a thank you note to provo

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Dear Provo,

My heart is currently halfway dying at the thought of not getting to see you for four whole months. I’m halfway excited for the rad places I get to spend time in this summer, and the rad people I get to spend time with in those places, but I’ll still miss you until we meet back up again in September. So I just wanted to say thank you for a fantastic year, and lots of good thoughts for the years to come.

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Thank you for the sunsets over the lake, and the bright sunrises over the mountains.

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Thank you for beautiful hidden spots to go on runs to.

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Thank you for city lights seen while on Y Mountain.

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Thank you for this amazing temple.

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Thank you for fall leaves, and winter snow (at least a tiny bit of it), and spring blossoms.

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Thank you for quirky neighborhoods full of great trees and houses.

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Thank you for having parks as backyards.

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Thank you for classy art museums (okay, this was Springville and technically not Provo, but close enough).

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Thank you for the river to remind me of Boise.

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Thank you for wonderful people, and great vibes. It’s been quite the year. Peace out for four months! See ya back in the fall!



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

Bloglovin’ >>> Life and Loveliness

Instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

Twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

Pinterest >>> Tessa Kohler


lessons learned in the past eight weeks

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The past eight weeks have been absolutely wonderful. Quite possibly some of the best eight weeks thus far in my life, I’d venture to say.

I think I’ve felt more myself in the past eight weeks than I have in a long time. It’s been a feeling of arrival. A feeling of ‘oh yeah, so this is what I’m meant to be doing!’ I’ve worn my hair up in a bun about 90 percent of the time, and I’ve worn lipstick a handful of times, and my overwhelmingly neutral wardrobe is performing fabulously, and maxi skirts are my favorite, and I fixed up the layout of this blog, and running the hills of Provo is turning into my thing, and it is so incredibly refreshing to be living a constant rush of new experiences.

And new experiences come with new lessons, right right? So just for fun, let’s have a party and lump those lessons into a list, shall we?

Comfort food is a must in life. Yeah, eating healthy is all great and everything, and I make sure that happens the majority of the time, but I’ve come to believe that anything rich and creamy just makes the world a better place.

And meat, for that matter. I think I’ve taken meat for granted thus far in my life. As soon as you have to make meat all by yourself whenever you want it…….yeah who has time for that?! {a.k.a. I’ll graciously accept any donations of deliciously seasoned, cooked chicken anytime. Just kidding. Sort of.}

Moments for introspection are a necessity. A strange part of me actually enjoys having to walk everywhere because that’s when introspection opportunities are prime. Especially in the mornings, when I’m nice and on-schedule for getting to class on time. But late nights + music are also pretty decent for the introspection thing. And long runs.

October is my favorite month. I can’t say I’ve ever had a definite favorite month until now, but this year’s October has settled it. There may be some more words coming your way sometime in the future about the loveliness of October, so no guarantees, but it’s a possibility! Isn’t it the best that October is a thing?

People change, and often times will have completely different sides than you expected, but you just have to love them anyway. This has been a hard one, and it’s been a lesson that’s actually taken a lot longer than eight week to figure out, but it’s coming.

Everyone should take a Zumba class in their life.

Roommates happen for a reason. I’m so grateful for all three of my roommates, and they’re exactly what I needed.

Free food is the best. I used to care about how healthy the free food I received was, but now…yeah, no, it’s free food, I’ll take it. I make plenty of decently healthy food on my own, so I figure I’m covered there.

Random moments of gratitude are also the best – those moments where I’m least expecting it, but then all of a sudden it’s like someone flipped a switch and I just want to tell anyone who’ll listen how beautiful life is. This morning when I walked out of the temple was one of those moments. There was the crisp morning air, and the clear blue sky, and the lake in front of the mountains, and Provo just laid out in front of me, and the red-orange-yellow leaves, and the flowers, and thoughts of the temple, and everything in the world felt right.

I really, really, really want to live in New York City. Actually, I suppose this doesn’t count as much of a “lesson learned in the past eight weeks.” More like a fun fact…a fun fact that pretty much everyone already knows. But yeah, after living out here for a little while, now it’s just like, “Okay, let’s bring on New York now!”

Fun lessons, right? Maybe I’ll elaborate on some of them at some point…maybe not…who knows! Inconsistency tends to be my thing when it comes to blogging, but it is how it is, and I’m a fan of blogging when there’s substance, and not just a need to have a Monday-Wednesday-Friday post or some sort of similar schedule. At any rate, October’s doing beautiful things around here, so I have some good intentions to make some sort of a post on it.

And if you want some fun things to read, here are a few lovely pieces that I’ve stumbled across this week in my various perusing of blogs…

New girl. – Beautiful insights on the nature of change.

What We’ll Miss About NYC – Part 5 –  I found this old post today on one of my favorite blogs, and I love the documentation of small, significant moments.

Creamy Garlic Mac and Cheese – Okay, does this not look like the best thing in the entire universe? Did I mention the comfort food kick that I’m on?


Other places to find me:

Instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

Twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

Bloglovin’ >>> Life and Loveliness

Pinterest >>> Tessa Kohler

the joys of blogging

Blogging…ha, I feel like that’s all I do that is remotely interesting anymore…for some reason my social life has dwindled down to the bare minimum lately, and I’m about ready to turn into a crazy lady that talks to herself all the time and communes with the birds in the park. I’m pretty sure I’m about 78 percent there already. So yeah, while I’m spending this abnormal amount of time at home, I’m just blogging quietly away. And blogging is kind of like talking to yourself, right? So actually I’m probably at about 98 percent crazy lady…

Craziness aside, the past few weeks of blogging have been lovely. I’m feeling slightly worn down from it, which is why this post is late, and there have been times when working on a new layout has me about ready to pull my eyebrows out, but yes, it’s been lovely.

