Core Values

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Some nights you stay up too late.
This ultimately leads to added difficulty convincing yourself that removing your warm body out of the covers to face the cold floor and chill of the morning is a good idea.

I woke up this morning in such a state, knowing that I needed to get moving and start studying for the rest of the finals I have coming up this week. But instead, I lay there, and started think about what actually gets me out of bed in the morning. Which led me to wonder what I believe about life and the world that allows me to get out of bed each day. ( All of this thinking also allowed me some extra time in the warmth. Win. )

Anyways, I wanted to take a moment and revisit some of my CORE VALUES. I tried to think of the things that I believe that really do change the way that I live each day, the baseline I try to never sink below. Core values,I believe, effect the way you perceive yourself, the world, and others around your. They are good to define, and I have before, but today I wanted to revisit them and see what came to the surface. We are all living out our core values whether we have defined them or not–you are what you eat… And You are what you BELIEVE. Here is a boiled-down list of things that I really believe and try my best to live out each day and want to continue the rest of my life:

1. God is love. a simple concept that changes everything. He is everything that is good, kind, pure, thoughtful, extravagant, and beautiful. Seeing him this way will change your life, and helps you navigate through the best and worst of times.

2. There is always hope. Psychologist everywhere have started pointing to the power of hope in humans. I have heard it said that those with the most hope, have the most influence. I try to stay connected to hope: there is always something worth fighting for, worth trusting for, worth living for.

3. I am powerful. My close friends have heard me quote this,” powerful people know there needs and how to get them met in a healthy way”. Basically this translates into me making choices: choices that I know are the best for me. Believing that I am powerful has changes the way I communicate, interact with others, and is something I want to share with others , especially women–you always have a choice

4. Every person is valuable. Treat them accordingly…not just the ones you like

5. I am beautiful. I used to not believe this for a long time. It created a huge void in my life, and made me live towards myself from a place of hate. I now choose to give myself unconditional love. Unconditional love is powerful and makes things not beautiful. I try to remind myself of this each day when I look in a mirror

6. Everyone deserves kindness. I’m a big believer in kindness. My boyfriend puts it ” those who are kind, are free..” I agree with him. I want to show people extravagant kindness. Life’s tough you know, let’s be nice to each other.

7. Family is important. I try to live my life and make them a priority, and to show them that they are. I try to send that letter, make that phone call, and try to not take anyone of them for granted.

8. There is always a way. this helps me face obstacles and to not take no as an answer when it comes to my dreams.

9. I was born to change the world. Speaking of dreams, I try to feed them, pay attention to them, and live from my heart. I believe God put dreams inside of me that will change the world

10. There is always something to be thankful for. Thankfulness changes my perspective. If I am feeling like the world is a strange shade of grey, I try to say things to myself that I am grateful for. It really changes my outlook each time and fills my heart with more joy and aw… Good things for the heart I feel.

11. Joy is a choice, perspective, and gift. Joy is my baseline. Doesn’t mean that every day is sunshiny and wonderful, and that circumstances are good. I feel negative emotions and cry and don’t hold back those either. I don’t fake joy. But it has become a norm because I choose it, and it gives me strength and a deeper enjoyment of life.

12. I’m never alone. Good to remember. I am loved and taken care of.

13. My words are powerful. Believing this , I try to be careful with what I say, and use my words as effectively as possible to communicate how much I love others. Choose your words wisely — you are creating your world with them.

14. Take time for people’s stories. This involves listening and empathy. And your time. Giving people the gift of your time to understand them and make them feel valued is never a waste; and you will hear some amazing stories and maybe not judge the book by it’s cover so much the next time.

15. Beauty in nature is good for the soul. I go on walks to have the beauty of the world remind me that everything is going to be ok. Beauty has that effect. I let it refresh my soul

16. My love is powerful. What I do for others matters, and I can make a difference.

17. Life is an adventure.<em>This keeps me hoping, trusting, and holding on as the journey of my life takes unexpected twists and turns: helps me to see them as an adventure to be enjoyed, than an inconvenience to be endured. It’s happier 🙂

18. Live a great story. I stole this quote from Donald Miller, and it is in essence how I want to live my life. A character in a story goes through character development, has to go trough conflict, the story reaches a climax; and all because the character wanted something. Stories are boring if the main character doesn’t want anything, or if what he wants is self centered and boring. We don’t like those stories as much. So I try to dream and love and want things that would help me live a great story. One that someone would want to read someday.

