2010 in Review

In retrospect, this year wasn’t so bad. I did a lot of new things of which I think I deserve to be proud of. (Yes, I realize how conceited I am…)

Here’s my brag list for 2010:

1) Traveled overseas for the first time:

  • UK – Leeds where I studied at Leeds University and volunteered for a charity called Kidz Klub with local churches and communities. I visited a wide range of cities and sites in England, Scotland, and Wales.  Didn’t make it to Ireland, but I will next time :).
  • Italy and Spain – just braised these incredible countries and visited the popular Rome, Venice and Barcelona
  • Now I’m just itching to travel more! It might be awhile before that can happen again – I need to save money.

Pub crawl and fancy dress with my English flatmates and friends

my "adoptive family" at a wedding in Leeds

Pri and I in Venice

Inside the Vatican in Rome


on the pier in Barcelona


I made friends for a lifetime in England.

Lo and me celebrating end of the term in Hyde Park: we may have had too much Pimm's - because that's legal in parks in England, you know...


Kidz Klub charity cycle ride practice


outside Buckingham Palace on my last visit to London

2) Returned to dancing with USC and performed onstage again and put on pointe shoes aka ‘boots’ (miracles never cease to happen!):

  • Classics to Contemporary – for my first performance after taking 9 months off ballet and almost 2 years off pointe, I did not expect to have to appear in pink tights and a pink tutu-thing for Raymonda variations.
    Great Galloping Gottschalk by Lynn Taylor-Corbett was just what I needed to get back into the swing of things and enjoy dancing again.
  • Student Choreography showcase – It was an honor to be a part of two other girls’ pieces. I am looking forward to choreographing my own next year. I don’t want to pass this opportunity by. I missed dancing too much and have already missed out on enough in the past few years by doubting myself and giving up too easily.

Great Gallopping Gotschalk with USC Dance Company


Raymonda variations with USC Dance

USC Student Choreography Showcase: Julianna's piece 'Dream to Cry Again'

in rehearsal for student choreography

3) Tried several new outdoor activities/sports:

  • Ice skating – with my family. And I am the most un-graceful of us all on the ice!
  • Cycling – went on my first long rides with friends in England, and upon returning to Columbia began working at a bike shop taught me a lot about cycling. I am still in the learning process.
  • Rowing – well, I am a weakling, but I discovered I can row at the gym to gain strength. Plus, it’s a great full-body workout.
  • Rock climbing – again, discovered I am a weakling. But the thrill is great and I can’t wait to go back for more!
  • Taught Pilates again at various places – subbing for Kyra at USC Dance Dept and at Cedar Crest Fitness at home in NM. Ideally I would get my certification so I could teach rather than working minimum wage jobs.

4) Became a vegetarian, which wasn’t a hard thing, because I don’t like much meat anyway, but I began eating meat again over the holiday season when I spent time with family and friends who made some yummy carnivorous dishes. I will probably return to being a “seasonal vegetarian”. Really, my intake of sugar and processed crap is probably what I should be most concerned about.

5) Switched my coffee addiction to tea – which is cheaper since I don’t get freebies from Starbucks anymore. I think it’s better for me since it has less caffeine, but I can drink a lot more cups of black tea than coffee in a day!

6) Got my first reviews published in the UK (have yet to in my own university paper yet… nothing like doing things backwards!)

7) Started playing piano again while I was home this summer, sorta…

8 ) Began routinely babysitting for the first time without being afraid of babies crying, changed a lot of diapers – (growing up I would pet-sit for our older neighbors instead)  Finally this year I got the whole “mom” experience – complete with driving a minivan!

What I didn’t accomplish in 2010 that I would have liked to (and please don’t judge, although I guess I deserve it if I post this on a public blog), but I will add to my list for 2011:

1) Enter a fiction/short story contest.

2) Adopt a Compassion International Child.

3) Lose these pesky 15 pounds.

4) Get my Pilates certification

5) Win one person over to Christ – although I can’t be certain; only God does and that’s not something I can count by numbers, nor should I.

In addition to the above these are the things I want to do in 2011:

6) Definitely more rock climbing – inside then one day maybe outside.

7) Choreograph and stage my own piece.

8 ) Go swing dancing more consistently so I get better, and learn a new type of dance, say Flamenco!!

9) SAVE money for traveling

10) Get an internship in NY or London or other big city overseas so I can travel more.

11) Take some more graduate level classes for my BA to challenge myself.

12) Improve my writing and get articles published in the states.

13) Keep up my Vista Muse arts reviews blog better this year.

So…. I might be an overachiever and an idealist, but it’s better to have too many dreams set goals and fall short of them than to never have dreamed at all.

The New York Times Year in Pictures is an excellent summation of global happenings while I was busy doing my thing. It’s good to be reminded of the bigger picture and how fortunate I am to pursue my own ambitions. I caught up on 12 months of news by looking at these pictures:



Revelations of a Ba-humbugger

Three things I think God was trying to tell me yesterday:

  • “My grace is enough for you.”

