Tuesday, December 30, 2014

a 2014 list:

in light of some of the losses and hardships experienced this year,
i've compiled a list of all of god's blessings.
in spite of whether or not the bad feels more than the good,
i know that god's blessings are continually more numerous than all else.
{and lists have always helped me sort this kind of stuff out:) }

1. boyfriend and i celebrated one year together {and now we're nearly at 1 1/2...crazy!}
2. i switched schools, and now attend an amazing, small private school that absolutely inspires me everyday.
3. i get to live near old and new friends, and they all make my quiet self feel so full.
4. this summer it seemed as though my childhood dog, eddie, might pass away, but he has pulled through and i am sincerely grateful for his presence each day.
5. i witnessed a few beautiful weddings this year, and next year i have many more to look forward to
6. mom and dad surprised my brother, grandparents, and i with a christmas trip to disneyland {i'll make that it's own post!} and it was magical.
7. i figured out that closing my college career at oxford might be a possibility
8. this semester i got straight A's {which means A LOT to someone who NEVER got this type of grade until recently}.
9. i took a jane austen course that fulfilled my need to read her novels, and it was glorious.
10. i took a trip to OREGON {to be in one of those weddings i told you about} and i too often dream of going back for another visit.
11. i had the best roommate of my life during spring semester. she will forever be a friend, and i love her AND her taste in fashion.
12. being closer to home means lots of quality time that i didn't have for two years, and for each extra minute i feel blessed.
13. san francisco and berkeley acted as massive backdrops all year long for my relationship, and sometimes i pinch myself that i've fallen in love in a place that is so beautiful and so not what i could have ever anticipated.
14. i was gifted with beautiful letters from my grandma, and they became even more precious when she left this earth earlier this summer.
15. i took a film class that completely changed my entire view of film and writing. let's just say that my selfish little dream beyond all my other dreams is to win an oscar for best writer. but i mean, that's just my ego talking and my wishful thinking ;)
16. boyfriend and i have taken steps {together!!!} toward our relationships with god, boyfriend's change of heart is the one thing i feel most blessed about. i think that we have some exciting things on the horizon...maybe not completely in 2015, but we'll potentially be seeing you, 2016 ;)

my list could go on and on.
the thing about positive thinking is that once you start, it's difficult to finish!
i didn't compile this list to brag, but my hope is to share what helps me see the good.
i know that the holiday season can often times be difficult for some,
but i am still hoping that all of you have been blessed.


merry christmas & happy new year!
...while i can still say that ;)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

on loss and mercy -- even in a season called "merry"

my family is close friends with another family whose
two parents have known my parents for about twenty-five years.

i was raised with the two parents as my god-parents,
and they've always been "aunt" and "uncle."

so many of my childhood memories consist of
their four children who are around the ages of my
brother and i.

while they aren't friends that we speak to every day,
they're the kind of people who share so much history with us
that they're family -- in the good times, and -- most especially -- the bad times.

this past sunday their oldest son died in a tragic accident.
the news came early in the morning, just as my family and i were
boarding a ride at disneyland.

my dad said the words {that our friend was dead} -- but they hit like a wave of shock filled with disbelief. all i could do was reiterate what he had said and slowly climb into the boat.
my dad sat there stunned, as the ride went on, as my mom repeatedly looked back at him with
tears welling in her eyes.

hearing a loved one's horrific news just makes your body go numb and your mind twist with sadness and nostalgia.

it is impossible to find adequate words that describe being in the midst of loss,
and there are few {perhaps also even none} to describe just the surface of
watching someone experience loss -- especially a loved one.

my own first-hand, long-term experience with another person's loss--specifially
with a family whose loss consisted of losing two children--
was so raw and haunting that i will never be able to rid myself of the
emotions of the memories that come with holding a hand and wiping a tear
of someone whose pain is unimaginable.

the loss that began on sunday is not necessarily my loss {in that it affects my every day life}
but it is the loss of someone who is a son, grandson, and brother nonetheless.

it's difficult for me to comprehend how the world works and how god tends this world he created --
these times prove to be especially difficult.

the irony of the situation was that--sitting there with his grieving mother at her kitchen table yesterday--all she could do was pour out praise for god's unfailing mercy even in the most tragic and ambiguous times.

i have been continually blown away by the hardships that befall people in this life,
though i find myself even more in awe of god's love and grace.

i don't know how god plans to use this young man's death,
and i don't know how one even begins to live life in the aftermath of losing a child
{perhaps one never truly begins again} -- but what i do know is that if a
grieving mother can look someone in the eyes and claim to have full faith in god,
then all that she claims god to be must be possible.



it seems cruel to partake in any type of merriment when loved ones are enduring
the most grueling time of their lives.

to all of those who have lost someone, my heart truly breaks for you now -- especially during this time of the year.

i know so little about this life -- though i feel fortunate to know full well that the savior who was born in the manger just two thousand years ago came as the prince of peace.


as all of you begin your christmas day early in the morning, i hope that--in spite of where you find yourselves in life--god brings you the peace and contentment and merriment that your hearts need during this holiday season.

happiest christmas to you all -- and how wonderful it is that our savior came into this world just for us!


