full of thoughts

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Not a picture from today, but this sky seems to capture my mood at present.

It’s been one of those thoughtful days. Full of inspiration, and words to ponder, and lots and lots of thoughts.

It’s one of those nights where I want to listen to soft, slow music all night, and Pandora is once again performing beautifully as my best friend.

I felt very much myself today. I hadn’t even recognized an absence of feeling like myself, so maybe there wasn’t even an absence. But just now, as I’m typing this, full of thoughts, and searching for solid words to make into sentences, it has occurred to me just how very much I felt like myself today. Maybe it was the volume-filled updo I managed to craft with my almost shoulder-length hair this morning – a feat that has been near impossible ever since August when my days as a long-haired romantic ended. I’ve been slowly creeping closer to my good old twisted bun days, and today was just prime.

Maybe it was the maxi skirt, and the simple, small, elegant earrings. Maybe it was just the general feel of today – a day full of unplanned time and lots of edification as a result. At any rate, today just suited me. I have my fair amount of sweatshirt-and-sweats days as well, but dressed-up-with-a-bun-in-my-hair-for-a-day-spent-at-home is so me it’s not even funny.

It felt good to feel like myself today.

But back to thoughts.

I love the feeling of being filled up, almost to the brim, with words and ponderings and soft feelings that swirl around and around and make my brain work. Not in a calculus kind of a way, but in a holy-cow-this-world-is-so-beautiful-and-I-am-so-blessed-I-just-can’t-even-believe-it kind of a way. I’m in the writing mood, but everything is relatively jumbled right now, if you can’t tell already.

I’ve had so much to ponder lately. Maybe that’s the reason for not feeling like myself – my mind has been wrapped up elsewhere. So much is fast coming to a close, and so much is just beginning in my life right now. Despite all of this action around me, action that does involve me, I feel oddly still. It’s as if I’m watching everything around me, thinking all these thoughts, while I simply sit, with a slight sense that big things are going to start changing real soon. I’m watching friends argue, and watching friends make not the best choices sometimes, and watching people struggle, and watching buckets of conflict and opposition play out in the world around me at a pace that seems to be rapidly escalating. It’s a surreal sort of an experience.

And then today I look at myself, and my life, and I’m seeing peace. I feel like I should find some sort of storm in my life, just like I’m seeing everywhere else around me, but I just can’t. Sure, I have my struggles, and some days are worse than others, but I don’t seem to be battling through some fierce storm like the rest of the world appears to be doing. Maybe by saying this I’m just inviting something into my life, but I am so glad and fortunate and blessed to say that I have an inner peace that can’t seem to be shaken.

Life is so, so good.

P.S. My apologies for the crazy, disordered mix of about fifty different ideas. I’ll get to work sorting it all out and then hopefully come back with something a bit more cohesive. So stay tuned! Also, a post or two with some lovely Oregon pictures should be headed your way relatively soon. I’ll admit that I’ve slacked off a bit in the blogging realm of my life, but it’s felt so much better to write when I’m actually in the mood, and not just because I have to get a post published. 


other places to find me:

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

pinterest >>> tessa kohler


little-known facts

-I’m not a selfie person. Seriously, it requires so. much. effort. to take a picture of myself, and the act of taking a picture of myself is unnatural to me. Actually, I’m the worst at remembering to pull out my camera in any situation, selfie or not. But! I feel like pictures of things that aren’t trees and ducks and snow and canals are in need over in this here blog, so I need to get working on it. So that being said, I attempted the selfie this afternoon, in an effort to start conquering my selfie fears…

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-I have a strange love for cats. Loving cats isn’t weird at all, except for the fact that I’m allergic, soooo that’s a little bit of a problem I’ve got on my hands. But yeah, I just have a thing for cats. Dogs are so happy all the time (yes, I know I’m generalizing), and cats seem to have a variety of mysterious emotions that I connect with a little better. Maybe someday I’ll get treated for my cat allergy and then fulfill my destiny of becoming that crazy cat lady down the street with approximately seventeen of the furry creatures, give or take a few.