There is a start. Some of my core values.

What are some of yours?

Ok seriously though now, I need to get out of bed and study.

Love,
Allie

 

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Allison’s Guide to Dating ( Or something like that…)

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I am a statistic. I end up reading those “10 things you should look for in a man”, “24 ways to know you are ready to get married” and other such titled posts that float around the Facebook world. I usually open them with a bit of a cynicism and slight curiosity. You know what I am talking about. You think ” This is so silly, oversimplified, and cliche,”  while at the same time by the time for get to #13 on the list, you are questioning how you yourself would measure up to such a list, whether you really are ready to get married, and probably measuring up that “potential someone” whose profile you just spent the last 10 minutes stalking :).

Ok so maybe you are a statistic too. Maybe you are not. Either way I am confessing it to you. Some of these type of articles I have found are better than others.

I have been dating a great guy for the last 8 months, and though I do not claim that this makes me an expert (oh gosh I already sound like one of those articles…oh well) I have learned a few things. Things I thought that I knew, but didn’t really realize or fully know were important to have in relationship until this past 8 months. Being a single gal for quite a few years, I felt like I had relationships figured out. I had read books, had countless conversations with girlfriend and guy friends who had dated or were married, read numerous Facebook dating articles, and had a pretty big list of things in my mind that I did and did not want in my own future dating relationship.

My personality leads me to want to figure things out theoretically before I step into them experientially. And to be honest I am quite good at it. While some people tend to want “hands-on learning” I prefer book learning. Read the rules, play by the rules, expect a good outcome. Predictable. Planned. Perfected. Funny though, come to find out, life and relationships work a bit differently than that. You often don’t know what you don’t know, and even more confusing, sometimes things you thought that you knew aren’t really what you thought. (Are you confused yet? Its ok, life is confusing. You are ok 🙂

Basically, my list of what I thought is important in someone you date looks quite a bit different than the way it looked 8 months ago– now that I am actually dating someone,. Things that I thoughts were important ended up not being as important as I thought, and vice versa. I promise you that you will be surprised by life and relationships–there is more to them than you can figure out from the outside looking in.

My advice these days sounds a bit scarier to people like my Allison-8-months-ago self: today’s advice–Jump in. Life has to be lived, and relationships have to be grown. Can’t figure it all out from the sidelines. Though I promise you I thought that you could! It’s just not the case. Side note: I never liked reading articles like this when I was “on the side lines”. So if you are shaking your head right now, I understand. Don’t hate. You, yes you. 

You just have to jump in. And you will learn more about what is important and necessary to relationships that you ever would from reading things like this or things on Facebook, I promise. Some of these sound even a little cliche to myself, but I have REALLY discovered/experienced them to be essential and important to a healthy and happy relationship. I could have probably quoted them to you before 8 months ago, but didn’t really KNOW them. There is a difference.

But now, after a maybe unnecessarily long introduction, in honor of this great man I have been dating, and my personal journey of discovering/learning what is important in a dating relationship, I present you–

Allison’s 10 things I have found are important in someone you are dating.

Though this is not a conclusive or exclusive list, it’s a good start. Why a list on dating? Because that’s what I know right now. Also, I figure you marry the people you date, so set yourself up for success (see, I can still appeal to all you planners out there hehe) Hope you enjoy!

1. Date someone who wants to serve others.

This is important. Really, you want to date someone that has a vision bigger than themselves, and even bigger than you. Whilst dating, there is a lot of focus on each other. Naturally and rightly. You are learning what you can about that person and you are wanting to figure out if they are someone you could see yourself with for a long long time. So there is a lot of tunnel vision on each other. Which is fun. Lots of fun. However, make sure in all of that tunnel-visioness that you get chances to see that person’s heart–for their family, for their friends, for the world at large. Dating someone that wants to serve others shows you a lot about their character, and that they have vision and plans to impact others beyond themselves.You want to be with someone like that, because life will not be boring, because it will not be all about you or all about them. You will get to love other people and make a difference together, and that really brings life satisfaction and happiness. Side note:  It is also attractive.

