in the rain

“Think of the times when you felt freaking alive and find the themes.” — Mark Pollard

^^^that’s been the motto of life recently. (but isn’t that brilliant?)

for me, those are times when I’m outside of my comfort zone, or at least experiencing newness.

in keeping with this, last night happened.

it rained all day, and I love how streetlights reflect on the pavement when it rains, so I drove to south to the Provo cemetery around sunset to see if I could take any decent pictures of the world. (aaaand I found out today that apparently it’s a misdemeanor to be at the cemetery after dusk hahaha…whoops) it started pouring a few minutes after I got out of the car, and I quickly learned that nothing I was wearing was waterproof, but if we’re talking about experiences where you feel freaking alive, this was one of them. it was something about being on a little hill, all by myself, in the almost-dark, soaking wet, trying to capture light and dark and trees and mountains and also keep my camera somewhat dry…yeah it was good.

the pictures are grainy because I was on such a high ISO setting, but I actually really love it.

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nyc 2017

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so I went to new york city back in September! I never blogged about it because I haven’t been much of one for blogging lately, but I feel like it needs to be written somewhere, so we’re doing it! I figure I can’t go to nyc and not say anything about it because I spend so much time talking about that place here on this blog. just giving the people what they want!

mostly this’ll probably be a photo dump for posterity’s sake. but still kinda fun!

[for context, I went with a bunch of kids and professors in my program here at school (advertising). we visited ad agencies, attended some industry-related panels, and also did a bunch of other random stuff in our free time. we were there for a week (the longest I’ve ever spent in the city), and it was glorious.]

a bunch of us girls got an airbnb in brooklyn that was conveniently a couple blocks away from the J train that we took every day into manhattan. the apartment had a great view of the rooftops of brooklyn, and I discovered at the start of the week that if you looked really hard into the distance there was one building that had “BELIEVE IT” graffitied onto the side of it. so rad. (hi, thank you new york gods!!)

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some of the other best moments:

one night a few of us were wandering around the Village and stumbled into Washington Square Park. we’re walking around toward the fountain and the arch when I hear piano music coming from somewhere.

and not just any random piano music. classical piano music.

there’s a freaking grand piano sitting right in the middle of the park by the fountain. stopppp.

so we sit down and listen to the guy play “moonlight sonata” and a bunch of other good stuff. and just soak in alllll the vibessss.

but then! but then! it doesn’t stop there!

then a man and a woman (probs in their mid-20s?) get up by the piano and start dancing. gorgeous, ballet/acrobatic dancing.

and then!

then they get on top of the piano. and keep dancing on the piano.

tbh at that moment I was maybe 65% concerned that they were going to break the piano. or fall off. but they didn’t break it, and they didn’t fall off, and it was beautiful.

NEW YORK CITY, KIDS.

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later that same night we discovered this little coffee shop called “the uncommons.” except it wasn’t just a coffee shop. it was one of those places where you can pay $5 in addition to your coffee (or hot chocolate, ha, mormon!) and they have their walls covered with board games that you can play for as long as you want to. which I guess is a thing now, provo? well we didn’t know it was a thing, so we all vowed to start a place like that in provo, because provo would eat that kind of thing up.

ha and then we got back to provo and legit 2 weeks later that random game place on center street pops up that is the exact same thing. (except decidedly lacking in the vibes department) ah well. logan, anyone?

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fearless girl! advertisinggggg!!!!

near the end of the week we went to a yankees game, which was so. cool. I love baseball and the yankees and I fangirled a little about actually being there. (can you fangirl at a baseball game? does that count as fangirling? or is it just being a fan?)

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random firsts (touristy places I’d actually never been to before) (this is a posterity blog post, remember?):

  • grand central station
  • chelsea market (too many food options in one place!)
  • the high line (this was actually so good. we went at night when it wasn’t very busy and just strolled (like a real, leisurely stroll) and caught the feelings of what it would be like to actually live there. and also had a semi-deep chat about how advertising is so good.
  • NY public library (didn’t go in, but hey! we took a picture on the steps! …on someone else’s phone, so sorry friends, I don’t have it, but it happened!)
  • Magnolia Bakery

aaaand here’s a dump of all the random photos that don’t have a real story associated with them!

