Friday, August 1, 2014

a trip to NYC to see the ballet

Do you know you JR is? Oh you do. Good we can still be friends. Oh wait some of you don't well you better go look him up real quick (and then we can be friends again). JR is a French street artist who is doing some incredible things. His work is absolutely amazing. It is art that is connected to everyday people and is often infused into everyday landscapes. 

A while back he started on a collaboration with the New York City Ballet. The NYCB hosts an Art Series, this year JR was one of the featured artists. But his collaboration with the ballet has turned into so much more. He ended up choreographing a dance piece entitled Les Bosquets. JR and the dancers then traveled to Paris to make a short film. This little trip resulted in some amazing images, I mean how could you go wrong with ballerinas in tootoos hanging out in shipping containers. 

The only way to see the pieces that he created for the NYCB art series was to attend a performance of the ballet. So during the Spring semester I decided to take full advantage of the close proximity of east coast cities and jumped on a bus and headed to NYC for the day. 
And I was not disappointed.
 I have always loved the ballet. My papa use to take me to see the Nutcracker every Christmas and having parents who work in theater meant that I had the opportunity to enjoy many dress rehearsals for dance concerts. I did have a short lived attempt at learning ballet but grace is something that I am desperately lacking. But I will always have a profound appreciation for it just the same. There is nothing more magical to me than a ballerina floating in the air, for that moment they just seem weightless, almost as if they are floating down from the heavens like a feather. 

JR's exhibit was all about the dancers in the NYCB and he did an amazing job
 at making them larger than life...........literally. 

Can you see the ballerinas up there?? 
They covered all the windows of the building .... it was beautiful. 

Here is a giant pointe shoe. 
This foot connected to the images covering the windows above.

Here is the inside of the atrium to the theater. 
You can see what the images on the windows looked like from the inside. 
It really looked as if there were giant ballerina puppets walking by. 

While the outside was amazing. The inside was something else. 
Imagine the ballet version of the Sistine Chapel on the floor rather than the ceiling.
There are some really amazing videos of the process for creating this image. 
Which if you can't really make it out, it is an eye that was created out of large pieces of wrinkled paper with dancers folded in (that sounds awful).
But trust me it was magnificent.  
You can see the details better in some of the images below. 

It was so amazing to be able to get so close to something so big. 
To actually be a part of it. 
To walk on it and touch it and not have it hidden away out of reach. 

I have a deep appreciation for theaters. 
I think a lot of it has to do with how much time I spent in them growing up. 
My papa would bring me to rehearsal in the evenings. 
I would sit in those lovely red seats and some kind college student or coworker of his would entertain me by making my beanie baby lamb talk to me. 
It never occurred to me that other children didn't spend their evenings walking around back stage and sitting by the tech table in the back rows of a nearly empty theater. 
It never occurred to me that not everyone else got to dress up to go to opening night. 
There are many down sides to having parents who work in the theater industry (I mean just think of it performances are on the weekends). 
But there are many upsides. 
I grew up surrounded by Shakespeare, real life dress up, and the understanding that with some wood, some paint and a whole lot of creativity and imagination you can create an entirely different world for the sole purpose of telling a story to a room full of adults.
It really is story time for big kids.  

Can we talk about this chandelier/disco ball.
I hope they have some intense dance parties. 
Otherwise they are really not taking full advantage of the amazingness up in the sky.

So please do yourself a favor and find a ballet in your local town and buy yourself some tickets.
(this does not need to be professionals, your local two years olds are just as wonderful of a choice)

And sit in awe as you watch mere mortals take flight if only just for a night. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

All Things Loved/ Vol.2

Well so things around here have been a little bit heavy. And I don't know about you but I can only do heavy for so long and then it gets old and things need to get silly again. So what is better to lighten the mood then youtube videos. Now one of the downsides to the good old world wide web is there a lot of poo out there (that's right I said it). But one of the upsides of it is that there is a lot of amazing, wonderful, some might say life changing (I sure would) sort of things that can just turn your entire day around. And no I am not talking about videos about cats, while those are great and all there are so many other things out there. The internet as served as this mystical free publishing service with endless possibilities for sharing a little creativity and beauty with the world, much of which can be found on vimeo rather than youtube (what can I say I am biased). Also some of these are adds, I love good advertising, mostly cause there is a lot of really bad advertising out there.

