You know it...

My photo
I'm a happy and simple person who just happens to be lucky and in love. Must have items in life: ♥ my family, pup, friends and the one that makes my heart all a-flutter♥. Don't be fooled though, I have bad days too, but that's ok because Light needs Darkness. Watch the TEDtalk about that.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

That Thing "The Office" Does To Me

So, recently I have begun to re-watch The Office, also known as my ultimate go to feel good t.v. show. I can't help but feel like my life is ridiculously awesome (even if it isn't) after watching it. It's really my kind of humor, it's very nostalgic for me, and did I mention that it is my ultimate go to feel good t.v. show? Well, it is, and that should be reason enough to why there is a whole blog dedicated to it's epicness as a whole, and the epicness it has had in my life.

Question: How is it nostalgic?

Great question, and it is paired with a complex yet totally amazing (for me) answer. Not only do I love The Office because it has kept me from becoming depressed in the past, but because Jim and Pam remind me so much of a happier time for me and a former lover. We had pretty much the same story line, sans me being engaged to some loser...I was just dating a not-as-much- of-a-loser-as-Roy type of guy. As a matter of fact, that guy was awesome, but not for me. Anyways, back to why Jim and Pam bring warmth and butterflies to my insides...

That whole totally cute flirting thing, that whole "everyone else knows besides you two", that whole "shes with another guy who doesn't treat her well", that whole "THESE TWO SHOULD TOTALLY BE TOGETHER FOREVER" deal...yeah, totally me and former lover. As a matter of fact, we use to giggle and have inside jokes ABOUT The Office because it was totally our favorite show...foreshadowing in like, real time. And it was our favorite show, super cute (and in retrospect...FALSE: we both watched it with a number of other people and had inside jokes about the show with a number of other people...but it was us and in my defense, it seemed pretty monumental at the time).

When I first started re-watching it and I saw the scenes between the pure, sickening, oh-so-gosh-darn-right love between Jim and Pam I got this little knot in my stomach. I wasn't too sure what it was at the time, was I stressed? Was I anxious? Did I have a bad case of the runs coming on? Was it a mistake to drink the one day expired milk? So many possibilities, I decided to keep watching my ultimate go to feel good t.v. show for further investigation...

That's when I realized, all those cute lovey dovey scenes between comedy's favorite couple reminded me so much of me and said past lover! AND we used to watch it together! I mean, come on, it was totally our show (...maybe...). But why was it having this weird explosion of emotion on my soul now? I have been with someone new (happily and very much so in love) for over a year and a half, AND I definitely do NOT prefer my ex-person.

After some thinking in the shower (actually, I haven't showered's been one of those let's change that to thinking...just plain thinking) turns out that me not preferring my past lover is the exact reason why I love watching Jim and Pam. It makes me remember the relationship when it was good, healthy, and founded in love. That isn't usually how I think of my past lover these days, quite frankly, it's very hard to. But when I see the way Pam looks at Jim and the way Jim looks at Pam, I remember what it was like to look at someone like that...

Don't get me wrong, my current love story is freakishly epic, and sweet,  and oh-so-gosh-darn-right in it's own way, but it is different. We didn't have a flirting stage, we didn't have to go through "everyone else knows but you two" stage, and we DEFINITELY didn't have to deal with me having a fiancee or boyfriend stage! We aren't Jim and Pam, and that's ok...because that isn't what I enjoy about Jim and Pam. I don't envy their beginning. I like what they remind me of...

When things ended with my ex-person, I went to a really ugly place, and I came out on the other end with as much love and affection as I could muster up for the person who led me down that path. A much needed lesson in life no doubt, but that doesn't mean it was easy, and it definitely didn't make me all forgiving! Only the truly divine can do that!  (or just people more divine than me...) But watching Jim and Pam and remembering the time in my life where was so blissfully flirting my days away with my best friend, it makes me feel like I can forgive a little more, let go a little more, and heal another layer just a little bit. Probably a hurt I didn't even know I had...

So the moral of the story is, Jim and Pam are ridiculously adorable, they represent a beautiful time in my life, and are probably the greatest love story ever told, so what's not to love about them? (Move aside, Romeo and Juliet!) They also happen to be apart of my ultimate go to feel good t.v. my opinion of them is 100% biased. Especially since Jim Halpert is the perfect man...that doesn't help you trust my opinion, does it?

Until next time...

Note: Currently making a mental note to someday write about how awesome my current love story is, it's only fair, and I think I might actually want to,(Move over, Jim and Pam)!

I bought the boat tickets the day I saw that YouTube video. I knew we'd need a backup plan. The boat was actually plan C. The church was plan B. And plan A was marring her a long, long time ago. Pretty much the day I met her. - Jim Halpert

if you do click on the link, forward to 50 seconds.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (Part 3)

It's been a while since I've had the chance to write about a wonderful memory I captured in a photo...and today was "just one of those days" I think it would be good for my soul to remember happier times.

So I spent some time in Berkeley in my younger days...

And it is an experience I can never replace, and one that will hold a very special place in my heart forever. I think I love it so much because it was the first time I had found myself belonging...anywhere. Like, truly just being who I was and being around people who were ok with that! 
I love the environment it provided me with. My peers were talking about big things, ideas, and passions...not about other people, which at the time was refreshing to me. Merced is still working on creating that environment! And I have faith that it will! 
I love the people I met there, they all touched my life in a way that can never be forgotten or undone. When you come across people who make you laugh and smile and enjoy life, you don't let them pass into the past! I think of them all often and with much love! They are all going to give back to the world in the most beautiful ways...I know this because I can speak from personal experience that they already have! I feel lucky to have crossed paths with them, some of whom I still remain friends with to this day, and whenever I see this picture it puts a big smile on my face!

p.s. I love Simmeran, and I love his OBVIOUS affection for me. :-p He has also been an excellent source when I need a vanity fill.

I met Connor (pictured above) in Chem 1, when we were lab partners. Paired with the lovely Ruby and....Aaron (haha) we were definitely the sane, calm, collected couple of the table. And much to my surprise, I had the pleasure of taking my Intro to Psych course with all three of them again! It was a sign, we were all meant to be together for a little while longer!

Anyways, long story short, leaving Psych early wasn't really an issue most nights. Lecture was pretty long and about halfway through the prof usually gave us an little break and half the class would leave. Well...this is the story of the moment I fell in love with Connor...(in the most platonic way possible!)