XOXO



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

dear boyfriend,

memories are a funny thing.

they're here and there --
sometimes: everywhere and nowhere.
and yet, the present {here with you}
is the best place of all.

some of my greatest moments with you
surpass any sort of past, because you're here now,
and that oftentimes seems to guarantee some sort of future.

please always stay a while?
our future is lovely and bright.

xoxo

Friday, December 12, 2014

a confession of a flaw.

my current roommate is graduating -- therefore she is moving out.

it's weird because when i moved in she had already been here for a few weeks,
and she had filled the wall with decor galore.

now everything is gone and it's back to the drawing board yet again.

her style is nothing like my style, but this place felt like a home nonetheless.
now the room feels like a hotel room -- because it is one, i live in a hotel.

it's sterile and un-styled - and i want to fill the walls and stack the tables.

i don't know whether or not i'll get a roommate.
i had hoped for one -- but now -- here's my flaw -- i don't want one.

do you know why?

because i don't know how i feel regarding welcoming another person into my life.

there, i said it.

is it fair to say that i am through with roommates and living with strangers?
i've gone through seven roommates over the past two and a half years.
i have horror stories and stories of strong friendship.

but i'm done.

now, don't get me wrong, i am not all that thrilled to make this particular place feel like home.

but i certainly don't want to make this place feel like home with the knowledge that such a small little space will be someone else's home.

and then there's the selfish aspect of me that says i should claim all the space prior to this new girl's presence.



and then there's the little voice inside my head telling me to not get ahead of myself.

and yet.
yet...

i'm done with room sharing,
schedule conflict,
bedtime planning,
new smells,
confrontation,
awkward conversations before bed,
and friend sharing.

i sound awful and ungrateful -- because people also have to be my roommate,
so i know that this whole thing is two-sided, but still.

this will be the second person i've welcomed into my space, my home.
the first and only time went so well.
it couldn't possibly be repeated, could it?

i just want a beautiful home,
and i don't want that home to be under the rules
of a hotel.
nor do i want sandy colored walls and thickly printed curtains and furniture.


there's my rant of my major first world problem
and my little flaw regarding people.

i love people, trust me.
but does anyone else agree with me that
living with someone is so challenging and frightening?


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

today

my niece was born.
and do you know what?

they named her olive.
which i absolutely love.

babies are just the best little gifts.

xoxo

Monday, December 8, 2014

i have been sitting in the same spot for almost three hours and...

...i am dreaming of:

-cameras
-the pacific northwest
-grey coats, with pretty collars
-words and books {as always}
-crisp air
-stringing lights in my house
-christmasy stores -- like anthro & it's whimsy decor
-boyfriend cuddles {tomorrow!}

xoxox

Sunday, December 7, 2014

confessions & reflections continued

currently: in disbelief at how quickly life goes.

confession: boyfriend and i talk about marriage. not necessarily all about us and marriage, sometimes                    we talk about marriage in general.

how weird is that?
being at the age when you can talk about marriage without it
being too unrealistic.

confession:
i dream of whites and grey and burgundy for colors --
i dream of uncut stems that collect into bouquets.
i dream of flower crowns and a vintage veil.

i dream of bow-ties and suspenders,
and mismatched white bridesmaid dresses.

i dream of san francisco --
a little church for ceremony,
and a kaleidoscope of woodsy and urban after shots
that keep the memory forever.

i dream of whimsy photos
and candid moments of a silly party.

i dream of greenery and candles galore --
eclectically placed on hard wood tables made for warm, belly-filling food.
i dream of my husband and i being introduced as man and wife to the sound of
kanye and jay z's "clique."

i dream of fizzy champagne,
and clutters of glass
and a playlist that feels endless.

i dream of hand clapping and hand holding --
high fiving, and dessert eating.

i dream of love and intimacy of a small party crammed into
a beautiful room at the end of a fall's day.
i dream of covenant to follow once the fun has settled --
once the fun of a life-lived-forever finally begins.


i dream because i can, and because i have been for years.

berkeley boy is so much different from the man i had envisioned -- the man
with a face that i couldn't yet decipher.

yet i keep saying, "i think i  can...i think i can..."

and the crazy thing?

he thinks he can, too.



confession: i don't know what the hell i'm doing with my life. but, by the grace of god, i've gotten this                    far only by him. and the story is just getting good.


here's to dreams of marriage -- and my ever angst-y dreams about tattoos, vinyl, used boots, the perfect tea, books, beards, subarus, road trips in subarus, wood floors, living in san francisco, traveling the world and writing forever.

xoxo



Saturday, December 6, 2014

confessions and reflections

currently: studying for a final exam that pertains to the book of acts in the new testament of the bible.

currently: realizing that i have one more bible class to take in my college career before the minor is                     complete.

currently: a junior. living in a new-ish town.

currently: sitting in the home of a woman whom i just met -- monday? monday. so weird how nanny                    jobs come about, huh?

currently: impatiently waiting for the return of parents, and tuesday -- tuesday = boyfriend.




to be continued...