Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Why I haven't yet left the country.

I went off of Instagram {well, I deleted my app} back in April when I had the sinking feeling that
everyone {and by 'everyone' I mean an exaggeration....} was going abroad this summer.

I knew that in my heart I longed to breathe in some new air. See new faces. Hear a tongue I know nothing of. Taste new food. Minimize my life to a bag and board a plane/train/bus towards the unknown. Feel the unnerving pangs of change.

And I didn't want to watch as people posted about it for four months.
{And for a few of my good friends who are abroad/preparing to go abroad, this post
is in no way reference to you.}

Anyway, one of my downfalls is that I am always craving something new. By now, boyfriend and I have been together for about two years, so we're well past the stage of finding every little thing about one another endearing; so I'm sure that this craving of mine has certainly gone from an interesting aspect about the girl he loves, to a nuisance.

But for some reason he just keeps loving me, and that's why I keep him around ;)

He listens to these desires of my heart.
He reads every text or link that I send him impulsively

Because internally I weekly--seriously--have this mini inner panic attack when I look around me
and I'M STILL IN THE STATES. Don't get me wrong, I love my home and the people in it so very much, but I am always trying to stretch.

When I returned from Romania and Moldova, the nanny job I had was potentially going to take me to Alaska and then to Brazil.

Then, the school I was going to enter into had a program that could take me to thirteen countries over the course of about five months -- that is one of the primary reasons I chose the school.

Then, I learned of opportunities of teaching abroad.

And when I changed schools again, the chance to possibly go to the Middle East presented itself, twice.

When I initially returned from Europe two summers ago, my brain was constantly calculating the amount of places I could see in my last three years of university.

Nothing was going to stand in my way.

But as easily as I cracked doors open, God kindly closed them.

And then, two years later, I realize I have been learning a whole other lesson.

I can pursue any avenue, or I can stay where I am. Or I can wait on God to choose the avenue and I can follow when called {but still, I believe that action is key, so follow avenues even if they end up seemingly nowhere! Those experiences are still crucial}

To be honest, I've always had a difficult time understanding the ability that some people
have to stay in one place for a long time. With all honesty, it requires a bravery that I either do not acquire fully or do not know how to use.

Somedays, I wish I could shut off the yearnings I have to just leave,
because in my heart--along with the dreams of white kitchens, and a little home, and children's voices, and a personal library, and waking up with my husband--is an even bigger dream to take the future characters of my life, and to do life as if absolutely unconventional and entirely out of faith.

One of my greatest fears over the past year or so, has been the fear of my relationship, my future degree, finances, fear itself, and--most definitely--the presence of comfort becoming barriers rather than lessons.

Boyfriend is my best friend. And because of that, I hope to see the world--in whatever capacity that may mean--with him.

And I'm coming to realize that without these past two years of being state side, I wouldn't have grown into the specific woman I am today, and I'm beginning to like her in bits each day.

So, this post is for the girls who read this blog and can identify with those pangs for a new place -- perhaps you just really want a good vacation, which I could definitely agree with you on. Or, perhaps, like me, you have the desire to live somewhere and to let that place become a part of you for a while.
Sometimes my longing to go gets interpreted as a desire for vacation...but it's nothing of the sort, it's deeper and it's scary at times, but it's exciting to dream of a specific place where you can grow into.

My advice is to no longer look at the pictures of other people's vacations, and to start dreaming of what you want your life to look like.

Or, like I did, invest in those close to you who are making life changing decisions to live somewhere else for a time. Listen to their stories, and keep yourself from envy or insecurity because what they're doing is their story -- learn from them.

And, most importantly, wait.

I hate waiting.
And God keeps me waiting always...that guy ;)

This is one desire of my heart that I know he designed in me.
When I travel, it's seriously the only time when I am absolutely laid back or flexible or joyfully willing to do something I normally wouldn't do. I love that version of myself because normally I'm timid.

But, as I look back on my two years home, I realize that God has stretched me here just the same.

And he can stretch and mold you, too.

Just keep waiting,
just keep asking,
just keep dreaming.

And, if it means that much, never let it go.
Let yourself be happy and content, but keep that fire in your heart burning.

happy wednesday.


**Inspiration for this post found here

Saturday, July 11, 2015

tom's garden

for years my dad has proudly declared that someday he would start a garden.
he claimed this dream for so long that my mom and i typically responded with 
eye rolls and mumbles of suuuuuure you will! you've been saying that for a while now... ;)

last summer he put three planter boxes out in the backyard.
but nothing happened.
we still rolled our eyes.

and then,
tom got his garden.

and we've now traded in our eye rolls and teasing for 
oooohhss and aaaahhhs as we pick the yummy, fresh produce.

we're obsessed with it.

completely obsessed. 

so, in attempts to practice "still life" {???}
i've been busting out the camera a ton lately.

here's a post to prove just how much i suddenly 
adore taking photos of, well, food.

