Boyd Boys

Stumbled upon old photos from my time being a nanny in Australia. I miss these boys and family so much. I remember spending weekends with them. Their mom would make us breakfast in the morning, and we’d talk about God and life. We’d set clothes out to dry on the clothesline in the springtime while the smell of Jasmine sifted through the Aussie air. The floorboards would creek with charm and so much love from all the love it experienced within its four walls. The sun would stream in through the kitchen windows basking the house in a warm afternoon glow. We would make Earl Grey tea with milk and it was serenity, love in its purest form, and goodness of people that are now oceans and memories away. I will never forget them, and will carry them in my heart ever so fondly. Miss you Boyd family. Sending you love. Wherever you may be now.

-Diana

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The Overwhelming Charm of Summer Blues

“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne’s House of Dreams

This quote sums up perfectly the blokes and I mini camping adventure at Elephant Butte, New Mexico. We purchased cheap coffee at the local petrol station, grubbed on sandwiches and held hands through the interstate-while the city disappeared in the rear view mirror. There is nothing like a rich blue sky, toes in the sand, and the love of those you care about. So heres to the colors and memories of summer and those we love.

Enjoy friends,

-Diana


 

 

With Wonder

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We explore in order to discover. We stop seeking in order to find. We risk in order to gain. In this season of my life a lot has been held in the paradoxes of life. Am learning that sometimes what may be right for me may not translate to other people and thats okay. Its okay to be unconventional. Its okay to do things in my own way, and to cast a line out to life and believe and hope for the best.

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I am learning to go back to the basics. I’m learning to let things go that are beyond my control, its a way of living that I’ve always strived to know. And its not easy, every morning when the anxiety of the desire to control sets in I breathe look to the sky-the beautiful face of God- and believe, and trust him through the heartache. I didn’t get the promotion that I worked so hard for, and for a while everything I hoped for was threatened. A dark cloud spread across what I thought was going to be the start of a great year. BUT GOD-in all his godliness reminded me that its not the end until he says it is. Until he bolts the door and tosses the key. Its not over until my God says it is.

I had lost faith in journalism, I had seen too many horrid things. Things humans shouldn’t do to other humans but then one morning over coffee and an ancient face and voice met with me and reminded me of the power of the lens. Of the weapon that a camera can be and the passion that never lets you give up even when you just feel like its not worth it anymore. There in the Frontier over breakfast burrito, and surprisingly good coffee I left with a hope-a vision to create, inspire, innovate and create change. There in the ancient eyes of one of my mentors I refused to give up. Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

And so we “beat on like boats against the current,” attempting to live each day in beauty. Grabbing coffee in the early morning at Limonata as the sky lay covered in looming grey clouds bringing in sleet and snow. And we sipped our coffee and we scribbled on the condensed filled window the word friend, and fought for our happiness. Fought to relinquish control, breathe and savor the moments left before the Great Departure. And it all felt like breathing. And it felt like a great rebellion to the sadness in this world.

And we drove. We drove in the same familiar red Jeep to a new place. Where a part of Korea lay hidden like a gem in this tired city. We greeted the face of the old man with “Annyeonghaseyo,” we bowed and I looked on with curiosity at the touch of a faraway place, while my dear friend smiled at the familiarity. There sprawled on shelves lay treasures of a culture that has grown like moss in me. There sprawled on the shelves lay my desires to know that place and to visit it one day. There on the shelves lay a new adventure waiting to be tamed, ventured and lived.

And there on the tongue of the old man lay the language of something so new, shiny and utterly enticing.

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But isn’t it like God to bring wonder into our lives? Isn’t it like God to resurrect dead bones, and to breathe into a life that couldn’t bare with the monotony anymore. Isn’t it like God to spark new desires and goals so that our souls won’t grow old. Isn’t it like God to make treasure out of rubble. And isn’t it like God to create life over and over and over and over again?

Isn’t it glorious to know that no matter how hurt we are, that no matter how much we screw things up that HE STILL HAS A PLAN FOR US.

Isn’t it grand to know that such a God exists?

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“so we beat on boats against the current,” with eyes wide in wonder of what still is to come. The trips that still need to be taken, the new friendships that have formed, the new language that is to be learned, the new book that needs to be read, the cup of coffee that will be savored, and the prayers that will be answered.

22-23 “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have! (Matthew 6:22-23 The MSG)

Carpe-Diem: Jinja Style

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You know those moments when a certain song comes on and you are driving down a certain road with a particular person and the moment just feels perfect? Like you just want to bottle it up and play it over and over.

Well this type of moment happened Friday night.

Homesickness kicked in for my friend, and I feeling the monotony of the already stressful semester just needed a small adventure, something to cocoon myself into and find wonder in. So off to Jinja we went, for an authentic Asian food experience (or so we hoped).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetTo our dismay it appeared that it was going to be a 45 minute wait.

