Little Letter

IMG_3822Dear Maine,

You stole me heart. I’ll be back for it later.

Dear Vacation,

I forgot how great you can be for the soul.

Dear 22nd Birthday,

Well, you came and went and left me another year older. My dad and I saw the musical “Mathilda” in downtown Fort Worth 🙂

Dear Frankfurt,

Can’t believe I get to see you again in two months!

Dear George Saunders,

Just started reading your new book “Lincoln in the Bardo.”

Dear “S-Town”,

Shoot, you were quite the podcast. NPR always blows my mind.

Old Photos from Rome, March 2015

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“I just love Rome. It really does cast a spell on you.” -Alec Baldwin

“Italy has changed. But Rome is Rome.” -Robert De Nero

“Italy will never be a normal country. Because Italy is Italy. If we were a normal country, we wouldn’t have Rome. We wouldn’t have Florence. We wouldn’t have the marvel that is Venice.” -Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of Italy

“Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her.” -Gilbert K. Chesterton

“Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city.” -Anotole Broyard, American writer

 

 

Santa Fe

fullsizeoutput_4105Why did no one tell me how amazing Santa Fe is?! Really, I think it is the most underrated city in the nation! It is the land of a million art galleries, artisan good shops, and green chili enchiladas. I spend the afternoon wandering the quaint streets, perusing the Georgia O’Keeffe museum and listening to live mariachi music in the town square. Friends, if you’re a fan of Southwest culture and, well, beauty in general, I implore you to check this place out!fullsizeoutput_4109fullsizeoutput_411bfullsizeoutput_411afullsizeoutput_4119fullsizeoutput_4118fullsizeoutput_4117fullsizeoutput_4116fullsizeoutput_4115fullsizeoutput_4114fullsizeoutput_4113fullsizeoutput_4112fullsizeoutput_4111fullsizeoutput_4110fullsizeoutput_410ffullsizeoutput_410cfullsizeoutput_410afullsizeoutput_410efullsizeoutput_410dfullsizeoutput_410bfullsizeoutput_411cfullsizeoutput_411d

Joshua Tree National Park

fullsizeoutput_40d1Last week I packed up everything I own in my car and set off for Texas with my dad. The trip from California to Texas is beautiful and, well, long. We stopped in Joshua Tree National Park in the California desert to explore for an afternoon. It is one of my dad’s favorite places in the world, and he tries to go at least once a year. But this was my first time! We are going to the U2 concert in a few weeks, which celebrates their seminal album “The Joshua Tree,” inspired by this place. They don’t have anything like this in Ireland, so I can see why it captured the band’s attention. The landscape is so harsh, yet strikingly gorgeous. Below are a few photos if you’d like to see!fullsizeoutput_40d2fullsizeoutput_40d3fullsizeoutput_40d4fullsizeoutput_411ffullsizeoutput_40d5fullsizeoutput_40d6^The valley stretches on for miles and miles, as far as the eye can seeIMG_6477fullsizeoutput_40d9fullsizeoutput_40dafullsizeoutput_40dbfullsizeoutput_40dcfullsizeoutput_40ddIMG_6528fullsizeoutput_40de^Selfies with my DSLR are always an interesting experience hahafullsizeoutput_40e1IMG_6575fullsizeoutput_40e3^My prized possession 🙂 She’s done really well on this long trip and it makes me proudfullsizeoutput_40e4^Trying to pose like Bonofullsizeoutput_40e5fullsizeoutput_40e6^Couldn’t resist the filters on these last two! I’m still stuck in 2010 apparently (lol)fullsizeoutput_40e7fullsizeoutput_40e8^We passed through this tiny town that reminded me so much of the movie “Cars.” The little motels, the signs, everything! I was looking around for Lightning McQueen ;pfullsizeoutput_40e9fullsizeoutput_40eaHave a good one friends– I’m off to drive another couple hundred miles today…