One night, lecture revolved around pregnancy and the bond between mother and child after birth. During this time, this was something that hit very close to home for me and for those of you who know my story, you know why. I remained fairly composed for most of the lecture when it talked about pregnancy, because lets face's really over glamorized (as this blog CLEARLY lays out...). But what we would be covering after the break was what really concerned me. This, of course, was the night Ruby and Aaron decided to leave early. Trying my best not to go into panic, I asked Connor to stay with me...which I am sure to any guy sounds like a painful form of torture. Seriously? Spending the next hour listening to some dude talk about the bond between mother and child? I wouldn't want to stay...but I did because I was interested and, well, a goody two-shoes. Naturally, Connor REALLY wanted to go. In a last ditch effort, I told him I needed a friend, not even fully WHY I needed a friend...and without question, or doubt, he sat right back down and stayed. 

Now, I know a lot of good men in my life, but Connor definitely gives them all a run for their money. I remember the moment when I looked at him, broken inside, and whether he stayed out of guilt, friendship, or to be left its mark on my heart. It's true that a moment of kindness will last a lifetime. I feel blessed to have Connor be a dear friend of mine now (one who sends me swedish fish, but that isn't the only reason I have deep affection for him...I think...) and can only imagine what other goodness he will spread back into the world. If he was able to give me something so small, and have it speak volumes in my life...I can only imagine what he will do with the rest of his time on Earth.

Whew! I am feeling a lot better! I lot more at peace and a lot more humbled by remembering the lovely people I have been blessed to know! 


Sunday, July 1, 2012


#2. Go Cliff Diving

Now, I don't think what I did actually counts as Cliff diving, but the experience was bomb diggity none the less. Got to spend a great day with my family river rafting at Knights Ferry! Note, it was with the Alims, so the competition blood bath was out of control! But regardless, we were all ourselves and we all got to enjoy each other, which was the best part of the day. My cousin Jennifer, who now lives in Washington State, was even down for the weekend!

Now, how did I find myself cliff jumping? Well, long story short, Brandon is crazy and my cousin John apparently digs crazy! After Brandon suggest a jump from a cliff, my cousin John who is the definition of live life to the fullest decided it was a FABULOUS idea! And it was! After following Brandons lead, John, Gina, Jesse, Jennifer, and myself all jumped off a cliff into some FREEZING water. A moment we all get to remember together for the rest of our lives!

Another reason why Brandon is meant to be one of us, and another reason why I consider my cousins to be more like brothers and sisters...none of us have and I don't think ever will, lose the kid in us! And that is SO important in life. I am so blessed!

Until our next adventure!

Starting our Journey

Post Risking my LIFE



and of course, video provided by John Alim.


#1. Graduate College

Well we can cross that sucker off my bucket list! HOLLA! For those of you who aren't aware, I recently graduating college. May 12, 2012 to be exact and oh my, I feel so good. I shall re-cap the pre and post cap (haha)

I had a wonderful party during the day since my graduation was at night (thank GOODNESS UC Merced!) thrown by my Auntie Marciel, Uncle Bert and my Grandma! I am so grateful for their hard work and effort. It felt so nice to have someone plan out a special day that was just for me!

I spent the day surrounded by SO MUCH LOVE! As a matter of fact, it was so much love I don't know which was more special, me graduating, or all my loved ones being in one place at one time. I was reminded of my roots and of my purpose and what seemed like a hectic day on the outside was a day of peace on the inside.

During my party, my dad gave a speech, thanking all my wonderful family members and friends who stepped up to the plate to help me through my college years when they had left to Colorado. I want to say it again, because it is true. My family, every single one of them, cousins, Aunts, and Uncles have helped me at one point or another. From a laugh, to a cry, to a vent session, to driving me to the airport, to letting me stay at their homes for a weekend to get away, to helping me with groceries, to helping me purchase my cap and gown. When I think about how much has been given to me by those I love most, my heart is overwhelmed with love and thanks. I can only hope to one day repay them.

As for the actual ceremony, it was an amazing feeling to watch my peers cross the stage. Most of them I don't know, but some I do, and I know they faced their demons and personal see them accomplish something they devoted so much to was a happy moment for me. My friends, deserved that moment of greatness.

Personally I was lucky enough to spend my ceremony next to one of the loveliest people I have come to know, Miss Aurora, and we had a great time! I met her in my last semester at UC Merced, and I did an interview with her for my Writing 101 course (definitely one of my toughest in college) on the first day of class and described her as a sweet and wonderful person, and that anyone would be lucky to know her. I definitely still stand by that. My writing experience...and life in general only got better after I met Aurora! I feel very happy that I got to share such a monumental moment in my life with someone who is going to do monumental things for the world!

After commencement, seeing my parents look of happiness (and probably relief) was definitely a highlight of my LIFE. Without their support, love, and financial assistance I would not be standing in awe of my accomplishment. My parents might not have degrees, or a fancy office at work, or a huge house filled with personal expensive assets, but it is true, I am standing on the shoulders of GIANTS. They are, along with the rest of my family, my foundation.

Of course, I can't talk about this wonderful day without talking about my beloved. Brandon has helped me through so much in college...even before we were dating!

One day, during finals week, and 4 AM, on the verge of a mental breakdown, I got a phone call from Brandon and our friend Toad. At the time, I would only hear from them every now and then since sometimes they were impossible to reach, so I answered in the middle of my breakdown! I loved (err...still love!) them both so much, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Turns out, they knew I was going through a rough time and called to give me a pep talk! They told me wonderful things about myself and fed my vanity like there was no tomorrow...and when I hung up I cowgirled up and got my studying done. But...I don't think I would have gotten that far without my friends...

And that night was such a pivotal moment in my college career. I made decisions that changed my life forever, and for the better. So yes, Brandon (and Toad!) play a huge part in my graduation for reasons not even my heart can clearly explain.

And as usual, a big, big, big thank you to my roommates, Vivian, Zi, & Lisa who helped me along the way. And the the girls, Shabby, Loryn, and X-Rated for starting the journey with me, and for staying with me in my heart, even when miles (and maybe personal differences) kept us apart. I love all of you and appreciate all that you have done for me, I am standing on your shoulders too!

Anyways, so here I am...done with college. Exciting, scary, liberating, and uncomfortable...but SO TOTALLY worth it!


My family and I (plus Brandon!) @ my grad party!

