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 :)

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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 :)

festive.

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the last couple days have been jam packed, hence why there has been a bit of a lull on the posting front.

as you can see above, i thought i would share a couple photos from my post-christmas-and-into-new-years extravaganza.

i flew up to spend some time with grant and his fam in the northern cali area, adorning northface pullovers and all. from a trip to the snow, to visiting wonderful people, to champagne tastings and new years games, the trip was an absolute success.

cheers to ringing in the new year right! i hope yours, and all the hope a new year brings, was just as enjoyable.

a trip home.

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being home for the holidays at my house got me reminiscing about a trip grant and i took home to his beautiful home in pacific grove, ca about a month and a half back. it was such a refreshing break in the semester complete with pg’s annual fall butterfly parade (note the elementary school kids dressed up in fun and festive costumes), laughs and good food with wonderful people, and an atv tour of hahn vineyard. i am so thankful that no matter where we are, with his fam or mine, we are in for a truly awesome time.

it cant get better than that!

enjoy reminiscing with me!

c’est la vie.

london, england. paris… the city of lights. c’est la vie indeed. i recently got back, and when i say recent i mean just about a week ago, from a once-in-a-lifetime, makes-you-feel-like-a-grown-up, adventure-is-out-there type of trip. this little journey started about … Continue reading