iPhone Photos from Life Lately

IMG_5928Hello there, how are you? These last few weeks have been a whirlwind in the best ways. My parents just left this morning (*insert tears here*) after a wonderful ten days together. It was so nice to show them around my stomping grounds and give context for my life.

Above is a photo from a great breakfast I spent with some new friends in Königstein last week. Arn’t they lovely? And below are a bunch more photos from life lately. Enjoy!IMG_5902One of my favorite students goofing around after a school assembly on cyber safety. I was definitely scared to go on the internet for like two days afterwards…IMG_5925This waffle house takes the cake (or, um, the waffle) because of the beautiful writing on my plate!IMG_5948The family that freezes together, stays together.Processed with VSCO with c1 presetWe spent three days in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a magical old city from the Middle Ages. I’ve been to so many German towns, but this one really is some kind of enchantment. Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetIMG_6006IMG_6011Selfie with my girl Lara!IMG_6025IMG_6029Dad in his inadequate jacket! IMG_6034Then I took my parents to work for my very own “take your parents to work day.” The students asked them some funny questions, and we laughed at this mural from a graduating class. Can you spot the grammar typo?IMG_6036IMG_6046When you tryina’ show your parents a good time and they fall asleep on you…IMG_6050IMG_6051IMG_6058IMG_6068IMG_6075IMG_6077IMG_6085IMG_6087Processed with VSCO with p5 preset3C06B5F4-1165-4A37-824E-ABD3FB8E3CBCOf course we had to spend Thanksgiving at the Heidelberg castle because, well, duh! My mom and I both studied abroad here and it holds a special place in our hearts. I am so thankful for this city.Processed with VSCO with g3 presetIMG_6128IMG_6129An afternoon walk through Weinheim!IMG_6138He was posing on purpose, don’t worry…so cultured and European ;pProcessed with VSCO with x1 presetIMG_6152IMG_6168Just noticed this busty lady watching over my school. What kind of German diet do I have to go on to get this figure?!! IMG_6174We decorated my apartment. Can you say “Baby’s first Charlie Brown Christmas tree?”Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetMuch Glühwein was consumed at the Christmas market.Processed with VSCO with g3 presetI brought my Polaroid to school and the kids were convinced it was magic! I loved sharing my hobby with them and creating tangible memories.IMG_6225Still a few colorful fall leaves left….please don’t snow yet, I’m not emotionally prepared!!IMG_6226Have a nice week, sweet friends!

Iowa with the Cousins

fullsizeoutput_4a41This past weekend I took a quick trip up to Iowa to visit my cousins. They are the cutest little munchkins you ever did meet, and I am so glad I got to see them one more time before I leave for Germany in a week (!!?!). There’s something so incredibly special about spending time with family. I can’t even really put words to it– I’m sure you already know exactly what I mean. As I’m about to leave for a whole year, I am reminded of how much I love and care about my relatives. I think leaving for a while makes you appreciate home that much more. But I won’t get too mushy just yet, I’ll save that for the airport ;p Below are a few photos if you’d like to see!fullsizeoutput_4a42Estelle is hilarious. She has personality to burn and a deep, hearty laugh that makes me crack up every time.fullsizeoutput_4a44fullsizeoutput_4a46fullsizeoutput_4a47fullsizeoutput_4a48fullsizeoutput_4a4bEvelyn seemed so much older and more mature this time. She knew so many facts about nature and life and reading. I was pretty dang impressed.fullsizeoutput_4a4cfullsizeoutput_4a4eAnd Lars. This boy is a real stunner. He has this serious smolder that makes your heart melt.fullsizeoutput_4a51fullsizeoutput_4a52fullsizeoutput_4a54Taking the golf card for a spin.fullsizeoutput_4a55fullsizeoutput_4a56fullsizeoutput_4a57fullsizeoutput_4a58fullsizeoutput_4a5efullsizeoutput_4a5ffullsizeoutput_4a60fullsizeoutput_4a61Love the Iowa farm aesthetic. It definitely has a Scandinavian feel, which makes sense because this region is home to a large Danish-American population.fullsizeoutput_4a62fullsizeoutput_4a63The house my dad grew up in until the age of 10!!!! fullsizeoutput_4a65fullsizeoutput_4a66When I arrived, this swing did not exist. But by the end of the day they had just, well, constructed it! These people are seriously so handy and I admire them for it.fullsizeoutput_4a67fullsizeoutput_4a68fullsizeoutput_4a69fullsizeoutput_4a6afullsizeoutput_4a6bfullsizeoutput_4a6cfullsizeoutput_4a6dfullsizeoutput_4a6ffullsizeoutput_4a70IMG_9273fullsizeoutput_4a72Someone drank a lot of punch…fullsizeoutput_4a73fullsizeoutput_4a74Not sure what’s happening herefullsizeoutput_4a75fullsizeoutput_4a76fullsizeoutput_4a77fullsizeoutput_4a8ffullsizeoutput_4a90fullsizeoutput_4a91fullsizeoutput_4a92fullsizeoutput_4a95fullsizeoutput_4a96fullsizeoutput_4a97fullsizeoutput_4a98My grandfather’s name in the barn.fullsizeoutput_4a9cfullsizeoutput_4a9dfullsizeoutput_4a9efullsizeoutput_4a9ffullsizeoutput_4aa0fullsizeoutput_4aa1fullsizeoutput_4aa2fullsizeoutput_4aa3fullsizeoutput_4aa4fullsizeoutput_4aa5Have a good one friends!