-Frank Sinatra is pretty much the best. And Michael Bublé too, but Frank will always be my favorite. When I was little and no one was at home, I would turn on his CD and slow-dance with a broom in my living room. Because I was just that cool. But really, he never gets old. Classy, classy, classy.

-I’m unashamedly obsessed with New York City. Actually, if you’ve even read this blog a little bit, you probably know this already. I’m, like, really obsessed. I have a “New York” playlist that I listen to frequently, full of songs that have what I feel like is a New York vibe, a large majority of my sentences about the future begin with “when I live in New York…,” and if you’re a blogger, all you have to do is mention NYC somewhere in your “About” section and there’s a 99% chance I’ll follow you in about two seconds flat, especially if you actually live in New York.

What are some little-known facts about you? I love hearing from you, so don’t be shy…leave a comment instead!


If you’re a blogger, feel free to join in on #blogeverydayinFEB!


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

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

my style…or something like that…

First of all, before I get into all things style-related, even though I already said this to them, I need to say thank you so, so much to the people that left such sweet comments on my post last night. I am so blessed to have connected with such wonderful people through blogging – people that are real, and understand, and are so quick to encourage and lift up. It is a truly wonderful feeling to know that you are surrounded by a marvelous support system, whether it is in real life, or over the internet. Although last night was sort of just one of those nights, what I wrote about, as vague as I was, is still a reality for me, and writing about it helped to alleviate some of that pressure that builds inside me over time. But I promise that overall I’m okay! Pinky swear! Again, I am so overwhelmingly appreciative of the response to that post last night, and I’m sendign lots and lots of love to those people that reached out to me! Thank you again! 

Whew! Okay, back to the lighter side of the world! 

The prompt for today for “Blog Every Day in February” is “Describe your style,” so I’m just gonna go ahead and jump right in! 

My style is pretty much all over the place. Umm, it’s kind of a problem. I went through a phase at the end of last summer when I tried to turn my style vibe into something unique and slightly edgy. Yeah, some sort of life crisis happened there…I cut my hair super-short (like, above shoulder-length), and asymmetrical (which sounds like a bad idea, but there was a vision behind it, I promise, and it actually turned out pretty sweet), and the edgy vibe seemed to naturally show itself. I shopped for tops in blacks, and grays, and army-green colors, and I’m actually pretty proud of myself and my ability to stick to a look and a purpose during that stage of wardrobe re-vamp-ment. It wasn’t really a punk look, but more of an urban-sophisticated look…or at least that’s what I was going for, whether it turned out or not. 

Since then, my hair has grown out somewhat, although the asymmetrical-ness is still there, and my style has slowly migrated back into normality. I miss my long hair, and messy buns, and french braids, and classy curls, so I’m currently working on growing these short tresses out. I am in need of a trim, but I can’t quite bring myself to cut off more of it, after coming even this far, although I know you’re supposed to cut your hair every so often. 

So with all of this hair-talk, I guess you could say my hair is a huge part of my style. I’ve figured out that even a simple t-shirt and jeans can look put-together if the hair looks good. I like to think that I put some effort into my outfits on a regular basis, but in reality, I’m usually more on the casual side. I do love dressing up, though, so maybe if I could afford all of Old Navy and J. Crew, I’d do the dressing up-thing more often…

I’d describe my style (or my attempt at style) as relaxed-classy. If that even works, ha. I’m not always dressed to the nines, but I do enjoy looking nice and at least slightly put-together. 

I do have a couple signature components of my outfits that show up on those days when I try a little harder, as well as on those days where I don’t try at all. So I suppose that describing my style involves describing those as well!

-FLATS. Every. single. day. I wear ’em with grungy t-shirts and jeans, or with dressier outfits. When I’m feeling really lazy and my feet are cold, it’s socks with flats all the way. Even better if the socks are neon-colored. Flats rule. 

-RINGS. My hands feel naked if there isn’t some kind of a ring on at least one finger. I definitely wear pretty rings on lazy days, too. There’s something so elegant about a ring, whether it’s a simple band, or a huge statement ring.