My Cousins and I

My Uncle Bert and Auntie Marciel who planned my party!

My boys, couldn't have done it without them! They definitely know how to make someone laugh!

My Grandma and Tony

Brandon and Hurley, two people who made the day! Wouldn't have been special without them.

Vivian, she's a great roommate if you are in the middle of serious heartache :)

Lisa, my soulmate, who MADE my Jr&Sr years

So happy I got to share such a special moment with a special person who made it possible!

Myself and Miss Aurora

My Roots

One of the most supportive and loving women in my life, Auntie Noodle!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Day I Once Lived With People I Will Always Know...

A piece of writing by Bynie Poo Poo M-Sizzle Hap and Madsi Pad Jalim Euphrates Halpin.

We had just finished an amazing day at the Sea Otter Classic, beach frolicking and sad attempts at kite flying. There were plenty of food reserves for our day adventure, including pb&j loaf ends. But feeling festive and craving more of the refreshing atmosphere, we decided to grab a bite to eat for dinner just down the way. As we left, Brandon, the navigator forgot to be the navigator and we were in the turn lane instead of going straight. As I looked for an escape route, a new car came from behind to box us in. Distracted and frustrated I began to turn, unaware of the driver adjacent to me. He honked, but kept rolling forward. Mayhem had finally caught up to me. I should have listened to those commercials. Luckily for my quick thinking and puma-like reflexes, we recovered and continued.

Now parked and walking toward our delicious meal we came across a public restroom. Everyone saw a need for the bathroom, but none more than Tess. Tess had expressed in the car ride that washing her hands would be fantastic, glorious, and liberating. She had not washed her hands all day! Of course, the bathroom was out of soap. Sorry Tess.

But the public restroom held us longer than anticipated due to a little girl. As Madison was waiting for a stall to open, a youngster ran in. Out of breath, messy hair, and tan from the sun she had soaked up on the beach, the little girl had a look of panic on her face when she realized not only were both stalls occupied but there was even someone IN LINE! Tears began to fall as she asked Madison, “Can I please go?” as a woman came out of one stall. Madison nodded yes, and mutual respect was earned. Eventually Madison also goes to the bathroom and everyone was bladder happy.

As we approached the Fisherman’s Wharf we heard music. At first it sounds promising, but we should have known as soon as we brushed past the teenage hand drum and electric guitar-with no amp- combo jamming like they just finished scanning Best in Class. After shaking off the first strange sight, the Blues Band's finer points came to light. The drummer had rhythm like Steve Martin in the beginning of the Jerk. The guitarists were horrible and not present during the jam session. As we passed Brandon pointed stated that, “You know it's a good band when you can see the Drummer mouthing 1-2-3-4”. Wise words from an insightful man.

As we enter the Wharf we start getting haggled by the local street girls. In all reality though, they were pretty girls in front of two adjacent restaurants trying to convince the people of the wharf which was the better choice for their dining experience. Little did we know that we had entered the grudge match of the century. Both offered the same samples of clam chowder, displayed platters and comped appetizers. The one that won our fellowship over was the one that gave us two comped appetizers because they accepted the competitors comped appetizer coupon. Ridiculously awesome!

As we entered we were greeted by a guy who shared they're happy hour special. It was “happy always”. Happy hour drink specials always. Great stuff. As we sit we are handed huge drunk proof laminated menus. While settling in, we could hear the touch of class. It was as if the kitchen staff music had become the new standard. We order our food and receive our two free appetizers and by now we are having a wonderful time.

A Mexican child and her mother, who is holding their small dog tightly to her breasts, walk towards the restroom.

We are laughing talking, precaping-recaping-postcaping. It was truly a great group of people with such joy to be shared. I forgot to mention that the bathrooms were all out of soap as well. Sorry Tess.
The hilarity began with a single incident. We had just finished discussing how we all embodied the definition of powerful laughter and how there was no way to ebb the flow. Right then, I see, out of the corner of my eye, a portly fellow, whose shape was circle. He stumbled.... At first it seemed that he'd staved off shame and embarrassment, but then disaster. He tumbles. He Rolls and completes his rotation before coming to a rest. Becoming his spirit animal of the turtle, he rocked back and forth, fighting gravity with all his will. Finally he recovered and vanishes. The first casualty of this catastrophe was Tess. She turned her head, her body exhibiting the brand of silent laughter that shakes the entire frame. Madison and Lisa quickly follow Tess' gaze to the ocean scape; a refuge for our previously unheard of muffled laughter.

I turn my head, overcome with the guiltiest form of chuckling, just in time to hear Brandon say, “Why is he tucking and rollin' ?”. It was all over. We all looked to the window with an attempt to keep the laughing as subdued as possible as Brandon quipped, “That's a nice boat…” The attempted small talk wasn't fooling anyone.

The rest of the meal was spent with what can only be described as the giggles. We had finished our meal and began thinking about the check and a box for food. The man I had dubbed as Juan had come and Brandon asked him for a box. His response, after much hesitation, was “ehhhh” with a sideways point to the finger. Think of it as a mix of an Italian mob shoulder shrug meshed with a slightly off Fonz impression. He then said “I don't think we have that..... I'll bring you a cup.”

We erupt in laughter. Especially Rapples (aka Lisa), who by no fault but all her own has fried her skin to perfection and her brain beyond repair. OOOOOOOooooohhhhh..... RAPPLZ.

We finally decide to flee, but not before we brave the soap-less bathroom one more time.
First Brandon and I decide to use the restroom, then the ladies follow suite. Good thing too, you know how ladies can get with bathrooms. Tess, Madison, and Lisa all head toward the bathrooms, which required turning a corner. As the approach the turn another youngster enters the scenario, but this time a small boy. Knowing that I am always up to silly games, Madison assumed it was me and began to say, “Bryan, you are such a creep, why would you---.” She is cut off when she realized it wasn’t I waiting just around the bathroom bend.

After our last bathroom adventure, we regroup outside the restaurant and walk along the ocean leisurely back to the parked car…except for Brandon. He had to get the car, since our parking ticket had expired five minutes prior.

We are free.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Feeling A Little Something Special Today

Today, for some reason, I am over flowing with happiness. No reason in particular, just that I think most things have gone my way today...and even the things that didn't, I had someone totally awesome backin' me up. I was reminded that my life is EXTREMELY blessed and that I am privileged in ways people only dream of! Also reminded that my family, friends, and my beloved are so good to me! It is easy to forget, while living this life, that not everyone is so blessed!

