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!

New Years Goals 2017

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Happy New Year friends! I am at home with a glass of wine and a good book, just the way I like it. So I don’t like to use the word resolutions because it makes me feel like a totally irresolute failure of a person when I fall short of meeting mine! So maybe it’s just semantics, but I prefer to use the word goals when it comes to my ambitions for the coming year. January is an interesting month– the let down after the holidays can be pretty anticlimactic, yet I have to gear up to start another semester. And this is my last semester of college! What. even. So, I figured it would be nice to take a moment to list a few goals, both large and small, I have for 2017. It is sure to be a year of huge transition and change as I try to navigate myself in a new direction post-graduation, but here goes:

  1. Read every night before bed. Seems simple enough…lol.
  2. Memorize a poem (I’m thinking this one).
  3. Learn to tell a  great joke or story. I’ve always wanted to crack people up at a party, but feel too insecure to put myself out there (what if they don’t laugh?!). But I’m 21, I think it’s high time I remedy this!
  4. Improve my German.
  5. Practice photography more regularly (and get creative with the camera settings– no more Manual setting for this girl).
  6. Perform at a Coffee House. Every month my university has an open mic night where students can sing or play instruments, and I’ve always been interested in signing up to sing or play piano but never had the guts! 2017 I’m lookin’ at you.
  7. Move to Germany (I told you there were some biggies on here) ;p

What are your New Years ‘goals’?

And Then I Became A Senior

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I am two days away from being a senior in college. Where exactly did the last three years go?! At the risk of writing an incredibly cliché post filled with nostalgia and disbelief, I’ve decided instead to simply list ten things I’ve learned about life/people/myself over the course of the last three years. Here goes:

  1. Change is inevitable, so try to normalize it instead of making it a huge deal.
  2. Travel light. The less stuff you lug around from living situation to living situation the better.
  3. 99% of the time people aren’t ignoring you on purpose, they’re just busy.
  4. Everyone goes through breakups. Doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, sometimes there really is no ‘nice’ way of going about it.
  5. A final is just a regular test with a scarier name.
  6. Write as much as you can. Even if it’s crappy work, keep writing.
  7. Boys are stupid yet so easy to like!
  8. Read for fun, even when you feel like you don’t have time or energy. It will make you a more interesting person guaranteed.
  9. If you’re feeling unexplainably moody, it probably means you haven’t exercised in a ridiculously long time. Try to remedy that.
  10. Call your parents often. They deserve it.

What do you think, have I gained any wisdom over the years? Sometimes I feel like the theory ‘the older you get, the less you know’ is more accurate! Have a good one friends, I’m off to catch up on four months of sleep!

P.s. Photo from here

My 9 Favorite Instagram Posts from 2015

InstaCollage.jpgMy two favorite social media platforms are this blog and Instagram. I love capturing a quick snap shot of life on Instagram, and then going into more detail on this blog. Above are nine of my favorite Instagram posts from my account in 2015, and below are the reasons why!

1. Pumpkin Patch with my friends Michaela and Jenna. I had so much fun picking out a pumpkin this past October, and the pictures turned out so vibrant and fun!
2. Daria and Julius sitting in the front yard, looking like old folks. These two little kids I watched in Germany over the summer cracked me up all day every day. I will cherish every photo I have of them!
3. Seattle’s waterfront. This photo captures my little brother and I’s trip to Seattle this past August. I fell in love with the city, and could totally see myself there one day.
4. The first picture I took in Hildesheim, Germany. I went on a long walk through town the first day I arrived, and was in awe of the greenery! I had never seen so many trees and flowers in one place.
5. The Pope in his pope-mobile. I snapped this from the crowd of the Vatican. My friends and I were in Rome one weekend in March, and happened to over hear that the Pope was making an appearance.
6. Top of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland. I fell head over heels in love with this city, and the hike to the top of this mountain with panoramic views was a religious experience.
7. Lara, my sweet German friend. She was the little sister I never had, and we spent so much time together this summer! I miss her.
8. Little cousins on Thanksgiving day. My four little girl cousins dressed up as pilgrims and posed for an adoring crowd of relatives in Nashville this Thanksgiving. My heart melted.
9. My tattoo. I am so happy I decided to get my tattoo in 2015, as the word Gentle came to take on a new meaning during this season of life.

P.s. You can follow me on Instagram at msmicahlynne or by clicking the Instagram icon in the sidebar on the right!

