winter, lately


so, it’s barely february, but i wanted to pop in and say “hi”! how are you faring this winter? it’s such a mild, washington-style winter this year – high-ish temps, grey sky for days (which is very un-south bohemian, really), fog here and there. i’ve just been focusing on forgetting my phone and spending less time with social media, taking zero photos, and honestly, it’s been really lovely.

today was a “cafe day” – our halfway through the school year (pololetní prázdniny) day off tradition. we went to my absolute favorite cafe here in budejovice. unfortunately, they don’t allow dogs so we don’t go as often anymore. the coffee is good enough and the cakes aren’t anything to write home about, but the beautiful old-world central european atmosphere is everything. cafe days are like mini-vacations, did you know?


much of my time this year so far has been dedicated to my strict language study regimen as well as loads of time on my yoga mat. other than that, loads of reading (that 2018 reading goal won’t get the best of me, this time!). it’s nice to get cozy in the colder months and do all of those indoor things you can’t be bothered with in other times of the year. we’ve been starting to cruise through the big movies of last and the early part of this year. have to support our local indie kino! so far…

1) the
greatest showman
– if you want an uplifting musical, this one is EXCELLENT and
the soundtrack is something else. if you are on the fence about this one, just watch this clip.

2) lady bird
– LOVE LOVE LOVE. five stars.

3) i, tonya
– interesting, memorable, and definitely worth a watch.

4) three
billboards outside of ebbing, missouri
– HOLY MOLY, this one depressed me for
days and is dark as all get out, but the acting was great. proceed with caution.

5) the shape
of water
– so far, this is my pick for a “best picture” worthy film.
guillermo del toro deserves every bit of that ‘best director’ award. this weekend, we’re heading out to see another! what oscar contenders have you seen or loved so far?


– i’ve also been working on our trip to provence in june, and where we’re headed this year for easter (still a surprise!), although if you follow me on twitter, you might have gleaned a hint or two. it may be only february, but i am already excited for over a week of relaxation in the countryside as well as a couple of days at the coast. i have been really craving a visit to the beach lately, and i’m quite sure that i won’t need any other attractions at the seaside rather than swimming in the ocean.

– in a week, we’re going to start taking DANCING LESSONS. i am actually really excited about that! i will know how to do more than a “sort of waltz” and my stand-by dance where i just do that “doo-doo-doo” thing with my hands. the united states has absolutely no real dance culture to speak of, at least, not where i’m from. the most we can expect is perhaps a required swing dance unit in highschool phys ed classes. in the czech republic, however, it’s common for teenagers to take dance classes, as there are so many balls and proms to attend, it just makes sense.

– also, i’ve been thinking about happiness and contentedness a lot this week. you know how there are all those things in life that you want…. and then it takes awhile to achieve them…. they just kind of sneak up on you. and then when you have achieved them, you don’t really notice?

(below – the elusive blue sky – my view sitting on a park bench last thursday. taking a different path to my lesson than usual sometimes makes a big difference!)

sometimes i take “mental snapshots” of a particular life moment that i am experiencing at that moment. do you ever do that? the other day, i was walking to my german class, ferdie in tow, going through a passage way over cobblestones and the temperature was really nice and spring-like…. and i thought: “THIS IS MY LIFE!” it was a cool feeling. i’ve written what feels like countless times on this blog, ruminating on happiness: maybe i’ve made it & contentedness

it’s nice to experience a quiet, still happiness rather than the extreme excitement that happens only every so often. i also have found that i feel a lot more content when i’m NOT planning a trip and rather just laying back at the weekend, relaxing vs. spending six hours in one sitting doing accommodation research. also, when i’m not scrolling instagram – same thing.


it’s good to take a step back to recognize what actually makes you feel content or happy versus what seems most exciting at the moment. a great way to do this is after you spend some time doing some action (ie, scrolling facebook, reading a book, spending an hour doing yoga), stop to consider: how did i feel before i did this? how do i feel now? it can be a seriously good wake-up call.

that is february so far! let’s enjoy each day.