Soundtrack of Summer 2016

“The sun will steal the magic from us soon,

So let’s take one more trip around the moon.”

– Sam Hunt, Leave The Night On

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Oh, you guys. What a summer.

Last night I finished my last day of my first year of grad school. A year from today I’ll graduate with my MBA, and tomorrow I leave for New Mexico to go whitewater rafting. I’m a little bit high on life right now, and nostalgic with the memories from the past few months.

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It’s been a summer of travels and healthy overdoses of laughter. House parties and balconies and swimming pools. Road-trips and best friendship and fun strangers. Family and fireflies and anticipation. Long runs and late nights. Schoolwork and a classroom and making a family out of the people sitting in that classroom. And dancing. So much dancing.

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I remember my summers, and all of my other seasons, partly through the music I’ve listened to at the time. A tune so effortlessly takes me back to a moment, and bookmarks the feelings and essence of certain pieces of my life. Last summer was the summer of Sam Hunt, though if you can’t tell from the intro to this blog, his songs are making a comeback for this one too. Sam Hunt transposes all summers. Also if you don’t like him we can’t be friends anymore. I’m just kidding. Kind of. Friend two pictures above can’t stand him and I only judge her every single day.

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 So while I show y’all some pictures from the dreamiest of summertimes, I thought I’d also share with you the songs I’ve been listening to on constant repeat. This is what my summer sounded like.

Vandalizer- Sam Hunt

(Okay, but for real if you don’t like that song we can’t be friends.)

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Setting The World On Fire – Kenny Chesney featuring P!nk

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Latch- Disclosure featuring Sam Smith

Vacation- Thomas Rhett

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Home- Blue October

Vice – Miranda Lambert

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Luck- American Authors

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Snapback- Old Dominion

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Closer- The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey

(Aka all I’ve listened to for the past two days)

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Hey. If you’ve been a part of my summer, thanks. You’ve helped make an unforgettable soundtrack.

NOLA & Things

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I chose the above picture to start off this blog post despite the fact that it’s blurry and I look a bit like a joyful but crazed maniac. I thought it was appropriate in that life has been a crazy, happy blur lately.

Early Monday morning I got back from a long weekend trip to Nola with my besties. I’ve known Meg since I was an awkward twelve-year-old and Bryant since I was an arguably even more awkward seventeen-year-old. Around the time we first met, I randomly told him that if you changed the letters in my name around, it would spell “Antichrist.” This is one letter short from actually being true, but to this day he has my name in his phone as “Antichrist.” That’s true friendship, y’all.

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This was my third trip to Nola but my first time to throw up in a bush, so that was monumental. Also my first time to match shirts with an elderly stranger (see above picture) and to find out that my drink of choice (Malibu and pineapple) is a typical mom drink. So basically I’m an old lady, guys. I don’t hate it.

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Meg had an early plane to catch the morning after I threw up in a bush, so she was gone by the time I was wallowing in hangover misery. Bryant and his wonderful girlfriend Leslie brought over iced coffee and lots of food, and from there Bryant imitated my dance moves from the night before. I was burying my head in my hands and turning bright red but also cracking up laughing. I’m smiling now as I write this because I’m really spoiled with the people I have in my life. The three of us drove back to Austin together and it will probably always remain one of my most cherished road trips. It didn’t hurt that Bryant drove the entire time.

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There are quite a few other moments in between day 1 and 4 in Nola that also make me smile. On day 2, Meg and I got stuck in a downpour that lasted over two hours. We hid under a restaurant’s patio for as long as we could, but eventually we agreed to just buy rain ponchos and go about our day. My prediction was that we’d buy the ponchos and it would immediately stop raining, and my prediction was completely accurate. Regardless, I can now say that I’ve frolicked around New Orleans in a giant garbage bag with my best friend.

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On night 2, I rode a mechanical bull and Meg, Bryant, Leslie and I ended up at a bachelor party’s open bar. Shoutout to our weekend friends John and Brian for the invite and also to Brian for taking a picture with me inside of a fireplace, the reasoning for which I have yet to remember.

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Needless to say, Nola was a blast and I’ve not-so-grudgingly given up on homework for the night to write this post. This weekend I have a paper to write, a presentation to begin preparing and an MBA cohort bbq to host. I have a blog tasting at a bakery tomorrow and am planning a trip to go whitewater rafting in New Mexico next month. Like I said, life is a blur right now. But it’s the best blur. I have the notion that I’ll look back on this summer one day, and while I won’t remember every detail, I’ll remember this feeling. The feeling of being alive, and young, but old enough to laugh at myself and to have the go-to drink of Mailbu and pineapple.

