I recently went back to Austin, Texas for the second time and got to explore a bit more of this weird and wonderful city. Here are my best recs from what we got to see on our short trip!
We took a trip to visit my brother and found ourselves a winter wonderland full of adventures and amazing food and even cage diving with sharks!
there's something about roots, and something about wings. there's something about adventure, and something about contentment. there's something about there, and still so much about here.
Making // plans for a two-week cross-country road trip with Dad for August, and I am SO EXCITED. One of my goals for this year was to visit two new states, and this trip will cross five off of my list!
Cooking // tacos. All the tacos. All the time.
Drinking // French press coffee (the best coffee)
Playing // the app WordBrain -- it's addicting and so fun (and frustrating!)
Enjoying // all the goodies from my third Causebox from Sevenly-- so many fun things this time!
Wondering // which of the apartments I'm checking out with a friend today will be the favorite...
Pondering // all the incredible conversations I've had in the last week with friends and family, and trying to get everything written down before I forget. So much verbal processing happened and that's not my norm, but it opened my eyes and heart to SO MANY NEW THINGS and I'm so grateful.
Watching // Friday Night Lights on Netflix all over again from the beginning. Because Texas Forever. Clear eyes, full heart, can't lose.
Hoping // this Sunday's Color Me Mad 5K is as fun as they seem to be! Let's hope my knee holds out okay and I make it through the finish line without having to crawl!
Marveling // at the simple beauty of hydrangeas (thanks, TJ!)
Needing // to get back into my morning yoga routine...my muscles hurt and it's not going to be pretty.
Smelling // a sweet honeysuckle candle burning... smells like summer and I love it.
Wearing // lots and lots and lots of neutrals. and lots of Madewell.
Noticing // keeping healthy snacks on my desk means I'll be more mindful in my snacking. Almonds and apples are my current go-to choices!
Thinking // a lot about what family looks like and how we do family well... this post from Ann Voskamp is one I know I'll keep reading over and over.
Admiring // the newest Darling Magazine... beautiful.
Sorting // through my closet, getting rid of things that aren't my style any more or that don't fit or that I don't love...because I'm learning that I'm an over-buyer and I want to try to simplify even though it isn't my nature.
Buying // a curling wand! When we were in Texas, we took new head shots, and a new friend kindly took pity on my mess of hair and curled it...I was sold instantly. So quick! So beautiful!
Getting // TONS AND TONS of bug bites already this summer...so I finally bought essential oils that are good for repelling those little guys so I can hopefully not get eaten alive anymore!
Disliking // humidity. Go away.
Opening // a new journal is like opening a door to a whole new world. That first crack of the spine, the sweet smell of new paper, the blank space just waiting to be filled...it's an experience and I love it.
Feeling // heartbroken by the Charleston shooting and devastated by the loss of nine beautiful lives. It's easier to try to tune out the news and avoid reading the articles about the tragic current events in the world around me, but this time, I didn't let myself do that. I read the articles. I watched the news. I read the tweets and the posts and the commentaries. I wept. Really and truly, I cried like I haven't cried in a long time, praying out loud to a God I know is weeping too at such a loss. May I love like Jesus-- regardless of any color, any sin, any lifestyle, any culture, or any difference at al. May I be aware of and broken by injustice, by violence, by cruelty, by racism, by prejudice, by slavery, by all that is wrong in our world. May I never stay silent when the Lord is calling me to speak, may I never turn away and pretend I don't see, may I never feign ignorance. May Your kingdom come. May Your peace comfort. May Your love heal. May Your people be Your hands and feet. May Your light shine in darkness.
Before I share about my recent Texas journey, let me tell you a little backstory...
At the beginning of 2014, a really cool thing happened. Through friends and connections that were so perfectly orchestrated by a God who writes awesome stories in our lives, I started blogging for Rethink Creative Group. It was the first time I was blogging seriously, and for a site that wasn't just my own, and I absolutely loved it. I loved the other people on the team, and loved being part of how Rethink was growing.
Last August, as Rethink was growing as a business, we made a change to that blog. We launched a whole new site called The Rising blog, and it became my baby. I wasn't just blogging anymore, but also leading a team of incredibly talented writers from all over the country, editing all content, running our social media, and helping bring everyone's words to life in a new space.
This past May (as in last month), I officially came on board part-time with Rethink as the Chief of Story. I wrapped up nannying the two boys I had fallen in love with this year and my work with Rethink became my sole job. IT WAS SO EXCITING.
Then, last week, I flew out to Texas for a full week with the Rethink guys. The craziest part of all of this? I had never met David and Mark who are the co-founders of Rethink. The two of them plus Blair (who I had hung out with a few times over the last year when he passed through Richmond) and I make up the whole staff team currently.
Basically, this past week has been one of the all-time best ever. Getting to finally be in the same place with these men that I've known and worked with for over a year was amazing. We traveled all over Texas, worked together, had many long and incredible conversations, laughed harder than I have in a long time, had a complete blast, and grew so much closer in just seven days than we ever could have spread out all across the country.
Coming home to Richmond on Tuesday was bittersweet. I love this work, love these people, and love what we get to create together everyday. It was so much fun to all be together to do that, but I know we are all coming back to our respective cities ready to make more magic happen for our clients.
Here are some snapshots from my week in Texas!
Traveling from DCA-->DFW (and leaving love letters for strangers)
Austin, TX at Adelbert's Brewery (filming a promo video for them) // Dinner out with the team // Relaxing at our AirBnB // Visiting the State Capitol // More video shooting
Grapevine, TX at Redefined Coffee House // Best tacos EVER // Hadassah Valentine (Rachel and David's adorable daughter!)
ps-- if you need any marketing/creative work/websites/social media strategy/etc...check out Rethink! We would LOVE to work with you.