A few more photos from the wedding

LEXA4564Lambert-99When the bride first stepped out of the bridal suite in the big “reveal”Lambert-229Hayley improving the family gene poolLambert-253Mama pinning like a proLambert-333Look at those handsome brothers of mineLambert-756The families together at lastLambert-790This is probably my favorite. What caption would you write?LEXA4908Shoot, that sun flare thoughPILA9373Lex and the Lotus Photography is so talented! I absolutely love the way they captured this special day. I can’t get enough. Honestly, these photos should be in a bridal magazine, don’t you think?!

Maine

fullsizeoutput_4864Ok friends, I know I rant and rave about everywhere I travel, but this time is different. I. AM. IN. LOVE. WITH. MAINE. There, I said it. This state is out-of-this-world beautiful. Everywhere I look I see stunning sea inlets, forest, islands, beaches, quaint little towns, fields of lupins, picturesque bridges. I’m kicking myself for not having visited sooner, and by sooner I mean every single summer for the past twenty two years. Yes, this place is absolutely magical. I’m 99% sure fairies live here because the flowers are GORGEOUS and the woods are definitely enchanted. Everything here is so much older by California standards, and I truly feel like I’m in Europe! I find the history of each building so interesting, and we even stopped by a cemetery with gravestone from the 1700’s! That means those people lived through the Revolutionary war…whaaaaaaaat? The European influence is just so much stronger here, and it’s making me excited for my return to Germany in two months (!!). My little brother visited his girlfriend up here a few weeks ago and was absolutely smitten (ahem, with Maine, that is), but I thought he was exaggerating. Well, I’m sorry Isaac– I know you read this– because YOU WERE RIGHT. Maine is everything.

I’m almost speechless…but not quite. Below are a LOT of photos and descriptions of the places we went on the first leg of our East Coast trip if you’d like to see 🙂

fullsizeoutput_4841fullsizeoutput_4844fullsizeoutput_4845fullsizeoutput_4846fullsizeoutput_4847fullsizeoutput_4848fullsizeoutput_4849fullsizeoutput_484afullsizeoutput_484cfullsizeoutput_484dfullsizeoutput_484efullsizeoutput_484ffullsizeoutput_4850fullsizeoutput_4851fullsizeoutput_4852fullsizeoutput_4853fullsizeoutput_4854fullsizeoutput_4855fullsizeoutput_4856fullsizeoutput_4857fullsizeoutput_4858fullsizeoutput_4859fullsizeoutput_485afullsizeoutput_485bfullsizeoutput_485cfullsizeoutput_485dfullsizeoutput_485efullsizeoutput_485ffullsizeoutput_4860fullsizeoutput_4861fullsizeoutput_4862fullsizeoutput_4863fullsizeoutput_4843fullsizeoutput_4865fullsizeoutput_4866fullsizeoutput_4897fullsizeoutput_4896fullsizeoutput_4895fullsizeoutput_4894fullsizeoutput_4892fullsizeoutput_4891fullsizeoutput_4890fullsizeoutput_488ffullsizeoutput_488dfullsizeoutput_488cfullsizeoutput_488bfullsizeoutput_488afullsizeoutput_4889fullsizeoutput_4888fullsizeoutput_4886fullsizeoutput_4884fullsizeoutput_4883fullsizeoutput_4882

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

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