Year One. Check.

by Tessa on April 23, 2014

in College, Daily Life, Style

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Freshmen year –> over! Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, I was in 5th grade playing doll house pretending the dolls were huge college students and talking about how one day I would be there. For the dolls, college was a musical (literally), with boys galore (obviously), and no homework (why would it be any different?), and parties every weekend (everyday actually). If I were to calculate the accuracy of my imaginings, I probably had about 10% of it right… haha! While college isn’t the musical I imagined, there has been a lot of “Frozen” rock-out sessions (but hasn’t it been the same for everyone?). We’ll skip the boy topic and move on to the “no homework”, how beautiful that would have been! But library sessions until closing time did happen on more than just a few occasion (at least they play Tarzan music at closing times… obviously that’s the real reason I stayed). My doll house fantasies were accurate when it came to making fantastic friends, however! Especially in Student Government which has been the highlight of my semester (I’d recommend getting involved to anyone and everyone). So in short, college has been marvelous, exciting, and incredibly stressful! So of course I’m incredibly sad to leave but also excited for a break.

Anyway, note on the random photos: I was in a photography class with an assignment to play with lighting but I didn’t understand anything so I made (actually he volunteered) my friend James teach me the reins. I started out behind the camera but ended up in front of it–per usual.

Also, side note number two: you can follow me on instagram @deartessalynn. I frequent instagram far more than my blog these days.

Anyyyway, how are all of you doing!? What’s going on in your lives?

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It’s 1am. I’ve wandered over to this little forgotten blog of mine after creating a LinkedIn Profile for my Intro to Business class. I’ve been scrolling through past posts and I miss this place. I miss this writing. I miss sharing my life. Mostly I miss the life I used to share. I miss the melodic sound of clicking keys as my personal thoughts roam from my head, through my veins, out my fingertips, and onto the screen. I miss writing my own thoughts and feelings, not assigned thoughts like english papers or math project analyses. College is wonderful but it doesn’t quite compare to the lavender fields or cherry stands in Provence. Cafeteria food doesn’t quite taste  like Spanish churros dipped in rich dark chocolate or French pastries peppered in soft powder. The wind is strong in Idaho but it isn’t the same Spanish coastal wind that’s filled with moisture and the ocean scent. I miss hearing languages I don’t understand. My thoughts should be on my work but Wanderlust has grasped me by the throat and is seeping through my skin and running heavily through my veins.
I think it’s just late. And I’m tired. And I’ve simply exhausted myself for the day.
However, before I go, I thought I’d share some pictures a talented friend took a few days ago (for old times sake). This is a new phase of my life now. And it truly is a beautiful life. Each day there are so many things to be grateful for, like the sky when it’s a deep rich blue and the random smile from a stranger. Most days are wonderful, tonight my thoughts are simply stuck in the abandoned castles of the Catalunya countryside in Spain and with the goats that roam around old french barns tucked between the luscious green pyrenees in France. I’ll go there in my dreams tonight and tomorrow will be a beautiful new day.
Goodnight world, sleep well. And dream of wonderful things.

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Starting to Feel at Home

by Tessa on August 27, 2013

in Style, Utah

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My dad and I went to explore the railroad tracks that run through our new little city after my interview at the local Temp Office (which made me feel very adult and childish at the same time). The tracks run along the streets and occasionally through a patch of trees, but rarely is there a train that comes through, so it feels like a gift when you hear that charming train whistle blow. I’m coming to love Utah and its gorgeous clouds and sunsets that turn the mountains orange. I love our little city and how it’s a mix of adorable old buildings, like the movie theater, and new neighborhood developments and long stretches of farm land or horse corals. I love our quaint little neighborhood with the big park in the middle, where every kid age 3 to 18 gathers to play/tackle/chat/cry/laugh together. We were a little nervous to move to Utah, but we’re adjusting just fine.

