(written a couple weeks ago, when it was actually June)

Do you ever have a 5-second moment where you have a memory of a period of life that’s so vivid and sensory? Where you feel all that time of life was?

I keep having flashbacks to months ago, when I had no idea what life in June would feel like. Zero. I had some thoughts, and some hopes for what it would feel like, but really no idea.

I remember getting a fresh order of contacts back in the winter. I wear daily disposable contacts, so I got (I think) a 9-month supply. I also have a different prescription for each eye, so when I get a new order I like to open up all the little boxes and pair the right eye with the left so I can just grab a set when I need them. I distinctly remember sitting cross-legged on my bed at my house back in Provo, pairing my contacts together, and thinking about how some of these contacts were going to be experiencing life on my eyes in June, and how I had no idea what the life with those June contacts would be like.

And now it’s June. Almost July, actually.

I also vividly remember the morning of my interview with the agency that I’m at right now. (Lol, if any of my coworkers ever end up reading this, YES, this is a sentimental human you get to work with hahaha.) I skipped my stats class so I could take the call at my house, without anyone around, since all my roommates would be gone for the day by then.

My confident interview outfit consisted of my green Tweety bird sweatshirt and black leggings, with curled hair (RIP my all-over platinum blonde…give me 2 more weeks and you’ll be back!) and multiple rings on my fingers (because rings make me feel legit, idk why???). [blessings of a phone interview: being able to wear leggings and a sweatshirt. Also being able to talk with my hands as much as I possibly wanted to because no one could see me.]

And even back then, in February, I had no idea what June would feel like. Would June be in Kansas City? Or New York? Or LA? Or somewhere else entirely?

And then in March, Kansas City became a reality. So that’s what June would feel like.

It’s surreal now, sitting in June, almost in July, to think back on those days in the winter that were characterized by a lot of poignant emotions—uncertainty, hope, restlessness, the feeling of being on the edge of something mysterious that you know is going to define you in a way that nothing else ever has.

Being here was nowhere on my list of options 6 months ago. Nowhere on my radar at all. But I’m so grateful for the series of events and doors opening that led me here, because this place and this situation is perfect for me in a way that I would have never anticipated.

Life in June is really, really good. Also hard, and a learning process, but still really, really good.


mondays are for memories

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I Instagrammed this picture earlier this evening with some words about Mondays, and writing, and remembering times past, in the thick of a nostalgic mood (along with an Instagram mood…I’m kind of obsessed lately), and the words are flowing a little stronger today so I thought I’d elaborate on the days that are Mondays.

I feel like everyone hates Mondays. Those are the dreaded days of the week that bring a return to work, and an end to relaxation. On the other hand, call me crazy, but I actually love Mondays. To me, they feel like a fresh start, a clean slate, a return to work, yes, but a return with the intentions of being better and more productive than the week before.

Mondays are also my days for nostalgia. Mondays are for memories, and for missing people, and for reminiscing about times past, before friends moved, and people changed, and when life had a slightly different vein of magic running through it. Not necessarily more magic, or better magic, just a slightly different vein of it.

On Mondays, I reread letters, and journal entries, and flip through photos. I get this strange desire on Mondays to bring back the past for an hour or so and smile on the idyllic life of seasons long gone. And despite what one may think, especially considering my romantic and sometimes dramatic nature, this doesn’t make me sad at all. Nostalgic, yes, but sad, no. Life was just different back then. That’s simply all there is to it. Not better, or worse, just different.

And holy cow do I miss some people. Friends, and more than friends, that no longer reside in little Idaho with me. I do wish that they were closer, and that times with them didn’t seem like such distant, long-ago moments. But I have an unending belief that everything happens for a reason. I know that there are a million different ideas about how or why events happen, and feel free to take whatever stand on that idea that you want to, but as for me, I believe that nothing happens without a purpose. I think that it’s this belief that makes Monday memories a happy, and peaceful, and heart-filling occurrence.

