here we go again

it's hard to believe its already that time of year. you know the one - where christmas is winding down and new years is closing in. where, often, we find ourselves pausing to reflect on all that this last year has held and look with anticipation on the year ahead. i like how my friends gina + ryan said it best, "it's reflection and dreaming, closure and renewal all at once". 

it's GOOD STUFF right? and oh how true that is. these days of the year are some of my most favorite. all of those things appeal to me (the reflection, dreaming, closure, renewal stuff), and I suppose that's why. so this year, i'm once again taking a moment to tip my hat to 2017 before looking hopefully at 2018 and all that it will hold.

2017 was a bit of a whirlwind. my job with the giving keys took me all across the country and, at some points, across the world. miami, nashville (twice), northern cali, and even australia. i loved getting to travel and explore new places, though i have to admit that in some moments it was hard to be away from grant and home and friends and routine. still, i wouldn't trade those solo travel experiences for anything. i got to learn a little bit more about how to quiet my racing mind on walks through parks (fitzroy gardens takes the cake) and breakfasts for one at friendly cafes. i learned how to make new friends in unfamiliar places. and most importantly i learned how to pack all my things for a week into one small carry on rolling duffle. if you know me at all, then you know that this a MIRACLE and should probably land at the top of my "greatest accomplishments of 2017" list. 

the giving keys also gave me some lifelong friendships from right within it's walls and for that, i'm super grateful. i learned from them that i'm more capable than i sometimes think and also that caring for others is hard and important work. i've also learned the proper way to use "per our conversation" in an e-mail and that it should be alluded to whenever and wherever possible (#thanksmai). how's that for adulting?

IMG_4153.JPG

2017 held some hard moments too. at the beginning of the year i lost my grandma and i learned what its like to lose somebody really special for the first time and what a difficult but beautiful honor it is to carry on the legacy of their life. i also learned how scary it can be to make brave decisions and what it looks like to walk with others through hard changes and sometimes loss. let's be real, life isn't always social media perfect and broken dreams are a thing but i'm GENUINELY so relieved that hope and newness are always always a thing too. 

IMG_4154.JPG
IMG_0851.JPG

grant and i got to adventure to arizona (did anybody else know they have a forest there?!) and seattle (heyo eli and kel!) and spain (aka colorful dreamland). we spent time with dear people AND just simply each other - a pretty rare thing for two extraverts and 7s on the enneagram scale. this year was full, as every year is, and most of all i'm grateful for the ways i got to watch god show up in my life and in community. it was another year of both great and hard and most of all a little more learning and, hopefully, a little more wisdom (I AM GETTING ACTUAL GREY HAIRS PEOPLE. THIS IS AN ACTUAL THING THAT IS HAPPENING).

IMG_3470.JPG
IMG_3693.JPG

a couple weeks back, grant i got together with some special peeps and dreamed together about the year to come. we chose words or intentions for 2018, the things we hope to grab onto and hold tight as the new year unfolds. my word for 2018 is simplify. 2017 marked some big changes for me of actually getting into the driver seat of my life and steering a few things in a different direction - slower, finally, and with hopefully more physical and mental margin for the things i love and want to give time to. in 2018 my hope is to build on that, investing in a little more margin and a little more intention. something tells me this will be a lifetime-journey-type-of-thing. 

once again a huge shoutout to all of you for making this year the fab and dynamic thing that it was. we are so grateful for each of you and the life adventure we get to live alongside of you. can't wait to hear about all the things you are embracing as YOU walk into 2018! the most love coming your way from the bridges and a happy new year. xx

IMG_0863.JPG

summer time + a peach berry crisp

summer time + a peach berry crisp

summer feels like the best + worst thing these days in the bridges household. the hardest part is that everyday feels like it should be a lake day NOT a work day when the temps are this high (remember the gold old days of summer vacation?!). but i do love that weekends by the pool have become a regular occurrence and homemade salsa is a staple on the kitchen counter. i love that friends wander in on weeknights and we're trying to get our butts down to the beach as often as possible. there's something slow and beautiful about this time of year, probably because everybody is doing their absolute best not to melt outside like a popsicle. 

one place that IS cool is the grocery store. and i bet last time you visited, you noticed that those glorious little things called peaches are back in season and gracing the grocery store aisles. grant + i are obsessed, because nothing quite says summer like a juicy ripe peach. we eat them beachside, on the patio under the bistro lights as a post-work snack, and during lunch time with juice spilling everywhere. 

as mentioned above, this time of year seems to instigate impromptu get togethers left and right (my favorite kind!) and having something easy + sweet on hand when that happens feels right every time. enter the PEACH berry crisp. you guys, i am not joking when i say that this is THE EASIEST way to impress your people with a perfect summer treat without really doing any hard work. BOOM WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN THAT?!

Read More

happy new year.

happy new year.

and so the new years post. 2016 is a year i'm really grateful for. come to think of it, i hope at the end of EVERY year i'm grateful. because at the end of every year, i've been given 365 more opportunities to breathe in a new day. i've been given opportunities to laugh and to cry and to work and to chat and to FEEL. i've also hopefully been given the opportunity to look back and see that the end of 2016 has left me with a bit more wisdom than the start did. maybe because i lived it, maybe because other really wise people shared some gold with me. either way, i'm grateful.

Read More

jenna's kick a** soup

jenna's kick a** soup

hi friends and happy fall! i can't believe it's already here! truly. literally. cannot.

the summer flew by too quickly. i'm sure i have a new job and many many events to blame for that, but in truth i feel like i blinked and the months of july, august, and september had past. it's funny, because in so many ways i live for those long summer days. you know, the ones where the sun seems like it will never set and hot sticky afternoons turn into "summer breeze" evenings. where vacations to new fun places or the familiar nostalgia-inducing places fill in weekends on the calendar. where dinner consists of fresh fish tacos and rosรจ on the patio with friends. for all of those moments this past summer, i am so grateful. 

but there is always something special about fall arriving. it feels like the start of the year in its own way. the weather turns cool (sometimes), the pumpkins arrive at the grocery store, and people start easing back into a different kind of cadence and rhythm. the season picks up and slows all at the same time and i think that's why, in some ways, fall has been edging out summer as my very favorite season. i love slipping into a sweater (light, mind you - this is california after all) and savoring coffee in the morning with the excitement of the holidays just around the corner. magic, i tell you.

and with fall in mind, i introduce you to my friend jenna's kick a** soup.

Read More

meet the ace man

meet the ace man

happy friday friends!

so two weeks ago, ace turned two - our little baby ace pup. now i know this might seem silly, a whole blog post committed to a dog, but this little man transformed me into an animal lover + i figure its time i honor him with a proper introduction.

so with that, meet ace bridges:

ace came to us exactly one month after grant and i moved into our place - a 6 pound little pup who loved to play and didn't understand the concept of peeing outside, rather than right on our apartment carpet. i so vividly remember taking him downstairs and just saying "go pee" over and over to him while he would stare back at me, absolute NO concept of what i was saying. ace being my first true pet besides my guinea pig (king henry) growing up, my mind was boggled by the concept of training an animal when it doesn't speak english.

slowly but surely, he got the hang of it, with a lot less running to the kitchen for the carpet spotter + a lot more empty salami packs (i still feel like i need to send a thank you card to the genius who though of dog treats). and salami pack after salami pack, he wiggled his way into our hearts as honorary (and only) best bridges pup of all time.

Read More