the first days

the first few days here all felt a little foggy. I think part of that is because a 16-hour drive through Nebraska is enough to make anyone feel off, and the other part of it was transition overload. the stark reality of what I’d just done (leaving everything and everyone to move to a place where I knew nothing) was sinking in, and all the emotions felt blurry.

so if you ever move somewhere by yourself, give yourself 7 days where you might feel like you’re floating (not in the good way haha. kind of like you just took NyQuil.), but then I promise it’ll go away! and soon enough you’ll have a real mattress and a couch and a schedule and life will feel like life again.

[also, if you ever have to drive 16 hours through Nebraska, I highly recommend bringing your cool best friend. Aubrey saved my sanity.]

but foggy as they were,  here’s what those first days consisted of (mostly for posterity’s sake):

– pizza on the floor. because what else do you do when you move into a new apartment?

– an air mattress on the floor.

– IKEA. In which I disrupted the flow of traffic at least twice and got in people’s way at least twice. But I left with a plant named Hugo and a sheepskin rug (actually idk what animal it’s supposed to be) that I named but later forgot what I named it, among other things, so it was a decently successful trip.

– Grimaldi’s. BLESSINGS that Grimaldi’s has a random KC location. Like, who just puts a Grimaldi’s in Kansas City???

– a rooftop. leave it to me and Aubrey to find a hotel rooftop deck with nobody on it.

– some tears.

– a really sad goodbye.

but even through the weird life-fog those first few days, being here still felt comfortable, and pretty okay, which was a blessing.

moral of the story: moving somewhere totally new by yourself is a weird experience. weird feelings. but get yourself some pizza and some patience with life, and then give yourself a few days and it gets better.

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the last night

i moved! yay! to kansas city! yay!

if you think kansas city is a lame place, or that it’s in kansas, I’m here to prove you wrong. (well, half wrong. technically part of kansas city is in kansas. but not the downtown part, or the part with my office, or the part with my apartment.)

but I’ve only been here a week, and it’s good.

also, moving to a new city by myself is probably one of the hardest things I’ve done.


the place and the life are good. and that’s what really matters. I’m so, so grateful to be here. & even though this is one of the hardest things I’ve done, it’s also one of the coolest. how often do we get to start over completely from scratch, knowing zero people, and zero things about the world you’re suddenly in? that’s pretty cool, I think.

one of the by-products of living on your own is that you have thoughts! or at least I do. lots and lots of thoughts! but I’m going to save those for another day because I’m behind and I can’t just move straight on to the Kansas City thoughts without paying my respects to Utah and my last night there.

so here are the respects:

Utah, you made the last 4 years of my life the greatest. a lot of it was actually you (mountains!), but most of it was your people. so thx, peace, blessings, I’ll be back to visit, take care of my friends, don’t let the Wasatch fault line have an earthquake, etc. etc. etc. bye!

and here are some photos from the last night in Utah, which was a trip to Saratoga Springs, because I always wondered what life looks like from the other side of the lake.

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these next photos were my favorite…

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^^^is Joel’s leap not one of the most graceful things you’ve ever seen?


^^^awkwardddd, the only one of these I didn’t edit hahaha…the editing ended up on the purple side of things, but oh well.

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^^^not a basic “peace out,” b/c please notice I’m just holding up my keys. also I need to get my hair done.

slc // in verbs

sometimes the world hands you a perfect night. and sometimes that happens to be right before you’re moving, and I feel like that’s not all that fair, right?? we went to Salt Lake last Friday with no objective in mind, and I think we were handed one of those solid nights.

aaaand here are the stories of the evening, told in verbs! (because I don’t feeel like stringing it together into an eloquent story tbh, haha. but sometimes story pieces are fun?)

SNEAKING // we accidentally snuck into the back of mass at the cathedral. (mass? a mass? grammar??) and by accidentally I mean that we happened to be there when mass was going on haha. and by sneaking I mean we just walked in and tiptoed to a bench on the creaky wood floor so we didn’t make much noise. Mass was super cool, actually!

DROOLING // over the Avenues. and tree-lined streets in general.

SPELLING // Me: “does capitol have an ‘a’ or an ‘o’?” / Kenzie: “it has both!” … That made me laugh more than it probably should have. & now I think I’ll always remember how to spell capitol.

