Rocks, Mountains, Palm Trees, and the Statue of Liberty

(Isn't this picture the beautifullest thing ever???!! LIKE GAHH. THOSE BLUE MOUNTAINS AND THAT AMAZING TINY CHURCH. The walk to that Church was sweaty and back-breaking (not to be dramatic), but I think it was worth it. Just for this picture.) 
(Photo credit: One of my brothers; but don't ask me which one.)

Bonjour all; I am back from my vacation in France. I know. First America, and then a family vacation to France and Switzerland. (It's ironic, considering I've never considered myself much of a traveller.) America was the big thing, and a whole new experience. Seriously, just thinking about me being part of Emma's family for three weeks... I almost can't believe that just happened there. It was amazing and wonderful and wow, aren't I one lucky kid. Now I'm back, writing blog posts on my good old bed, with a messy room behind my screen, waiting to be tidied. It's excellent to be back to 'normal', but what's even more excellent is that I have these wonderful memories, friends, views and trips to look back on and write and talk about. I'm hashtag blessed, and all that jazz, people.

I need some cohesive bullet point writing, so here we go: (But first, another picture.)

1. Saying goodbye to Emma was so hard and soso emotional; and the journey back to mah home was long and painfully tiring. There were journey complications and I was kind of teary a lot of the time; wallowing in self-pity and all that. (But I saw Mrs Statue of Liberty from the plane, so I suppose I can now say that I've seen it.) And also I watched A Theory of Everything on the plane, and had a stop in Munich (so now I can say that I've been in Munich, and all that) - it's a very good movie, despite some of the values it might portray that I don't necessarily agree with. (I also slept a lot, which is always a good idea when you need to kill time.)

2. Anyway, I ARRIVED. And saw my family again which is cru-aaaazy after seeing none of them for three-and-something weeks. I had seriously forgotten how disastrously cute my little sister Susanna is. (And she didn't treat me as a stranger, not for one second. Such a clever babe.) Also, my parents and my sistah's and my bruther's... missed them, I 'ave.

(This picture doesn't even show her complete face, but it's seriously one of my favourite pictures I've ever taken of Susanna. You can just feel her presence and that's what my one-year-old bossy sister is like. (And what do you think of those white teeth guys. Let's discuss.))

3. I went to bed in my OWN BED again. Nothing quite like it. (And Emma, I've missed your pillowcase.)

4. But then the next day everyone was like, no rest for the weary, kiddo, we're off to Switzerland. So in the early dawn of the morning, at like 4:00 (like the Amish), our two cars drove through France and then into the cutsey areas of Mr Switzerland. We saw some of our Swiss family members, and I ate the best chocolate in the universe. We stayed there for two nights and then drove all the way down to the South of France... which, woah. It was exotic.

5. I'd never been that far south before. I'd never seen red rocks and palm trees and those real clear beaches before. But... now I have. We have a great-aunt who lives close to Nice, and we were lucky enough to be able to stay at her house for three nights. I swam in the Mediterranean Sea and I saw palm trees and cacti in natural habitat. It was crazily exotic for an un-touristic person such as I. I didn't take any pictures of the gorgeous beach, but it was all similar to this and this. (So you can use your imagination.) I did take a picture of a palm tree though, and voilĂ :

(I admit; I used a little pink filter for that picture. :-P)

6. Then we drove to the Alps. AND IT WAS SO SCARY. Let me explain - it was absolutely stunning, all those white-topped mountains, blue and white and rocky - but my gosh, winding up and up to the house we would stay in for several days was so gosh darn scary. The car could have slipped and fallen down for kilometres and kilometres to go. (It's how Grace Kelly died, right? Ugh, that's so terrible.) But anyway; it was an adventure. Scap my fear of hights - it was crazy gorgeous. (Just... those bends and those narrow roads and those cliffs and those lack of barriers... *shudder* Not a good ride for anyone with imagination.)

7. We went on a too-long but beautiful walk to a picturesque Church on a little hill. Just staring at all those rocks and mountains makes you want to sing songs of praise to God. If you ever doubt in His existence, go to the Alps.

(Look at zee sunlight streaming down on zee mountains guys.)

