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up for air

May 20, 2011


Excuse me while I catch my breath.

I cannot believe that four years of college have come and gone already.

I am officially a college graduate.

Can I just savor this a bit before I start to worry/fret about student loans/unemployment?

These past few months especially have been incredible so I’m not going to worry right now. Just when I needed some fresh air, God interceded and sent me an incredible group of friends. Their faith and strength and welcoming arms have been amazing these past few weeks and I still can’t even begin to imagine not having them in my life.

I’ve only known them a short time, but in those limited hours spent together, those careless afternoons hanging around and talking about everything and anything, I’ve grown closer to them than so many others.

For that, I’m truly thankful right now.


I know I’ve been lacking here for the past few weeks but I honestly just had to focus on other things for a while. It’s good to be back, though, and I’m looking forward to catching up on my favorite blogs (yes, that means YOU) and blogging away.

I’ll be back to recap graduation!

But first, I have a bachelorette party to attend…and…well…I’m sure you know a little bit about how THOSE go…


Have you ever attended a bachelorette/bachelor party? This will be my first one! I’m really excited…though, honestly, my bank account is NOT.

**Because it’s clearly time for summer ice-cream shops to open up:** What’s your favorite ice-cream place? There’s a local place in my town called Joe’s Dairy bar that is almost in the middle of nowhere, but they are THE place to be in the summer for ice-cream and running into everyone and anyone!

soak it up + savor it

May 12, 2011

I’ll be back.

I promise.

I’m just soaking up Senior Week and enjoying myself with some great friends.

Love and prayers ūüôā


Tell me, what have YOU been up to this week?¬†It’s just days before graduation and so I’m trying to spend as much time as I can enjoying my dwindling time in Newport and savoring some of the best quality time with good friends. As can be seen from my leave of absence, it’s working out extremely well.

What did you do right after graduation (lunch/brunch/dinner/casual/formal/pack up and go home)?¬†I’ll let you know! But for now I think the family and I are planning on grabbing food some where and then exploring Newport. We’re not much into fancy and I think the major restaurants are going to be pretty crowded, so I’m not sure where we’ll be headed.

mother’s day

May 8, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day, Marmee.

You’re all I could ever hope for and more. Words lack all meaning when it comes to describing how I feel about you, how much I enjoy our time together, and of course, our sense of humor together.

Thank you, especially for your strength, your faith, and your passion for life.

Now grab¬†your drink of choice, Marmee, and celebrate. I’ll be joining you in just a few short days!

(And don’t worry. You’re my favorite mother, so it’s totally alright that I’m your favorite child.)

Love always, Natalia


What’s one of the qualities you admire most in your mother, or in another mother-like figure present in your life? I admire her courage and strength for standing up for her beliefs. And then there’s always her home cooking and her shared love for horses and…

Just because it’s the weekend…drink of choice today? I could really go for¬†a whiskey sour. My grandmother (mom’s mom) makes the best ones¬†I’ve ever tasted. I think a visit to her house is on the agenda after graduation!

last assignment + first lunch

May 4, 2011

It’s a doom and gloom day here in Newport because of the impending fog.

But even though I woke up to the ever dependable sound of the fog horn¬†(it’s actually a bit of a comfort) and no sign of the sun in sight, I was ready for life.


I am officially done with college.

I can’t believe it.

I’m no longer an academic student.

Of course, I’ll be learning for the rest of my life, but my days of sitting in a classroom and paying tuition (we can talk about loans later…much later) I’m DONE.

So even though it’s cloudy and “looks like rain” (Ever After¬†da Vinci quote anyone? Love that movie!) I’m going to pretend it looks like THIS outside.

I definitely need more time to reflect on this, but for now I’m off to celebrate with my cousin who is visiting from Boston.

And seriously, what better way to celebrate handing in your last assignment than lunching in Newport for the first time with your (favorite) cousin?

I’m thinking we should commemorate the occasion with nothing better than the Newport Creamery.

This calls for fries…and naturally, lots and lots of ketchup.


What do you do to celebrate an occasion or your accomplishments? This one is calling for only the best: sweet potato fries, cole slaw, ice-cream, and lots of quality family gossip. Don’t worry, with something like college graduation on the horizon, the festivities are only getting started!

What was your first job straight out of college/high school/ trade school (highest education)? I’ll let you know ūüôā Hopefully, I’ll let you know sooner than later.

may day praise

May 1, 2011

Happy May!  

At Mass this morning the priest said during the homily a quote from someone and it really stuck a chord with me right away.

He said, “Preach the beauty and love and salvation of God all the time, but only use words when absolutely necessary.”¬†¬†


After Mass I took a walk around town enjoying the most glorious day Newport has seen in a while (hello, warm spring weather, nice of you to join us in May!) and really meditated on the priest’s words and the meaning of them.

With the my face basking in the glorious warm sun, my camera clicking away at the beauty before me, and my heart opening up to whatever awaits in my future, I thanked God for letting me “just BE.”¬†

I hope these pictures of creation bring a smile to your face and that your weekend was filled with the simple joys of life like mine was.

