Sunday, June 12, 2016

numb

The shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007 is probably the first mass shooting I really vividly remember. I remember the horror and fear I felt and this immense sadness I had for people I had never met. I remember wearing ribbons for the victims and buying wristbands where proceeds went to victims' families. It was a big deal. In the past 9 years since Virginia Tech, I've lost count of the number of shootings that have occurred all over the country in schools, movie theaters and now a night club. I don't have any ribbons or wristbands for these people but my heart grows heavier each time, not only for the innocent lives lost, but the fact that my horror and fear has slowly but surely lessened with each shooting. Is it because I care less and less each time? I really don't think that's the case. But there is a part of me that recognizes the numbness I have towards hearing about another shooting. Isn't that insane? Another shooting. Because one or two isn't horrifying enough. But this is the truth. Mass shootings in the United States have become commonplace and ordinary news. We hear about them on the morning news alongside traffic and weather reports. "High of 85 and armed gunman enters movie theater killing 5 injuring 20. Accident on 35 and shooter enters Target killing 3 injuring 15."* Obviously I am in no way trying to make light of any shooting that has ever occurred in the United States in the past nine years, but simply want to draw attention to the fact that it shouldn't be normal to hear about a shooting and not feel anything. It shouldn't be a weekly news topic. Why am I not shaken to the core and brought to tears by every single shooting, large or small that occurs? Why do I feel so guilty when I hear about a shooting and literally feel a moment of sadness for the lives lost and then continue with my day? We all react to tragedy differently. There are some of you who have shed tears for every life lost and family affected by a mass shooting and some of you who feel more than a moment of sadness, horror and grief and have trouble continuing your day. I understand that. But I know I am not the only one who feels this numbness. It's not that we don't care. Of course, of course, of course we care. But we live in a country where in some states it is easier to obtain a gun than birth control. Where an individual who has been questioned by the FBI for possible terorrist ties can legally obtain a weapon and murder 50 innocent people and wound 53 more. We live in a country where you can buy an assault rifle. An assault rifle?? Why on earth does anyone who isn't in the military need an assault rifle? The lives and safety of other people will always be more important than any individual's need to own a gun. Period. The end. 

This is not meant to offend anyone. It is not meant to make light of a terrible, senseless and horrifying act of hatred. I wrote this because I am tired. I am tired of hearing about shootings as frequently as I hear about car accidents and heat waves. I am tired of feeling numb to an act of violence that should shock and scare me as much the Virginia Tech shooting did when I was fourteen years old. It is times like these when I feel small in the world and know that my thoughts mean very little and do even less towards changing the way our country runs. I'm not telling you who to vote for. I'm not fighting for a political party or condemning one. I am simply stating that things need to change when it comes to manners of civilians obtaining weapons. It shouldn't be as easy as it is. People shouldn't be murdered in this country by gun violence as often as they have been in the past nine years. Something is wrong and something needs to change.

My heart breaks for the families who have lost loved ones due to the horrors that happened in Orlando. Again, I feel small and my words feel even smaller, but you are in my prayers. You are in my thoughts. How much more terror, hate and sorrow must our country endure before we change? I truly don't know if it can endure much more. For now all I can do is write this and if anything, lighten the heaviness of my heart and even more importantly, continue to love. Even in this chaotic, scary, ever-changing world love has been the one thing that we can always offer and choose. And so I will end this simply by urging you to love and pray or hope for peace and change.


*events listed are fictional and did not actually occur but were written for dramatic purpose and are not meant to make light of mass shootings that have actually occurred in the United States

Monday, April 18, 2016

little ynna, long run

On Saturday I ran my first marathon! It was the Irving Marathon and it was super hard but Cheryl helped me through the last six miles when I thought I would have to crawl to the finish. 