So here we go..... (a little warning: not all of these are cheery some of them are real deep)

Four Times the Detail. This add by Sony is just awesome. Visually amazing. And it was filmed in Costa Rica.

The Sounds of AHH. Although I have been working on my Coca-Cola addiction I will always love that bubbly drink. This is just another example of amazing advertising. Something so simple and yet so beautiful. There are lots of not so great things about big companies but I do love the fact that they are funding a very unique form of art.

The Umbrella Man.  This is a wonderful example of the art of storytelling. And a reminder that there are always an infinite possibility of reasons behind something and often many that are beyond your wildest wonders.

What Makes Your Heart Beat? This little gem was created for Darling Magazine. Take a moment and breathe it in. You'll be happy you did.

The Gap. This video was created to accompany an interview with Ira Glass where he discusses the creative gap. That is the gap between having good taste and creating good things. It is just a little reminder that creating can be challenging, but just because it is hard doesn't mean that you should give up.

This is Water. This is a video that accompanies a commencement speech by David Foster Wallace. When it comes down to it, it is an excellent reminder that life is all about choices, not necessarily big monumental ones but the day to day ones where we choose how to see the world, where we make a conscious choice to show ourselves and the people around us a little grace because life is hard, for everyone.

LEGO: Everything is NOT Awesome. Now you may not be a fan of Greenpeace's tactics. I most definitely am. Their creativity never ceases to amaze me. This little video definitely pulls at your heart strings.

Borrowed Light. A graduate student created this video for her final project. It is spectacular. You can read all about it here.

Exploring the Parallels. A little video series with Red Bull athletes demonstrating the often times missed parallels between dance and every other sport. 

The Fresh Exchange went on a sailing trip. You can watch a little video about it. And then we should all probably take a break and go sailing. Find yourself a boat, find yourself a friend with a boat, just get to the water.

And those are just a few of my favorites. Wait you didn't include any music videos or TED talks!!!!  Well that is right. Because there will be entire other posts on those two!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

living with RLS...

(those are my toesies in the oh so clear water of the San Blas islands off the coast of Panama)

It came to me like an epiphany in the night. I was unable to sleep and wondering why I felt this burning need to pick up and move. And then just like that I realized I have RLS and no I am not talking about the more commonly discussed restless leg syndrome, I am talking about Restless Life Syndrome (don't bother looking this up in a medical journal, it is a thing...I am absolutely certain of it).

This time right here and right now in DC is the longest amount of time that I have lived in the same room since my freshman year of college. When you do the math what that means is that four the last five years I have been moving every 4-5 months. And sometimes moving meant from one dorm hall to the next or back to my parents home for the summer but other times it has meant getting on a plane and flying across the Atlantic where I would sleep in a different city every week or two or it has meant flying south of the border into Central America and trying to build somewhat of a life in a place so very different from anything I have ever known. 

What I am saying is that sometimes staying put is hard. Sometimes it is just easier to keep moving. It is kind of like the Sea Gypsies of Myanmar. They spend so much time living in the water that they get land sickness. Returning to land makes them physically ill. I think I have gotten so used to the feeling of being in constant motion, of packing up my life in a car or a few suitcases and just pushing forward on to what is next, that I have forgotten what it is like to just be. In the last two years alone I was on a plane every four months, flying either across the country or down to Central America. 

For once I have a choice of wether to stay put and to see what happens or I can choose to fly back west. And I miss everything about my home state, as I clearly mentioned here.  It would be so easy to go back home, it would feel so natural to keep on moving. But then the what ifs pop into my head. What if I haven't really given this city a chance. What if in all the stress and busyness I haven't really seen it. What if the friends I have made here are a sign of the long term community I could build here. 

