I’m loving this whole blogging thing so much that I’ve decided to move to my “om” sparkly new website! Yep, I’ve packed up all of my posts and images and am already moved in to the new site and some new additions have been added that you will enjoy. I’m so excited to share it with all of you! And I’m one very lucky gal to have a graphic designer/web developer for a boyfriend, who has been super supportive throughout all of this. Thank you, Sam. And thanks to all of you! I love that we’ve created a great little community here in this small part of the internet.
If you currently subscribe to my blog, make sure to resubscribe to my new and improved blog by adding your email address over on the right side. And if you have not subscribed to my blog yet, you should. It’s a lot of fun:) Check it out:
Uncle Sam and Ella; a dynamic duo I could not adore more. Poor Ella is the only child on our Silver Lake trips so she sometimes has no one to play with, except when Sam is around–then the playing really begins! I think Ella has a lot of Sam’s attributes, particularly their love of performing for others. He’s the perfect companion for her as he has no problem acting like a kid and doing the silliest things with her. The name of the game for the whole trip was “playing spy” on the grown-ups. Sam would give her “missions” and she’d earnestly complete them. And sometimes they’d go on operations together, like to spy on Papa while he washed the dishes. And I was there to capture it. I was all smiles and laughter behind the camera, while trying not to blow their cover. Mike was also holding back laughter, but playing along with it; he’s a good Papa. I couldn’t resist sharing this hilarious series of photographs with you.
Annual Silver Lake trips started with Sam’s family when he and his sister, Sara, were very young. Somewhere along the way the trips came to an end, but three years ago they decided to bring the family vacation back to life! It’s been amazing in the last three years to sort of experience what Sam’s childhood vacations were like in Silver Lake. And it seems that with each year, the trips get better and better. I’ve known Sam and his family for nearly five years now and we’ve been very close from the beginning, but I am constantly in awe of how lucky I am to be a part of this family.
This vacation was really special for me–maybe even the best of my life, so far. I felt like I was in this calm and spacious mind-set to fully appreciate every ounce of what happened during our trip. There were so many moments that I loved and I was usually right there to capture it with my camera. I realized on this trip how much I love to document the awesome moments of my life. I wrote in my journal of all of the great experiences of the day and I had two cameras with me: my new Nikon SLR and my smaller Sony camera for situations when I couldn’t take my bigger SLR.
I think I have this drive to capture moments that I love on camera or in my journal because I always want to remember them and hate the thought of letting those little things–and even the big things–dissipate into my life’s history without remembrance. To be able to have something to look back on and remind myself that this small, yet incredible, thing happened one day when I was in Silver Lake, is very important to me. Ergo, I’m a serious moment captor. Some of the highlights of the trip: the Supermoon, celebrating my 25th birthday, Sam and Sara dancing to “Billie Jean,” Sam and his niece, Ella, playing spy, boat fishing, mornings at the cafe and beautiful sunsets on the lake.
The mental transition from vacation mode back to everyday-life mode has always been a tough one for me. Particularly this year, when our gang left Silver Lake to head home, the more we headed further along the road the more my head started to get bombarded with stressful thoughts. It was shocking how quickly my relaxed and loving mind-set that I cultivated during the trip was overshadowed by the worries of going “back to reality.”
But, having 8 hours of being on the road, I got to thinking about how the reality I created on vacation should be not be much different from my reality back home. Why allow stupid, insignificant things get in the way of making me feel absolutely great about myself; like the way I felt on vacation? Albeit, I did have some big things to tackle when I got home, I realized that I can take responsibility for my own life experience and stop those monster thoughts from controlling my mood. I should always feel like my beautiful and amazing, vacation self in my everyday life! So now, despite the difficulty to allow myself to let go of mood-controlling thoughts, I’ve decided to make the commitment to choose to live my life with a lovely, vacation state of mind; minus the constant desire for yummy, yet greasy, vacation foods. Cheers to living your life like your lounging by the lake with a glass of wine!
I’ve been really enamored by the sky lately. There have been so many interesting cloud formations and beautiful gradations of blue in the sky each day. I find myself “oohing” and “ahing” every time I look up. I think I’ve been paying more attention to the air above me lately because I know I will be leaving this sky for a completely different sky in Portland. So I’m doing my best to soak in the mostly sunny, California days. And now that today is officially the beginning of summer, I will appreciate all that the sun has to offer–with sunscreen, of course.
Saturday, I will be making the drive, with Sam and his family, to Silver Lake–a gorgeous lake next to June Lake, in the Eastern Sierra. I didn’t realize that I would be going on vacation the day after Summer Solstice and I don’t think there is a better way to start off my summer! I’m really looking forward to unplugging for a week and allowing myself to relax in such a breathtaking environment.
I hope all of you celebrate the beginning of your summer in your own way! And I will see you in a little over a week!
So by the end of this summer, I will be calling Portland, Oregon home! Sam and I made the huge decision at the end of last year, but it hadn’t become a reality until this month. Just when it looked like our move wasn’t going to happen for awhile, everything started to come together for us. The universe was somehow letting us know that our idea was–and still is–a pretty great one, terrifying but great. It’s incredibly exhilarating to have a big idea like this become a reality!
I’m really proud of Sam and I. We are a kick-ass team and have been through a lot together. I’m really happy that I get to experience all of this with him. That’s what this move is all about for me–my love and I are starting our life together. We’re ready. But until the big move, I plan on soaking in my summer here in California with all of my family and friends. It’s going to be hard leaving everyone, but I can’t wait to start fresh in lovely Portland, the City of Roses.
I’m officially a college graduate! Finally! It’s been a long road for me and academia, but it was worth it. And being able to walk across the stage, as my name was announced over the loud speaker, was a great way to conclude my journey as a college student. I prepared myself mentally for the big day with the intention to simply remember to breathe through the experience and to have fun. And unlike my usual self in easily getting overly stimulated by constant noise and crowds of people, I mostly remained calm all day (it was heart pumping to realize that I’m about to walk across a stage, in heels, in front of thousands of people with my family and friends intensely watching). But it felt like I had a thin bubble around me all day that sort of blocked out all of the chaos and allowed me to completely soak in my own experience. But the best part of the day was the fact that my family and friends came together to celebrate with me. They all have been such a huge part in getting me to this point, so it felt good that we all came together to eat, drink, laugh and celebrate. It was a fantastic day!