Hindsight is 20/20

When you think about your own birthday do you feel excitement, dread, sadness? I feel excited for the cake mostly, and also because for 24 hours I get to feel special. I also feel a small sense of dread that no one will remember, or be free to hang out, or that even though it’s 24 hours of feeling special, maybe I won’t? Does this happen to anyone else?

When I turned 21, I remember telling everyone that I was “getting so old”. When I turned 23, I never would have guessed that I would move to Atlanta that year. I continued to believe that I was “so old”. When I turned 24, my friends came to visit me, and we decided the best hashtag for the weekend was “Trap queen 24”. When I turned 25, I made donuts for all of my friends, we sat on the living room floor and drank mimosas. At 26, I studied in a coffee shop. A lot of life has happened since then and I realize how young I was, and how ridiculous it must have been listening to me say that. I give you all permission to slap the senses back into my 21-year-old self.

The musician Maggie Rogers just released a new record and she wrote a little piece about it. She says, “I found my space in the place between knowing who I was and finding out who I am”. This past year has been a gift. It’s most certainly been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, but it’s given me more confidence in understanding who I was, am and who I will be.

Today, I turn 27 and I’m not going to say that I’m getting old because I know that while a lot of life has passed, a lot more life is left to live. I still love brunch, I still love to read and write, to laugh [my most used emoji is the crying/laughing one], and I love to feel the breeze on my cheeks, the silence of snow falling in the trees, and the sound of rain in the middle of the night.

Hind sight is 20/20, but wouldn’t the future be a bit boring if we could see so clearly?

25\\

I wonder if you’re allowed to throw you own birthday party. Do other people do that? I guess it doesn’t really matter what other people do because I already did and it was a blast.

I threw myself a brunch party with a frittata, donuts and hash browns. There were flowers and balloons and maybe – one or two – spilled glasses of champagne. Because last, but certainly not least, we had a mimosa bar.

The frittata was adapted from a recipe in this Against All Grain cookbook.

Donuts here.


25 will most certainly be an interesting year. It will always be the year that I started medical school. It will be the year that I move back to Colorado [maybe for the last time, or the first time]. It will be the year that I adventure to Thailand and the year that I try to squeeze in as many schenanigans in the South as possible. I wonder what else the year of 25 will be.

Uno mas, por favor

Happy Blog-iversary!!!!

It has been one full year – 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8760 hours – since I started on this journey in finding the grace within our everyday lives. I want to send a big THANK YOU out into the universe for all of you that have read my posts in this last year. Thank you for your words of encouragement, it really means the world to me [x10000000000 thank you].

I’ve enjoyed having this space to share my thoughts, struggles, and adventures. Writing posts for my blog has come to be something I look forward to each week – something I use to help reset after a crazy, busy week at work or even as a way to form complete thoughts on a theme that keeps appearing in my life. Normally I am not super creative, as a scientist I practice creativity in a very different way from the traditional sense. We carefully design experiments and then meticulously execute them with special attention paid to precision and accuracy. Writing Glimpse of Grace has allowed me to become creative outside of scientific rigor, and for that I am thankful.

As I jump into this new year – 2017 – I do so with a continued desire to be present. To be intimately engaged with this wonderful life we’ve been so fortunate to have been given. I have 6 months left in Atlanta, and my greatest fear is that I will spend those months checking the days off the calendar. Deep within my soul, I desire to make the most of those days in a way that honors God, presence, and connection. I don’t have a clear vision of what that will look like yet, but I will continue to share my journey along the way.

I’ve always been a storyteller [ask anyone from my childhood], so here I am writing down my story. Let’s see where this narrative takes us.


*The tea I enjoyed was from the local coffee bar – Taproom Coffee & Beer. I highly recommend this place for catching up with friends.

Breath In

2016 is winding down rapidly and like the whirlwind this year has been we will soon find ourselves in 2017. I cherish the changing of the seasons and the new year both as time to reflect. Time to look back, think deeply, then celebrate extravagantly how far we’ve come. There’s hardly anything I love more than raising a glass to the wonderful experiences and people in my life.

Cheers to the moments this year that brought you closer with your loved ones.

Cheers to the new experiences you tried and failed at, but then tried again.

Cheers to being strong, to working hard, to connecting.

Cheers to following your dreams and realizing that sometimes  all the time, timing is everything.

Cheers to laughter.


