Holding Your Cup

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It's no secret that one of my favorite vacations is wine tasting.  The reason is not because I am some kind of wine snob, but rather because nothing makes you slow down quite like sipping on a glass of wine.  I frequently notice that when I taste a wine at a winery it will taste much different than when I drink it at home.  Unlike at my house, when I am at a winery I am taking my time.  I'm not just drinking but I'm holding.  Examining. Checking the color.  Sniffing.  Analyzing.  Wine is so much better when it's experienced in this way.

I think the same is true of life.  So often I go through life just trying to get from one day to the next.  I don't even bother looking at what is in my "life cup."  I chug it down in order to survive and scarcely notice whether it's fulfilling or whether it's fitting or whether it's sour.  Whether it's full and rich, or diluted and tasteless.  This is especially true when the contents of my life cup are hard to swallow.  I want to pinch my nose and guzzle it down quickly so that I can forget about the unpleasantness.  I rarely stop to examine my cup; to notice its complexities, its aroma, its color.

In his book "Can You Drink the Cup" Henri Nouwen says, “Just living life is not enough. We must know what we are living." We must take a good hard look at what is in our cup; whether it is lovely or flavorless or hard to swallow. We must stop and notice. In order to answer Jesus' question “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” we must know what is in our cup.  We must slow down, hold, examine, and reflect.

PMT Style Challenge

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

One of my favorite style blogs, Putting Me Together, is hosting a style challenge for the new year!  I'm so excited to participate because winter break put me in a bit of a clothes rut.  Not that I regret wearing yoga pants/ leggings/ pajamas for three weeks straight.  Not for one second.  But this quarter I'm desperately trying to look a little more put together. 

You see, I'm a big believer of the "dress well to test well" mentality.  When I have a particularly long or stressful day I find I'm much better able to tackle it head on if I feel good about the way I look.  I know that may come across as shallow, but seeing as I have class from 8am to 9:30 pm on Thursdays I'll do whatever I can to get a little extra boost of motivation and energy.

The first challenge was simply to wear a dress.  It seemed easy enough until I realized I haven't actually worn a dress in about three months!  Most of my dresses are either super summery sundresses or fancy cocktail dresses.  This is one of my few "in between" options and I love how easy it is to dress up or down.  It has worked great for all seasons (well, Los Angeles seasons at least) and is perfect for layering.

If you're looking for an excuse to find more inspiration in your wardrobe head over to Putting Me Together and join in the challenge!  Let me know if you do in the comments section- I'd love to see what you come up with  :)

dress: Modcloth 
chambray: Macy's (similar here)
necklace: old, similar here 
watch: via steinmart (similar here)
boots: old navy

2014 In Review- Part I

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I always find the task of looking back over my year to be both exciting and exhausting.  I look at some photos and can hardly believe they were taken almost a year ago, yet other memories feel like they are decades old.  Time is such a funny thing, isn't it?  This year I've noticed how popular lists have become... 27 Ways to Make Your Groceries Last as Long as Possible, 5 Things That Make Californians Weird, and (my personal favorite) 26 Reasons Kids Are Pretty Much Just Tiny Drunk Adults.  Yet I consistently find it difficult to sum up 365 days into one little list.  So I'm doing it in two!  I love looking back at my past years in review and remembering all the wonderful memories I have to be thankful for.  So without further ado...

j a n u a r y

We rang in the new year exhausted, relieved, and holding each other close.  We thanked God for the health of Nana and I stupidly ate garlic right before the New Year's kiss.  Good thing I married a guy who was willing to kiss me anyway :)

We explored and fell even more in love with our city.

f e b r u a r y

I celebrated my sweet friend's birthday with a laugh-and-sangria-filled girls' weekend in Arizona

Ty & I celebrated Valentine's Day with love notes, dinner, drinks and dancing in the park

We took a trip with our good friends to Cambria

m a r c h

I discovered really quickly that online classes were not my jam.  I vowed to finish mine quickly but instead dragged them out for 8 more months.

We played a second season with our church's softball team and contributed to a record-breaking three straight seasons of being un-undefeated (that is, never winning a game. Not one.)

I got to meet up with a friend-via-blogging who quickly became a friend-via-real-life.  I marveled at the ability of technology to bring people together.

(photo via instagram @chantelklassen) 

a p r i l

We celebrated this guy's birthday with a delicious dinner and a fun beer tasting party

We celebrated Easter with both of our families and I felt oh-so thankful to be related to such great people; both by blood and otherwise.  Now all I need is to teach a few of them how to smile.

m a y

I turned a quarter-century.  But more excitingly, my dad turned a half-century!  We celebrated with tacos and a pinata filled with slim jims and mini plastic tequila bottles, naturally.

j u n e

We celebrated weddings and had some much-needed reunions.

(photo via TreCreative Photography)

(photo via Kelly Smith)

I said goodbye to my grandpa, who had just turned 91.  I remembered all of the times we'd had phone calls and when I would tell him I loved him he'd always argue, "I love you more!"  I remembered our trips to the zoo, him teaching me about guns and cars, and the way that, even when his memory was all but gone, his wit and humor were still sharp as a tack.  I am proud to be related to such an amazing person and rejoice over the amazing life he lived.

...part two coming soon.