A Little Bit Broken.

I don't usually write blog posts on my feelings. Most often, they're about the fluffy/fun parts of Los Angeles, and the crazy extended family that makes their home up in the Bay Area. This week, however, I left my family in Tennessee. And that's no laughing matter.

It's roughly 2,004 miles from my front door to theirs, and sometimes I think I can personally feel every foot of it. Whoever came up with the term, "homesick" wasn't kidding. There's a pressure on your chest, and tears feel like they hide right behind your eyes. Sometimes I catch myself walking on eggshells around the office/home as to not jostle the delicate nature of my heart.

Is that strange? To be twenty-years-old, and completely broken over being so far away from home? It's a bit odd to come to terms with. I've washed the floors of the bathroom at work with tears that came too fast to stop, and listened to country music that strikes a sudden, hidden chord. I woke up on Monday morning much too early (I was still on Dad/Tennessee time), and watched as the sky bled colors of light blue and pink. It's beautiful, but different. And it hurts.

When I went away to college, everyone was missing home. We were all torn away from the people we loved, and thrust into a dorm with a hundred other girls in the same situation. It's different, now. At school, the other students go home to their families, and I hear people at work talking about plans for the weekend with siblings, or dinners with mom and dad. I'm happy for them, but there's a little chink of envy in my heart. I wish I could do the same thing.

I fought tears the whole plane flight back, and finally managed to let go once I found a note from my Mama tucked away in my carry-on bag. On the outside she had written, "Meg: Open in LA." She tucked in a little love note somewhere in Tennessee, and I was lucky to find it before I went to bed late Sunday night. She wrote about how much she loves me, and God's plan. It was her last line {paraphrased, here. some letters are too personal to share} that hit me hard. "God has a great plan for you...but I pray he always leads you home."

It's in moments like these that I realize the inevitable.
Sometimes, it's okay to be a little broken.

 {dad and mama}

 {a night out for live music//love the lady smiling in the background}

 {playing games at starbucks}

leaving a mark on the ryman.

{inside the ryman}

when i think of classic country singers, there is no one more iconic than johnny cash. then i think about june carter, and dolly parton. patsy cline gets thrown into the mix, as well as hank williams. there are quite a few names that are more than easy to drop, and they all made their tennessee performance home at the ryman auditorium.

it was the first grand ole opry. the acoustics are excellent, rivaled in the united states only by the mormon tabernacle choir. my mama and i were able to take a backstage tour and hear all the stories that echo through the wood paneled halls. the hall is still in use (martina mcbride will be there in september!), and everyone from garth brooks to the kings of leon wait in line to get a concert date.

i guess it's a bit hard to explain in a couple of disjointed words how amazing this historical landmark truly is. the ryman is where quite a few contemporary country stars perform on a monthly basis, and the grammy award nominations will be held here in the late fall. i have a feeling taylor swift will be honored...as well as quite a few of the main pop and rock singers as of late.

although the grand ole opry was rebuilt in the middle of the seventies far away from downtown nashville, the ryman is known as the home of country music. mama loved it, and i thought all the history was exciting and almost eerie. the tour guides (who personally knew johnny and june) talk about the ghosts in the hallways, watching the acts from the wings.

i'd take the old over the new any day.

 {cowboy boots of the stars + me}

{johnny/june/meg. it has a ring, doesn't it? ;) }


 {the tour guides. who know everyone. literally.}

{mama and her favorites!}


{tall ceilings for the acoustics}

real country.

{a hot air balloon surprise}

i always thought that i knew what, "country" meant. it was somewhere along south shingle, tucked away beyond highway 50. it was anywhere that was nowhere, someplace that's far beyond the access of any car that doesn't possess four-wheel-drive.

or i guess it's in tennessee.

i've been out visiting my family for the last couple days, and we're getting ready to head out to puckett's now (the reason for the short post..). before i run out the door though, i thought it would be neat to show off a little bit of this amazing state. it truly is beautiful.

 {railroad tracks under a blueblue sky}

 {natural tree canopy}

 {hay bales}

everybody loves a makeover...

recently, i've been spending time with my lovely family in tennessee. it's been hot, the scenery has been gorgeous, and schools oh so expensive. since i don't know the area, however, i've had a lot of down time.

during a lazy summer afternoon at the house, i decided i was a bit tired of the dark and dingy look of my blog. so...my mama helped me piece together a much cleaner {yellow} blog that i absolutely adore.


summer, 2012

i can't bear the thought that summer is almost over. even though i love the fall, it's going to be hard to leave the long evenings and 80 degree days. the beach just won't feel the same, and ice cream will step aside to make way for hot chocolate.

in the midst of my nostalgic sunday night (gave a tour to some friends at the ol' alma mater...weird.), i decided to go back through the photos of summer. i'll be in nashville for the remainder of the week, so here's a bit of beautiful california before this blog gives way to tennessee posts.

summer, 2012

 {best sundaes. ever.}

 {excuse the hair in my face//it was a bit windy}

 {treats on a saturday}

 {watching the US women's gold medal soccer game}

 {two of my favorite people at the el coyote}

 {malibu trip}

 {someone pulled the fire alarm...in 100+ degree weather}

 {dodgers game with the ladies}

 {this is the, "we just bought tickets to africa" face.}

 {getting ready for a trip home//ice cream for breakfast}

 {filling the vases with flowers//saturday morning tradition}

{love/hate relationship with the glasses: i love, best friend hates} 

{helping the family move}

{in love with old photos}

{iliad//favorite bookstore} 

{berry cake? success.} 

{new hairstyle during june gloom}

lake hollywood.