God’s grace is enough to cover where I fall short, and to accept me the way I am, and He gives it freely. He is not waiting for me to become the person I want to measure up to my standards or His in order to love me.

“Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded in all the more.” ~Romans 5:20

  • True beauty is in the soul of a person.

Try seeing others’ beauty in the deepest part of the person, see past their beauty or lack thereof.  A woman’s or a man’s soul is truly beautiful if it is a heart after God’s.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” ~Proverbs 31:30

  • Again, wait.

Like my ceaseless striving, trying to make something happen the way I want it isn’t the best idea. I need to wait on God’s timing and trust that He will let things fall into place the way they’re supposed to and happen at the right time.  Sometimes I need to respond to the situation at hand first rather than try to take things into my own hands to make something I think I want happen.

“I waited patiently for the Lord, and he heard my cry.”

Musings of a Ba-humbugger

What is it that is disturbing my peace now, swirling around in my head and bubbling to the surface when I have a moment to sit and think? I often use writing to help me sort out my thoughts, but this I think needs prayer more than anything…

During Christmastime while I am at home with my family there are many happy, festive things going on, a little stress to get gifts together, but mostly I have a lot of time to myself, and during this time my mind is flooded with the typical worrying about trying to stay fit over the holidays, not forgetting anyone to call or send cards or gifts to, and various other superficial things.  Something that happened made me consider why I think so highly of myself and sometimes look down on others. When I feel on top of the world, like after I finished teaching Pilates class today, or when I am all dressed up and did my hair and makeup, I feel so beautiful and proud… then there are times when my hair is a mess and I have been scrounging around the house muttering to myself all day and I see myself,  and I grumble at my reflection in the mirror.  It’s not just my physical appearance that sets me off into this state of reflection – when things don’t go my way and I use angry words or think them,  when I use a disrespectful tone with my mother, when I have fallen back into a bad habit that I despise, I despise myself and think, “you’re such a mess!”  Then I wonder why I wait for better things, thinking I deserve better… am I waiting until I “get myself together”? Bad news: I am never going to be perfect. Then I kick myself for giving up striving to be perfect. what a horrible circle to get caught up in! Only when I remember the grace of Jesus Christ does my striving heart relax and I realize He loves me the way I am, here, now. He is not waiting to love the person I want to become, although He has good plans for that too.

If I can expect and receive such grace and love from Christ to accept myself the way I am now, perhaps I need to give others that same grace. how about in relationships and friendships? What kind of standards should I set for people in those? I set pretty high standards for myself and constantly fail them. Is it right for me to expect other people to live up to my standards too? Probably not. This is all an internal dialogue that is going on within me while I size people up. What a judgmental creature I am! Also, I tend to give others more grace than myself, as if they need it, and I don’t! Even my grace is hypocritical.  So how will I ever learn to love, and be loved in return? Will I ever be able to have satisfying relationships with people? with someone?

About more personal details, I need to go on a long prayer walk and ask the Lord about them. If I have any general revelations, I will try to post them in a format beneficial for public eyes.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”  ~Phil. 4:6

Winter Break Handmade Gift List

*If you are family do not read this or I will put snow in your bed while you’re sleeping!!*

Our family is all really creative and inventive, and we’re all broke this year – having three kids in college working minimum wage jobs, and Dad not getting his promised raises for the third year in a row because of government cuts will do that to you – so we’re planning on making all or most of our Christmas gifts this year.  Considering I get enough time to finish my projects, these are my plans to make something new out of old for everyone in the family:

  • Quilted, covered ribbon bulletin board and button thumbtacks for Eliz
  • Key chain holder, cookbook of family recipes revised for bachelor cooking for Caleb
  • ‘Recycled’ Shimano cycling shoes I pulled out of the throw-away bin at work for Caleb
  • Used books from Amazon.com for various family members
  • Stone beaded earrings for Mom
  • Standing flip-photo album for Dad’s office
  • Tin of his favorite candy canes for his shop
  • Recording family history for grandpa (and taking down/stowing away all the girlie stuff in my old room that he stays in now!)
  • Hanging more family pictures in grandma’s nursing home room
  • Decorating Christmas cookies, making fudge and homemade breads for neighbors
  • Handmade Christmas ornaments for relatives
  • Bath and hair cut for kitty Magellan, or “Maggie” as I like to call him
  • baked puppy treats for Cessna the dog

What I’m wishing for my family to make for me:

  • Tight-crochet or knitted cap
  • Tooled leather checkbook cover
  • Framed artwork/painting by Mom
  • A teakettle (Ok, I don’t know how you make one of these but I want one.)
  • A big sign to go on my fridge that says, “you don’t need to open me.”
  • Pay my January rent

Do you have any ideas that are great handmade gifts? Please share them!

