Friday, January 30, 2015

minimal lighting, lots of lights: garden glow

Over Thanksgiving break, my parents invited me along with a group of their friends to go see Christmas lights at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Garden Glow

There's something about getting older and for some reason never having time to get psyched for Christmas like I used to. Driving around the best decorated neighborhoods to enjoy the glimmering lights, baking copious amounts of cookies and sweets (and eating majority of them while baking them), and a warm fireplace as a nightly occurrence. 

Year after year as things change, the strong memories of my childhood Christmases still remain. Sometimes it's simply the smell of pine trees that make my heart happy to reminisce.

It was lovely walking through the bitter air with a Bailey's and coffee in hand (thanks, dad) while enjoying the beauty of the spectrum of colors and lights throughout the garden.

After our visit to the Garden Glow, the group went out for food--holy cow, the portions of this place were HUGE. It was nice to catch up with friends of my parents, hearing their outlook and where they are in their lives. 


Saturday, January 24, 2015

expanding opportunity

Today's adventure: meeting up with my parents to go hiking!

My parents wanted to visit with me a bit before they depart on a trip to Cancun. As jealous as I am of their trip to somewhere warm (we're talking 80 degrees!), this midwest weather has been pleasantly warm as of late..for January at least. Of course we couldn't pass an opportunity to go hiking! Whenever we meet up while I am at school, we meet at a town in the middle of Cape and St. Louis, usually for dinner or some kind of meal. But there is only so much one can do in a tiny town that none of us know much about. As we were considering a winery (this town has many), my mom came across Pickle Springs Nature Area online and saw its rave reviews. Needless to say we went there and were not disappointed. The hike is a 2 mile loop, with a gorge, so many boulders, and waterfalls that had frozen from the cold. 

Afterward we ventured to the "downtown" area of St. Genevieve, Missouri and ate dinner at Anvil's. Over some of their deliciously famous onion rings, my parents and I conversed a bit about getting stuck in ruts and continuing to explore all that life has to offer. Dad talked about wanting to put together a stand-up act. If there's one thing to know about my dad, it's that he is an absolute quick-witted, funny guy that knows everybody. If he could remember what funny things came out of his mouth, he could easily put together an act. He also talked about getting back into drumming and playing with a band every so often. 

I think it's important to check in with yourself once in a while. What are your interests? What is it that you want to do that you haven't done? Why have you yet to do that said thing? I think before you know it, the days seem to blend together if you don't mix it up to distinguish between them. Forming habits, especially good ones, are great. But sometimes it gets to be so difficult to get out of habits, which can lead to not doing what you truly want to do. So do it. Do what you want to do. It's much easier said than done. Before you know it, years will pass. That's a bit scary to me. I don't think it has to be, though. Not if I follow my impulses and live in the now. I think that's what is important, the word "now". 

So on my drive back home, I thought about what opportunities can I make for myself. What more is there for me to take advantage of in this life, for my own life? If anything at least, I've learned today, spending time with loved ones and with nature fulfills my being. And when I'm feeling whole, my mind seems to be at a more open and creative state to examine and explore my opportunities. 

Tell me, what are some opportunities you want to make for yourself?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

catching up

Winter break has come and gone. Just kidding. It's still winter break, sheesh! The first two weeks were crazy, jam-packed busy, and the last two weeks were supposed to be for being a full-time friend and for working too.

 Week one of being free for scheduled busy-ness was a success, hanging out with Hannah in the bitter cold weather at Forest Park (and attempting to hide from the cold in the Saint Louis Art Museum, but unfortunately they are closed on Mondays...), meeting up with two of my great friends also in the performing arts and going ice skating (and learning from an older ice dancing couple how to do a friendship circle!), seeing friends from high school and catching up on all kinds of things, baking "ugly sweater" cookies (yes, there was a kit for that) with my roommate Emily, and had planned a coffee date with an old friend and salsa dancing until I got sick. It's been over a week now since I picked up this horrendous cold/flu thing and have been laying around the house ever since. Well, there goes the rest of my break.

 What's sad to me is, even while I was at home, I had no energy nor motivation to do anything productive. While I had all of this seemingly endless amount of time to workout, plan trips, finish up my belated Christmas gift giving, catching up on the blog, plan my big move to Chicago, clean the house or get my room in order, I rather laid on the couch and worked on my Netflix game.. Of course, I was sick, the sickest I've been in a very long time. So it was acceptable for me to do just that. But it's oh so very difficult for me to simply lay around and do nothing. 

I think now I am finally beginning to feel a bit better--I had a dentist appointment today, did a little shopping (a lot of shopping...then passed out on the couch in the evening watching Grand Budapest Hotel because the day took it out of me). After my massive nap, a nose spray to cleanse all of the congestion, and an ibuprofen to help out my headache, I do actually feel much better. Finally. So now I am doing a bit of playing catch up. With everything. But I felt without hitting the gym full blast again (bad idea), some journaling, reflecting, and writing up on the blog would give me a small sense of purpose after all of this laying around. Hey, it's a slow process. 

In my last few days in St. Louis before I depart back to school for my final semester (!!!), I figured I could plan out a few things to catch up on. For the blog in particular, I definitely have a "year in review" in the works..that of which I was supposed to post up closer the first of the year, but you know, I'll get around to it, as well as some posts from earlier in the winter that again, I just never got around to posting. All around, I'd love to get into more habits, both quantitatively and qualitatively, especially with blogging. Fingers crossed those habits get started! Looking forward to more posts of new adventures for a new year!

It just feels good to get back into writing again. That's all that a sick person needs currently to make her happy (at least this sick person). That, and getting out of the house!