Tag Archive: wine

Trip. Trip.

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In the middle of the health saga, I got an email from my youngest brother, Matt, that simply said,

“I think you need a trip”

I knew instantly he was right. Traveling has always been a great source of inspiration, reflection, and plain old happiness for me. I hadn’t had much of that lately and it was time to schedule something to forward to. I clicked on the accompanying travel deal link he’d sent and turned to my friend/co-worker, Sullivan, sitting next to me. All it took was, “Want to go to Ireland?” and before long, we were off.

I don’t delude myself into thinking anyone wants a play-by-play of our vacation. Instead, I’ll give you short highlights from our three cities.


Overall Impression: I found Dublin friendly and spirited. It was exactly how I pictured it in the best way- rolling green hills, live music, and cobblestone streets.


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My Favorite Thing: The pubs! If only the bars here were half as fun as the ones in Ireland….







Overall Impression: It’s a large, busy city with tall beautiful buildings and adorable house-lined canals everywhere you turn.

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My Favorite Thing: I loved the vibe in the city. It feels modern and open-minded. I was thankful for the escape and chance to ask myself why I think a certain way or do certain things.




Overall Impression: Charming and upscale. They spare no expense in Copenhagen! They burn candles at the table, set out fresh flowers, and wear real furs. The food is made with the same touch and tastes incredible.


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My Favorite Thing: This meal. Smorrebrod: An open face sandwich paired with homemade schnapps.

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Also, biking through the city.





Overall, if I had to pick one favorite spot from the trip it would be the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. Standing on the edge gave me exactly the feeling I flew thousands of miles to experience.

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Since it was winter we had the cliffs all to ourselves. Sure. We were covered in rain, but it was totally worth it.  I highly recommend traveling in December over July.



Aside from skipping the crowds, you get to see all kinds of Christmas Spirit! It’s unreal.


 Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen







I had such a blast with Sullivan. We turned to each other on several occasions and said, “Is this real life?!”


I wouldn’t change a thing.



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My Birthday Thanks List

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I celebrated another year this weekend, and while you might be expecting to read a bitter lament, my feelings about the whole deal are quite the opposite. I came to the conclusion that birthdays are funny because right when you are in the midst of celebrating your own life, you are forced to think about the things you want but don’t have. What do you want for a gift? What do you spend your check from grandpa on? What do you wish when you blow out the candles? Did last year’s wish come true? Apparently I’ve had a good birthday list in proper order for a while:

I ain’t saying she’s a gold digger

But this year I didn’t a have wish list.  Heading into the festivities I felt an overwhelming sense that my life is really great simply because I am loved by an incredible family and group of amazing friends. They really are all I need or could ask for.

This birthday post came at an ideal time because I’ve been struggling to find a way to integrate joy into my blog without coming across as braggy or boring. There are tons of bright spots that I keep to myself figuring you’d all prefer to read about my funny mishaps or struggles. But my ultimate goal isn’t to make you laugh. It’s to be honest with you. And if I am to paint an accurate picture, I must include the parts that show I’m one of the luckiest girls in the world and I have a lot to be grateful for. Love comes from all kinds of sources and I have far more than I deserve. So this year, instead of a wish list, I decided to do a “Thanks List”. Here are a few things that made the list just from the weekend:

1. Lexie brought me balloons to our small group. I had no idea helium balloons could make the adult me so happy but they did!

2. I Skyped my little brother Matt in South Africa. I miss him dearly! He’s working with an orginazation called Aleph. Give them a look.

3. My grandma made me a special birthday breakfast complete with a game of cards:)

4. I can’t tell you the last time I had a birthday party as I tend to opt for a quiet evening with a few friends at a restaurant. But this year I got it in my head that I wanted an outdoor fall dinner party. You should know that when I get something in my head I tend to make it happen. This has been the source of some of my worst days- convincing my friend’s mom to perm just my bangs in 5th grade. The result was faux-pubic hair on my forehead, and my best days- this past Saturday.

It was the perfect evening thanks to the help of many. My friend Christine worked tirelessly all day helping arrange and clean. My older brother Tim spent his entire Saturday stringing lights and getting his backyard ready (plus he made those benches b/c he’s cool like that). My mom shopped and ran errands the whole day before and lent me all her pretty entertaining supplies (remember, I have not had the coveted pleasure of registering for real cookware yet and own next to nothing). People brought food and my friend Morgan did all the table decorating and planning! She has a great sense of space (that also happens to be the name of her business) and a true eye for beauty. The end result was a magical night with good friends over delicious wine and food. It was everything I had dreamed in my head and more!

