Like many others, I spent this last Thursday celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. We, of course, ate a lot of yummy food and enjoyed getting the chance to just be together and have fun.
But the heart of Thanksgiving Day is in its very name. It’s a time to look around and really think about all the good that we have in our lives. Life may not always be easy and it won’t be perfect, but we all have something to be grateful for.
I know that I truly have so much to be thankful for. Things are sometimes difficult, and I don’t know what the future might bring, but I appreciate all that I have - especially the amazing people who are a part my life. They are more precious to me than anything in this world. ❤️

What are you thankful for?

It is Officially Autumn!!!

There are things that I love about every season, but Autumn is always extra special somehow. It’s the way the air feels, it’s the trees that are a mix of fire and golden sunset, and it’s the scent of pumpkin-spiced candles. It’s fuzzy blankets in the evening and crisp walks in the morning. It’s wearing comfortable jeans and sweatshirts and sitting by a warm fire, sipping hot tea and eating apple pie.
And, of course, Autumn has perfect outdoor writing and reading weather. :)
What do you like about Autumn? Is it your favorite season or do you have another?

Music and Writing

For me, music and writing have always just kind of… gone together. I am one of those people who makes playlists for each of my books. One of those people who reaches for my headphones as soon as I sit down with my laptop or journal.
Music helps me to focus and can even set the mood for whatever I am writing. Actually, it is rare for me to write without it (usually only if I am at a coffee shop or a library and forget my headphones at home… haha). 
What about you? Do you usually write while listening to music? Or do you prefer silence?

Colorado Snow!

All winter so far we have had only small amounts of barely-there snow, and most days have been so sunny and warm that it has felt more like spring than anything else. But that changed on Wednesday! The snow came and brought with it some of the coldest temperatures we've had since last winter. I'm not the biggest fan of freezing cold weather (or the ice that comes along with the snow), but it has been kind of beautiful the last few of days.

There really is something magical about snow - the way it catches like glitter in the sun, the almost indescribable calm it brings, and the way it transforms the world into some sort of fantasy land.
I wonder how many more days the city will be white...

Perhaps winter has finally come?

Words Around the World

I am excited to unveil a new series on the blog for some of you language lovers out there called Words Around the World. For now, these posts will draw from the languages that I am currently studying, have studied, or hope to study in the near future. At the moment that includes Japanese, Portuguese, French, Korean, Mandarin, and Spanish. So if you are interested in any of these, stay tuned. 😉
In addition, I will also do occasional posts on the rewards and challenges of learning other languages, tips and tricks, helpful resources, etc. Always feel free to make special requests in the comments or via email. *points to contact page*

In Which I Bring the Dead Back to Life (or something like that)

Hi everyone!
Happy 2017!!!
I thought I’d kick off the new year by bringing an old friend back to life (i.e. The Blog) because yes, it’s been a looooooong time.
Balbo Ohanzee: Adding extra o’s to that word does nothing to demonstrate the truly outrageous length of time that this blog has been inactive.
Me: *stares* You’re… you’re still here!
Balbo Ohanzee: Of course I’m still here. I’m the spirit of this blog, so I couldn’t very well just take off, regardless of your fickle posting habits.
Me: Well, uh… it’s good to see you again. Great actually.
Balbo Ohanzee: Likewise. I was beginning to think I wouldn’t live to see the day of your return.
Me: *raises a brow* Can you even die? Wait… are you already dead??
Balbo Ohanzee: Don’t be ridiculous. *slips away to drift through the interwebz*
For those of you who have not met Balbo, he is the resident “blog ghost,” and you can read more about him in the sidebar. For those who already know him, I’m sorry… It seems we are stuck with his…

Summer Camping and a Significant Lack of Internet

So, I went camping in the mountains (Colorado and New Mexico), and it was awesome. 
I mean, seriously. It was so much fun.
It’s the first time in quite a while that I’ve taken an entire week off of work and sort of left “real life” behind. After not doing it for so long, I discovered that it’s nice to take some time to relax and worry about nothing more pressing than what I want to eat at my next meal.
Probably the strangest thing for me was the noticeable lack of Internet. As someone who is connected at all times via phone, laptop, etc..., going for an entire week without it was interesting. The only thing I could occasionally get my phone (and only my phone) to do was check email. But actually getting online? Forget it.
I wouldn’t want to be without it for long, but you know what? Being disconnected for a while was kind of nice. It was just me, my family, and nature. A great change of pace.
So, what did I do during my lovely camping trip?
Well, we cooked outside every day, hiked th…