sometimes i don’t have very good manners.

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what i realized tonight is that i am that girl who slurps her soup at the table. who thinks it is much better to pick up the bowl to ensure every last sip has been enjoyed rather than coyly using her spoon to sip daintily along and not exactly getting that last bit at the bottom.

i don’t think I’m ladylike.

im not sure about my manners.

but i do know that, in many an area, i have been learning what it means to accept myself lately. this might sound silly, but faced with a new job that I’m fairly certain i know about 1/8th of the stuff about that i actually need to, i have found myself second guessing who i am. and needing to apologize for the person i see. and the things I’m not good at.

I’m sorry i don’t know how to do this. I’m sorry i talk so loud when theres three of us in the room. i sorry i asked the intern if she cried when she cut her hair. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry….

but here is the deal, ladies and gents. i am who i am. with room for improvement of course. but i want to give myself grace and permission to do that in small doses day by day bringing ALL OF ME to the things I’m doing without apologizing for it. and trusting that when i apologize for it i lose a small piece of the big purpose God has set out for me here on this earth. after all, he didn’t make me ME for no reason. with all of my quirks traits and tendencies.

I’m supposed to be that person – the soup slurper. and while I’m confessing here, i often talk with my mouth full too. oops. but I’m learning (TRYING) to say no to timidity and YES to confidence. and not the fake confidence, the real kind.

i owe these realizations (that are sticking at least for this march 7 night) to convos with roommates, friends, and parents. thank goodness for kind, wise, patient people when you are losing it.

also, if you ever need a good chickpea and kale soup i highly recommend le pain quotidien. its bomb. i wish you, one and all, a beautiful night.

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A call on 20-somethings.

good morning sweet friends. or maybe its afternoon. to be truthful I’m not really sure as slow leisurely mornings have just become a part of my lifestyle – blessing and curse :) having a work schedule that functions on the later side means i get morning eggs and toast and lazy days of sleeping in. but it also certainly means that i never and i mean NEVER work out in the morning like i think I’m going to. oops. productivity in some ways these days has not been my strong suit outside of work…. but day by day I’m becoming more okay with it. or i guess today I’m okay with it. but I’m not so sure how ill feel tomorrow :)

this morning, sipping my coffee and thinking about how i NEED to get ready for work SOON (the being on time resolution has been a bit of a struggle) i flipped through my “blog feed” or whatever it is of blogs i follow and came upon this gem of a post below. i feel like someone slapped me across the face at multiple points of reading it in the best way. love her writing style. love her thoughts. and, ultimately, love that i felt like i needed to scribble down quotes every 5 seconds while reading. i’m not really a re-blogger, or maybe i am who knows, but either way i thought this needed to be shared with each of you this morning :)

enjoy. and let me know your thoughts. as always. if you wish :) the comment section is down there ——v

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My words are not a parachute.

They won’t soften the landing when that moment buckles your knees and breaks you down to the floor. My words, they’re not no cold bucket of water. They won’t extinguish the doubt that blazes heavy, heavy, like a fire catching to all the pretty things you touch. Nothing I write can prepare you for that moment.. maybe you already know the one.

It’s going to hit you at some point. It might meet you randomly. 2am. 4am. When you’re standing in the middle of a crowded campus or alone in your cubicle beside a cactus you keep forgetting to water. No matter where you are, it’ll hit you. And you’ll look up suddenly. And you’ll look around. And you’ll let these words slip out from your lips, “Why am I here?”

Why am I here? And what am I doing? And this? Well, this…

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days off.