What I have quickly come to realize is that growing older doesn't make anything easier, in fact it makes things so much more complicated. As a child I thought that adults had all the answers. I mean as a kid who grew up before the prevalence of google, my parents and our giant set of the Encyclopedia Britanica held all the secrets to the world. So as a young adult you hope that there is going to be that magical moment of enlightenment, that one that tells you which road to choose. Where all the secrets to the world just come flooding in to your head. And you just know. But there isn't. That moment is a fantasy and what you get is more life experiences that only give you more options. What you get is more knowledge that only muddles and confuses you ever so more. What you get is the reality of the profound impact that these decisions can have on the rest of your life. And let me tell you friends that is real scary.

Now I know that a decision is just a decision and that at this point in my life I have options and am lucky enough to have a support system of friends and family. And on the day to day its pretty easy to remember that and to see the little things and realize that the big picture doesn't have to be so scary. But have you actually looked at the big picture, cause I have and it is terrifying. There is no guide book to growing up....There really should be one. You spend all this time in school learning how to read a map and then nobody ever bothers giving you one. What's up with that????

So here's to finding my way. . . 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Farewell Ms. Boat

Back in December I had to say goodbye to my dear friend Ms. Boat. 
This little Toyota Sienna Minivan had been my dear friend for a number of years. 
But my parents decided it was time to let her go. 
Mainly cause her "organs" were starting to fail.
I like to think she is with a good family now and that she didn't get sold for parts. 

I distinctly remember the day we got this car. 
I was 7 (well that might be a lie...I use the word distinctly very loosely).
Well any who my parents had been gone all day
 (might have been only an hour or two...details..)
But it was dark outside. That I know for sure. 
Us three kids were waiting by the windows in the living room for them to get home. 
This new car was a big deal. 
See there are five us and we use to regularly drive the eight hours to my grandparents in Northern CA
and this car was going to change everything. 
There would be air conditioning...and so much space!!!!!!!!!! 
When my parents finally arrived to the house us kids ran out in our pajamas and all and we all hopped right in and went for a little ride around the block. It was pretty exciting!!!! 

I learned to drive in Ms. Boat. 
She was my high school car and served as the basketball team bus. 
Ms. Boat and I then went to college together. 
Now a minivan in high school is pretty embarrassing but when you get to college it is an asset. 
Because you can fit a lot of drunk people in one. A LOT! 
But it is also great for trips to the beach and for helping friends move. 
For trips to Target, drive in movies, trips to camp and nighttime outings to the local fro yo shop. 
This dear minivan was good to me. 

Now I do hold is slightly responsible for my lack of dates in high school. 
Cause as my track coach so nicely put it, guys don't check out minivan drivers. 
Understandable...since you know they are typically moms.
But that is okay cause I personally think you have to be one cool cat to pull off the minivan look. 

And now I have a miniature wind up blue Prius. 
It came with a bow and all. 
It does't hold much because it is a toy and all. 
But it consistently travels a good three feet at a time and could probably entertain a small child for a few minutes. These are the things that matter!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

All Things Loved/ Vol. 1

Since the title of this blog is All Things Loved. I figured it was about time to start sharing some of the things that I love with you. So each week (fingers crossed) I am going to share a list (I mean who doesn't love a good list) of some of the things I am loving right now. The plan is that these lists will be themed, but eventually I will probably run out of clever (or not so clever) themes and then you will just get a mix up of random things (but that's fun too, right?).

Whew, glad you all agree!

Now you might be asking yourself what is she going to start with first....there are so many options...well I am going to be super adventurous and start with blogs. yay! Super exciting! But the thing is I love blogs (hence why this little guy came to be). I regularly bring them up in conversation with that came out sounding way weirder than I expected. In fact I remember one instance where I insisted on showing my mom baby photos from one of my favorite blogs and she just needed to clarify the fact that I was making her look at a baby whose parents I did not actually know but rather sort of "followed" online...Have you ever really thought about how creepy blogs are...I mean you are kind of asking to be stalked....but in a good way that can be inspirational and can build community with awesome people all around the world.... there are so many great projects and recipes and products and super cute instagram feeds that come out of blogs.

