Monday, July 18, 2011


Hey everyone! Jake and I just created a new blog at

Feel free to switch over and follow us there :) Happy day to you all!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What is "normal" life anyway?

Hey, hey, hey! So, I know I promised pictures and posts about my many adventures, but have yet to find the time to do so. In the end the pictures are much more fun for me to see than anyone else, though if you'd like I can perhaps show you a few by request :). Or, if you feel like doing a bit of facebook/blog stalking, Erika has posted pictures of all the spots we went on her blog and on facebook, so have at it!

Now perhaps you're thinking "If you can't find time to post pictures, why are you writing on your blog at all?" That is an excellent question! Well, I shouldn't be writing here at all. I have a lot of homework to do....I mean a lot. By June 2nd I have....dun dun dun....
17 papers to write
6 interviews to type up
8 questionnaires to translate and transcribe
300 pages of reading
and 2 interviews with BYU staff.

And it'd be nice to find a job in the process of all this work, so that come June 2nd there will be something left in the job market other than snow cones....though now that I think of it, I know that will be gone too. Snow cones are probably WAY up there on the fun scale. Mmm....I could go for a snow cone right now.
So now you're thinking "WOW, you're still here?! Get to work girl!!" Here's the kicker, I've been sitting here trying to write for awhile now, and the only thing that's coming are conversation-like ramblings or rantings from a girl who's a bit stressed out. That's what brought me here, because I'm thinkin' I need to get a few things out and off my chest before any of the writing is going to happen, or if I ever expect my mind to stop wandering and focus on what I'm reading.
Here's what's on my mind then. Re-entry culture shock!!! I thought I was past it, actually I kind of stopped thinking about it altogether, only to find out that I am still struggling. To everyone it seems as though I never left, and in the past couple of weeks I've kind of felt that way too. And yet I did! I lived in Romania for four months, where I fell in love with nine children, five roommates, co-workers, branch members, and a culture. I was happy there, it was challenging and new, and I learned a lot about myself. Now of course there's nothing wrong with that. I think what I'm really struggling with at the moment is trying to bridge the gap, to be the person everyone at home knows me as, while holding onto all that's new and good that came from the past five months (and much longer than that if you count preparation. Romania has been my focus for a long time now). The predicament pretty much has me stumped! I know I've said this a thousand times, but I'll say it once more. Poor returned missionaries, they must experience all of this times six (24 months vs. my four) but I bet it feels like this times 1,000. I'll figure it out eventually, but here I am with almost three full weeks of being home under my belt, and not much to show for it as far as emotional stability (or homework.....). I think I'm ready to go back now, but at the same time I'm really not.

The other thing that's been on my mind is the fact that I had a big disappointment this morning. I auditioned for Pirates of Penzance at Hale and it was the biggest crash and burn I've ever experienced at an audition. So, looks like no show for me this summer which I'm really bummed about. It's ridiculous actually, when did I become so shy? It's like I was a turtle and I just drew back into my shell the moment I stepped in that room. I had a friend tell me the other day "Oh Camille, I'm sure you'll do awesome. You're Camille Porter!" and thinking back on that now makes me chuckle. I am Camille Porter, just a slightly different one. Still trying to figure her out completely actually. It's been too long since I performed, I'm way out of practice and it showed in every possible way at my audition. Oh well, guess everyone needs to completely bomb an audition once or twice in life! But even so, it was quite the bummer.

On a much happier note, I spent this past week in California watching my niece and nephew! They may just be two of the cutest kids ever... I may be a biased aunt though....but no even then they're pretty much the cutest ever. Ethan is a handful though, he kept me busy and my respect for mothers continues to expand. Anyway, Cindy and I drove there, conquered the LA freeways, and spent a week together the majority of which was without internet (that made the homework situation tough). It was a fun week, though the fun was definitely lessened by the dark cloud of things to do lingering over my head the whole time. I love the beach too, oh boy is that a wonderful place :). And I LOVE Cindy Clawson. That girl is just...oh don't even get me started on all I love about her. We had lots of fun!

And last of all, one of my closest friends was married yesterday!! Liz Larsen is now Liz Sorenson, it's official! After staying up 'til three or so making a wedding video for her, I woke to Liz coming in my room for a chair at 6:15 am for hair and makeup (No, I did not do her hair, I can't even do my own haha). It was an early beginning to a long, but very fun day! Everything turned out great, and it was so fun to see her as a bride and be with her throughout her day. Emotional? Yeah, but like always, I couldn't be happier for them, they are perfect for each other.