WATCHING // this family on the capitol lawn was blowing bubbles with a giant bubble wand and it was straight magic. there was a little kid who would run after the bubbles every single time, and we decided that’s the epitome of childhood joy. and we also decided that if you’re dating someone who’s outgrown chasing bubbles, you probably shouldn’t date them.

it was a good night, that’s all. that part of Utah doesn’t feel like Utah, and I don’t know why I haven’t spent more time up there (in Salt Lake, and especially up by the capitol) this whole time I’ve lived here.

and here are some pictures!














good spring days

This past weekend was General Conference, and it was so needed. There is something so comforting in knowing that we have leaders that are inspired by Heavenly Father, and that are direct messengers of His will. I sustain them always.

My dad got his hands on a couple tickets to Conference for Saturday afternoon that he passed on to me, so my soon-to-be-roommate-next-semester (whooo!) Mikelle and I went, which was absolutely great. Temple Square looks so gorgeous, with all the blossoms and green grass and tulips and pansies and it was just the best. And even though Salt Lake is a far cry from NYC, it still makes me itch for the city. Also, I just love the Salt Lake temple, and I’m kinda thinking it’s where I want to get married. Yes, practically everyone in the world gets married there, but it’s just so beautiful – inside and outside – and my parents were married there, and it just represents eternity in my mind. And yes to the most beautiful wedding pictures.

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Not pictured is an incredible bed of tulips and other colorful flowers behind us, and tree blossoms all around us, and green everywhere. It was fantastic, so use your imagination a bit. My apologies for those that are fortunate enough to follow me on Instagram, and also be my friend on Facebook, and get to see this picture for the third time. I was just lame and I didn’t take any other pictures.

Also, side note to appreciate the wonder of Café Rio. We went there after Conference, and it was the best. The sweet pork salad never ever disappoints.

Saturday evening around dusk I stepped downstairs to pay rent real quick, and the night just felt lovely, so I felt that a spontaneous walk was necessary. I just walked around Kiwanis park before it started getting too dark, but it was a good choice indeed. At that hour, the park was so calm and peaceful and quiet, and it almost felt like a summer evening (can we all just give a big ‘amen’ to the wonder of summer evenings?). And the air was just right for thinking, which was convenient.

Yeah, it was a good weekend. Yesterday I took a walk up to the temple in hopes of catching the sunset over Utah lake (I have a thing for sunsets lately) and doing some more thinking & writing. It was a bit too chilly and windy for it to be completely comfortable, and the wind made the air all grey with dust, so the sunset thing wasn’t too glamorous, but it was still good to sit by the temple for a bit. I’m going to miss the Provo temple for the four months that I’ll be off having adventures elsewhere.

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Since it’s coming up on the end of the year (3 WEEKS TILL I MOVE WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?), I’ve been doing some looking back, and appreciating. Appreciating my amazing roommates, and BYU, and Provo, and getting to live next to a mountain, and my ward, and having a park as a backyard, and I am just so grateful. It’s been a wonderful year. I’ve grown so much, and learned so much, and had so many experiences that I wouldn’t ever trade.

These last days are tinged with the bittersweet, since next year I’ll be moving to a new apartment, and only keeping 1/3 of my current roommates, and saying goodbye to the previously mentioned backyard park, and I’ll miss a lot of what life is now, but I know that there are good things to come {Martha’s Vineyard this summer, a.k.a. I’m going to be living on an island that is much closer to New York than I’ve been in the past three years, and no school for four months, and then there’s Brick Oven Pizza just down the street from our apartment in the fall, and granite countertops in said apartment, and a pink bathtub, and I’ll be living with some other amazing people}, so I’m stoked for the future.

Side note again, if you’re in the mood for some sap, I’ve been on a wedding video kick, and these are my two current favorites:

Also side note again, I’ve remembered that I actually really like blogging, so we’re gonna try to do this once a week or so, just to ease back into it. Cheers.


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

Bloglovin’ >>> Life and Loveliness

Instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

Twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

Pinterest >>> Tessa Kohler

my favorite things // 01-25-2014

-ponytails. or, i guess i should say hair that is long enough for a ponytail. after cutting my hair super short in august, the fact that i finally have enough hair to put it in a decent ponytail is just wonderful! it’s been the kind of week where ponytails are almost a given, so thank goodness for long enough hair.

-sleep. sleep is just fantastic, right?

-breakfast dates with friends. kneaders is just a nice, warm, cozy place to be in the morning. good company + yummy food = great stuff, right there!

what were your favorite things this week?