Let's talk about our dirty summer secrets. And no, I don't mean dirty, I mean...literally. Dirty. For instance, since Saturday, I have showered all of two times. Disgusting, I know? Second secret. I actually walked to Safeway today without shoes. Isn't that horrible!?!? Mind you, I meandered mostly through front lawns and when it came to walking into the store, I slipped on my flip flops. Some things just aren't worth the time in the summer time and showering and shoes are just two of those things for me! What about you guys?
Anyways, I've been super busy. When I imagined "summer" back in the winter...I imagined hours of free time and days and days of laying in the sun. That has absolutely not been the case. I'm housesitting for two houses right now, I babysat overnight last weekend, I'm going on a weekend vacation this weekend, and next weekend is 4th of July + another overnight babysitting session. Oh, and tonight I'm babysitting over night as well. I'm upping my hours at work, also, to allow for the *two* golden weeks of vacation. Free time?? As much as I hate to say this, I am THIS close to missing school days when I only had to focus on homework. Then again... School? Barf!
Lately, I've been buying a lot of books. It's the one thing I can buy guilt-free with my paycheck because after all, reading beats watching tv every day. However, I've gone through at least 10 this summer and according to my mother, 10 books is equivalent to a Kindle. Hmph. A Kindle. It's a mighty fine idea, and considering I just bought two more books and 2/10 of a Kindle, I'm considering taking the plunge and pulling out $114 of my savings. I am a reader, after all. I'm just not convinced I'll like the actual computer screen aspect of it. Do you all have Kindles?? What do you think? Worth it??
In Idaho, cardigan free weather doesn't start until July. So, yes. I'm still in cardigans. I got this coral one around Christmas and it's probably my most worn cardigan and not just by me! I've had this dress for ages and I'm just now pulling it out. It's so funny because I saw Rachel Berry on Glee wearing this dress and literally ran to my closet and held my dress through the rest of the episode. And I've seen at least four other of the same dresses since! How nifty IS that?? Have a swell weekend, all!
Idaho is truly a magical place. It's the real life Neverland where no one ever really grows up and you can walk around downtown and be confronted by a person dressed up as a zombie who asks you to dance. And then of course, there are the rolling fields that simply can't be described in words. They make you feel invincible. My goal for the summer is to truly take advantage of the beautiful state I live in and capture as much "Idaho" as I can before I head to Montana in the fall. As much as I adore you Montana, you don't hold a candle to the rolling Palouse nor the miles of fields of yellow rape grass (yes, you heard me correctly).
Now that I have you all hyped up about Idaho, I have to tell you... this field was located behind our mall. Idaho is still very majestic and every bit as beautiful as I described, but sometimes it takes a bit of a drive outside of the towns to get to the heart of good old farming country. And I'm really lazy in the summer and a drive, even ten minutes away, doesn't appeal to me often. Maybe when Niklaas gets back I'll get organized, but for now I'm going to use fields behind malls. Hehe.
This weekend was one of "those" weekends where you don't shower and you don't change out of your pjs. It was lazy. I started a healthy eating plan this week and I caught up on blogging, so I feel like it was slightly justified. My goal for this week is to incorporate fitness and cleaning and writing into my routine. Sigh. It really does take me a few weeks to get adjusted to a new "schedule" and I only have 8 left before fall. Just when I have it all figured out, I'll have to leave.
I didn't get too many shots when we took these photos mostly because I hate the wind. And it was very windy. Wind isn't attractive. And don't be fooled, either. It was no warmer than fifty degrees. Apparently, this week it's supposed to warm up and we might reach eighty degrees! I'm praying. Moscow hasn't reached seventy but once this month. It's been freezing! Here's to wishing nice weather this week! <3
When I asked you what your "moments" were, I was asking because I really wanted to know. I was looking for purpose, for value. I needed reminding of what that was. I pride myself on being an optimistic person. It's something I picked up on when my grandpa and 8 year old cousin passed away suddenly- and tragically within a few years of one another. In both instances, I somehow picked up this "optimistic" mechanism to deal with it. Instead of looking at it like we were losing something great (which we were), I tried to look at it as something that could do good. When my grandpa died, many of his siblings and members of our family took their health more seriously and in a family with a history of high cholesterol, this very well could have saved one or more of them who got the annual check-up at the doctor my grandpa didn't. When my cousin died, my aunt underwent genetic testing along with my other two cousins, and a cardioverter-defibrillator was implanted into her chest after she was diagnosed with Long QT syndrome. It brought our families together, at least for a while, taking comfort in one another. It flat out sucks in both cases that it took the loss of a life to bring awareness, but in dealing with the mess, looking at it in the most positive way I could was the only way I knew how to handle it.