My blog obsession developed after I returned home from study abroad and was in desperate need of some serious inspiration and an opportunity to see beauty and happiness in the world.... Reverse culture shock is real guys. And after traveling Europe for months Southern California suburbia can be real ugly and sad looking.

So here we go...

1. Elsie and Emma over at A Beautiful Mess are absolutely amazing. They do everything...but seriously everything! They even have an app (two as of this week!). ABM is a great place check for really neat DIY projects and fun recipes. If you are like me and don't have a home it can also make you have some serious home envy. This blog alone has provided tons of entertaining conversation for Erin and I....We have some very strong opinions about some of their projects but mostly we are just super inspired by what they do.

2. Kendi Everyday is really a style blog but I read it mostly for Kendi's comments at the bottom of each post. She is pretty funny and has no problem admitting to everyone that even though she posted a really fancy outfit over the weekend, she actually spent the weekend in the her sweats. A girl after my own heart. Kendi and I are kindred spirits.

3. Naomi from Love Taza makes living in the BIG City with two little ones look super easy and enjoyable. She and her entire family have really great style. When I started reading Love Taza it was just her and her husband and now she has a daughter and a son and baby number three is on the way.

4. Sydney from The Daybook has the most precious baby boy ever. Similarly to Love Taza, when I started reading The Daybook there were no kiddos to be seen and it was more of a style blog of sorts. And now it has sort of evolved into the adventure of mama and son, which is nice too.

5. Megan and Mike are a married couple who run a design firm and the blog The Fresh Exchange. When you need to see beautiful photographs go here. They split there time between Traverse City, MI and Raleigh, NC. Pretty much The Fresh Exchange makes me want to jump on a boat with some friends and have a picnic at sea. Enough said.

6. Joy the Baker is awesome. And pretty much Joy and I are meant to be best friends. She just doesn't know it cause you know we actually don't know each other at all. She bakes amazing things. For real friends I made these Peach Cobbler Scones once and they were melt in your mouth phenomenal. I am so not ashamed of the fact that I ate two of them hot out of the oven. She also has this really awesome  podcast with Tracy from Shutterbean (see below) where they talk about all sorts of practical things such as baking, blogging and what to wear to your next work pool party.

7. Sometimes you just need to see pretty things. Cupcakes and Cashmere is an excellent place to just look and beautiful clothes and other nice things. Emily lives in LA and has excellent style and she wears a lot of white so either she eats way less red sauce then me or she just is a way classier lady than I am (my money is on the latter).

8. Just in case you needed any inspiration to redo your entire home and buy lots of really unique artisan pieces of home furnishings and decor Design Sponge is the place to go. The Before + After section is my favorite. Let me just say if you are already addicted to HGTV well then you will absolutely love Design Sponge. No commercials and no children's rooms that are hideously themed.

9. Tracy from Shutterbean is the other half of the Joy the Baker podcast and really I just love her blog design (cause it looks like a chalkboard and has excellent lettering) and her recipe for Strawberry Infused Vodka because it makes an excellent house warming gift. Also her instagram account is amazing and she does food prep every week, which I admire. I aspire to be like her and plan my meals in advance.

10. Bridge & Burn isn't actually really a blog (in that it isn't like the ones listed above, no words just pictures), more so it is a tumblr page associated with the clothing brand Bridge & Burn. But they post some lovely images that make me want to grab my handy canoe (that I don't actually have) and just head right on over to the Pacific Northwest where I am likely to meet some very attractive young men with beards and flannel button downs all while wearing hunters, a lovely coat and a top knot.

