why being afraid isn’t worth it.

“so what is your thing?”

over the past few months i have found myself in some sweet but nonetheless disconcerting situations. I’ve had the opportunity to mingle with such amazing, kind, creative women who are setting out to make a difference in this world. women that were already in my circle and women that my world just so happened to collide with. and its had me thinking – whether because others have asked or its just replayed itself in my mind. what is your thing? what is your passion? what has god gifted you to do that you can focus in on and use for good, whether by day in your career or by evenings and weekends as scandal plays in the background on netflix?

and I’m glad this question has been asked. I’m really truly thankful. because i was surprised at what sprung up in me when this happened – panic. insecurity. i don’t know what I’m good enough at, i don’t know what i could possibly give, i don’t know i don’t know i don’t know. i was the kid who was involved in about ten extracurriculars because i loved all of them equally. theater! soccer! student government! music! bring em all and bring em on. I’ve never been someone who had one skill and one passion to bring to the world. and for some reason i think that makes me insecure. i am so afraid of failure – I’m afraid of trying something and getting it WRONG. i was always involved in things just enough to be good at them without COMPLETELY throwing myself in just to see what would happen in taking the risk. I’ve struggled to make decisions paralyzed by what would happen if it was the wrong one.

and so then yesterday i realized – i am NOT a hodgepodge of here and there. i am a writer. i am an encourager. i am a traveler. i am an adventurer. i love exploring new places and taking in the tastes, sights, and sounds of cultures very much the same AND very different than my own. i love conquering new recipes and sharing them with others in my home (key word = conquering… goodness knows I’ve set the smoke alarm off more times than i would care to admit). i love yoga. god has plans to make happen in my life as i press into the things that i love WITHOUT FEAR. i know, i know. in a lot of ways this is nothing new. and yet for whatever reason, its a truth I’ve desperately needed reminding of as of late. its funny how I’ve realized that my biggest roadblock is fear of my own failure. and yet that is the silliest because its not me that is going to make things happen anyway.

these days, i’m realizing that what i need is courage. courage to step off the ledge and let god know, and maybe remind myself too, that i TRUST who he has made me to be. and i trust that god can do something with my gifts (except maybe not yoga… the first time i got bird of paradise, i fell right over because i was too excited). he just wants my willing heart.

life is short and days are shorter, so why not spend them helping others? and better yet, helping them in something you love?

so, what’s yours? whatever your passion, there is a purpose, a cause, a business, an after school program, maybe even something you start YOURSELF to plug that passion into. and maybe you, too, just need to hear today that fear isn’t worth it. but your passion is. and your willing heart is. so JUMP and i’m going to try jumping with you.

let’s do this thing people.

a letter to grant

hello love,

you know, its crazy. i was sitting outside today thinking about how restless my soul is. how i long to be here or there or anywhere in some ways other than right where i am. i’m drawn to the next adventure, to figuring out and looking forward to what’s secretly and sweetly waiting for me just around the next corner. i’m curious. and i want to know about cultures and jobs and who i could be and how i could grow if i were in new york or london or colorado. or simply stripped for my comfort zone and placed in a new context, left to make new friends away from family. simply me and you and where we are at. but its funny. i got to thinking a little more as i watched the wind rustle through the trees today. i thought about all the other sweet moments in my past where i’ve sat and watched the trees do the very same thing and how in THOSE seasons i was also waiting and hoping and dreaming of what could be next. looking back, i know how sweet those seasons were. and how in a lot of ways i would kill to transport myself back to that very same time. and right then it struck me. those who really DO travel all over the world and explore and constantly seek to find themselves in another place, another car, another country, another job always end up craving a sense of home. a sense of ROOTS. they love the pace and they love the experience, but at the end of the day, from what i’ve heard anyway, it will always be about eventually being BRAVE enough in some ways to stop and settle in. and not constantly run run run but sit in the here and now. to DARE to put down roots and watch them grow. and that’s when i realized – you and i are BRAVE. we are brave for daring to do what a lot of people even our own age won’t do. and that’s attempt to put roots down. give a place and people and jobs and purpose-where-we-are a shot. and do it with each other. it doesn’t mean we’ve gotten boring or we’ve given up or we saying yes to less than we should. in fact i think i realized today that in a lot of ways i feel like we’re actually giving where GOD has us a chance. and trusting and believing that the adventure HE wants to dream up, that HE has in store, might be bigger and sweeter than anything we could imagine. it’s a BIG thing – not a small one. we’re doing something scary. something that these days most people spend their whole lives running from. committing. and not to lose ourselves or our spunk or our fun. but just to actually say YES to something and to connect with people and to really live our lives in a community of others rather than just an independent state of who we are and what we want to do. to dare to let people in. to dare to let each other in. to trust that just outside our doors there is something BIG waiting in the SMALL. that the adventure is in the every day and we’re going to learn that and be surprised by it and in the end celebrate something that used to be so normal and now is completely COUNTER CULTURAL. i’m proud of us. i’m proud of you :) and i can’t wait for this journey we are about to start. here and now in what is right around us. i love you.

resolutions.