-SCARVES. So versatile. So comfy. So cute. One of my few complaints about summer is that it’s too hot to wear scarves, so it’s a sad party over here when the scarves slowly migrate to the back of my closet when the thermometer climbs. 

-MAXI SKIRTS/DRESSES. These are amazing, if for no other reason than the fact that you don’t need to worry about shaving your legs to wear them. They also fulfill my little-girl desire to feel like a princess, so it’s a win-win. 

And to finish it off with a vision that’s a little bit more legit and consistent than mine, if I could look perfect and ultra-put-together every day of my life, here’s some Pinterest inspiration that I {think} reflects my style…or at least what I’d like my style to resemble someday…







WHAT IS YOUR STYLE? Leave a comment and tell me about it! I love hearing from you! 


If you’re a blogger, feel free to join in on #blogeverydayinFEB!


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

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

brokenness in late-night moments

Tonight I’m in the mood for writing words. It’s 11:37 at night, and I have an essay that needs written, but right now my need to write real words is greater than my need to write the cold, lifeless bits of that essay.

Emptiness. Emptiness denotes an absence, and sometimes a lack of fulfillment. Or sometimes the state that comes before the fulfillment. At 11:37 p.m., right now, I’m currently trudging my feet, and my heart, and my soul through a field of emptiness. Through a field full of unfulfilled dreams, and goals, and late-night broken heart-cries.

Efforts. Sometimes I feel like I try so, so hard. So hard. And with all that trying, all that heartache…nothing. I look around me, and think, ‘It shouldn’t be this difficult. There is no way.

And I feel helpless. There is something so heart-wrenching, and leveling, and painful about being faced time and time again with failure. It’s a feeling that stretches right down to the bottom of your soul, something that has dug its way down there over time, until now it is securely lodged and it feels as if nothing in the world could root it out. The future is stretching on and on in front of me, and no matter how hard I desperately search, and move forward, I’m seeing nothing but that failure. It’s a feeling of inadequacy. It’s a feeling of lacking. And it feels so permanent, as if that is all I have ever known, and ever will know – this crawling and enduring sense of failure.

I hate feeling helpless. I despise that feeling above most others. I enjoy being capable, and competent. But there’s this one particular area of my soul where helplessness abounds. I’m usually good at ignoring it, at moving forward in life, with an ever-cheerful spirit and hope for the future. But then every so often, in the quiet moments where it’s just me, and myself, looking at each other in a mirror, I stumble onto that vast field of achy feelings, that realm of helplessness. And then I am broken. The wall of protection I try to build up to keep myself away from that realm turns to rubble around me, and I am left staring at that shadowy field, knowing what is to come. Sometimes I can propel myself past that landmine, but when these moments happen late at night, my propelling abilities weaken and that’s when the tears come out.

Broken. A state of cracks, and holes. That’s what I become in those late-night moments. In those moments, the helplessness, and the circling thoughts, and the emotions pour through the holes in my self-confidence. I pray so, so hard, and I feel the comfort of my Savior as if He were kneeling right next to me, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that He knows me personally, but I still struggle. If it were a matter of belief, or faith, or anything of a more spiritual feel, I would know what to do. I’ve gotten over those types of inadequacies. Not that I’m perfect in those areas at all, but the solutions to those struggles seem more evident in my eyes.

I keep reaching, though. I. know. it. must. get. better. It must, it must, it must. There has to be a turn-around point, a point where all of this work, and all of this endless and seemingly fruitless effort will be worth it. There has to be. I’m working on trust. Trust is that little thread that I cling to in the late-night moments. Trust in my Savior, and the knowledge that He is right there beside me, so it’s going to be okay. I know that He has the infinite power to heal, and to help, and so out of all the things in the world that I can turn to, He is by far the best choice out there.

It’s going to be okay. You are okay. I whisper this to myself in those late-night moments. I will myself to believe it. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Actually, to level with you here, as of late, it hasn’t been quite as foolproof as it used to be. But I’m trying. And trusting. And moving forward. Those late-night moments happen. Maybe, hopefully, there will be a time when that particular field of shadows is dispelled and I will stumble upon it no more. As of right now, 11:37 p.m., that field is still alive and well,

But I have faith that it will get better. It has to get better. I know it will get better.


