July 17, 2017

hydrangeas & the sound of music.

+ i was having a conversation with my sister yesterday about enjoying this season of life instead of wishing it away or pining for another time. it kind of evolved into ways that we can make our lives happier, things we can appreciate, etc. she made a poignant point - that God could have made our world dull, gray, unimagined. instead, He created green mountains and beach sunsets, golden hills and changing seasons. He did that because He loves us and He knew that these beautiful scenes would add value to our lives. idk maybe this is obvious but i had never thought of it this way before? this art was unnecessary - it's just because He loves us that much. i love that. i want to appreciate it more.

+ on a similar train of thought, i am currently reading "the nesting place" by myquillyn smith (seriously thought she must be mormon with a name like that) and she focuses a lot on our need, as humans, and especially as females, to create art. art means different things to different people - but there is something about creating something beautiful, or even just experiencing something beautiful things that just makes your heart soar, you know? it's a god-like quality, because God loves beautiful things. anyway, her book talks about how you can make your home a place of beauty and refuge without spending a lot of money or having everything be perfectly clean all of the time. i love the idea that you can use your limits as creative challenges, because chances are you are never going to live in a perfectly "designed for you" dream home. i love to decorate and i think i've made our apartment pretty cozy. but is my home as inviting as i want it to be? am i appreciating all of the purposes it serves for me? are there inexpensive DIY projects i could take on to feel like i am actively creating a home for myself? yes yes and yes. i am feeling a few spray paint projects comin on!

+ jordan is going on a work trip to utah in september and we decided weeks ago that i would tag along. well the dates were just finalized and it's over my birthday! at first i was like "crap, do i want to be there over my birthday?" and then i kept thinking about it... guys i am S T O K E D out of my mind!! i didn't realize it until moving to SF and starting real life, but utah is my comfort zone. utah is home and utah is nostalgic to me in a way that going home to their parents is for most. i get to see family and spend time in the mountains and i wish that we could skip right over august and GET THERE already !!

+ last week i went to a sing-a-long of the sound of music at the castro theatre with my friend april. this has been on my bucket list for as long as i can remember - and i don't know if it was the anticipation, or the fact that sound of music is incredibly nostalgic to me, but that night KNOCKED it out of the park !!! it was one of my favorite things i've done in the city so far - and i've covered a lot of ground. (and yes, it is just like it sounds. a theatre full of adults singing along, laughing, cheering loudly, etc. some people even dressed up!) i sang until my throat was hoarse and cried every time they sang edelweiss. (my grandfather, who passed away years ago, would sing that song to me as a child and so it is incredibly tender to me.) would 10/10 recommend that everyone do this. WHAT A NIGHT.

+ the hydrangeas are in bloom in SF !! they are colorful and fluffy and make everything so beautiful.

July 13, 2017

a post dedicated to my sister.

ashlyn came to visit last month and we had THE most fabulous time. i need a place to dump all of the pictures we took, so i'll just take a second and tell you all how amazing she is. SRSLY THO. 

ashlyn is funny and sweet and understanding and easy to talk to. she is the perfect combination of "going with the flow" but also taking charge of situations. she goes back and stalks me on instagram and twitter and facebook and re-likes all of my posts to make me feel loved and also to remind me of all the dumb things we used to post on each other's walls. ashlyn is real and honest and raw but still upbeat and happy and a total straight arrow. she is such a good example to me of working hard and doing your best, day in and day out. it's SO easy to be proud of her. she listens to me complain and cry but always makes me laugh and she is maybe the only person on planet earth that i would invite to live with jordan and i LITERALLY without a moment's hesitation. she is one of my life's greatest blessings and i love being related to her!

July 7, 2017

a weekend away.

we (finally) took a weekend away! jordan and i drove to palm springs for a few days over the fourth of july. it started with a little hiccup (our room at the saguaro hotel wasn't ready when we arrived, so they told us they would call us when it WAS ready. well...they never called?) but once we got that resolved it was smooth sailing. so smooth, we hardly left the hotel. we predominately slept and laid by the pool. we sprinkled a few other activities in - golfing, a cactus farm, going out to eat, a movie - but it was incredibly low-key. i only have like 10 pictures to show from the entire trip (very unlike me.) 

our time together is so limited and we have been spending so much time with friends and family and guests - just the two of us was so needed and such a reprieve.

we drove home on the fourth and got in with enough time to maybe catch some fireworks with friends. instead we opted to stay in, order dinner, and cuddle because we weren't ready to let go of our little one on one bubble just yet. (lucky for us we didn't totally miss out on fourth fireworks - our neighbors one block up off a string of highly illegal fireworks that we were able to enjoy from our balcony. thanks, guys!)

