Cheers.

Happy Tuesday, people!  After two consecutive weekends in the mountains, I was craving some city time – part of my constant quest to find balance between Colorado adventures and “New York” cool.  When an email came through touting a Friends of Laphroaig event at Space Gallery, I was in.

Art and whisky

Laphroaig, if you’re not familiar, is a brand of Scotch made on the island of Islay.  The first time I tried Laphroaig, I was in my early 20s and living in New York.  That stretch from 22 to 26 can be a weird one.  For (spoiled) me, I was on my own for the first time, (mostly) supporting myself financially and living several states away from family and friends.  According to the government, your employer, and the parents who have nudged you out of the nest, you’re a grown-up.  But I found myself often unsure, making plenty of mistakes and mostly eating toaster waffles, chips and salsa, and popsicles.  (And, of course, pizza.)

Islay port

The birthplace of Laphroaig

Sometime in the middle of those years, I attended a Luxury Marketing Council event at Saks Fifth Avenue, featuring a Laphroaig whisky tasting (excuse me while I pick up those names I dropped).  For several years, I had wished very badly to love Scotch – I’ve been obsessed with Scotland since I was two, and I studied abroad in Aberdeen, a short drive from the Glenlivet and Glenfiddich distilleries – but my palate hadn’t evolved past lemon drop shots and Trader Joe’s two-buck-chuck.

I walked into Saks wearing a pencil skirt and false confidence, feeling intimidated by all these people who seemed fluent in a language I hadn’t yet grasped, and walked up to the Laphroaig table.  The friendly rep poured each of us a thimbleful of golden whisky, explaining as he went, and we raised our glasses.  It was warm and smoky all down through my chest.  It was complex, flavorful, challenging, and a little sexy: I loved it.

Laphroaig is nice stuff, so I didn’t encounter much of it until this past Christmas, when a coworker bought a bottle for me as a gift.  After registering with Friends of Laphroaig (and confirming a lifetime lease on a square foot of land near the distillery), I proudly displayed the bottle on my mantle, a symbol of inching towards adulthood.

Laphroaig

This time, as I walked into the gallery in Denver’s arts district, I had a new pencil skirt on, but the confidence was a little more broken in.  We sampled whisky and toasted in gaelic, and even though I did something bone-headed and embarrassing, I laughed it off and enjoyed a sip of Quarter Cask.

Next summer, I hope to tromp across Islay and find that square foot – in the meantime, I plan to raise a glass and toast to everyday adventures.  Here’s to yours!

 

The Balanced Life.

Happy Sunday!  Hope everyone had a great weekend – mine was lovely, featuring karaoke and a giant breakfast burrito, though I did discover two things that aren’t super great about being 30 (though there are plenty of things that are).

1.) You can’t blame your jackass decisions on being in your 20s.

2.) Hangovers, man.  They just keep getting worse.

Speaking of hangovers, I’m trying to build more balance into my life, starting with leisurely time at home indulging in two fun new hobbies.

Royal Companion typewriter

My new “Companion”!

Ryan Gosling coloring book

My dream world companion.

Hope you have a great week, filled with your perfect balance of peace and excitement, work and play, leafy greens and chocolate cake.
Oh, and plenty of Ryan Gosling (thanks are due to dear friend Jenny for this ridiculously cool gift).Ryan Gosling

Dirty 30.

Hi friends! I had a birthday this weekend, and it was spectacular (my dear friend gave a delightful account here). A bunch of people flew in from across this great nation, and we decamped to the mountains to celebrate in true Colorado fashion: we hiked, we canoed, and we hot tubbed.

Dillon Reservoir

Apparently, this is real life.

Hiking near Dillon Reservoir

YAY FRIENDS!

Several people asked how I felt about being 30. Many said turning 30 had been great, transitioning into a time of greater peace, stability, and confidence.   This birthday carries great significance – just as 21, 18, and 16 did – and while I’m happy and grateful to be here, it causes you to think about where you are and where you’ve been.

Last weekend, at my friends’ wedding (much, much more on that soon), they recited vows they had written. These words were authentic, beautiful, and true, and they spoke about how they promised to take care of each other and themselves.

Regardless of whether or not we’re in relationships, we’re all our own life partners. This body is the only vehicle that moves me around the planet, and I’m the only one who hears all the thoughts in my head and feels all the feelings in my heart.  So…inspired by those two great friends, I wrote some vows to myself (30, in fact), on the occasion of my 30th birthday.

I will…

  • Do yoga.
  • Eat dark chocolate and savor it.
  • Go for a run along the river, even when I’m tired (but sometimes I’ll just sit on my couch and watch The Bachelorette, and I will refuse to feel any guilt).
  • Turn off the TV and listen to Melody Gardot while drinking a glass of wine.
  • Feel the sublime gratitude brought on by a sunset.
  • Sit with sadness when it comes along, trusting that darkness doesn’t eliminate light – I will try to remember that life is a constant cycle of day and night, each beautiful and terrifying and worthwhile in their way.
  • Go to museums.
  • Trust the desires of my soul.
  • Buy a VW Westfalia camper van and drive across the country.
  • Never be too cool for a fanny pack.
  • Listen to my mother, who is full of life and fun.
  • Listen to my brother, who is full of life and fun and surprising wisdom.
  • Listen to my step-family, who had the boundless kindness to adopt us into their fold.
  • Go to sleep at a reasonable hour.
  • Stay up late when it’s worth it.
  • Learn to tell the difference.
  • Go outside often.
  • Take vitamins.
  • Stop reading books I don’t enjoy.
  • Try to recognize the difference between liking a guy and being competitive with myself.
  • Drink local beer.
  • Drink good wine.
  • Drink great champagne.
  • Listen to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on Saturday mornings with a mug of hot coffee and a fried egg sandwich.
  • Remember to vacuum.
  • Take pride in my dusty car, because it’s a symbol of weekends in the mountains.
  • Not be afraid to ride my bike, even if everyone else on the trail is wearing spandex and their game face.
  • “Be silly, be honest, be kind.” (– Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • Read books that are beautiful, even if I’ve read them 15 times before.
  • Remember that this universe has given me all the loveliness I’ve ever imagined, and help others when I can.

One hilarious and awesome friend wrote the following wise words in my birthday card: “Being 30 is just like being 29, except you give fewer shits.” I’m excited to join her on the RIGHT side of our 20s, with all the confidence and curiosity to explore and expand the boundaries of my life.

I’m happy to shed some of the uncertainty and anxiety that weighs me down. I’m going to wear what I want and do things that make me happy, and I’ll focus my energy on other people instead of worrying about things like razor burn in my armpits.

Because, really…who gives a shit?

Trail in Dillon

I Believe That We Will Win.

Well, friends, the USA is out of the World Cup.  I’m not ashamed to be one of those people who only cares about soccer once every four years, but every time I watch this tournament, the sport wins me over.

Kyle Beckerman

Tim Howard

Oh, excuse me, did I say the sport?  Pretty sure I mean the dudes.  Just…drink it in, folks.

Thankfully, since we’re Americans, we’re not going to let this loss get us down.  We’ll redeem it with cat videos.

This might be my last post for a wee while – mama and step-dad arrive tomorrow, and then we head to Grand Lake for Felicia and Brian’s wedding!  I can’t wait to celebrate with these two special people.  Next weekend, I head back to the mountains with a bunch of my favorite people who have graciously agreed to supervise my exit from my 20s.  Yes, kids, I’m about to be 30.  I’m sure I’ll emerge with wisdom and maturity.  And probably a hangover.

Catch you on the flip side…