3.16.2014

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Today is my love's birthday! I wrote this post on our three year anniversary back in November, however, never got around to sharing it. I thought I'd share today instead...

November 26th, 2013:
Today marks three years of life with this guy. I feel as though I say this every year, but it really does feel like we've been together forever and yet only moments ago we were on this island in South Korea mere months after we'd met and started dating. I was going through these pictures the other day, realizing I'd never shared these in any capacity (not even Facebook!).

I had been living in Korea and teaching English for three months before J came to visit me. We had talked over Skype and planned on visiting this island for a little weekend excursion during his stay. It was a pretty fun and hilarious adventure. We took a ferry ride from the mainland to the island, feeling a bit overwhelmed by the seagulls dive-bombing the boat to greedily devour anything offered by a passenger. We went camping on the beach in a tiny little hut (something neither of us are particularly fond of). And we spent the majority of the weekend soaking in the sounds of the water, exploring the coastline, and photographing the sunsets. I think one of the things I love most about our relationship is that we are constantly pushing each other beyond the realm of comfort, and discovering that life on the other side of the unknown is a pretty beautiful thing.

Happy birthday, Love!

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1.14.2014

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I would be lying if I said I had my 2014 New Year's Resolutions neatly written out and posted on my wall. This is weird for me because I love lists and usually have no problem finding any reason whatsoever to make yet another list (did you know that you can even procrastinate big time through writing/making lists? I'm an expert!). I hope to carve out a bit of time to reflect upon my goals in the coming days. I've been reading a lot of blog posts and Facebook statuses about creating and sticking to New Year's Resolutions. Two things I want to remember going forward in my goal setting are to 1) Be Specific and 2) Be Flexible (otherwise known as embracing imperfection)! I read a couple of great posts about these topics from Nellie Magazine and A Beautiful Mess (some reflections towards the end on releasing perfection during the holidays, but I loved it and think it absolutely applies to everyday life :)). 

I already know that one 2014 goal of mine is to keep up a few traditions that J and I started a couple of years ago, one of which is our January visit to the Colorado Cherry Company for a slice of cherry pie and bing cider and an afternoon in the charming town of Estes Park. These photos are from last year's visit, which I never got around to posting. Hopefully there will be another post like this one in just a few weeks  :)

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1.05.2014

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What a whirlwind of a holiday season! I know I'm not the only one who feels like the holidays came and went in the blink of an eye. Despite being overwhelmingly busy, December was particularly memorable for me this year. J and I have a few traditions that we started last year and are committed to keeping up...one of which is buying and decorating a real, tiny Christmas tree:
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There were plenty of delicious meals with my J and with friends (at Denver Biscuit Company and the D Bar, two of our favorite Denver restaurants), and lots of Colorado snow to keep the days cozy.
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We spent a lot of quality time with J's family, including our annual holiday trip to Las Vegas! I could never have imagined how Christmasy and charming the Las Vegas strip becomes over the holidays, but it is truly a sight to behold. We ate plenty of delicious meals (at Bouchon, Max BrennerMon Ami Gabi, and of course In-N-Out!), went Christmas shopping, and saw this incredible Andy Warhol exhibit.
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I ran my first 5K race with my sis and bro-in-law: The Ugly Sweater 5K! I registered for the race in November, allowing myself 6-8 weeks to train, however, after multiple, severe cold spells in Denver (which hindered me from going outside AT ALL let alone to run), I only managed to run about once a week before the actual race. I seriously doubted that I would be able to finish, but with lots of encouragement from my sister and bro, I managed to run the entire thing in about 30 minutes. Needless to say, I was extremely proud of myself and posted all over Facebook and Instagram :). It felt good to check a 2013 New Year's Resolution off my list.
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I also managed to send out Christmas cards to most of my friends this year... something I've always wanted to do but have never really gotten around to actually doing. I included one of the three pictures below of J and I inside the cards. I definitely plan to keep on doing this in the future!
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Christmas day was spent with my family and it was so wonderful. We attended a candlelight Christmas Eve service, opened presents on Christmas morning, ate two delicious Christmas brunches, and my mom's incredible roast dinner. We also went to the Broadmoor hotel to take some family pictures this year and it was so beautiful and picturesque as always!
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The days between Christmas and New Years were spent working and hanging out with friends in town for the holidays (loved seeing all of you!!). We decided at the last minute to spend New Year's Eve at my mom's house with all of the siblings and their significant others...and I'm so glad we did! We played board games late into the night, watched Dick Clark's Rockin New Year's Eve, and drank margaritas (my drink of choice--always!). It was a pretty fantastic way to kick off the new year:
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Speaking of the New Year, I have my 2014 New Year's Resolutions on the brain (which I'll save for another post :))...one of which is teaching myself more about photography and photoshop. I experimented with making collages in photoshop for the first time tonight and you can see the result in the above photos. Definitely not even close to being perfect (I still have to figure out sizing and HTML), but it was fun to try!

I was also really inspired by Elsie's December Daily scrapbook and Naomi's Twelve Dates of Christmas, two things I think I might add this year to my ever growing list of holiday traditions. :)

Hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family, friends, and loved ones! xo  

11.18.2013

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Traveling is one of my life's passions. I was recently lucky enough to spend a full year abroad teaching English in Seoul, South Korea and traveling/backpacking around Asia with one of my dearest friends, Sarah. I remember a conversation we had as our time in Korea came to a close. I was feeling SO ready to come home, so so ready to see my family and Jermaine after months apart; yet, I was also feeling nostalgic for the months of travel and the adventures we had experienced. A part of me was half dreading returning home to routine and monotony, and I remember expressing my fear that perhaps I would NEVER travel or experience the world again (a bit extreme, but I tend to be overdramatic) :). Sarah assured me that of course we would both still travel... but maybe it would look different than a whole year abroad. Maybe it would be just be as simple as traveling to one new place each year.

This idea of committing to travel someplace new once a year has stuck with me. This past September, I decided to make this commitment a reality for 2013 by visiting Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, a place I'd never seen but had long wanted to visit. I had a fantastic week, spending almost every day with dear friends and family. On my last day in Seattle, I decided to wake up at 4:30am to catch a bus to Vancouver in hopes of spending a day there. Vancouver has been on my bucket list of "must see" places for years and it did not disappoint! I rented a small and very weird bike for the day (see pictures of the weirdness below), and I rode all over the breathtaking Stanley Park and Granville park. I spent my afternoon among the skyscrapers of downtown, eating fish tacos from the most expensive street cart (hello, Canada!), and wandering around the boats and the coastline. 

It was so much fun to explore this beautiful, diverse metropolis on my own, free from the agenda or needs and wants of a traveling companion. I was also acutely reminded of why I so enjoy traveling with others. There was no one to marvel with about the beauty and cleanliness of the city, no one to laugh with about the odd bike rental, or seemingly random Chevron gas/oil station in the middle of the water. There was no one to take pictures with, and no one to reminisce with me on the bus ride home. I have since decided that while a solo adventure is nice once in a while--nothing compares to traveling with those that you love.

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