2. Date someone who is honest, and that you can be honest with.

 Honesty in the best policy, as the saying would go. If you can’t be honest with someone, you will always be holding something back, and vice versa. Honesty can sometimes have its own little sting and can confront you with your own weaknesses, fears, and personal junk that we all bring to relationships, but what better time to let someone fully “see” you. If you can’t be honest with the person you want to be closest to, they are missing out and so are you. Honesty builds trust. Trust builds relationships. Keep it real folks. Keep it real. It makes you more free, and makes you closer.

3. Date someone who responds to your needs.

This is one of those things that I didn’t really know was important. But dating someone who does this really well, I have experienced just what a big deal it is. Based on the previous point, you want to feel free enough in relationship to be honest with the other person, tell them what you need, what they are doing well, what they (suck)… I mean don’t do very well at, and be able to have that kinda communication with each other. Its takes vulnerability to express your needs, and its opening yourself up. Its life changing when someone responds to that vulnerability with genuine care and concern. And its not only a “listening to your needs” type situation. Response often requires some kind of action. It really important that the person you are dating takes action on the things that you ask/communicate. That shows love and their commitment to making the relationship work, and that your needs are important to them. My boyfriend has done this for me in a way that has been revolutionary for me. He told me that he would never fault me for having a need, but try to understand and see if he could help.  It’s a big deal. Trust me.

4. Date someone patient and kind. 

Tying into #3, the Bible talks about what love is. The very first two things that make the list: Patient and Kind. Date someone like that. They will know how to show you love. And love is something that you want to see–in action, thought, and words. You’re worth it.

5. Date someone affirming.

On that note, date someone who is your biggest fan…and lets you know about it! Encouragement is life to your soul, and if you are looking for a potential “soul-mate” what is better than to have someone that readily tells you how they feel about you and encourages you towards your dreams and through the daily grind. Words are powerful. Hearing that someone loves you is important–in actions and words. I love how my boyfriend puts this: “If you don’t mean it, don’t say it. But if you do mean it, say it often.”

6. Date someone you can “work it all the way though with”.

You will be doing a lot of communicating with this person! Like any relator will tell you “Location, location, location.” In relationships I would tell you, “Communication, communication, communication.” Date someone who you can keep working through things with…that won’t tap out in the 2nd time around the same bush. Lets face it, I’m a girl and sometimes I really don’t know whats going on with me when I have a problem! I sometimes feel like something is off or I feel down, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I love that my boyfriend sticks with it and doesn’t mind my “back and forthness”. This makes me feel safe and that he’s not going to run away from my confusion, but offer support. This is important because it shows that someone doesn’t just want to win/end a conversation, they want to understand you. It will teach you to be more understanding too and build perseverance, and once again, love and respect.

7. Date someone with similarities and differences.

People go back and forth on this–opposites attract and such statements. My personal experience– You need to date someone with a lot of similar interests (values, passions, things you do for fun/enjoy)…but you will learn a lot from someone who has a different way of looking at things, problem solving, personality differences that can both drive you nuts and be completely endearing all at the same time. Basically, I just don’t think that you should be looking to date the male/female version of yourself…which was a previous opinion of mine. Differences will help you grow and learn how to work together. And that can be fun and intriguing.

8. Date someone who values themselves.

Big deal. People who value themselves will value other people. Look at how they treat themselves and feel about themselves. They will treat you accordingly. You want to date someone who cares about themselves, because you want them to receive the love that you want to give. If they don’t feel worthy of it, it will make you both feel uncomfortable and unsure of what to do. We can all grow in this area and will continue to do so throughout our lives. Starting with a healthy dose of self-worth those is a good dating criteria I would say is highly desirable.

9. Date someone with a sense of adventure. 

This may just be personal preference, but this is my blog post 🙂 I think we all need a little adventure in life though- think it reminds us of the joy of being alive! Date someone who takes risks (love is a big risk! ), pushes past fear in their lives, and doesn’t let fear tell them what to do. This of course is all tightly coupled to lots of wisdom and self-control in decisions making (needless to say but I said it anyway for those of you who think I am saying be reckless) , but you want to live a good story and have an adventure of a life with someone. Date someone who helps you grow and puts dreams into your heart that you never would have discovered otherwise. It’s worth the risk involved.

