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I Can’t Help It

February 21, 2012

I think this is one of the first commercials that I saw after arriving in the good ‘ole USofA. I know its SO old news, but it still makes me laugh out loud when I see it.  I remember thinking –  “What in the world is happening to American advertising?”, but then I couldn’t stop laughing.

I mean, what’s not to like, dancing hamsters and robots…right?

Simple Life

February 20, 2012

Street Vendor, originally uploaded by daniademirci.

As we continue the transition of living in America, I find that my life in Turkey was so much simpler, even when it was extremely hard.

Easy living in America seems overwhelming because of the complexities and expectations that come with it.

Just a thought on this Monday morning as I long for the simple life.

Ready for My Art Lesson

November 27, 2011

Ready for My Art Lesson, originally uploaded by daniademirci.

Excited about the creativity and new vision that is beginning to flow…. Its always fun to see the final product when you bring all the pieces, colors and ideas together!

4 Months – Culture Shock & Reentry

November 7, 2011

It’s the 4 month mark. It seems hard to believe that we have been in the states for that long. I was looking up information on culture shock (for Enes) and reentry (for me) and just seeing that hey, its ok that we’re both a little stressed and trying to work through individually what we’re going through to be in the states and yes, this is a big deal for us.

I found this graph of culture shock and find that the timeline is true for what I experienced when I moved to Turkey, but also seeing where E is at being here. How do you help someone deal with culture shock…especially when they are in a lull, but for sure getting ready to move on to the upside of things?

I also found this picture that walks through what happens during culture shock. I know there are mistakes I made in Turkey dealing with culture shock at times and want to be able to share my experience in such a way that encourages freedom and doing things differently than I did. I don’t know the answer to that question and trying to figure that out.

On the other side, I go back and forth of negative and positive things about Turkey and America and the realization that I will never be the same as I was before going to Turkey. My world and life perspective is so different now, the bubble I was living in has popped. For the better good? I think so. I’m just trying to find my “new” self in America, or even more so, hoping America will be fine with my new self that landed on her soil 4 months ago. Ha!

I know we are stressed looking for jobs, we’re ready to find a place that is our home and to settle in. When I’m trying to work through the stress of it all, I have to remember it is VERY NORMAL to feel the way we are feeling right now.

S – T – R – E – T – C – H – E – D

I’m sure the celebration of finding that job and our home will be so sweet as we walk this out. I’m thinking cartwheels will be in order…

Praying for lots of grace through this process…and know that there is a purpose and a place for each and every step we take as we move forward.

Beavers Bend State Park

October 17, 2011

Today, Enes and I are celebrating 2 years of our journey in marriage, learning more about each other, learning more about our intertwining cultures and loving each other more. The last couple of years have been an amazing adventure and I look forward to many more years to come!


This weekend E and I got away to a place we’ve been hearing about from several friends of ours, Beavers Bend State Park in Oklahoma. I’ve been busy the last few months showing my husband all the great places I love in Texas, I really wanted to go somewhere that neither one of us have ever been.  There is just something about going to a beautiful place for the first time that awakens a sense of awe in you. Since I’m a bit of travel junkie and always looking for new breathtaking places, I was craving venturing into unchartered waters.

I was expecting the rich colors of fall leaves, but I think we arrived a little early in the season.  It seems to be just beginning.

We rented a small cabin just outside the park that was just perfect for some us time.  We spent most of the weekend down by the river, Enes fishing and me reading, both of us taking in being out in nature. We spent a little time hiking, paddle boating and checking out the park and enjoying our time together. We’re looking forward to the next time we can plan a weekend camping trip…next time we’ll take a tent, sleeping bags and find us an awesome place right next to the river. I can’t wait!

We had a wonderful trout dinner cooked by my wonderful husband, who I am so thankful loves to cook and is good at it too!

Lentil Soup Recipe

September 21, 2011

E makes amazing lentil soup and as he was making it the other night I wrote down how he made it. He usually doesn’t use recipes which I think is an art and am completely jealous of him. If you are like me, you need some direction!

Here are instructions for making the best Lentil Soup Ever!


