Cat-walking: a confession

Promise not to judge us for the picture you are about to see.


My name is Megan.

And I walk my cat.

Oh, ya'll it's so funny! Let me tell you how it happened.

We were at the park with the Kellers, Jordan, and Kristin, and we saw this:

A couple walking their cat.

This made me very excited, because I had seen cat-walking on TV (TLC is just great for these kind of ideas) and always wanted to try it, but didn't know if anyone did that here.

Šárka is pretty adventurous outside on the balcony so we thought she'd love it. (And, believe it or not, there were tons of leashes to choose from at the pet-store. Who knew?)

We headed to the park early that first day, the kitty in her carrier, hoping no one would see us and that no curious dogs would be around.

We found a quiet, secluded spot and...

Off she went! It's funny how proud I am of my little city-kitty.

Clay followed her up a tree during one walk.

Man, she makes us laugh.

And Clay is a great sport :)

All that to say, yes, we walk our cat. And yes, we are those people skulking around in the forgotten corners of the park, avoiding the dogs and judgmental glances. It is so weird and wonderful and fun.

So there you have it, my confession.


Sunshine days.

The winter that wouldn't end has finally succumbed to sunshine.

We are really happy about that.

Spring and summer in Prague are pretty magical.

Parks that haven been ghost towns all winter are suddenly thriving with picnic blankets, kids, entertaining dogs, and laughter.

These people know how to enjoy sunshine.

You know one of my favorite ways to enjoy sunshine?

Nothing like laundry drying on the balcony and fresh breezes floating through the apartment from open windows.

Šárka approves mightily.

Beautiful days ahead!


Whispering City

Like pretty much everyone I know, my life is busy and full to brimming. I also seem to be in somewhat of a perpetual state of self-thought due to the GAPS diet and the amount of work and planning it requires. These aren't bad things in themselves. I love this full life, and I am thankful for a diet that I hope will bring great healing. But I know that I often do begin the slow slide into the paralysis of self-absorption. And it numbs me to being attentive to my God.

Clay and I are reading a book right now with a group from our organization (Sacred Companions, The Gift of Spiritual Friendship and Direction by David Benner).

I read this last week:

"Self-absorption is the great enemy of attunement to God."

He goes on to say that that's why things like music, walks in the woods, or whatever are such great tools because they break the spell of self-absorption and facilitate attentiveness to God.

This is beautiful. And true for me.

This morning, I stepped out to buy some milk and yogurt before the little shop below us closes for the long Easter weekend.

It was silent.

The streets where calm, the air was cool. There were no trams or cars flying by with bells ringing and horns blowing.

The city was peaceful, which is a rare thing.

It stopped me in my tracks.

How beautiful. How precious. God uses this city over and over again to pull me from the mire of my self-absorption, and draw my attention to him and the work he is doing in my life and all around me.

Some go to the woods to encounter God. For some it's the sea. Or museums gazing at beautiful works of art.

For me, in this season, I am thankful for this big, pulsing, sometimes loud, sometimes whispering city.

It rescues me from myself and focuses my spirit on Him.


January Meanderings

The new year rang in.

We took turns poking our heads out of the rooftop windows to catch the city fireworks show. If you squint, you can see Prague Castle.

On New Year's day we had a few people over to eat soup and watch The Twilight Zone. It was a fun, relaxed day.

After a quick break, it was back to the books for me to prepare for my big semester exam. 

With my little study helper, of course.

I also realized during this time that none of us had eaten pumpkin pie in 2012.

Moment of silence.

That can of Libbey's pumpkin puree I'd been saving came to the rescue.

Our friend Cristina was in our class last semester, and her boyfriend Jirka is on the Czech national fencing team. They invited us to a tournament and it was so cool.

The tournament was cool.

Not me and Clay.

Give the two of us a sword, and we just can't help ourselves.

Jirka ended up winning the entire tournament. He's pretty awesome.

The next day Marek and Ewelina invited us go cross country skiing. 

So off to the mountains we went!

This photo makes me look so much sportier than I am.

And yes, you get to wear tiny little spandex pants when you cross country ski. 

And stop at chalets for tea and soup in between trails.

Notice how effortlessly Clay is climbing this hill after stopping at the chalet.

Now notice me, barely managing to not slide backwards.

Cross-country skiing is intense.

At the point that this photo was taken, everyone else had made it up the hill and was watching my slow climb. I believe I was yelling "this is soooo haaaard!" to which they responded by taking this picture.

It was a really fun day. Cross country allows for a group to stick together and talk the whole time, which was a new thing compared to downhill skiing. 

Everyone was very patient with us as we learned.

Marek and I *may* have made a train a few times when the hills got to be too much for me.

And a Czech guy *may* have passed us calling out that his grandmother used to pull him around like a train when he was a kid.


Our group: Clay, frozen-faced me, Ewelina, Lee, Filipo, and Marek

We celebrated our survival with a traditional Czech meal. 

On the way home, Marek drove and we all sat in the back of the van talking and laughing like kids on a family road-trip. 

Too wonderful.

And then last Monday......

Jordan arrived!

Jordan will be working with us for the next two years and we are so excited he is here!

One of the main reasons we chose to move to Prague after Belgium was the opportunity to work alongside these 2-year folks. God did such amazing things in our lives during our two years in Belgium that we wanted to be a part of others' experience. Jordan's arrival is the realization of that dream. 

We are pretty excited.

The boys are pretty excited too. Jordan's staying with them until he finds an apartment and they just think that's too fun.

Keith and Rachel went out last week for Rachel's birthday, and the boys hung out here for some youtube videos and indoor marshmallow-roasting.

Rachel and I are pretty outnumbered at the moment, but we love it :)

Last Wednesday I graduated!

And by graduated I mean my semester class is finished. 

There is an international language scale called the "Common European Framework of Reference for Languages." It ranges from A1-C2, and according to the written and oral exams recently completed, I am currently at an A2 level, moving on to work on level B1. You can read about the scale and what each level means here.

What it means to me is that this last year has been filled with intense language study. Czech is a tough one. Compared to the Spanish and French we have learned, Czech is just so MASSIVE. The framework and rules seem endless. But we are learning. We are chipping away day by day. And we are improving little by little. I am pleased with A2 and will keep working.

Of course, I am going to miss these people.

We've seen eachother everyday since September. We've traveled together. Thrown parties. We've had baking classes together.

Man, I am so sad to see the semester go.

I was crying when I took this picture. These people are delights. Each and every one of them.

What treasures.

And then today, Monday. 

Back to business as usual.

Similar routine, different schools. I'll be studying through a group of different language companies this semester. I'm going to focus on speaking which makes my palms sweaty, but I am going for it!

So. January. It was busy and full and fun and a little sad. A good month.