if I have learned anything in this life, it's that one will never regret listening hard to the quiet whisperings of your heart.
i love a LOT of things on this good earth, but there are few things i love greater than traveling. i have a critical case of wanderlust that i fear will never be quieted. my heart aches to hear the stories of people in all corners of the world, my feet yearn to find themselves on foreign soil, my eyes burn to see everything i can possibly see before they close for good. and so, when my friend kimberly invited me to come visit her in italy, i didn't hesitate. despite my husband being unavailable and barely finding a spare 10 days to escape the chaos of wedding season -- i wasn't going to let anything stand in my way. i needed it more than i could have possibly known.
and so, passport and camera in hand, i embarked on a most memorable adventure.
allow me to take you back there...
here is kimberly's house in which she lives with her airforce doctor husband and beautiful 2 year old daughter:
this is the view seen by stepping out her front door (my heart may or may not have skipped a beat):
a HUGE thanks to kimberly's husband, rocky, for spending his weekend with their daughter and letting us run away on adventures just us girls...
first stop, THIS PLACE:
where we slept like queens and woke to breakfast in the dining hall (and couldn't stop speaking in a pretentious brittish accent)
after running rampant through our private estate's gardens, we ventured onward...
... and landed ourself in Tuscany at what Kimberly so perfectly calls her happy place.
where we once again ran like wildlings through olive tree groves, cameras at the ready.
this beautiful piece of heaven is owned and run by the italian mama everyone wishes they had.
she cooked us a 4 course meal and made sure our wine glasses were always full.
and she has a place in my heart forever.
after many hugs and "ciao, bellas!" we wandered towards the oldest monastery in italy, which happened to be beautifully situated smack in the middle of the oldest forest in europe.
before we knew it, it was home again home again jiggity jig.
the rest of the trip involved castles...
... canals for days ...
... pulling over anywhere and everywhere we saw something spectacular ...
... cemeteries ...
... and this place, Lago di Barcis:
words will never be able to express how intensely my soul needed this time away from home with a kindred spirit.
kimberly, my dear, you are truly one of a kind. I am so incredibly grateful for every conversation and memory we shared.
where are we going next???
As another year has come and gone and a new year is suddenly staring me dead in the face, all I can think is "holy smokes, where did the time go?" Lucky for me, I have this terrible habit of photographing that time before it slips away for good. Leaving me with a sliver of evidence that the year did in fact happen.
Most of my blog consists of the moments in time I've captured of OTHER people's lives. But today I've decided to put a little post together as a sort of "oh yeah, I have moments in my life work remembering TOO" journal entry. So here it is. my 2014 laid out in photos.
I kicked off my year by taking a cruise with my girlfriends.
I learned two things:
#1 - I love my friends SO FREAKING MUCH.
#2 - but cruises are not my thing
these faces pretty much sum it up:
when I got home from said cruise, my Ohio soul mate was waiting for me. she gets me.
if you follow my Ever After Series at all, you know that my little brother and his lovely lady posed for my Mary Poppins edition.
and that was beyond fun.
another fun development in my creative life: my friend Jeremy and I started a duet called Of Wind & Waves (hear some of our janky iPhone recordings here). and my super rad friend Lindsey Gomes snapped some promo photos of us. we're pretty cool, I guess.
he even puts up with my strangeness. I think I'll keep him.
my 2014 Resolution was to start taking more time for myself and to pour more focus into my yoga practice.
so that's exactly what I did (you can follow my yoga journey via instagram, if you so please)
yoga is something I share with my person, Bri.
which is my favorite.
speaking of Bri, she also has some really amazing children.
meet our godsons, Cade & Nolan:
speaking of children, my cousin (who is really, truly more like my sister) had another baby.
he's basically the cutest little chunker on the planet. obviously.
and speaking of my cousin, Kelsey. that brings me to the hardest part of my 2014: saying goodbye to my Uncle Kent.
he was the most generous, love-you-no-matter-WHAT man I know. and I will miss him, his fish tacos, and his smile until my dying day.
here's Griffin, our fur child. 'nuff said.
oh! and then Josiah and I bought a house!
this photo was taken right after signing a mountain of papers. my face says more than my words ever could.
we also celebrated 6 years of marriage this year.
which is pretty feckin radical.
our 2014 adventure was packing up the Civic and driving to British Columbia.
IT WAS SO MUCH FUN.
then I took a trip to Yosemite with my parents and my Nanna.
a good time was had by all.
aren't my parents cute??
I drank a lot of tea, as per usual.
went to Vegas for my best friend of 23 years' bachelorette.
this photo was taken at 7 o'clock in the morning after being out all night, and before driving home 3 hours later.
I'd say we look pretty damn good.
said best friend then got married. but not before having a mascarade style rehearsal dinner.
which was the best idea in the universe.
this year, Josiah and I rekindled an old friendship with this guy. we've become quite the little family.
especially since he moved in with us :)
we took our annual family vacation to Squaw Valley (where my family has been going almost every summer since I was about 4)
these are my brothers. and their dogs.
I think I'll keep all 4 of them.
one of the most EPIC parts of my 2014 was flying solo to Italy and spending a week with my darling friend Kimberly.
I didn't even know how badly I needed it, until it happened.
this photo sums up every single thought, feeling, memory, and "oh, life -- you bless me" breath I experienced on my Italian adventure:
before I knew it, it was Thanksgiving. which is my favorite holiday, because I actually really REALLY love my family.
you might recognize this face. the one and only Lindsey Gomes.
my sun chasing partner for life. this particular moment in time, we were jamming out to the new T. Swift album.
business as usual for us:
Lindsey, my love, I look forward to chasing the sun even when we need old lady walkers or wheel chairs <3
also -- THIS GIRL. Sabrina Klomp has been my trusty ninja sidekick at weddings this whole year. I couldn't imagine 2014 without her.
overall, 2014 has been one of my favorite years of life as I know it.