Well there you go my friends. Now I would like to mention because I do think the whole blog thing is kind of weird I am one of those blog followers who does not feel compelled to comment on any of these blogs or their corresponding instagram accounts. So I really really don't know any of these people. I am not even friends with them on Facebook. (Which actually kind of makes the whole thing even stranger, right????).

Anywho Happy Stalking Reading!!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

California Dreamin'

I am a West Coast girl at heart. Naturally I did not realize this until I moved East. Shortly after I arrived on the East Coast I felt the deep pull of the Pacific pulling me back.  Now don't get me wrong the East Coast is lovely. There are green trees for miles, summer storms, snowy days, and all the bounties that the Nation's capital has to offer. I have greatly enjoyed my time here (even though really I have only spent a total of ten months here), but I am ready to head back West. 

More than anything I miss the Pacific. And the beaches that run up the coast. What is funny is this is that I didn't grow up as a beach kid. I can count my own memories of going to the beach as a child on one hand and I remember year long gaps where my little toes never stepped in those chilled waters. But it is what I hold dearest about my home state. It is the ocean I feel calling me home. 

I started driving out to the ocean more and more in college. When the beaches of Malibu were just a short drive from the suburban neighborhood of my university. But I truly fell in love completing a class assignment for my Environmental Literature course. We had to spend two hours in nature with out our phones and write in the moment about our experiences. I managed to find a small hidden beach along PCH to head to. The type of beach with a winding staircase down a cliff. Once you hit the sand all evidence of the bustling highway and outside world vanishes. So naturally I piled all of my roommates into my wonderful old minivan and took them with me. Little did I know that I would return to that beach many more times. Somedays just for a quick escape with some class reading. All you really need is just an hour or two of those crashing waves to feel like the world has been right again. 

In our last week of undergrad Erin and I headed to the beach together one last time. We had gone to a Christmas theme event and were quickly disenchanted with it. So we did the only thing that seemed right put on our rain boats and headed to the coast. To the sound of those waves and by the light of a nearly full moon we took in the end of an era and contemplated what was coming next. The ocean isn't a place of beginning and ends but rather one of constant coming and goings, one never knows what will be brought in with the next storm or washed out with the night's tide. 

More than anything I miss the possibility of going there. I miss knowing that at any point I could hop in the car and drive to the closest beach in under half an hour and leave all my worries behind and just be at peace with that great big ocean. 

The next time you take a trip to the coast just stop and think of its vastness. The fact that that water has touched all the continents. That beyond that horizon is another culture, one full of people who are looking back at you but are unable to see you. Not to mention what is below the surface, the ocean plays home to so many creatures and crawlers and mainly swimmers. There is just so much wonder to be held in it all. Add in the quaintness and magic of beach town USA and well that is my kind of heaven. 

I long for lazy days spent eating cinnamon roll french toast at Ruby's on the bear, dipping my toes in icy cold water of the pacific, and watching the sun say its final goodbye for the evening. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

no longer a student

For the last 20 years of my life I have been a student.
And now I am not. 
And it is weird. 

This little guy down below changed everything. 

(and no I have absolutely no idea why they mailed us a second miniature copy of our diplomas, but I do fully plan on caring him with me and whipping him out at cocktail parties just to show people how well educated and awesome I am. This is probably necessary as I have a tendency to bring up things like the Kardashians, the next transformers movie and why Disneyland is the best in casual conversation, most likely creating a number of those skeptic of my academic knowledge.)

Wait what was I talking about...oh right....things they are a changing. 

For 20 years I have been told almost every single day when to wake up and where to go. 
Because I had a specific purpose. 
To learn. 
My main job was to go to school and soak up as much knowledge as possible while following the mostly simple rules set before me. 
Which being that natural rule follower that I am, this was easy. 
I am an excellent student.

I was told what to learn and what to read.
Why it was important for me to calculate the angle of a triangle and have read Shakespeare. 
As I grew older there was some more flexibly in this, the good old suggested reading lists that never got touched because the required reading was plenty, thank you very much. 
In college I could choose not to go to class (although I rarely chose not to), I could pick which classes I want to take. But there was still some sort of overarching academic body guiding me. 