I leave you with a video of me throwing a mini temper-tantrum after losing a second game of rock-paper-scissors to Pathi on Tuesday. It got pretty intense. This is grad school life at its finest, friends.

 

 

 

Ireland 2016, Part 1

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
― Anais Nin

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Note: I started writing this post in Belfast, Ireland and ended it back in Texas.

Greetings from Ireland, y’all!

I’m currently writing from the quaintest of cottages in Belfast, where I have turned a pool table into a makeshift desk. Rain is gently pelting the roof and I’m typing with a glass of wine by my side.

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I arrived early Friday morning to meet my cousins at the Dublin airport, and already so much has happened. This was my first time to fly to Europe solo, and it was just as magical as I’d hoped it’d be. I made two new friends along the way. One on my seven hour layover in New York, who was a dog whisperer of sorts and on her way to England to attend an animal communication course. On the plane ride to Dublin, I met an aspiring rapper from Seattle who was catching a connecting flight to backpack Europe. One of my favorite things about exploring the world has always been the friendly and intriguing souls I meet on my way.

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My cousins and I road-tripped from Dublin all the way to Belfast. This meant we changed countries, currencies and politics all whilst remaining on the same island. Road-tripping Ireland was like a dream. The rolling country sides, the stops for a pint of Guinness, the beaches and the bakeries and the cliffs and even the perfectly spotted cows? It all seemed too beautiful to be real.

Even getting lost in Cork and driving around in circles for an hour seems like a mesmerizing mishap in hindsight.

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On our day spent at the Cliffs of Moher, we eventually found our way to the riskier parts of the cliffs. This area is traced with warning signs, and there is no one to whistle you back to the safety zones. I may or may not have been whistled back to said safety zones at other points of the day, so these whistle-free zones were my favorite. I sat down and scooted as close to the edge as I still felt safe. I thought to myself, “I would fall if I moved just this much closer.”, and that was both terrifying and exhilarating to know. Shannon joined me, (Janna had peaced out right before noting that she saw our lives flashing before her eyes) and we sat there and talked as the wind blew through our hair, just trying to take in the astounding beauty all around us. A few minutes passed before a few young guys appeared, one plopping down inches in front of me. Not to be outdone, (which could quite literally be the death of me), I scooted a few inches forward as well. “Whoa.” the dude said, reaching out his arm as if to protect me. I laughed. “You did it first.”

This is what traveling feels like to me. It feels like the wind blowing through my hair and life rushing through my veins. Like scooting just a little too close to a cliff’s edge while arguing with a complete stranger as if he is my kindergarten crush.

And what a feeling that is.

Seguin Brewery

To kick January off with a yeast-fermented bang, my hubby and I recently took a little road-trip to Seguin, Texas to enjoy some beer tastings at Seguin Brewing Co.

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I’m sure I’ve driven through Seguin multiple times over the years, but this was my first time to slow down and visit this lovely little city. My husband hadn’t been either, so it was exciting to go into this blogging adventure with my person, neither of us knowing exactly what to expect.

It was even better that the experience completely exceeded any expectations I could have had.

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Seguin Brewery is, as I told the brewery-owner multiple times, so charming.

Before even stepping inside the brewery itself, I was sold. There were couples and little ones and groups of friends just frolicking about. You may think to yourself, “Christina, really? Frolicking? Why do you always have to be so dramatic with your verbiage?” But GUYS, I looked it up so you don’t even know. Ahem. The definition of frolicking is to, “Play and move about cheerfully, excitedly, or energetically.’ This is exactly what was happening. But with beer in hand, so even better.

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During the quick but informative tour, I had a chance to hear about all of the care and dedication that goes into making their beer. Seguin Brewing uses a mixture of both old and new brewing techniques to create the most unique of beers. They managed to give me my first IPA that I actually enjoyed. Usually the bitterness of the hops is too much for me, but this was my first ever Black IPA. It was still a bit bitter, but I was okay with this as it was a much darker brew with hints of coffee. My taste buds were intrigued and happy.

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The ‘tastings’ themselves were actually three very generous pours of beers, and I was extra excited to find out that we got to keep the adorable glass that the pours came in. The hubs and I actually used them for our strawberry margarita, Connect 4 and Making A Murderer date night on Friday. So the glasses are quite versatile and also I am the reigning Connect 4 champion, if anyone was wondering.

