Chicago and Michigan with Isaac

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetimg_3938img_3913img_391958172285483__051d04e5-f5d6-41f1-8cf2-dff352119533A few weeks ago, I flew up to Chicago to visit my little brother. He is doing an internship in St. Jo, Michigan, and he drove down to pick me up. We spent the morning in Chicago (it’s so cool!), and then headed up to Michigan. The lake was HUGE and gorgeous. I was having cognitive dissonance– I kept saying, “This has to be the ocean!!!” and Isaac kept saying, “No, Micah. It’s a lake. I promise.” It was so much fun and I definitely recommend Michigan to anyone looking for a beautiful, affordable trip to the coast.

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.

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!

Germany Week 1

fullsizeoutput_4cf6Hello friends! I apologize for the radio silence around here lately– I’ve been busy readjusting to life in Germany. My brain is on over-drive trying to speak German and remember all the little ins and outs of another culture. It’s been both challenging and rewarding. Below are a few photos from the last week and a half in Frankfurt if you’d like to see 🙂IMG_4409Strollin’ around the Altstadt with a friend. Are those building gorgeous or what?IMG_4429IMG_4467IMG_4469I love the mix of old and new architecture in Frankfurt. Fun fact: it is the only city in Germany with a big, recognizable skyline.fullsizeoutput_4cf7Processed with VSCO with b1 presetThe Alter Oper, or old opera, is one of my favorite spots in town.IMG_4506IMG_4507My friend and I at the indoor market. IMG_4509IMG_4510IMG_4511IMG_4512IMG_4513The flower market is so beautiful. It made me want to have a garden like a good German!IMG_4515IMG_4525IMG_4527Friends at small group. It was so nice to reconnect. The little boy above has grown so much in the last year and his German is better than mine now. It blew my mind.IMG_4529IMG_4546This kiddo turned one years old. I went with a friend to his birthday party in a small town just outside Frankfurt. I want a cake like that for my 23rd birthday this year!IMG_4555Now I’m off to Cologne for a week of Fulbright orientation. Wish me luck!

Little Letter

IMG_6767Dear Succulents,
I tried not to buy into the succulent craze that has swept the nation in recent years, but I officially give in. You are SO cool. My friend took me to a succulent nursery the other day and I was amazed. I need to get some of you for my room in Germany.

Dear Rob Bell,
You are a great author and speaker. I’m currently reading your book “What we talk about when we talk about God” and it does not disappoint.

Dear Little Brother,
You are such a tease. I only got to spend a few hours with you yesterday before you were off again! But I sure to love the time we have together 🙂

Dear Germany,
Two and a half weeks. I’m coming for you.

Dear Hair,
Not sure what to do with you these days. Any thoughts?

Dear Summer,
You simultaneously flew by and took your sweet time.

Dear Tattoo,
That’s right, I got a second tattoo. You look more and more beautiful to me each day. I hope I’m not getting too addicted to tattoos…;p

P.s. photo from the Grand Canyon this past June

Little Letter

IMG_7861Dear “Gilmore girls”,
I started watching you again for the third time and you never disappoint. But to be honest, I’m still a little miffed about the ending of the revival. I won’t spoil it here, but it sure was a cliffhanger and now I’m thinking we need another revival to satiate us.

Dear Quote,
The other day I heard, “No one hangs hard times on the wall.” That really spoke to me for some reason. It is so easy to assume everyone is fairing better than you at any given moment, but the truth is we are all dealing with the sadness and pain of life. You are never alone in hardship, ever.

Dear Paddle Board,
I enjoyed taking you out for a spin on the lake last night. But all those jet skiers were zipping around me making the water choppy and I had a hard time getting much of anywhere.

Dear Texas,
You sure are hot during the summer. Boy, just when I think it can’t get any hotter, it does! Maybe I’m a California weather wimp, but I still am not used to it.

Dear Coffee,
Just reminding you how much I love you. Never forget.

Dear “The Lilac Girls”,
Just started this new book and am already a fourth of the way through. Historical fiction is my jam.

Dear Germany,
Are you as excited as I am for my return on August 23rd? I sure hope so, cuz I can’t hardly think of anything else!

P.s. Photo from our time in Bar Harbor, Maine 🙂

Iceland

jhygtfrdWow, Iceland took my breath away. I had a quick two day stop before I head home to California today and I must say, two days is certainly not enough to discover this incredible island! I’m not even sure an entire lifetime would be enough. Below are a few photos from my tour of The Golden Circle and my day exploring Reykjavíc. Enjoy! asdUntitledsdafsdszvc^Our first stop was a hollowed out crater-turned-lake. I’m not even going to attempt to write the names of all these places because they are incredibly complicated. Icelandic is such an interesting language. It reminds me of German in some ways, but is considered one of the most pure languages on earth– since the island was so isolated for so long, the language has changed very little from the viking days! asdcvbasdfvsfdghvj^Next was this beautiful waterfall on someone’s private property! Imagine having this in your backyard. Iceland is definitely the land of a thousand waterfalls.cvcxvbnm^Reminds me of Montana or Wyoming!dsdgfhgjfdssfggfsd^This national park was probably my favorite stop of the day. It is the sight of the first parliament of Iceland, back in the days of the vikings, as well as the place where the European and North American plates collide! rtuyihureagfdlk^You can actually walk between the two continental plates! So cool. It seemed symbolic of my life right now– half european, half American haha.IMG_8148kdfgjhkdgfhjflsdfgh^Geysers that go off every five minutes or so. The temperature of the water was between 80-100 degrees Celsius, but I still wanted to take a bath in it. sdfgzfxgfchvcfghj

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset^I even got to walk on a glacier. This is the second largest glacier in Europe and third largest in the world. I felt like I was floating on clouds (and I got really sunburnt!).

sdfgc^Waterfall from glacial run-off! fgs^Downtown Reykjavic is so colorful! I enjoyed the Scandinavian design aesthetic. fsdxz^Cool photography shop!gfdsgfdsda^Arresting views from the Hallgrimskirkja, the famous church in town.ghfhgfsdmjnbghfvhnfgdcsikojujhgjhgfdkujgtgfdsuikyjghfgdfsdThanks for the fun times Iceland! I’ll be back one day, but for now I’m off to sunny Southern California 🙂