10. Date someone who challenges you.

I like things that I have learned from my boyfriend–Ways he has taught me to see and think of the world differently, and to even think about myself differently. Sometimes he questions my motives, not to undermine me, but to help me grow into the person that he knows I am capable and destined to be! That’s powerful and sometime I have really grown to appreciate. Challenges help you grow. Growing together is fun.

Good luck dating and enjoying life!

Love, Allie

Family is Forever

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My mom used to tell me when I was growing up, “Blood is thicker than water.”

That was an Italian-momma’s way of saying that no matter what happens in life, friends will come and go, but family is forever–who is related to you by blood, will stay with you, through the thick and thin.

This year, my family has been through the thick and thin. And I just wanted to take a moment and say how proud I am of us all.

I’m proud of my Mom. She ran her race well and loved people to the end. She hardly ever complained, never had a woe-is-me attitude, and had one of the most amazing faiths I have ever seen. I am proud that she taught me and my siblings so much about valuing ourselves and being kind to others. I am proud that she never once gave up and that she was fearless. I love her for this, and am very proud.

I am so proud of my Dad. He has held our family together and made a lot of sacrifices this year. He is never flashy about this, but humbly does what needs to be done to give all of us kids the best futures and opportunities. I can tell he misses my mom a lot. He has had to take over a lot of roles that she occupied, and it hasn’t been easy, but he stepped up to the challenge. And in all that, he has keep pushing all of us forward, and reassuring us that it would be ok. I love him for this and am very proud.

Benellen, my big sister, she is back serving others and changing the world in the Land Down Under. She moved back to Australia this fall after being home for a year and a half to help with my mom and the kids.  A lot of those times were dark times, and I am amazed at her strength and ability to push through. She shines light and love and is very brave. She is continuing to live her dreams and travel the world. I love her for this, and am very proud.

Mason, my big-little-brother. He has stayed close to home, been there for my Dad, and has been a support to myself and the younger kids through all the change. Mason has the unique ability to be able to make a room light up, and feel that much happier and brighter. Everyone loves when Mason is in a good mood. He is also my favorite softball team coach and gives the best inspirational speeches before games 🙂   He can make you laugh and remember that life is lighthearted. He is working hard and looking for his next great adventure. He hasn’t ever given up, and he takes each day as an opportunity. I love him for this, and am very proud.

Johannah, my favorite little sister. She has grown up so much this year. She continues to chase her dreams of music/performing arts, and along with singing for the governor this year, she also landed her first professional acting gig! On top of all that, she keeps the littlest brothers in line (she runs a tight ship) and she is so good at celebrating life and making them feel loved and taken care of. I appreciate her honesty, goofiness, and inner strength. She is creative and bold, and doesn’t let fear tell her what to do. I love her for this, and am very proud.

Jesse, my hipster-how-did-that-happen little brother. Jesse is incredibly artistic and after saving up for over a year, he finally purchased his new baby, a Canon t3i camera. He now spends almost all his time taking the best pictures. He really has an eye for it. I love the conversations that I can have with Jesse. For a 14 year old male, he is deep and caring and has a unique perspective on the world. He sees beauty in life and in people. He is also freakin hilarious. He is also getting rocking grades this year!  He can always make me smile and often asks how I am doing. I love him for this, and am very proud.

Caleb, the baby of the family, but not so baby anymore! This little curly-haired guy can often be found polishing his x-box skills, kicking butt in sports, or curled up on the couch with his favorite dogs…Sam and Clyde. This guy is fiery, but he is also a lover. He has strong opinions and is tough as anything. From broken collar bones to beating me in almost every card game we play, this guy keeps me on my toes and keeps me feeling young and alive. I love him for this, and am very proud of him.

And last, but not least, I am proud of me. I’m proud that I moved to DC, made some big risks, and didn’t let fear hold me back. I’m proud that have let me heart feels all sorts of crazy and negative emotions this year, and haven’t shut it down. I’m proud that I get out of bed every morning and still feel joy. I am proud that I can still see beauty in life. I am proud that I am continuing to chase my dreams, and learning to let go of false responsibilities. I am proud that I am where I am, and am who I am, and for that I am thankful and unashamed. I’m proud of myself for leaning into love and not running away. I love me for this, and am very proud.

