be, and if that means I'm put through a few extra security measures, I'm 100 percent okay with it.

After clearing security, there wasn't much time to kill before boarding, so I made quick phone calls to my parents and Boyfriend and then discovered that my water bottle was broken and leaking, so I had to make a mad dash to Hudson News to buy another one. Then, it was time to board. I have to say, it was quite an interesting experience boarding a flight with the 40ish people in my group, plus several other Birthright groups, and a slew of Hasids. I knew things were about to get interesting. :)

My seat is literally in the last row of this huge 777 plane, which, at first, I was disappointed about, but I think it's actually in my favor. Instead of three seats in a row, there's only two, and I'm on the aisle, but we have an extra fold-down tray to put stuff on. Plus, I'm close to the restrooms and all of the extra blankets are in the overhead bin above me. I'm pretty comfy all the way back here.

The only complaint I have so far is that the sound on my movie player isn't working. The flight attendant said she'd reset it, but nothing yet.

Dinner was absolutely delicious (and absolutely huge)-- pasta with meat sauce, a salad, pita bread and hummis, and a brownie. All kosher, of course. Yum!

My watch is already set to Israel time, and it's telling me that it's 10:51 pm. We land at 7 am and immediately begin touring, which means that I've got to get some sleep.

I'll be on the ground in Israel in 8 hours and 4 minutes. Say what?

Just a few photos from the flight:
The movie viewer...that didn't work
Is this not the largest airplane meal ever?
Certificate of Kashruth
Way to get your mood lighting on, El Al.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Three

Dear Boyfriend,

Thank you for the most wonderful three years. I love being in love with you.

Squeeze-squeeze-squeeze,

Sara

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January Daybook

FOR TODAY

Outside my window...
is an overcast, drizzly morning-- I love this kind of weather!

I am thinking...
about the future. I know I always say this, but now it's true: there are some big things coming up in the next year!

I am thankful...
for the ability to choose. (More on this later.)

In the kitchen...
is going to be a busy, festive place in about two weeks from now!

I am wearing...
dark-wash jeans, a purple v-neck, a flowy gray cardigan, and ash gray TOMS.

I am creating...
a photo album for Israel trip. It's coming, I promise!

I am going...
to be better about blogging a few times a week. Seriously.

I am wondering...
if there are any tricks for job-searching. Help me out, people!

I am reading...
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

I am hoping...
to catch up with Whitney tonight. It's been too long since we last talked!

I am looking forward to...
the weekend aka time to blog, go through my pictures, catch up on my TV shows, etc.

I am learning...
the ins and outs of personal financing.

Around the house...
is absolute disaster (well, my room is, at least). That's on the agenda for this weekend, too: CLEAN UP.

I am pondering...
everything. This whole adjusting to post-grad life thing is a little more complicated than I thought.

A favorite quote for today...
"In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles."- David Ben-Gurion

One of my favorite things...
are two hour bedtime phone conversations with Boyfriend-- the absolute best.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
work today, work tomorrow, and WEEKEND (see above)

A peek into my day...
So proud of this guy for about a million and five reasons.

As always, join in the Daybook fun here. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

December/January Birchbox

Boyfriend took note of my shameless hinting on Wish List Wednesday and Twitter and gifted me a six-month subscription to Birchbox! I couldn't be more excited!

If you're not familiar with Birchbox, it's a monthly subscription of high-end beauty samples. You can rack up points to purchase the full-size products that you fall in love with. To find out more about Birchbox (or to gift yourself a subscription), visit birchbox.com.

Now, taking a cue from Sara over at You, Me & Anthropologie, I'll post about what's in my Birchbox each month. Because I received my box so early in January (and it's possible that it was sitting at the post office for a few days before I actually picked it up), I'm not sure if this is my December or January box. Guess I'll find out when I receive my second one!