So, I may not be the richest, smartest, or prettiest girl around; but I am the luckiest. Thank you thank you thank you for everyone and every thing that makes my life so beautiful and a special thank you to the big guy upstairs! :) Grateful beyond words and happy beyond words!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012


April is National Poetry month! So, cheers!

I had all the answers once
  A long, long time ago. Yesterday.
  But I got tired...and hungry
So hungry I could eat a whole set of questions
  So I ate some answers for breakfast
Then I got thirsty 
  So I drank some at lunch
By dinner I only had one answer left
  it was the truth, and it looked yummy.
So I ate it for dessert and washed it down
  with white lies and half full promises
And feasted on my oblivion.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


So I didn't get to go snowboarding this weekend with my cousins and fulfill some bucket list-ness with them, but I did get to cross something off!
#18, Build a home made fort with the person I love!

This past Saturday is was raining and the original plan was to go on a bike ride (hopefully I can show documentation of my awesome mountain bike riding skills!) but it just wasn't the day. We decided to be lazy and build a fort instead!

I think Hurley was thinking we were crazy! But he seemed to enjoy the cozyness of the fort too!

We had to make it high class! T.V. included to watch TEDtalks and movies!

It was rather cozy in there!

We also made some layered dip to go with chips for awesome Fort food! Of course, right after we settled into our new place (haha) and finished our dip and started a movie...we were called off to another adventure! So we took it to the next level and actually spent the night in the fort! Can you believe Brandon fit in there?! I'm shocked he was ok with spending the night in there, and I feel very lucky to be with someone who is ALWAYS willing to indulge me in childhood dreams!

Happy to cross another one off the list! woohoo!


p.s. of course I had to take a picture with the fort right before we tore it down! :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words (Part 2)

I recently came across this image, and couldn't help but have a huge smile spread across my face! (And that happens every time I see it!) It is a reminder of such a beautiful time in my life, and it deserves words. Garett is, by far, one of the most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure of having in my life. He is the kindest, sweetest soul and brought so much light into my life during a time that could have easily been quite dark. But besides our beautiful, short lived relationship, this picture is probably one of my favorite memories with him, and we weren't even anything more than friends when it happened. Before this picture was taken I had met Garett a total of ONCE. I remember him being rather quiet, and not so interesting (yikes, sorry Garett lol) but that could have been due to the fact that I was more interested in his friend at the time. Then one day the small group that we went out with the one time before, randomly decided to go out again. I had the pleasure of sitting near Garett and found him to be amazing! Anyways, after a dinner full of laughs and rather odd impersonations, we all headed out and this is when the picture was taken. Whoever took it had amazing timing, because as I was standing there in my typical Marissa pose, Garett made a joke about my height (I've grown half an inch since then btw) and right as the flash snapped, my jaw dropped! Remembering how silly that moment was, and realizing that the camera caught it was such a great time! Needless to say, my relationship with Garett that followed was breath taking...he set the bar for any man who followed. And in retrospect, only one has reached it! So, thank you thank you thank you Garett for such a beautiful memory, a wonderful relationship, and for setting the bar so high, that only the best could ever fill my life with light the way you did!

As redemption, he did agree to take a "normal" picture with me :) What a sweetheart. Any lady is lucky to have such an awesome guy.

Next up, only more sweetness!

My current significant other is the only one who can probably surpass Garett is the "being good to me" department, as it should be! Brandon knows the way to my heart, with candy! This past summer, I had to go back to Colorado with my family and as much as I love was definitely a rough 2.5 months. Four ADULTS in a 2 bedroom place? And everyone growing in different directions? Probably was the equation for stress! But I have gotten so lucky in life and have someone who loves me in all the right ways and he isn't even required to because he is family, he just does! Brandon sent this to me for out 7-monthiversary! And I had such a rough week that week, I remember it feeling like time was moving so slow...and then I got this box full of all my favorite sweets from my personal favorite sweet! And it was the closest I felt to being "home" that whole summer. As much as I love my parents and my sister...and I do get homesick for them, my definition of home has changed since Brandon has become such a big part of my life and such a big part of my heart. Home is where the heart is, and I always keep my heart with Brandon (for safe keeping of course) and this is how I know Brandon is the one. Looking back on it, I was probably just happy to have junk food to soothe my emotions (lol) but now, noticing how much of my definition of home is now so much of Brandon, I think that's why it felt good to get all the delicious candies. It wasn't because they were candies, it was because they were coming from home...somewhere familiar and from a place where I always felt accepted and safe. I am so thankful to have someone who is so kind, sweet, and caring to me! I know not everyone is so blessed, and I know I am lucky.

This is a beautiful picture, isn't it? It is of my baby cousins, Jordan, Jasmine, and Anthony. They are a trio and have a bond that is much closer than just cousins (as is the Alim way). I come from a family where we don't define cousins as a child of an aunt or an uncle, but as brothers and sisters. I know for a fact that at any given moment in my life, if I needed someone, any of them would be at my side (or at least on the phone!) in a heartbeat. It has happened before! So I'm not just saying it. But, what I love about this picture isn't just that it's totally awesome, but that the bond I share with my cousins has trickled down into the next generation! It reminds me of who I am. So much of me is my family...and so much of that is the bond I share with my cousins. I am happy to know that my children have beautiful relationships to look forward to, and I am proud to come from a place that puts so much emphasis on loving one another that there is no longer a difference between sibling and cousin with us (Although, my ACTUAL sister is definitely my favorite sibling haha). I am so thankful to have a beautiful family and thankful to know that it will stay that way in my future! It's just how us Alim's are! :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words (Part 1)

It is so true! A picture is definitely worth 1,000 words! I originally saw one from my childhood and was going to write a little something about how it made me feel, but then I kept browsing my old pictures and came across a whole bunch whose stories deserved to be told! So I won't do them all at once, but one (or maybe a few) at a time should be a decent amount to handle!