Winter Break in Status Updates 2

  • Sad the snow melted before we got to make a snowman (and snow woman)
  • Made “world’s worst cookies” with sister in brother’s house.
  • Brother’s bachelor pad reeks.
  • Practicing country line dancing in the living room.
  • Want to go swing dancing so badly!!! need a partner in Albuquerque. Any takers?
  • All cats are felines.
  • Magellan the cat is basically a girl – “Maggie”.
  • Decorated Christmas cookies with the fam: NASA shuttles, Carl’s Jr. star, bio-hazard signs, “she-tree”, alien Santa, angel Frankenstein, “ghost of Christmas past”, three peas in a pod…all in sugar icing!
  • Moved on to decorate all the graham crackers in the house and still had multi-colored icing left over!
  • Too much sugar makes me feel ba-humbug.
  • Teased my brother’s girlfriend too much.
  • Brother’s g.f. might hate his sisters now. whoops.
  • Disappointed that the old ladies I taught pilates to are fiercer and more fit than me!
  • celebrating my “little brother’s” 21st birthday!!!
  • being the d.d.

Winter Break in Status Updates:


  • Home in NM for two days and I’ve got my fill of red chili, green chili, tortillas, posole, and SNOW!!
  • First year I beat Caleb and Elizabeth home for Christmas!
  • 6 inches of snow this morning!
  • Happy birthday Dad! note to self: stay out of the cake.
  • Glad I got a hike up the mountain in before the snow.
  • Home for two days and haven’t got out of my sweats or pajamas.
  • 12 inches of snow and still coming down!
  • Cooking up a storm with mom in the kitchen…
  • 16 inches of snow and it’s still coming down!
  • Maybe ‘trucking’ up to the post office a mile away in 2 feet of snow wasn’t the best idea…
  • Trying to ignore all the songs about mistletoe, “baby it’s cold outside”, “all I want for Christmas is you”…
  • Ba-humbug – being single for another Christmas.
  • “Single men are like waffles, single women are like spaghetti”…unfortunately I feel more like a waffle.
  • Remembering the Christ in Christmas.
  • In love with a beautiful Savior.
  • Romance me, Jesus!
  • Love the glow of Christmas lights under the snow on the deck.
  • Love the smell of wood burning stoves.
  • Love hot chocolate.
  • Hot chocolate doesn’t count as calories, right??
  • Giving the cat a bath…if you hear screams from the bathroom it’s alright.

Going home for the holidays…

HA! for my ‘sugar addiction detox’. at least I’m only eating sweets now when I go out or am at other people’s houses, not baking cookies “for friends” (ya right. nice excuse) and eating them alone in my kitchen bemoaning my ‘loneliness’… but I don’t have to dwell in those feelings for long -and definitely not feed them. I have a lot of friends, I am so lucky…I just have to call the ones who, like me are still single to hang out rather than bemoan all my girl friends ‘lost’ to boyfriends, fiancées and husbands… one day that will be me and my friends will be missing me hopefully, if they’re not all already married… Anyway –

On to the holidays… I’m going home tomorrow morning, I mean in 7 hours. Yep. I don’t know why I’m writing like it’s a special event or something – I go home every Christmas. I guess this one I’m expecting to be extra special because I’m going home early and have a whole week to spend with mom before Caleb and Elizabeth are done with finals. This will be the first year that I’m not the only kid who lives out of the house and is coming back home for the holidays. All three of us are coming ‘back home’ and will have hews to share about our semesters and catch up on each other’s lives. My younger brother Caleb is turning 21 and his girlfriend already has big plans for the celebrations, so I’m looking forward to that. I’m not looking forward to going to Nebraska after Christmas, but it will be good to see the Krumel side of the family. It’s just so cold and windy and frigid and flat…did I mention cold?? One of the things I always look forward to going home to NM is hiking in the mountain trails near our house. Maybe we’ll go skiing and horse-back riding too. I know Caleb will want to try out the snow board he built.

I am looking forward to lots of rest and relaxation – not that I haven’t already caught up on sleeping in – our family is making gifts this year, so I need to get a start on crocheting or sewing or beading or molding ceramics or whatever I decide to do. I’ll probably spend a lot of time in the shop. And doing Pilates too – it was my goal to do Pilates every day over the break from Thanksgiving to New Years. I have missed a few days, but I’ll keep going.  Other than that, I hope to read a lot of books I’ve been wanting to read all semester, and maybe do some writing, and listen to lots of instrumental  music and start formulating ideas to choreograph a piece for this spring. I’ll try to practice playing piano again, although I haven’t since last time I was home this summer. I will have lots of time to Skype and chat and talk on the phone (hint hint) to my friends, but Christmas tends to be quiet and centered around family.

I want to spend some quality time with the Lord too. I get so caught up in the business of the semester I often put Him last and that is not the way my time needs to be prioritized. Blessings, blessings to all my friends. God is good. Praise Him for his wonderful gift to man. And praise Him for all the people He places in our lives, wonderful and not-so-wonderful – He died to save all of them.