But then something amazing happened. We made small talk with two strangers waiting for a table. They were honestly two gems of people. Making us laugh and we connected over similar things like Alma Maters, travel and high school teachers.

And it was refreshing to know that people can be so open. To know that there is still charm and kindness if we allow ourselves to open up, to attempt at connection instead of seclusion. To simply say, “have you guys been waiting long?” with a smile and watch as humanity presents its most beautiful facet.

Well, the food turned out to be great and the chatter of the bar rose and rose and people laughed and laughed, and connections were made.

I managed to share with my friend that I had planned a possible trip for Korea at the end of the year for my upcoming 23rd birthday (as she is leaving in May). And I watched as tears formed in her eyes and the sadness of home sickness and other worries melted away, as she opened her home to me.

We talked of the places we would see, and the beauty of Seoul in the winter time, and of meeting her lovely mother for the first time.

And those strangers? Well, turns out that they were seated in the booth behind us and before they departed wished us the absolute best in life-and it felt honest and real, heartfelt and genuine. As though hugging us with their words.

And we felt full bellied.

Processed with VSCOcam with f3 presetWe drove down the industrial district enclosed in the warmth of my Jeep. The city lights gleamed brightly as though smiling down on us, and a Korean song played. And in that moment all that mattered was being present in it all. Present in each others friendship, the scenes unfolding before our eyes, and in a small moment that made us feel like we were far away yet in the same place- as the melody held us in a dreamlike reality.

Have a great week friends.

All my love,

-Diana

*All pictures on this blog are my own unless stated otherwise.

Changes & Sweaty Palms

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Transcendence by definition is, “existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level.” (Google) And so far this summer has felt a lot like this. Time has been passing by really fast and really slow all at the same time, while my body is stuck somewhere in between. A lot of changes have occurred and I am still bewildered at how fast things can change. Change has no set time or space, it just happens-when it happens.

Change happens to you and to me, and to party balloons as they deflate. Its unavoidable.

Not all change is bad, but not all change is good. But for the sake of hope and light I will choose to believe that all change is used by God to reconstruct, mold and beguile us.

This summer I’ve gone to more interviews than this past year alone. I met with editors and my palms sweated and I fumbled with my words, and at the end of every meeting I told myself, “the real failure is not to try.” I sat in a building that held my aspirations and dreams in its squeaky floor boards, cheap coffee, and deadlines.

Because where else would aspiring student journalists write?

I went to a protest and took pictures for the first time as a photojournalist. I met new individuals who restored my hope in humanity, and for the first time in a long time I felt like I was a part of something.

A nasty sunburn later, thousands of edited photos and bruised feet landed me my first official job at my university’s newspaper, hello photojournalism? 

It’s a new season.

This summer has thrown me and my family in the ringer, and in the eye of the tornado if I am honest. Life picked us up and shook us by our toes and left us feeling rattled and shaken. We almost said goodbye to my dear grandmother, but the fighter in her did not give up, and neither did our amazing God.

We will be saying goodbye to my brother soon as he moves out of state taking our beloved pup. This was a fresh wound that we found to great to understand, but as we quieted our fears and lifted our eyes we realized that God is in everything, and has prepared good for those who love and trust in him. His sole whisper bringing us peace and respite.

My seemingly quiet existence and my attempt to relax this summer will be cast away, as I begin to take steps into a different world not born in me. A world with more deadlines, and learning experiences and interactions.

And that’s the best place to be. The place where we continue to grow and change…

Perhaps change is the best thing in the end, disguised as a welcoming friend- because in the end only stagnant things die.

So chase down your lions my friends, and no matter the outcome just know you went down swinging.

All my love,

-Diana

 

*All photos are my own

Pancakes and a Sunrise

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The sun was still slumbering away somewhere in space as we rose to the cascading snow covering the land of Idaho. It was my 18th birthday and every ounce of me wanted to stay warm and snug in my blankets. The clock kept reminding me that it was four a.m. and as I made my way upstairs to the sound of squeaky boards beneath my feet I could smell the remnants of the firewood that had given up long ago.

Yet, slowly I began to get excited. There was something special about being the only ones awake. My best friends mom decided to take us out to have a special birthday breakfast just the four of us, as the rest of the household slept. So we made our way to Butter Burr’s and began to warm our faces, noses and the rest of our limbs to gain back some circulation.

We sat and ate our freshly made pancakes and sipped our warm coffee as we watched the snow descend, while the first glows of morning began to break through the heavy blanket of clouds.

And it was all so painstakingly beautiful that getting up at four a.m. was worth it.

I could’ve missed this moment. I could’ve missed this moment due to warm blankets and comfort. I realize that I tend to do this a lot in my life. I tend to miss moments because of laziness, insecurity and apathy, and surely this isn’t the way that it should be.

