Luke and Europe In A Nutshell

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I could write a nice long rambling blog about everything Luke did while studying abroad in France but why? Especially when he says it best:

To spend even a week in a European country is an experience of a lifetime, but four months? Well, according to my calculations, that’s the experience of 16 lifetimes, and that’s exactly what I did during my spring 2014 semester. Oh, and I forgot to mention, it was more like 13 countries. I lived in the small French city of Metz, right where Germany, Luxembourg, and France all meet: the perfect launching point for a semester filled with the works of masters such as Michelangelo and van Gogh, the ruins of ancient empires such as Greece and Rome, and the fine wines of France and Italy. I have walked the Cliffs of Mohr, skied the Swiss Alp’s Matterhorn, and been amazed by Gaudi’s masterpiece: the Sagrada Familia. From Dublin to Athens, Barcelona to Amsterdam, and all in between, I have seen more in my 21 years than a lot get to see in a lifetime. But as I look back and the reality of it all sets in, I realize that, more than the places, the people I met were the ones that changed me. They are the ones that, in some way, will stay with me forever. I’ll always remember the five Scots that helped me take Dublin by storm, and Ashley, the Australian who I toured the underground tapas world of Barcelona with, and then the Nigerian street vendor from Athens who sold me the bracelet I still wear, and his story of how poverty has defined his life. I’ve seen the best that Europe has to offer and tasted some of the best food in the world, but it took me over 15,000 miles of travel and a semester abroad to discover what is life’s greatest potential for adventure: the human race.

Pulling Tim into the Smart Phone World

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We were out of town this weekend visiting family since my two stateside boys are on spring break. Somehow the conversation turned to cell phones and we realized how short of a time they have been in our lives. Tim got his first BAG PHONE back in the late nineties and not only did it weigh 100 lbs but it was difficult to get service. Also, it was only for dire emergencies… we would never have used it to just chat. Just like today… NOT!!

My first cell phone was a small white flip phone and I really did not want it or any other phone. (We’ve discussed how much I abhor talking on the phone, WHY would I want one with me constantly?!?!) But Tim, who seriously likes talking on the phone, surprised me with one around 2005 and now like the rest of the world I panic if I leave the house without it. Times have changed and as a whole, we rarely use our phones just to call people. The best cell advice I was ever given was from a friend who also has three sons a few years older than mine. Leigh told me to get unlimited texting for everyone in the family. She explained that boys will text a hundred times more than they call. BEST ADVICE EVER!! Because my boys text a million times more than they call… they are their mother’s sons after all!

We’ve all come a long way in my family with everyone in our family having a smart phone… well, except for Tim. He still has an old fashioned phone and now he’s the one kicking and screaming not to enter the smart phone world… not because of principle mind you, no with Tim it is purely an economic decision. But he’s softening. His coworkers harass him endlessly because he’s the only person in his entire high school without a smart phone (well, maybe I exaggerate just a bit…I think there is one ninth grader without one) and now that Luke can Facetime me from Europe and Will can Facetime me from Memphis anytime they want he’s almost ready to jump on board. Yep, nothing like your kids to force you into spending more money…