8. We stayed there for five days. I read Emma's two letters she wrote for me to open on my holiday away and I wrote in my journal, and I did quite a lot of French schoolwork. I also sat next to snow in short sleeves and went on walks and ate a croissant, because hey, France. It was blissfully gorgeous, but at the end I was ready to be back home and enjoy MY HOUSE. I hadn't lived in it for like, a month.

9. The way back was LONG. Ten hours; riding through Italy (I've been in Italy... :-O) and the Mont Blanc and through France and Luxemburg... and then finally back home, at 2:00 in the night. THE FEELING OF BEING IN MY BED. Gahhhh. Sitting in a car stuffed to the brim with bags and trying to sleep sitting up isn't that uncomfortable till you lie flat in your good old gold soft bed and realise just how uncomfortable it all was. (I have a love relationship with my bed. Haven't you noticed? :-P)

(Can you imagine people climbing this little mountain every Sunday 100 years ago? Imagine all the weddings, baptisms and funerals that took place on that beautiful spot. Let's write a book.)

These past weeks have been amazing. June has been a whole new experience - I met so many new people, gave probably-too-many hugs (*pointed look at SOMEone*), I MET EMMA IN PERSON GOSHDARNIT, and I've seen so many parts of the world I've never seen before. I'm such a lucky person, and right now, I feel like crying. ;-)

I have a lot of plans for the following months, though... and I feel like there aren't enough days left in the summer to do all these things I want to do. I have so many things I HAVE to do (like catching up on schoolwork and earning some money at an old people's home), and so many ideas in my brain I want to bring into reality. I want to write and illustrate a children's book this summer; I want to finish a novel, I want to read LOADS and I want to repaint my bedroom. I also want to write loads of fun blog posts. I'm going to try my best to do as many as possible.

Here's a picture of my beautiful Emma. :-) I love her, you guys.

I was studying the book of James in the Alps, and I love how James, almost humorously, compares us with 'mists that come and disappear after a while.' We all come and go, till Jesus comes back. Paul, Peter, Esther, Ruth, Moses... they all did wonderful things; but they disappeared, like those mists I saw coming and going over the tops of those beautiful Alps. But they, and so many others, did the work of the Lord and all they did was in honour of God. I want that too... and that's why I have so many ideas and that's why I never seem to have enough time. :-)

Now... that's enough analysing and emotional mush. You guys are all swell, even though some of you might ship Lady Mary with Tom Branson, and that's just weird, so stoppit. Have a wonderful day... or night - if you're reading this at 10 o'clock, like me. :-P

What have you been up to?
(Also... what are men compared to rocks and mountains, I ASK you.)


  1. Bonjour Naomi!
    I am beginning french next semester :D
    *Tackle hugs* you're back oh how i missed you so!
    I will be back with a longer comment when it's not 6am

    1. Evie!! It's so good to hear from you.. :-) I hope you enjoy French - some of the Grammar is very complicated; warning you.

  2. You are by far the luckiest girl I know: France, Switzerland, AND Italy? It must have been thrilling! Of course, I think it's rather thrilling that you live in Europe in the first place. :P And those pictures of the Alps are so pretty; no wonder they are so inspirational! Did you think about the Sound of Music up there?
    I feel you with that 10 hour drive. It took 17 hours to get to Colorado, and that was through only 4 states!
    Men are less than nothing compared to rocks and mountains! :) Happy summer Naomi!

    1. I know - it is exciting. We didn't actually stop in Italy though - we just passed it. But it was really cool. :-D GOSH YES. I sang 'The Hills are Alive' a lot. :-P
      (Ugh. Long car rides. Me does not likey.)

  3. Oh! I love your pictures! What a fun trip!
    I totally get you on that moment when you get back to your own soft bed and realize how uncomfortable your car actually was.:)

    One year olds are so much fun! My niece is 17 months old and I get to watch her two times a week... so it's kind of like having our own, haha.

    1. Um yeah. Cars are extremely uncomfortable things. :-P
      One year olds are either extremely fun or either extreme nuisances, haha. :-)

  4. That Church Though! I just want to sing the Sound of Music!

  5. Oh my goodness! YOU'RE BACK!!! :D Yay! I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for this.

    And what a jolly post! It's so satisfyingly glorious and full.

    That 1st picture looks like something you'd see on Pinterest! It's amazing!

    Oh, you saw the Theory of Everything! I kinda wanted to watch that... (cause, y'know, Eddie Redmayne...and Harry Lloyd...)

