Jan 29, 2015

dear fifteen.

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dear age fifteen, 
I know you want to run. all those nights you sat on the fence and stared up at the hazy hills flecked with november light, you wanted to run.

even now, I have to remind myself that running doesn't solve problems. sometimes, it feels like the world is too small, closing in on you, chocking you. and you need a bit of space to breathe. and sometimes, I known, it feels like it's too big and you want to scream to anyone who will hear you, but your voice feels shaky, unworthy, insignificant.  so you keep quiet, hoping someone will notice your silence. but they don't. everyone's too busy with their own monsters, darling. you're hurting and feel a little bit out of place. okay, a lot out of place. but I want you to remember that it's okay - everyone feels a bit out of place, forgotten, lonely, unloved, and lost at times, and it's okay not to be okay. I'm not going to sugar coat things when I say life is unfair and loving is probably one of the hardest things you're ever going to do. it's going to hurt. and maybe you don't understand why you keep choosing it, why you can't stop loving and feeling so deeply, but that's what the Lord put in you. to keep feeling the pulse of this life. no matter what.
and it's all a process. growing up is a process. 

but you know what? there's always one thing: hope. these are your snapshots of His grace. this is your story: those sleepless nights are the nights that you will feel closest to your Heavenly Father. those broken relationships will be the ones that teach about loving unconditionally. if you let it all. 
you're learning and growing and reaching and stretching. change hurts. change comes slowly, subtly, painfully; and disappointments happen more often than naught. staying takes courage. 
however, one day, you're going to test the wings that you built. you're going to meet so many incredible people - people who love like you do and share the same passions that make your heart beat a little harder. you're going to find purpose - you're going to find love - and nothing's going to stop you from pursuing all that your heart holds dear. you're going to travel, and things that at one point you thought were entirely impossible are going to happen to you. everyday you're going to live in wide-eyed wonder at what the Lord is doing in your life. and you're going to learn how to miss people, genuinely, unselfishly, whole-heartedly. 

one day you're going to fly | & | it will be magnificent.
-- a letter of advice to my younger self who will never read it 

Jan 4, 2015

to remind us where we've been // fall semester.

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maps stretched out -
too many miles to count...
another pin pushed in to remind us where we've been and every mile adds up
and leaves a mark on us.
:: "west" // sleeping at last :: 
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{photo credit: moriah elisabeth photography}
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// bits n' pieces from "abroad"  || august - september  // 
++ i went to places i only read about in history books & the alamo in san antonio is a lot smaller than i ever imagined it to be. 
++ first latte art i've ever had was at a hipster cafe in lafayette, LA.
++ imagine roundabouts with sculpted fountains surrounded by tree-lined avenues and round windows and white trimmed shutters on chateaus and marble driveways with wrought-iron gates and brick, cobblestone walkways. i found my dream neighborhood that felt like it had come straight out of cinderella's fairytale.
++ chai latte gelato from  quaint gelateria is officially my new favorite. oh, and LOTR soundtrack + gelato go really well hand-in-hand.
++ i had a bit too much fun in front of this girl's camera {even though we did practically melt in the august humidity} and was so thankful to have actually met her in person!
++ while the roaring pacific always has my heart, florida's sugary beaches make my heart happy.
// college life || 
++ i've got to be honest and say that there were moments during my first semester that were rather disheartening {the first few weeks after my parents left were incredibly challenging}. pretty mail from my parents and my dearest friends hannah {who gathered letters from delight girls: samantha and dear emily just to name a few ;)} bethany, eve, mikailah, marcia, and care packages from my bests joanna and jw made it bearable. so thankful for faraway friends.
++ Delight has been such an incredible ministry and has introduced me to some amazing girls in my college life. for my birthday, my dear friend Taylor, Moriah, Makaela, and the sweet Kristi who are all stellar photographers, and I had a Delight girl meet-up. We drank lattes, took thousands of pictures of latte art, chased after sunbursts - the usual things that Delight girls do. it's was a dream to hang out with such classy girls, and i can't wait to do it again. more on that later. ;) 
++ my favorite hour on Mondays and Wednesday was the hour dedicated to speech. i was blessed with an incredible speech teacher and a really fun class.
++ i don't know where i would have been without my roommate sarah. we've shared some pretty unbelievable adventures thus far!
++ i went nighttime zip-lining with my collegian. 
++ the first fine arts was made very special by a fellow californian who gathered the courage to ask a complete stranger passing by the window one night. :)
++ whoever did not sign up for campus parents definitely missed out on afternoons spent in hammocks, sipping pumpkin creamed coffee, chasing sunsets on the beach, ice cream, doughnut drop-offs, and above all home cooked dinners {which after eating cafeteria food vs. organic goodness found in cali is a BIG deal}.
++ the line for tickets was well worth it as the christmas dramatic productions of "Meet Me in St. Louis" was absolutely brilliant! i admit screaming when my speech lecture teacher made a special appearance. 
++ i do have blogger girls/photographers i highly admire, and it was awesome to hang out with a fellow west coaster in the houston airport. hannah is bubbly and sweet and kind and genuine and and funny and talented and a fun-loving senior who i can't wait to catch up with this coming semester.  