Well, I think this brings my random post filled with all that's on my mind to a close. Hope you made it through all that without wanting to throw something or take a bathroom break. "Party in the U.S.A" just came on shuffle...I remember feeling SO excited about really partying in the U.S.A. but man I miss dancin' with the girls in our tiny apartment in Iasi. So strange that only a month or so ago I was there. Wowzers. Ok I'm done, off to see if something other than random thoughts like these will flow out of my fingers :) Let the "All Homework and Nothing Else (except for some job hunting) Week " begin! Oh yeah, and I lose my teenage status that week too, but no time for any focus on that. La revedere!

Monday, May 3, 2010

28 hours of flying later....

Guess what, guess what, guess what?!?! I'M HOME!!!!!! And boy is it wonderful.

You know, traveling is awesome and it has been an absolutely incredible experience to see everything I have in the past week or so. Yet, after all of it, I can't even tell you how great it is to be with my parents again, and talking to all my family and friends! Turning on my phone again, weird! And entering an airport where everything was in English... oh it was neat, and crazy. Culture shock much? YES. But I don't mind one bit, I was definitely ready to be home. After giving my parents and Brian and Ally the biggest hugs I could muster, I slept for oh, 10 hours? I saw my mountains today, and held my hand out an open window while wearing a seat belt (yes, funny that it would make me so happy to have a seat belt). I saw an American flag flapping in the wind, and was just giddy :).
Give me a few weeks or so and I'm sure I'll be ready to be back in Romania (I miss everyone there so much...), but for now the comforts of home are all I can ask for!

In case any of you were left off the band wagon (which is basically everyone but my parents...) we quickly threw together a trip and still got to do some backpacking!

So, beginning in Frankfurt we went to.....
back to Frankfurt
and finished in Paris!!

It was quite the trip, and I'll hopefully have time in the next little bit to post at least a few pictures and things from each place I visited. But for now, I'll be focusing on catching up with many of you in person :) because I can now!!! I've been home for one day, and I've started losing my voice a bit from all the talking, and I'm loving all of it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Hey! I'm first! Erika hasn't posted yet! Had to relish in that fact...for those of you who don't understand, Erika is a very good blogger, and many of my family and friends have resorted to her blog at times for an update. BUT NOT TODAY! :)

We are both happily in Frankfurt, with the wonderful Ninow family. We bought tickets for a 28 hour train adventure on a whim yesterday, with the idea that at the end, we would be in Frankfurt which was a lot better than the unsurety of the planes these days. Our awesome plan worked, and we're here! Boy was it a relief to see the Ninows waiting for us at the train station, we were gross and tired and they took us right in. We're thinkin' we're going to just stick around in Germany, traveling from city to city seeing the sights here instead of hopping countries like the original plan included. If there's one thing for certain, it's that there is definitely plenty of great things to do here. The train ride was long, but actually extremely beautiful. I mean, EXTREMELY beautiful.
Anyway, this is short and sweet. Thought I'd just fill all y'all in (Erika just informed me how to correctly write that) (yes she's sitting over my shoulder dictating parts of my blog post) (I STILL WIN!)
Cu drag!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yup, still here!

So, relaxing was nice, that's true!

But we quickly lost our sanity...

Only to be saved by some very nice elders,

and a trip to one of my favorite places in the whole world!

I went to church in a full out chapel for the first time in four months! And it was all still in Romanian!! I thought I'd said my last goodbye to church (and the hymns) in Romanian, but there I was. I was pretty much in heaven. Not to mention the fact that our lesson was on Joseph in Egypt and how he turned the irritations in his life into blessings. We all chuckled at how it was all so perfectly directed towards us. I'm truly blessed to have a Father in Heaven who understands me. Because, really I wouldn't say this has reached the full status of a "trial" or "affliction" really. Though the sight of the eruption is intimidating, I'm no where near it and I'm comfortably sitting in a hotel room chatting with family and friends. It's just a major irritation and frustration that our long awaited plans to see so much have been foiled. But, as our sweet primary teacher taught us (that's right, we were in primary because it's taught in English with all the Americans haha) that it's all about our attitudes towards those irritations in life. So I didn't get to go to Paris, Italy, Prague, or Switzerland...I suppose worse things have happened and maybe I will get another chance someday. There are some real pros to being here in Romania still. I've realized (though it was absolutely no surprise) that I really am not ready to be done with Romania. Then again, I'll probably never be. And though I'm turning a tiny bit green with jealousy that one friend of mine is still back in Iasi with all our friends, I am grateful to be where I'm at because reopening all of that would be tough. Saying goodbye once was hard enough. I suppose I'll never be done with Iasi, or Romania, so I'm glad for the chance to hold onto it all a little longer.