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A Lavender Sea

by Tessa on August 23, 2013

in France, Style, Trips & Travels

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Background behind this little blog of mine. When I was coming up with a name, I wanted it to represent something important to me; something that’s made me who I am. Instantly I thought of the sea, of the calm hushing melody of crashing waves that has been a constant part of my life. Then of lavender. Side story. When I was three, I was harshly burned and spent a week in the ICU. After returning home, my mother put lavender oil on my skin for months. It’s said that smell is most strongly connected to memory and lavender is a healing and calming scent for me. A scent so beautiful and wonderful! So you can imagine how intensely delighted I was to find fields of lavender in France! Well… seas of lavender;) It was a sublime moment, to walk through rows upon rows of the most beautiful and most delicious scented flower as the sun set and the wind caused the lavender to ripple like the waves of the sea. That evening won’t be easily forgotten.

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Sisters
SistersCan we pause for a moment and admire how Beatles-esque this looks! And it was completely unintentional. I’m going to frame this one!
Spain
Spain
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SistersOutfit details// Millay: Shirt & Skirt- Kling // Tessa: Shirt- thrifted, Skirt- Anthro
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Last night, my mom and I were looking through many of our European travel photos and we’d come upon some and think “woah! I want to go there!” and then laugh and then it’d be awkwardly quiet as our smiles kind of slid off our faces because although we’re so grateful to be in Utah surrounded by family and friends we love and have missed for a year, a part of us still resides in Europe among its castles, and towering cathedrals, and romantic fields.

So I’m feeling like I just have to go find me a daisy patch and make myself a daisy crown again to make myself feel better. Maybe i’ll be a little more dramatic and take it to the next level and read me some Romeo & Juliet with my sister so we can be distracted and lost in our own imaginings. I’ll be Juliet and I’d make her Romeo but we’ll just read us some Hamlet as well so she can be Ophelia. Forget the fact that we both die at the end of our plays because it’s okay, because for a moment we feel so Shakespearean. And for a moment we forget we’re in Utah because in our minds we’re off at some castle, like the one that we made ourselves daisy crowns at in Spain oh so long ago.

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Vintage jumpsuit from M.O.T.E.L. in Barcelona
Vintage dress from M.O.T.E.L. in Barcelona
Vintage jumpsuit from M.O.T.E.L. in Barcelona
Vintage dress from M.O.T.E.L. in BarcelonaYou know, it’s both a blessing and a curse that vintage clothing is such a trend now! For one, there are many more adorable thrift shops so you don’t have to hunt as hard for amazing pieces. But then again, anytime I see someone else in some wildly wonderful vintage dress I think “AH! If only nobody was into vintage so I could buy it all and relish in its beauty.” But that’s envious thinking. So I try to turn those thoughts off and practice compassionate joy, as my mother calls it. I know some people aren’t into second hand clothing (luckily hehe) but I love that someone else created a story for themselves in a dress that’s now mine. I wonder sometimes what their story was. One time I found a dress wherein the girl who made it had stitched her name, Helen, in red thread. Needless to say, I still think about that dress and wonder about the girl who wore. I hope none of this sounds strange. HAH!
M.O.T.E.L.
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M.O.T.E.L.Both Millay’s dress and my jumpsuit were purchased at M.O.T.E.L. in Barcelona. If you ask any Davidson girl where the best thrift shop in Barcelona is, she (i.e. Millay, my mother, or I) will tell you about Barcelona’s little gem of a store! IT resides on a street, Riera Baixa, particularly dedicated to vintage shops! GENIUS, right? However, M.O.T.E.L. is special not only because of how wonderfully everything is displayed and how well curated the boutique is but because the woman who owns it is something special herself! She’s the grooviest dressed and kindest thing from any of our haunts in Barcelona. When I tried on the jumpsuit that day and loved it, she was as overjoyed as I was. After we made our purchases and chatted her ear off for a half hour, she tucked a hat in our bag that we had been admiring and smiled. If you’re ever in Barcelona, don’t miss M.O.T.E.L., whose dueña is as beautiful as the clothes she sells.