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(do I look like a new yorker yet?? ^^^)

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(those last 2 were from the high line^^^)

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nyc 2017 was killer. and now the blog knows all about it!

the end.

(also, if you care to read something kinda fun about my NY obsession, click this!)

39 hours in the best city ever

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So one time I went to New York City and fell in love. And even though I had to leave and go back to normal life, I kept the love up with pinning all the New York pictures on Pinterest, and listening to songs about New York on repeat, and writing all about New York here, and reading all the beautiful books about New York in the world, and I knew I’d go back.

And then somehow I ended up on the east coast for the summer, and when you’re on the east coast for a quick moment, why not venture down to the best city in the universe? It was a quick trip, but it was so, so, so fantastic. I didn’t get to see everything that I wanted, but I figure I’ll be back again eventually, so I have plenty of time to finish my bucket list up, right?

And now prepare yourself for the most photo-heavy post I’ve ever written, because I WAS IN NEW YORK CITY. {Give me a minute here first, though.}

We are now the masters of public transportation…well, almost. There were about fifty times that we almost didn’t make it, but everything worked out in the end. For example, on step number 1 of getting there, we just about missed the ferry to the mainland because this is Martha’s Vineyard and this is summer and I swear the whole world wanted to ride the bus that day and take their own sweet time doing it, which resulted in an arrival at the ferry after the final boarding call, and a crazy sprint with our suitcases to the boat…but we made it! So that’s good. I would have been severely depressed if we missed that darn ferry.

After the island bus, and then the ferry, it was the bus again to Providence, Rhode Island, and then finally New York City. One of my favorite parts of the entire time was that drive right before we arrived. It was nighttime and we kept passing office buildings and I was pretty sure we weren’t to the actual city yet but the promise of what was so close to me – something that I’d been dreaming of seeing again for three years – kept me on the edge of my seat and my eyes glued to the window to catch the first glimpse of my city. And then there it was, in all its nighttime glory. And I couldn’t stop smiling. Also, everyone else on that bus was so quiet, and calm, and collected, and I swear no one else was freaking out, so the five us had a silent little freak out session in the back two rows because how can you arrive in New York City and not freak out?

The bus took us right into midtown, passing the temple, and skyscrapers that got increasingly taller and fancier. When we got off and took the escalator upstairs, we walked out the doors, straight into midtown, with all its flashing lights and taxis everywhere and we were in the city air and it was lovely.

That night we walked around a bit, ate some street food, and took a taxi (!!!) to our Airbnb apartment in Brooklyn that was so nice and air-conditioned and quiet and right next to the M train and in a sketchy part of town but it had a fire escape right outside our bedroom window, and that charming fire escape made up for the neighborhood in my heart.

The next day and a half was crazy, and wonderful, and full of the Guggenheim, the 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street, Century 21, Urban Outfitters, bartering in Chinatown, gelato in Little Italy, bomb Italian food for dinner in Midtown, 4-story Forever 21 in Times Square, the M&M store for a quick moment, Central Park, the Met, the upper east side, Shake Shack, and then a hurried taxi to pick up our luggage and get back to the bus terminal in time to leave at 2 pm. And now here are all the pictures that I promised, so I’m going to mostly be quiet while you enjoy them.

subway life
subway life

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Frank Lloyd Wright did a decent job on this one
Frank Lloyd Wright did a decent job on this one

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the time I got us on the train going the wrong direction and we took a visit to the Bronx for a minute before going alllll the way back down to Wall Street
the time I got us on the train going the wrong direction and we took a visit to the Bronx for a minute before going alllll the way back down to Wall Street

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I have a thing lately with cool mirrors. So the mirror in Tiffany's? Sure!
I have a thing lately with cool mirrors. So the mirror in Tiffany’s? Sure!
back to the place where I first fell in love with the city
back to the place where I first fell in love with the city

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swooning over Urban Outfitters. I got a rad hat here. also, photo charging stations are my favorite.
swooning over Urban Outfitters. I got a rad hat here. also, phone charging stations are my favorite.
Times Square for the win. Also, HAT.
Times Square for the win. Also, HAT.

