Tuesday, February 3, 2015


For months now I have been contemplating writing on the blog again. I took a bunch of time off this summer because I was traveling back and forth to Maine. Then with a friends wedding getting my undivided attention and the start of the school year, I just decided to stop for awhile. It wasn't on my radar. I didn't want to take the time to process or write anything down.

Then....the questioning came. My life had become this personal thing...funny idea, that one, life being personal. I was thinking about taking some time away from facebook and all social media. I was getting confused and frustrated by the idea that I knew people, or people knew me by the things they saw or the things they read online. I really struggled with the idea that this blog or facebook could become a substitute for grabbing coffee or hanging out. I want and strive for real connection. I think we all do.

I honestly don't know the people who read my blog, I see a number tick by as people come and look at it. But that is all. I know of some people who tell me that they read it, or they like the status, but then there are other people that I just don't know. That is the part that makes me sad. I want to know you. I want to reconnect to that time where we did have conversations, where a screen did not complete the relationship.

Then I struggle again. All of this may sound super harsh, but I've never really been one to beat around the bush and not be blunt, so here goes. I struggle with the fact that sometimes, people are meant to leave your life, and that is okay.

I know I moved to Massachusetts, meaning I allowed many relationships to fall to the wayside. There is no blame to be passed because it happens. People change your life for small periods of time, or they continue to change parts of your life as long as they are a part of it. But that doesn't mean that every person you have ever had a conversation with needs to be part of your life forever. And that my friends, sucks.

I miss many friendships I had in high school. I miss many friendships I had in college. They all shaped me into this person I am today. I am extremely grateful for all of those quick interactions in class, and the few months of friendship, and the friendships that turned into much longer friendships. I am grateful for all of them. That's when I come back to this idea that writing this blog, if you are interested in reading it, allows us to hold onto some sort of relationship, and that is a great thing. Because you were all important to me at some point in my life. Chances are I remember how important and the silly details of interactions.

But I don't want this screen to get in the way of actually talking. I don't want it to be a substitute.

I do want conversations.
I do want to grab coffee.
I do want to be honest.
I do want to talk about the hard stuff, the funny stuff, the easy stuff, the everything stuff. Because my life has all of that, and it is beautiful. And I like sharing it.

I want to share the beauty of it. The beauty of the messiness of it all.

Okay. Enough rambling. I can't promise writing all of the time. Because, ya know. Life kind of happens. But, again, I will try. Because I know that I want to have and keep these memories.

And for a picture. Here is what I have been looking at for the past 8 days....that's also 6 snow days in a row. For anyone who was counting. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hawaii Part 6

I am back. After traveling back from Hawaii, I traveled up to Maine, and decided to spend the majority of my time off the grid. But I am back in Mass, and must be on the grid. It certainly is easier down here.

This is the last part of my trip. If you missed any of the other parts you can go back through:

Hawaii Part 5

Hawaii Part 4

Hawaii Part 3

Hawaii Part 2

Hawaii Part 1

This weekend we went camping on the beach with Shawn and Megan's mini church. It was about 30 people who stayed over night, and about 20 other people who came and went. This was the most hi-tech camping I have ever done. We had a generator and 8 light bulbs going each night. Propane stoves were used for all meals. It was great!

Over the weekend, I went paddle-boarding, walked across a sand/coral bar to a small mountain, China Man's Hat. We played cards, talked for hours, and played in the ocean. It was a fabulous weekend!

My tent. We didn't have the rain shield, so the tarp was the next best thing! 

Shawn reeled this fish in, oio (I think is how it's spelled), and he had me put my fingers into its gill. It was gross. As can be told by my face. 

I finally got it! China Man's Hat is in the background. 

I woke up the next morning to see the sunrise. It was beautiful. The wind was very calm, and the temperature just perfect. The pictures are beautiful, and they still don't do the scene justice. Such an amazing opportunity. 

I was sitting and talking with some of the people from the church, when a woman and her daughter came over and asked if they were locals. As everyone was a local, she clarified that she needed someone who was visiting to complete a scavenger hunt list. I was volunteered as the non-local. She needed to take a picture of her daughter teaching someone how to do the Hawaiian Sway. I was told I caught on fast. Truth is, it wasn't too difficult to complete. The girl was very cute though! :) 

Side note: I completed a fishtail braid once previous to this camping trip. That happened to be during a chapel service senior year. Now I don't recommend doing anything other than listening during chapel, as Dr. Lindsay specifically gave me a glare one service as he walked down the aisle and saw me finishing up handwriting practice. I'm not sure which requires more attention, figuring out how to complete a fishtail braid in your own hair, or aimlessly writing. Either way. Chapel was a very productive time in my life. :) I would say that the practice then stuck with me; this braid came out wonderfully!