When I returned from a trip abroad and was asked by the customs form what my occupation was, 
well that was easy. 
I was a student. 
I had always been a student. 

But all of that changed two months ago when I graduated from grad school. 
And while I recognize that at this point in my life to be or not to be a student is entirely in my control. 
I could always go and get a PhD. 
A suggestion to which I say, no thank you!

But after 20 years of living within a very structured system designed by people who I always assumed were older and wiser and eventually would tell me the secret to growing up, life seems quite dull and strange. 
In fact it seems somewhat empty. 

Now part of this is do to the fact that I have yet to find a job which means
 I have large quantities of unstructured time. 
Something that I have never been good with. 

What I guess I am trying to say is life is weird. 
For almost my entire life I have been one thing a student...
and now I am not. 
That era is more or less over. 

And while yes I can be a lifelong learner (which I full intend on). 
My "occupation" status of student, as the French would say it, c'est fin. 

So here is to the next era. 
I have absolutely no idea what it will bring.
But I welcome it eagerly. 
Being a student has brought me great adventure and joy. 
And I hope what follows next does the same (minus the all night paper writing sessions). 

Friday, June 27, 2014

life lessons

Yesterday I fell down an escalator.
(I figure  a picture really isn't, I think your imaginations will do just fine)

See here is the thing. 
I am a rule follower. I pretty much always have been.
So for the most part I haven't had to learn life lessons the hard way. 

But you see I was just so excited at the sight of my dear friend and instead of finishing up my trip up the escalator and then taking the down escalator to meet her at the bottom.
I quickly looked behind me and decided to run down the up escalator. 

I know what you are thinking. 
(why would you do something so stupid???)
But it just seemed way more efficient.
(also I am convinced that my GIS class this past semester killed some of my brain cells....
so its not really my fault??????????? right?) 

And slightly adventurous
 (I really like to live on the edge)
And you know what I see twelve year olds do it all the time and they are just fine. 
Well it turns out that it is much harder than it looks.
And anytime I see a twelve year old running the one wrong way on an elevator I will first act like an old lady and tell them to stop it cause they will hurt themselves...and then give them mad props for being way more skilled then me.

Well any who.....I fell.
And did some sort of awkward summer salt....arms flailing and all.
It was not cute...nor graceful. 
In fact I am not sure there is a way to fall off an escalator gracefully. 
Plus I am not really that graceful to begin with, I have a ballet teacher from fourth grade who will happily testify to that. 

But the benefit of living in a city where people are super absorbed in their own lives and their cell phones is that no one really I guess that's nice. 

There was no permanent damage done...just a few bumps and bruises. 

But I did learn something yesterday. 
Up elevators are meant for just that.
Going up! 

Well friends here is a little reminder, when you decide to be spontaneous and adventurous, 
I suggest you do it away from moving machinery. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

honey and lemons

On Tuesday I woke up with a majorly sore throat. 
What's funny is I knew it was coming I could tell Monday night so I did the smart thing and found my stash of peppermint lifesavers and told myself that those would make it all better. 

Well that didn't work. So now I am enjoying cups and cups of honey and lemon juice. 
Luckily I don't mind it. 

It just seems wrong to catch a cold at the beginning of summer. Almost as if the universe just shouldn't allow it. There is too much fun to be had and too much sunshine to be enjoyed 
But none the less every single May/June I catch a cold. It's just my curse in life. I have actually sort of enjoyed it this time. Since I don't have anywhere I have to be right now I could actually take the time to cuddle up inside my house and slow down. Sometimes we need our bodies to force us to get large quantities of sleep and hydrate. So I made myself a giant pot of chili and I have been reading and job searching and enjoying the wonders of summer storms. 

It's not so bad staying inside when you have the sound of rain to in the background. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

dreams do come true...