As unimportant or yucky I deem talking about Nick sometimes, I shared wonderful memories with him, and this was a picture that I came across and thought deserved words. I took this during a mini trip we took to San Francisco for the week...yes, week. lol. We were awful, and brought out this really horrible "ignore all other responsibilities" trait in each other. I mean, we brought out some really amazing things in each other too! Nick taught me so much about him, myself, and life! It wasn't until he touched my soul that I learned that I love nature, that I love good food (and that I love to share that good food with others), and that the most blissful things come to us when we least expect it! Reckless abandon in love is what I felt! When all is said and done though, I think the kind of love I had for him wasn't healthy and drove me insane and brought out other not-so-amazing traits. But it was a lot of fun, and we hold some beautiful memories. day he took me to lunch in the city on a very beautiful day! In typical Marissa fashion, I didn't finish my food. And in typical Nick fashion, he finished it for me! Right before we got up to leave, we looked at my bowl and with what was left, we made this together! I took a picture of it and it hung in my kitchen for...probably much longer than it should have! But how lovely that memory is for me, and when I think of him, I try not to think about the horrible feelings I have experienced with him. Instead, I think of this, and send him good thoughts and hope that he is better than when we were together...I know I am!

On the flip side of things, this picture brings me to a sad place, but a very sacred one too. It was taken the summer He left me, and I was extremely depressed. Looking back on it sometimes, I think of how silly it is to have let some guy drive me to this point. But, overall I don't regret it one bit. I think we need to put our whole, raw, vulnerable selves out for someone...and then have them reject it and say "no" before we can appreciate the right love when it comes along. I don't think everyone necessarily has to go through that awful, painful process, but I think it was necessary for me! This was at Silver Lakes during our family vacation to Mount Rushmore...and my family was so wonderful to me during this time. They were kind, and gentle, and loving, but reminded me that the world doesn't stop revolving just because I am heart broken. They were the perfect balance of "Oh, don't worry Marissa" and "Get a Move on!" I am so blessed. So, even though when I see this picture I remember how my heart felt, I also remember who was with me and how they treated me. My Mother, Father, and Sister have seen me at my worst...and I am so thankful...and that feeling of being taken care, the feeling of having someone in my corner, is what makes this picture sacred.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Brandon & Marissa

I have had the best weekend, mainly because I got to spend time with my best friend/ soul mate, Lisa, and the love of my life, Brandon! I am always so happy when the people I love most are all in one spot! Granted, there are so many more people that I love and wish were closer (Mom...Dad...Deana!) but it was nice anyways!

Something that Brandon and I LOVE to do is cook, and Lisa likes to eat our cooking. So Brandon and I spent much of our weekend ignoring our grown-up responsibilities (like homework, homework, and homework...and maybe some laundry)and had a blast in the kitchen! I'm really lucky that Brandon can handle an Alim diet! At least when it comes to sweets :)

First up, some awesome potatoes! We kind of combined two recipes...but this is how they turned out.

So delicious! I found the recipe for both forms of the yummy potato-ness on pinterest!
The first recipe is where we got the idea of how to cut the potato! The second recipe is how we seasoned them, and also where we got the idea to add aioli! So much yummy for the tummy, I probably won't be able to resist the urge to make them again this week.

Next we made some DELICIOUS pull apart cinnamon roll bread. An idea I must credit to my Auntie Vicky, since she mentioned making it last weekend and told me about it's heavenly-ness.

Originally after coming out of the oven, we thought putting it in a bowl would be good...turns out a plate is the better option. Anyways, the recipe is really easy, but be forewarned, it get's messy! Best to make this one with a partner.

That was all in ONE night! We had so much fun doing something we love to do together, and we enjoyed eating all of it. Good thing no one who was partaking in the festivities was on a diet.

The next day we tried to do the grown-up thing again, which I should note, we are usually very good at! But there was something about this weekend that called "cook me!" or "bake me!" We ended up giving in (this can partially be credited to StumbleUpon) and made Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies!

They are so huge, you have to bake them in muffin tins!

They recommend on the blog we got the recipe from to eat them with ice cream, so we did! And it was DELICIOUS!

Overall, we had an amazing weekend together and with food! I'm one lucky lady. So even though I have quite a bit of homework and reading to catch up with throughout the week, it was so worth it. Look at all the great food we made! And most importantly, I got to spend time with my love! No matter what we are doing, whether it is cooking or homeworking, being with him always grounds me and brings me home.

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend too, and that ya'll get to try out these recipes sometime! They are definitely worth it!



p.s. we didn't make them this weekend, but this is another sweet Brandon and I love to make, Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. Hmmm..cinnamon roll pull apart bread...cinnamon roll pancakes (better known as shampams) I see a trend!

Also, I'm starting to realize how creepy it kind of is to post a blog about mine and my boyfriends don't expect these too often! I'd like to spare the community from any mushy gushy stuff.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My bed

Why do I love it so much? Probably because I haven't seen it enough in the past few days! Silly night classes. Either way, it was nifty to see a blog about one of my role models, Lauren Conrad, do the same thing! Ah, great minds do in fact think alike!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard

So here I am, starting my final semester and UC Merced and while I am so excited and happy to finally close this chapter, I am feeling sentimental and stand in awe of how lucky I have been in life. I have grown and changed for the better, while picking up some bad habits along the way. I have had the most beautiful people walk into my life, and I have had some of them walk out, and I am still standing and feeling blessed. After so much heartache, stress, breakdowns, and doubt I find myself finding that I have reached the other side of the table...and it was a nice meal. Also, it's true, dessert should be saved for the end...and maybe had at the beginning too!

I have so much left to learn and experience in my last semester, and I am excited and open. But as I said before I am feeling sentimental...and have reflected on a few things I have learned in my time here in Merced. I will miss this place, but not because of Merced, but because of the people and memories I have here...and isn't that always why we have a hard time saying goodbye? Not because of the physical, but because of the unspeakable love and bond that holds you to others?  I believe so.

What I Learned About Roommates:

Don't live with someone whose life style is too different from yours...especially if you are low-key (or obviously) OCD. I lived with people whom I loved to their core, but just couldn't get along with while under the same roof because our day-to-day lifestyles were so different. What I learned from that is this: Just because you can't live with someone doesn't mean you don't love them. Even though I have had my run in's with some roommates due to differences in how we approach life or certain situations, when removed from those circumstance, I saw all their positive attributes, which outweigh their not so lovely one's, and realized that sometimes love is conditional, and that is ok! If you don't plan on marrying the person, then it is ok (in my book.)

I also learned that when you have a great roommate, enjoy every moment with them. The living situation is over all too fast, and you don't get that time back! Missing someone is a terrible thing if you wish you could have spent your time with them differently. Make the most of a good/healthy roommate situation, they are, like love, so rare to come by.