Sunday morning we had a variety of food to eat, but the best was the doughnuts. I had never seen purple doughnuts before. They are made out of the Hawaiian sweet potato. They were delicious, and tasted a tad like chocolate glazed doughnuts! 

Chipped fingernail polish and all! 
After all of the time in the sun, and many applications of sunscreen which didn't help, I looked like this: 

My skin didn't exactly like the Hawaiian sun... 

My last full day in Hawaii, I spent hanging out with Megan at our favorite store, where I found the greatest book of all time. Now if no one knows my love of Nutella, then we haven't spoken in a very long time, because it is talked about on a daily basis in my world. This book has some delicious looking recipes. I can't wait to try! 

We were hungry as we left the bookstore, so rather than just drinking coffee we went to a cheese steak shop right next door. It was delicious food, and the workers were practicing magic. As we eavesdropped, they started coming closer to us, and eventually gave us an hour and a half magic show! It was sooooo cool!!! Some crazy things were done! My biggest regret was not taking a picture of one of the tricks. But I will definitely remember it! 

It was finally Tuesday, and I had to head home. It sucked having to leave, but I was ready to get home to my typical life. Starbucks helped the transition.

If my spatial reasoning is correct that is Haunama Bay on the left, a volcano, and the lighthouse on the far right. It was beautiful to see during the day time! 

I made it home! Safe and Sound. After 14 hours of flying, and 3 different airport, I was back in the humidity of Massachusetts!

Keep traveling!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hawaii Part 5

So apparently there are a lot of parts to this vacation....BUUUUUT there are a lot of pictures and stories. So I can't squish them!

In case you missed them, read and look at the others to catch up!

Hawaii Part 1

Hawaii Part 2

Hawaii Part 3

Hawaii Part 4

Get ready for picture overload, because Tuesday was PACKED!!!

The day started with breakfast at the cutest diner called Cinnamons. It reminded Megan and I of Sylvia's in Ellsworth, except it had an outdoor seating area. The food looked and tasted very similarly! I thought about sticking to my normal eggs, bacon, and toast, but for some reason eggs Benedict sounded phenomenal. I am so glad it did! Look at that!

I will help you out, it tasted even better than it looks!! 

Next we went to the Manoa Chocolate store. It was above Cinnamons, so as soon as we finished breakfast, we just walked up the stairs. Megan was courteous and checked what time the store opened. I, on the other hand saw people inside and decided to just walk in. Whoops. A girl was in the middle of giving a chocolate tasting with a group. She invited us in, and gave us so much!! I decided to buy a shirt, and a couple of chocolate bars. So much greatness in one little bag! 

Then we headed off to climb the lighthouse trail. 

Who wouldn't want to do this trail??

Off to the right is Hanauma Bay! 

So much ocean! 

Pretty bird.

Straight down to the ocean. So pretty though!

I can't get over how gorgeous this view is.

Mountains and oceans together. So beautiful. 

The lighthouse!
The hike was tremendous. It was very hot in some spots, as we had to walk around the mountain, and there were a few spots with absolutely NO breeze. It was insane to go between fresh ocean air, to dry heat and back again, all within 50 steps.

When we did get to the top, we found that people had been putting love locks on the view point. We found some pretty fun ones!

Skeleton key lock

who doesn't love dinos? Mike and Norie clearly do!
When we got back to the bottom we were both very very tired, so we grabbed a slushie and popsicle at a 7-11, and headed back to the house. 

After we ate lunch at home we decided that we needed more Morning Brew coffee. Along the way we stopped and I bought another pair of Toms!

I was so excited to find them in a store! We then headed to the mall where Morning Brew is located. Right next door was the cutest bookstore. I couldn't help myself. Megan and I both found some good books, and I took a few pictures of books I want to buy later. 
This is my kind of store! 

It's about a woman who learns who she is by identifying with both of her parents over time. Needless to say the title caught our attention first! 

With new books in our hands we headed over for coffee and reading. The perfect combination to end a fabulous day!  

Keep traveling,

Hawaii Part 4

Playing catch up? Here ya go!

