July 13, 2017

A look back at 2016.

I drafted this back in December 2016 and I never got around to editing photos for this or posting it. I feel it would be a shame not to continue the tradition of looking back on my year, so please excuse me posting it now.

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Well. It appears I allowed my blog to collect dust this year. I kept my adventures tucked away from this little space and stopped focusing so much on photographing where I was, but experiencing it. (I'm sure it didn't hurt that I barely had time to get out for the latter half of the year -- my first semester of law school was something else).

But that leaves me with much to recap, and far too few photos! So excuse the excess of words and let me share with you my 2016.

January was a relatively quiet month. I flew up to Oregon at the end of the month to spend a little bit of time with my sister. We hiked, watched films, and my sister fed me delicious raspberry scones from a bakery across the street where she worked.

Still in Oregon, I went up to Portland and finally got to hike up Multnomah Falls! After months of wanting to go (and several trips up to Portland but there being too much rain to actually go hike), we went and saw some of the prettiest sights. The waterfall itself is nice, but when you get to the top there's a creek that flows into the waterfall that's just lovely. My parents and I also trekked out to Death Valley this month to see the superbloom. Now that was a sight!

Continuing my hunt for California wildflowers, I made my way out to Joshua Tree and saw them in bloom for the first time. I saw colors in nature that I'd never run into before. We also went up to Yosemite and camped overnight. The drive there took us through a section with soft rolling hills of tall grass and beautiful wildflowers sprinkled in between. It felt like driving through a dream.

My sister came home for a visit and I took her to Admitted Students Weekend at the law school I eventually chose. I was thankful for such a loving and supportive family.

This was a month for eating. I ate my way through shrimp boils, weekend barbecues, and then some. Another trip up to Oregon led us back to Multnomah Falls. We also got to check out the rose gardens, which were absolutely stunning.

A rather uneventful month, this was a trying time for me in my work life. It was a learning experience that, looking back, I appreciate now.

July was a month of work! I ended my job of three years, I helped my dad dig up holes in our backyard to fix a plumbing situation, and for some reason we went up to Oregon yet again. We had a family emergency in the beginning of the month that thankfully turned out fine!

Alas, I started law school. My siblings came home to visit for our dad's birthday. This was still when I had time to go home on the weekends instead of locking myself in the library, and I definitely took it for granted.

September was a month for friends. I met a lot of new people, made many new friends, and rekindled relationships with old ones. My heart felt full this month, despite (or perhaps due to) my transition to law school.

It was a month of firsts. I went to my first hockey game, went to Canada for the first time, and fainted for the first time. I was unfortunate enough to get sick and dealt with one of the weirdest experiences of my life. As a friendly reminder, please remember to wash your hands always.

Well. The presidential election happened. I witnessed a widespread grief amongst my peers and professors. We coped by spending time with one another and focusing on the positives in our lives. This month was also a month of Contracts for me, including a shindig at our professor's home!

I turned 25. My friends shared sweet messages with me and I was spoiled with more cake than ever. I spent my days in the library as I prepared for finals -- then finals came and went in a blur. Compared to how quickly the rest of the year went, so much happened in December that it felt like the longest month. And, for the first time, my family wasn't together to celebrate the end of the year and ring in the new one.

Overall, 2016 felt like a boxing match. It threw its punches and jabs, but I made it out on the other end. It was a year for patience, for growth, and for lessons in kindness. I can't wait for 2017, for what I hope is a more blessed year.

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April 4, 2016

Chasing Wildflowers - Joshua Tree, CA

A few weeks ago, my parents and I tried to make out way up to Fresno to see the almond trees blooming. Ten minutes onto the freeway, I thought I'd check out the blossom reports for the area to see where would be the best place to go -- only to find that the recent rains had all but stripped the trees of their flowers.

We made a quick u-turn and set out for Joshua Tree instead. Wildflower reports made a note that it was still too early for blooms in most of the park, but the southern end of the park (Cottonwood Springs area) was seeing some lovely color. We were not disappointed!

There were flowers sprouting from cacti, Joshua Tree poppies, blossoms of blue, yellow, white, orange, pink. Though perhaps most surprising were the Joshua Trees themselves. In all my years of driving down to the park, I have never seen Joshua Trees blooming like they were when we visited. (Apparently they need specific conditions in order to bloom -- freezing temperatures, for one).

I only have one more stop for my wildflower hunt this year, and I hope I'll get to check it off my bucket list in the coming weeks. Golden poppies, here I come!

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March 28, 2016

Chasing Wildflowers - Death Valley, CA

More than anything, I have not wanted to blog the past few months. I could attribute it to a few things -- but mainly, blogging just was not as fun as it used to be. Every year, I go through a phase where I look at my blog and wonder what I'm keeping it up for. Am I trying to grow this space and make it into something I need to work at? Or is it really just an online journal?

For now, I'm taking the latter and running with it. 

So. Dear Skim. This year, I made the decision to see all of the wildflowers California had to offer. We started out last month by heading up to Death Valley to see the superbloom. It was nothing short of magnificent. Knowing Death Valley, and remembering childhood trips where the entire area was barren and brown (and most importantly boring), it was such a treat to see it bursting with color. Bright yellow flowers flanked the road on either side with sprinkles of purple and pink along the way.


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