You've Got Moxie

A little bit of this. A little bit of that.

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.

—JFK, at dinner in honor of all living recipients of Nobel Prize, 1962

On Birthdays

I just celebrated my 24th birthday last week. 

24. 

Right now, it feels old because, well, I’ve never been older. But, when I think about it for a while, 24 is an interesting number.

It’s how many hours make up a day… So, I guess in those terms, I’m currently on my last hour? Or is it my first? Because TECHNICALLY I’m beginning my 25th year of life (people often forget that year from 0 to 1). 

So, I’m going to go ahead and say my “first day” of life is over. Onto Day 2. Adulthood. I’m going to start taking better care of myself… Love myself and my body a little more than I ever have before. It is a temple and has been good to me, but I’m undeserving. I haven’t always been good to it (college and high heeled shoes come to mind)…

But I don’t regret Day 1 for a minute. Like a well-planned itinerary, Day 1 was full of adventure and chaos, learning and living. There were many falls, but without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It was the cliff jump, the free fall, the rented moped in Mykonos (ask me about that story later). It was late nights and laughter. It was hangovers and hangups. It was solo cups and skinned knees. Day 1 was incredible. 

But as it is, all good things come to and end. I’m ready for this next chapter… I’m excited to get more serious about my career and what I want with my life. I’m ready to build my credit score. I’m ready to drive a more cost-effective car. I’m ready to love and be loved… to share my life with someone with the same values I have. Someone who understands my quirks and likes me anyways.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to travel the HECK out of this world. I’m still going to go out and drink with my friends, watch the sunrise over the Washington Monument with a bottle of champagne in hand (might seem random, but it’s on my bucket list). I’m still the same person, but I’m just more conscious of my future.

My grandmother just celebrated her 90th birthday last week (I was born a day before her birthday… she was so upset with my mom’s OBGYN because he couldn’t wait a day to deliver me on account of a pressing golf round). So if my 24 year/24 hour theory holds true, she is on Day 3.75. 

Last weekend, we had a little 90th birthday celebration for her with my extended family at Bugg’s Island Lake in southern Virginia… her childhood home. It was so amazing to see her surrounded by her 4 children and their spouses, 5 of her 10 grandchildren plus two of their spouses, and then her 5 great-grandsons (all under the age of 4). Without her, most of these incredible human beings would not exist. It was a weekend filled with love, laughter, and memories. And it was all a testament to her.

I can only hope that in 2.75 days (66 years), I’ll be so lucky to have the same. 

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Charm is a glow within a woman that casts a most becoming light on others.

—John Mason Brown

Preach, Miguel. 

Yum in Tum

You know what really grinds my gears? Cooking for one. 

I love to cook, don’t get me wrong. But I think what I love most about it is making something I’m proud of… and then watching people’s reactions when they eat it (given that whatever I made is actually good… the opposite has also been true). Is that narcissistic? I don’t know. Whatever.

But since I like interacting with people - cooking for myself just doesn’t do it for me. I’m like… alright, this will do for tonight. Half the time I eat dinner, I’m sitting in front of the TV watching Jeopardy… more into screaming out the answers (doesn’t matter if people are in the room with me or not) than what I’m putting in my mouth. 

BUT last night I got together with some friends and we ordered from this company that delivers all of the ingredients for a meal right to your door. We got maple, dijon glazed salmon with a kale and goat cheese sweet potato mash. We also added on a kale caesar salad to get that veggie fix. Oh and then chocolate chip cookies to cancel out the salad, of course. It was all incredible. And so fun and easy to put together. I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

It’s called Scratch DC - and you can pick which menu/night looks best for you on their website: www.scratchdc.com

**Snow Day Do-Over** Maple Dijon Glazed Salmon w/ a Kale & Goat Cheese Sweet Potato Mash

Bon apetit! 

Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before.

—Dalai Lama

Took this photo on my way home from Eastern Market last Sunday. Had never seen the Capitol from this vantage.

Took this photo on my way home from Eastern Market last Sunday. Had never seen the Capitol from this vantage.

The first is the worst.

So let’s get this out of the way… 

I’m creating a blog for my own peace of mind. Consider it a daily journal, of sorts. If you enjoy reading it, that’s fabulous. If you don’t, just don’t. No harm, no foul. Hakuna Matata. 

I love to write. I love to take pictures. I love my friends. I love my family. I love penguins and tulips… white wine and sunsets. Red wine and sunrises, too, come to think of it. I love people. I love travel. I love long car rides, and I love airports. I love the thrill of cliff jumping just as much as a I love getting lost in a good book.

This blog will consist of things that make me happy.

So to start, a poem I have had on a post-it note in my room for the past six years: 

"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

-Max Ehrmann, 1927, Desiderata