• week 9 | salvation mountain + slab city road trip | psalm 126


    i apologize for my tardiness. i'm playing catch up now that i skipped a week. so i'll blog again this week as these images are from last week (i'm real organized over here).

    this is a long post so bear with me. caleb and i took a day trip to salvation mountain and slab city in california last week. it's a dusty hippie city where everyone lives in trailers. i had been wanting to see salvation mountain for a while and am glad we made the trip. we also saw "East Jesus" which is an art and sculpture garden with some crazy and pretty cool stuff. so here are the pictures of all that!

    i also wanted to post this song i have been loving. i think i found it on my friend keith's spotify weekly playlist because i often like his more than my own (oops). anyways, it's psalm 126. as i was listening to it and reading the psalm last night the words were weighing heavy on my heart. to me, the psalmist is talking about waking up, going out and doing good work in the midst of heartache and weariness. as an attempt at authenticity, i want to say how much i relate to that. it's really easy to look at a bunch of pretty pictures and assume that life for someone is easy. and i'm not writing this to prove anything or that my life is so hard, rather i just wanted to share. sometimes waking up is hard. anxiety and vulnerability often make me feel naked to the world and it takes a lot of strength to go sow the seed. to do work. even if it doesn't feel like it's good and just feels like the mundane tasks of everyday life. sometimes it's just hard. but my prayer is with the psalmist that "though we are weeping, Lord, help us keep sowing the seeds of your kingdom for the day you will reap them...all those who sow weeping will call out with songs of joy." my prayer is that i and maybe some of you who "sow weeping;" who feel tired in their work because of life or illness or what have you will continue the good work, show yourself grace, and remember the Spirit who dwells in us and turns our tear soaked seeds and uses them for his Kingdom.

    here are photos of a beautiful day with someone i love.

  • week 7 | color, spring, hair, heaviness and light

    i was going to write something fluffy and eloquent about this week. but i'm not. the week was good. i just feel heavy right now so don't feel like writing some drawn out paragraph. so i'll just be honest.

    there are lots of people in my life who love me more than i deserve and soften my heart when it feels hardened by fear and bitterness and critique.

    i love colors.

    i love Spring. this week i went running with my room mate and she kept poking fun at me becuase i kept leaping and freaking out over the wildflowers blooming and all the different colored trees.

    i did a crazy workout and kick boxed for the first time with some awesome ladies.

    i cut my hair. like a lot. for the first time since like middle school. i like it

    i walked around tucson a lot

    i took entirely too many pictures of a single yellow tree. so many that i started to get dizzy from looking up.

    my boyfriend, caleb took the first picture of me. it's one of my new favorites and i feel very special that he'd watch me nerd out on trees and colorful strings of flags.

    i started reading this new book called If You Feel Too Much by the founder of one of my favorite organizations To Write Love on Her Arms. It's about heaviness and lightness and depression and coping and hope and strength. I started tearing up when i read the forward. not because it was sad but because i could feel the strength it took to make the book. the strength to accept hope and belief in the midst of the unpredicatable and often debilitating cloud of depression. and i've cried about four other times since opening it. want some truth? i was reading it in the bathroom (come on, you know you do that. we all look at our phones or read something when we're sitting on the toilet). and the chapter was especially heavy. so there i am bawling with my pants down. no joke. it's good. it's really good. it really is like the comfort of a friend. the knowledge that you're not alone in it -the heaviness and the light.

    phew. see. i already feel lighter. thanks for listening and looking. 

    enjoy week 7 :)

  • week 6 | winter park + denver, colorado

    this past week was spent with 9 others in colorado. we flew to denver and drove to a beautiful cabin in the rocky mountains to spend a few days celebrating the birthday of a dear friend of mine. we enjoyed quiet mornings lounging, communal meals, an emergency room visit, snow shoeing, laughing at all of the men falling (multiple times) in the snow, throwing stones to commemorate a certain someone passing their kidney stones, beating my boyfriend at a dance off, dancing in the kitchen and pretty much everywhere else, tubing down icy hills, lots of fires and roasting marshmallows, hot tubbing at night, squealing over corgis, good chats and happy tears. i feel really blessed by community and especially #blessed that i could spend time in such a beautiful place with really wonderful people. for me, these photos bring me the warm fuzzies from the trip. enjoy!

  • Week 4 | magic

    when people ask me how i'm doing, i usually say pretty well or good, or some variation of the two. and sometimes when i'm honest, i'll say i'm doing okay. because it's not so good and i'm feeling super anxious, and sometimes it's just okay. this week had its ups and downs. it's been a lot of mental fighting against lies and anxious thoughts in the efforts to replace them with Truth. some days i was really anxious and sometimes my heart was heavy with the Light of love. (song lyrics, i'm not that poetic). spending time in a child's magical imagination spaces, exploring the unique details of Tucson, signs of Spring, and golden light drenched afternoons make me happy though. it's hard to not look back on the week, after looking through my photos, with a good, deep sense of contentment. i'm happy. i am. okay, sorry for the rambling. here are week 4's photos. thanks for following along.