P.s. Stay tuned for photos from the Grand Canyon and Santa Fe

My Brother’s Wedding

fullsizeoutput_40b4It’s official– my big brother is married! We couldn’t have asked for a better celebration with family and friends. Everything was gorgeous and, as cheesy as it sounds, love was definitely in the air! Thanks to everyone who came in from near and far to encourage and support this amazing couple on their big day. Below are a million photos from the rehearsal dinner and the wedding day.fullsizeoutput_4073fullsizeoutput_4074^Fun photos of Luke and Hayley through the years at the rehearsal!fullsizeoutput_4075fullsizeoutput_4076^It was so sunny, I couldn’t stop squintingfullsizeoutput_4077fullsizeoutput_4078fullsizeoutput_4079^We went with an Italian theme for the rehearsal decorations and food fullsizeoutput_407afullsizeoutput_407bfullsizeoutput_407c^We had a little mishap with the candles and one of the photos…good thing we caught it before anything else burst into smoke haha!fullsizeoutput_407dfullsizeoutput_407efullsizeoutput_407ffullsizeoutput_4080fullsizeoutput_4081fullsizeoutput_4082^Family from the Midwest!fullsizeoutput_4083fullsizeoutput_4084fullsizeoutput_4085fullsizeoutput_4086^Baby cousin! This was my first time meeting her 🙂fullsizeoutput_4087^My new in-law who I’ve known since fifth grade 🙂fullsizeoutput_4088fullsizeoutput_4089fullsizeoutput_408afullsizeoutput_408bfullsizeoutput_408cfullsizeoutput_408dfullsizeoutput_408efullsizeoutput_408ffullsizeoutput_4090fullsizeoutput_4091^Love this one so muchfullsizeoutput_4092^Getting ready the morning of the big day 🙂 fullsizeoutput_4093fullsizeoutput_4094fullsizeoutput_4095fullsizeoutput_4096fullsizeoutput_4097fullsizeoutput_4098fullsizeoutput_4099^The details were stunning 🙂 fullsizeoutput_409afullsizeoutput_409bfullsizeoutput_409cfullsizeoutput_409dfullsizeoutput_409efullsizeoutput_409fIMG_6285fullsizeoutput_40a0fullsizeoutput_40a2^This flower girl was a pro. She took her job very seriously.fullsizeoutput_40a3fullsizeoutput_40a4fullsizeoutput_40a5fullsizeoutput_40a6^Waiting to see the bride in her dress for the first timefullsizeoutput_40a8fullsizeoutput_40a9fullsizeoutput_40aafullsizeoutput_40abfullsizeoutput_40acfullsizeoutput_40ad^Groomsmen lookin’ sharp fullsizeoutput_40aefullsizeoutput_40afIMG_6371fullsizeoutput_40b0fullsizeoutput_40b2fullsizeoutput_40b3fullsizeoutput_40b5fullsizeoutput_40b6fullsizeoutput_40b7^My unofficial sisters 🙂fullsizeoutput_40b8fullsizeoutput_40b9fullsizeoutput_40b3Congrats all around! Can’t wait for many more years of joy and laughter. I finally got that sister I always wanted, and I only had to wait 21 years ;p

Beautiful Poetry

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The other day I stumbled across poet and author Nayyirah Waheed’s work and it is so beautiful I almost wanted to cry. Below are a few of my favorites if you’d like to read:

be easy.
take your time.
you are coming
home.
to yourself.
-“The Becoming/Wings”

there
are
feelings,
you haven’t felt yet.
give them time.
they are almost here.
-“Fresh”

my
mother
was
my first country.
the first place I ever lived.
-“Lands”

i knew you.
before I met you.
i’ve known you my whole life.
-“Nafsi”

all the women.
in me.
are tired.
-Waheed
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What do you think? Are you a fan? I sure am 🙂

P.s. Photos from here

 

 

 

What Love Means

001.full_50.jpgSometimes I wonder what love means.

Once I overheard my father telling my mother how much he loved the scented autumn candle she’d purchased- the way it filled and warmed the house on rainy evenings, when overhead lights just didn’t seem quite right.

The thing is, he would never in a million years have thought to buy a candle himself. Those type of things just didn’t cross his mind. In fact, he never knew he liked them until my mother showed him.

Once I heard my brother say to his girlfriend, “I love the shower curtain you bought me.” He lived with a fellow bachelor roommate, and they had been showering without a shower curtain for months, just accepting a wet bathroom floor as a part of life. Finally his girlfriend remedied the situation with something so simple and, well, tasteful. He too didn’t know what he was missing until she showed him.

And that, I think, is one of the meanings of love. Sometime you don’t know how lovely life can be until someone shows you a different way. It doesn’t have to be big- the smaller the better- but it is new and strange and wonderful.

A Happy List

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  1. Spontaneous concerts at the Troubadour in Hollywood with my friend Rachel
  2. Afternoon sunbathing on the patio
  3. Plantain chips from Trader Joe’s
  4. Planning a trip to the East Coast with my parents
  5. J.D. Salinger short stories
  6. Drawing with charcoal pencils
  7. Discovering a new band I like
  8. Designing possible future tattoos
  9. The opening of a new coffee shop in town
  10. Painting my nails a bright color

P.s. Photo from here

Happy Mothers Day

706CAA6F-63A0-4FD0-A0C1-22A54C7B1796Happy Mothers Day to the woman who:

-Always notices when we are running low on toilet paper and refills it before it’s too late
-Magically produces a perfect gift and matching gift bag out of thin air upon request
-Somehow knows everyone and their mom’s up-to-date contact information and address
-Can cook, sew, clean, repair, plan and organize like nobody’s business
-Never goes on a trip without bringing me back a thoughtful souvenir
-Birthed me
-People always tell me I look like
-Allowed me to dress myself in a pink fruit-patterned jumpsuit every day of fourth grade without protest, simply because she knew it made me feel cool (*cringes*)
-Supports and encourages my decision to live abroad
-Edited multiple drafts of my Fulbright essays
-Loves me unconditionally, even when I don’t deserve it or can’t seem to love myself
-Cheered me on when I got my first tattoo
-Taught me the importance of commitment and determination
-Is the only woman who calls me by the nickname”Missy”

Happy Mothers Day to all those who:

-Act as spiritual mothers and mentors
-Are adoptive or foster mothers
-Are having difficulty becoming a mother
-Lost their mother
-Have a difficult relationship with their mother
-Are expecting and will soon become a mother
-Are empty nesters for the first time
-Have stepped up to fill the role of a mother in someone’s life8E5F88B4-0640-43FF-8200-4976731510C0