From visiting with old friends, to barbecuing with new ones, from handing in one final assignment to beginning work on another, from rushing to Mass to walking in prayer afterwards, it was a productive weekend for my heart and soul.

And for that, I thank God.


What are you thankful for in life right now? I’m thankful for my health and my good friends, both new and old, that I met throughout my college years. Quality over quantity has always been my preference when it comes to people and I’ve been blessed this year especially.

Name one summer or memorable activity that you participated in this weekend: BBQ season has officially begun!

summer + life so soon

April 28, 2011

I’m not expecting some “Blogger of the Month” award for frequency in posting…or even consistency in posting…

Don’t worry, I realize I’ve been MIA and for that let me sincerely apologize.

But can I just say that I had my very last undergraduate college class EVER just a few hours ago?

You might think that I’m ready to drop the books completely, but already I’m waiting for the chance to spend an hour or two relaxing with only the best collection of books in my house.

You bet we keep our Betty Crocker’s Cookbook intact with a rubber band. That’s quality right there, and many a food stained, out of order page¬†to prove it.

No more classes. I can hardly believe it.

Honestly, it hasn’t hit me.

I’m sure it will soon enough but because I have a few more final assignments to hand in, I’m still on that “almost there, not quite yet” trip.

It’s just that spring is doing its crazy, summer is coming soon, and life itself is on the horizon. ¬†¬†

So while I finish up my schoolwork (job applications, you’re just going to have to wait), here’s a quick flashback to the lovely Easter weekend I had.

There’s nothing quite like coming downstairs Easter Sunday morning ready for Mass and the celebration of the Resurrection and seeing an assortment of Easter baskets all aglow with the morning rays.

All in the family.

From left to right is my cousin, older sister, me, and my younger sister.

I must say, we’re a pretty stylish group.

What do you mean did I ask my little sister to slouch so I would look taller?

…maybe just a little…

Easter, you’ve come and gone too quickly, but I’m enjoying plenty of egg salad, thanking God for all His glory (while simultaneously placing a lot of faith in Him and praying for His intercession in my life and future right now), and holding on to the scent of fresh spring flowers.

Now, because Easter candy can only fuel me so much, I’m off to¬†eat a quick power snack and get my work done.

Wish me luck (and please, bear with me and my current hectic schedule).

Thank you!

P.S. One thing I’m most excited about when everything dies down a bit is catching up on your blogs! Trust me, they’re more than a comfort and joy ūüôā


What’s your favorite pick me up/ power food? Lately I’ve been loving bananas with a little “butter” of yogurt, a sprinkle or two of cinnamon, and a big spoonful of pb on the side.

When you accomplish something or come to a milestone in your life, do you find it takes a while to really sink in? Definitely. I’ve found that I’ll think about something like that more weeks or months later rather than right at that moment.

things just learned

April 22, 2011

1. I enjoy blogging.

I really truly do. Until it becomes a requirement.

For one of my classes this semester we were assigned the task of starting/keeping up a blog and writing posts.

I decided to use this blog for that assignment since I was already “established” and was enjoying immensely what I was doing.

Well, I quickly realized that I only enjoyed blogging when it didn’t entail an “assignment” like quality to it. Soon enough the mental thought of “blogging” became a chore and you know what?

Sometimes you just don’t have anything to say!

And it’s times like that when you need to take a little breather.


2. Google Reader can be a lifesaver when you’re busy.

In the same class where we delved into the blogosphere, we also learned about a handful of online applications, social media, and other interactive web tools.

Setting up a Google Reader  pretty much saved my life.

Not only did it help me stay up to date with my favorite blogs, but it also helped me keep track of blog posts for my thesis that I was typing away at.

If you’re not already hooked on your Reader, get one started now.


3. Just because you emailed your professor your thesis and¬†defended it in front of the English Department does not mean you’ve graduated yet.

Unfortunately, I still have other classes and assignments.

But for right now, I’m just going to plan on coloring Easter¬†eggs with¬†my brothers¬†¬†and sisters and dust off our Easter baskets.

PAAS anyone?

We already have our white crayons and rubber bands ready.

You know you want to.


4. It’s good to go home when your peanut butter jar is waning just a bit too much for licking.

I mean…liking.


5. Splashup might just be my new best friend.

(Am I late to the party?)

I had never heard of it before my New Media class¬† but it’s this really neat site photo editing site.

I love photography and can spend hours just playing around on Picasa.

This is like that, but just a little better.


What’s your newest addiction? (It can be a food, an application, an exercise, a tv show, you name it!) I’m currently addicted to the show America’s Next Greatest Restaurant. Get on that. You’ll like it, I promise!

What are your plans for Easter Eve? Coloring Easter eggs with the family of course! Then Sunday we do the whole bit of Mass (most important), Easter baskets (a close second), Easter egg hunt (we do all still love it), and then dinner with the family.