Oct 28, 2013

On signs of life

Many moons ago, this girl right here received a beautiful succulent as a birthday gift. She nurtured it with love and care - well, who am I kidding. Without knowing absolutely nothing about raising succulents, I basically managed to drown the thing in water and direct sunlight and it eventually withered and died, to my obvious surprise, because I had been informed that succulents are practically indestructible. Then, when I moved to DC, I thought I'd get some nice little companions by my window, so I purchased some orchids at Whole Foods. And that relationship lasted about two healthy weeks as the poor thing was neglected most of the time, left all alone.

So there's a bit of context for my over-appreciation of this healthy succulent who managed to survive for the past three months in my apartment. My tiny, dusty apartment that's strategically placed in a corner where no rays of direct sunlight ever hits. But to my credit, I did some research and asked around to make sure I provided a good enough environment for my succulent to not die. I told it: look, you don't have to enjoy your life here, just stay alive so I won't have to spend another $6.99 at Trader Joe's on what's not a bottle of wine. (yes, TJ's 6-7 dollar bottles of wine are not that bad and that's honestly all I can afford at this point)

But in all seriousness, I love my succulent. I've gotten attached to my little green pet over the past few months as I scrambled daily to adjust to my new life in a new city. I look at it every morning as I open my blinders so it can bathe in some kind of natural light while I'm at work. And every time I see it, I'm sort of bewildered and excited that it's still showing me a healthy and strong green, that it's so plump and beautiful. It's a sign of life and existence that I get to see every single morning -- and as corny and dumb as it sounds, it gives me a sense of hope and encouragement.
I know, it might seem like I'm making a big deal over a succulent for crying out loud, but this is important to me. Ever since I've been here since July, I've been learning a personal lesson on the importance of being alive. What does that even mean? It's something really simple. It was something that I never thought about and took for granted all my life. Yes - it's important to go to work everyday. Yes, it's nice to have adult responsibilities so we can finally say we're feeding ourselves independently. Yes, it's nice to accomplish some work you're proud of. Yes, it's nice to have a title and gain some sort of entitlement through being a part of an organization. But what is all that ultimately for, if we don't feel alive?

What makes us human is not complicated at all. It's rather in the small, simple things. Look, I have my dreams and goals and aspirations, but I wouldn't say they're far more superior than the little things I enjoy in life -- like that smell of coffee in the morning or the genuine laughter you share with someone who understands you or receiving small but incredibly heartwarming gestures or even seeing a succulent thrive all strong and healthy when you feel so miserably weak. At least that's how I appreciate life anyway. I get that we all have different ways of dealing with everything, but this is just my way.

So all that to say: succulent, thanks for being strong for both of us.

Oct 27, 2013

Sunday Brunch - 14th St NW

I feel weird talking about splurging on Sunday brunch at some cute place because brunching is just something that I don't really do (I like eating two full meals - both breakfast and lunch, why eat only one meal for both...? don't judge), but we'll talk about it here today because I actually had a great time brunching with some friends few Sundays ago. We hit up a cute little place called Cafe Saint-Ex in 14th street area, and I gifted myself some delicious brisket hash. The best thing about Sunday brunching is that it's so relaxing -- it always feels like that nice little deep breath you take before freaking out about another week starting on Monday. Anyway, we walked around 14th street area of DC afterwards, and whew, glad we managed to enjoy the last warm Sunday of the year properly.

Oct 16, 2013

Winery at Bull Run

Back in September on one sunny Sunday afternoon, two of my friends and I spontaneously decided to go visit the closest winery near DC. As we drove westward through the Virginia country, I became thoroughly convinced that Virginia is basically more of a farmland than I had imagined. It reminded me of home. Oh how I miss home and the Texas Hill Country. But I think I can get used to this - Virginia is full of beautiful landscape, wineries, hills and valleys.
After doing an initial wine tasting (we went through 12 different types of wine & ports!) we decided to go with the rosé for the chill afternoon.
Bull Run was such a cute place. There was also a wedding ceremony there that night, so they were setting up the entire place nice and pretty. Oh, and live music too. Definitely worth the short trip.

Oct 9, 2013

Megan & Zach: Maryland Farmhouse Wedding

I feel so lucky to have assisted wedding photographer Vicki Grafton for a wedding last weekend. It was so nice to get out of the city (well, more like an urban suburbia, I guess) and drive out to the hills where it reminded me of home (oh how I miss the drive from-to Austin & Dallas, TX). I mostly just stayed in the background during the shoot learning, practicing, and assisting Vicki, marveling at the beauty of her Contax. Here are just some digital shots I pulled out from Saturday. Much more practice needed, indeed!

Congrats to such a beautiful couple!