it amazes me how many memories one can stow away within six months. 
here's to the adventures that await for the spring semester. 

Jan 1, 2015

i've come to know that memories were the best things you ever had // 2014 in review.

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if we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting the rest of our lives. 
// lemony snicker //  
january // the new year brought about change, offering a new chance to be brave. the trees blushed and the days were spent exploring northern california's quaint town of capitola. 
february // was spent busily making crafts for st. valentine's and setting up shop.
march // balls were attended, coloring the otherwise slow in-between months. i fell in love, while margins of my journal were filled with poetry.
april // the earth laughed in wildflowers. 
may // milestones were marked. bags were packed. i graduated from high school, hopped on a plane to florida, and college wasn't such a far off dream. afternoons were spent rummaging through antiquing and combing through downtown shops. 
june // my best friend joanna and i frolicked in whimsy, sun-drenched fields of twilight and lavender-scented dreams came true.
july // i was brought to a place where the world stands still amidst wispy pines; and the days were brimming with reunions, late nights, perusing antique shops, strolls in the mountain breeze, and SoCal adventures with my dearest jw. 
august // was a whirlwind with days filled with packing for a trip across the states and preparing for a going away party. the summer slammed shut with star-gazing nights, a beautiful gathering under a canopy of handmade buntings and teary goodbyes. it was an ending of an era and a beginning of a journey. arizona, new mexico, texas, and louisiana flew past my window as we crossed the mississippi to pensacola, florida. 
september // i began my first semester 3000 miles away from home. i learned to spread my wings a bit, juggling papers and projects and speeches whilst earning a new appreciation for home. 
october // my eighteenth year dawned with parcels and letters to spare. i was blessed with the opportunity of meeting up with some delight girls and outings to the sugary beaches. 
november // the seasons were reluctant to change. nonetheless, christmas was in the air and couldn't come soon enough. 
december // christmas break came along. bags were packed. goodbyes were said, and home never felt so warm and inviting. 

i don't want to forget these moments. these moments of being purely, incandescently happy. these memories and stories and adventures. life can be so thrilling at times, one mustn't miss a moment to soak it all in. 

my life has been such a whirlwind of late, i can barely remember who i was or what happened earlier this year. life has changed so drastically in such a short period of time, but it's a good change. for once, i don't fear it. 2014 was the first year i can honestly say was good to me. it was an adventure, an ending and a beginning, full of firsts and lasts, nostalgic, challenging - it was an "out with the old, in with the new" type of year, filled with laughter, tears, and new appreciations for what truly matters in life. 2015 already looks promising with a disneyland trip to wish me off before i tackle another semester in florida, and i'm savoring these last two weeks of being home with people i hold most dear.

what are you looking forward to in 2015? 
postscript // i'm approaching 5 years of blogging this coming year!!! thanks so much for sticking around, dearies. <3 comment-3--="">
p.s.s. collage + post inspired by my lovely friend marcia. do stop by her dear little corner of the blogosphere!
*title lyrics from "old pine" by ben howard.