{seriously i have an entire file devoted to these fruits and veggies!!!}

{^^^ dem tomatoes though...they've got a FOREST going on!}

pretty little morning

a month or so ago my family wandered down the coast to this little antique fair
and, well, i wanted EVERYTHING.

the slightly {barely there thank god!} domestic side of me was coming out full fledged and ready to build a nest. my wallet, on the other hand, has its own ideas *cough* restrictions...

anyhoo, it was one of my first outings like this with my camera when i actually
felt brave enough to snap some photos.

here are the pretty pieces that inspired me by contributing to my
future home dreams!

 {^^^ sadly, these didn't last very long}
 {^^^ ok, boyfriend, i'm not saying i would put this in our home. but it's still cute!}
 {i'm beginning to really love old tin cans in various shapes and sizes}
 {^^^ being the daughter of a glass man, this is my favorite kind of glass;) }
{^^^it was her first time antiquing! and we gave her a dollar to pick a spoon! start 'em young}
 {^^^ i LOVE this sign. if any of you know me personally, you'll understand why i would like this haaa}

the end. 

saturday p.m. thoughts

{photo courtesy of pinterest}

lately, as i've been contemplating the idea of {god-willingly} being a college graduate
this time next summer, i can't help but feel the shudders of anxiousness and ambiguity fill me up in the enemy's attempts to drown me with doubt and fear.

i'm avidly doing the whole battle-field-of-the-mind thing
{which, aren't we all?}...

one thought will lead to another.

one idea turns to fear.

fear turns to anxiousness.

soon that anxiousness becomes an idol of sorts
with an alter that completely ruins me as i put faith
into myself, circumstances, fear itself --

rather than faith in the one being who actually can help me.

so i'm trying to be better
{boy, am i always saying that. ha!}

but i am.

so when i came across this quote today on here
my heart couldn't help but smile in sweet, sweet relief that
i'm not the only one.
yeah, the post itself doesn't relate to me directly,
but the quote -- that idea of god being the adventure -- is a solid ground to stand your mentality upon.

everyone is a little uncertain
{or a lot}
{but god isn't}.

and i don't have to have everything figured out.
{because god does}
and god's truth is thee truth.
and my adventures aren't about to come to a screeching end.
and i can't miss god's will if i am in pursuit of it.
because he's the god who writes adventures because he loves them so much.
and it is humbling to just sit and dwell on the idea that he loves me so much that he has adventures planned in the here and now, and the then and there, according to who he made me to be.

so, this coming year will be amazing,
even in the midst of its trials;
even when i'm not literally feeling all the amazing feels;
even when god's plan has me like
"wait! whaaaaat?"
even when i can't necessarily see the place -- the adventure.

here's the quote that pushed me onwards and upwards
{always upwards}:

"But the only place we need to see before we

 die is the place of seeing God. Here and now."

a first slurpee (the day before 7/11!)

Yesterday my three year old cousin had her first slurpee to herself (even though we only let her drink about half;)



About two minutes into it I decided to grab my camera, and I was amazed at just how
much of a character she became.

I love this little one.
Actually, I'm a bit obsessed with the person she is growing into.

Here's to summer firsts!

^^^ my favorite! 

Friday, July 10, 2015

boyfriend got a new place for the year!

wooohooooo! boyfriend got a new place!

aaaaaaaand i'm trying to love more of it, other than just the BEAUTIFUL AMAZING BREATHTAKING natural light. seriously, i am the amateur of amateurs when it comes to my nikon. AND YET i freaked out yesterday just snapping away my little amateur fingers as i soaked in the rainy dimmed sun of berkeley. 

there is no living room in his place -- but hey, the windows (even though most don't even open!) are tall, the ceilings are vaulted and the floors are just every home owners dream find when they buy a house and pull back that old carpet to find authentic wooden floors. 

i walked in a littttttle hesitant, though. he now lives away from a main street that i just ADORE. he used to live a walk away from sushi, chinese food, some wonderful cafes, the shop with the best cupcake ever, and, not to mention, my all time favorite florist. 

but now, even though he lives much closer to more, cheaper shops and even campus, my little routine self is still adjusting to the one-way-street and two-hour-parking-only-and-no-near-parking-garages reality. 

also, the apartment buildings -- which, i have learned that oftentimes "apartment" really means that a landlord probably just sectioned off a massive old house so that four different groups of people can live together without actually living together... -- look SO HAUNTED. 

so those things really threw me off at first but then i saw that light and it was just like....sigh.

PLUS he had made and centered his bed perfectly between two windows, so the minimalist in me was just happy clapping inside and dreaming of everything would do should the apartment have been mine.

ANYWAY, enough of my blabbering on. while the maintenance man came in to check up on the strong smell of gas, i walked around snapping away. 


aaaand, speaking of the maintenance man, last night was supposed to be our first night staying there -- before the roommates move in and all -- but the dinner i prepped and brought with me eventually could not get cooked without the fire alarm going off if we walked away from fanning it. and that awful gas smell just increased, even though the maintenance guy said we should be fine. hungry and a little freak out by the smell of gas, we spent the night elsewhere. yay for young love whilst simultaneously trying to figure out grown-up things!