The last, and most important thing, I learned about the roommate situation is expect pleasant surprises. Sometimes you are strangers, and by the time it is over, you are anything but. You may not be the new Lavern and Shirley...but you will have a bond that will last a long time. I know from experience that everyone touches you...especially those who you don't expect to.

What I Learned About School:

It's not that important. (haha) You shouldn't be going to school just because you think it is the natural path in life. You should be in college to find your passion, or help it grow. You should be here because you want to leave the place a better place than when you found it. But, you should also be here because you truly want to learn, and you want to give back that knowledge some day.

A grade on a test, or in a class, doesn't reflect on your moral doesn't indicate if you are a bad person if you fail. It also doesn't indicate that you are a good person if you are successful. This was the most enlightening, life changing thing I realized about school. For so long we are taught that an F means we suck and an A means we are awesome. It isn't true! If you work hard, you get the A. Sometimes it sucks to work hard for something you aren't interested in, but how rewarding it feels to get an A and work hard for something you are passionate about. It makes the A's that much more sweet and the C's less painful. Follow you passion.

The most important thing you should take away from school is how to think, not what to think. Sometimes Professors aren't so proactive in pushing you to think on your own, and it isn't their job to question your beliefs. Don't be afraid to disagree, or question anything. Always be curious, always wonder. Always present a challenge when you feel it is needed, and always accept it when it is presented. I wish someone would have told me this earlier on.

What I Have Learned About Love:

Always choose Paris. (Hills fans, you know what's up!) Always follow your dreams when you are young and set ridiculously high goals, and take leaps of faith. Don't give up your free spirit. I now know that a free spirit can never be caged, don't let someone cage you! It is easy to find someone who will make you want to say, "You're worth it." Lie. The person who is worth it, will never let you limit yourself. When you find love, you should dive in head first and hold nothing back though! Your significant other should accept you for you. The good, the bad, the ugly...and the beautiful. And I can speak from experience, when you find love, it will be so liberating. You will never feel tied down or caged, instead you will find yourself flying higher than you ever thought you could. "When it is right, and when it is true, we is so much better than I."

But don't be fooled, some heartbreaks are necessary. It is so true when they say that you need some bad times to appreciate the good ones, the same advice can be applied to love and relationships. You need pretty things to fall apart so beautiful things can come together.

Every intimate relationship you come across has something to offer, has something to teach you, and you will look back and realize you could never be the person you are now and in the relationship with the love of your life without having had those people leave their mark. Sometimes the scars they leave are ugly and big and take years to recover from. Sometimes the scars they leave are small reminders to stay true to yourself. But all the scars they leave...they heal. And when you fall in love with the right person, those scars will look like beauty marks. You too though, will leave your fair share of scars soon-to-be beauty marks. So be kind, and be honest.

Last, but not least, being in love is a one time deal. My personal philosophy is that, love isn't something you fall out of. If you think you have been in love, and are no longer in it, then it wasn't love you were in. There is a fine line between loving someone deeply, and being in love with someone deeply.

What I Have Learned About Myself:

When I first came to college, I had big dreams and wanted to do big things. I think most of us do, and rightfully so. We are told that when we have a degree, so many more doors will be open and life will be so much more pleasant and money will come easier. I wanted that. I wanted to make a lot of money, to buy the things I've always wanted. I wanted to be respected in my career field, I wanted to be the best and would have probably screwed over anyone to be the best. I wanted homes in Europe, India, Brazil, and California. I wanted a closet full of shoes, just because I could. I didn't want to get married and I never wanted children. So much has changed since my days of invulnerability!

I am a simple person, who has a simple goal in life, to be happy. I don't need to make millions, and I don't need the world to know my name. If, 100 years from now, no one remembers my name, my soul will rest in peace if I die knowing I spent most of my time on earth with the love of my life, had beautiful children who went and made the world a better place, and that they learned how to do that by witnessing me and my husband being passionate about the way we wanted to changed the world. That is how I have come to define a good, happy life. I still want to be the best at what I do, and I still want to make a decent amount of money...but there are more important things than money. And I am not even talking about love and a family. I'm talking about passion! I'm talking about doing what you love to do for the rest of you life, just so you can help the world be better.

I just want to see beautiful places with the people I love. I just want to do beautiful things for the people I love. And I just want to humble the world, and be humbled by it.

What I Have Learned About Life:

1.) It goes on.

Bad days. Good days. Manic depression. Manic happiness. Hunger. Full. In love. In Lust. Rich. Poor. Upset. Content. Fail. Succeed.

The world doesn't stop for you, or for anyone.

2.) Your call for help is always heard.

Whether you are in a place that is holy, in bed, on the dance floor, on the can, or in the arms of the one you love, help is a prayer that is always answered. Whether it comes in the form you expected, or asked for it, in is not always the case, but grace always finds you; if you let it.

3.) There is more to life than just surviving it. 

Life is precious, and it is short, and it is cruel to know both those things and still live in emptiness. Find the thing that brings your to your feet to dance and find the person who you want to spend the rest of your life dancing with. There is more to life than making money, getting married, and having babies. We are so blessed to live on a beautiful planet, with nature, animals, and other cultures (past and present!) that we can experience and learn from. It would be a shame to watch it go by from your front porch.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


To the love of my life, (! You know who you are!)

Officially we have hit the 13th month mark, marking my second longest relationship! I feel like this should be some kind of milestone for having stuck with you for so long...but it doesn't feel like that. I feel like I could spend the rest of the years that Earth has left soaking in sunshine and traveling in orbit in space with you and still find myself running out of time near the end. I am so in love with who you are, who I am when I am with you, and that pair we make together. I can only hope that I get to spend the rest of this life, and the rest that follow, with you.

I like to brag about you in all your awesomeness. Mainly because I literally stand in awe of you, but also because saying it out loud makes it a different animal. It makes it 5032498 times more beautiful. I hope you love yourself as much as I love you, because there is a lot to love. 

Let's start with your clean shaven face. I know I said I hated it when I first saw it...or at least admitted to not being a fan, but rest assured that every time I looked at you I took in every detail. This is probably the last time I will ever see you with a clean face, and I want to be able to see and love all those parts that will forever remain in the shadows (of 5 o'clock...haha...get it?). 

Your back. It's sexy. That is all. 