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Moving back to the brewery, I was also smitten with the open and inviting atmosphere that the lack of doors created. I loved that the outdoor and indoors were united, as the outside was where so much of the magic happened. There was a huge Jenga table and giant lawn chairs and laughter all around. There was a chill in the air and smiles on the faces of all nearby. My husband owned me at a game of washers, but I was too giddy to even care THAT much. Seguin Brewing was overflowing with magic and happiness and BEER. Can there be a better combination than this one?!

The fun-loving owners also suggested eats for consuming after the brewery, which gave Robby and I an even better look at the enchanting, cozy town that is Seguin, Texas.

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In closing, I also loved seeing the motto featured on their website.

“Small town, big nuts!”

 Seguin Brewing, you’re doing it right.

(Note: My husband and I were given the tour and tastings at Seguin Brewing free of charge, but I was otherwise not compensated for my review. All opinions expressed are all mine!)

A (Belated) Review on an (Incredible) 2015

I’ve been meaning to write about my 2015 for a couple of weeks now. You know, pre-2016. Oops.

I’ve been wanting to write about what a big year it was for me. About the goals and steps that were made.

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About jumping into Texas’ largest underwater cave at Jacob’s Well and about new volunteer opportunities, like helping to get ladies wardrobe-ready for job interviews at Dress for Success.

About joining my first dodgeball team and enthusiastically being an uncoordinated thrower and dodger of balls.

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Also about hot-air ballooning for the first time and half-marathon running for the third time and travels galore.

About visiting five new-to-me-states; West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, Ohio and Delaware, and a new to me country; Canada. There were also repeat visit to Louisiana, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

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The memories made on these trips were ones filled with friends, family and my lover boy. They were full of late nights and laughter. There were beaches and a Louisianan treehouse and historical monuments and a giant Ferris wheel and a summertime BBQ with my second family. There were also local road-trips and a Taylor Swift concert and an enchanting Port Aransas trip with my clan. There was a magical night with the best friend spent haunted pub-crawling near DC, and there was taking the world’s tallest free-standing elevator to see some lovely views of Memphis with the husband. There was the majesty of Niagara Falls and smaller falls too. I found unexpected beauty in random places (like Medicine Park, Oklahoma) and pretty places to share smooches with my favorite guy (like Jackson Street Bridge in Atlanta.) There was a road-trip to Lafayette with my little brother and a delightful brunch in Cincinnati with my cousin. Simply put, it was a year of such spectacular adventures.

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2015 was also the first year that I was able to successfully step away from side-blogs and to begin taking on assignments and events for my own. It was such an awesome feeling to take some chances and see a dream like that come true.

Twenty-fifteen was also the first time that I started seeing a therapist. I’m open about my opinion that everyone should go to therapy, but this was the first year that I finally made the leap and went myself.  Being brave in many ways has become almost second-nature to me. Hang-gliding and bungee jumping and parasailing? Sure! Traveling to Italy at seven months pregnant? No problem! But emotional courage? Talking about feelings and being vulnerable? That’s where I can be a real scaredy-cat. The leap was a tough one, but it was also a magnificent one. The self-growth and awareness I have gained so far from this process has been humbling and life-changing.

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There are a couple of other things about 2015 that really stand out to me.

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Starting my MBA program is definitely one of them. Doing grad school while working full time and having a little one has been sometimes challenging, but more than anything, it has been incredibly rewarding. And it has also been so very fun. Last Tuesday was the start of our cohort’s second semester. We got out early and a group of us made our way to a nearby Mexican restaurant for margaritas and queso. I broke out my newly acquired selfie stick and we spent the night laughing, sharing stories and making fun of each other. After five months and one completed semester that we all survived together, it really does feel like we’ve made our own little family. And I am treasuring the heck out of this time and these people in my life.

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Work was also a big part of my year.

I’ve been smitten with my job as a social media rep from the start, but 2015 is the year that I felt I really delved into my role and found a new confidence in my career.

I love having a position that gives me so much freedom and flexibility, but being bestowed with more responsibility in 2015 was a special thing too. I was asked to help plan the annual holiday party for hundreds of team members and had a speaking part in a television ad for Race for the Cure. Working for a company that does so much to give back to the community feels good, and being able to take such an active role in it all feels like an honor.

In between all of this goodness was my favorite part of 2015 – Cuddling with and loving on my little family. They made my year the brightest it could possibly be.

