spring has sprung

in the form of a bulgarian tradition.

in case you need a refresher, you can read about my first foray into my bulgarian roots HERE.

once again, adriana has tied me up with her foreign traditions thus transforming my winter blahs into sunshine and flowers. i mean, this is a much better way to celebrate spring than with old puxatawney phil. sorry phil, but those bulgarians get accessories when all you provide us with is a fleeting shadow and a hole in the ground. i can’t support that local custom, so i’m going global with this one.

thanks again for widening my horizons and teaching me the ways of the world, adi! i feel both stylish and cultured.


like, totally

my mind is a frazzled, stressed out mess right now, so instead of unleashing that on you, my unsuspecting blog readers, i figured it’s best to talk about anything else.

like linda grimesBIG NEWS. *round of applause*

like how after years of me saying, “you should really read HUNGER GAMES,” two more people in my life finally took me up on it. brother G and my friend R. and it’s been great hearing their perspectives on the book because as we all know, you bring your own life experiences to the pages when you read and they certainly have different lives than i do. all in all, it’s easy for me to continue saying, I LOVE THIS BOOK. (books 2 and 3 are a different beast, however.)

like how adriana is opening her heart and her wallet to do a book giveaway. the details aren’t final, but you know it’ll be good. keep an eye out for that.

like how sister E had her first collegiate lacrosse game this week AND SHE STARTED. (this means she’s really good.)

like how i have less than four weeks until the newly designed paperback edition of THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by jandy nelson releases (march 22) and less than six weeks until WHERE SHE WENT by gayle forman is released. (WSW is the sequel to IF I STAY, one of my most favorite books EVER, aside from HUNGER GAMES. no other book has reduced me to such a sobbing, slobbering mess in such an enjoyable way.)

like how my parents are awesomesauce.

like how i bought my own squash equipment with birthday money from sister J and how i’m now officially addicted to the game. i’ve moved away from the beginning ball (hee) and onto the one dot ball (tee hee) which means i’m even closer to reaching professional squitty squash player status.

like how these signed bookmarks arrived from lindsey leavitt.

even though i’ve only read one of her books (PRINCESS FOR HIRE is the only one out so far), i believe in her fantastically fantastic talent. PFH is funny and charming and inspiring and real. linds (can i call you that, lindsey?) makes you laugh while sneaking in important life lessons about courage and friendship and family. i can only imagine her next book, SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD (which releases march 1. so soon!), will do the same. in short, lindsey’s one of those authors who’s career i’ll follow and i’ll most likely read every word she writes because she’s that good. oh and it looks like i’ve got a lot more coming from her. congrats!

and for the most uplifting thing, read HERE and behold the power of maureen johnson, twitter, and the publishing community. so amazing! i’m proud to say i donated to the cause.


melting pot

america has been called a melting pot. which is true. all those people and languages and flavors and cultures and celebrations and traditions spicing up our country.

i’ve decided to be my own mini melting pot – to stew my own celebrations, brew my own beliefs, and cook my own culture. i will add new words to my vocabulary and traditions to my life. i will defy expectations and relish in the parts of me that are stereotypical. i will be a creature of habit and expand my boundaries. i will be my own individual and be a part of something larger.

the first tradition that i am going to embrace is a bulgarian one in honor of my friend and coworker, adriana. it’s a tradition i have been learning about for the past 2+ years and have (secretly) been wanting to partake in ever since i first heard about it. you see, bulgarians have a pagan ritual (called “Baba Marta“) to welcome spring. a bracelet (called a “martenitza“) of red and white yarn (the white symbolizes purity, and red symbolizes life) is tied onto your wrist and is worn from March 1 until you see a stork or blooming tree, at which point you tie it to a tree. what a lovely idea to cheer on spring’s arrival while waving bye bye bye to winter.

if you really think about it, it’s a genius idea to welcome spring with a celebration. it’ll probably be more apt to arrive sooner knowing that a celebration has begun. if i were spring, i wouldn’t want to miss out on the party, would you?

truth be told, i’m really hoping to see a stork and there’s a good chance i will see one in april. you know why? J’s preggers and we all know it’s the stork who brings the baby. OR maybe i’ll have to modify that part to fit into my american way of life. i do believe there will be flowers and trees popping out where i live. does a blooming onion count? maybe i’ll take my bracelet out on a date to Outback Steakhouse. woah, now there’s a clash of culture. ack. too much. too soon.

anyways, the real reason i decided to take part in this ritual this year is because adriana came to my office with my very own martenitza and ambushed me and tied me up. WOAH, totally kidding. we were at work. we’re always the utmost professionals. (she is anyways). she did tie the bracelet on me because, well, it’s sort of hard to tie a knot with one hand. you may be that talented, but i’m not. i look at the bracelet each day and smile because it’s a symbol that spring will come. that warm weather isn’t all that far away. that winter’s on its way out. that i am taking part in a centuries old tradition. that, for a month, i’m bulgarian (i can speak it too). that i need to be on the look out for flowers and storks. that i will see spring sooner if i’m looking closely enough. that i’m lucky enough to have a friend like adriana.