merry christmas / frohe weihnachten / veselé vánoce!

I am currently in the magical city of Prague celebrating with and enjoying the company of these gems:blogblog2blog3This Advent, and especially in the past week or so, I have learned in a very tangible way what it means to expectantly wait for something… something greatly anticipated that you just know is going to happen, but you just can’t figure out how you will make it to that point!

Advent is always like that, I suppose, but in the end, we know that Christmas will come, that Jesus was born, and (maybe, if we’re having a good day faith-wise), that He is here with us now. And of course we are surrounded by Christmas decorations, Santa’s at the mall, and even the most normal radio stations play Christmas songs from time to time, so it’s inescapable that Christmas will happen at some point.

This year, Advent led not only to Christmas, but also to my reunion with my family! I couldn’t speed that up by watching Home Alone or listening to Christmas music or going shopping a little early… I just had to wait! And even though I haven’t been homesick, per se, I was just so anxious to finally see everyone!

Anyway, I hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas so far! Enjoy this song from one of my faves. It has a special meaning for me this year, though of course this song is a classic and you can’t quite go wrong!

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#anniesmove

Well, the next chapter of my Germany adventure is upon us! I’ve been here for 4 whole weeks already, and yesterday I moved into my very own apartment which I share with my new roommate, Agnes!

This is me in front of one of the Elbe Castles on the last day with my host family! This is my new favorite outfit, which is the main reason why I'm including this off-topic picture.

This is me in front of one of the Elbe Castles on the last day with my host family! This is my new favorite outfit, which is the main reason why I’m including this off-topic picture.

We’re on the 9th floor, and we have some pretty awesome views. From my room, I can see the tower from a church a few blocks over, which is very stately and 20th century-looking. I like it a lot, except for two facts: one, it faces east, which means I get a lot of sun in the morning (which will be fun come May when the sun rises at 5 am!); and two, apparently the church bells ring at 7 AM. We’ll have to hope that today was somehow unique and that this isn’t a daily occurrence. (I don’t have a picture of my view right now because the sun was shining right at me when I tried to take one.)

However, here is our view from the balcony, on the opposite side of the building, from which we can see this beautiful Orthodox church!

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I thought I’d give y’all a little tour! Let’s go!

Ok. So when you walk into the entryway, you immediately get a little American vibe:

Cactus

Cactus

Homage to New York

Homage to New York

My room is very cozy: red curtains, several homey light fixtures, lots of bookshelves… it’s very nice. I like it so far.

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I am, once again, sleeping in a loft bed, as I did for about two years in college. Every time I have a loft, I tell myself I’ll never do it again because it’s so “inconvenient” and “dangerously near the ceiling fan” and “unstable” (thanks to a faulty lofting kit in San Jac… thanks UT Housing). But every time, I end up in another loft bed. But it’s not terrible. It’s like having your own fort.

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This lovely inscription next to my bed means, according to Google Translate, "The early bird can kiss my ass." A good refrain for me to know the next time those dang church bells wake me up!

This lovely inscription next to my bed means, according to Google Translate, “The early bird can kiss my ass.” A good refrain for me to know the next time those dang church bells wake me up!

This time, there is an awesome couch underneath the loft, which is a definite plus. Check out this little alcove!

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This corner unit is where I would put my TV if I had one, but since I don’t, I figured it would make a perfectly acceptable Home Shrine.

Roses provided by my wonderful boyfriend on our anniversary (the day before I moved in!)

Roses provided by my wonderful boyfriend on our anniversary (the day before I moved in!)

I won’t lie, one of the MAJOR perks of finding an actual roommate this time (besides the obvious “not being totally alone every day”) is that the apartment was already adorably furnished before I got here! The common spaces are so cute!

First, we have our ample seating space at the dining room table/breakfast nook/whatever you’d call this:

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Even more comfy seating in the living room area:

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And a little kitchen that does not photograph well, but alas:

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Yes, that is a washing machine in the kitchen. (But at least we have one in the apartment! Oh, Europe.)

I’m just settling in (in the midst of trying to get my classes settled… I’d had just enough time to forget just how crazy ridiculous the German university system is, and now I’m having to learn all over again!), but I am enjoying the apartment life so far!

As a reward for reading this whole post, here: have an awesome video about people named Annie moving. #sixseasonsandamovie