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Simply put, 2015 was a year of beautiful things, both big and small. It was a collection of both ordinary and extraordinary moments, and I’m so thankful for every single one of them. Though, in all of its amplitude, 2015 taught me a big lesson on the small things too. It showed me that sometimes those seemingly ordinary moments are the most extraordinary ones of them all.

Memphis 2015 Highlights

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My main man and I recently took a belated anniversary trip to Memphis, Tennessee.

I feel lucky to have traveled all over with this guy. Seeing the world with one’s favorite person is such a special thing. All of the places I’ve visited with Robby leave me with memories that seem to be dusted with extra magic and bliss.memphis2

Memphis was no exception.

Highlights:

  • Beale Street. I had no idea you could walk Beale Street with drink in hand! Like a smaller Bourbon Street, but with a charm all its own. With margaritas in tow, Robby and I found one enchanting store full of eccentricities and a semi-secretive smoke shop in the back. They offered free condoms in a bowl, which hubs and I giggled about before taking two. Because we’re actually fifteen-year-olds trapped in twenty and thirty something year old bodies.

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  • The eats in Memphis were not only delicious, but also oh-so-fun. One of my favorites was The Beauty Shop, an actual old school beauty shop turned restaurant that Priscilla Presley once frequented. My food was devoured whilst sitting in an old-school bonnet dryer. How neat is that?! I was sold on the novelty alone, but their salmon sandwich and sangria left me swooning.

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Also worth mentioning is the queso and guacamole at Las Delicias (thanks to Memphis pal Rach for taking us here!), donuts at Gibson’s (And also here), the BBQ nachos at Rendezvous, (Thanks to Memphis pal Rach for the recommendation!) breakfast at Bryant’s and fried chicken at Gus’s Fried Chicken (Thanks most people in Memphis for this recommendation!) Robby isn’t a huge fan of fried chicken but said Gus’s was his favorite meal during our visit. The skin is perfectly crispy and just the right amount of seasoned and spicy. I’m salivating while writing this. I have got to cut down on the food porn.

  • Exploring Midtown
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After eating at The Beauty Shop, husband and I meandered the Midtown area. We perused through a quaint bookstore and happened upon the most adorable of coffee shops, where Robby attempted to teach me how to play chess. I say attempted because I was more interested in my delicious brown sugar coffee and quickly got my ass handed to me in the form of checkmate.

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  • We took the country’s tallest free-standing elevator to catch some pretty awesome views of the city. I’ve never been a big fan of elevators, and considering the record-breaking status of this one, I was feeling a little nervous on the ride up. But getting to the top to smooch with these Memphis views? So worth it.

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Chillin’ with cardboard Elvis and our awesome AirBnB host. Traveling just seems all the more authentic when lodging with the locals.

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  • The art and downtown vibes.

They were just my style.

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  • A quick photo taken next to Sun Studio. Downtown trolley rides. Making alcoholic root beer floats at our weekend abode. Listening to live Blues on Beale Street as the air grew colder and we cuddled closer. Walking hand-in-hand, not knowing where exactly we were even heading.
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Having the chance to travel regularly is one of things that makes me feel fortunate. The wonder of exploring new places will always be an absolute favorite of mine. But finding a lifelong someone to hold hands with in new places? That’s my favorite, most fortunate find of all.

Memphis, Part 1

My husband and I recently got back from an anniversary trip to Memphis, and the entire trip of celebrating another year of our love was delightful. I’ll get to said delightfulness on the next post, as this first post is actually not really about my husband at all. Sorry, hubs.

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On our very first night in Tennessee, I had the honor of meeting Rach over at This Italian Family.

Rach and I have been blog friends for close to four years, so I was giddy in hopes of meeting her on our trip.

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I snapshotted Rach’s Instagram post because I thought she captured the energy of our meet so well. We hugged in random parking lots, laughed a lot and just immediately clicked. That’s the beauty of blogging friendship, isn’t it? Without ever tangibly meeting, you can understand and adore each other just the same. It felt like we were just picking up wherever we had left off, even if where we had left off was exchanged over words on a keyboard.