As a whole, the past few months that I’ve been blogging in this particular space have been filled with so many blessings. I’m so grateful to have this little corner to just write, write, write, and interact with people (because, you know, with my steadily dwindling social life, I need some contact with real people every once in a while). I have connected with some truly wonderful, talented people, and I am so grateful to anyone who has taken the time to leave a comment – I have been inspired and uplifted by the enlightened responses to many of my posts.

I’m also forever grateful to everyone that follow this blog, whether by email, or on Bloglovin’, or Twitter, or on WordPress. It may just seem like a simple click of a button, but it is a joyful thing indeed to know that someone out there believes in you enough, and enjoys your words enough to want to read them on a regular basis.

So yes, blogging has brought me joy. It has brought me friendship. It has brought me inspiration. And I sincerely hope that this blogging-thing has some sort of a future, whether it is big or small, just some sort of potential to become something great.


#blogeverydayinFEB is almost over, but if you’re a blogger, feel free to join in!


other places to find me (because making friends is fun, right?):

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

to paint my present beautiful

“do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” -buddha

this made me stop and think for a minute when i read it. i understand not dwelling in the past, and making sure to live in the present moment, but not dreaming of the future? um, i pretty much exist to dream of the future. romance, marriage, kids, nyc…you name it.

but in a way, i do see the truthfulness of this quote. it’s important to be happy in the now. happiness comes in loving this journey, every inch of it, no matter how disgusting and discouraging life may seem.

i’ve found that there is a sense of peace, unlike any other, that comes from taking a moment to just sit, and be. to live for even just thirty seconds, perfectly in the present, perfectly grateful for all of the blessings around you, perfectly whole, and content, and full of compliance with the world…that’s a beautiful moment right there.

i’ve been trying to take more of those moments for myself lately. just snatches in the middle of each crazy day where i stop worrying about what’s going to come next and what else needs to be done and instead take a moment to recognize the bounty around me.

i’ve found that life becomes a little bit like a prison when all you can ever see is the future, and how the present is just clearly not good enough, since there’s this amazing future right off in the distance. happiness is so easy to just toss of to the hands of the future for safekeeping.

but the thing is, if you haven’t learned how to be happy in the gorgeous, rich present you’re living now, how is anything going to be any different when you finally reach that day, or event, or milestone that you tossed your happiness to so long ago? happiness is a choice, and it can most certainly be a hard choice, but it’s something you have to train yourself to choose. and as nice as those pity-parties sometimes feel, and although i’m far from happy all of the time, i’ve realized that the world is so, so much brighter when i choose happiness in the current moment.

yet i don’t think dreaming is altogether bad either. when you have those dreams and aspirations continually in your sights, you’re able to live your “now” in a way that will allow those future hopes to eventually become a part of your present. expectations for a better future are what keep me moving – what keep me taking steps and making the choice to keep going, every time that lovely sun comes up.

so i guess there’s an extent. when you pile up all of your stock and save it for the future, that’s a recipe for dissatisfaction and unrest. but letting the future be a guide, a beacon of hope in the distance makes for special, precious, full moments in the present.

i want more of those full moments – those moments where time seems to smile, imperfection seems perfect, and the goodness and rightness of life seems about to overflow. and i have a sneaking belief that those moments aren’t fleeting or rare. my sneaking belief is that every moment can be a full moment, if i only expend the littlest bit of effort to recognize it.

my goal at present is to hunt out those full moments, to open my eyes, and pull down the discouragement and the pride and the haze of expectation that i’ve allowed myself to let hover in the way of present contentment. i’m going to do my best to usher the beauty and the gratitude to the forefront, and help keep it there.

and while accomplishing my goals and living out my dreams may still be something a little ways off in time, ushering in the beauty is something i can do now, this very minute. i’m going to throw back the curtains and let beauty into my present – i’m going to paint my present beautiful.

obligatory thoughts on thanks

today being thanksgiving, i’m feelin the pressure from the blogging world to make some sort of a post about thankfulness. it seems like most bloggers make some sort of a post about thanks during this time of year. so, giving in to peer pressure in fine form, here ya go (although i really don’t mind writing about this at all)!

thankfulness is something that is so often taken for granted, especially in our society. there is so much focus on what we don’t have, what the world tells us we absolutely need. in actuality, i really think that the things we absolutely need are just the small things. humans aren’t naturally overly needy beings; give us some food and water and love and we will mostly survive (barring medical conditions and special circumstances).

so today i’m grateful for the little things. i know that there are so, so many people in the world that aren’t able to have even some of these little things, so i’m grateful for the place i am in that allows for these. it’s so easy to stray from deep gratitude and zero in on the technology or large house or well-paying job we might not have, when there are people in the world who aren’t able to even have the basic necessities of life.

i’m grateful for a steady supply of food and water. i’m grateful for shelter and safety. i’m especially grateful for love. you can have all the things in the world, but without love, i truly believe that you are nowhere. today, be grateful for love. be grateful for family and for friends.

i’m thankful for the ability to love. if you are in a place in your life where you feel like you don’t have anyone that loves you, where you feel emptiness inside your heart in the place where love belongs, i encourage you to go out and find it yourself. my heart aches for you and i know that it is a hard, dark place you’re in, but i promise you five hundred times that if you reach out and look for ways to love an bless others around you, it will be reciprocated.

so today, on this day of thanksgiving, whether you are surrounded by friends or family or even just your own thoughts, think of love. have gratitude for love. furthermore, have gratitude for the ability to find love.

(okay, yeah this wasn’t really that much of a chore to write. gratitude is something close to my heart, so i’m happy to take my place among the ranks of bloggers who posted something about thanksgiving today! :) )