Maybe we're friends in real life, or maybe we've never met, and maybe this is your very first time on my little corner of the Internet! One of my favorite things to find on bloggers' sites is lists of things you never knew about them, and I decided it was a fine time to share one of my own as a way of celebrating my birthday (YAY)!
Enjoy these (very random) facts that you probably never knew about me...
- I was born in Maryland and lived there for five years before becoming an Arizona girl! I will always call AZ home, though, because when you live somewhere from kindergarten through high school, it undeniably becomes home. I firmly believe the West Coast is the best coast.
- I've never broken a bone, but I have had 4 major knee surgeries, my appendix taken out (in Costa Rica on a mission trip...it's one of my most exciting stories to tell at parties) and my wisdom teeth out (with no funny video footage--bummer).
- When I was little, I was obsessed with creating families and writing stories about them. I would make whole profiles of each person with all of their favorite things and likes/dislikes, and then would write little stories about them all. I guess I've always had writing in my blood...
- I'm a hardcore introvert (INFJ through and through) but people who first meet me never think I'm introverted! I guess I fake it well when necessary!
- I'm 5'3" which is conveniently my birthday (May 3rd) and also makes me 6+ inches shorter than my mom, dad and "little" brother.
- My eyes are green, my birthstone is emerald, and my favorite color is green. I loved that Pantone's color of the year for 2014 was emerald-- it was everywhere and it was awesome! I use that exact shade in my logo and around my website.
- I don't like chocolate (never really have and especially not now that I'm vegan and can't eat a lot of it) but I LOVE fruity candy-- orange is my favorite flavor by FAR. Sour Patch Kids, Nerds, Skittles, Sweetarts, Sprees...it's my weakness. I would almost always choose candy over baked goods or any other kind of dessert, except maybe fro-yo (fruity sorbet topped with berries and nerds is my go-to)!
- My eyesight is technically perfect according to my eye doctor, but since I get awful headaches and migraines like ALL THE TIME, I wear glasses when I read or look at my computer screen! It makes a huge difference. Plus, I feel cooler and more studious when I wear them, so it's really a win-win.
- I watched the documentary Food, Inc. when I was a senior in high school, and I quit eating all meat cold turkey (pun totally intended) right after! I've been a vegetarian now since June 5, 2010. The beginning of my last year at JMU, I got really sick for a few weeks after coming back from a summer in London, and after seeing my doctor, realized I was allergic to wheat. Thanks to my body being super weird, I also couldn't handle eating any dairy anymore, so out of nowhere I became gluten-free and vegan in one fell swoop! I do cheat occasionally and eat some seafood and eggs, but overall I love it even though it makes life way more complicated.
- I've traveled to Mexico, Canada, France, Costa Rica, England and Scotland-- I can't wait to see which country I get to go to next.
- One of my favorite childhood travel experiences was a six-week sabbatical road trip my family took the summer before I went into 7th grade. We left from Arizona (with our mini-van packed to the brim with everything we would need for the whole summer) and journeyed up through California, into Oregon, to Washington where we embarked on a week-long Alaskan cruise, then up into Canada, and then back down through Montana, Wyoming, the corner of Idaho, Utah, Four Corners, then back home to AZ. We hit quite a few National Parks and many other incredible sights along the way, and I'm so glad it was before we had cell phones or iPods or DVDs in our car to distract us-- it was a trip of a lifetime and I'll never forget it!
- My family has a miniature schnauzer that I named Uli (after a German woman on Project Runway the summer that we got her)-- she's adorable.
- I was on the newspaper staff in high school, and was co-editor in chief my senior year. We redesigned the paper into a newsmagazine that won some awards-- I loved that class and being part of all of it.
- We didn't have cable until I was in high school. I joke that I was a super sheltered kid (I mean, I only watched Arthur and ZOOM, and my boy band of choice was Plus One because I had no clue who the Backstreet Boys or NSYNC were...) but I'm so grateful for it in hindsight.
- I passed out on a sunrise hot air balloon ride in Sedona, AZ once...
- I have to keep my nails painted or I'll bite them. Bad habits die hard.
- I could never do a cartwheel or a handstand or the splits, and always wanted to be able to. Maybe someday...
- I've never seen the Harry Potter movies. I know, I know. Everyone I tell freaks out. It's just one of those things, though. Just not interested.
- I HATED living in VA the first few years I was here (also because high school was hellish, but that's a whole different story) but I have completely fallen in love with Richmond since moving back after graduation. I love this River City.
- My favorite sport is hockey, by far. I went to quite a few Phoenix Coyotes games growing up, but became a huge Washington Capitals fan in high school thanks to my then-boyfriend who was an avid hockey player and fan. I'm loving that we're in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs-- let's go Caps!
- I have two tattoos-- an arrow on the side of my foot and this one I designed on my left forearm.
- I love love love snail mail. Cute stamps, fun stationary, little doodles or extra things tucked in, beautiful letters...it's my favorite.
- My love languages are gift-giving and words of affirmation (yep, they're tied for first) and then everything else is much much lower. Physical touch is my lowest by far-- not a fan of hugs over here. No thank you!
Anything we have in common? Anything you think is super weird or cool or interesting? I would love to hear from you in the comments :) Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a birthday to celebrate!
Here are the 52 things I hope to cross off in the next 52 weeks. I am so excited for this year of exploring and adventuring and trying new things.