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and then the lord said “let there be days off”.

i don’t know about you but i am SO thankful for lazy mornings, breakfast on the porch (even if the porch is really just the top step of your stairwell), and makeup-less afternoon yoga class. i have noticed that in the chaos and stress of life, moments of relaxation or i guess not even that but permission to actually stop and ASK myself what it is that i would like to do have become crucial for my sanity. its a chance to quiet that voice that says that busier is worthier and also to tell my ever lurking to-do list to kick rocks.

now isn’t that nice?

if i could encourage you in one thing today it would be that rest is necessary. and so is breakfast, but thats a conversation for another day.

so for me, i will spend today in my cheetah print slippers with my hair up in a messy bun taking some time to tend to me in a season that can feel full of expectation and pressure. no thank you life, i would like to do it my way as well. :)

that time i got engaged.

hello there, friends.

here i am sitting on this couch, an engaged person. crazy right?!

i thought i would take just a moment to rehash how i got here… to this point that is. the point where a few weeks ago i was single and now, tody, i am not. because it was beautiful and shocking and about a million different things as well but either way i feel like it could be helpful to write them down here. not only for your reading pleasure, but also for the purpose of remembering for myself.

so here we go.

the weekend of december 6-8 was supposed to be fabulous. NOT, mind you, because i was getting engaged (although thats totally what ended up happening!) but because me and my very best friends from college had planned a reunion weekend complete with belated birthday celebrations for our dear friend erin. the best. i had been looking forward to this weekend for WEEKS because when college ends and real life begins you realize how much you treasure time spent with these kind of very special people. the plan was to leave on friday morning (as we did) and take the day to drive up to san francisco – our much anticipated weekend destination spot. two of my girlfriends, rachel and nicole, had to fly in that night post work so it was just me and kaley left to traipse the open road and enjoy the day trip to come. we listened to music and sang loud in the car, made more than one starbucks stop, and documented many a ridiculous moment together via iphone camera.

after a few hiccups, and potential fiascos very gracefully resolved, we all finally arrived in san fran at the courtyard marriot downtown. there was much screaming and jumping around to be had – along with the usual up-till-three-in-the-morning life chats. not complaining about any of it. i was elated. this was set to be the best weekend of life, a reunion with my girls in such a beautiful fun city (although we literally couldve been in a motel 6 in nowheresville, california and been equally as entertained). and yet there was so SO much more to come beyond what i couldve thought or dreamed.

the next morning we woke up (after a long night of giggling and talking and nearly being verbally assaulted by our less-than-stoked-about-our-reunion neighbors) and enjoyed chocolate croissants and cappuccinos at la boulange bakery. a favorite. we wandered the streets and snapped photos in fancy hotels like we were staying there, naturally. the old ferry building (complete with a weekend farmers market) was calling our names… so we OBVI couldn’t ignore it and a taste test session commenced – testing more than you were allowed at just about every booth I might add.

the weekend sounds just about perfect so far doesn’t it?? that’s what i thought too. i was elated. without even knowing what was to come, I was soaking up time to do nothing or everything or both with my favorite girls in an amazing place on a vacation weekend. and I feel like this was half the blessing – that the man I freaking love provided such sweet time with some of my favorite people prior to even the LARGEST EVENT of the weekend happening. like what?! how cool is that?!. okay whoops, here I go getting back on track.

at about three o clock, after a spot of wine tasting, the girls decided we should head over to see the christmas tree in union square. aka the location for engagement. insert scream now knowing what happened here.

sure! I thought and said. the tree! what a fab idea. and a starbs along the way?? even better.

so there we went on the Bart, over to union square to see the christmas tree. while waiting in the starbucks line we reminisced about grant and I, and our very first flirt sesh right there in that very city on a properly titled “bridges” service retreat some three and a half years back. and there I was – not only dating that man but also falling more in love with him everyday. what a piece of life I had not anticipated. and also could not feel more blessed for.

needless to say, by the time we arrived in union square, I was elated. here I was having the greatest weekend with my best friends daydreaming about the love of my life… who, little did i know, just so happened to be waiting for me to arrive across the street.
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we sat down at a table enjoying the view of the decked out tree and our starbs oatmeal at the same time. at about this time grant gave me a little ring (the call kind) on the phone – i was so eager to update him on what a great day I was having, i barely noticed how odd he was being while we chatted… considering he was probably peeing his pants prepping to propose to me just steps away. “he’s watching football with the guys” I mused, clearly unfazed. figures. football with the guys has been a very practical reason for many an odd convo in the past.