Love you, my crazy, wonderful familia! You are the best!

Love,

Big Tister Allie

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Why Italy calls my name.

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One should not watch movies about foreign places when one is in the middle of completing their college degree. Too tempting. In several ways.

I am someone who feels like they could live about a 1000 lifetimes and write a different story with each that I would be completely happy with. There are so many things you could decide to do with your life.

Maybe its my love for a diversity of things- experiences, different perspectives, places, peoples, and dreaming up crazy ways to spend my life (or at least moments of it) that makes me think of so many different scenarios I could live, but I suggest that other people do this too.

Wake up, look at the time, and start with the phrase, “The moment I dropped everything and…

A couple of my close friends and I do this often, and it’s always fun to see what peaks out of your heart in that brief explanation of what you would/could be doing in that moment if you stopped doing what you were doing and just went and did the first impulse that came to your soul.

“The moment I dropped everything, started a wedding company that threw weddings for underprivileged girls…”

“The moment I dropped everything and took the next year to eat at a different restaurant in NYC every day and blog about it…”

“The moment I dropped everything, became a professional lion tamer and…”

“The moment I dropped everything, moved to Bali, and spent the year learning to garden”

“The moment I dropped everything and moved to Bolivia to volunteer at an orphanage and work as a ferry conductor…”

“The moment I dropped everything, and became the person who invents new flavors of Jelly Bellys”

Just a taste of some of the ones that have popped out of myself and my friends at different times.

But lets face it. This morning I am not dropping everything. I have midterms to study for (ok I am ignoring them for the moment to write this, but hoping it helps me study if I get it all out), and in all honesty, living in Georgetown and pursuing my nursing degree is all a part of me working towards dreams I have had in my heart almost my whole life…so I will keep on keeping on…but…

Today, if I dropped everything, I would move to Italy, rent a villa that over looks the water and is a short distance from the town square. I would spend the year writing more, learning to paint, continue learning to play the cello, and taking cooking classes–making food entirely from ingredients I pick up each morning from the local farmers market on my teal and yellow beach cruiser with the little basket on front.*

*Ok, confession, this is not a new desire or something I have never considered doing before…I actually think about it far too often, which tells me one of two things:

1) I just need to do it.

2) In essence, experiencing beauty and a simple life and creativity are things I highly value and find restful and restoring to the soul. I’ll have to find ways to incorporate those things into my daily life more, as Italy will just have to wait for me.

Both are good reasons.

I think we all need a little more ‘Allison’s-Italy-dream-living” in our lives. As in, more moments that are inspiring, beautiful, organic, restful, peaceful, nature-filled, and restoring to the soul–filled with wonder, happiness, and love. Those are good ideas for all of our lives. Where ever we find ourselves today.

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So my Italy “moment” will probably have to happen someday…maybe not the Jelly Belly one.

I would love to hear your “moment you dropped everything” scenarios 🙂

What I love about the day before, the day before yesterday…

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One of my favorite parts of Valentine’s Day is walking down the street and seeing men passing with flowers.

There are the slightly disheveled delivery boys carrying flowers to and fro into corporate office buildings, dispersing more flowers in a day than most buildings see in a year.

You have your older men, with brown paper wrapped flowers they grabbed at the the closest floral place on their way home from picking up the morning paper.

You have your even older men, that usually have a small, tasteful bouquet of fresh flowers, probably from the same place they have gotten them from for the last 20 years.

You have the bright-eyed and youthful boys, who have a look of slight embarrassment to be walking down the street carrying flowers, yet their eyes glow with that “young and in love” quality–its makes even embarrassed boys do crazy things. (You can tell they have been worrying about giving the “right” gifts on this day for awhile, and they have distinct smirk of satisfaction at their accomplishment of getting flowers) They are usually pretty gaudy bouquets as well…if I’m to be entirely honest.

And of course, there are those men with groceries in one hand, plastic wrapped flowers in the other, sending the clear message that it wasn’t until they were picking up a quick sandwich for lunch that they realized by the red and white propaganda at the check-out that they better quickly grab a bouquet and then resume to revel again in the fact that Valentine’s does indeed come once a year, and again its a surprise/they forgot.

