Friday, January 27, 2012

instagramly ever after.



Although my original thirteen weeks turned in to {eeeek!} six months, those six months were a crazy whirlwind of work + school + traveling + forgetting to breathe on a daily basis and I never really slowed down enough to take in my Seattle surroundings. I have had a lot, A LOT, of errands to {leisurely} run this week all over the Greater Puget Sound area and my goodness, do I love the Pacific Northwest! I discovered a park close to my house that lines the Pacific; perfect for capturing sunset. I met with the wonderful people at the March of Dimes office in downtown and walked to Pike Place afterwards to pick up some flowers and delightful blackberry honey! I'm still falling in love with a new local coffee shop on a weekly basis but Starbucks will always be my go-to for impromptu study sessions. And do you see that badge? It says Jocelyn Kirk - ARNP Student... so exciting!! My first clinical rotation starts next week! I'm packing my bag and hoping I get the green light in the morning to meet up with my California nursing friends for a random assignment this weekend! Have a happy weekend!! =)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

a celebration, continued.


Recently, there has been a voice inside my soul constantly vying to know where my life is going. A perpetual plight of uncertainty-infused wonder... and on the days when I remember to don my rose-colored glasses, a continuous state of dreaming... 

Although I knows deep down that the world is my oyster, every day I plead with the universe for a little direction; the smallest clue to help guide my future. A tiny amount of assurance that my hopes + dreams will someday come true.  Preferably, sooner than later.






She has mastered the art of finding the beauty in the small things that make up the atmosphere around her; why do they not please her on a level deeper than aesthetics? Her life is an exhilarating, interminable unfolding; why is there an urgency to discover it all in a day's work?  

I was never one who was able to find satisfaction in banal tasks, like a job or school. I was never good at living my life for myself... and I flat-out fail when it comes to applying meaning to a life without love... for as grateful as I am for the opportunities hard work has afforded me, they do not make me feel alive inside. They do not define who I am. They do not embody my heart. They are merely mundane chores...
... but they are also important pieces, lessons + what not, that will add a very, rare beauty to the final product. They are molding me in to something stronger, someone better... so when the dust finally settles, my reflection will not be one full of regrets + could-have-beens but that of a girl who stepped outside her comfort zone and found a utopia, where every wish her heart ever clamored for came true. A perfect castle in the sky hallmarked by its imperfections.

It's easy to lose sight of this bigger picture when the feeling of temporary permeates the presence so much that it begins to cloud my periphery... but a weekend escape to the vineyards with good girlfriends is exactly the solidarity that I needed to bring my life back in to perspective.

The day could not have been more perfect. Big, beautiful blue skies with rays of sunshine peeking through every tree branch, hollow-post mill and front porch lattice. There was a breeze cool enough to allow you to wear boots + tights + scarves but brisk enough to remind you that it is January and you are one of the lucky ones soaking up sunshine. 

We ate brunch at a pancake house + much later, returned for an Italian dinner in Solvang. We traversed through wine country all afternoon, stopping at two different wineries to shmooze with sommeliers of our vintage before heading to my absolute favourite place - Los Olivos.  

I'm not sure if it was the local wine perfectly paired with my favourite thing in the entire world... cupcakes! by {enjoy}... or the free tasting by the adorable grandson of the family-owned label, Sarloos & Sons, or the oil + balsamic tasting by the olive oil enthusiast who reminded us of our grandma{s} but when in this quaint one-street town, I die.   

It was an absolute perfect weekend. One in which I repeatedly thought to myself: I seriously love my life:::Life doesn't get any better than this:::This is what they mean by actually live each day:::I am exactly where I need to be:::Livingthedream. 