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i realize this may seem a little silly to be posting about my new years resolutions when its technically february 7. which is like, at least 30 days after the average person sits down and writes a nice prompt little diddy about looking into the new year and their hopes for what they see.

well, i am not that person. and in some ways, thank goodness because i think holding off a bit gives me 30 days to taste what i might actually really want to see happen because its the stuff I’m actually really not day to day good at right now. or really genuinely hoping for. or perhaps i just prefer being fashionably late (although the fiancé is often times most annoyed by this life struggle i suffer from). either way, here i am with a list of the things i have been thinking about over the last month when it comes to 2014. take what you will :)

1. i want to be present. there is so much change happening this year and so many big things that i could so easily get swept up in and really actually miss. i don’t want to do that. i want to press in to what god is teaching me and who is sitting across from me and how delicious my bagel with butter really is instead of just shoveling it all in my mouth without even registering whats happening. i want to be present.

2. i want to be brave. brave means being the “leading lady” in my own life as the sweet old man from the movie the holiday would say. confession: i am a closet people pleaser. so it becomes very easy for me to let fear of what others will think or assumption of what others want run my life instead of making the decisions that are best for me because i want them instead of somebody else. of course there is a healthy dose of compassion and consideration… but usually i tend to wander way outside the “healthy” part and that is something i want to see change in this year.

3. learn how to be a wife. frick. i am going to be a wife. and me being a wife is not going to be like anybody else being a wife because nobody else is going to be married to grant (so the plan goes).  so I’m excited and HOPEFUL for what learning that will look like in this coming year.

4. expand my spotify playlist. you got a favorite artist? shoot it over to me. I’m ready to become a music connoisseur with all sorts of playlists to go with it.

5. adventure more. try new things. adventure eliminates fear so they say, and apparently you often learn things about yourself you would’ve never guessed before. i want to continually understand more and more of who i am and what i love and this is just one of the many practical ways i see that happening. there are so many things in the world that we haven’t experienced – that i haven’t experienced. so I’m ready to JUMP ON THE TRAIN! snow shoeing? never done it! shopping in the garment district? never done it! goat cheese? just learned i like it! the third point concludes this well i think.

6. be on time. ironic given this post, but nonetheless a priority (probably more for grants sake than mine, but nonetheless i feel like it would be helpful).

7. embrace change – plain and simple. from the big things to the little things… i am hopeful in learning how to do this better.

whatever your resolutions may be, similar or different, i genuinely do always think its such a beautiful thing to look forward to something – to change, to new experiences, to learning. my heart goes out to all of you in what your list looks like. and for those of you who haven’t made one yet, may this post be encouragement that its never too late. even if its february 7 :)

what are you hoping for? theres got to be something :) i’m excited to share with you this year how my list turns out. i have a feeling it will be a lot of jumping forward and sliding back. but i think that is the messiness of life i sometimes love the most.

until next time!

these days.

 

i stumbled across this little quote a few weeks ago and IMMEDIATELY re-posted to my Facebook. you know, one of those moments when you’re head so WHOLE HEARTEDLY agrees with something that its almost like an unanticipated (and maybe even uncontrolled) reaction of saying yes, click, i absolutely feel that way too.

this genuinely seems to be my mantra these days. life is changing and things get crazy… in the difficult shifts and, GET THIS, in the good ones too. i keep bringing myself back to this little quote. the thing called life is crucial. and I’m doing my best even just this week to remind myself not to miss it.

so there you have it. a little tronson philosophy for you fo free this morning. can you relate or am i the only one?!

have a beautiful day one and all!