at about the moment of hanging up, rach announced that we ought to take a photo in front of the tree before it was time to go move our cars. just your typical, normal photo shoot that i was very familiar with us having. nothing out of the ordinary. we all gathered by the christmas tree, me prepping for the photo, them clearly looking for and eagerly anticipating the arrival of the guest of the hour whom everyone knew would be there but me. kaley stepped across the square and, as if on queue, i asked her who was going to take the photo (along with continual prep of course) “oh i’ll find someone” she replied and right at that moment, who walks up but grant sterling bridges – my beloved boyfriend who was supposed to be down in southern california watching college football with his buds.

SHOCK. literal only thing going through my head was “wait… what? youre supposed to be on your couch right now.” in fact, what was going on in my head looked a little bit like this:

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he began walking toward me with many a shut up and are you serious flying out of my mouth – not, mind you, because i had any idea he was proposing but more so because i still couldnt figure out how he’d managed to get from socal to san fran in a matter of minutes. out of the corner of my eye, i noticed eli and zach poised with cameras – two figures who should have ALSO been enjoying a saturday afternoon football sesh and yet were very much in union square and seemed to want to record me and grant no less. something is going on, i thought to myself. even though at this point, believe it or not, i had yet to piece together what it could possibly be. surprise guys trip? ashton kutcher and the punked crew? none of the above were correct.

he approached me and set my purse down on the ground beside me, taking both of my hands in his. at this point, the words began to pour out. he loved me. i made him so happy. he couldnt imagine spending his life without me. engagement words. ENGAGEMENT WORDS!! and then there it came, out of his pocket. a ring – a real, true ring hand picked and designed by himself opening up as he bent down on one knee. and just like that, everything changed. he was asking me to not just be his girlfriend anymore. he was asking me to be his fiancee, and then his wife, and to grow up together, figure this life thing out, and adventure from this point forward never without each other again. mind blowing.

i said yes.

thinking back on this moment, it doesnt seem real. it didnt seem real when he slid the ring onto my finger, or when he pointed across the street to our families waiting and waving and jumping up and down from the bay windows at the coffee shop on the third floor of the macys across the street. and the next few moments after that, after him on his knee, were a blur really. a blur of special person beyond special person running out from across the street waiting with hugs and congratulations and tears and kisses. a dream.

pictures were taken and laughs were had – i screamed and jumped up and down multiple times for sure. and then my fiance informed me that dinner reservations were made and the fams were ready… we were going to spend the rest of the evening celebrating together with some of the people we love this day and this moment. three and a half years in the making.

and im still pinching myself. because it really was a dream. there were layers upon layers of surprises, and things to digest and realize had been going on from well before the weekend even began. but the best part is that this adventure is continuing. i could not be more thankful for my soon-to-be-husband and the journey this means we get to continue on together.

there is so much more to learn about life and myself and him, but one thing im sure of is that i want to do it together – to do this thing called life TOGETHER (the great, the ugly, the good, and the bad) and partner with each other as we learn and grow. to be teammates and best friends and partners in crime (hopefully none to serious). to always be learning more about what makes him tick and HOW we can make the world a better place because of this marriage we get to create together. theres so much more to figure out, but frankly thats what makes me stoked.

and more than that, i get to marry someone of such quality, who loves me so well and really truly takes joy in letting me be me. on my worst and my best days. and for that i couldnt be more grateful :) GRANT YOU ARE A FREAKING STUD. and this is me telling you that you absolutely positively created a WINNING engagement weekend that i am still wrapping my head around. well done. im honored :)

so here goes the adventure. MORE TO COME!!!

and in the meantime… a few photos of the surprise below.