After-note: I know that a lot of people that know me in real life read this blog, so just FYI, I am okay. Writing helps get all of my emotions out, and I am doing fine! :)

other places to find me:

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

liebster numero 2!


sooo i got onto wordpress the other day and was surprised to see that tameramb from the blog jibber jabber & happenstance nominated me for a liebster award! {fyi: the liebster award is an informal award that is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers by other bloggers, who then in turn nominate their own people…and the love just spreads! fun stuff!} i did already receive one of these (read my post about that one HERE!), but i decided to go ahead and answer her questions anyway. for some reason, i find answering questions about myself fun? maybe because i’m rarely very open about myself with people in real life, so it’s liberating to do it here? or maybe i’m just self-centered? but i really do enjoy sharing the blogger love and nominating other people, though, so that’s a more legitimate reason for why i’m writing another liebster award post.

i’ll try to keep it short and sweet, since i went into a lot of detail with my other post. but then again, this is me we’re talking about, so who knows how long this’ll be!

1. where is your favorite place to be? either in the middle of a big city (preferably new york city), or up at the top of some remote mountain, in the middle of a backpacking trip. yes, i am aware that those are virtually polar opposites. both are amazing nonetheless.

2. name two songs that describe you. “haven’t met you yet” by michael buble (haha, yes, i know this is cheesy, especially if you’ve read this post), and “theme from new york, new york,” preferably when it’s sung by frank sinatra.

3. who is the most inspirational person in your life, and why? my mom. i’m amazed at how good and patient and loving and humble she can be – all the time. she inspires me to be a better, more refined person.

4. do you believe in karma? umm yeees? kinda? i would just say that i believe that everything happens for a reason, and that every action has some sort of a consequence. would that just be the same thing as karma?

5. if you could have a dream job for a day, what would it be? some job where i could live in new york city, pin lovely things on pinterest, drink hot chocolate and smoothies, and write pretty words…all day long (and still get payed for it). and play on steinway pianos. those are always a fun time.

6. name three annoyances currently in your life. negativity (irony, no?), cold weather that needs to hurry up and be spring, and the fact that my electric blanket is so warm in the mornings, but i have to actually get up and do something with my life.

7. what “spirit” animal do you best vibe with? umm otters seem like pretty happy creatures…

8. how has blogging helped you? first of all, it has helped me focus my writing voice, but second, on a deeper level, it has helped me free that part of myself that i rarely share with people.

9. list two things that you are proud of accomplishing. although this isn’t one specific accomplishment, i’d say i’m pretty decent at the piano. also, i’m proud of starting this blog and putting all my random musings out there for the whole world to read.

10. do you have a talent? if so, what is it? looking for the best around me, whether in people or in tough situations.

11. where do you envision yourself in five years? umm maybe married? new york city would be pretty legit. ha, if you can’t tell, i’m obsessed with nyc. but really…

now! since i already did another one of these liebster award posts, i had a tough time coming up with eleven more bloggers who i love, who have under 200 followers (which really means i need to do a better job of getting out and exploring blogs more!). i actually only have three to nominate this time, but they are fabulous blogs, written by fabulous people, so you should click those links and check them out! (also, take a look at the other 10 bloggers i nominated in my original post, and don’t forget to visit tamermb’s blog, which is where i received this second nomination. i actually featured one of her posts in my link roundup this past friday! plus, she runs, and lives in nyc, which just makes her doubly awesome right there.)

here are my nominations!

jenn lost in chaos

velociraptoranna’s blog

life’s little mercies

for you three bloggers coming here to find out more details about what your nomination entails, here’s your job!

1. write your own post answering these same 11 questions, making sure to link back to the person that nominated you somewhere in the post (me!).

2. choose 11 of your favorite bloggers who have less than 200 followers to answer your own set of questions (you can come up with different questions than these ones, but i’m just a tad bit lazy, plus i like these ones i was given, so i didn’t write any different ones for you guys to answer).

thank you again, tameramb, for the nomination! i am honored!