***TRAVEL***

I am happiest when:

*My feet are bare, my toes sandy
*My hair is tousled from the wind, tangled from the sea
*My skin is warm from the sun, shimmering from sunscreen
*I am meeting new people, having new conversations, trying new things, absorbing new information & experiences
*I am just slightly beyond my comfort zone and empowered to learn I’m often capable of so much more than I initially assume
IMG_0376 IMG_0378 IMG_0394 IMG_0411
Kauai was incredible, and I am so grateful to have had the amazing opportunity to go (AND to experience that magical, soulful, stunning place in the manner I did!). Now I am back in Seattle, and while I do love this place (I do, right? Ha, please remind me…), I’m missing island life big-time.

How to retain that carefree JOY that permeates the soul while exploring someplace breathtaking and new? Therein lies the forever challenge…

For now, I’m going to put on some Jawaiian tunes, walk to yoga, do boatloads of work and as-gently-as-possible ease my way back in. Thanks, Kauai, for making me feel so lucky and so very alive.

“The sun shines not on us but in us.”~John Muir

Advertisements

Family & “Family,” Holidays & *Signs*

This past holiday weekend, I was feeling soooo homesick. Sure, I have a boatload of amazing friends here who now feel like family, plus I am SO lucky to have a surrogate “West Coast family” (my brother’s in-laws), who could NOT be more welcoming or warm to be around. (I spent a super fun and relaxed day with them on Saturday.)

And yet, this weekend I felt this deep aching for my family, our traditions, the familiarity and predictability of our holidays spent together—kooky quirks ‘n’ all. (I’ve also been feeling a bit disconnected recently from some of my home friends and craving their company and conversation, too.) Life feels so full as of late, and I am forever feeling I am dropping the ball on communication with someone who I care deeply about. It’s hard to keep up. And sometimes I worry the distance is actually taking a wee toll—yet I am determined to not let it win. It’s a balance, for sure.

Anyway, I didn’t quite know how I’d spend Easter Sunday, and since this is a veryyyyyy last-minute town, the invites started rolling in around Saturday afternoon/evening (!). Why do I worry? I should always remember that things will unfold as they should (sometimes just a bit later in this non-committal NW land!).

So in an unexpected, random outcome of events, I ended up going to a friend’s friend’s lovely brunch in a LOVELY West Seattle home, and the meal was exactly what I had been craving. Egg casserole just like my mom’s, banana bread, mimosas, overflowing spinach salad, pesto deviled eggs (um yum!), a beautiful, long table set with fresh flowers (just like my mom’s or aunt’s). It was a full house of adults and cute kids and a really mellow, easy vibe that just permeated the light-filled home. (I so crave to be this kind of host!)

When I walked in, I learned the happy news that this chica I really like was coming (who looks sooo much like my cousin Jen—Sunday was Jen’s birthday, and who has the name “Besty,” like my mom’s wonderful aunt), as was Betsy’s son Elliott (the same name as my D.C. cousin Pat’s son).

I suddenly released a massive sigh; the sadness lifted…I can’t fully explain it, but I no longer felt that my family was so far away.

Okay, Universe, I said. I get it. It’s all good.

IMG_0070

IMG_0111IMG_0091

I’m more and a more a believer in tuning in to these “signs,” these little lil’ zany love taps. Sure, you could write them off as silly “coincidences,” but I’m keen to draw more from it all.

Hoping you had a lovely weekend, surrounded by love & light, family & friends.

Words to Save for a Rainy Day

I went to a fantastically fun media event on Wednesday (actually, there have been several this week…my head is spinning!), but at this one awesome lunch at Safeco Field, I was given one of the most fantastic compliments I’ve ever received. Seated in between the head of the Washington Beer Commission and the lovely, adorable couple who own one of this city’s most popular, longest-running breweries (Pike), after a particularly wonderful and flowing exchange, one of them turned to me and said:

“I can tell you love what you do.”

I feel like it’s been a long, often-bumpy road getting to where I currently stand, and recently, the pavement has been feeling a bit smoother (and my engine revving up at sometimes frightening speeds). I feel like I’ve graduated onto a new highway or something. I am grateful for it all—and delicately holding onto those moments and these kind words that make it all worth the ride toward the vast, unknown horizon.

11053346_801614409920676_7575520223712647944_n

Happy to Report, WANDERLUST Alive & Well Around These Parts!

I loved our Memphis-Oxford, Miss.-Nashville road trip so, so much.

I have oodles more to say—and a million jumbled words drafted—but, for now….photos!

Feeling emotionally grateful for these experiences, these adventures, these friends, this life I get to lead. Sometimes things feel like they’re moving a million miles an hour as of late, and I’m trying to take moments to pause, process and savor it all. I feel in the midst of big things, and I want to remember to be here—truly here—for every step of this unfolding journey.

FullSizeRender IMG_9868 IMG_9872 IMG_9873 IMG_9886IMG_9899 IMG_9901 IMG_9913 IMG_9928 IMG_9939IMG_9948IMG_9949IMG_9954IMG_9964IMG_9969IMG_9970

Thanks, South, for your warm hospitality! “Y’all come back now” shouldn’t be a problem for this traveler:)