However, I've been struggling to hold my head high lately. I guess I lost a bit of myself, the bit I've always known beyond a doubt. That's why I asked you. Watching someone slip away and receiving a phone call that someone left are two very different things. I hit a blank wall. And for me, that is a scary thing. Feeling the ground sink beneath my feet, seeing the grass on the other side was unnerving. In the same week, my dad received one of these phone calls, and it shook me even more. Hearing the phone calls on speakerphone from your mom's bedroom and listening to the voice mails again and again, walking through a lab sodden with silence... I became frustrated.
My moments are everywhere. It took one of them for me to think outside the dark bubble to see things the way I always have, as beautiful. Good moments are often fleeting. We don't get to bask in perfect days day after day. If anything, most of them are less than perfect and pass by unnoticed. It wasn't until I lost something that those days are the ones filled with the real moments that give life value. It's the every day moments that aren't special on their own that put together give your world purpose. The things that you haveevery day that keep you anchored and give you something to be appreciative of. Not the glitter and sparkle of a perfect moment that comes by every now and then, the glitter and sparkle of living a day with both the things you choose to happen and the things that choose to happen to you that make you content.
My moments are driving home from a much needed hot tub session with my best friends from high school, the people that can't ever be replaced by your best friends from college because they've seen us as we were when we didn't know who we were yet. Hearing "Closing Time" come on the radio and wordlessly, connecting us. My moments are walking three flights of stairs to my dad's lab and talking about our days. My moments are the creme brulle lattes my mom and I share every morning. My moments are sitting on the "peak" of Moscow Mountain and seeing my entire life in the radius of my thumbnail. My moments are dropping off my sister's friends and the drive home with just my sister listening to Taylor Swift. Hearing my sister's unguarded laugh. Seeing her work on an art piece for hours in front of the TV listening to something on Netflix and then seeing the finished product. My moments are a book on a sunny day; a book on a cloudy day. My moments are driving from Moscow to Pullman every day on the highway with the zFun 106.1. My moments are finishing the last onion bag after four years being up to my elbows in bleach. My moments are knowing I'm not alone, even if I feel like it and even if I don't want to talk about it. My moments are standing next to any body of water and feeling little. My moments are closing my eyes before bed. My moments are falling asleep to a movie on a Friday night. My moments are swinging on the playground that I spent six years of my elementary education giggling on.
I've learned through the years. I've learned from what memories I have of the people I love and I'll learn from my aunt for years to come after this summer is over.
I lose myself, we all lose ourselves, but sometimes its the moments you don't want to remember that you always will that are there to remind us what we already knew. Life is never something I want to see pass by unnoticed. I want to notice. I want to love every moment that I am granted.
Home alone time has become the most valuable piece of my day. In school, rooming with someone in the same 8 by 16 room meant alone time was a rarity, at best. Someone was always there to hear you sing when your favorite song came on, snore when you were sleeping, and digest after another heinous meal at the Foodzoo (at least this went both ways) Being home again, getting the house to myself is like a chocolate fudge sundae and I can't get enough of it. I opted to not go to my sister's soccer party tonight just so that I could sit in my room and blog and sing and cook myself dinner and write and dance. All things I've missed doing in the privacy of my own bedroom. So, yep. Here I am. Blogging and singing and chair dancing in an empty house. Hallelujah!
The second I saw this dress on Modcloth...I immediately envisioned wearing it in a post at McConnell Mansion. However, it was way over my budget and didn't expect it to happen. Then! Long and behold, I won a $50 gift certificate to Modcloth and voila! It was fate, I keep telling myself. I'm so happy to have Niklaas again to take pictures! He is an irreplaceable asset to the blog and I'm so happy I never have to go a year without him again (for his presence and for the taking pictures aspect, hehe!).
Ever since I was in elementary school, this house has been my absolute favorite building in Moscow. Walking past it on the way to the library was the highlight of my summer day. I'm obsessed with the old Fort Russell District in our cute little town. One of the houses was on "If Walls Could Talk" on TLC and several of them are now Historic Landmarks. The McConnell Mansion was built by a millionaire who worked in the steel industry in 1917 but once he lost his job and went bankrupt, the house was sold to a new owner. Once that owner passed away, the house was given to the city of Moscow and now you can tour the restored house! I love the colors and the architectural details of the time period so much.
Niklaas left yesterday for his big Europe trip that he makes every year. It's so funny because just a month ago, two weeks would have felt like a breeze. And now that we're done with long distance, being apart is almost worse. I just want to be in the same place all the time now that we don't have to live in different places! He graduated last Friday and his birthday was Monday so it was a whirlwind week. I got to meet all of his family and that was a blast. I love extended families. And I love the extended family environment, even if I'm not related, hehe. All of the chitter chatter and gossip and laughing. It was a blast!
Have a good rest of the week! Just one more day! What are your plans for Father's Day? Oh, and have no worries. My "moment'' will be posted shortly:)
1) You take all of the beautiful pictures for my blog and never complain.
