Aug 14, 2014

a summer in memoriam

MAI // 
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Juin //  photo DSC_0146_zpsc867f2db.jpg
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Juillet // 
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 photo DSC_0383_zpsc4a95079.jpg{if you haven't noticed already...we took a lot of pictures when i was down in LA X) } 
AoÛT // 
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all in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer - one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going - one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.
|| anne's house of dreams, lucy maud montgomery || 

summer twenty fourteen. where do i even begin?
this summertime was a romance novel, an adventure, a vibrant mosaic composed of both firsts and lasts. it was days painted in gold, and memories preserved in sepia tones rather than journals.

summer dawned early in may. textbooks were thrown away with jubilant celebrations, and i took my first plane trip in over seventeen years. this small town californian girl meeting pensacola's sugary white shores resulted in a culture shock for sure, but i think i have left a part of my heart there i have yet to recover.

weekends in june were spent with friends in lavender fields, swing dancing, and combing downton shops. other days were spent running after kids in muggy 90 degree weather, while evenings were filled with Skype dates and the planning of week and a half long trips.

july brought menagerie of adventures including that of visiting my dear OC family for 10 days, and my first stay in Arrowhead. from the time i met up with johanna in an azusa costco until the very last day when we parted over in n' out burgers - every single second was filled with uncontrollable laughter, frightful teasing, traditions two years established, inside jokes, and echoing memories that are now lining my shelf. out the three trips i've made down to LA, this year was by far the best.

august came in the blink of an eye, with a handful of goodbyes i was reluctant to say. last sunday, after weeks and weeks and WEEKS of misunderstandings, mishaps, and miscommunications; my family and i {along with my very dear friends} pulled off one of the best church gatherings i can even remember, as all my good friends bid me goodbye. read about it here. my best friends surprised me with a stunning coral dress {with a matching nautical bracelet} that i've been admiring ever since it was first displayed in my favorite downton shop. last night, we went shooting in the country and sat under a ceiling of never-ending stars as a last hurrah to summer. 
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now, i'm here: my last day in cali, and tomorrow my parents and i are packing up the only life i've ever known for the past seventeen years, and making our way to florida over the next two weeks. i'll admit, that i've been swinging from wild excitement to utter terror all within these past 72 hours; but i am looking forward to the many adventures i'll be sharing come christmastime.

do tell me about your summers!

and to all you students/graduates who went faraway for college shoot me your best college advice + something that you couldn't live without in your college years. ;)

je t'aime beaucoup, mes amis. 

xx
listening to // c'est ça l'amour || laughter lines || make this leap || love like this

Aug 5, 2014

created for a place I've never known...

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I've got my memories. always inside of me. but I can't go back. back to how it was. 
created for a place I've never known.  
this is home. now I'm finally where I belong. 
this is home // switchfoot 
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|| the food in the florida? amazing!...and also mostly fried. (from right to left): shrimp po boy, fried avocado taco, grilled tuna w/lobster fennel sauce & smoked gouda grits ||
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|| stills taken on my trip to pensacola, florida this past may || 

a lot of people think i'm crazy. moving from coast to coast, uprooting from small social circles only small towns offer. why are you leaving home? 

i sincerely believe there is a difference between "home" and "belonging." home is a gift, free so long as you freely receive it. it's not simply a house on a hill or four walls, but memories preserved in the people you choose to spend time with. it is laughter lines on grandparents and aunts who never fail to make you smile, and old photographs of your family tree on the mantel. it is siblings who wake you up early on christmas day and best friends who make it hard to leave. home is wherever the cliche "home is where the heart is" is kept alive. 

belonging, on the other hand, is not freely given. it is something that must be earned, that must be fought for with blood, sweat, and tears. it is enduring the broken hearts and the cuts from the jagged pieces. the misunderstandings and the disapprovals and the goodbyes you never in a million years dreamed of saying. it is the long nights tormented by homesickness and the missing and the tears over people who will forget you in time. but it is the peace that you feel when you know are where God has placed you. belonging is a place when you know you are in His will.  

California is and always will be my home. Florida, is where i know i'm bound
xx 
p.s. i know it's been quiet of late. college packing and prepping and last-minute get-togethers don't allow for much of blogging - for anything really. i'm still writing bits n' pieces {while i'm on the hunt for a blank journal}, though, and if you want to stop by my tumblr or instagram (gracethelavendergirl) and leave a note, I'd dearly love that. 

Jul 21, 2014

"every holmes must have his watson" | happy birthday, m'dear miss watson.

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I've never made a vow in my life, and after tonight I never will again. So here, in front of you all, my first and last vow...whatever it takes, whatever happens, from now on I swear I will always be there. always. 
Sherlock, The Sign of Three
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stills from our adventures at Shelter Island, San Diego || & || our traditional tea at San Juan Capistrano 


It's Fascinating How we're taught that 'home' is this tangible place, the most simply defined of terms - it's a house, a postcode, a country. AND YET SOMETIMES HOME CANNOT BE EXPLAINED BY A STREET NUMBER; SOMETIMES IT'S A FACE, A VOICE, A LAUGH MORE HONEST AND FAMILIAR THAN ANY TRUTH YOU HAVE EVER KNOWN. WE'RE TAUGHT THAT IN ITS MOST LITERAL SENSE, HOME IS WHERE WE LIVE AND GROW. BUT ONE DAY, IN THE SILENCE THAT FOLLOWS NOSTALGIC STORIES AND SUBSEQUENT LAUGHTER, YOU MAY REALIZE THAT YOU NEVER DID MORE LIVING OR GROWING THAN WHEN YOU HAD CERTAIN PEOPLE BY YOUR SIDE. AND SUDDENLY, YOU ARE HOME. K. R. R.
we were driving home, the other evening, from a very interesting day spent at NIHD camp. out the window, the western sun was gently cutting through the clouds, painted gold over a rippling pacific. i was thinking back upon all the stoa people i had met over the day, new faces - yet not so new after the months of hearing descriptions from johanna and the family. and i looked over and saw one dear face, so familiar that in a flickering moment i could tell what she was thinking.  

"I love how honest we can be in front of each other."
"I love how at home we feel with each other." was your response, completed with a contented sigh. 

it reaffirmed my belief that home isn't a house, but a road that keeps leading you running back to people - the people who you can banter with, tease, tear apart, read like a book, and still feel comforted that they won't scared enough to run away from your insanity {better yet, heighten and join in on it}, even after so many do. they won't leave even if 262.4 miles and a year's time separate you. they will remain mad at those who genuinely offend them. they are as - john green described, "the people you can think out loud in front of." 
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so thank you, dear friend, for taking the time to make our friendship work despite the distance and the curveballs life apparently is apt to throw at us. thank you for being my crazy, insane bisque; my confidant; my starbucks sis; my watson to my holmes. XD
i hope you know that no matter where i go, no matter how many miles separate us {whether three hundred miles or three thousand} nor how crazy busy life may get, i will always love you and will always thank the Lord for orchestrating our meeting and giving me you as a friend. above all, thank you for sweetening these past four years {are you sure it wasn't twenty loooong, trudging years?  XD} with your sweet spirit and kind ways. here's to our always. ;)  

happy birthday, my dearest JW.
love you oh so much further than just to the moon and back, okay?
- your MH {aka your little almond joy} 

p.s. one more post about my OC adventures, and that's it. promise. XD