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Adventuring at Home and Abroad

by Tessa on August 14, 2013

in Barcelona, Millie&Me, Spain, Style

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I found these pictures on my laptop that I had intended to share months ago! As I was looking through them I was thinking about how when we lived in Spain, we would always go places and see things. We knew we had a limited time there and to us, Barcelona was new and amazing! When we felt bored we left the house because there was always something new to see and we didn’t want to waste time. We didn’t want to return home to America and have regrets about not taking advantage of our time and experiencing everything that we could have. I was talking to the woman that cut my hair and when I told her of the places I had been she said “I’ve lived here ten years and I still haven’t been there yet!”

We’ve finally moved into our place in Utah and in the past few days we haven’t done much, mostly because we’re unpacking which is a boring and odious job if you ask me. Multiple times each day I think “Wow. I’m bored! I just want to go to college already!” But I’ve realized that to me-to many of us-America seems so common, just like how Barcelona wasn’t anything particularly special to my Spanish hairdresser! I want to live in America the way I lived abroad. I want to see what the cities I live in have to offer. I want to adventure through my hometown the way I’d adventure through a far away city. I know that we currently live a few miles away from 2 adorable old main streets that I have yet to explore and there’s a charming train track that runs through the city. There may not be any grand and stunning cathedrals nearby but I’m sure Utah County has some gems of its own and I’m determined to find them!!

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Happy Birthday Dolly Boy

by Tessa on August 13, 2013

in Family

Siblings
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My family is a nickname kind of family. And our little guy, Silas McCoy, is our Dolly Boy and our Treasure Boy. He’s our Si Guy. He’s our Caboose; although he mostly goes by Goose, but sometimes Goose Goose Caboose. He’s a crack-up and he knows it. He’s a sporty little guy and loves the attention he gets when he starts kicking that soccer ball around like the little spanish boys taught him. He acts like he’s tough but he knows and we know that he loves his sisters’ attention and how we lavish him with kisses. Goose and I have our own traditions like reading aloud to each other or racing to be the first person to say I think you’re great each morning. The night before Caboose was born, my older brother and I joked about how great it would be if he was born that night and sure enough we woke up and had a little brother at 11:11 am!! We wished him here;) He’s my favorite 9-now-10 year old boy and I’m going to miss seeing his jagged toothy smile everyday! Happy birthday Mr. Si Guy!!

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The Beach, A Nostalgic Place

by Tessa on July 30, 2013

in California, College, Style

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CAPants & Sweater (That has King Kong on it. It’s amazing.) // Thrifted
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My family left for Utah to look for a home and I’m chilling with my aunt and little cousin at my grandparents’ beach house. We’ve been coming here since I was 8 and it’s filled with memories!! My older brother and I would bike to the pier everyday and buy candy and soft serve ice creams or bike to the next pier and blow our quarters at the arcade. We’d spend hours jumping over waves and digging our little hands in the sand to find the biggest sand crabs. We’d watch the sunset from the lifeguard towers and pull on the locks of the tower doors to see if we could peek inside. When it grew late we’d make s’mores over my grandma’s fire pit and wait until there wasn’t a soul on the beach so we could play sardines and hide behind the large, rusted blue dumpsters and under the lifeguard towers.

I’m sitting by myself on the patio writing this, enjoying the wind blowing through my hair and the comforting sound of the waves, and feeling nostalgic. It’s exciting to grow up and gain new privileges, like dating, driving, independence, etc. but sometimes I wish I was a kid again. Wonderful were the days when you could play from dawn until dusk without a care in the world! Maybe I’m just feeling nervous about how much is ahead of me and all the big decisions that are in my immediate future. Maybe I’m just wishing for the comfort of being a child, when the biggest decisions you’d have to make were what you’d wear for the first day of school.  I don’t know what I want to do with my life yet and it’s a little unnerving that I don’t know where I’ll be, not just in 10 or 5 years, but 2 years! As I go off to college and enter into adulthood and a period of transition, I may be leaving my childhood behind, but I don’t have to leave the child I was behind; she’s inside and she’s braver and more courageous than I am. Maybe she’ll help me through!
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I love this kid. Enjoy your childhood, Goose.