5. And if I weren’t already blessed enough, I still got my quiet dinner. My parents took my siblings and me out for a special meal to wrap up the weekend. We had a wonderful time and there were happy tears and laughter. The tears were my brother Mark‘s. He is a big time crier. We also ate more delicious food which has now caused me to start P90X for the first time. Consider yourselves my world-wide web of accountability. Maybe if I tell you I’ll actually do it.

6. On my actual birthday I gave a talk to our Young Adult’s group at church about how much I love Jesus and what He has been up to in my life. It was the perfect reminder that He loves me and I’m never alone. I felt like it was His way of celebrating the day with me.

7. I had a good hair day at my party. So did Morgan. Here we are, sans bangs disaster, looking very posey in front of her pretty pumpkin and floral creation.

8. T. Swift’s album Red released! Seriously, I think we live parallel lives (minus her success, famous boyfriends, and millions of dollars. Did you know she is dating a Kennedy? That’s like our version of royalty, making her the new Kate Middleton (whom I love).  Taylor says exactly what is in my head… Which could indicate a problem because she might be 22…


Why I Think I’m Still Single

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I hate when people ask me why I’m still single so it surprised me when I decided to write about it. Am I doing it because a)I’m out of my mind today b) desperate for blog traffic or c) I’m assuming my readers also hate getting this question and might appreciate it? Probably a mix of all three.

I don’t particularly enjoy putting my feelings on dating and relationships “out there.” In fact, I go to great lengths to dodge such interrogations conversations in life, preferring to reserve them for close girl friends over bottles of wine. But I’m writing a book and a blog is part of the publishing process. (Which I’m totally excited about!) The only downside is they have both led to an increase in awkward interactions. Just this past Thursday while watching a friend’s band play the lead singer (whom I don’t know that well) asked me about my work and then said, “Oh..So you’re looking for a man, then?”

Kill me now.

I laughed and cringed and pictured myself deleting the whole thing as soon as I got home and answered that I would never put it that way. Ever. I can’t blame him for thinking that might be the case. I might stumble across this blog and think the same thing. I know my life is not all about “finding a man” (might be the worst phrase ever) but strangers don’t and that worries me.

Thankfully, Singer saved the conversation. He said it would be ok if I was looking and that he has found himself in that place before. We both agreed it’s a normal thing to want to meet the person you want to be with. He said his problem was that it’s hard to actually find someone you are interested in.


So, without further ado, here are the top 4 reasons I think I’m still single:

1. I don’t meet many guys I want to date. I’m pretty sure 100% of my single girl friends and guy friends would say the exact same thing. We go out, we get set up, some are online, and it all leads to nowhere. We’ve all had our share of rejection and heartbreak, but at the end of the day I feel like for me the real truth is- It’s not me, it’s him. “Him” being the proverbial hidden and/or impaired male species.

It’s really hard to find a single guy I find attractive, click with, has his crap together, and is into me, too. I imagine guys feel the same about finding “her.” Sure, I have days where I freak out and think I need a new hairstyle, stop eating food all together, or start-up some ridiculous yet possibly impressive hobby like windsurfing or dirt bike riding. But those thoughts pass and I remember that I like being me. There’s nothing “wrong” with me.

2. I’m still single b/c I spent 3 yrs in an on and off rollercoaster relationship. Think of all the missed opportunities! Just kidding, I don’t see it that way at all. But it’s technically true.

3. What I’m looking for takes time to find. People say all kinds of things about love and get married for different reasons. I think the important thing is to look for what matters most to you in a relationship. For me, it’s finding a best friend. (One I’m attracted to. I’m no nun). Some people think spark is the most important feature. I’ve felt it many times with guys I didn’t date long term and chemistry doesn’t indicate the other person is good for you. Others really want to find someone who shares their ideals and goals. Also important but I’ve met guys who share my values on paper but are not what I’m looking for in a relationship.  If our love for Jesus is the only thing we have in common its a no go.

What I’m looking for is someone I can look up to, enjoy spending time with, makes me laugh thinks I’m funny, and is kind. It would help if he miraculously found it charming that I watch mass amounts of the Hallmark channel at Christmas and want to talk about it. See…he’s going to be hard to find. I’m hoping the fact that I’m up for adapting to his quirks and try to be a good person most days helps. All in all, if this is what I want, I’m going to have to wait for it.  And I’m willing to wait for it and enjoy my freedom in the meantime.


4. this blog I’m fairly certain this blog is going to be my downfall.

Well, there you have it- that is why I think I’m still single. I think that’s why my friends are still single. They are total catches and it just so happens JoJo was right, “True love is hard to find. And once you find it, it probably has rabies.