    Oh my goodness, Susanna is SO DARN CUTE!!! AAAHHHH!! The curly hair! And the eyes! And the teeth! She looks like quite a character. ;D

    Wow... your holiday sounds amazing! France, Switzerland, oh yeah just passed through Italy and Luxemborg while you're at it... while I'm like "WAHOO WE'RE GONNA GO TO THE BEACH FOR 5 DAYS!!" Hahaha. ;D I'm just kidding - I love my Australian beaches. Plus we have palm trees in our front yard. Oh yeah, and we also have natural cacti in our paddock. (Sometimes they're not very fun.) :P

    Yeah, I understand about driving on scarily high roads etc. I've experienced that before and it ain't fun. My imagination doesn't help sometimes. :/

    ALL THE PICTURES ARE SO PRETTY!!!! They look a bit like the Sound of Music mountains (only missing the snow. ;))

    I love my bed too. ;) Just nothing like it!

    Wow, you've got your work cut out for you!!! That's pretty inspiring - I hope you get lots done. (And you're working at an old people's home in the holidays (for the money for the flight I'm guessing)? That's quite a big step. :) My brother worked at an old people's home for pocket money. Mind you, he was training to be a nurse as well.)

    I liked what you wrote about the book of James and us being like mists. I think it's exactly right that we should honour God with everything we do (God isn't just for Sundays like so many people think! He's part of US! Part of our everyday lives!), but I like to remember that we don't have to earn or continue to hold God's love. He loves us no matter what we do. <3

    I have been doing so much I wouldn't know where to start... I reckon I may just shoot you an email. ;)

    ~Miss Meg

    1. Miss Meg!!! It's so good to hear from you. I'll try to send you an email soon. Sorry I've been absent with emailing you for ages, dear. :-)

      Ohhhh but Australia sounds so EXOTIC!!!! You have palm trees in your garden??? That's so coool. :-D
      Gosh yes, imagination is sometimes such a bad thing. :-P

      Yes, I'm working at an old people's home for 12 days to earn some money for the flight. I'm actually quite looking forward to it - I think it'll be a good experience. (I'm not doing anything nurse-y and medical-y, though. :-P)

      Yes true. God does always love us - but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to glorify him in all we do rather than just doing what pleases us. :-)

    2. Heehee we did too, it must be the state/city in which Meg and I live.. :D

  6. Nooo, it's SO SO beautiful! <3
    I've always wanted to go to France and especially Switzerland, but now it almost feels like I've been there - for five minutes! :-D
    And that CHURCH. And those mountain cottages! So beautiful and BREATHTAKING!


    1. I KNOW RIGHT. I can't believe I was there. :-D

  7. AAAAAAAGGHHHHHHHHHHHH I WANT TO GO TO EUROPE SO BAAAAAAAAAAAAAD. I've never, ever been and it all looks so GORGEOUS. I love travelling . . . and I love mountains . . . and I love beaches . . . and basically, I want to SEE all the places you just saw.

    I know America has fantastic scenery, too; and there are plenty of cool places to visit here . . . I just want to see Europe as well :-)

    Your baby sister is adorable. 'Nuff said.

    (By the way, I'm SO SO SO HAPPY to have you back! I missed you these past few weeks :-) )

    What have I been up to? Well . . . I've been writing. A TON. And it's been fantastic--my novel is taking shape, on paper, right before my very eyes, and I LOVE IT. Yay for historical fiction. Also yay for summertime. :-)

    1. ONE DAY YOU SHALLLL. :-D America is GORGEOUS too, though. Never underestimate your homeplace. :-)

      Eeeeeek! That's SO good that you've been writing so much! Keep it UP!

  8. Oh, Naomi! *squeals* I'm so happy for you!!!! It sounds like you've had an amazing time. :D That picture your brother took is shockingly epic.
    I'm glad you're back! *hugs* :)

    1. Thank you, dear!!! Shockingly epic is a good description, haha. :-)

  9. "I want to see mountains again, Gandalf. Mountains!"

    I'm disastrously fond of mountains. This comes of visiting the Rocky Mountains when I was 7 and then living in the foothills of the Appalachians when I was a teen. I reeeeeally want to visit the Alps some day. Some day!

    Thanks for sharing all these lovely pictures and memories :-)

    1. (I'm afraid I have no idea what that quote is from.)