Your hands. Have you ever thought about how much you do with your hands? You build amazing things like robots and toys, you drum, you bike, you build your bike, you cook (sometimes eat!), you give massages, you touch my face, you tickle me, your hand holds mine, you drive, and on occasion, you use them to write me beautiful love letters that bring me to tears. (And you think you aren't a good writer!) I love your hands. Do you? 

Your brain. I love, love, love your brain and the way it works. The way you inspire just by talking about the things you know about...if only you could listen to you the way I do. (Yep, you read that correctly...I listen. To you.) Sometimes I think I just want you to talk me to sleep, but not because it is boring, but because I am so in love with the way you make the things you are passionate about sound. You could make anyone want to be an engineer, and you could persuade the least likely of persons to mountain bike. And even more amazing, you could probably convince anyone that I am a lovely person to be in love with...even though I don't agree with half the things you say, I love it when you talk about me. Vain? Very much so. Humbling? Always. How did I get so lucky to be one of the things you are so passionate about? You should hear yourself talk about the things you love and value...I'm telling you, you would make one attractive T.A. and not just for those thighs...

Your heart. Literally one of the most beautiful things this good earth has been blessed with. As I mentioned before, the way you talk about the things you love is amazing...seeing it in action is better. I love to watch you do work, I love to hear you talk about things I don't understand, and I love it when you show me! I love the way you love your family. There is little you wouldn't do for them, and I am the same way about mine. It is refreshing to know that on a very fundamental level...we are the same. I love the way you take care of. I love they way you WANT me to be happy. I pretty much just love the way you love, and any more detail than that I can't really explain. I can't explain your heart to other people! And as I always say, if I can't put it into words, it must be sacred. And you are. To me. 

Basically, I hope you know how wonderful you are and how much I appreciate ever second

I get to spend with you in all your fabulousness. I love you...and that doesn't even cut it, it

is so much deeper than those three words.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

#105 documentation


At the beginning of the day, after getting our rental gear and suiting up! Didn't know what I was in for, but it was definitely fun. So happy I did this!

Learning my heel slide from Cullen, the fabulous green-eyed instructor!

Owning the bunny slope...kind of :)

hope everyone enjoys watching me fall and learn as much as I did doing it! 

Getting my heel slide started

Finding the sweet spot and almost doing it on my own. Direct quote from Cullen, "You've got it! That was all you at the end!"

My Dad being the best parent ever! Interview before our first trip down the bunny slope!

Last but not least, semi conquering the bunny slope. Didn't know how to stop so we just fell :)


Yesterday I got to cross off a totally awesome item off my bucket list (they are all pretty awesome...but it is my first cross off, so it's extra cool) #105. Snowboard/Skii

First and foremost, it was a great feeling and not just because I got to cross it off my bucket list, but because I got to do something I really wanted to try! It has been a LONG time since I've done anything that was physically super demanding (probably not a good thing). It felt so good to be challenged both physically and mentally! I know what it is like to be challenged mentally, I dig it...but there is this whole other element when the challenge involves your body.

At first I was super stoked! It felt good to be on some snow and it was a lot easier too since I was in a class with my sister and everyone else who were beginners. But then once we got on the boards, I started to get a little nervous. What if I just totally sucked and there was no hope for me? I wanted to turn around and not do it anymore! Falling in front of everyone didn't seem fun and even though I know you are supposed to fall...I don't think it's something people WANT to do. Suddenly my instructor was having everyone, one by one, go down a hill...just go! Then I got REALLY by one?! UHG. As my turn approached I took an idea from one of my favorite shows, Lost. Count to five. Let fear take over your body and soul for five seconds...then after what needs to be done. I did that, and I went on, and it was fabulous! I fell...I fell a lot...but that's what learning is about. Falling, but always getting back up. And for the rest of the day, that was my attitude. I had a blast and learned so much and would recommend the activity to everyone under the sun!

Even though I didn't necessarily overcome a "fear", I did do something that was different for me and my life has been beautified because of it. Go me, and Go living life!

Also, a quick side note, my instructor Cullen, was not only a total babe with these beautiful green eyes he MADE me stare into (haha) but he was so encouraging and a great teacher! I know there were things I definitely was not doing correctly, but he always pointed out what I needed to improve while reassuring me that I was doing other things "perfect". HAHA, he was SO sweet and I'm really happy I got a fab instructor who took time with each and every one of us individually!

A thank you to my Mom and Dad for taking me and my sister. It was our "hidden" Xmas gift and the best one ever! They were so awesome the whole day too, the came out to watch us learn our heel and toe slides (videos to come soon!) and the watched us semi-conquer the bunny hill! I'm really lucky to have parents that still need to take pictures every 5 minutes because the look on mine and my sisters face was so priceless! It probably seems silly to everyone else, but I felt awesome!

Thank you to my baby sister, Deana, for doing it with me! I'm happy that we both got to do it together because even though I'm sure I could have done it on my own...everything is 100x better with my baby sister. We shared a lot of laughs, falls, and moments of success!

And last but not least, Thank you John for reminding me that there is more to life than just surviving it.

Until the next cross off!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tattoo Idea #1

I really want a tattoo for some reason of which I can't explain! It's on my bucket list! But I'm the kind of person who would want to get something that meant something to me. I don't think meaning is that important for some people, but it is for me. Unfortunately, if you know me you know I'm really indecisive which is probably why I can never find the excuse to try to save money for a tattoo...but alas, I think I have had a mini light bulb moment!

Seasons of Love, the song of Rent, is one that I always listen to when I feel lost or alone...and when I feel extremely happy! I never skip it on a CD, or on my shuffled playlist. So I would get "Seasons of Love" with the seasons somehow incorporated in there!

This post, btw, was mainly to remind myself of this. haha.

Bucket List

Instead of New Year's Resolutions, I'm focusing on my Bucket List this year, thanks to my amazing cousin John who is always a great inspiration to LIVE life! Thank you!