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dead-tired at midnight in Forever 21 while my phone charges so I can figure out how to get us back to Brooklyn.
dead-tired at midnight in Forever 21 while my phone charges so I can figure out how to get us back to Brooklyn.
on the steps of the Met. not pictured: the acapella group singing right in front of us.
on the steps of the Met. not pictured: the acapella group singing right in front of us.

Then Mikelle and I skipped the Met in favor of a stroll through the Upper East Side, on the hunt for unique doors and elegant architecture and Shake Shack.

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And then just as soon as we got there, we had to go back to the magical enchanted island of Martha’s Vineyard. But you better believe I’ll be back! New York City, I love you, thanks for a swell time, and I’m not done with you yet!

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Other places to find me (a.k.a. let’s be friends!):

Bloglovin’ >>> Life and Loveliness

Instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

Twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

Pinterest >>> Tessa Kohler

on rightness and trust + some photos around town

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{written last night}

Right now I’m sitting in my little four-person bedroom with bright pink walls, and pink bedspreads, and a couple more pink touches, so basically it’s an unreal amount of pink, with about fifty thousand fresh books tucked on the ground below me, under my bed, wearing a skirt and maybe some slight remnants of bright lipstick, and I’m in a reflecting mood. And Pandora’s killing it, so that’s pretty great too.

This evening, Caroline and I put on nice clothes for once and took a stroll around Edgartown in search of great photo spots, and really every time I step outside I have to pinch myself, but tonight was especially good. I’m living on a gorgeous island, with some amazing people, and that only scratches the surface. Blessings, goodness they’re everywhere! Lately we’ve all been talking a lot about random chains of events – things that seem so inconsequential at first but turn out to be something spectacular. This experience wasn’t anywhere close to my radar a year ago {heck, I didn’t even know that Martha’s Vineyard was a thing thanks to my limited world knowledge from growing up in Idaho}, and now I’m having the most incredible summer adventure I could have imagined with people that I hadn’t even met a year ago either. It’s quite something to see the pieces fit together. And I absolutely love being overwhelmed with a sense of rightness in the world.

And yet, I still find room to complain, which is ridiculous amidst all the blessings. I’ve added “COMPLAIN LESS” to my “Let’s Try to Be a Better Person” list because it’s so easy to let the negative pieces overshadow the breathtaking ones. In a way, I think all the writing I do here is part of that effort to counterbalance the negative. Here in the blog-world I just talk about all the wonderful bits of life – I just wholeheartedly gush about everything mostly out of awe and amazement and I have to let it out somewhere. But every life has rough patches, and sometimes those rough patches are more than patches, and I for 100% sure have plenty of all that. The complaining doesn’t quite make it here, because who wants to read {or write} negativity?! There’s enough negativity in the world as it is, I’m pretty sure. And for me, writing is a pretty decent wake-up call to help me realize the beauty when things get foggy on occasion.

Sometimes life is weird. And crazy confusing. Actually, lately it’s been quite confusing, although I think in the last week or so I’ve stumbled on some peace and clarity that I’ve been in search of for a while, and for that I’m grateful. It’s hard when you want something so bad and you have to learn that it’s just not meant to be, but I’ve been learning a lesson in humility and gratitude and trust in timing for the past year or so. Sometimes I’m still very stubborn, but I hope I’m getting better at giving my complete trust to my Father in Heaven in all things. All things. Because I know for a fact that He has everything under control, and He has a greater plan that is more spectacular than anything I could possibly imagine myself. And I’m finding that complete trust leads to complete peace.

