Happy weekend!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

We're spending our pre-anniversary weekend at the Highland Springs Resort in Cherry Valley! I love it here. It's like a rustic lavender oasis. In a couple hours, the annual lavender festival will begin. We'll have more pictures later, but for now, happy weekend! Xoxo.

our fur baby is back!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The little guy was staying with Grandpa and Grandma (yes, we are that serious about his fur child-ness) while we were travelling. But now we have him back home! And we can't get enough of these kisses.

seven years.

Three years ago, I graduated from UCLA. I worked there and continued to take classes (Chinese) through this year. I left work just a week ago and took my last Chinese final today. For seven years, UCLA has been my home. It's where I grew up and met my husband and made my best friends. It's where I cried and learned and changed. It's strange that the next thing is happening so quickly. 
This week has been a whirlwind week, heading straight from the end of work, to class, to a flight to Michigan, to home to start grad school work and study for my final. Tomorrow is orientation day, and I feel like I haven't really had time to process. Or clean out my closet. Or make salted caramel ice cream. Or plan a picnic at the park. When I'm not working or studying, I'm paralyzed by how much there is to do and see and experience in the next two months. I have a feeling this summer is going to be hard. Not just a challenging-busy kind of hard, but a being-away-from-my-friends kind of hard, a how-am-i-going-to-fit-everything-in kind of hard, a this-is-all-happening-so-fast kind kind of hard. 

books, lately.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

One of my goals for the past year and a half has been to read a book a month. Lately, I've found myself reading more. Not because I have more time, but because I need a break from the other work/reading I've been doing. My list, of late:
  • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. The '20s is one of my favorite time periods to read about, and Fitzgerald will always be my favorite. This book got me back into that groove, and I started reading Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, from which many of the book's details come.
  • 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. This was another book club selection. I thought the writing was too colloquial at times, but there were some gems in this. Definitely relevant.
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova. This was a fast read. Fascinating for anyone interested in learning more about early-onset Alzheimer's.
  • The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I loved this book. My friend, Karli, suggested it, and when we didn't read it for our book club, I put in on hold at the library. After I got it, it took me two days to read it all. I read it while I was waiting for the pasta water to heat and on my breaks at work. It's just a really good story, heartbreaking at times, but memorable. I'm buying a copy for my momma. 
On the list of books to finish and read:
  1. Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.
  2. Peter Hessler's River Town.
  3. Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef.
  4. Amor Towles' Rules of Civility: A Novel.
What are you reading? Any book recommendations?

[photo via my instagram]

right now.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Right now, missing this little fur baby who's staying with his grandparents while we travel. We have to get in as many of these late afternoon family cuddles in the park as we can before summer's over.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

[image from our trip to Irvine Lake]

June is here.

It snuck up on me, this month of leaving work, traveling to a new state, finishing an entire year of Chinese classes, starting grad school.

I'm a little bit nervous, a little bit anxious. I'm ready to say goodbye to the grind of a 3+ hour daily commute and 4:30a wake-up calls, but reluctant to leave people who I now call my friends. Ready to jump on the bandwagon called grad school, but apprehensive over whether people will want to have lunch with me or if I'll get stuck doing all the group work.

I'm praying that whatever this month is, that it will be good. That it will be a month of healthy change, welcome challenges, and new relationships. I'm praying that I'll build character, stay focused, be diligent, and try new things, like riding to class on my bike.

 I pray that I remember to make time for a cup of coffee and a morning devotional, a daily dip in our mediterranean oasis of a pool before we move out, to read books that aren't required for school, to have a glass of wine on the patio with my boys. I'm praying that it will be a month where the little joys don't get forgotten amidst the bigger changes.

we work out.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ok, sometimes we work out. Sometimes we just wear our workout clothes to frolick in the grass, taking ridiculous pictures and jogging... a little. Don't judge.

Irvine Lake

Friday, June 1, 2012

We spent this Memorial Day's weekend camping at Irvine Lake with our friends, Zach and Steph. Even though it means a lot of packing, being constantly dirty, and a lot of cleaning afterwards, camping is just fun. One of my favorite things is watching the sun set on the water while toasting up some marshmallows.  And being able to spend an entire weekend lakeside is even better. 

Not that there weren't a few hiccups. Like Dave's sunburn and the WORLD'S WORST MUSIC FESTIVAL playing hippie trance music ONLY from the time we went to bed until 8 in the morning. 

But in spite of those little (in the long run) things, I'm thankful. Thankful for having such great friends to spend a weekend with. Thankful for more than enough food which kept us eating all weekend long. Thankful for a time devoted solely to rest.

Every weekend should be like this one.

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