I cried yesterday... an ironic "good cry" that I have not endured in a long while... What started as a few tears streaming down my face quickly escalated in to an unfurling of my heart right on to the pavement on the corner of Greenwood and 65th. While it was painful + prompted me to make a rash decision {Read: buy an overpriced striped cowl scarf}, when I returned to my senses, it felt incredible... to know that my heart has found its beat again, one of the reckless + wild abandon variety... with all of its entirety, naturally. 
In a habitual text to my bestie whenever I am reduced to tears, she simply replied, "Why does it make you cry?" And after a long conversation in which I threw out every vulnerability that rose to the surface to make this good cry a purifying great cry, I made peace with my predicament realizing that it should not make me cry... no matter how much it scares me. It could be just as exciting as it is scary if I could learn to throw caution to the wind + let it unfold in the exact pattern that it is meant to. No matter what direction, whether it be hit the ground running or fly over the moon, it would be worth it to give it a chance.
As I watched LA get swallowed up in a cloud of smog Monday morning, I made a conscious effort from the sky to bottle up that incredible feeling of contentment + save it for moments like yesterday when the unknowns of my current every day catalyze a fury of angst + I forget that I'm okay. I forget that I am strong + confident + worth it. I forget that being far from home is only temporary + this next year will fly by. 

I forget that I have my entire life to get to where I am going and at twenty-five, my life has not only superseded where I need it to be... but it is exactly where I want it to be. 


And that is reason enough to uncork my contentment + celebrate.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

we interrupt this regular posting...


... for some major self reflection + a tub full of doll parts. A celebration, part II coming tomorrow... with a whole heap of inner insight + a lot of pictures of vino + vines. Can't say I didn't warn you. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

much-to-recover-from-monday.


Or, alternatively titled: the weekend I wore red lipstick, consumed a lot of amazing meals, drank scrumptious lattes daily and waayy too many cocktails both day and nightly.... and documented it all via instagram, of course. 


If there is one thing LA takes seriously, it's birthday celebrations. Knowing my love for birthdays aaand celebrations, I was beyond excited to return to my happy place this weekend to celebrate Carly's 25th birthday! After arriving in the wee hours of the morning Friday, I spent the first part of the day half asleep in Tate's chair getting my hair did sipping on some coffee bean post a wonderful run through WeHo. {It's the simple things in this city that I miss the most!} Lauren met me for lunch at the fabulous Taste for some hand-picked grilled cheese and then the birthday girl got off work and the four of us sang Wicked, drank champagne, ate a wonderful Italian meal prepared by Chef Abruzzo and applied a lot of red lipstick before we met all of Carly's friends at Bar Lubitsch. We stayed until it closed and may have refused to leave unless the bouncer escorting us out sang "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins with us. Oh lord.
PhotobucketSaturday {mid}morning, we walked to Urth Cafe for the most amazing birthday breakfeast before hopping in the car to make the two hour drive north along the PCH to Santa Barbara.


After perusing the {vintage} shops on State Street, we continued the celebration at a tire-shop-turned-tasting-room for a flight of wines by Oreana.


We ate a yummy seafood dinner at the FisHouse, lobster for the birthday girl, shrimp scampi for me... before jumping in a shopping cart having a few cocktails and laughs at a tequila bar. 
The next morning, we grabbed another latte {and saltines} and headed for Santa Ynez Valley for a lovely day of wine tasting.


Part II, tomorrow.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

snowmageddon.



As y'all know {thank you for all the calls, texts, e-mails making sure I was okay}, Seattle is currently getting hit by one of its worst snowstorms in a looong time {which explains the way these people drive in it and why there were 800 accidents in a 24-hour period yesterday...}. In the same way a child sneaks down to the tree on Christmas Eve to see if Santa has come yet, I kept looking out my window to see if it had arrived Tuesday night. Finally I dozed off at about 2:30 {I am settling in so nicely to my current role of unemployed college kid!} only to wake up a few hours later to the sounds of excited children {I don't remember ever hearing these sounds in college...} sledding down my street as I live on a pretty big hill that is apparently the perfect angle to fly down {and slide down sideways in your vehicle while the parents of said children watch you from the top of the ridge shaking their heads... not that I did or anything! ;)}. 


The corner hardware store had sold out of sleds before we had even woken up so my roommate and I took advantage of our snow day by building the world's ugliest snow lady. 

The night's sky was lit up by the snow-cloud-covered-moon so to release our cabin fever, we found ourselves stopping in not one but two different coffee shops that line the four-mile loop around the lake to fill and refill our cups with the most delectable turtle hot chocolate in between making snow angels and kissing snowmen. 

I had kind of missed the snow and definitely got my fill of powder in the Seattle-turned-winter-wonderland yesterday.