Red lentils (If you can’t find them, green lentils are fine too)

1 Potato & Carrot (If desired – He didn’t use this the night we had it, but said if you want it, you can add it.)

1 Green Bell Pepper

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 tbl flour

2 tbl tomato paste

Garlic to taste




1.  Wash lentils 3x and then let them soak in water for maybe 30 minutes. The ratio of water to lentils is 2:1.

2.  After soaking, put lentils on the stove and boil water. E said when you can smell the lentils and they look like they are “melting”, you can go on to the next step.

3.  If you want potatoes or carrots, dice them and put them in with the lentils while you are boiling them. If not, go on to step 4.

4.  While lentils are boiling prepare the bell peppers by dicing them, then sautee them in olive oil or butter. When they get soft, add1 tbl flour and mix around for about 30 seconds, then add 2 tbl tomato paste and mix around for another 30 seconds.

5.  Add a little cold water to the mixture and stir it around then pour it in with the boiling lentils when they are ready. Boil for 3 more minutes with everything together. You can add salt, pepper, garlic or whatever else you want at that point. Turn the heat down and you are ready to go.

Afiyet Olsun!

My Favorite Things about Bringing a Little Bit of Turkey to Texas

September 19, 2011

We’ve been here in the states for 2 months and having all kinds of adventures.  I love hearing my husband’s observations about the U.S. and more specifically about Texas.
We were able to travel a little bit the first month we were here and so he has got to see how different all the regions in Texas are.  We learned that the area of Texas is about the same area as the country of Turkey, except that Turkey has a lot more people!! (Turkey 74 Million: Texas 24 Million)

A few observations of my husband’s that are worth sharing:

1.       The Texas Panhandle is Flat. I Mean Really Flat.

While driving through the Texas Panhandle for the first time, he was sitting staring out the window, and a little taken aback by how flat and open it is. You can seriously see for miles.  I told him this before, but I think seeing it first hand was a whole different thing.  I could hear him saying repeatedly to himself, “It’s so flat!” and asking questions like “Was there a huge lake here a long time ago?” and “How can it be this flat?”. Then, he said something I don’t think I’ll ever forget, because I think it describes thoughts of the Texas Panhandle perfectly. He said, “This is all so interesting, but I don’t know why?!” If you’ve been through the Panhandle, you would understand this statement and agree, and if you’ve never been there before, maybe its time for a road trip!

2.       Texas Really is the Friendly State.

After travelling through Texas a bit, and to several other states as well, E has concluded that Texas has the nicest people hands down. Thank you Texas for being the friendly state!

3.       Chicken Fried Steak is Not Chicken.

This lesson learned on a men’s retreat. He has issues ordering at restaurants sometimes because he’s not sure what everything is on the menu. This particular time, he ordered what all the other guys ordered and to his shock and surprise when he cut into his food, there was no chicken. He thought the restaurant must have messed up the order, but no one else at the table was surprised about their food, so he ate it. Now he has mixed emotions about chicken fried steak because he was expecting  chicken and got something totally different. My brother in law has vowed to change his mind with the best chicken fried steak he’s ever had. We’ll save that for a different post.

4.       People in Texas Follow the Rules for Driving.

First let me say that driving in Turkey is crazy and like a rollercoaster ride. The first week we were here, we came upon a traffic light that was not working and was a flashing a red light for a four way stop and I have to mention it was in the middle of Dallas traffic so there were lots of cars coming from all four directions. Enes was sitting in the front seat with my sister and he was asking “What is this?”, “What is going on?”. He was in disbelief that everyone was taking their turn from all directions and actually stopping at the stop sign. When we explained how it works and what everyone was doing, he said that if this happened in Turkey we would be stuck here for hours because no one would want to wait and they would all try to go at the same time.

5.       Americans are Just Plain Lazy.

The first time E saw someone drive up to an ATM and hang out of their car to withdraw money, he about died laughing and he still starts chuckling to himself when he’s sees a drive through anything.

6.      If People See You Walking on the Street, They Will Think You are Homeless.

Now, I’m not exactly sure where this came from, but I think it partially coincides with observation #5.  I’m going to break this down from my own observations.  We are in a city where everybody drives everywhere , and we are coming from a city where everyone walks everywhere.  E loves to be outside and wants to walk or bike places instead of driving.  The only people E has seen on the streets are homeless people, so I think he made this decision based on Who he sees on the streets. Its funny, but I can make sense of it in a round about sort of way. So he thinks that if people see him walking on the street, they will automatically think he is like the other people walking down the street…homeless.

More to Come…

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