There is something about the morning light that is completely irresistible. This morning in particular I sat at my table and my sister and I drank coffee and I ate my breakfast staple: one fried egg and one piece of toast with apricot jam. I leaned back in my chair and saw the apartment buildings behind me and that's why I took the last photo upside down. It looked so pretty with the light creeping into my window and it kissed my mind awake... and I ran up to grab the camera. 

Good morning Suzhou. I love you.

And the whole entire day was nice.
And GOSH Switchfoot is completely, all good.
x, a


for Matt, Ben and Will

March has been a good month. I love being busy and having things to do but sometimes it gets a bit tiresome. So... Spring break! These next few weeks are going to be really great as well as full of exciting things. Reasons? Oh yeah I'll tell you :)

I bought an iPhone! It's my first one and I decided on a 4 'cause the 5 is just too expensive. It's coming in about two weeks and I'msoexcited. 

I have several of my lovely family members coming to visit. My Uncle and one of my only girl cousins. I cannot wait to have them and show them around this big city and fingers crossed, it will be warm. Suzhou is killer in the Spring time.

I have a soccer tournament. I think it's probably going to be three games but whatever it is, it will be awesome. I love my teammates and we have lots of fun together :)
I alsooo had three games already. Two in Shanghai about two weeks ago and one here in Suzhou. The games in Shanghai were fun (we lost both but did well) and the best part was riding home with all the guys... OH and getting a sunburn/tan. Duh.

Summer is creeping up too. We have all of our Summer plans set and thinking about them makes me happy. I literally can't describe how much I love spending Summer's in my hometown. It's odd vacationing in the place I grew up but I'm so blessed to be able to travel and spend time with family and friends during the Summer. I love my Summers.
We also have three weddings to attend and they are all special weddings. One is a really good friend and the other two are my cousins. All the weddings are in different states which means... I'll be in Seattle, Colorado and California during my vacation. Happpy.

These shoes are adorable and I've been looking for some sort of white shoes so these would be perfect for the Spring and Summer.
And this dress is calling my name. Even if I already have a dress for the weddings (I don't yet) I might buy this one for other purposes... like wearing to a coffee date. (?) ;)

This post is mainly for my brothers to read (I have the sweetest brothers who read my posts :)) and for old lady me... so I can remember all these feelings and all these things that I am up to.
Yeah, these guys. I share this picture a lot. Can you blame me?

See you soon Matthew, Ben and Will (and Rachael)! Cannot wait to hug each of you again. 

x, a


Malachi and Kellie

L to R: Malachi, me, Kellie, William (my older brother) and Becca (my little sister) is in the front.
Summer 2012. The last Summer I spent with Malachi and Kellie.

I'm going to write about something important.

Almost exactly a month ago two of my close friends got killed in a car accident. The night we heard was a night that will be hard to forget. China felt lonely again. Hardly anybody really knew exactly we were feeling and I wanted so badly to be with people who could comfort me and who I could comfort in return.
One of our friends from home told my brother in America to have one of my parents call him... so my Mom called our friend.
As I walked by the door I listened for a few minutes and my sister and I stood there. The conversation sounded intense and when I heard the name Malachi I looked up at my sister and started crying. I hadn't even heard what had happened yet but the thought of losing him was unbearable. Malachi is the guy who came here to spend Christmas with my family and I and he was one of the sweetest, best guys I knew. After my Mom was done on the phone I walked in and she said that not only had Malachi died but one of my best friends, Kellie had died with him. This is the first real tragedy that has happened in my life and I haven't experienced pain like this before. My family and I sat there in the room and cried and talked and prayed and stared into nothing and tried to wrap our minds around something so unbelievable as this. We didn't sleep until after 3 and even then how can you sleep with something like that to think about? One second my two, beautiful friends are here on this earth, probably smiling their amazing smiles and talking with their beautiful voices and the next second... they've left. Gone... farther away than ever before. We'll never see them again here on this earth. Every Summer I spend in America I won't get to hug those two and share in crazy adventures with each of them. They won't be around. At all. Ever.
I reach Heaven.
And around the corner, here comes Malachi and Kellie.
My friends that I've missed ever since they went home.

The past month has been hard. It's been full of pictures posted of them, people from all over writing about them, talking about Heaven, hugging each other a million times and having the best excuse to cry over and over again. And it's surprising how easy it is to cry sometimes.
I was thinking about something... 
Somehow my life feels more like a real life now that I've experienced true pain. Two people that I thought would be around for... well I guess forever have been taken out of so many people's lives and it makes life feel so real.

I'm SO happy that I had the chance to talk to Malachi the day before it happened. I heard his voice and we talked about seeing each other this Summer and music. He laughed a lot too. One time during conversation the connection was cutting out and it sounded like he was singing (like he always was) and my brother asked him if he was and he laughed again and we laughed with him. When my brother and I were saying goodbye he said "bye! Stay gold like you always do." And that's the last time I heard his voice. He sounded so alive.
I hadn't talked to Kellie that much right before it happened... we'd been messaging on facebook and the last message I have from her says something like "I'm excited to make lots of new friends..." and she never got that chance. That message was about 2 and a half weeks before she died. We've always been pretty close though and she was always one of my best friends. I'm so thankful that this past Summer we hung out a lot more than we have before. She drove me around where we lived and we shopped and ate good food and talked about life. One night I was sleeping at her house and we stayed up way too late showing each other all our cute guy friends on facebook. Oh yeah this one is cute... oh he's cute too. This one is really hot... but he has a girlfriend :p

I just love that they are both in Heaven.
I love that all their friends and family (including me) here on earth have an extra reason to want to be with Jesus. 
I love them and even though I miss them too much for words, I'm glad that we have many, many, many, many, days together ahead. Kellie, Malachi, all of us.

I miss your faces Mal and Kel. <3

x, a
This song reminds me of these past weeks and it's so beautiful.

p.s. Madeleine Miller, you and your family are in my thoughts a lot. I love you Mo, and I'm so happy that I got to be a part of your sisters life, as well as yours. xo.


a March hello

Hey there.
Sorry it's been so long since I've posted! Literally I've had a lot going on and some really big things have happened and so I didn't do my second instagram post when I should have. I could still do it but I'll save it for another time. 
Oh and I started soccer and it's so great. It feels amazing too!
I also changed my blog around a bit. I changed the about me and favorites page and obviously the look changed as well. 

So this post is to say "hey, I love when Suzhou finally gets warm don't you?" and "cheers"... 'cause that's what the handsome English guy said yesterday when we said goodbye to him. Yea. ;)

And if you want a rad song to listen to then here ya go ;)
Happy March! 
x, a