There are memories I wish I could’ve established with my parents, and sometimes it pains me to think that we don’t have memories of an island that consists of cannon balls and bon fires at night, or catching fireflies in the backyard. I would hate to reach the end of my life knowing that there could’ve been more. That there was a potential for a treasure chest to be filled to the rim of breathtaking memories which give significance and value to this time on earth, and a depth to to this human experience.

Don’t get me wrong there have been some good memories, but it scares me to think that my mind strains to think of one “full bellied” memory, and when I don’t I get choked up and think, God the story must get better.

I want to take trips with my parents and have crazy memories that leave coke running down my nose because of the laughter and the joy we are feeling, I want my parents to feel like their life was full of memories of us.

What stories are we telling to ourselves, friends, kids, wives, families, and husbands? What have we let slip by our fingers simply because of something so small like “we were too tired?” It sounds silly but its true.

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For instance one night after a graduation dinner me and my flat mates at one in the morning decided to climb the hill in the park. This particular hill had an amazing view of downtown Sydney. This spur of the moment decision ended up being an amazing morning; we said goodbye to one of our flat mates and spoke of the moments that had shaped us as we watched the lights of the city dance like fireflies. After the tales were over we sat in silence-the only noise coming from the cars passing through the nearby highway, the raindrops began to trickle and began to blur the city lights as I asked beneath my breath, “Why didn’t we do this more often?” to which my friend responded with, “because its easier not to.”

Isn’t that the truth?

That particular moment brought us closer together and fostered many laughs-(especially since I ended up falling down the hill as we descended which was actually really funny) and it all could’ve been so easily lost. This memory wouldn’t of happened if we simply decided that it was too cold and too late at night to do so.

So this summer I want to live in these moments. In these moments that involve risk and discomfort  because they all hold the power to become a great moment, memory and story. I’ll learn to let the quietness and occasional solitude reap contentment, and I hope to create more intentional moments with my family.

What about you friend, what story do you want to tell? What risks do you need to take?

All my love,

-Diana

Ramblings: Thank God for Seasons…

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Life is a beautiful fragile thing. It has the power to make us laugh so hard that we cry, and it holds the power to take away and leave us feeling barren. Yet, what I believe is the most incredible thing about life is that it comes in seasons. Seasons that are ever changing and (luckily) do not last for ever- because each season offers an opportunity to learn and grow and to marinate and delight in the depths of that which makes us human.

What would life be without the crunchiness and falling leafs of Autumn? The fireplace and warm hot cocoa laden nights of Winter? The warm caress of a Spring breeze? Or the coolness of the ocean against your feet in the Summer? If it weren’t for the changing landscape of each season we would either be stuck in endless cold weather (sorry Canada), or be scorched by the beams of an  ever awake ephemeral sun (sorry South California). However, each season teaches us to appreciate the other.

Thank God for seasons.

The first year/season of my college experience is officially over, and it has taught me so much about life, God, people and most importantly of myself.

I met individuals who restored my hope in humanity, and who became dear friends when I felt no one understood. We would eat more donuts than we cared too, and drank inordinate amounts of Starbucks in Dane Smith Hall, and laughed more than we learned during our “study sessions.” We’d sit on benches beside the duck pond in the coolness of autumn afternoons and watch the leafs fall as we encouraged one another and talked crazily about The Hunger Games.

I got my heart broken by a guy who changed his mind, yet, who taught me a lot about myself. And because of this learning experience I am learning to heal “well”-and attempting to not let bitterness swallow me- rather, to send him love and happiness every time I think of him. Because a broken heart means I’ve tried for something, and because I don’t think we intentionally hope to hurt someone.

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I met individuals who told me a bit about their stories-their transparency so poignant- that I was reminded that there is beauty in being human. We are complex creatures all with the need to love and be loved. Our stories binding us closer  than we might believe.

I’ve pushed my limits further than I thought possible. I’ve unexpectedly fallen in love with running, and ran seven miles. More than I ever cared to. I pushed myself in my writing (school wise) and written about a vast array of subjects (ask my anything about Pre-Colombian art) that have diversified my capacities.

I’ve learned that God doesn’t love me any less because I’m not camped out at church. I’ve learned what it means to have a “bride-groom” spirit and be happy for everyone else’s milestones. Which has been especially hard in this May month-wedding invites, babies, couples, graduations, new beginnings- I have begun to learn that just because someone else’s highlight reel is impressive, that mine isn’t mediocre. It’s just a season.

But above all in this season I am learning not to feel guilty about my life.

Guilty as in ashamed because my life is so different from those around me. Its okay to do that which makes me happy.

Life is beautiful, am learning to cherish it.

Thank God for seasons…

Because no matter how unconventional it all may seem, hard seasons (or good ones) don’t last forever. And that my friends is a beautiful paradox to hold on to. Because it demands that we live in the present, move on from the past, and embrace what is, and is to come.

All my love,

-Diana