June 26, 2017

an essay on girlfriends.

it is scientifically proven that people with stronger and meaningful connections to others are happier, and people that do not have those connections are unhappier and they long for those connections. so it's no surprise that the big, fat secret to being happy and having a full life is to have good relationships - with your husband, your family, but also... YOUR GIRLS !!!!

quick back story: when i graduated from high school and moved away for my freshman year of college, i was still very much lost as to who i was. i had low self esteem and false direction and i felt like i was constantly having to convince others, as well as myself, that i was worthy and good. in every sense, i was a drifting soul. the end of my freshman year, i became friends with a group of girls who, essentially, changed my life. they were so kind to me and we had so much fun together. they believed in me and celebrated my victories. they made me feel like i was worthy and for the first time in my life, i could stop trying to convince everyone of that fact.

it sounds a little melodramatic, but they saved me from myself. they put ground underneath my feet and gave my life an upward direction. i feel wildly undeserving of these friends, but they paved the way for me! because of them, i desire to be that kind of friend to girls around me and i desire to HAVE those kind of influences in my life, everywhere we go - since my original girls are scattered throughout the US.

this is a subject i am feel very strongly about and will evangelize for until the day i die. girlfriends, to this day, are the meat of my life - they make my life so full, they keep me grounded and sane, they make my life SO FUN. so let's talk about this for a few minutes.

my husband is obviously my number one priority. he is my life and he always will be - but trailing closely behind are my girlfriends, for MANY reasons. here's a few reasons why having a "girl gang" is so important:

1. girls can relate to each other on a level that you can't with male counterparts. (not deeper, just different!)

2. you can talk freely about things that would bore/annoy/confuse your husband or boyfriend.
3. the more love you give, the more you have to give. the more loyalty you feel to others, the more you feel in return. friendship has the power to increase the quality of our lives in such a significant way. tapping into that is so important!

4. girlfriends boost you up. sometimes you just need to hear that you are such a patient person, or that your top is SO cute, or that you have been working really hard and need a break. and the opportunity to GIVE that to people boosts you, too.

5. shopping partners, duh.

6. for my married gals - having girlfriends helps keeps you balanced. it's easy to just disappear into husband-land, but being friends with many people helps me be a better friend and companion to jordan. and tbh, if you don't have good girlfriends - that's a lot of pressure on your husband to fulfill every friendship need that you have. spread the love, it's healthy.

7. we need the support of an army of women. (warning - soapbox.) we all NEED each other and i wish more girls saw it that way! i really feel like we are responsible for taking each other under our wings, helping each other out, and sticking up for each other. in a world where our gender is under attack and it can be really difficult to be a navigate what "woman" means to you, we need to be encouraging each other and NEVER tearing each other down. i believe that women are naturally more inclined to be nurturers - to our children, to our husbands, but also to each other. i take the term "sisterhood" very seriously - we are all sisters and we should treat each other as such!! there is SO MUCH power in female friendship - you take power from each other & you create power by bonding together.

beyond the obligation to take care of each other, there is this simple truth -  having girlfriends is just such a JOY! friends to go dancing with! friends to have sleepovers with! friends to scream about cute baby animals and pretty shoes with! friends who will listen when you talk for 15 minutes straight! gym buddies, brunch buddies, romcom buddies, funny snapchat stories, people you can cry in front of when you have a hard day. it's all just so good.

--- my girlfriends have seen me through different stages of life and many hardships & they take care of me in a way that nobody else can. (i am lucky to be married now, but they talked me through soooo many breakups too. bless them!)

we all need girlfriends who will sympathize when you're struggling to balance home and work, who will hear you out when another girl hurts your feelings but encourage you to forgive her anyway, who will open our eyes to different ways of life and trains of thought.

the bottom line is this - there is just no substitute for strong female characters in your life. 

aaand now few things that i have learned while navigating the world of girlfriendships:

+ you can relate to a lot more people than you think you can. i have met ladies at church who are a decade older than me, with several kids, & who's personality is polar opposite of mine. and to my surprise, we connect on a deep level and they add so much value to my life! never rule anybody out because you think they are not your "type." every woman can enrich your life. ("different people, different blessings" is one of my favorite quotes.)

+ show up for the people that show up for you. unfortunately, not all girlfriends are created equal. some will be super flakey (no excuses for a flakey friend, i don't care how busy you are. we are all busy!) some will back bite and compete with you, some will gossip about you, some will leave you out to try and form high school esque "clicks", some will turn on you when problems arise. forgive and forget and always have faith in people - but invest your time in people who treat you like you treat them. the payoff is much higher.