  • You'll See Me Tomorrow Because...

    summer of 2012 in Orvieto, Italy. frolicking in fields. in my happy place

    so last week was national suicide prevention week. i saw so many beautiful posts of resiliance and strength and hope throughout social media, most specifically posted by fans and sponsers of the organization, to write love on her arms, a non profit whose goal is to encourge a culture of hope and present it to those struggling with depression, suicide, self-injury etc. their theme this year was "We'll See You Tomorrow." A hopeful message. Many people wrote poems, and a few that stood out to me in particular were those focused on the because. The why. The whys to keep going when anxiety and depression become an unpredicatable blanket that can so easily erase logical reasoning and cast out those usual sources of reminder and hope. The poems were titled You'll See me Tomorow Because... In an attempt of solidarity and self-love and to remind myself of the many many reasons I have for hope, I wrote one of my own. 

    You'll See me Tomorrow Because...

    i still remember the days when i awoke and the sun was shining for me.

    i still haven't seen the redwoods or hugged one.

    of corgis. of donuts. of bacon wrapped dates. even though i burn them sometimes. 

    because the cockroaches would win.

    because someone told me they were in love with me and i love him.

    because of jenna and curtis and their home.

    of Tucson and all that it has given me.

    of dusty, beat up boots and saguaros and golden light and mornings when i wake up early enough to see LIght's patterns on the wall.

    because butterflies in my stomach and joshua tree.

    because wildflowers will continue to grow in the spring.

    of haboobs and dip n dots.

    of finding that dress i feel beautiful in.

    of whiskey and red wine 

    because i still have to go back to italy

    because i still have to go to iceland.

    of talking in parking lots way after midnight

    of flowers and Flower and the feeling when he grabbed my hand for the first time.

    of color film 

    of adventures and fog and driving without the ability to see more that a few feet in front of me and being on my own.

    of solidarity and conversations that give me chills.

    of dance parties and teaching danielle how to pop lock and drop it.

    of leg day and squats and feeling confident.

    of Bruce Springsteen and the state of Pennsylvania.

    of watermelon and the sound of cicadas in the summer.

    because nutella exists and it goes so well with bananas.

    of cheese.

    of wet hair and sun burnt skin and the smell of apple scented lotion and feeling sand at the bottom of my sleeping bag.

    of candles.

    because someone, and many other someones, reminded me i was worth it.

    someone reminded me i had the strength to fight.

    of all the books i haven't read yet and all the songs that have not yet gotten stuck in my head.

    because of uncle dave and tyler and josh even though i never met him.

    of waking up at my parents' house around the holidays and being able to smell it is Christmas before i open my eyes.

    of hugging my parents.

    because i still need to photograph my dad and his brothers.

    of how i feel when i dance

    because of the small moments. because of the big moments.

    because i want to wear that blue dress again.

    of cuddling and being content and safe in someone's arms.

    of turquoise and hats that are magic

    of snowing on New Years

    of warming your wet toes by the fire.

    because God isn't finished writing my story yet. 

    because Jesus won.

    of dancing with my dad at my wedding someday

    of holding babies and someday holding one of my own.

    of my dream to sing my kids to sleep.

    of my dream to write a children's book.

    of lightning bugs and swings on porches.

    of all the people i haven't met yet and all the stories i haven't heard and all the people i haven't loved.

    because Vienna waits for me.

    because i want to learn to cook my own spaghetti sauce.

    because i want to share my artwork with others.

    of the solo show i still want to have.

    of the lecture i still want to give someday about my artwork.

    of potential and growth.

    of colorful flags that flap in the wind on long strings.

    because i still want to learn how to fly a kite.

    because i want to ride in a hot air balloon.

    of the places i want to go with you.

    of all the National Parks i have not seen.

    because i want to see Disneyland at Halloween.

    of pizza.

    of the way light catches dust that lingers in the air.

    of the dream i had that i was in a cherry blossom tree grove and cried. of the fact that i still want to see cherry blossom trees. 

    because i am worth it and want to fight to keep believing that.

    of trains whistling outside my window.

    of smore's and campfires and the people i still want to go camping with.

    of mom and dad and gina and dustin and julie and tierney and erica and ashley and kelley and brittni and danielle and alyssa and lexi and natalie and molly and mary and maggie and katie and cylan and garrett and micaela. 

    of all the people i want to work hard to forgive.

    of the boy who holds my hand when i cry and asks me what God is trying to tell me.

    of Stargirl and hiking and i still want to see Salvation Mountain.

    of boldness and pretty dresses 

    because i still want to find a fringe jacket.

    because i spent too much money on that beautiful leather jacket from italy. and it was worth it.

    because i have been given a gift.

    because of the person who told me to fight for what i wanted when he didn't know that's what i needed to hear.

    of Softy and summer camp and singing in the car and the shower.

    of dancing in the kitchen.

    of cactus & trees.

    of trees.

    because It is finished. because God is stronger than my anxiety.

    because i still remember the room i was in when i first heard "MmmBop" and because i still don't know the lyrics (it's a secret no one knows) ;)