Hello, 2015!

10299922_10152448988573386_4155779792611196313_nI can’t believe how fast 2014 flew by. It’s been quite a year. When I think of all the things I’ve done, all the obstacles I’ve faced, and all the places/friends I’ve visited, it’s overwhelming.Through all the ups and downs I’ve always felt immensely blessed. God has truly seen me through one heck of a year. Here are just some highlights from 2014.

January:

  • I traveled to Europe for a study abroad trip and visited Budapest, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and London. I absolutely loved my time in these cities and long to go back.

February:

  • My beloved Abuelo passed away. I can’t begin to describe how much his love and support shaped my life. His influence is so present in his children and grandchildren and I strive to have a faith as strong as his.

March:

April

  • Said goodbye to my sister who moved to Japan to teach English. Funny to see that out of the two of us she would be the one to move to another country. But I’m so proud of her and how much she’s challenged herself and grown.

May

  • Successfully finished writing/editing my novel, passed my defense, and then graduated with my master’s degree in Professional Writing.
  • Moved out of my apartment in Oklahoma and said goodbye to my roommate of 2 years.
  • Also said goodbye to the longest place I’ve ever lived: Oklahoma with 6.5 years.

June

  • Moved to Indianapolis, IN.
  • Started my second publishing internship with Pearson. (I also interned with them last summer) It was great to return and work as a Project Editor Intern.

July

  • Had one of my Buzzfeed posts promoted to the FRONT PAGE of their website: 18 Quirky Literary Items You Can Buy On Etsy.
  • Said goodbye to my childhood pet lizard, Kevin, a Blue Tongue Skink. We were tight for 12 years and I was sad to see him go, but I rehomed him because of my uncertain job/living status.

August

  • Moved to BROOKLYN, NY.
  • Started volunteering for the Floating Library, a pop-up literary and public space exhibition. I helped launch their Twitter/Instagram pages. I met so many awesome people during my first few months in NYC because of this experience.
  • Joined a fabulous new Church, Liberty Church, started setting down roots, and embraced a new community.
  • Had a second Buzzfeed post promoted to their front page: 16 Gloriously Zany Temporary Tattoos.

October

  • Started a temp job as a Video Assistant for Pearson. It was awesome to be working with the video team again.

November

  • I scored a ticket for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and got to be on the show.
  • Met Neil Gaiman. He was as delightful in person as he is on twitter.
  • Traveled to Texas/Oklahoma for Thanksgiving – saw all of my extended family, well, all that were in the country.

December

  • Traveled to Texas/Oklahoma to spend Christmas with my family.

This year has been one for the books. I can’t believe how blessed I am. I had so many wonderful opportunities to see old friends and make new ones. I also traveled SO much this year and that was awesome. It was also a hard year with lots of goodbyes and tough decisions.

I’d probably say the most drastic/biggest change this year was my decision to pack up everything I could carry in my sedan and drive across the country to move to New York. But as tough as that decision was, it’s honestly been one of the best and I’m so excited to see what 2015 brings in this new city.

Here’s to the new year!

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I wish I could freeze time

I’m at Barnes and Noble for an extended period of time because there’s no Internet in my newly acquired apartment. I’m in Indy, btw, so YAY! It’s been a crazy couple of days, that’s for sure. Working on settling in and finding out what’s in the area.

But what struck me as I was sitting in the cafe, was a family of four. I can’t help but look up and gaze at the people around me and wonder, imagine backstories, tidbits of trivia. The writer in me is always dreaming and plotting.

But across the way was that family of four. They entered the cafe, sat down at a table and after five minutes moved to another table. They waited, and eventually their Starbucks drinks arrived. Even though the two children were fairly young, the little boy probably around 8 or so and the girl around 11, they all got Starbucks drinks.

But this is the moment I wanted to capture, the moment I wish I could freeze in my mind, the snapshot of family and love portrayed: the little boy took a drink and made some strange gesture, some noise, some face that alerted the rest of the family to his plight. I looked up to find the mother gently stirring his drink, a small smile on her face, the sister facing her brother and smirking, and the father in the corner, trying hard to suppress his grin. For a tense moment it was quiet, and then the little boy burst out laughing, quietly, but loud enough to draw my attention away from my screen.

It was just as the little boy’s laugh gave way that the mother, sister, and even the father joined in. And that perfect moment, where all four were laughing, their heads leaning towards each other and the center of the table, caught completely in their own mirth and completely unaware of the rest of the world. That was the moment.

And just like that, I fell in love with the family.

Why I don’t ask my father for photography titles…

I was staring at one of my photographs, trying to think of the perfect title when my father walked into the room. I asked him what he would title the tree with green leaves and lichen on the bark. He contemplated for a moment and then said. “Jabba the Hutt Emerging!”