Today, however, is a different story. I had a 12:45 flight out of this snowmageddon to the sunny California to celebrate my lovely Carly's 25th birthday.  I'm rescheduled for the 8:40 flight tonight and hoping to goodness that this snow lets up so I don't find myself checking in to a hotel near the airport to get out first thing in the morning... as there is no way I am driving back home with these crazies after dark... and no way I am missing my hair appointment at 11AM with Tate.  I'm currently keeping warm working on schoolwork in a Starbucks close to SEA, optimistically sipping a caramel brulee latte {warmed my heart that they still had some of the discontinued syrup!} smelling like Chanel's Mademoiselle with a fresh face of make-up on as I just spent an hour in Ulta where the girl handed me a belt full of brushes and said, "Have fun!" as I was the only one in the store. 

Now, if these snowflakes could kindly malt in to milkshakes, I would greatly appreciate it as there is fondue to be eaten and a celebration to be had, twenty-five kinds of Carlifornia style, down South! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

i had a crazy idea this morning...


That was the subject of an e-mail that was in my inbox when I woke up this morning. Knowing that it was from Carly, who currently spends her days doing parkour in her office while trying to avoid being hit in the head with spear guns, I had no idea what I would unveil by clicking "open"... Pleasantly surprised, it was an invitation to a spring roommate reunion when her show is on hiatus in April. A thread that went a little something like, "Poolside cabanas!!" "Palm trees and waterfalls." "I'm in." "This all sounds amazing! I'm down!" "Alright ladies, it's booked!" ...and within less than an hour, our {comped} weekend escape to Bonaventure was confirmed! What the birthday girl wants, the birthday girl gets... and Lynly Ganica delivered. See ya in ninety-three days, sisters!  

Monday, January 16, 2012

much-to-celebrate-monday: tebow, snowflakes + rodeos.

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My heart feels a little bit on fire as the story of {my} life begins a new chapter, this morning feeling a lot like the opening scene of Act I. To set the stage of this next chapter, I am nestled in a lamp-lit corner of a coffee shop up the ridge from my house, watching the first snowflakes of the winter fall aimlessly to the ground. The latte is a hazelnut flavour, richly providing the caffeinated liquid courage to conquer the loong to-do list before me. Bon Iver is whispering in the background and my heart feels so full of celebrations; a feeling that inspired me to put cowboy boots on this morning... in lieu of the usual Wellies... to brave this wintry weather with a new kind of confidence, the this-isn't-my-first-rodeo kind. All kinds of awesomeness have occurred in the first sixteen days of twenty12 and it must be celebrated.
Dustin made it home safely, I met my training goal at the gym last night and Gideon, my miracle patient, is thriving in a way that could allow the trial drug that saved his life to be legalized in half the amount of time it would usually take because of the promise of life + hope it provides people affected by hypophosphatasia.
I'm finding balance between school + sanity, I'm detoxifying my liver for an exciting birthday weekend with my sister from another mister and I'm super excited for June 8th, when Tasha + Aaron will say monochromatic "I do!" in an art gallery in the Great White North. 

I'm giddily counting the downs until I will be in Florida to celebrate Ella Bella's 1/2 birthday with Jess, Reesey + Kara (24 more days to be exact.) and after twenty-seven hours in lecture last week, I'm beyond excited that my graduate work will be dedicated to the boy who inspires me every day as I create a project that assesses parents' concerns with retinopathy of prematurity, the disease that took Christopher's eyesight.

Tebow's football season came to an end Saturday night but the positive example he sets for the country will continue to inspire, Megalina introduced me to a new book that I cannot put down and in trying to be more organized this January, I fear my closet may implode with my creative use of a very small space unpacking from Paris yesterday! =)

Put on striped socks, kick up your boots + celebrate! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

wear your sunscreen.

I forgot how much I love the words of wisdom in this song...
“Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked... You’re not as fat as you imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind… the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.. Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.” 
 Baz Luhrmann

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

sundays, sunshine + snowshoes.

 

This past Sunday, I took the dog to a sleepy little German town called Leavenworth about ninety miles East of here. Winding up in to the Cascades, the rain quickly turned in to snow as the temps dropped below freezing. There was a beautiful river that carved the path of the highway the entire drive. The spirit of Christmas is still in full swing in Leavenworth as the lights that adorn the downtown area shine on until mid-February. After a snowshoe through the cold, it warmed my heart + mittens to sip a hot chocolate while perusing the quaint Front Street and take in all its Bavarian/Christmas glory. 

