Friday favorites & feelings

“What was your favorite part?”

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve been asked this question throughout the past two weeks. No shade to anyone who asked me—I would be eagerly asking you the exact same thing if our roles were reversed.

But man, is that a hard question to answer. Each time, I find myself completely overwhelmed with what to say. The first few times, I’m pretty sure I went with “Uhhhhhhh…oh my gosh. I don’t even know. There were so many things! I should have been more prepared for this question!” Eventually, I learned to throw out a few go-to highlights (hiking on a glacier in Patagonia; playing on sand dunes in Colorado; conquering a 17,000 ft. peak in Peru).

But do you want the honest truth? I still have NO IDEA what my favorite part of the last five months was. And the thought of whittling those experiences down into cohesive stories and sound bites is still overwhelming.

My brain right now, trying to decide where to go from here.

And that’s about where I’m at right now. As I’m writing this, the snow has started falling outside (#Snowpocalypse2017 begins), I’m STILL battling a two-week-old chest cold/bronchitis that refuses to vacate my lungs, and my head is spinning with the terrifying freedom of unstructured days and a lengthy to-do list of job hunting, wedding planning, unwritten blog posts, and personal projects. This basically sums up how I’m feeling.

I have so many stories to tell (and so many photos to edit) that I don’t know where to begin. So, all this to say—I think I will take my time. I want to give these experiences room to breathe in my brain, and let them out when they’re ready. And in the meantime, I’m rolling with the scatterbrained theme: so here’s a random collection of links, articles, and fun things from the Internet to occupy you during Snowpocalypse 2017.

Happy Friday, and a huge THANK YOU to anyone who has bothered to read this far into my rambling thoughts. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  • It isn’t all wilderness and Instagram sunsets.
  • In case you haven’t seen it yet: Michelle Obama’s teary-eyed last speech as our First Lady is the quintessential example of the unwavering class she’s modeled throughout the past eight years. “Don’t be afraid—Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful.” #pleasedontgo
  • This essay make me think about what we mean when we call someone “strong.” (Particularly women.) The full piece is worth a thorough read, but this is the excerpt that jumped out to me the most: “If being strong means denying the humanity of others, following tyrants, dealing out violence, then make me weak. Make me soft. Give me the fortitude of vulnerability, the might of a flake in a snowbank ready to carve out mountains.”
  • We made this three-bean chili recipe for a big group of friends over New Years weekend, and it was a HUGE hit! It’s simple and healthy, and the perfect comfort food to snuggle up with by the fire when the snow is swirling outside. 🙂
  • A new favorite Instagram account: the nonprofit Conservation Canines, which rescues shelter dogs and trains them to assist with wildlife conservation! (Mainly sniffing out scat.) Photos of cute shelter pups out in the wilderness, working to help save wildlife?? Um, yes please.
  • You can win tickets to Hamilton with a donation to Planned Parenthood!
  • I hadn’t heard of the new movie Paterson until I stumbled on this article about it, and it (okay, plus an inexplicable affection for Adam Driver) now has me really wanting to see it.
  • I know I said that I don’t really make new year’s resolutions, but a general goal in the back of my head for 2017 is to be more aware of my personal environmental impact (and more intentional about my choices). This year, I’d like to work on eating less meat, creating less trash, and getting more politically active in environmental causes, among other things. If you have the same goal, here’s a quick list of other ways we can all work toward being more green in 2017!



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