First Impressions:
  • Harvey Prince Yogini: I'm very picky when it comes to perfumes, so I was a little disappointed to see a perfume sample in my box. I haven't worn it yet, but I did take a whiff, and I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan. Still, I'll probably give it a try at least once.
  • Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Birchbox Pink: Because I read Birchbox's blog, I read about this lip gloss when it was first released and was ecstatic to receive it in my box. I tried it, and I love love love it. In fact, I'm on the waiting list to buy a full-size one when they restock.
  • VMV Hypoallergenics Re-Everything: Face-Hand-Body Lotion: I'm a little wary of products that claim to do it all, plus I'm kind of picky about what products I use on my face, so I won't be using this as a facial moisturizer. You best believe, however, that I'll be using it on my hands and body. It smells and feels great. Plus, it's the perfect size to travel with.
  • Zoya Nail Polish in Kristen: I haven't tried it yet, but I was thrilled to see this polish in my box. Thanks to the nail salon, I have a similar shade on my toes right now, so it will be nice to have my own shade at home. My mom just received her Birchbox and she got a similar, but more pastel, purple-y shade. We'll definitely be sharing!
  • RECHARGE EBOOST Orange Natural Energy Booster: I'm not a huge fan of energy drinks, but I'll probably give this a try at some point.
What did you get in your Birchbox this month?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

It's going to be a little quiet in these here blog parts for the next few weeks.

I'm going to Israel on the trip of a lifetime, and I'll be busy soaking up the sights, sounds, smells, beauty, and wonder of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, Masada, and everything in between.

Don't worry, I'll take a million pictures, and I promise to fill you in as soon as I'm back on Lone Star State soil!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Special Treat

Remember this? Well, last week, Boyfriend made a little trip down to Dallas, and we got to spend almost a full week together-- a rare and very special treat.
I loved being able to spend so much time together without having to worry about school, a special event, or other people. We just got to be us, and it was absolutely perfect!
No, we didn't accomplish everything on my to-do list, but it didn't matter. We had a blast going out for happy hour sushi, seeing "Sherlock Holmes," trying our luck (and losing) at Winstar, playing a free game or two of mini golf and a few rounds of Monopoly, marveling at the fact that we're no longer college students, talking about what the future holds, cuddling, laughing, enjoying every second together, and ringing in 2012 with a yummy dinner and crazy expensive hotel drinks.
Tom, you're my most favorite. Can't wait to see you next.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 in Review

I'm taking a cue from Chelsea over at Choose to be Happy and looking back at 2011 in pictures and words.

January
new year's in Spain, first article published with USA Today College, Detroit for Dad's belated birthday present, Best Friend/Pledge Baby's 21st birthday in Houston, first speeding ticket, and the best surprise ever and two year anniversary with Boyfriend
February
snowpocalypse, a realization, and first (and only) vlog
March
21st birthday, road trip to CoMo to celebrate with Boyfriend, best friends, and sisters, and Boyfriend's senior year engineering ball
April
the royal wedding and the 30 Day Photo Challenge
...and I didn't take a single picture, apparently

May
end of junior year at UNT, full-time employee at work, Best Friend's 21st birthday in the big D, Memorial Day weekend in Florida for Grandpa's 75th birthday, Denton to Carrollton move, and second article published with USA Today College
June
Anna and Brennen's wedding in STL (first time being a bridesmaid), Pali and Ben's wedding in Dallas, and first blogiversary
July
London, a Rangers game, and Boyfriend's 22nd birthday in CoMo 
August
going away dinner for Best Friend and beginning of senior year and last semester at UNT
September
adventures in the kitchen and Little Brother rocks as drum major of high school marching band
October
Alex and Harry get hitched in CoMo, one year work anniversary, and first and last UNT football game
November
Whitney and Josh's wedding in Houston, {long distance loving} feature, first big girl job interview, and portfolio site launch
Photo from longdistanceloving.net
December
college graduation, Boyfriend's graduation in CoMo, and perfect NYE with Boyfriend

2011 was quite a year, and I can't wait to see what's to come in 2012! Happy New Year!
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