The drive back to the hotel after church was great fun!

Every fountain had been dyed red in honor of "Hemophilia Awareness Day"...random.Here we have the "Arc de Triumful" of Romania. A little fun surprise on the drive, Romania's own version of the famous Arc in Paris...glad I got to see at least one!

Isn't it just beautiful? Spring is definitely the best season of the year. While leaning over Erika to take this picture, she said "Camille, you always take pictures of the most random things!" My response: "LOOK at those flowers, and the green grass! How is that random at all?" I love all of the green everywhere, and wish I were closer to the city so that I could explore and go to the awesome park we passed.

Anyway, we were also kindly fed dinner by an American family we met in the branch who have been living here for a few years. We ate such wonderful, American tasting food. RANCH DRESSING! And Oreos...oh happy day. They were so kind to us, and their kids were a ton of fun. I did have to stop myself multiple times from talking to them in Romanian though, seems as though I'd forgotten how to talk to kids in my own language haha. It sure was nice though at the same time. The whole night was a lot of fun, and the entire day I was so grateful to have friends anywhere in the world that I may be stranded.

So, until further notice I am still in Bucuresti just trying to get the soonest flight out! We've accepted the fact that our five country backpacking trip is no longer a reality, and now are just focusing on getting to Frankfurt, where a good friend's family is ready to take us in. If all goes well we should be on a plane there tomorrow afternoon! Of course, the chances are still high that won't happen...and the 36 hour train ride it would take to get us there doesn't sound too inviting either. Plus, who knows if we could even book a train?

Icelandic volcano...what in the world?! Crazy sauce. European travel is a battleground at the moment, I'm grateful to be here safe in a hotel with my friends!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wait for it.....

Remember my earlier wish of not having time to post? Well, looks like I'll have plenty....

This was the lovely sight we were greeted with as we got the airport once again (the shuttle driver from the hotel knows us well, he laughed when he saw us waiting for him yet again). So, looks like we're not going anywhere until Monday, along with everyone else (except those going to Tel Aviv, I'm ready to backpack, we should have just taken that one!). And even Monday is up in the air. I should be in Paris right now, but I'm keeping it positive, I just took a really great nap :) My least favorite part of it though? Our friends at British Airways were no longer able to accommodate, because it's no longer their responsibility. So no more free hotel rooms, and the three of us decided to cram into one. PARTAY!

Erika's face is awesome... Man, a volcano. In Iceland. This is insane!!! Signs of the times, so I guess I shouldn't be so surprised but WOW!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm leavin' on a jet plane...train...nevermind.

Hello everyone! Wow have things been crazy or what? This past week has been insane, saying goodbye to the children, all my awesome friends, and then the city/langauge/everything I've grown to love about Romania was...rough. I never like goodbyes, and as our train pulled away from my new home in Iasi, I'm sure I was quite the ridiculously sad sight. Not to mention the fact that I was trying to eat a cold shaorma (an amazing Romanian sandwich I'll tell you all about) while struggling through my tears. I miss Iasi like crazy already.

Yet, right as I've come to grips with the fact that I'm leaving Romania, and got a chance to really get excited about our 17 day backpacking trip, it seems that Romania isn't ready to say goodbye to me yet. Due to recent events in Iceland (what?!) I'm still here! They've shut almost all air traffic to northern Europe down and we are now enjoying free meals and accomodations from our friends at British Airways who have booked us a direct flight to Paris today. Cross your fingers! In four hours I should hopefully be on my way, but there is still a definite possibility I'll be here in Bucuresti even longer. I should have been in Paris right now, getting ready to go meet our friend Jen (our other friend we're traveling with) at the Arc de Triomphe. Crazy stuff! I know it will all make a really funny story to tell for the rest of my life, and I'm SO grateful for the rest I've been able to get here. Now I'm just really, really ready to roll! So anyway, thought I'd give you that little update on things! Pray that I get out of here soon!

P.S. If you haven't already learned this trick, Erika Peterson's blog (which you can find a link to on the right, it's Livin' the Dream) is very well updated unlike mine. She posted a few pictures and a funny video of us in the airport that you can go look at! I love this girl, we're going to be connected at the hip for the next two weeks and I love her to death. Enjoy, and hopefully I don't get any more time to post before I'm back in the states MAY 2nd!!!!!!!!!!!