+ try to listen way more than you talk. i can run my mouth like NOBODY'S business and although it's so important to feel heard - i have found myself appreciating and loving girlfriends more deeply when i listen to them a lot. fulfilling that need for people is very sacred.

+ and lastly, be the instigator. there have been times in my life where i feel lonely and unhappy with my friend situation. this stinks...but take the reins! organize a lunch date or a movie night and reach out to acquaintances. seek out friendships and they will start coming to you - it's the law of reciprocity. be a good friend to people and it will start coming back your way.  sometimes good friends happen upon you, but a lot of times you go out and find them yourself.

i am so grateful for the "collection" of girls that i have picked up in my 26 years. they inspire me and make my life sparkle. now if you've made it to the end of this novel - good for you! now go make some more friends and call the ones you already have!

June 23, 2017

and a happy summer to you, too.

summer in san francisco usually means foggy, gloomy, depressing weather. it has been unseasonably clear and sunny instead! i have laid out on the deck and invited friends over for summer s'mores.

my friend jordan (not to be confused with my husband) moved here for the summer for her husband to do a tech internship. HOW i have needed this girl in my life! i have just really been in need of a girlfriend who is a good time, who is reliable and always down to do something fun, and who is a positive, happy presence in my life. she has been such a blessing and we are having a BLAST together.

jordan spent the better part of a week working in austin. when he arrived home, he brought a gorgeous arrangement of flowers home with him and i snapped this picture the next morning. i know i'm a little biased, but he is the most handsome guy in the universe & i love him so much it hurts my heart.

my sister came to town! we covered so much ground and laughed so much during those five days. i am already wishing i could re-live it all!

lastly, jordan and i are going on a vacation!! it's small. and short. but it's a vacation! we are escaping for a few days to palm springs - to swim and sleep and (hopefully) leave jordan's work phone in the car the whole time! i am SO thrilled for a break and some one on one time with my babe!

May 29, 2017

sf lately - may.

(and april. oops.)

honestly, the last two months have flown by and at the same time they've been so s l o w. our time is not really marked by anything except working, day in and day out so it all kind of mushes together into a blob. jordan has been getting CRUSHED at work so bad that for a month stretch there, we didn't spend more than 2 consecutive hours together. that's been pretty lonely. 

i can't lie, it's been tough with a capital T - and without getting into too much detail, there have been several unfamiliar trials & heartaches & disappointments thrown into the mix that have just made me feel like i am treading water. right now, i am having to take everything day by day and not feel too stifled by the fact that there is no break in our schedules anytime soon.

that being said - there have been many silver linings. some beautiful california sunshine, a few short but memorable date nights, several good books consumed. here's a recap:

in march we spent a saturday in carmel - which is just disgustingly cute. it's the most picturesque little beach town and we are planning another getaway there STAT.

AHOY! jordan and i took an intro to sailing class and it was a blast. it was just us & the instructor and lots of what about bob references. 

i met jordan at his office one saturday and he escaped for a game at at&t park. i put jordan in charge of picking tickets, so next thing i knew we were enjoying baseball from the 8th row. and obviously the food did not let us down!

we made it up to bodega bay on a sunday afternoon to whale watch. the wind nearly blew us away but MAN. california is so beautiful. 

one saturday after jordan got off of work, he surprised me and booked a hotel outside the city. it was nice to "escape" - even if it was not far. we got takeout from chili's (we miss chain restaurants ok?) and ate it in bed and it was glorious. 

when jordan works saturdays, i have found some *creative* ways to keep myself entertained. one is double booking workout classes. on one particular morning, i did pilates at 10 and then headed over to the marina green for the "dare to bare" event. i have volunteered for this organization a few times before - they are all about promoting body positivity through exercise and healthy habits. i love that mission! i took a kickboxing class in the sun (killer but SO FUN) and really tried to soak in the positive energy of the event. everyone that signs up gets a matching sports bra, and you are encouraged to "bare" it all and just wear the sports bra and pants. it was really motivating to see girls of ALL shapes and sizes coming together, celebrating each other and taking care of their bodies. i love exercise, i love positive energy, and i love sunshine. it was an incredibly uplifting morning. 

upon arrival, i headed straight for the smoothie truck and ended up making friends with their social media coordinator - this is a screenshot of the boomerang he posted of me!
aaaand here's an old picture of us from easter. we had both woken up from naps right before this photo was taken so we are struuuugling and i think it's hilarious.