Fort building, star gazing, life loving and the first time Brendan met the family of one of my best college girlfriend's, Mary ... my how we've grown. ❤
And in video form....
Music by my talented sweetheart.
On a rare, warm, not-"February-gray" day, we went to the beach with these two love birds.
Nicole is one of my best friends ever. We met at an art project that I was team leading. She was nice and sweet, so naturally I asked her if she wanted to be friends. I remember volunteering together and getting brunch afterwards. Conversation flowed easily and we were like lightning bouncing ideas and moments off one another. We were both in similar situations of "figuring it out".
Through the years we've been there for each other and have grown so, so much.The memory of talking about real love and if we'd ever find it is still so clear in my mind. We went rollerblading in Central Park and our buns were burning as we climbed that north hill. "When it happens, it will happen like lightning. It will be quick, furious, frightening and wonderful," I told her, in between short breaths. Flying down the hill was always the best part.
A few weeks later, that very thing had happened. It may have taken her a moment to realize it, because one must be cautious when sharing the heart. But the moment I saw them together, I knew he was the perfect match. Both are tiny, with dynamic souls that stretch above and beyond and across time and space. Their love is the kind that shines like the sun. In the same way, you know rays will warm you, I know these two will always find each other. Because they are just meant to be. ❤
p.s. I cannot wait to see your fairy-tale wedding this fall!
I've always been afraid of change. It makes me nervous and I sometimes (okay, often!) find myself looping, worried about changes to come.
But in looking back at these moments, I'm grateful for change and the ability to shift and grow. It makes me know that I'll be okay, with whatever changes *do* come my way.Change does not always equal loss. In fact, sometimes, it can bring a whole lot of love. And even in those more difficult times, there's something about knowing that change is the only constant.
Because sometimes you'll find yourself, months later, OUT of a blue period, barely remembering that you didn't think you'd survive. But you did, and you will, again and again and again.
This video is a collection of moments from the past two years. Please forgive some of my poor iphone orientation shooting!
"Past in Present" by Fiest
"Plasticities" by Andrew Bird
"Mother & Father" by Broods
"Holocene" by Bon Iver
The past year or so has been an absolute whirlwind. I haven't spent that much time writing about it partly because it felt like a dream and also because of my ongoing, internal debate on sharing and the digital space.
But I actually like to pause and reflect on things. It allows me to really remember my gratitude for the moment -- even if the moment has passed.
Sometimes I need that pause because there are times I get worked up about the future, somehow feeling like I need to plan my next move or the next "big thing". My "planning-mind" has always been a weird place for me to escape to, but I've been trying to challenge it.
Because the truth is, the past year was full of "big things". I quit my full-time job and started working part-time to allow myself more time for art. I used to daydream about time and how I'd spend it, but when actually given some extra hours it was much harder than I thought. So I worked too hard, too long, barely did any art and found myself in a slight creative block (which I'm finally coming out of).
I am one that (unfortunately) learns lessons in difficult ways. It can take me several loops before I see the right path, even if it's flashing neon pink. It likely took me losing balance, to realize I needed to find a balance, all with an underlying lesson of remembering to be kind to myself.
Sometimes it seems like there's a dance of life -- a balancing act of living in the present, reflecting on the past, and planning for the future. Staying too long in one area can upset another.In a recent conversation with a friend, I had an epiphany that I need to "decorate the house". I realized that I've been looking so far ahead that I haven't really settled into all the (amazing!) things happening now (like the fact that I married the love of my life!!).
It's like when you move into an apartment and you don't fully decorate because you know (think) you'll be moving soon... it's temporary.But I actually think it's important to decorate. To make it your own.So here's to decorating the house -- the house of my life. The current space full of change and finding balance, which is often still scary and unknown, but also oh-so-good.
Here are some old moments from the past year that are worth remembering.
A beautiful hike last September.
Thanksgiving in Iowa and very memorable sunrise-sledding.
Christmas in Marco.
Ringing in 2015.
Snow days forever--this past winter really did drag on.
But then spring finally came! ... and I got married (another post on this to follow).
Friend time with new friends, old friends, and now newly-connected friends.
Life has been crazy-busy and filled with so. many. changes.
I'm "behind" in photos, projects, and a zillion other ideas that I want to do. I quote "behind" because I don't think there are any real rules to sharing moments (at this rate I will be posting sunrise sledding and snow photos in the dead of summer).
I suppose that's what happens when you plan a wedding in two months (and no, we are not expecting and I do not need a greencard, thank you very much). There are times when I find myself in the "fear-space" of all this change, but over the years I have become much better at recognizing when it happens. This awareness allows me to pull myself out of it sooner and re-enter the present moment, which lately has been filled with lots of color.
While the to-do list is crazy, I decided to take a tiny break and share some snaps from a recent weekend in Nashville.
pictured: finding Springtime in Nashville | cornhole | when my Iowa gals surprised me and told me that I was going to be a fairy for the evening -- they even gave me glitter!!! | playing the "bachelorette question game" that my love and I totally dominated at (we hardly missed any questions! this was one of my favorite surprises because I loved re-living the moments and hearing things from Brendan's point of view) | Nashville's Parthenon
not pictured: when I almost blew the surprise by saying that we needed a hashtag for the weekend (because our previous friend trips have always had one, so I had no idea why everyone was acting so strange when I suggested the idea, but then they revealed that they already had one for the "special" weekend! although we all decided that #nashpatateo was even better because we were nashville-bound and some friends keep likening my (soon-to-be!!) last name to a "potato" | four "hangry" girls in a car and how well KP handled us | KP's hospitality and funny comments, especially the one that said we were like a "four-headed llama, plinko machine" with all of our amazing thoughts racing and bouncing off one another...
It was a lovely weekend. Thank you all so much. I really love you girls and I'm so happy to be part of your wolf pack ~ the Iowa friendship bracelets sealed the deal.
I was working on something else when Brendan said the sky was a pretty color. Little did he know (or perhaps he did; since he knows me so well), that this small comment would turn into one of those "keepers" moments. As soon as I saw the moon I grabbed my camera and his hand and we ran (carefully) to the roof to catch the last bits. I don't remember what we talked about, but I know we laughed. This happened sometime in September or October - I have no idea - time has just been going . so . quickly.
Lately, we've been walking the bridge. The first night was magical. I remember the shakiness of the bridge and the warmth of our two hands squeezed in one pocket. It was foggy that evening and there was a full moon. The sky was nearly the same color as the bridge making it seem like we were walking towards a looming monster. Halfway on the bridge, I stopped and gave Brendan a giant bear hug - the kind where you almost knock someone over. I explained that my hug was "squeezing that moment into my memory"; meaning it was something I never wanted to forget.
The thing is, I might.
Because these new experiences and these magical moments continue in a way where they become routine. I do not mean this in a negative way, but I'm really feeling into the fact that change is the only constant -- and that it doesn't always equal loss.
**pictured: That sunset | an awesome dance party with two of my favorite people that ended with sparklers! | morning rays | a boat-ride upstate to Oktoberfest where the food was, unfortunately, unforgettably horrible. | friends, friends, friends.