a life update

Well, hi! It’s been a while, no? Um, like, months. Which is kind of pathetic, but life is what it is, and I swear I haven’t forgotten – really, I haven’t forgotten to blog at all – I’ve just kept on waiting for the perfect moment to write something, which isn’t a very good recipe for “regular blogging.” The perfect moments haven’t quite shown their faces, and the almost-perfect-moments could have been perfect if they hadn’t occurred multiple times late at night where I ended up choosing sleep for once in my life (you’re welcome, Mom and Dad).

But I’m back! Or maybe I’m not? I don’t know! I’m not promising anything, but I really shouldn’t have any obligation to promise anything, right? It’s my blog, and my documentation of my life and thoughts and such, so I’m inclined to let it ebb and flow as it will.

So at the moment, I’m just chilling cross-legged on my bed, drinking lemonade, listening to my Carlos Bertonatti Pandora station, and eating some sort of a muffin-thing I found in the freezer and some chocolates from Sweden that I’m realizing are a lot more on the dark chocolate side of life than I was expecting. And hoping to be able to type something of substance up into a blog post. Because I’ve really missed blogging, actually. I’ve missed my little space to spill my thoughts, and I’ve missed the connections I’ve made with other bloggers, and I’ve missed the feedback on my posts that give me the confidence that I’m at least doing a somewhat-decent job of writing in here. So we’ll see what happens!

So what’ve I been up to? Kind of a lot, actually. But only because it’s been three months…when you divide it up, my monthly or weekly happenings aren’t all that grand. But anyway! Be prepared for somewhat of a photo dump. But maybe that’s okay, since I’m usually so bad about posting photos here. So yeah! In the period of time that has elapsed between now and my last post, I’ve been……..

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

^^^discovering magic on my runs. And thanks to the wonder of the iPhone 5s that is now in my life (whoooo!), I can actually get pictures of these little places. Isn’t this spot just gorgeous?

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

^^^And this sunrise at the beginning of a 10-miler a few weeks ago was stunning as well. I wonder if I stopped being so lazy and actually got up to see the sunrise every morning if it would ever stop being so alluring? Any thoughts, friends that are more motivated than I am in the mornings?

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

^^^drinking a plethora of icees. I’ve decided that I prefer these almost any day over a regular sno cone. Cherry mixed with pina colada…yum. That is all.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

^^^enjoying car moments with the younger siblings. I’m gonna miss those kids when I run off to school in a month or so.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

^^^driving at high speed across random deserts in the middle of eastern Oregon. Think dust-billowing-behind-you-like-a-car-commercial going on here.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

^^^reveling in breathtaking views at the top of Steens Mountain in aforesaid eastern Oregon. The picture doesn’t do it anything relatively close to justice. I’m convinced that this is one of the most random mountains in this corner of the United States (which I could be very wrong, since my travels have been pretty limited, relatively speaking). It’s this random, long mountain that rises up out of nowhere in the middle of dry, brown, eastern Oregon, that has some absolutely beautiful gorges, with a bizarre and random mix of pine trees, sagebrush, aspens, and long grasses. Weird, but so beautiful.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

^^^running a half marathon! This FINALLY happened a couple weeks ago! It was wonderful! I think I was either dehydrated or had heat exhaustion during half of the race because I got goosebumps and felt cold at about mile 6 (which is so not normal when you’ve been running for an hour already in 80-degree weather), but I’m stupid and kept running, and I didn’t die, so it’s all good. It feels amazing to have finally checked that goal off of the list! My stud little brother ran it too, along with my parents, so that was fun. Seth’s a beast though and beat me by a landslide, but I’m just glad I finished.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

^^^recharging spiritually. It’s been much-needed. Enough said.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

^^^planning the most epic gallery wall ever. I cannot tell you how excited I am to move into my apartment at the end of next month and decorate. If you check out my said Pinterest account, you’ll see countless photos of gallery wall inspiration. Maybe I’ll do a post sometime dedicated to the wonders of gallery walls.


…reading the optimistic, inspiring words of my friend Mallory. Her words are clear and inspiring, and the perfect thing to read when you need a lift.

…pinning everything. in. the. entire. world. Seriously. It’s miraculous. Go follow me, if you feel so inclined, and if you want some enjoyment in the areas of interior design, flawless outfits, poetic words, New York City, or romantic couples pictures. Or weddings, or flowy dresses, or little kids, or flowers, or really anything.

Altogether, though, the major theme of this summer has been transition. Or not quite transition yet. I feel like I’m in an awkward, in-between phase. I’m so unbelievably excited about the future, and life is nothing to complain about right now, but I just feel that I’m awkwardly sitting here waiting for school, and my apartment, and new people, and a fresh start to get here already. I really shouldn’t rush it though; as awkward as this life-phase is, it’s a phase nonetheless. There are lessons to learn and there is undoubtedly a purpose for a sitting phase – a purpose that I’m trying to explore as best I can instead of letting impatience take over. Maybe I’ll write something about all this eventually. Ha, we’ll see.

