Seven Things

img_98301. My friend Alena flies back to Germany tomorrow– can I go in her suitcase? It’s been nice to have a friend by my side these past couple of days. I will miss her!
2. My Fulbright interview went really well last week. The national deadline is October 11th and then it’s out of my hands until I hear back in March. Fingers crossed!
3. I went to a small group Bible study through my church RealityLA for the first time on Wednesday night and LOVED IT. The people were so genuine and refreshing. I will definitely go back next week.
4. I miss Germany more and more each day.
5. I’m currently reading “Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store” by Robin Sloan. It is an easy, light-hearted read, which is exactly what I needed to break up all the required reading for school. I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for some good ol’ fiction!
6. I’m listening to the podcast “How I Built This” right now. It’s all about people who built a company from the ground up, and it’s so fascinating. It makes me want to go out and scheme up some big idea to be the next Steve Jobs haha!
7. I’m getting new tires on Saturday as my early Christmas present. Being an adult sure is fun sometimes…img_9828img_9829img_9832img_9833

A Weekend in Texas!

img_9791I just got home last night from a long weekend in Texas! My brother, his fiancé and I flew out to visit my parent’s new home just outside Fort Worth. We also made a trip down to Waco on Friday to see my little brother, who is a freshman at Baylor University. I had a great time, and took an obscene amount of pictures. Below are quite a few if you care to take a gander!img_9530img_9534img_9537img_9539^The guest bedroom. It has all my grandmother’s old furniture, but it looks so nice in this space! My parents even had her bed frame refurbished.img_9543^I played so much piano during my stay! I miss it. img_9549img_9560^My parents haven’t bought much new furniture because they’re not sure how long they will stay in this house after their lease it up. It was kind of strange to see everything from my old house in a new place, but it looked great.img_9568img_9575^The patio with a lake viewimg_9593^On our way to downtown Fort Worth. It’s a really neat city– very laid back with cool shops and a central square to gather for events and such.img_9624^At the Kimball art museumimg_9651img_9660img_9662img_9677img_9699img_9706img_9710img_9734img_9740img_9760img_9786^Watching the sunset from my parent’s dock. I never thought I’d be able to say my parents have a ‘lake house.’ I was in photographer’s heaven!img_9787img_9788img_9800img_9805img_9816img_9838img_9839img_9857^We drove an hour and a half to Waco, and made sure to stop at Magnolia Farms, the design store made famous by Chip and Joanna Gains from the HGTV show “Fixer Upper.” I bought some cute ceramic birds that I don’t need…img_9865img_9876img_9880img_9898img_9919^We met up with Isaac at the coffee shop Common Grounds right across from campus. It had some serious hipster vibesimg_9923img_9932img_9934img_9944img_9948img_9951img_9985^Baylor is so beautiful! Very different aesthetics from Pepperdine, but equally collegiate and striking. I am so happy he loves it there🙂img_9996img_0002img_0013^This has to be my favorite photo from the trip– Isaac is photo bombing the happy couple hardimg_0032img_0037img_0047img_0059img_0061^For some reason the image quality gets significantly reduced when I upload them to WordPress. Any ideas on how to remedy that?img_0089^I have a feeling this photo might show up in your mailbox come December. It has Christmas Card written all over it!

Well, I had a great time Texas! You sure welcomed us with open arms. In fact, I think I brought the heat back with me to California. It is 95 degrees here in Malibu today, and my house doesn’t have air conditioning! Oh well, I’ll survive🙂

 