Hawaii Part 3

Hawaii Part 2

Hawaii Part 1

Here we are, Monday again.

With all of the partying we did over the weekend, Meg and I were ready to take some down time. So we slept in, and spent our morning catching up on normal things. Housecleaning, Kardashians, blogging, facebook, doggie snuggles, etc. It was a great morning!

That afternoon we did decide to go for a hike. We decided on the Pillbox Trail.

The Pillboxes were created as World War II bunkers on the top of a few hills to protect troops when they were fighting the Japanese. This was the message that Megan was told, so I am relaying it all to you! :)
Yea, that's straight down from the trail. Not comforting. 

Look at that view! 

The graffiti is legit! Someone was hungry! 

Another girl was up on the roof, and had done a bridge, and she was bent in half. I wondered if I could still do it. This was my best attempt. I found out, she was 14. Yup, I guess I'm beginning to understand the changes that come with old age. hahaha :)

A view of the sunset!  

Love the view! 
 Meg looked at this picture afterwards, and noticed the date. Apparently I need to find a guy with a G name by December, 13th! Hahahaha.

Finally found the trail sign!
Crazy sun pictures.
We were going to stay for the actual sunset, but we started craving coffee. Off to Morning Brew!! We loved that little coffee place, and their coffee is too hard to stay away from.

When we arrived we saw this:

That's right folks, they were roasting the coffee beans there!!! We sat down at a table next to them, and with a couple of questions, we ended up talking for an hour and a half. This couple had been to Maine, and could name several small towns, their favorite being Cutler, Maine. These people know Maine and are living in Hawaii! So much fun!! :) They were so sweet, and gave me fresh coffee. He pulled it out of the roaster, ground it, and handed it to me. The grounds were still warm! When Megan and I made it the next morning, it was heavenly! 

They also told us about Manoa Chocolate Company which roasts and makes their own chocolate products. But that will have to wait for another post! 

Keep traveling,

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hawaii Part 3

If you missed out on the party.

Hawaii Part 1

Hawaii Part 2

Third day. Saturday.

This post might be picture heavy, because we did A LOT!

First we went to Hanauma Bay. It is a beautiful bay that was carved out by the ocean water and the volcanoes. Coral and fish have come in and taken over. So of course we had to snorkel. I unfortunately did not have an underwater camera to capture any of the gorgeous fish, so you will just have to come visit for yourself.

There was one fish, that was at least 2 feet long, bright purple with blue fins. The fish was gorgeous. It also swam less than 3 feet away from me. I like to look. I'm very good at the looking thing, not so much the touching thing. I don't like fish touching me. 3 feet of space is not enough with a fish that big. So I swam away. Hahaha.

Here are some of the pictures over looking the bay.

I know, I know. I'm a jerk. All that beautiful blue water that I got to swim in. Hahaha. It was very warm. It has been years since I have snorkeled, but it came back so quickly. So much fun to just swim around, look at God's handy work, and all of the intricate details. 

Later, we went into Waikiki and went para-sailing. Megan didn't want to go, so I talked Shawn into hanging out with me. She took some pictures, as well as relaxed, and enjoyed the boat ride. It was almost like being back on a lake in Maine. 

Getting ready to ride!

Shawn doesn't enjoy my shenanigans.

Channeling my inner Jack Sparrow.

Take off!


We might have been a bit up there. 

 Para-sailing was so much fun. Much calmer than I thought. Shawn and I both agreed that we should have done skydiving instead. We wanted a thrill, something to be crazy, and although para-sailing was a fun experience, it was just too calm for these adrenaline seeking folk. 

We finished out the day by heading to the North Shore, to watch the sunset on the beach. It was beautiful, and a nice swim. But we got a bit hungry, so the sunset was forgone, and we went out for food instead. :) 


We started our morning by hitting up Denny's. They don't really have breakfast places here, so Denny's it was. 

We then went to church, and headed over to the Beach Bash. They were doing baptisms after lunch. I had never seen baptisms done in the ocean. Some people fell over....the waves were a bit much. But we stayed from 1:30 in the afternoon until 8:30 at night. Meeting everyone was so much fun. The sunset was gorgeous as well. I found out how to take panoramas, so I got a lot of the sky that night and all of the colors. 

The picture does not do justice to the colors. 
The weekend was wonderful. God had made so many beautiful places. I am so blessed to be able to see so many aspects of it. 

Keep traveling,