Today I’m grateful for new friends, and old friends, a loving Heavenly Father, and a testimony that keeps me grounded, and this beautiful world that we all get to live in, and for all the tiny, magical details of this crazy life. I’m grateful for dreams of the future, and talks of New York City, and for ice cream every single day. I’m grateful for books, and cozy stores, and lipstick, and Taylor Swift, and sleep, and the ocean, and yogurt. And fruit and frozen lemonade and ice water. And air conditioning. Also, an organized freezer is pretty nice, along with a freshly mopped ice cream parlor floor.

I’ll just be a shameless broken record forever, but life is so beautiful.

And on the less-deep-side of the world, here are some more photos from our excursion around town!

Edgartown park

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And we went on a boat last week, so that was fun! I could do the sailboat life, I think.

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It’s a fun world we live in. Peace out until the next time I find myself in the library again.

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Other places to find me (a.k.a. let’s be friends!):

Bloglovin’ >>> Life and Loveliness

Instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

Twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

Pinterest >>> Tessa Kohler

life update // martha’s vineyard edition

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Hey there internet world! It’s been a while! I’m currently on an island {like, literally} and the wifi situation has been lacking for most of the time that I’ve been here. But I finally got myself to the library and my laptop is drinking up this wonderful wifi and hallelujah the real world is back at my fingertips.

{Quick side-note/update for anyone who hasn’t talked to me lately} At the moment I’m spending the summer on Martha’s Vineyard working and having a complete party. My current job description is something along the lines of “Super Ice Cream Scooper / Barista / Pizza Server,” meaning that my boss owns an ice cream shop, a cafe, and a pizza place, so all of us here get to have fun switching it up working in the three different places. We get to live right above the shops, so a 30-second commute every day is pretty great. And we’re on an ISLAND, and basically it’s the best set-up ever. Also, I’m with some of my best friends, so you better believe we have a good time. I have silent-freak-out-moments on the daily when I get hit with the realization that this is reality. I’M LIVING ON AN ISLAND, also, I get to eat lots of delicious cafe food and TONS of ice cream and pizza. And making money. Also, having never had a job before where I earn tips, tips are now my second-best friend. Currently my best friend is this library with its wifi, but tips will probably go back to first place when I leave.

Okay, there’s the quick rundown. Basically, I’m living a dream. Dang coolest summer job ever. My apologies to anyone who follows me on Instagram, because you’re gonna get real sick of gorgeous island pictures by the end of the summer. If you’re not sick of it already, ha. Also, for people who aren’t sick of it yet, stay tuned for the end of this post where I’m actually including real live photographs, which is a big deal because photos are not my thing. I like words forever, but remembering that sometimes a visual is good is a tricky thing.

Actually, I have no idea where I’m going with this post. I’m just a little bit giddy at the moment because of said current wifi situation. And lately I’ve been having the itch to blog. Maybe it’s all the time that I’ve had to sit out by the ocean and contemplate life and all that jazz. Yeah, maybe something like that. So anyway, here I am. And I guess I’m going to ramble, because WIFI, and BLOGGING AGAIN, and getting random sounds fun. So here are some thoughts on life lately…

The lower-maintenance life is a good one. I’ve gotten good at washing my hair every other day instead of every day, which is much better for my hair anyway, plus it makes getting ready a lot faster. Greasy hair? Throw in a little dry shampoo and so what if it still looks greasy, because JUST PUT A HAT ON IT! Baseball caps…I’ve fallen in love with them. Also, my hair absolutely loves humidity. And that’s not sarcasm. Many tears will be shed when I have to go back to the dry west and try to do exciting things with this head of thin hair.