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merry christmas and a happy new year :)

an ode to a european thanksgiving

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this time last year, i had just arrived in paris via train from london with two of my very best friends in celebration of what we liked to call “a european thanksgiving”. aka living the dream.

id be lying if i said i haven’t spent all week daydreaming about that trip. the trip of a lifetime. cafes and cappuccinos  and croissants and macaroons. and also more things than food, but for some reason food always seems to jump to the front of my memory with things like this. which in some ways makes me feel like a really awful person – how food ends up being more important than people in my memory. oops. good person fail.

anyway, i’ve been reminiscing about the sights and sounds of these two beautiful cities – from the moment eri, cole and i decided we too should try to be traveling musicians on the paris metro to the rain splashed stage of “singing in the rain” in london’s west end. apparently the ticket woman wasn’t joking when she asked us if we wanted to purchase some ponchos. it was so full of all things the last season was defined by – spontaneity, sister friends, and space to live like their wasn’t a care in the world. and i am so thankful for it.

like literally what?! I WAS IN PARIS LAST THANKSGIVING. nothing will ever replace the sweet memories i got to make with two of my very best friends living on the edge of adventure and adulthood, figuring out who we were and where we wanted to be. and most of all being reminded that there was a great big world out there to be a part of. and traditions would change as we had our very first “friends-giving”. such a funny foreshadowing of the season to come…. where things are discombobulated and your trying to figure out what traditions you want to make on your own.

so with that, heres a few reminiscent shots of our very own european thanksgiving. aka christmas since the europeans don’t celebrate thanksgiving, which sadly enough we were a little shell-shocked to discover upon our arrival.

^ a few snapshots from london – covent garden was DECKED OUT for christmas, from giant ornaments hanging over the sweet carts and shops to the HUGE christmas tree so prominently displayed on the outside… as i said we were quite surprised but nonetheless STOKED that those fabulous europeans get into the christmas spirit a little earlier in the year than we americans do; the third photo is at camden lock where we spent the day exploring with our oxford studying friend my-spick enjoying rainy streets around every corner of the city; and the middle photo is a croissant thrown in because who doesn’t love a good pastry?! and because buying sweet treats like this is why all of us panicked our last morning at breakfast when we realized we had perhaps spent our money like queens the whole week when we were most definitely not of any royal fiscal stature. bummer. but nonetheless the best decision in some ways too looking back on it :)

^ we stumbled upon this gorgeous church in paris just around the corner from rue cler and i had to stop and take a photo…. also, in case you were wondering, you can find a starbucks in any city it would seem.

^ sight seeing in the city of lights :)

happy thanksgiving to each and every one of you this holiday season… european or not.

a place to visit.

i found myself in granada hills yesterday and stumbled upon THIS little gem pictured above – joe’s cafe.

you could say its kind of a winner.

and so there i was, wandering inside, intrigued by the simple whisk logo on the sign out front.

to my absolute DELIGHT joe’s was much more than i could have originally expected. fresh ingredients, friendly people, combinations to die for were all waiting for me as i walked in the door. a few of my most favorite things :)

if theres one thing i love, its a good little cafe hidden smack dab in the middle of some “old town” street complete with fresh food, architectural decor, and a warm environment – not exactly your typical let alone easiest space to discover. oh and maybe some good coffee too. of which they had. intellegentsia to be precise.

so if you’re in the area, or just feel like driving to the area, i highly recommend this little hidden slice of food heaven as your next lunch destination. oh and apparently they have a killer brunch on sundays too. as well as everyday until 11 am. aka positive life decision.

please PLEASE let me know if you have a little coffee shop/cafe/orgenerallyyummyfoodprovider that you are currently loving as i am ALWAYS ready for a good *any of the above* adventure.

have a beautiful day :)

being a grown up.

i am currently sitting at the kitchen table in work out clothes with my hair pulled back into a somewhat horrendous looking braid still wearing the apron i cooked breakfast in because i have a tendency to forget i even … Continue reading

graduation.