A Weekend with Alena

img_9227I picked my friend Alena up from the airport on Friday afternoon and we headed to Manhattan Beach to hang out until traffic died down. We became friend in Hildesheim two summers ago, and she just finished a six week internship in Vancouver, Canada and decided to explore the US for a little while before flying home. I always enjoy playing tour-guide when friends come into town, as it helps me rediscover and take pride in my own city! We did a few different things this weekend, below are a few photos if you’d like to see.img_9231img_9244^Personally I think I look a little wacko in this photo, what with the slouchy overalls and blurry face haha! But I never have many photos of myself on the blog since I’m always behind the camera, so I thought I’d include it.img_9250img_9251^On Saturday we went to the beach in Malibu. I went in the water for the first time all year– I couldn’t let the warm water pass without jumping in at least once! That would be tragic and irresponsible as a native Californian :pimg_9252img_9267^You could say Alena was excited about the beachimg_9290img_9296img_9300img_9325img_9329img_9365^On the way back we stopped by Pepperdine’s 9/11 flag memorial. Every September they place a flag on the ‘front lawn’ for each person that lost their life in the attacks. A Pepperdine alumna was on the plane headed for Washington DC, and both his daughters currently attend Pepperdine. I find the display beautiful and sobering.img_9374img_9385img_9394^On Sunday after church we went to Smorgasburg, the new LA version of the famous food market in Brooklyn, New York. It has only been open since June, and houses booths of food and local handmade artisan goods. It is opened every Sunday from 10am-5pm and is located in at the Alameda Produce Market downtown. img_9399img_9410img_9412img_9419^How cute is this little trailer shop? Never mind that a T-Shirt was like $50…img_9425img_9446img_9450^Weird donuts are my love language…img_9452img_9457img_9464Well friends, have a great week. I’m headed to Texas on Wednesday to visit family!

Eight Things

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  1. I submitted my Fulbright application on Tuesday. Now I have to schedule an interview with my school’s reviewing committee next week, in which they will give me suggestions and edits to make before resubmitting it for the national deadline on October 11th. It feels like such a weight off my shoulders to finally have the essays written and all my recommendations in on time!
  2. My friend Alena from Hildesheim, Germany is flying in tomorrow to visit me! I can’t wait to speak German with her and show her around my stomping grounds🙂
  3. I fly to Dallas/Fort worth next Wednesday to visit my parents and brother. I’ve never been to that part of the world, so I’m itching to explore! It’s funny, if I don’t get on a plane at least once every three months or so I get really antsy and stir-crazy. I guess I’m a nomad at heart.
  4. I am seriously thinking about applying to grad school in Germany…so yeah, that’s a big deal. I was against grad school for a long time, but now God is working on my heart in new ways. I think it might be a great option after graduation!
  5. I love my church, RealityLA. I just signed up for a small group on Wednesdays and I could not be more stoked. It’s nice to meet people from such diverse backgrounds and not just college students for a change.
  6. This blog is still my all-time favorite. It’s the blog that inspired me to start my own way back in the day.
  7. I went to a German restaurant in Venice last night called Wurstküche. Although it’s not in Germany, I will admit the bratwurst was pretty dang delicious.
  8. As a native Californian I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never been to Joshua Tree National Park, and I plan to remedy that this school year! Have you been?

P.s This picture of a young Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher hanging out just kills me for some reason🙂

A Sunday Tradition

img_1397Yesterday afternoon my housemate and I decided to go on a hike in Malibu Creek State Park. We’ve been wanting to spend more quality time together, and it was so much fun that we are determined to make it a Sunday tradition! Sometimes the week is so stressful I don’t make it off campus until the weekend. It is important for my mental health to get out of my room and explore the beautiful world around me once in a while! Below are a few pictures if you’d like to see.img_1398img_1406^I don’t know if I’ve ever seen California this brown. We need rain desperately!img_1409img_1411img_1417^Hope is a great model🙂img_1419img_1430img_1435img_1437img_1439^This outlook was stunning. I forget how mountainous this area is!img_1448^Then we stumbled upon a watering hole of sorts– a small lake with people swimming, paddling around in row boats, and even slack-lining. img_1451img_1452img_1454img_1455img_1456^I slack-lined quite often at the rock climbing gym in Frankfurt this summer. But never this high up across a lake! These guys were intense…img_1457^Whoopsy daisy, time for a little swim!img_1459img_1468^The second watering hole we visited reminded me of the mermaid lagoon from Peter Pan. Anyone else get those vibes or is it just me?img_1475img_1478img_1479img_1438Have a great week friends!