After my parents headed back to CA and i spent a few days recovering from the overwhelming excitement of graduation i jumped on a plane (that makes it sound way more spontaneous and adventurous then it actually was...this was a planed trip...but that doesn't make it any less of an adventure) and headed south to visit my cousin Adam in Florida. 

My cousin Adam and I are just one month apart in age (I am older) and despite the fact that his family lives in Wisconsin and mine in CA we have managed to stay pretty close after all of these years. 

After finishing school last year he got a job and moved to Florida. 
It is so strange that we are old enough that I went and visited him, not his family, but just him. 
The fact that he has a big kid job and apartment and car is all very astonishing to me. 
We have always been kids. 
But now we are starting to transition into our adult lives.

Did I say adult???
Cause naturally we went to Disney World.

Let's just take a second and talk about dreams. 
We all have dreams.
Well I have always dreamed about going to Disney World. 
Now I grew up right by Disneyland and I spent lots of time there with my mom and friends. 
In fact it is one of my favorite places in the world. 
While I still think Disneyland is awesome. Disney World is about four times the size. 
It is so amazing! 
There really aren't even words to begin to explain my excitement and enjoyment. 

(no photos either, cause in my excitement i failed to take pictures, and i was trying to manage to not look completely ridiculous....i don't think all the clapping from excitement helped) 

We didn't get to spend to much time there because I was only visiting for the weekend. 
But mark my words I will go back.....
In fact I was thinking to myself maybe I don't need to stay in DC maybe I should just move to Florida and work at Disney World and then I could go there every single day. 
But then I remembered one thing. 

So back to DC I went, not before picking some blueberries of course. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

and just like that I am done...

it is a really weird feeling when two years of craziness comes to an end just like that. 
it seems so long ago that i started applying to grad programs during my last semester of undergrad. 
grad school seemed like the perfect solution to post grad. 
it would give me two years to figure out what would come next. 
well now i am here and i don't have any better of an idea. 
i have learned and seen so much in the last two years. 
i moved every four months. i made a bunch of new friends
 (tropical diseases encourage fast passed bonding unlike anything else). 
and i learned SOOOOOOOOOOO much! 

but sometimes more is just overwhelming. my idea of what is right and wrong in this world has been turned up side down and is now far from black and white and everything single line has been blurred. 
i look at job descriptions and question wether or not the organizations and companies are ones that i would be okay working for...and when i say okay i mean if morally and ethically i could feel okay about how an organization is funded and who they choose to work with. 
i guess the big thing is i have realized that the world is really complicated. 
and that there is a whole lot of gray out there.

now, overwhelming it isn't all bad. 
what it means is that i have the opportunity to find a job that isn't just a paycheck 
but something bigger. 
i have the ability to find an organization whose mission i believe in
 and whose work i am passionate about.
i have no idea what is ahead for me. 
but i am looking forward to figuring it out and having you all along for the ride. 

and on a good note i have tons of free time to actually spend some quality time on this little blog of mine, which will make my family and friends back home real happy. 

did i mention this semester was crazy????
it was real crazy and it kicked my butt.
i am very sorry i failed at blogging this semester but lots did happen and i am excited to spend some time updating this little space and figuring out what it means to me and how we are going to move forward together.  

one of the best parts of the end of the semester was all the handwritten love i received. 
when life get's crazy and you are asking yourself why you are doing this, there is nothing better than coming home to a stack of cards from the people who love and support you. 
during my last two weeks there were many days when i came home to mail that was just
 what i needed to keep going. there was also a pretty epic care package that included crayons and a glittery graduation cap head band (don't worry i will post pictures of it!). 

i also greatly enjoyed the opportunity to mail a bunch of thank you postcards in response. 

another good part of graduation was that after years of being friends this girl and i finally took a decent picture together. it is amazing that in this world of selfie craziness we did not have a decent photo together (now this is probably due that we alternate who wears yoga pants and a bun when we hang is usually my turn). 

it was so wonderful to have my dear friends and parents here with me in DC to celebrate the end of a very intense journey and the beginning of a new one. 

there will be lots more pictures and updates to come. 

thank you for waiting patiently as i finished grad school and for letting 
me share this adventure with you. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Here in DC it is SNOWING!!!!