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Her and her hubby Chris(topher) ((I was told I could call him either and couldn’t pick one so this is how I will always see his name now)) picked us up from our AirB&B lodging and took us to their favorite Mexican restaurant, Las Delicias, which definitely lived up to its name. But more on Memphis eats later. I knew I loved Rach almost the moment I met her. It was, in fact, the same moment hubby and I were being scolded. We were unintentionally exiting the wrong door and the homeowner was politely letting us know. Robby was chatting with her at the same time Rach walked up to hug me. I quietly murmured something about us being in trouble when Rach, seconds after I had officially met her, excitedly asked, “Oooooh. Why are you in trouble?!” I’m one to jump past small talk in the first place, and I feel like there’s definitely no need for feigning boundaries when you’ve been reading the other’s blog for years. So I’m glad Rach felt the same and we were able to immediately jump to the good stuff. The good stuff being blatant curiosity and fast friendship.

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From there, Rach and Chris(topher) quickly made our first night in Memphis the best first night possible. They paid for our dinner, took us to meander through the aisles of a grocery store and wine shop and even brought us to taste the Memphis-famous Gibson’s donut. Put simply, they were the sweetest. And I say this right after talking about scrumptiously sugar-laden donuts, so y’all know I’m not playing.

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Rach was outgoing and kindhearted and so fun to be around, just as I pictured she’d be, so I’m glad she thought I lived up to my blogging self too. I also appreciate that when mentioning “vivacious, funny and friendly” she left out “scatterbrained” and “slightly awkward”, which, believe me guys, she definitely noticed in the hours we spent together. I may or may not have tried to walk out of the wine shop without my wine, less than five seconds after purchasing it.blogbuds

In reading Rach’s comments on our photo she posted to Instagram, I got happy feels and decided that our little mutual friend blog circle needs to have a meetup in 2016. I also have to be a little sentimental and say that I’m forever thankful for the blogosphere and all of the wonderful things and people it’s brought my way.

Memphis Part 2, coming as soon as I can get past regression analysis in stats class! So probably never! Just kidding. I think. I hope.

(Soon To Be) Walking in Memphis

Tomorrow the husband and I leave on a belated anniversary trip to Memphis, Tennessee.

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 I’m so excited to make new memories and adventures with my favorite adult human being and travel buddy. And to eats lots of BBQ. And to explore Beale Street. AND ALL OF THE EXPLORING ETCETERAS!

In the meantime, here are some photos of the little lady that we’ll be missing for the next few days.

I might be a tiny bit biased, but I’m pretty sure she’s the cutest. She’s got a fiery, outgoing little personality and redheaded ringlets and a husky little voice to match. She’s confident and sassy and loves food and birds and dogs and talking to strangers and wearing shoes. She’s got a laugh that can melt a heart and this dance where she sticks one elbow up in the air and just gets DOWN. I feel incredibly lucky to have her for my own. And that daddy of hers too. I’m pretty giddy to start walking in Memphis with him tomorrow.

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Oh, and we were totally matching bumblebees for Halloween and it was THE BEST EVER.

Travels Of Summer 2015

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What a joyride summer 2015 has been.

There were wineries in Virginia, beaching the day away in Delaware, and dancing until the wee hours with my best friend in Baltimore. There were bottomless mimosas and Sam Hunt in Louisiana and a cabin and waterfalls for a family retreat in Oklahoma. I’ve brunched in Cleveland, Ohio and made quick pit stops in New York and Pennsylvania. My goal for the year was to visit four new-to-me states, but, by August, Ohio made it five. Road-tripping through states to get to Canada also helped me accomplish the goal of visiting a new-to-me country for 2015.

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Speaking of Canada, Niagara Falls was a majestic and mesmerizing addition to my list of travels.

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This included gorgeous wineries galore and taking a cable car across the Niagara River. And a wagon ride into a maple forest to create maple candy on a stick. And exploring enchanting old town Niagara-on-the-Lake and, of course, being completely enamored by the Falls. Taking two drives to see them both in day and nighttime still wasn’t quite enough time to take in such beauty. I absolutely loved experiencing all of said beauty with my fellow adventurer Shannon.

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Also fun was staying up until after 2 am with my AirB&B host as he made me numerous martinis and we giggled and chatted about boys and love and life. The sweet review he later left me made my heart happy. Always one of my favorite things about traveling is the wonderful people I meet and bond with along the way.