Well that’s about it for my little random photo dump. You can probably expect anywhere between 0 and 1 photos on whatever post I decide to do next, whenever that happens, per usual. I hope that everyone has a lovely day! To everyone reading this, thanks for humoring me in this life corner of the internet!

It’s a good life. Yep. It is a good, beautiful, magical life indeed.

image (11)


other places to find me:

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler


full of thoughts

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
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

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

ducks, the cold, and a canal

today’s been a pretty decent day, if i may say so! it was just a nice day of easing back into the routine of normality after spending the weekend lazing around in unproductive bliss.

the weather around here has been interesting lately. today’s sky was a plain gray color, like an almost-blank canvas, waiting for something. the world has a feeling of unrest, or maybe it’s expectation – expectation for some amazing event yet to happen.

i took myself on a run this afternoon along a canal in a nearby park, which was quite enjoyable. the air was harsh and cold and biting, but that’s actually my running environment of preference. there were only a few other people out in the park today, so i just had the canal-abiding ducks to keep me company. during the course of my run i came to the excellent conclusion that ducks are actually very pretty creatures. they have a regal, majestic, intelligent sort of a look about them with their sleek, deep-toned feathers. maybe i should find a duck to be best friends with.

i feel like “canal” isn’t quite the right word for this particular collection of water that flows by the park. if you look at it right, it’s actually quite picturesque, in a raw, down-to-earth, honest sort of way. semi-large trees, now bare of leaves, have put down their roots here and there along the banks. ducks swim up and down, and different shrubs have also made their homes at the waterside. even now, in the wintertime, the varying shades of browns and grays and faint greens have beauty about them. it’s not the vibrant color and bursting life of spring and summer, but instead a peaceful, serene sort of beauty that only the hand of january can bring about.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

yes, it was as fun time indeed, communing with the ducks and the cold and the canal. a fun time indeed.

love these days

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

how do i feel about love these days?

love is illusive. love is wonderful. love is vague. love is ambiguous.

if we’re talking about the home-for-the-holidays, cozy family love, then love is peace and comfort and a breath of relief after a long, long day. family love is constant and i’m grateful for the family in my life that always has my back. this family sort of love is what has continually given me a leg up throughout my life, particularly in the past couple months.

and then there’s that other kind of love.

that sweep-you-off-your-feet, kiss-in-the-moonlight, will-you-be-my-forever-and-always, let’s-make-plans kind of love. that love that gives our world hope and belief in the magical, the impossible and improbable that seems to somehow happen anyway.

how do i feel about that kind of love?

well…i can tell you that i want it. holy cow, do i want it. {ask anyone who knows me and they’ll testify to my position as a hopeless romantic.} i can tell you that i hope hope hope that my future is holding that kind of love in its hands as we speak, outstretched and just waiting for me to get close enough and far enough along in my years to reach out and snatch it – snatch it and never, ever let go of it.

that’s the kind of love that has the power to cross all sorts of barriers and break down all sorts of walls. that is truly the substance of magic.

but i don’t think i’ve quite reached that kind of love as of yet in my life. sometimes i occasionally wonder…but then i shake off the wondering because it doesn’t feel like it’s time for all of that yet. i’m not one to rush into things, and rushing into suppositions just scares me. not that it’s necessarily wrong, it’s just my nature to wait and wait until i’m absolutely, one hundred percent sure that it’s real.

and the funny thing about love, and how i feel about it these days, is that i’m pretty much okay to wait. yeah, i do my fair share griping and wondering about when prince charming is finally going to make his definite entrance, but secretly i’m really okay. i have a strong belief that everything’s under control and it’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen.

the thing about love – that heart-breaking, heart-aching love – is that while a little bit of halfway love is nice and fun and all that, it’s the deep-down stuff that really counts. i think our hearts know that and my heart, at least, is willing to hold out for the good stuff.

so how do i feel about love?

love is magical. true love speaks of sparks and sunshine and constancy through the rough spots.

the concept of love is exciting, and exhilarating, and just so, so lovely. the reality that two people can just happen to meet at the right time, in the right place, in such a way that will intertwine their fates forever – that’s beautiful, right there.

i’m excited for that – that whole love thing.

and when that does happen, when the bells ring and the angels sing praises and the real sparks fly and all that cliche jazz, i’ll probably write another “love these days” post and let y’all know how it all worked out, okie dokie? i have a thousand different scenarios worked out in my head, and i’m sure it’ll end up far different from anything i could have imagined, but however it works out will be absolutely perfect and so, so right.

love these days? currently, it’s hiding backstage, behind a curtain, just waiting for me to whirl it open, maybe with a flourish or maybe slowly and carefully, ready to welcome it into my life.


this post was inspired by THIS OTHER POST!