In the final weeks of 2016 I’m heading back home to CO. My suitcase holds more yoga pants, snow gear, and ski socks than it does regular clothes. I can’t wait for the adventures and laughs to come. I’ll probably write about them here later – until then, have a very merry christmas and maybe try your hand at the following recipe! My friend Haley made this for me and now I’m hooked —

Golden Milk [serves 1]:

Heat on the stove ~1 cup almond milk.

Sprinkle in a dash of cinnamon, ginger, and tumeric.

Mix until combined and simmering.

Top with marshmallows and serve with a cinnamon stick.

Happy Holidays!

 

5 Beautiful Things

To round out this season of thankfulness, gratitude, and joy my cousin Katie has issued her own form of challenge. Katie is the creator of the blog – 52Beautiful Things. She uses her platform to illuminate beautiful things she encounters each and every week. Katie was a huge inspiration to me when I first started on my blog journey and so I am pleased to be able to contribute in my own small way to her page.

The challenge is to describe 5 beautiful things you encounter within your own life and you can read all of mine —> HERE.

– THEN –

Maybe consider submitting your own to her. As a bonus, if you decide to write out your beautiful things you will be entered into a small contest for a basket of Colorado goodies. I’m sure that could even be one of your beautiful things!


As an aside, I submitted my piece to Katie around lunch time today and then proceeded to escape the conference for a jaunt at Balboa Park [San Diego]. It was at the park that I stumbled upon a small Japanese garden. A hidden gem within the heart of the city. A place of quiet solitude, beauty, and grace. I found myself wishing I had waited to press send so I could add this in, but then I was reminded that we live a continuous journey with beauty waiting around every corner.

30 Days.

At the beginning of November I threw a challenge out into the Universe. A challenge to document the tiny things you are grateful for each day in an attempt to cultivate a life filled with gratitude. My point being, that joy stems from our gratitude and practicing thankfulness might – ahem, will –  just lead to happiness.

When I first started this challenge my jar seemed impossibly large. I kept thinking to myself, “how could I possibly have something different to be grateful for each day?” Yet, each day something small came to mind that made me smile, or remember what was good. Even better were the days when I would experience a moment and immediately think to myself, “Wow, that was fantastic. That is what’s going in the jar tonight.” So, with each day, my pile of paper got a little bit bigger and I felt my heart grow more joyful [less frustrated] with where I’m at in this crazy life.

Listed below are just a few of the [unedited] things I found myself feeling lucky to have experienced within the last 30 days —

  1. I’m thankful for good hairstylists. FINALLY.
  2. I’m thankful for my crockpot + quick + tasty dinner!
  3. I’m thankful for old friends and talking on the phone for hours.
  4. I’m thankful for packages in the mail @ the end of a long day.
  5. Today I’m thankful for doing a workout @ a weight I wasn’t sure I could do. Pushing myself to be better.
  6. I’m thankful for chocolate when I’m feeling bloated.
  7. I’m thankful for falling leaves. With all of the trees here in ATL a strong breeze makes the leaves dance and fall like snowflakes.
  8. I’m thankful for MARTA.
  9. I’m thankful for a house full of people.
  10. I’m thankful for the ability to write + for the courage to share my heart with others.
  11. Facetiming with my crazy family today!
  12. I’m thankful for my finances, but also cheap/quality clothes on a budget.

What were you thankful for this month? Let’s celebrate gratitude together!

 

Flutter

I have no excuse for my lack of posts other than that I’ve been trying to find words for many of the events that have happened in my life during the last few weeks. Apparently it has been an unsuccessful endeavor…. Every time I sit down to write I come up with a blank. This is not for lack of material – I’ve got more than enough of that – but rather I’m attributing it to a lack of belief. Three weeks ago I got the phone call that I’ve been waiting to get since February. I got the phone call that I was accepted to the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

It really went down like this –

I was in the midst of a normal work day, running in and out of tissue culture and attending meetings, when I received a missed call and a voicemail. The number was 303-724… Those numbers caused my heart to skip a beat because I immediately knew. 303 is the area code for Colorado and 724 is the first three digits for the UC Denver Medical Campus. With trembling hands and a flutter in my stomach I returned the call from the admissions office. They very nonchalantly informed me of my acceptance to the class of 2020.