Rock the Brock

img_8955The president of my school has an annual tradition of holding a party at his house (the Brock House) for just the seniors. The soiree is called ‘Rock the Brock’ because his rock band Mid-Life Crisis performs and a giant dance party ensues. They also raffled off prizes, including $5,000 throughout the night, and had a big buffet of food and desserts. You could say I was a happy camper. Even though Pepperdine is a relatively small school, I was surprised at how many unfamiliar faces I encountered last night. Do all these people really go here and I’ve just never met them? Haha I guess so! But I did know quite a few people as well, which was reassuring. I guess I’m not a total recluse. Below are a few photos if you’d like to see!img_8920img_8921^Our mascot Willie the Wave dancing up a stormimg_8924img_8931img_8933^The event started at 6:30- perfect golden light! I can definitely tell fall is  in the air, no more endless summer sun.img_8941img_8942img_8946img_8947img_8952^Two sweet friends, one of which is my buddy in German classimg_8962img_8965^These charming ladies have been there for me since the start of college😉img_8968img_8981img_8985img_8986img_8994^My class cleans up niceimg_8996img_9003^Note to self: become university president so I can have a view like this…img_9007img_9010img_9015img_9042img_9058^Wild childrenimg_9082^My OG roommate and long-time friend Lauraimg_9091img_9095img_9046Well friends, have a great weekend!

Ten Things

IMG_88321. Syllabi always give me anxiety. The first week of school is a bombardment of syllabi from every class informing you of all the work ahead this semester. I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and reaaaaaxxxx…it will all get done.
2. I’m fasting today. I’ve never fasted before, but always wanted to try it as a spiritual discipline. Not too many hunger pains thus far I’m glad to report, although it’s only 10am haha! My goal is to make room for God to fill the space in my daily life. where food usually is.
3. I miss Germany. There, I said it.
4. I restrung my brother’s old guitar (a terrifying experience) and bought a capo. I even made my own pick out of an old credit card! I plan to shape up on my guitar skills this semester. It’s such a cathartic hobby.
5. My little brother is having a grand old time in Texas. He went to the first Baylor football game of the season and got to run across the entire field with all the other freshies before it began. I’m really looking forward to visiting him and my parents in Texas at the end of the month!
6. Loving the photos on this blog. Very inspiring. I need to get out and practice my photography.
7. I got a ticket for (allegedly) not stopping long enough at a stop sign back in May. I contested it and got a court date of August 31st. I showed up at 8am in Santa Monica, dressed to the nines, ready to argue my case before the honorable judge and courtroom. But then THE OFFICER DIDN’T SHOW UP! There is a god people, he is real. I got my $283 back– Christmas came early this year. You can see my celebratory Instagram post here.
8. Really want to get another tattoo (sorry mom and dad). Still thinking about what it might be. I know I want a German word and have an idea of where on my body I would like it. But the exact word is still in process.
9. The internet is really funny. I laid in bed for an hour today just scrolling through Instagram and laughing out loud by myself.
10. This article is hilarious and sadly true.IMG_8846

Do You Have A Theme Song?

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The other day I read this post on the blog Cup of Jo, and it got me thinking. Is there a song (or songs) that I consider a sort of theme or anthem for my life? That is, when I hear it, I think this could have been written about me, or it simply came to define a certain time in my life for whatever reason. Below are a few songs I might call my theme songs if I had to choose!

Rivers and Roads by The Head and the Heart
The song starts out with the lyrics, “A year from now we’ll all be gone, all our friends will move away. And they’re going to better places, but our friends will be gone away.” This immediately makes me think of college and how I will be graduated in less than a year. The song also croons, “My family lives in a different state! If you don’t know what to make of this, then we will not relate.” My parents and brother just moved to Texas, and right now just feels like a big time of transition in general. So this song touches me in a very literal way.

Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
There is one line in this song that always makes me chuckle– “It’s a long day living in Receda, there’s a freeway running through the yard.” I drive past the city of Receda all the time on the Freeway, and know exactly where he’s talking about when he says, “I wanna free fall out on Mulholland.” These words really capture what it’s like to life in Southern California. I love this song because the speaker is a ‘bad boy’ who pretends not to care/regret that he broke a ‘good girl’s’ heart. There’s also a great version by John Mayer (swoon) if you’re interested.