i actually had never heard of lake hollywood {it sounds like something from a 'b' movie} until i found a website boasting images of homes in the hollywood hills. since i love driving and hollywood, i thought it would be fun to take a trip to the east side, rather than the west.

lake hollywood is off of cahuenga blvd, and climbs up beyond the 170 freeway to a little secluded place right below the sign. and when i say, right below the sign? i mean it. {there were a couple gasp/stop the car/it's so gorgeous moments}

there were quite a few joggers and cyclists as well, wandering up and down the twisty dirt paths. the reservoir was absolutely breathtaking. the dam looks over the LA valley, and the whole lake area feels like a bit of heaven in the middle of the city. i even heard birds chirping. um, has anyone else heard a bird chirp in LA? i didn't think so ;)

we spent another hour driving through east hollywood neighborhoods. houses are so eclectic and imaginative, a few times i simply had to drop my jaw in awe of human creativity. i honestly don't think i will put up with anyone calling LA ugly ever again. expensive? yes. but ugly? no. even the smog doesn't seem so bad anymore...

i can understand why ashton kutcher lives up here. if i was rich, i would, too!

 {this place.}

{hollywood neighborhood}

this place.

i'm not usually the first person to recommend a trip to the beach. i like to curl up with a movie or a good book and eat ice cream...and that doesn't exactly equal a couple hours in the hot california sun. my best friend, though. she's in love with the sand/sun/water. so, we decided to spend a weekend at the beach.

i'm so glad we went.
because the sun? can be such a beautiful thing.

we spent the morning by the water, and found a fun ice creamery in a tiny bit of brentwood. i think a beach day is pretty self-explanatory, but here are a couple pictures to give you an idea of the lovely santa monica saturday we had. there's still a couple of weekends left in august, of course, if you want to do the same...?

{sun spots on the nose}

 {our fellow beach bum}


{soy chai ice cream}

remember the days...

...when a saturday night meant picnics and swimming and too hot soccer games? yeah, i miss them, too. summer is still hot, but it's filled with high utility bills and car stick shifts that burn through sweaty hands. to cool off a few weekends ago, a couple good friends and i spent a bit of time in a hollywood cemetery.

valencia is a darling place to live, but not very temperate. so...i like to head down into LA to cool off. it's usually a good five to ten degrees cooler, which is a huge difference for me (i can't take the heat. at all.). if you're in the LA area, make sure to speed right past valencia and head down towards the beach or downtown, where there are millions of little coffee shops (this one is my favorite!) ready to stick an iced chai in your hand and let you cool off in their icy air conditioners.


spend some time in a cemetery.

okay, well. it might sound a bit morbid. the hollywood forever cemetery is located on santa monica boulevard, right in the heart of the city. it has expansive lawns, high walls covered in ivy and tombstones that look like they're straight from the movies. which, of course, they actually could be since the cemetery grounds back up to paramount studios.

every saturday night during the summer, cinespia hosts a movie night on the lawns complete with a dj and wine before the film. they show movies from every decade, but we decided to go the night that they screened, "sunset blvd." not only is the movie super old and eerie, but the film took place right in the heart of hollywood. it was so fun to watch a grainy black-and-white that was filmed mere blocks away. whenever they mentioned something that was iconically, "hollywood," (aka: the sign, hollywood blvd, etc) everyone started cheering and clapping.

so. much. fun.

it's exciting to know that we live a mere twenty minutes from one of the most talked about places on earth. if you get the chance, ditch the touristy stuff and come hang out with us locals in a cemetery. we don't bite, promise!

if you do come, however, here's a couple tips:
1. come early, leave late. traffic is intense.
2. don't park in the cemetery. it's way too expensive. (we parked for free on N. Gower Street!)
3. bring some snacks. the atmosphere calls for them, honestly.
4. you can't forget those tiny lawn chairs! you can't bring big ones, but you won't see without a little one!
5. people watch. have fun. listen to the crazy music. it's really a great place to be.

ps: we're headed back to see one of the last movies of the summer, "dirty dancing," on september 1st. so, if you have the chance, make sure to pack a picnic, grab a blanket and drag some girlfriends along for a night to remember.

{i really like these people)
(waiting for the show to start}

{too short to see. i was teased, a lot.}

{movie time}

Music: Monday.

due to the fact that this song has been on constant repeat on my Spotify radio, i think that it makes for a good post.

welcome to los angeles.

ps: forgive the dorky video//i didn't make it.

LA crazy(ies).

it's wednesday, and i feel like i am still recuperating from the weekend. every morning is a strain. but, of course, the weekend in hollywood was more than worth it. it was time for a dearly departed tour with the college roommate, a couple crazy independent drives through benedict canyon (up cielo drive! yikes!), and a few hours to relax on the beach in malibu before sunday afternoon dimmed into evening.

it was an amazing couple of days that i WISH weren't over.

we visited the grave of marilyn monroe on the fiftieth anniversary of her death, and still found time to eat at the now famous el coyote and catch a movie at the hollywood forever cemetery. i don't think our weekend could have been more intensely, "los angeles."

here are a few pictures that might paint a pretty good picture...and i promise. in-depth stories/moments of laughter/utter joy posts are coming soon.

 (the gorgeous sunset in the cemetery)

 (hanging out with scott - published author/dearly departed founder/hollywood fanatic)

 (visiting natalie wood's grave)

(the denny's where the manson family celebrated with chocolate shakes :: yes, morbid. i know.)

(beach with the best friend//ps: i'm in love with these red sandals. thanks, taza!)