On the low-maintenance track, who has the time and effort for real pants? I’ve sunk to a low place, friends, especially for Tessa Kohler, who lives for dressing up. But when you’re running around crazy for 7 hours a day scooping ice cream, who wants to wear anything but workout pants? Plus, that makes wearing jeans feel more fancy. At least that’s what I tell myself. But I’ve completely accepted the nice-shirt-on-top-and-stretchy-pants-on-the-bottom look when I feel like halfway trying. Yeah, I don’t fit in with any of the high society people on this island, but I’ve decided I don’t even care about trying to fit in with them anymore. When we first got here and had a week to explore before starting work, I tried the dressing nice thing, but life is too short to stress over fitting in with the upper class, right?

Books. I’m in a phase, and I hope it doesn’t go away. I’ve always wanted a personal library of some sort in my house someday, but I always figured the library was good enough for now and I’d start buying books later. But no, I have the itch to buy all. the. books. right. this. very. minute. The phase was triggered by my first trip to my boss’s father-in-law’s store {that’s a fun connection to explain in short terms} right downstairs from us, which is probably one of my favorite places on this whole island. It’s full of books and little random curios and found objects and I don’t even know how to describe the rest of it, but it’s paradise. Also, the music that he plays in there is Steve Tyrell and Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra and so I die partially because of that also. I’ve spent way too much time in there. Also, ha, I forgot to mention that it is chock full of unique books about New York City, so that’s probably most of the reason why I’ve gone crazy about it. And with an employee discount, I’m about ready to buy everything in there. I’ve already bought a decent armful of books and don’t you dare ask me how I’m going to get it all home in my two suitcases that were already packed full on the way here because they are beautiful books and I’ll handle that small issue when we get to the end of August. For now, my book piles will stay tucked under my bed for me to enjoy now and deal with later.

Guys, I am closer to New York City now than I’ve been in over three years and it’s killing me. There are five of us BYU kids here that pretty much spend all day every day together and we’re trying to plan a trip to the city. Holy Hannah, if we can actually swing this trip, I will literally die. I don’t think I’ll even be able to handle myself in the city. I’ll probably just sit myself down on the curb {which is kind of a nasty idea, when you think about it} and not be able to move because I’ll be so excited. It doesn’t help that I’ve been reading a plethora of books about NYC for the past month. Stay tuned for more updates on my potential trip to the best city in the world. Or maybe if it happens I’ll just die and then you’ll never hear from me again. That could very well happen too.

That’s about it for random thoughts at the moment. Actually, I could keep going on, but I’d better refrain because for most everything, you just kind of have to be here. Caroline and I are back to being roommates again, so hopefully her photography skills will rub off on me sometime soon and I’ll have some more pictures. Really, life is great. I’m on an island where everything is literally perfect. I’m sitting in a little library wearing lipstick, and I live across the street from the ocean, and we’re also a ten-minute walk from a sandy beach, and I can get $2 frozen lemonade every day, and I eat breakfast by the water on the regular, and I’m living with great people, and it’s so green here, and I have a stack of New York books under my bed, and I’m surrounded by classy people, and I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to be here. There are definitely downsides to being here, but above all that I am learning so much. Outside of learning how to work in an ice cream shop and a cafe and a pizza place, I’m having a grand time rediscovering aspects of myself that have gotten a little lost in the midst of the past year of my crazy life.

Life is awesome, y’all. We are all so blessed. And even though my pictures don’t do it half justice, in case you’d like to see what my current life is like, here’s a photo party for general enjoyment. Peace out, I’ll be back soon.

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Promise I actually took this, it’s not just from the internet.
Day one in paradise.
Day one in paradise.
The Valentine House and I match.
The Valentine House and I match.
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It take me about 30 seconds to walk here. My favorite breakfast spot is on top of that pavilion thing on the left.
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Ocean.
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Taken on a Sunday walk with Caroline. It was misty and everything looked so green and I don’t know how to pose for photos so I’m pretending that this is an action shot and not just an I-can’t-do-anything-except-be-weird shot that Caroline happened to catch.
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Lonely beaches on cloudy days are the best.

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Other places to find me (a.k.a. let’s be friends!):

Bloglovin’ >>> Life and Loveliness

Instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

Twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

Pinterest >>> Tessa Kohler