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 :)

hidden treasures.

so a few weekends ago, i decided to put my “being an adult adventure time” into ACTION and visit one of the many coffee shops that have been on my must-taste list in pasadena.

i expected to be pleased with my previously scoped coffee and croissant sunday morning home. i expected to find a treasure from the moment i walked through the doors of this new little cafe i had so anxiously awaited visiting after seeing it posted on a friend’s insta.

what i DIDNT expect was to stumble upon the sweetest little farmers market known to man on the SAME EXACT STREET as my new-found cafe heaven. a hidden treasure :)

there are a few things i love as much as a farmers market. and so there i was jumping up and down on the side of the street as i gazed upon rows of white tents housing family-made jam, farm-grown veggies, and paris-inspired tartes and breads. and might i mention that none of the just-mentioned-wonder-filled tents failed to please. i made my way down the line of stands basking in every flavor of the homemade hummus and fresh picked strawberries thinking, how lucky am i?!

how lucky am i to get to live in this perfect little city where surprises wait right around every corner?

as if my PHENOMENAL, might i add, croissant and coffee from what is so quaintly titled “the market on holly” weren’t good enough on their own – the stars aligned to give me another one of my very favorite things waiting right outside. it was some serious refreshing soul time (as food and solo time and life-watching often is) and for that i was so very thankful.

happy tuesday blogging friends! i hope you have had your very own moments of refreshment and hidden treasures in recent days/weeks. and if so, feel free to share them in the comments section right down that-a-way ———-v (pretend thats an arrow)

i would also like to quickly add that i realize the title of this blog post is misleading… a farmers market is certainly in no way shape or form hidden. big signs. road closure. some would even venture to call this obvious. but thats kind of the point isn’t it?

because you know those moments where it feels like you are being rewarded for something you didn’t even see coming? well that was my sunday afternoon. pure bliss. hidden treasure. REWARD for deciding to come and partake in a sweet little cup of coffee and chocolate croissant at the cafe on holly. and i wasn’t one teeny tiny bit mad about it.

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a weekend away.

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this weekend i found myself lost in a world of fog, fireplaces, and 24 hour starbucks coffee canisters.

hard to complain, really.

it was my very first retreat with my church CA up in twin peaks, ca. and it was a weekend very well spent. also i got a heinous cold that left me at multiple points yesterday wondering if my lymph nodes were abandoning ship. they weren’t, thank goodness, and today I’m feeling a little bit better.

all in all the weekend away was so beyond worth every infectious sneeze i’ve had since returning. i got to sit with new friends and some partial acquaintances and actually laugh together and learn a little more about what makes each of them so uniquely their own. i got to have deep intimate conversations like “whats your go-to-no-doubts-favorite-sick-day-movie” among other life altering topics. i got to learn what the HECK modge podge is and that sometimes “craft time” can be a touch difficult when you’re a perfectionist like me. i got to be challenged in my faith and what it means to make space to listen for God’s voice amidst all the other resounding clangs going on in my life. i got to pray. and sit. and actually not talk to other people for a little bit – in front of a FIREPLACE no less. and i got to wear sweaters and socks and boots like it is actually fall in california instead of an extended summer.

it was such a great space to be away and explore some new places with new friends.

i was also reminded of the differences that exist in this season i.e. i’m STILL not in college anymore. and so things happen at a slower pace, more naturally in most ways, and in the end, beautifully – as much as i am tempted to throw a temper tantrum at many a given moment. things don’t just “click” or “happen” in the same handed-to-you way as they did in every season prior to this one. but it makes the things that DO happen all the more special. you get bits and pieces of the puzzle instead of the full enchilada all at once because the journey is longer but no less robust. more in fact. because theres more to taste and see and dive deeper into along the way. and thats one thing that i know i do love.

…oops. and there went the rambling :)

anyway, the point is that i am so thankful for weekends like this past one. cold or not. and below you’ll see why.

^ these were the men of the hour. and i got to hang with their humor all weekend long.
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^ just a handful of the fabulous girls i got to share a cabin with over the weekend. plus one cabin crasher aka maurie. aka i wasn’t mad because turns out she’s a champ.

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^ on our way home we stopped into the little village in lake arrowhead for pizza that was to die for and a little lakeside commemoration sesh. because how can you not, right?
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^ and finally the most famous guest star of the weekend itself – my box of saltines. don’t ask me how this ended up becoming a thing. all i can say is that when the snack you purchased gets locked in your friends car unable to make its debut until the final night of retreat, it kind of becomes the long awaited center of attention.

happy tuesday! hope you all had a relaxing weekend in one wonderful form or another.

a little nugget.

perfection

 

just a little something i stumbled upon yesterday.

and decided needed to be shared.

and also i might tattoo this somewhere.

(not really but thats a nice thought, isnt it?)

xo

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