2) You are in love with Taylor Swift, like me. And you're going to take me to Seattle on a Wednesday and miss two days of school for her concert. And our relationship from the start has been like a sappy Taylor Swift song (the only kind of relationship I ever want to be in).
3) You have put up with all of my crankyness and obnoxious one word texts when I was mad.
4) You have the cutest laugh I've ever heard.
5) You buy me clothes and give me clothing advice and I buy you clothes and I give you clothing advice and it is the most fun thing ever to date a hipster.
6) You're smarter than I am, even though you will probably never own up to that.
7) You're going after your dreams (and I love that).
8) When we were in High School, no one thought we should be dating, let alone be friends because we were so different and on completely different spectrums of the High School social circle wheel. We proved them wrong and survived a year long distance.
9) You always text me when you make it home safely after driving on the "death road".
10) You are best friends with my Dad and talk to my Mom and make fun of Sophie. Oh, and my Grandma is in love with you.
11) Your handwriting is cuter than mine is.
12) We aren't the obnoxious PDA couple nor the facebook public couple that everyone hates.
13) You know me. To be "known" feels magical.
14) You use words like "yo" seriously and win awards like "Most Likely To Wear An Ugly Sweater Ironically."
15) You can send me 15,000 texts a month and we still have things to talk about 12 months and 180,000 texts later.
16) You like me and chose me...for some reason I'll never figure out.
17) You leave ice cream on my doorstep when I'm grounded and can't go out and make Moscow feel like New York City with our endless adventures.
18) You are my best friend.
Yay for graduating high school and being a big kid now (18)!
That moment when you know everything is worth it; every down fall and every bad day. That moment when you are more than just happy to be alive, you are thankful that you were alive just to experience right now. That moment where you understand what it means to feel something great, something better than happy. That moment that you realize you wouldn't want anything to be any different than it is, that everything added together means more than the pieces and the pieces mean more than the whole. You look at the sky, you look at your world, you look at everything and realize that dying is a small price to pay to live. And maybe the greatest thing you'll ever to do is be alive and experience that moment. And that's okay.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about death. And simultaneously, life. Maybe this is too far in the gutter for a personal style blog, but I don't think I've ever followed the rules style blogging anyways. During finals week, my aunt went through a series of tests and the next week we were given the news that her liver was shutting down. Thus, the drugs and months of chemo aren't effective anymore. So, we're there, at that point where the doctor's say that they've done everything they could and at this point, it's choosing how to live before death. My mom is currently at the kitchen table google-ing hotel rooms and flights to Alaska, Oregon, California, and Montana. This summer will be her last. We're putting together dream vacations she wants to embark on and knocking out those items on her bucket list. In retrospect, it all makes me think about what I'm doing. And what would I be doing differently if I had one summer of life left.
Does spending hours staring at clothes online matter? Reading gossip magazines from cover to back? Watching countless episodes of Gilmore Girls in a row? Blogging? I'll be honest, when I heard the news, I had that moment where I looked at my life and wanted to throw everything out the window and only do what I "should" be doing. Maybe I should be hiking every day, spending hours outside. Or reading more books in the sunshine. Seeing more of my friends. And then I had a conversation with my mom and I don't think I could have thought or said it any better. We never really know if we're going to get a long life, we never really know when it'll be taken. But that's why we do the only thing we can do: be happy and do those things that make us happy, even if they're somewhat silly (gossip magazines) or "unproductive" (hours posting pictures on the internet). Sure, I could go outside more. I could see my friends more. I should be cleaning my room. But I love all of these silly things I do and they are a part of my life and they're just as important as the "should be doings". My aunt told me at Christmas that the best life lesson she ever learned out of the experience was balance.
Anyways, Niklaas and I took pictures today! I've been eyeing this barn for the longest time and I really need to take advantage of all that Idaho has to offer this summer (barns included). It made me happy and to counteract the unproductive hour of pictures and editing them and writing this blog post, I might just go clean my room for an hour. Balance. I tried to tell him how exciting it was to take pictures knowing that I was going to post them the next day instead of a month later. Ick!!! The end of long distance means a lot of good things, folks. It felt more like fun than a chore this time around because I wasn't stuck in the "planning a blog post" mode of prepping posts for months in advance and could just wear something I felt like wearing that day. I got this dress from Modcloth with a gift certificate I won and I love the fabric. It swooshed and swished and was soft. Plus, the open back was a sweet surprise!
Another note, I'm debuting my Jeffrey Campbell's. They were the Style&Tell prize also from Modcloth and I love them. Normally, I'd never spend so much money on a pair of shoes that I could find cheaper any other place, but getting them so cheap was awesome. They are so comfortable and I made Niklaas smell them. New shoe smell= greater than new car smell. MMMM! I was scared to mix the prints at first, but I loved how it turned out!
Have a good rest of the week!