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Have a happy {+ warm} Tuesday! =)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Amy Aerobix, is that you??

If there was one thing I was determined to get done this week... and believe me, this girl on a high from the hope of a new year had a lot of ish on her to-do list... it was to learn what I.M.A. stands for conquer my fear of the intimidating four-story campus Intramurals Activities... full of nineteen-year-old gym rats who have no other purpose in life except to look good work out.... and work out, myself. In a past life {Read: undergrad} I lived at the gym. I taught fitness classes four days a week and when I started counting reps in my sleep... one, two, threeeeeeeee... my roommates gave my alter ego a name: Amy Aerobix. Teaching spinning and kickboxing were most definitely my two favourite hours of the week. I have joked before that A.A. has since retired her sports bra but recently, I have found myself listening to a new song and thinking this would be an awesome climb or a great cool-down... and I've grown to quite miss her presence in my life... and her toned arms.  Buuuut after three consecutive days of working out (and a break today to go snowshoeing because the lactic acid in my muscles is still burning), I'm excited to announce that the b*tch is back...  sans the toned arms. For now.


Endorphin-induced post-workout, I even signed up for a half marathon that is sixteen weeks away. Train + maintain, baby.

I haven't published a mixed tape in a while but no workout would be complete without a 60-minute playlist.
Side A:
1. Avicii - Levels.
2. Ash Koley - Brighter At Night.
3. Flo Rida ft. Sia - Wild Ones
4. Florence + the Machine- Shake It Out.
5. Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars- Safe & Sound.
6. Ellie Goulding - Lights (Bassnectar Remix).
7. Jay Sean ft. Nicki Minaj - 2012 (It Ain't The End).
8. Matisyahu - Miracle.
9. Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks
10. Flo Rida- Good Feeling.
11. Rihanna- We Found Love (Chuckie Extended Remix)
12. Bag Raiders- Shooting Stars.
13. Erika Jayne- Party People (Ignite The World). 
14. Bon Iver - Holocene.
Side B:
And a song to belt out for the drive home... 

Welcome back, bish.

Friday, January 06, 2012

rub-a-dub-dog.


I'm dog-sitting my roommate's fur baby, Buddy, this week and I'm quickly learning that perhaps I am not cut out to be a dog owner. I've only forgotten to feed him twice in the last two days and I may have kicked and screamed and slammed my door when he jumped on my bed to let him out at 6:40 yesterday morning... I kid. He's a really great dog but walking him in the freezing cold rain is a highly effective form of pet contraceptive. Right before the holidays, Sarah and I took him to Rub a Dub Dog, a D.I.Y. dog wash up the hill from our house. I could not get enough of that place. The foggy windows. The various shampoos. The endless amount of treats. The blow-dry cycle that is similar to a car wash vacuum. The variety of brushes + combs. And my favourite... the apron they provide for you to wear! It is pretty much my new favourite spot to hang out although it would take a lot of treats to get Buddy to step paw in that tub again.  

Thursday, January 05, 2012

of all eloquence, a nickname is the most concise.


kara: she's just growing up so fast, i wish time would slow down.
joc: funny, i wish time would speed the hell up. {in regards to my own life}
kara: you will until your life is where you want it be.

Skyping with Kara and Reese is the best antidote for a too-far-away auntie's aching heart. Although the MacBook logo symbolizes the 3000 miles between us, our skype dates almost make me feel like we're in the same place. Ree's little squeal when I scream, "Reeeesey!!" every time our faces come in to view is my favourite moment of each skype date. She always performs her "latest tricks" for me in the background, very busy making soup in her kitchen, reading every book on the shelf, making the sound of all the animals in sight, as Kara and I sip our morning coffee {well actually, I am the only caffeine addict.}, converse about family ties, hiring a cleaning service, our love lives, surviving grad school, the medical profession and how she hosted her first mom's club meeting {so proud, K!}. Kara asked Reese today if she could say "jocelyn" and the sweetest little scrunchy smile came across her face and in her tiny, little angel voice she said, "JayJay". J.J. it is, Reesey Bird. J.J. it is.


Photographs compliments of Jessi Ringer