*imagine me freaking out on the other side*

The next week & a 1/2 was a whirlwind as I quickly drafted a letter requesting to defer entrance for one year and then wait (again) for a response. You’re probably thinking that I must be crazy. All of the choices I’ve made over the last several years have been decided while also considering my long term goal – becoming a doctor. I would think about it more than necessary, and especially this last year, stress over it even when I had no control. As much as I tried to continue on with life in the midst of waiting, my application was all consuming. I agonized over my future and possible outcomes. Where I would be living and how my life would look. So, in an attempt to live in the present I decided that regardless of the decision from CU I would stay in Atlanta for another year.

– I became free –

This decision was a huge step for me, but I felt so fantastically unhindered and happy with my choice. My relationships with my friends in A|T|L grew deeper, I embraced my responsibility at work with a fire, and I’ve settled into living in a city in a forest. I also accepted the possibility that I wasn’t going to be accepted this year and began preparing to reapply – writing a brand new personal essay and requesting additional letters of support. I submitted these applications exactly one week before learning of my acceptance. I guess then that answer is yes – I am a little crazy, but not insane because when I requested to delay my entry for a year I was granted this appeal.

I am beyond thankful for the opportunities this provides – not only in my research but in all aspects of my life. I know this absolutely did not just happen out of coincidence but that God has some bigger plan for me. I’m thrilled to find out what the next year holds. Excuse me while I squeal with glee.


*words are hard, dancing and jumping up and down is an easier way to celebrate.

Birthday vs. Crockpot (Which is Better?)

Tuesday April 12th has been a kick ass day. Mostly because it’s my sister Anna’s birthday, and a little bit because I bought a crockpot. I’m currently taking suggestions for the best crockpot recipes you have because the possibilities are endless, and in case you were wondering… I’m drooling with anticipation. Most nights I don’t eat dinner until after I get home from the gym, 8 or 9 PM, so this has been a monumental purchase in my adult life – take that!

But, mostly today has been awesome because Anna is awesome. She is my big sister and the person I’ve looked up to my entire life. When we were little kids she started doing gymnastics and I loved watching her swing around on the bars so I started doing gymnastics. Anna HATED that I was doing the same thing as her so she quit and started taking ballet classes. For a while I stuck with gymnastics only, but as I got older I proceeded to follow in her footsteps and took a few dance classes.

It turned out I wasn’t much of a ballerina but preferred jazz so she lucked out there. Until, we both joined our high school dance team. Not only did we live together, but we attended practices, football games, basketball games, and all things POM together. I sort of expected that we would fight all the time – surprisingly we didn’t. If anything we grew closer together. Then when we went to college several years apart at the University of Colorado we became even closer. Now we do lots of things together – ski, hike, sing horribly, dance, cook, run, yoga, read – just to name a few. Without Anna I wouldn’t have a profound respect for a cool restaurant bathroom, or stop at as many architecturally beautiful buildings in whatever city we are visiting, but I wouldn’t have life any other way.

There’s nothing better than having sisters.

Someone who you can just look at and they know you’re asking to borrow chapstick. Someone who will laugh at your stupid jokes and puns. Someone who will always tell you the truth, no matter what. Someone who knows your deepest, darkest secrets, but still loves you anyways.

Thankfully, I have two of them and they are incredibly inspiring, hard working, generous, creative, and kind. I’m also lucky enough to have made friends in my lifetime who are my sisters in a different way. Everyday I celebrate y’all, but today I celebrate Anna. I know I’m not there in person to drink margaritas @ El Camino, but I’m there in spirit (while simultaneously trying to figure out what I’ll make in my new crockpot)

Cheers to you! Here are just a few of my favorite pics –

 

Green Thumb

“Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith” – Elisabeth Elliot

Spring is a time of new; a time to rejoice in fresh growth. It’s a time when things wake up from their wintry slumber and burst forth into the world – “Helloooo I’m here”.

If you take a moment to peruse my instagram feed you will probably pick up on my obsession with spring. The streets and trails in Atlanta are lined with fifty shades of pink, green, red, and white, and the grass is suddenly this vibrant, full-of-life color.

Besides the fact that I love flowers I know very little nothing about gardening. However, I do have some pretty distinct memories from a childhood spent outside in the garden. I would occasionally help my parents weed or sometimes if I was lucky my mom would let me help her with the flower pots. Every year she plants flower pots that live on our front porch. They are vibrant, neatly arranged, and will absolutely bring a smile to your cheeks as you walk through the front door. Someday when I have my own home I will line my front porch with dragon snaps, pansies, daisies, and begonias.

I remember planting bulbs in the ground; carefully digging a hole several inches deep, gently laying the bulb, covering it with dirt, then watering and waiting.

