Photos from life lately and not-so-lately

IMG_6986.JPGMy boyfriend and I recently did a little photoshoot with a tripod and my DSLR camera. It was so nice to use my big camera again. iPhone cameras have gotten so good that I often just use my phone. But honestly, there’s something so special about a tactile camera. I’m grateful for the reminder.IMG_6991.JPGIMG_6988.JPGIMG_6984.JPGBelow are a few photos from Washington last September. I also used my DSLR camera and I love how they turned out. There’s something really special about capturing candid moments with my family. B2393542-016F-4F47-8447-A505EE4F798E.JPG577FA579-ED35-4222-895E-EF243E88C77B.JPGE1C1928E-00DC-4996-B839-2B17809AE995.JPG17D2C0FB-442D-479C-AB3D-08AE749C5694.JPG1C77E201-4F95-4C3C-8F0F-CACF727B7EC3.JPGFDCE1AB2-BBB6-437A-A73F-573331FC9311.JPG8E6146E3-648E-4187-A469-B03D642C9FF4.JPG

Dutch Tulips with Mom and Dad

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…

Israel!

When my friend Jessica asked in November if I wanted to go to Jerusalem, I took a moment to think about it. I had never been anywhere in the Middle East. I am comfortable with Europe, but this would be something new entirely. Having grown up in church in Los Angeles, I knew all the Bible stories by heart and remember studying the map of Israel in my Bible when I was (bored) in church. How could I say no when I was only a short flight away? So off we went.

First of all, Jerusalem was so much greener than I imagined. Hilly and rocky, with yellow wild flowers and tall, skinny trees. The city is built out of creamy limestone. The old city has four quarters: jewish, christian, muslim and Armenian. We went on some walking tours to get more information, which was helpful! It struck me as a city full of contradictions- a devout jewish man praying for peace at the Western Wall right next to a an Israeli soldier with a machine gun. I was taken by the complexity of the milieu.

One day we did a bus tour into the Judean desert. We climbed the mountain to the fortress of Masada, which was built by king Herod the Great as a military look out and retreat of sorts. Then we went to the Oasis park called Ein Gedi. It had beautiful waterfalls and gentle rivers. I think I finally understand the concept of a desert oasis! But my favorite part was swimming in the Dead Sea, which is HUGE! I thought it would be a little lake. The mud is good for the skin, so of course we covered ourselves in it! The water stung a little bit because it is so salty, but it was fun to lean back and float effortlessly.

We also went on a tour of the tunnels under the city built by King Hezekiah. Its so funny: the tour guide was asking all these questions about jewish history and I knew the answers automatically- buried deep from years of Vacation Bible School I guess! She was like “How old was king Solomon when he was crowned?” and I blurted out “12!” No idea where that came from haha!

I was fascinated with how the jewish religion emphases outward expressions of faith (clothing, behavior, hair, food, etc.). This is so different than the ways we are taught to express faith at home in America, which is more internal. I loved seeing an entire city (or section of the city) on the same page, with religion at the center.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I’m so glad I went and would definitely recommend it. Enjoy the photos below!

The long hike up to Masada was worth it for this view!The Dead Sea!Israelis sure know how to cater to white western protestants hahaThe Dome of the Rock was gorgeous! We couldn’t go inside because we are not muslim but it was stunning!

Leiden, Netherlands

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with x1 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetThe Dutch people are so chic. It’s wild.

My grad program had a conference in Leiden. It is like a mini Amsterdam with less tourists and less fear of getting hit by a bike at all times.

Enjoy a few photos!

A Sunday Afternoon Walk

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetIMG_0944My hands turned red approximately one second after this photo was taken and never really recovered.IMG_0936Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetLove this row of colorful houses. Can I have the middle one, please?IMG_0942Glove hand problems. I need to get some of those digital gloves that you can touch your phone screen with!IMG_0953IMG_0919Home again, warming up.

iPhone Photos from Life Lately

33990076_10211495493364304_2748167324363128832_nHello friends, how are you? I’ve been having fun traipsing around Europe with my little brother and our childhood friend who is conveniently studying abroad in Germany this summer. It feels so nice to be able to let loose completely and be around people who’ve known you your whole life. There’s nothing like it. After I spend time with them, I always stop and think why did that feel so different?

Because being known is everything. It is so important and I’ve missed that feeling a bit this year. You don’t realize how much your body and soul needs to be known until you’re placed in a new environment. I’m so glad to share these summer months with them. Below are a few photos from life lately. Enjoy!33745830_10211495460163474_4496772574990041088_nThe neighborhood of Kreuzberg was my favorite spot in Berlin. So funky. So punk. So cool.33778507_10211495461003495_3373443476657012736_nEuro brother in Frankfurt.33924036_10211495461883517_1836779894126673920_nBowling. Reader, I was HORRIBLE. Consistently horrible all ten rounds. My pride is still recovering.33826522_10211495462843541_4306190182983401472_n
At the Heidelberg castle.

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Well, enough said.33847724_10211495459803465_7319151032942985216_nHiking to the petting zoo with a class from school. The bus didn’t show up so it turned into a rather long adventure, but at least the scenery was pretty ;p

Have a good one!