Photos from Summer 2018

IMG_5002I was sorting through some photos from this past summer and realized there were a few gems I hadn’t yet shared on the blog. I like to upload them here to keep them safe because after my computer hard drive died a few months ago, I am paranoid about losing them!! Above is Trey and I at the Rangers game for my little brother’s birthday 🙂IMG_0153I worked as Meagan’s aide this summer. She is the sweetest! This is us at a coffee shop.IMG_0176Drinking beer in 100 degree heat…am I a Texan now or what?IMG_0182My sweet daddy-o’s birthday celebration!!!IMG_0217Late night jam sessions in the car.Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 presetThe suburbs in all their gloryIMG_0273Someone turned 25….old!!!! ;pIMG_0299
My friend got some photos developed from her trip to Minnesota, where we met for our other friend’s wedding. They turned out so beautiful!Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetAt the Baylor football game. We lost in a big way but we sure had fun!IMG_0439IMG_0445Isaac and I are considering running for office in 2020. The Oval Office looks good on us, don’t you think?

 

Have a good one, friends.

An interesting observation from the movie “Crazy Rich Asians”

CRA_FPTB_0164r.0.jpgI saw the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” the other day. Bravo! It was so powerful to see an all-asian cast for the first time on the big screen. I applaud the movie– so fun, poignant and engaging! Plus, the soundtrack was just plain awesome.

At one point near the end of the movie, Eleanor Young, the mother and matriarch of the family, says something that struck me. She is from Singapore, and she is speaking to her son’s girlfriend Rachel, a Chinese woman who was born and raised in America. She says, “All Americans think about is their own happiness. It is an illusion.”

This moment demonstrates the huge difference between the two women’s cultures. Eleanor believes one must put family above all else– career, romance, etc. Happiness is not the top priority on that list. She does not believe the young Rachel will ever be able to make those sacrifices because she was born and raised in a culture that preaches happiness above all else.

What do you think? I am reminded of this quote by Hugh MacKay:

I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don’t mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep” and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness.” Ask yourself, “Is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.
—Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life

I don’t know about you, but my darkest days taught me more than all my happiest days combines. And while I am tempted to say I am happy right now in life, perhaps I should really say I am feeling whole right now.

I’m curious, what is your take on this topic?

P.s. Photo from here

 

Germany, Round Five

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Hello there friends, how are you? I am sitting on the couch in my pajamas at 3pm on a Saturday. All is well. All is very well. There is a huge rain storm in DFW right now, complete with thunder and lightning and flash floods– oh my! But coming from California, where it only rains like two days a year, I am secretly really enjoying this weather. It is so soothing.

Anyways, I wanted to tell you a little bit more about my upcoming adventure. I am returning to Germany on September 25th for two more years of grad school. I know, I know, you probably saw that one coming given my history of obsession with Germany. Sometimes I joke that I’m getting my Masters just so I can keep this travel blog going haha!

But I am very excited. And scared. Yes, I am really scared. I had a tough time last year in many regards, so I’m nervous to go back. But I know it’s the right decision. I learned so much last year, and I feel confident that this time will be 100 times easier because of those hard lessons.

Here is a link to info about my Masters program for those of you interested. I plan to keep blogging (duh) but will probably need a million weeks or so to get adjusted.

Hope your summer ended well! Cheers to Germany, round 5 🙂

P.s. Photo from here

Hey there, remember me?

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Hey there! Yes, I’m still alive. I have been relaxing this past month, but also trying to check a million random things off my check list before…wait for it…I GO TO GRAD SCHOOL IN GERMANY. More info on that soon 🙂 I wanted to share a few photos from my friends’ Laura and Ruth’s weddings. I was a bridesmaid in Laura’s and a guest at Ruth’s. It was so great to see old friends and party it up.

Have a great rest of your summer!

Hi Friends– an Important Note!

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Hi friends, how are you? It’s been a hot minute since I last wrote. Speaking of hot, southern California has been experiencing a heat wave the past few weeks and we are all weather wimps out here ;p It’s finally cooling down and I am settling into America again. I still have random bouts of culture shock, though. For example:

The light switches are on the outside of the room in German, but the inside in America. I keep trying to turn on the lights from the outside and can’t find the switch haha!

People here are so smiley and greet each other on the street. I have to remind myself to smile back and make small talk!

Driving a car in a crazy thing. Like, what a concept.

Messaging via normal SMS/iMessage instead of Whatsapp is strange.

I keep saying German words instead of English as vocal fillers lol!

Anyways, all is good. A note: I am not renewing my domain name passportsandpaintbrushes.com. It expires tomorrow and will return to the free version: passportsandpaintbrushes.wordpress.com. Your girl is a cheap skate who can’t be bothered to pay the fee haha! So please visit the latter URL when you want to check out this page from now on. I don’t think it will be automatically rerouted so you will need to type in the new address manually. Then again, who knows. I defy the stereotype that all millennials are tech-savvy. I don’t want to loose any of you lovely followers.

I hope you are having a lovely summer and please leave a comment below just to say hi!

A 2017 Photo Review

IMG_1691Hi friends! Sorry for the radio silence. It’s been a full few weeks. I’m on break right now, soaking up the extra sleep and eating my weight in Holiday sweets. Below is a photo review of the many things 2017 brought my way. Enjoy!Jan 2.jpegIn January, I started the year off by participating in the LA Women’s March with two other friends. We joined over 500,000 people that day. It felt good to do something.Feb 2.jpegFebruary was spent with this little munchkin as my Valentine. She is beyond words adorable and I miss her so much!Mar 2.jpegMarch brought a Spring Break trip to Texas with Jessica to visit my parents. It was so fun to explore a new place with my girl by my side!april 2.jpegApril was a big one. I found out I got the Fulbright to Germany (hello employment) and graduated college!may 2.jpegMay was a chill month of work in Malibu. My parents and I went to Disneyland one day to celebrate my graduation– happiest place on Earth, after all.jun 2.jpgJune was no small undertaking, what with my brother’s beautiful wedding and moving myself across the country to Texas. Oh, and my 22 birthday!july 2.jpegJuly saw a girls trip to San Francisco and a few days spent in El Segundo with old friends.aug 2.jpegAugust was family time. I hung out with the cousins in Iowa on the farm 🙂 They are so funny!sept.jpgIn September I found myself back in Germany! My Fulbright started and I hit the ground running at full speed.oct.jpegIn October I took a much needed vacation to Salzburg, Austria with two friends, as well as London to visit a Uni class mate. The scenery was breath taking and the company was even better!nov.jpgI saw my lovely parents in November and boy was it great! I had fun showing them around my stomping grounds.dec.jpgDecember brought Christmas and my stunning friends Mele and Annie. I feel grateful to have friends who will come all this way to see me!

Here’s to a crazy, whirlwind year! I learned to much, sometimes the hard way, but I’m looking forward to 2018. I will turn 23, probably start a new job or school and possibly move. I can’t wait to see what God has in store. Happy New Years, friends!