I have seen lots of snow in my day.
But there is something extra special about it snowing in my city.
The place that I currently call home is dusted with fresh white powder.
Snow is just one of the most wonderful things.
There is something about it that is just so serene and peaceful.
Like the world around you is whispering something special to you.
You just have to make sure you listen.
Cause it might all melt away by morning.

Here in DC. Things start to shutdown after about an inch of snowfall.
Snow is serious business. . . ???!

I didn't actually have class today or my internship so the fact that it snowed and AU shut down campus had little real effect on me.
But it gave me some sort of freedom for the day.
And so..
I took full advantage of my snow day.

I walked to Georgetown.
Which probably was a silly idea since the snow actually picked up and it got decently cold.
But I figured that all those Wisconsin winters had toughened me up.
So I survived.
I found myself a new pair of running (lets be real....walking) shoes.
Naturally they are blue.
And I bought a Sprinkles Red Velvet cupcake to eat for lunch.
Cause of course if it is snowing out that means you should disregard all nutritional guidelines.
I made the last shuttle from the metro to campus.
Then walked the rest of the way home.

Upon arriving home I made a nice big pot of chili.
Which I will probably eat for dinner every single night this week.
It is delicious!! Especially with a nice big pile of shredded cheese on top.

And besides that I have just been doing random silly little tasks that need to get done.
Like repainting my nails.

But tomorrow is back to business!!
I start my internship in the morning!!!

PS It hasn't stopped snowing!!!
So Exciting!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Billy Goat Trail

Last weekend I got together with Jeni and her roommate Jesse for a little adventuring. 
One of the nice things about returning to DC is that there are people I left here. 
And it is oh so very nice to get to be back in the same city as them & to get to spend some quality time together participating in all sorts of shenanigans. 

The three of us spent the day hiking in Great Falls. 
We did part of the Billy Goat Trail, which happens to be one of the most difficult trails in the DC area, mainly because there are lots of rocks 
And I mean lots of rocks and you kind of have to cling to them for dear life 
and hope that you don't fall into the Potomac and get washed away. 
(this might be a tad bit of an exaggeration)

But it is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. 

Here is the great big roaring Potomac River. 

We were standing on the Maryland side but there was Virginia right across the water. 

And here we are. 

We are going to start a hiking club. 
There are going to be t-shirts and everything. 
Because lets be honest, nothing is official if there aren't t-shirts. 

There is also a canal that runs through the park. 

Did I mention it was beautiful. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Back in DC

So I know it has been a while. 
Lets be real I am just not very good at this consistent blogging thing. 
I mean we all have skills and this is not mine. 
But in the next few months I am going to try the whole practice makes perfect philosophy...
We will see how that goes. 
In theory it means that I am going to post on here regularly which will make my mom and three other friends who read this very happy. And hopefully it means that I am going to redesign the blog.*

*This will be an adventure. Once upon a time I learned all of these skills and they are listed on my resume but I am a little rusty so I am going to try and get all those magical abilities back through practicing on the blog. So if it starts to look all weird and missed matched and you are confused just be patient it is part of the transitional artistic process (sounds fancy and impressive doesn't it). 

After leaving Costa Rica and spending the holidays at home in CA I am finally back in DC.
And so the end of my grad school experience beings next week. 
Anybody else freaked out by this??
Just me. 

My mom flew out with me to help get me settled here in DC.
Mainly to make sure the apartment I found on Craigslist didn't involve serial killers.**

**not certain we found this out. I mean they are nice people, but then again serial killers could be nice. Right??  Well I am just going to give them the benefit of the doubt. 

It has been nice and chilly here. 
Luckily I already had a massive boot and coat collection. 
Winter clothes are just so much cuter!!!