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Showing posts from May, 2012

C'est La Vie - Finding Adventure in the Day to Day

I saw this image on Pinterest the other day and just wanted to share it with the world.   I love the patterns and colors and everything, but what I love most is the adventure it implies.   She has only herself, a car, a map, and a trunk full of randomness.   On my Bucket List is the item, “Go on a Road Trip Alone,” and this only spurs me to want to do that sooner.   There is something about being alone that makes you feel free.   You can do whatever you want because no one will know!   I do not mean this in a weird way, just there is this release of the need to impress.     I know so many people, myself included, that just need to relax.  We need to give in to this freeing mentality of life being an adventure.  Sure, we have responsibilities, but I have lately been convicted to savor the moments and really sink into situations.  Do not let yourself feel awkward ever!  Find a new kind of humor in awkward situations.  Release yourself from self conscious tendencies.  Life is t

The Wonder That Is Caesar Salad Pizza

There are some foods that you crave as soon as you are done eating them.  When you think of them, you always let out a little sigh.  You want them often and you think of them when you least expect it.  You constantly wish you could make it yourself, but it is just not in your skill set.  You have to patiently wait until the right time comes and you are invited to partake in them, or you make time to go to that restaurant that holds these wonderful items. I am sure I have brought unique items to each of your minds, and that was kind of the point.  The item we crave and love and dream about is different for each of us.  For me, it has changed over the last few years.  It brings me sadness to think that in the past my favorite food items came out of my father's restaurant in Columbia, Maryland.  The reason this makes me sad, is because I live so far away.  We had a pizza on our original menu that I will never forget!  The menu has changed multiple times over the past few years, a

My Dress Obsession - Modcloth Collection

I have a problem and I can admit it, I love dresses.  When I wear them, I can't stop smiling.  I feel like a little girl on easter.  Even if it is just a simple sun dress and I am just hanging out for the day, I can't stop thinking about how happy it is making me. This leads to my always searching for a perfect dress.  Now, understand, I rarely buy them.  I have only splurged once in my life on a dress - and on September 29th of 2012 that dress will debut at my wedding. Otherwise, I try to be economical about my dress purchases.  However, I recently ran across a website called Modcloth that makes it hard for me to exercise self-control.  For some reason it makes it easier when I know other people are having to exercise control with me, SO I am telling you, my lovely readers, all about it in hopes that you can share in my pain. These are all dresses from the website, among so many more.  Literally there are hundreds of them.  I am sure if you love dresses,

A Penny For Your Thoughts - Looking Back & Missing Italy

 I took this my first day in Italy, and will always remember my town just like this... I realized something about my writing the other day, and that is that I am much more present in my writing than I am in my brain.   I am constantly thinking back, but I never write about my past.   Sure, I write a story here or there reminiscing on my African travel, but rarely do you hear about my life pre-California unless it is in reference to my family.   Lately, I have found myself pining for Italy.   Did you know I lived there?   Probably not, because I rarely mention it! I knew I was going to love it there, but it has stuck with me since the moment I left.   I have wanted to go back every   minute of every day since then.   The simplicity of life, the emphasis on slowing down, the architecture, the food, the flowers, the people, the color, the trains, the bikes, the gelato, the smiles and laughter, the wine, and the cities are only scratching the surface of things I love from the bea

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things - Camping Edition

Camping.   Most people love it or hate it.   I personally love bringing it back to basics.   I love smelling like a camp fire.   I love climbing into a tent with a full stomach of hot dogs and smores and potato chips.   I love the great conversations that happen around an open fire, for some reason it is a facilitator for those.   I love how the fire light dances across people’s faces and lights them up as they talk and laugh. I love the lazy mornings with everyone gradually waking up and coming out in the same clothes as the previous evening. I love the grungy/dirty elements of it all. I love going for walks, and appreciating the nature surrounding me. I love sleeping with a hundred blankets and being freezing cold at night, and waking up so warm you can’t wait to get out. I really love the extremes of camping, hot and cold and exhausted and wide awake. I really, really love the camping experience. Last weekend, me and a few friends went down to San Cl

Love Languages & Missing A Dear Friend

I love that we all speak different love languages.   I think it is important to find value in others, and not disregard them because it isn’t what comes naturally to you.   Some people are great with Quality Time, some people will perform Acts of Service, some people need to be Physically near someone, some have honed the craft of Words of Affirmation and some people speak through the language of Gifts.   Sometimes you are forced into a long distance friendship, and you cannot have some of those methods in your friendship, and that is when creativity comes in.   My wonderful friend Heather gives the most wonderful thoughtful gifts, and while I believe her real love language is quality time, she really makes due with our current situation and makes the most of it.   She is constantly sending me boxes and letters and notes just to remind me she cares.   I am great with words of affirmation, and this is my gift back to her.   She is a beautiful, wonderful woman who teaches me about

A Penny For Your Thoughts - Blissful Exhaustion

I guess you can say I’m exhausted, but not in the way that makes me want to cry and scream and throw a tantrum.   I think there is a blissful exhaustion.   You pour everything you have into those around you, and you walk away feeling like there is nothing inside of you, except utter love for those amazing people.   This weekend was exhausting.   In the best way.   I spent time with people who are so dear to me, and did my best to be 100% present with them.   As a result, I came out needing a recharge day – which I don’t really get, but sometimes blogging about it helps! Normally, I would apologize for not giving you as much of a blog as usual, but today I want to spin this so it is an encouragement to you.   Giving all of yourself attention at all times is necessary to feel whole.   Seems counter intuitive right?   Think deeply about how present you are with people.   Sure, we all check our phones and interrupt each other, but are you dialed in to their heart and emotions and what