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forgive me if ive been a litle overwhelmed by so many different emotions lately.

for those of you who have graduated, well freaking done. for those of you who havent, it will be quite the interesting season i can tell you that much. and for those of you who are along side of me, im sure you can relate to living in a constant dichotomy.

dichotomy. meaning “a division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups”. at least thats what dictionary.com tells me. you’re with me now right? total excitement and complete terror. unrelentless drive toward your passion and crippling fear of the failure to get there. looking forward to the future while feeling nostalgic about the past. ready to move on but feeling confused about letting go.

this is the life of a senior getting ready to graduate. or at least this is the reality of my life as a senior getting ready to graduate.

i dont know why at the same exact time throught this season its felt like im going to get through this next transition no problemo, having my future in the bag, AND that nobody else had ever done this before and i was the very first person EVER to have to traipse the rugged, unknown terrain of life ahead on my own.

dichotomy. thats the only way i can think to explain it.

what ive come to realize amidst the moments of excitement and hope paired right alongside the freak out sessions and “will i ever get a job” chats with my roommates, is that i need permission to just be HERE right now… and then start chapter one.

a very wise professor told me that our career path should be a story, and if we’re too worried about treating this next step in life like an intersection rather than a delta, we will totally and completely miss it. we will miss our chance to start to tell our story now, starting with the very first chapter and trusting that even past that there will be more chapters to come. it doesnt matter if i am an assistant to a reality television star or working at a womens gym, this next season is about learning – about pursuing options that can lead to the next thing all the while allowing me to simply grow.

there are so many things i dont know how to do yet. i am not  an expert at paying bills. i am not familiar with working a 9-5 job. i have not, nor will i probably for quite some time, owned a house. and i do not know what it looks like to practice intentionally pursuing my friends who are going off in a million different directions while i am as well.

but what i do know is that there is grace enough for all of that. i want this season to be about becoming. in the words of an author i absolutely love, shauna niequist, i dont want to get stuck in the past or fast-forward to a future i havent yet earned. i want to simply sit in the grace of today – trusting that it is a story God is writing, certainly not me.

do want to pursue holiness. i was catching up with a good friend the other day when we started chatting about the future. “you know what ive realized?” she said. “amidst the chaos of the season of change that is to come – ive realized one thing. i cant figure it out on my own. so for me, its about pursuing holiness, and trusting that from there, everything else will fall into place”. is this not the truth of our lives? the future will always bring change and confusion. there will always be elements of life that both lift us up as well as knock us on our butts because the future is what it always has been – unknown. pursuing a God who I believe transcends all of that brings peace into an otherwise messy scary life. and so thats what i want to do – pursue holiness, and trust that the rest of it will fall into place.

i do want to give myself permission to fail. and no not in a selling-myself-short kind of way. in a life-will-always-have-failures kind of way. i think im realizing that failing is not a reflection of my worth as a person… and so really, what matters most is what i choose to learn from it. let me preface this by saying failing is not something i am currently good at. in fact, im kind of a wallower – you know, taking it very personally and buying myself an extra starbucks just for the pick me up. we’re talking about a girl who doesnt even necessarily like to sign up for things shes not good about because she hasnt grasped the idea of a learning curve. but that is not real life. real life is falling down and getting up – choosing to laugh about the things that didnt go our way in life. letting them become stories around the table instead of the pieces that tore us down because we were never able to fully recover from. i want to have a true sense of humor in it all. because giving myself permission to fail also gives me permission to really go for it. over and over and over again until one time, the perseverance finally pays off. i dont want to take myself out of the game before its even started.

there are so many things that are unknown about what is to come. and so i hope for you, whatever season of change you find yourself in, whether thats that you too are getting ready to graduate and set out on your own in the world or are facing something completely different yet nontheless puzzling and/or scary, or maybe youre just trying to decide what class load would be best to take next semester, that you too will choose to use this time as an opportunity to stop and be a student again. to learn and, more than that, give yourself permission to grow.

and, with that, lets be in this together okay? trusting that there is so much more before us than simply what we can see.

dichotomy. maybe its not such a bad thing after all.

renewal.

its raining today. which got me thinking. as you may have read in my past blog post here, things have maybe just felt a little bit off for me lately.  the only way i could think to explain it was “not … Continue reading

deep roots.

i am fairly convinced that i have the greatest friends in the world. they’re the kind of people that you walk by in the grocery store and you think, hmm they seem kinda fun. they’re the kind of people to … Continue reading