…Lots of waiting…

Growing plants is an exercise in patience. It requires you to have faith that with the right conditions (sunlight, warmth, water to name a few) something living with come up through the dirt. Most often it is painfully slow. Usually it’s a process that you can’t appreciate with the naked eye, but rather a process that you can sometimes catch glimpses of.

A hard lesson I’m always learning is that you can’t rush the process of growth either. I never fail to water my plants too much because I think that doing so will help them grow fast, but in the end I wind up drowning them. It would be so much easier just to buy my plants already grown. Each time I kill a plant I think will be the last time that I try and that next time I’ll gladly let someone else do the work of nurturing baby ferns.

But wait. Isn’t that the point?  Should we really be putting such emphasis on the end result and ignoring the path we took to get there?

In this world of constant motion how likely are we going to stick it out for the long term or give up the moment we lose sight of the horizon? Instant gratification is ingrained in us. Hell, amazon prime has same-day delivery because we need that thing we ordered an hour ago right now. That being said, I don’t think it’s impossible for us to endure – to dig deep, plant a bulb, and wait for it to grow. (I’m not suggesting that it’s easy, just that it’s possible).

This season of my life is feeling like a never-ending lesson in patience. I started working on my medical school applications last February. As in February 2015. In July I submitted my primary applications and then waited a month. Then I rushed to write my secondary applications, only to wait another 5 months before hearing from many programs that while my application was competitive, there wasn’t enough room for me. I interviewed at the University of Colorado 34 days ago and have yet to hear a peep from the admissions committee. I think its safe to say that I’ve been in it for the long haul.

This season of my life has been a struggle, but I’ve carefully planted this bulb in faith and I refuse to overwater, dig up, or give in to the pressures of waiting. I refuse to dig up in doubt what I planted in faith because when the time is right it will bloom.

Today I allowed myself to pause while passing some blooming flowers and I simply thought to myself, how beautiful this life truly is.

 

 

Big Spoon, Little Spoon

I have a confession to make. I’m in a blog writing slump.

I’m 8 posts, 1 page, 10 comments, and 2 months along in this journey of finding grace within my everyday life and I’ve become stuck. Each week it takes me a little bit longer to decide on something to write about, and it takes even longer to get myself to sit down and actually start forming sentences. Sunday’s have been good writing days for me because I’ve had Saturday to decompress, but even after spending a lovely day at the park with lovely people I only feel 1/2 as inspired as I would like. I mean, part of that could be that I just finished watching Mad Max: The Fury Road and this is one of the world’s least inspiring movies. Sure – it’s dramatic and a little heart wrenching at times, but c’mon… how does someone make an entire 2 hour movie about people chasing each other around a desert? I should have known I would hate it. I’m a hopeless romantic with a love for all things Wes Anderson, and one of my favorites movies is Pride and Prejudice. So there’s that.

I digress.

Last night I made risotto. A creamy goat cheese risotto that should have come with a warning – “this dish should not be taken lightly”. Just an FYI, under no circumstances should you make this for the very first time right as 14 people are arriving at your apartment. As I learned yesterday evening, you need to constantly stir the rice as it cooks, otherwise it will stick to the pan and burn.

Picture this – I’m half ready, frantically stirring two pans of our only dinner as my friends begin to arrive. I’m going to screw up my first dinner party all because I want to try making something new and exciting. My thought is that what would be a better dish for wine night than a main course cooked in wine? Luckily, they brought their excellent spoon handling skills to help me out. Also, one of my friends happened to go to culinary school so she should probably take all of the credit for last night’s success. Which, in my opinion, it turned out to be. We drank wine, laughed, and then laughed some more.

In a way, I think my life is sometimes a little bit like making last night’s risotto. I’ve chopped and diced the ingredients I think I need for the final product and I’ve started to cook the rice. I’m incrementally adding wine or broth while also constantly stirring. I’ve jumped all in, past the point of no return and right now I must have paused the stirring because I’m getting stuck to the pan; I’m feeling uninspired and faithless in the face of uncertainty. Thankfully, my friends are arriving and they have come with constant words of encouragement and support to keep my spoon in motion. They haven’t cooked this kind of risotto either, but they are willing to help so that I don’t get burned.

It’s still unclear if this main dish will come out as a success but I’m crossing my fingers for the best, and with that I raise my glass to risotto and uncovering the grace in the least likely of places.