The day it is socially acceptable for men to walk around with big, pink, girly flowers in tow.

It’s a day I love, because as I walk down the street and see them walking by, I smile as I know that on the other end of the flowers those men are holding, there is a woman that they hold even more dearly.

I love seeing men love their women. I love that love is celebrated by the beauty of the earth, bursting forth with color, vibrancy–shamelessly and on display for the world to see.

I believe that for women, love is one of our most important fuels.

A woman who knows she is loved shines forth with the same shameless vibrancy and effervescence. A woman who is well-loved is powerful and free.

I love when men are intentional about demonstrating that kind of love. It really is one of life’s beauties—and one of the reasons I love the day before, the day before yesterday.*

*This blog was supposed to go up on Valentines Day, but due to some inclement weather and some procrastination, this blog now has a more interesting name at least.

Promise

My ring broke this week.
I have worn two rings non-stop since I received them as gifts. One is from my dad. One Christmas, about 5 years ago, he took the 3 small diamonds out of a brooch he has inherited from a great aunt, placed them in individual settings and gave one to each of us girls. They were suited to our personalities, mine being white gold, intricate, and quite feminine, and I love it. The other ring I wear constantly is from my mom. It’s a simple sterling silver band with the words ” pray hard” engraved into the side. I never take these rings off because I love having something from both of my parents with me, reminding me of where I have come from, and reminding me I am loved.

Last week, while I was getting ready to shower, the ring from my mom slipped off my finger, hit the hard tile floor, and cracked down the middle. I was shocked (didn’t think sterling silver could break that easily) and saddened. I picked it up, relieved to see that it only was cracked through on one side and that I could still wear it all though it was broken.

So why all this talk about rings? Well other than I keep looking down at it and wonder how I can get it fixed, looking at my rings reminds me a little of something I am realizing about life right now. (I must be becoming a blogger because I am tying unusual life lessons into simple daily interactions and events haha)
I had coffee this morning with a sweet soul and she stated something that I find to be quite true–life comes full circle. Especially if you believe that God directs the steps of your life, which I do, it becomes more and more clear if you take the time to observe and appreciate, that He is into the details, and somehow ties things together in crazy unexpected ways.
When I look down at my rings, I see a circle, a symbol of a never ending continuum, a symbol we use in marriage to state our commitment—it’s a promise.

Rings are reminding me of promises. In life where trust seems frail, events and people can break your heart, promises can seem just as frail. The idea of promises is a really beautiful ideal in my mind … But sometimes it can seem like that’s all they are-ideals.

It doesn’t seem like I can make a good comparison of promises to rings ( seeing as though my ring just broke, I seem to be contradicting myself–am I saying promises can break too? Hang with me, I have a thought going…)

I have decided that God has a remarkable way of bringing promises to come to pass, even when life seems to be full of nothing but disappointment and broken trust. He brings things full circle— which is the essence of promise—He is forever committed to the promise, even when I feel like it has ended or broken; He continues even when I see an ending. That is what a ring symbolizes. Just where you thought it ended, it’s starting to begin again— and the circle continues.
I’m not sure this will make sense to everyone, but it’s something I can feel in my heart and somehow wanted to express it in words.
Simply, I am seeing through the example of my broken ring, that in the times I’ve been disappointed and life felt like it ended, I thought the promise ended too. But when I look down at my broken ring, I see that although there is a crack, the circle is still there — the promise is still there.

The promise doesn’t end when life seems to break it.

That is God’s commitment to you , to me. That His promises are true, as in they exist when you think they ended. He brings things full circle and I am starting to feel that again. I’ve needed that reminder this week. May it help you too, wherever in life you might find yourself this week. -Allie

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An update of sorts

Image(Potomac River, Washington DC, my favorite place to run)

I have had several people ask me in the last week where I am, what I am doing etc. I can understand the confusion if you follow my life solely on social media. I’m a little bit of here and a little bit of everywhere…which I don’t make apologies for, but will do a little picture blog/mini-update to give you the big picture of where my life is and where it is headed.

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In August of this past year (2013) I put all that I owned in a U-haul trailer, said goodbye to Colorado, loaded up in the white suburban with all 6 other members of my family. We drove almost 3000 miles, stopping in Minnesota to visit family, Chicago, to eat a deep dish pizza, New York City, to see the big apple, and finally arrive at out destination, Washington DC. Why you might ask….well I will get to that.

