Two weekends ago my family flew to Washington for my cousin’s wedding. It was beautiful and so classy! I wanted to share a few photos from the trip with you today.The flowers at Pike’s Place Market were incredible.Grandkids with grandparents. We all grew up pretty nicely, if I do say so myself!Handsome ladsSibsAwwwwwwRehearsal dinner!Geez I love this picture almost as much as I loved the mimosas we drank at brunch!
I want to tell you about the best gift I’ve ever received. I’ve received some pretty awesome gifts in my 23 years on Earth (new camera, laptop, trip to NYC!). But the gift I received this past February surpasses them all.
As you may know from reading this blog, I was in a grad program in Germany. After several months, a pit began to form in my stomach. With dawning horror, I slowly realized that this program was not the right fit for me. The reasons were varied (the classes aren’t interesting, Germany is cold, etc.), but I just knew. However, I have never quit anything big before in my life. I didn’t identify with the term “Quitter” on any level. I’d dedicated so much time, energy and money to this grad program. Should I just stick it out for another year and a half? I’d certainly given it the old college try, but maybe I could try a bit longer?
But I knew in my heart it was time to go. So with trembling hands, I called my parents to tell them I was dropping out. They had spent equal amounts of time, energy and money on this endeavor with me. They’d fielded my teary phone calls when I was homesick and lonely, helped me gather the insane amount of necessary visa paperwork, sent me care packages at Thanksgiving, and even booked tickets to come visit me. So, so much. And now I was telling them I planned to leave without a degree!
As the Facetime video rang, my nerves mounted. They answered, and I immediately started to cry. Through tears, I choked out, “I’ve decided I want to leave my grad program and move home.”
“Congratulations! We are so proud of you for making this tough decision. We love you and your room at home is always ready.”
THAT was the best gift I’ve ever received.
The knowledge that no matter what I do or don’t do, my parents love and support me. Looking back at it now, I should have known they would react that way. After all, that’s what parents do: they love unconditionally. Unfortunately, though, not all parents are great at loving their kids through their failures or directional changes. But my parents’ reaction will stay with me forever. It inspires me to be the same way with my children one day, and I’m sure I will understand a whole lot more once I become a mama.
The other great part of this experience? It helped me realize that people don’t care about what you do as much as you care. They just want you to be happy, so stop stressing!
We can all give the gift of unconditional love to the people in our lives. I try to every day, and I hope this post can encourage you to do the same 🙂
Hello from the great state of Texas. I am readjusting to America day by day: free water, small talk, giant trucks everywhere! It’s been so nice to spend time with my brother and boyfriend. My parents return from their travels on May 8th and I can’t wait to see them too. These photos were taken on Easter. Don’t these guys look handsome?! Anyways, that’s me, folks. Leave me a comment about what’s new with you these days!
Have you ever been to the Netherlands? I have been twice before, but this time was extra special. My parents picked me up in Münster and whisked me off to the tulip fields across the border. I don’t have a particularly green thumb (re: black) but I can appreciate gorgeous flowers as much as the next person. And man, these flowers inspired me to plant my own! These photos were taken at the Keukenhof garden, which is basically Disneyland for flowers. I was awe-struck and couldn’t help saying “Look at that, Mom!” around every corner. Below are a few photos if you’d like to see.Dad thoroughly enjoying the tulips…All in all, an inspiring visit! I’m off to purchase gardening supplies…
Fast times with my sister-in-law’s sister and long-time family friend, Darcie. What a gem. Good thing we are related forever now.
Happy 60th birthday to my father! Is it too soon to say ‘my old man’? ;p Even though it is cliche, I seriously don’t know what I would do without you, Dad. There are days when I get so down on myself and think I just can’t do this anymore. And when that happens, you are always the person I turn to first to cheer me up. You have an unfailing optimism that astounds me time and time again.
You are the best example of loyalty, commitment and unconditional love in my life. I miss you and with I could be with you, but I hope you have a stellar day and don’t work too hard!
I 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 🙂I worked as Meagan’s aide this summer. She is the sweetest! This is us at a coffee shop.Drinking beer in 100 degree heat…am I a Texan now or what?My sweet daddy-o’s birthday celebration!!!Late night jam sessions in the car.The suburbs in all their glorySomeone turned 25….old!!!! ;p
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!At the Baylor football game. We lost in a big way but we sure had fun!Isaac 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.
Today I am 23!
The typical response I hear is, “That’s so young!”
And while yes, it is young, I can’t help but think of all the millions upon billions of things that have happened in these 23 short years. And when I do, it actually feels quite old.
In the last 23 years…
I was born.
I grew up in Malibu, surrounded by two kind, handsome brothers, a mom who packed stellar school lunches and plans vacations like a pro, and a dad who’s easy laugh makes everyone love him. I passed afternoons playing in the Santa Monica mountains and summers swimming in the salty Pacific.
I moved to El Segundo, where I learned to drive, kissed a boy for the first time, attempted geometry and politics and biology but discovered the only thing I really like is writing.
I attended university, where I had an endless turnstyle of rooms and roommates and unrequited crushes. I learned to speak mediocre German and studied abroad in Heidelberg, where I was introduced to good coffee and train travel for the first time.
I graduated and moved to Weinheim on my own with two suitcases and tried my best to figure life out. I found an apartment and held a job and attempted to teach kids and get to know my coworkers. I cleaned a cooked and shopped and budgeted for myself. I rode a childs-sized bike everywhere in all manner of wild weather and dreamt longingly of my Honda CRV. I paid bills and made a few friends and deciphered what it means to feel simultaneously like a kid and an adult. I experienced genuine loneliness and joy and depression and elation and anxiety and triumph and love, to name a few. I felt the kindness of strangers and friends alike, who stuck with me through it all even when it might have been easier not to at times.
Thank you to so many people, near and far, who have supported me this year. From the friend who sat with me in a cafe when I was depressed and just listened, to the neighbor who brought me furniture when I had none, to the girlfriend who sent me a letter just because, the mom who mailed me socks when my feet were cold, the family who flew across oceans to visit me, the coworker who bought me american peanut butter, and so many others. I know without a doubt that I couldn’t have done it without you.
And that’s just scratching the surface! So yeah, can you blame me for thinking 23 is actually quite old in the grand scheme of things?! Even though there were times when it wasn’t easy or fun, I’m so grateful to have had the chance to do it all. I don’t deserve these blessings but hey, look, there they are anyways. I think maybe, just maybe, I am finally learning the meaning of gratitude at my advanced age :p
So here’s to 23+ more years of living in and learning about this beautiful world and trying my best to do myself and others proud. What a gift.
Spain really reminded me of California and made me excited to see my Golden Coast in a few short weeks 🙂
Happy happy happy am I