1. Graduate College
2. Go Cliff Jumping
3. Actually give up chocolate for lent
4. Kiss under a mistletoe
5. Build a home for a family that isn't my own
6. Make a Quilt
7. Watch the Lord of the Rings Movies back to back (extended versions!)
8. Write a Play
9. Have a career that has me coming home knowing something new all the time
10. Have a Baby (because I'm blessed now!)
11. Go shopping without looking at any price tags
12. Get my motorcycle license
13. Own a motorcycle
14. Spend a whole day with someone who doesn't speak the same language that I do
15. Visit the Sistine Chapel
16. Have a marriage more beautiful than my wedding
17. See a Broadway Play in New York
18. Build a homemade Fort with the person I love
19. Get a tattoo
20. Feed a giraffe
21. Ride an Elephant
22. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
23. Swim with Dolphins
24. Go Mountain Biking!
25. Watch the Sunset and Sunrise on a beach
26. Join a book club
27. Hang stockings on my fireplace for me, my spouse, and my children
28. Live in an apartment with my significant other
29. Learn braille
30. Road Trip up or down the coast of California
31. Sleep under the stars in a sleeping bag
32. Donate my hair
33. Feed those less fortunate on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day
34. Have a huge kitchen with two ovens!
35. Smoke.....a Ham! gotchya!
36. Have Hurley be the ring bearer at my wedding
37. Love the skin I'm in
38. Sharing a spaghetti noodle with the one I love and meeting in the middle for a kiss
39. Take a Belly Dancing class
40. Write a message on a mirror for the one I love in lipstick
41. Take my Mom and Dad out to a nice dinner
42. Go to Vegas with my sister
43. Keep a plant alive for more than 2 months (baby steps)
44. Get my Dad to boogie at my wedding!
45. Attend a Same-Sex Wedding
46. Go to Disneyland with ALL my Alim cousins so I can relive one of my favorite parts of childhood
47. Go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium with my Gallardo Cousins to relive another one of my favorite parts of childhood
48. Learn how to surf
49. Visit the Candelbera Redwoods
50. Catch a fish
51. Have a map wall
52. Plant a tree
53. Have a veggie garden
54. Summit a Mountain
55. Volunteer in my child's class
56. Set foot on each continent
57. See Chachi Gonzales dance live
58. Skinny dip in the waters of Greece
59. Meet Ryan Gosling
60. Return a lost pet
61. Visit the Taj Mahal
62. Go into space
63. Milk a cow
64. Wake up to a breakfast in bed made by my children
65. Hold a snake
66. Pick out a Christmas tree with the one I love
67. Go to the Festival of Lights in Thailand!
68. Have my Dad walk me down the aisle
69. Lay down in a field of daisies
70. Ride a subway
71. Have the water of the Nile River run through my fingers
72. Explore the Great Barrier Reef underwater
73. Eat a cheese steak in Philly
74. Visit the Mother Land
75. Go to school and live in Berkeley
76. Have a beautiful home with a beautiful family in the Santa Cruz mountains
77. New Zeland it up
78. Dance like Shakira
79. Shower under a waterfall
80. Row a boat
81. Build an igloo
82. Visit Tibet
83. Play dress up and have tea parties with my daughter(s)
84. Witness and/or play all of the following: Chess Boxing, Octopush, Beach Flags, Road Bowling
85. Be proposed to with a ring pop
86. Go Skydiving
87. Go Scuba Diving
88. Find a beautiful place and get lost
89. See the Vatican
90. See the Northern Lights
91. Work for Disney
92. Open a bakery
93. Go to a TEDtalk convention
94. Speak at a TEDtalk convention
95. Go to an airport and have no destination in mind
96. Build a tree house with my husband and kids
97. Have my husband make our family dining room table
98. Eat pizza and pasta in Italy
99. Make funny faces and do funny things in front of a Buckingham Palace Guard
100. Attend a Masquerade
101. Sew a dress for myself
102. Meet J.K. Rowling
103. Watch the Ball drop in Times Square
104. Have a job that requires me to wear scrubs
105. Snowboard/Ski
106. Visit the Pixar Studio
107. See a Meteor Shower
108. Stand on the line of the equator
109. Spin a record
110. Visit Lucille Ball's grave
111. Have a library in my home
112. Put together a charity function
113. Donate to a Charity
114. Walk for Cancer
115. Protest!
116. See Mary Jane legalized in the big CA
117. Take a vow of silence for a day
118. Get CPR certified!
119. Kiss in the rain, soaking wet
120. Get into a taxi and yell "Follow that car!"
121. Meet Kyle Richards
122. Tomb Raid
123. Get a matching tattoo with my sister
124. Have the sand of an Australian beach beneath my feet
125. Learn The Krebs Cycle by heart
126. Have a happy life. See beautiful places, do crazy things, eat yummy food, have fun, be in a blissful marriage and fall in love with the children I have yet to meet...even if I never finish this list. :)


I love that I am now so accustomed to traveling via airplane that going through security has become a breeze for me! I never thought I would be a college kid who had to hop on a plane to go home, but now that I am, it's pretty cool. I've noticed that I have developed rituals while flying, I say a prayer right before we take off, and right before we land, and I always have a card or note that my boyfriend wrote me on me at all times! (And before I had those, letters from Zi) It's strange how such a tiny thing can make me feel much more at ease while flying.

Today I was thinking about how this does low key suck though. Sometimes I feel like I am never whole, that I am always missing something. Especially post-holiday season with my parents and sister being back in California,  it was nice to be so comfortable with everyone and everything that I love all in one place! So it's hard to fly back and forth sometimes. It gets old really fast living out of a suitcase, but being a responsible adult gets old really fast too! When I am in Colorado, I am missing my adult life, my cousins, aunts, uncles, and of course my totally awesome boyfriend! But when I am in California I am missing those who know me best, my mom, dad, and sister. So, you can see where this feeling incomplete conflict might come from!

BUT...then I had a revelation.

I am very lucky!

I think airports are the ugliest, and most beautiful places. While seeing garbage on the side of the road or gang graffiti on beautiful buildings can be ugly, nothing is worse than witnessing people who love each other have to say goodbye. I usually don't cry when I leave, but I am always assured I will be returning to where I am leaving at some point. It's easy to forget that some people only see their families once a year...and so those goodbyes must be very hard. And while a sunset can be a lovely thing, nothing makes me smile like when you see two people so in love that when their eyes finally meet, they can't help but run towards each other, since every second since they've been apart has been so dreadful. Or when someone from the military arrives to people who love them, and they can finally feel at home.

For a long time, I have spent my airport trips often dwelling on how it feels to say goodbye. But that can stop now. I think now I can think of it as something really wonderful is waiting for me on the other side. While I am often separating from people I love, I am fortunate enough to almost always be going to more people that love me! Something good is always waiting on the other side...not just a taxi or a car, but there is always SOMEONE waiting for me to come back. Not everyone is so blessed!