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Following Canada was a mini road-trip to Houston to attend my first Taylor Swift concert. I sometimes wonder how teenagers survived their angst before T-Swift. It was 2007 and I was a senior in high school when one of her first singles, “Teardrops on my Guitar” was released. At the time, I had a case of puppy love on my best dude friend, who was in a relationship. The words to Teardrops just got me, besides the small fact that I didn’t have a guitar to cry on. I still remember the country ballad coming on the radio as he and I were driving somewhere. “I love this song.” I said, my words full of deep, dramatic teenage meaning. When the tune ended, best dude friend, always oblivious, commented, “Yeah, that was pretty good.” Nearly nine years later, Bryant and I are still best pals and still occasionally joke about him missing my Swiftie signals. Tim McGraw and its album accompaniments were the soundtrack to my last year of high school. She has gotten me through many a moment since then with those seemingly mind reading lyrics.

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So seeing Swift perform live with two of my cousins, who can also vouch that she just somehow KNOWS our whole life stories, was a small dream come true. We belted out “Wildest Dreams” on the drive there, whole-heartedly sang along to “Mean”, and danced our asses off to the encore of “Shake it Off.” We held hands and may have even gotten a little teary-eyed – don’t judge, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW – at an especially moving Swift speech. They were words that I would have loved to tell my twenty-year old self, and they were exactly what my cousin needed to hear on that very evening. So we squeezed our Meagan a little tighter in those moments. Taylor was awesome, but family bonding time is just the very best.

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The summer ended perfectly with a beach trip to Port Aransas with my side of the fam.

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This trip included smores, sunset kisses, sunbathing on our own private beach and Bryn’s first time to dig her toes in the sand. Also included was drinking coffee with balcony views of the ocean, family barbeques, getting tipsy off of sake bombs with the hubs and making sand castles with all three of my little siblings. I’m smiling at the memories as I type.

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Simply put, the past few months have been beautiful and I’m still basking in the excitement and joy of a whirlwind of adventures. Hands down, the best part is all of the people who I get to share such happiness with.

I think I’ll have a lifelong crush on summer 2015.

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“I’m going to tell you right now the things you actually are not. You are not the opinion of somebody who doesn’t know you. You are not ‘damaged goods’ just because you’ve made mistakes in your life. You are not going nowhere just because you haven’t gotten where you want to go yet. Those are the things you actually are not. Now I’m going to tell what you are. You are your own definition of beautiful and worthwhile. That’s what you are.” – T-Swift

Medicine Park, Oklahoma 2015

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I first visited Oklahoma back in 2012 with my husband. We had a lovely time at a bed and breakfast sporting matching green robes and also made sure to take full advantage of the complimentary hot tub. Everywhere I’ve ever been with Robby eventually leaves me nostalgic for that time and place. Still, I wasn’t absolutely smitten with the town of Stillwater, which is a rarity for me. I’ve never traveled anywhere that I didn’t enjoy, but if I was forced to admit it, I would have probably said Oklahoma was my least favorite state. Until this month, that is.

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My husband and I road-tripped it up to Oklahoma once again, this time with our little lady in tow.

And just like that, I simply don’t have a least favorite state.

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We stayed in a cabin overlooking the mountains of Medicine Park, Oklahoma. I didn’t know until recently that Oklahoma even had mountains. They’re small, but they’re also surrounded by waterfalls and watering holes and lush greens and the quaintest of small towns.

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Spending the weekend with my two favorite people in Grandma’s Cabin was magic. Built in the 1920’s, our cabin was enchantingly rustic and overflowing with trinkets and charm. As my loves dozed late into the morning, I’d make my way to the upstairs patio to read a book, drink a cup of coffee and gaze at a waterfall. Our cabin was in walking distance to everything in town, which meant a quick morning run with plenty of time to come back to lunchtime and a family stroll. Later I might head out for a long dip in the watering hole while Bryn and Robby napped (These two love their sleep), and on my way back grab ice cream over espresso shots from the town coffee shop. For dinner there would be hot dogs at our little abode or heading out to a nearby pizza shop for a half pepperoni, half Hawaiian. The night would end in laughter and yawns, watching our girl stomp around and making sure to hide all the breakables from her chubby little fingers. When the little lady went down for the night, it was time for husband cuddles and, of course, more laughter. I’ve been laughing and traveling with this man for over seven years now, and that makes me feel like the luckiest. Y’all, my heart was continuously bubbling over with love and joy for my tiny tribe and the memories we were making in this gorgeous little town.

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After our weekend in Medicine Park, it’s safe to say that the three of us have started one of the first of our many family traditions to come.

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My overwhelming love for these two feels like a group hug for three. Like a spontaneous dance party to children’s tunes. Like a traveling love song.

Like a tradition of lifelong adventures, sunsets and cozy cabins.

And of always searching for beauty, everywhere, anywhere. Together.