I have always wanted to run a marathon and before training tried to run 5-6 times a week in the mornings for exercise. I toyed with the idea of doing a half marathon but somehow Cheryl (who has run many marathons and was basically my trainer via text message) convinced me to sign up for the full. So I started training in January and ran 20 miles and slow jogged/trotted/walked/whimpered 6.2.
I have always admired marathoners, but after experiencing one for myself, I have a newfound admiration for them. It's effing hard and my body has never felt like it had nothing left to give like it did the last six miles. But everything they say about how great you feel (mentally) at the end is true. I was so proud of myself! Even though my time wasn't great and even though I had to walk, I still did it and that was the only goal I had for myself. And now I'm honestly more motivated than ever to do another one just to try and improve from this one. Shoutout to Cheryl for helping me train and answering all my annoying questions and responding to every text after a long run. Shoutout to Preston for waking up early to drive us and sticking around to see us run and finish and for only getting a little annoyed with me on Saturdays for not wanting to do anything but eat and sleep after long runs. And shoutout to everyone who laughed at me when I told them I was doing a marathon and asked if I've ever done a half and I said no. Joke's on you hehe.

My slow poke stats^ But I did it!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

march madness

This post isn't about my bracket (which beat Preston's) but about the crazy month that was March. The first week was spent cruising around the Bahamas. We started our trip in Miami (pictured above) and stopped in Nassau, Coco Cay, Key West and ended up back in Miami.
We went with Grady, Molly, Chad and Michelle and had the best time lying in the sun and eating way too much. This is us in Coco Cay.
 Here's another one in Coco Cay. This was taken before or after we saw a shark!!
This was taken right before my favorite part of the trip which was swimming with a sea turtle!!! If you could hear me underwater it would just be me squealing. This was in Key West. 
I visited Ellie in my favorite part of Texas- Austin. We attended a jogger's brunch hosted by Outdoor Voices and met the CEO and now I'm in love with her and want to be her BFF. This is us being awkward.
Supposedly the best BBQ in the world and I've wanted to try it since we moved to Texas. No one (Preston) ever wants to wait five hours with me so I took advantage of my solo Austin trip to go. I got in line at 6:40 AM, was tenth in line and sat down to eat at 11:30. It was super delicious and the line didn't feel that long 'cause I got a lot of reading done and wasn't subjected to awful small talk.
Last weekend we went camping in the Grand Canyon with our friends Kev and Rachel Nemelka. It was awesome even though the last 3 miles of the Grand Canyon hike Preston asked me how I was doing and I glared at him and said, "THIS SUCKS." But really it was beautiful and I'm happy we did it.
The first night we camped in the Grand Canyon and the second night we camped in Sedona and hiked around there on Sunday. That was pretty beautiful as well and not as hard. We had the best time with Kev and Rachel.

Happy April everyone! I am spending this first weekend listening to the words of Latter-day prophets and other amazing men and women called of God via the 186th General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I invite you to join me. I promise you will leave feeling inspired, happier and wanting to be a better human being.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

nyfw fall/winter 2016 favorites

Sometimes I grapple between loving fashion, stalking the shows, caring about the industry and thinking it's silly, frivolous, a waste of time and only beneficial to a select few, to which I respond with the following quote from Sofia Coppola which I'm pretty sure at one point in time was on my Myspace page: "You're considered superficial and silly if you're interested in fashion, but I think you can be substantial and still be interested in frivolity." So there you go. Yes, fashion is a frivolous endeavor on the whole, but it is something that truly brings me joy and interests me and with that, these were my favorites from this February's New York Fashion Week.
Rather than selecting 6 or 7 shows and picking my favorites, I picked my absolute loves from a handful of shows. I found that I didn't really fall in love with a complete collection (except probably Marc Jacobs), but rather was obsessed with certain pieces from certain shows. Left to right:

1) The Ralph Lauren finale. I have loved turtlenecks ever since I was little and my mom would wear them and told me they were cool. This look solidified my beliefs. Although it's hard for a turtleneck not to look awesome paired with such an insane skirt. 2) A.P.C. x Outdoor Voices?!? I lost my mind when I saw this because I have become so obsessed with Outdoor Voices ever since purchasing my first pair of leggings and top. I still consider myself a member of the cult of Lulu, but there is something so much more chic about OV's muted color palettes and simple silhouettes. The fabrics are lighter and more breathable, but still have the flattering and performance quality of a Lululemon pair of leggings/tank. I feel so confident in my OV outfit and want to wear it everywhere. This jumpsuit was my favorite of their collab collection. 3) Alexander Wang was naughty. The beanies kind of felt like Supreme knockoffs, but of course looked 10x cooler. This was my favorite look because of the fur collar and the cute baby pink of the beanie juxtaposed with the imposing 'tender' font.
4) This mint green skirt at Carolina Herrera looks like cotton candy and I want it in every shade but the mint is perfect on its own. 5) My absolute favorite piece from J.Crew. This jacket should be called "Ynna" because it's everything I love in a garment in one piece. 6) This pretty silvery Jenny Packham number. I would love to see one of my celeb crushes in this on some red carpet, although I do think it's a little casual for the Oscars.
7) Marc freaking Jacobs. What a show. The boots. The Gaga. The eyeliner. It was super goth and wacky and I loved every minute of it. If I could have one piece from NYFW, it would be this leather motorcycle fur feathered contraption. Ob-sessed. 8) This demented bridal look from Rodarte. 9) This to-die-for leather coat at The Row. My dream girls used the most luxurious fabrics in their collection this season and this was by far the most luxe.
10) Victoria Beckham's outfit after her own show. 11) Ribbed Proenza Schouler dress #1. 12) Ribbed Proenza Schouler dress #2. You should check out @tommyton's Instagram shots of this collection, they are absolutely gorgeous and make it look 1000x better than these pics.
13) Marchesa fairy tale magic. The entire show was real life princess attire and this red tulle masterpiece actually made me audibly gasp. 14) Every two or three months I see a dress that I want re-made in ivory as another wedding gown. This is this month's.

Hurray for beautiful clothes and the incredible talent of American designers!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

austin, tx --> san francisco, ca --> cambridge, ma

We've kicked off 2016 with a few baby trips to favorite/new/future cities. In January over Martin Luther King weekend we visited our friends Mike and Cheryl in what has become one of our favorite cities, Austin, TX. We spent the weekend running around Lady Bird Lake (just me and Cheryl), seeing the Longhorns play bball, trying a new brunch place and then went camping at Pedernales State Park from Sunday night to Monday morning. Camping was cold but fun and surprisingly pretty, for Texas ;)
On January 22 we flew to San Francisco because we found ridiculously cheap flights to Oakland. We stayed in an Airbnb in Haight-Ashbury and did as much exploring as we could in 48 hours. Highlights include Sutro Baths, Lands End, walking to and biking halfway across the Golden Gate Bridge, riding a cable car and seeing old friends. The parking situation still leaves me baffled and now I am sure I could never really live there, but I totally see why people pay the big bucks to call SF home. The city was beautiful and had endless things to do and food to eat.

Finally this past weekend we froze our little noses off in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Preston was accepted to MIT's MBA program so we are moving there this fall! This weekend was the first weekend for admitted students and their significant others so we spent Friday and Saturday learning about MIT, walking around the campus and meeting new friends. It really tested our quiet personalities because Friday and Saturday was nonstop small talk and then yelling at bars. (Why do people hang out at bars like I get it, drinking, but they are SO LOUD). I am so excited to move back east and even the frigid temperatures (at one point it was 0 degrees but felt like -22 with the wind chill) couldn't dampen my spirits and only made me more observant of what was the most chic AND warm-looking Boston outerwear. 
Valentine's Day was spent holed up in our downtown hotel room for as along as our reservation allowed and then we braved the cold for cannolis and the Boston Public Library. We made it home to tropical Dallas (64 when we landed) and now we're back and I'm contemplating selling everything we own to accommodate what felt like shoebox sized student housing.