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packing painsSo we flew out of Barcelona to California almost  2 weeks ago and you know, it’s kind of a pain to pack everything you have and abide by certain weight limits. I spent hours weighing and re-weighing my suitcase, transferring my stuff among my bags or into other someone else’s bag and then lying prostrate on the ground for lengthy stretches of time. I’m so glad that’s all behind me!! Anyways, the above photo was taken at 2am the day before we left, well I should say the day we left. My sister was all packed and ready to go a few days prior but I hadn’t even started because it meant admitting to myself that we were leaving!
packing painsSomehow we pulled it all together and were out the door, at our designated “departure time” with 15 bags in a range of sizes all in tow. It was depressing to see our pre-furnished apartment void of any sign that we had actually lived there.
our Barcelona home
Adios Barcelona!When we first arrived in Spain, my dad and I picked this door off the street (people do that often, okay? It’s not weird.) and we chalkboard painted it. It was sentimental. But in the end we had to return it to the street in hopes that someone would come across this beauty and treasure it like I had. Taking it down 8 flights of stairs (it doesn’t fit in the elevator) and leaving it on the street was like my official Adios and Thank you to Barcelona for being such a wonderful home!
Adios Barcelona!
airplaneWe got to the airport on time buuuut it took us close to an hour at the check-in counter because they weighed all of our carry-ons as well as our check-ins and there were some weight limit troubles (GAH!). Nevertheless, we did NOT miss our flight! We got there just as they were loading the last passengers! Hurrah!! I’ll have to tell you about when we DID miss our connecting flight on our way to Budapest, Hungary.
Berlin, Germany airportSide note, I swear there’s a technique to dressing for the airport. Some people look insanely comfortable and adorable at the same time. How do they do it!? My modo is if I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing it to bed, I’m not going to wear it to the airport. Anyways, our first flight was only 2 hours from Barcelona to Berlin but as we took off, it started to rain; Barcelona was bidding us farewell! We and our beautiful city were sad to part ways.
Berlin, GermanyWe had a 13 hour layover in Germany; to be more specific, it was an overnight layover!! The Berlin airport was a small one and when we found out that the only terminal open overnight had about 5 benches, all of which were metal, we weren’t particularly overjoyed. To pass time, my dad, brother, and I left the airport and took ourselves on a little 2am walk around Berlin. The airport was on the outskirts of Berlin so it was more like a nature walk, but still beautiful.
Berlin, GermanyBefore the airport closed, and the last few flights were still coming in, we met the nicest man EVER. He was holding a bouquet of roses (which we later found at were for his mother!) but he set them down and played soccer with a bouncy ball with my brother for 45 mins. When his mother arrived and we began talking to him and he found out our situation, he was ernest that we come and stay at his apartment! We actually thought about it but his car was small and his mother was against the plan so in the end we all ended up sleeping on those metal benches even if it wasn’t the most enjoyable. Nevertheless, that guy was the nicest person; he gave my dad his email and asked us to email him when we got home and were safe!
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airport sleepingThe terminal was also open to the public all night so there were some hobos camped out in the corners, one even had a cot all set up for himself! He had it down. On our benches, we were miserable and we grumbled about how our 9am flight felt like a lifetime away but these photos crack us up now!!
airport sleepingFinally, FINALLY, we boarded the plane and it was a looooooong flight.
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Newport Beach, CAAnd we’re back in California now!! We’ve spent the past week soaking in the heat of a familiar sun and squishing our toes in the California sand that reminds me of my childhood. I could sit with closed eyes and listen to the tide roll in and out for hours. And for now, I will.
Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach, CAI love California and I love Barcelona and I love that they’re so different. It’s definitely been a cultural shock; and I still want to start speaking in Spanish all the time!! Hah. It’s been exciting to be home in California and be with friends and family but it’s hard to be away from Barcelona which had become home. But home is relative. Home is where you’re with family. And I thank Barcelona for bringing me closer to my family. We’re actually moving to Utah now because that’s what my family does, move around and find adventures in many different places:) I’m excited to see what adventures Utah will bring and what people we’ll meet. Then I’m off to BYU Idaho in September and it’ll be the beginning of the adventures I’ll have on my own. In short, this is a big transition period, but change is always welcome; change brings growth and insight and I’m always open to that!

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