We had never taken a trip of this magnitude as a family, and I am really thankful that we did. To see my little siblings gawk at the sights of a big cities, and to see my country bumpkin Dad head it all up with the help of my navigation skills, and the very fact that we survived all of us sitting in such close quarters for almost 2 weeks was nothing short of a rich memory in the making. My dad knew that this trip is something that we had to take advantage of, cause as kids just keep growing up, you never know when you will have everyone in the same place at the same time. We conquered America as road warriors and were thankful for the time together.  Image

The Laverty Clan (World War II Memorial, Washington DC)

So why the trip to Washington DC with all my stuff? Because I was moving there! I was accepted as a transfer student in Georgetown University to complete my bachelors of science in Nursing. I had completed almost two years of prerequisites while I was still out in Redding CA, moved home to live with family for 6 months over the summer, and now was stepping into the next big chapter of my life…big lights…big city.

Hello Georgetown.

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I have always pictured myself living in a place like Georgetown: classy, cobblestone streets, diplomats running around everywhere, cute townhouse lined streets. I have always wanted to go to school and live in the city (those dreams where there before all the world traveling, game changing decisions to move to California and do Bethel school etc. which have filled my last 5 years)  I have also always wanted to go to a school like Georgetown-rich with tradition and worldwide influence, and I feel very blessed to be here.  So I must say that I really love my new home. It’s interested when you find yourself living inside one of your dreams–its humbling and exciting and fills my days with wonder…and all sorts of new shenanigans. Considering all the twisted turns my life path has taken up to this point, it feels funny to now be doing the part of my life I pictured long ago–going to school, becoming  a nurse–after all the other things I have done and experienced. But I can also say I am so thankful for the foundation that is under me, the places I have been, the people I have met along the way, and wouldn’t change the journey its been for anything.

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I am going to be a nurse! That is exciting! I have about 2 years left to finish up my BSN, and then I am still planning on becoming a Nurse Midwife, which is an additional 2 year Masters Degree. Babies and Mommies still hold my heart! School is a lot of work and will continue to be so more and more, so I am learning to balance my time, take care of myself, and learn as much as I can.

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So I live in one of those cute townhouses in Georgetown, on a cute street with these cute ladies! They are the bestest of roommates and we have so much fun living together. They have made my first semester here so enjoyable and all the craziness of our townhouse being old and unreliable a fun adventure to be braved together!

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One of the best surprises of this year has been this guy right here. Yes. I have a boyfriend. Jay and I met in California last year before I moved back to Colorado, and in a story that is too long for this blog post (its a really good story though), we went our separate ways, to come back and decided over summer that although I was moving to DC, and he had a year left of nursing school in California, that we wanted to see where our relationship could go. So we have been doing the coast to coast long distance thing, which has been working out better than both of us had hoped.

I am so excited for him to graduate in the spring, (and hopefully have him a little closer too)  but its been fun to have a fellow nursing-school-survivor-who-is-ahead-of-me as a boyfriend and fellow encourager-of-all-thing-adventurous-and-traveling-dreamer-friend. He is truly an incredible man and such a gift to me, and he pursues my heart in such amazing ways. He teaches me so much about love and how to be fearless. I wasn’t expecting him to show up in this time of my life, but now I can’t imagine it without him. He is seriously the best. Yay for good surprises!

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Finally, when I am not in school or busy studying, I have been enjoying exploring more of the East Coast, which will account for random pictures you will see online of me hopping from Annapolis, to NYC, to North Carolina. I am so thankful that two of my best friends (Amy and Laura Jane) also transplanted from the West coast (North Carolina) to the East coast, and we have been able to enjoy continuing our random adventures and joys of the little things whenever we get the chance. (And Casey Crow is here too!)

 

I am thankful for my life, the people in my life, and continue to live this crazy adventure one day at a time. Here’s to life and all its complexities and simple wonders. 

Consider yourself slightly updated 🙂

Living my dreams based out of Washington DC until further notice.

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Still getting used to the big White house in my back yard (ok …its a mile away, but still how cool is that! )

Peace in your hearts- Allison