But yes, Mondays. Mondays make me remember, and give me the itch to tiptoe back into the past for just a second. Mondays give me words, and thoughts, and ideas, and a smile. Yes, Mondays are for memories.


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

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

the meaning of home

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Home is warmth.

Home is love.

Home is comfort, and all of those other vague, cozy-fuzzy ideas.

Home is also the whoosh and gurgle of a running dishwasher late at night in a darkened kitchen. Home is soaking coats dripping themselves dry in a laundry room after a day in the snow. Home is worn, hardwood floors. Home is dents and scratches on corners leftover from plastic trucks and cars that have long since been given away. Home is toast and hot cocoa on Sunday evenings. Home is bookshelves full of loved Dickens and Shakespeare. Home is wooden kitchen chairs that creak and wobble, but somehow stay in one piece. Home is Christmas trees, and candles, and flowers on the table. Home is freshly baked French bread, sliced with butter melting slowly into it. Home is those simple, mundane sounds and smells that are forever connected to happy memories.

The house that I grew up in will always have a special place in my heart – it’ll always represent a special, idyllic version of “home,” no matter how many other places I grow to call home throughout my life.

What does “home” mean to 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

the substance of memories

yesterday morning i came across a beautiful post by allison on her blog, writtenword87, that has stuck with me since i read it. allison wrote about the wonder of memories and about our fascination with items from the past. (click either of the links above and go read it!) when i read her post, i was inspired to dig out my own little stash of memories.

on my closet shelf sits an old, white, paper gift bag that is chock full of little bits of the past. this evening i removed it from that location, where it wasn’t doing much but gathering dust, and took a peek inside.

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i’ll always be a little bit of a pack rat deep down, and it kills me to deep clean my room and have to go through little odds and ends and decide what to keep and throw away. during one such deep-cleaning episode a number of years ago, i had the bright idea to save some of those memory-filled items in a specific location so they wouldn’t pile up on my dresser or my bookshelf or my headboard anymore, but i so could still keep them. since then, i’ve filled my paper gift bag with all sorts of lovely things.

going through that bag this evening was like paying a visit to many of the happy memories of my life. there is something so truly beautiful in holding something that has meaning and magic woven through it. 

i found letters of whimsy and appreciation and thanks and love – and some a combination of all four – from people i cherish.

i found photographs where i am standing in the midst of ladies i dearly love, reminding me of sweet summers past.

i found a plethora of artifacts from my truly life-altering new york city trip – a lanyard, a photograph from the empire state building, a receipt from an airport on the way home, a phantom of the opera playbill, and a bright yellow plastic bag that once held the play-going outfit i purchased from the forever 21 in times square, to name a few.

i found cds with pictures and i found postcards from traveling grandparents.

i found books full of campfire songs, crumpled and dirt-streaked, relics of warm weeks full of laughter and sleeping bags and altogether-too-much sugar.

i found memories upon memories that have sat in my closet for so long, just begging to be relieved.

apart from my closet stash, i have various bits and pieces of memories paperclipped and glued to journal pages – little things that make my heart smile as i flip through those notebooks of past word-ramblings – two old ticket stubs from a favorite date to a wintry lit-up garden, a copy of the first letter i wrote to a far-away friend, play tickets, letters composed to myself during dull classes, and other such scraps.

i am a self-professed lover of words, but somehow reading journaled thoughts doesn’t have quite the same effect as looking through my memory collection. the words are precious, but the experience is entirely different from discovering tangible treasures. what is it that allures to us through those physical objects that we are so attached to – those items that are virtually valueless to the rest of the world, but are so priceless to our hearts?

if there’s any magic in the world, i believe that those items must certainly possess some of it.

we long to hold something tangible in our hands, to smooth out bent and wrinkled letters, to connect the here and now to a wonderful past, to prove to ourselves that those breathtaking, forever-sparkling happenings really occurred, to reminisce on good times gone that will be forever fairy-dusted and sparkling in our thoughts.

we’re drawn to the reality of a gleaming past, to the evidence of happiness, to the substance of memories.


where (or when) have you found the magic of memories in tangible form?