“Go outside. Don’t tell anyone…”

“Go outside. Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone. Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, to the bus and back home and we cease to see. We walk in our sleep and teach our muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice. Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t. Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t. And that’s the point. Just walk, see, sit down if you like. And be. Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have, and realise that that is enough to be happy. There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.” ― Charlotte Eriksson

We are here. We exist. Isn’t that enough?

Existence is not easy. Our lives have joy, pain, laughter, crying, moments of listlessness and glimpses of apathy.

Yet, I’m not suffering in affliction. I don’t have   Continue reading

Toyohashi, Here I Am! Thanksgiving, Here We Are!

“There are moments in life that are bigger than we know it at the time. When you look back, you say, that was one of those life-changing, fork-in-the-road moments and I didn’t even see it coming.”Jenny Han

Happy Thanksgiving, America! To my family, to old and new friends, and to the many people I’ve been privileged to meet and get to know around this world… thank you.
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“Love is more black and white than…”

“Love is more black and white than we like to tell ourselves. Don’t allow anyone to keep you trapped in the ‘promise’ of the gray area. The bottom line is: If they love you, truly love you, they’ll do whatever it takes to be with you. There won’t be excuses or doubts or fears or hesitation. Love is action. Everything else is just words.”
Mandy Hale, “Ten Lessons I Learned From Writing My Life Story (or, Ten Lessons to Take Into the New Year)”

Christmas Box: Presents and Presence

“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!” –Charles Dickens

IMG_4242bMerry Christmas from me and Princess Belle! Isn’t she cute?

Belle is our lovely 6-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, and she’s great friends with my sister’s dog Foxy.

My family has a few traditions on Christmas Eve: 1) Early dinner out in Missoula before… 2) attending and participating in the Christmas Eve service at Living Savior Lutheran Church, where afterwards we drive home and… 3) before anyone changes out of dress clothes, my siblings and I pose for a photo on the stairs next to the Christmas tree.

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Christmas Box: Decorations Unleashed!

A few handmade ornaments, a few international gifts, a little touch of Green Bay Packers, and a whole lot of wonderful memories!

Christmas Box Unleashed

This is the American Girl Christmas Tree from 14 years ago. (Unfortunately, they don’t make this anymore.) I remember when I was 10 years old, I went to my dad with a catalogue in hand, eyeing up a Christmas tree complete with lights, decorations, mini gift wrap, and a kit for making your own ornaments. I asked my dad, “Is $20 a lot for a Christmas tree?”

Best childhood Christmas investment I ever made.

Do you have any fond Christmas memories from your childhood that have carried into today? Does unpacking the holiday decorations carry with it any special traditions?

Thanks Day #3

“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.” –Sarah Dessen

Today’s been one of those days that’s hard to put into words. I’ve honestly been sitting here, staring at my screen on and off for over 45 minutes. Not that it’s a bad thing… by no means!

It’s been a day filled with contentment, a rarer experience for me, and one I wish had a stronger presence in my life. And the thing is, it’s not impossible by any means. Continue reading