Tiny Dancer by Elton John
I’m sorry, but the description, “Blue jean baby, LA lady…dancing in the sand,” had to be written about me, right?! I remember doing Irish dance and Ballet at the beach growing up, twirling around on the shore avoiding the waves. I’m a big fan of Elton John in general, and even learned to play this song well on the piano.

Vienna by Billy Joel
Joel sings this song to a young person who is chomping at the bit to accomplish everything they dream of in life right now. Basically, he says slow down, take a deep breath and practice patience. You don’t want to burn out before your time, so sit back and enjoy the ride. “Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?” I think everyone at Pepperdine needs to hear this song– we’re so young, there’s no rush to conquer the world!

Gypsy by Suzanne Vega
I first heard this song in the soundtrack of the movie Perks of Being a Wallflower. I listened to it on repeat in Frankfurt this summer because, for some reason, it just struck me as particularly insightful. “You come from far away with pictures in your eyes of coffee shops and morning streets and the blue and silent sunrise.” I find the guitar in this song so beautiful and touching. Listen to it, you’ll see what I mean.

Never Coming Back Again by Austin Plaine
My parents might not appreciate this title (haha!) but I really felt like I could have stayed in Germany forever and been perfectly happy. This song expresses a longing for adventure, excitement and discovery. It’s the perfect summer anthem. Go on, give it a listen, I promise you’ll like it!

So what about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Oh, and of course I claim every song written about California girls as my own🙂

 

An Engagement!

IMG_8661So…my brother and his girlfriend Hayley got engaged on Saturday! WOO! They dated for two years in high school, then got back together after college and have been together for another two years now. Our families basically grew up together in El Segundo, and I went to high school with both her and her younger sister. I’m so glad I was back from Germany in time for this special moment. Congrats you two!IMG_8614^The mamas were so nervous as we snuck through the park to the designated hiding spot in the bushes. IMG_8617IMG_8619^Hayley’s sisters are so sweet! It was fun to share this experience with them. After we gave Luke the secret signal that we were in place and video taping, he got done on one knee and popped the question. Hayley said she wished her family could have been there, to which Luke replied, “Turn around,” and we all came running towards her! When I watched the video I took, all you can hear is me saying “Oh my god, oh my god…” and shaking hahaIMG_8628^You could say tears were shed.IMG_8630IMG_8631^Admiring the rock!IMG_8634IMG_8637^He was so relieved. I don’t think he slept for a week before hand. Poor guy!IMG_8642IMG_8644IMG_8646IMG_8647IMG_8656IMG_8657IMG_8660IMG_8663IMG_8665^Such a beautiful couple!IMG_8668IMG_8672IMG_8675^Lookin’ good LukeIMG_8697IMG_8706IMG_8709IMG_8714IMG_8721IMG_8722IMG_8724IMG_8725IMG_8735IMG_8743^Then we headed back to Hayley’s house for a ‘little’ engagement party. I think 60 plus people showed up– these two certainly are loved!IMG_8748IMG_8754IMG_8755IMG_8761IMG_8769IMG_8771IMG_8779^I like this picture of all the ladies oohing and awwing over the photos🙂IMG_8800IMG_8807IMG_8813IMG_8814I’m so glad I finally get that sister I always wanted. Can’t wait for the wedding. If Saturday was any preview, it’s going to be one heck of a party!

Life State-Side

IMG_4769And just like that, I’m back to life state-side.

I don’t quite know what to say. My brain is still fuzzy from jet-lag and German words keep popping up uninvited in my english sentences. Americans seem foreign and confusing in some ways, yet totally familiar and comforting in others. I moved straight into my house at school and hit the ground running with training for my job at the school newspaper and other fun preparatory stuff. It feel strange to be a senior. I see the bright-eyed, fuzzy tailed freshman wandering around campus and just feel plain old. But it is nice to already know what I’m doing and who my established friends are.

Here’s hoping it’s a great semester!