Food I Ate Friday - Fresh Cilantro and Fish Tacos

A few months back (for our two year anniversary) I got Bill seeds for a garden to be planted in the spring for the summer.   Well, said garden was planted, and if I am honest I was a lot skeptical of its potential.   I have never had very much success at growing things (remember Tom), and I thought we were going to fail, but I didn’t want to let Bill down, so I enthusiastically told him how much I believed we would succeed.   He knew I was a doubter though, and called me out on it once.   I just shrugged my shoulders.   Man was I wrong!   That little garden is so happy, and flourishing on Bill’s deck :) While a garden post is coming soon, today I want to focus on the beautiful cilantro in the top picture.   If this was all that came out of the garden, I would consider it a success; but everything seems to be growing strong! The others veggies will make appearances one by one as they are cooked into dishes.     I just could not contain the rush of exhilaration that came with coo

My Hopes Revealed...

I have been feeling like I need to get back into serious writing, and when I saw an opportunity flash before my eyes, I thought I needed to put my best foot forward to receive the best chance at acceptance.   After being published on a women’s memoirs blog a few months back, I was filled with a sense of accomplishment, and even a glimpse of what I was designed to do.  Write.  So, I am creating this post specifically for those coming to judge my blog.   Please read my heart on this issue right off the bat.   Bill and I sponsor a little girl, Rachel, through Compassion International who you have met before here .   I support all this organization is doing, and we are thrilled to be a part of their network of sponsors!   However, I do not feel like it is enough for me, and I never will.   After spending time in Africa, I have wanted to go back as soon as I can.   I even peruse international jobs on occasion.   I know the opportunity will present itself if I am patient and wait for

A Sweet Birthday Celebration - Rey Rey the Beautiful

I'm blogging from my phone as I sit outside Bill's apartment and wait for him to get off work. I started to think about how blessed I am to have his family in my life, and then I started thinking about how much I can see them becoming my family. It really is an incredible thing! Faith and I attended a sweet birthday party for Bills cousins daughter and let me tell you how precious it was! Everything was Disney themed in a lovely way. These loving parents ADORE their daughter, and it showed in the care they took in her birthday party. It was also so amazing to see the friends and family support that they had assembled. When Reyes smashed her cake people crowded around to watch the mini photo shoot and cheer her on. She didn't really get it ;) but, it sure was cute! No matter what, as she grows up, I will always remember Rey Rey as one of the sweetest little girls I've ever had the privilege of spending time around. She is really a blessing to everyone she encounte

A Season Of Reading - The Hunger Games Trilogy

When I started this season of reading, I never knew I would read my first trilogy.   You remember me telling you about my experience reading the first hunger games book, but I have not reported on completing all three! These books have become one of the most popular trilogies ever written, and I was not sure how I would feel at the end of the journey.   Honestly, I love them.   However, not the way I expected.   The first one was such an epic adventure.   It kept you on the edge of your seat in every moment.   You were right there alongside Katniss fighting for your life.   The second, I was trying to put the pieces together the entire time and connect the dots.   What was going on with everyone else was a concern.   Where was this story headed?   The third was about the results of what happened in the first and the second, and about the effects of change.   The entire series kept you flipping pages and wanting more. I think what I experienced that I did not expect is how

Together Today - Oh How I've Missed You

 You may recognize this picture from this post , but it is one of the few recent pictures we have (from Christmas) of the whole clan, so I thought I would throw it on this post :)  This is my family.  They are so amazing, it is hard to put into words. Now sure, we fought constantly as children and struggled with our identity as a unit, but I think we are coming out stronger on this end of things.  I have gotten to watch each of these people grow, both literally and figuratively.  They have become men and women of God more everyday.  My parents have always been living examples for us of what love looks like, and they have shown us unconditional love and support everyday of our lives. Tomorrow, Faith (with the blonde curly hair in the front in the picture), will graduate from college, and then Joy will be the only one left in school.  It overwhelms me to realize how much older we are getting.  With age, comes responsibility.  We can no longer ignore issues or push things of

Planning Ahead - Free Movie Mondays

I look forward to this event every year.   Orange County Performing Arts center hosts 5 free movies that are projected on the wall outside next to an enormous field/courtyard.   Hundreds and hundreds of people come and watch and enjoy.   Outdoor movies are something I LOVE.   Snacks and blankets, with a glass of wine in hand, I breathe in the fresh air as often as I can and it would be nearly impossible to wipe the smile off my face.   I dream of these things.   Seriously… they really make me feel like I belong in this world…   I also love that they consistently play old musicals and classics at these nights! On a seemingly side note, while some of you may not know about my Gene Kelly love, I want you to know how real it is.   He is/was one of my favorite entertainers and always will be.   He was a graceful, but not girlish, man.   He was strong and robust while being light on his feet.   You just do not see that balance now in the dance world as much!   He was a face for his