      My aunt just went to see the Rocky Mountains and she says it was beautiful. I hope you get to see the Alps one day!

    2. Oh, oh! *raises hand* I know where the quote's from!! :D It's from The Lord of the Rings! (Or maybe it was The Hobbit... no, I'm pretty sure it was LoTR.) :D

      ~Miss Meg

    3. It's LOTR -- Bilbo says it to Gandalf in both the book and movie.

      And that's cool, Naomi! The Rockies are breathtaking, as I remember them (and from what I've seen in pictures and videos), and very wild.

  10. Right now, I feel like crying.

    I'm so happy you're back in your own house with your own family and your own bed and your own books. (You were away a super long time!) I think I know something of how good that feels...although, o'course, I never been out of my country.

    Your pictures are truly gorgeous -- ah, the ALPS! I bet your imagination was exploding.

    I still need to hear about the flight home. I feel so, so bad that it got so complicated. :-/ Hey, you saw the statue of liberty? *I* haven't even seen the statue of liberty!!!!

    I loved reading this, and hearing your voice again. :-) Susanna is adorable, and Switzerland is gorgeous, and all your musings made me smile, and I'm just so glad you're home.


    1. BLAHHHH. :-)
      I'm gonna write you an email right NOW.

  11. YER BACK!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *gives you all of the hugs* and those photos look AMAZING...and now I wanna go to Europe now because of the photos....

    1. Awww, you're so sweet for being so excited. :-) It's good to be back!

  12. Hello you! I just wanted to welcome you back home & say I LOVE that image of the church on the hill of glorious purple mountains. I thought that was a professional stock photo and sighed indeed when I realized you ACTUALLY STOOD THERE. Also, I would also miss my bed. :) Nice to hear your voice here again! x

  13. i would love to go to Switzerland. Those mountains are just gorgeous and awe inspiring, but I think I would have a bit of a problem with the precipices as well. :)


  14. Yaahh! Your back!! What a delightful pictures dear!

  15. Ohhh, gorgeous. I'm curious, did you stand looking at it and say softly, "Beautiful." like Elizabeth Bennet did? I did in my head when I saw these pictures. Also, when I saw the title my first thought was, "What are men to rocks and mountains?" and I thought for sure you'd include it and of course you did...at the end. :)
    I have a little sister Susannah too! (Okay, so spelled differently.) And she looked similar to yours at that age, but not as much hair. :) Your Susanna is adorable!

    1. Nooo - but ugh, I SHOULD HAVE. (Wait, I probably DID though - unintentionally.)
      Oh that's so funny! We both have Susanna/h's. :-)

  16. That first photo is beautiful!! Like...wow.

    I find it funny that I've lived in America for 18 years now (okay, 18 years in five days...) and yet you've seen the Statue of Liberty while I've haven't. :P Ah well. I'm glad you were able to see her!! :)

    Susanna! <3

    I'm not jealous of your amazing Switzerland-and-France trip at all. Nope. Not a bit.

    (THE ALPS. No, of course I'm not jealous. :P)

    I get you about the mountain roads. When traveling through Tennessee I LOVE seeing the mountains, but the roads...eek. It certainly is a little nerve wracking--especially with a bunch of huge semi trucks going 100 miles an hour.

    Italy, too???? (Haha, not jealous.)

    That was a lovely ending. I really enjoyed it. :) (And YES about having too many ideas and not enough time...sigh.)

    (I pinned some of your photos to my travel board. Hope you don't mind!) (If you do, I'll take them down.)

    1. Natalie! I've missed you. <3 Ha, well, I've lived in Belgium for 17 years and I haven't seen Bruges; which is where all the tourists go all the time. :-P That's just how things work.

      Oh yes - those big things going really fast. Like... stop, sir. Please. This is scary right here.
      Haha, your 'not jealous's make me smile. I hope you get to see the Alps one day! :)

      Of course I don't mind! :-)

    2. Aww, thanks. <3 I've missed you, too! It's exciting that you're back from your internet absence. :)

      Really? Huh, that's so funny! Well, perhaps I'll see Bruges one day and then we'll be even. ;) heehee

      YES. Semi-trucks are just scary. :P
      Haha! Aww, thanks. I hope so, too. :) I'm so glad you got to see them, though!


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