Reflections on 2015

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2015 has been a year of transitions. I feel as though I lived two different lives this year– one in Germany and one in America. Sometimes I can’t even believe my experiences in Heidelberg and Hildesheim happened this year. Everything about my life there was so drastically different than my life now, it’s hard to integrate the two. Change and transitions are good, but hard. It’s been a long readjustment process, with more than a few road bumps along the way. I am still processing my time abroad. Somedays I miss Germany more than I can bear, and other days I can’t imagine being anywhere else in the world but Pepperdine. That’s the thing about change: it’s unpredictable. I’m not sure how my heart will feel in the future. But in the midst of all this transition, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about life and myself that will stick with me forever. Here are a few if you’d like to read:

1. It’s okay to be sad. I used to tell myself, “Don’t be sad because there are people in this world who have it so much worse!” I thought I was being bratty for feeling sad. But sadness is sadness, so matter the reason. There is no gradient, it can’t be compared. It is perfectly normal to miss Germany (or whatever) and mourn the loss of something you once had. It will pass.

2. It only takes a few close friends. For some reason, I grew up thinking I had to a have a large group of friends to feel genuinely happy and loved. I tried to please everyone and get to know a million people. But then I realized that is just not realistic. It only takes a few close friends to feel valued and loved. I would rather invest deeply in a few select people than spread myself too thin and not reap the rewards.

3. You’re not supposed to know the future. Why do I so easily fall into the trap of thinking I have to have the future figured out? It’s supposed to be unknown. Otherwise it wouldn’t be the future! Duh Micah. This year I am trying to embrace the uncertainty and let it excite me instead of terrify or frustrate me!

4. Patience is hard. Waiting is hard. Patience doesn’t come easily to me. I wish my desires were granted right now. But I know everything happens in its time, not a moment before. I am trying to accept that truth!

5. I am enough. No one expects me to be more than I am. Sometimes I think I’m lacking something, but that is not true. I was created perfectly. Earlier this year, I designated the word Gentle as my “Word of the Year.” I have not always been gentle with myself or others this year, but I am trying!

Question of the Day
What are a few lessons you’ve learned or reflections you’ve had about 2015?

My Word of the Year

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Recently I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about the idea of having a Word of the Year. A few bloggers I follow and podcasts I listen to have announced their word for 2015- that is, a ‘theme word’ to influence and inspire them this year. I decided I’d like to give this idea a try, so I chose a word that has held deep significance and meaning for my life in the past and hopefully will continue to in the future. And that word is (drum roll please)…
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I am striving to be a gentler person this year. Here are a few of my specific goals:

To be gentle with myself. Someone said to me the other day that the nicest people are often the meanest to themselves. That has always been true in my life. I am considered a generally nice person by most people, and I genuinely strive to be a positive influence. But I am So. Hard. On. Myself. I stay up at night over-analyzing everything I think I did wrong during the day and beating myself up over it, when chances are everyone else has already forgotten it or didn’t notice it in the first place! This year I want to treat myself with gentle kindness mentally and physically, which also means not spreading myself too thin or over exerting myself.

To show gentleness to others. I want to be gentle of speech, always thinking before I speak, and gentle in my actions, always aware of the way my decisions affect others. Of course you can’t put others first 100% of the time, but I will aim to be a considerate, thoughtful person as often as I can.

To find strength in my gentle spirit. I used to think my quiet, introverted personality was a detriment, that I didn’t fit in in this loud world and couldn’t make a difference. But with time I’ve come to appreciate my gentle disposition, and how it sets me a part in unique ways. Several people have called me a gentle spirit, a title I now wear proudly.IMG_9309.JPG
Question of the Day
Have you heard of this concept before? Will you choose a word of the year?

P.s. My post Amsterdam: A City Guide is currently featured on the travel blog Route Bliss if you’d like to see it!

The Return

Happy Friday friends! Last night I attended an event called The Return here at Pepperdine, where alumni of the different International Programs set up booths to answer the Freshman’s questions and get them excited about applying to go abroad. My Heidelberg group showed up in full force (and Leiderhosen and Dirndles) to convince the world that Germany really is the best program. Above is a video they showed and below are a few photos from the night. Enjoy!11949366_10207341834331670_961381084620797586_n.jpg
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P.s. I’m taking a little break from my Friday Obsessions series, but you can read past posts here.