New Years resolution type stuff.

1. Hike more
2. Hike higher
3. Visit a country (or two)

The mountains, the ocean - have you ever seen them for what they are? Sat down at the top or on a surfboard and marveled. These are the wonders of Him who made them, reflecting His own wonder. Go out and explore them more. Take pictures and put them in a photo album. Go out and meet new people, it keeps you humble. And new friends are the best.

4. Processes that take time

Character, morning and nighttime routines, health, a good resumé - whatever it is you’re seeking to “make better” - these things don’t happen overnight. Trust me, I’ve tried and hoped and failed. Give it time. You’ll get there and it will be worth it.

I guess there are two things I’m keying in on. Travel/ exploring the great outdoors and sticking to things, basically. ;)

Here’s to 2018!

Side notes:
— find good music and make playlists
— read literature on topics of interest
— only buy things that make you perfectly happy
— get rid of things that don’t make you perfectly happy
— know what’s going on in the world

Post title: credit to the lyrics of Hillsong United song “Wonder”

XO

Annika

Move your blog to Nouw - now you can import your old blog - Click here

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A chronological feature of a well-loved tradition:

I had the honor of being the first ever person to properly recognize my mom in the process of making cinnamon rolls. What first started as a Christmas morning tradition for our family has turned into a neighborhood jaunt. The process lengthened into two days, us children became messengers, and being neighborly didn’t seem quite so daunting (baby steps). This means that a total of 120 cinnamon rolls must be made every Christmas season. Packaged into aluminum foil containers with a bow and label on top. All in two days. You would think whoever heads up this effort is either a baking extraordinaire or a festive busy bee.

She is both. And so I choose to share in this otherwise commonplace task with my dear mom.

Other Christmas traditions:

— Driving around to look at the lights with hot chocolate

— Opening stockings after the Christmas Eve service (last year included pizza, hoping that becomes a tradition)

— Christmas morning breakfast: hashbrowns to accompany the cinnamon rolls

^ JUST YES

XO

Annika

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Every time I go out West I get a motorcycle picture. Each trip there is always a bike parked in a completely commonplace spot. I like to think of it as iconic. It’s become a tradition of mine. Last year, it was at the gas pump next to us at a station about 5 miles west of Bass Lake. This year - a Yamaha parked in front of a garage at a farm in Mountain View. Soon enough I will have a collection of bikes from places I have been in the part of the country I will always love.

Highlight: Thanksgiving dinner ending with the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had (homemade roasted pumpkin filling with ginger and gingersnap cookie crust).

Honorable mention: 📍Rancho San Antonio County Park - site of filming for the newest Soderberg home videos.

Quite honestly: I could go for some In-N-Out fries right now.

Now we can start listening to Christmas music. :)

Until next time California!

XO Annika

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I always love flying out West to visit family and the places I used to call home. As I was packing for this trip (the night before per usual), I realized the California weather would require a different wardrobe than if we were having Thanksgiving in upstate New York.

My checklist for Thanksgiving in the Bay Area:
- sandals
- Adidas
- denim (as a 90s kid, I’ve realized mom jeans can bring up good conversation with aunts and such who either despised or loved them in their teenage years)
- auburn colored dress
- gold hoops
- 2 pairs shorts
- sweaters
- lace pj shorts/too-big tshirt
- a signature face wash
- reading material (design journals, book, Bible)
- technology questions for my uncle
- college questions for my cousin
- an honest and humble heart
- an open and carefree spirit

Tip: take advantage of postcards! They are unique and inexpensive ways to remember all the places you go, and give to friends.

XO Annika

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I don’t know if it’s the cooler weather, cozy candle scents, or layered fashions that do it. It’s fall now. And sometimes while driving - the trees mesh densely together in a sea of bee pollen yellow and smooth caramel orange, the song that reminds you of a time of life you wish you’d lived in for a short while comes on the radio (for me it’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2), some sun lays out the road ahead - and all is right with the world. These are moments of appreciation I’m eager to hold on to.

For not all of life can be like this. Living in a rose-colored bubble can’t teach much of hardship or perseverance. These things grow a person. So I'm learning.

“Let not our longing slay our appetite for living.” — Jim Eliot

I remember when my mom first read me that. Constant longing for the rose-colored bubble, for something that seems better and greater than what I have now, hinders me from truly living. My life is not, and will not, be perfectly lined up all the time. But when little moments like the above do come along, do appreciate them. Perhaps these are God’s way of letting us know we’ll be ok.

When the radio gets old (quite often), music choices on the way to school have lately included “At Last” by Etta James, The Father of the Bride soundtrack, and “Revolution 1” by The Beatles. And U2 of course.


To do:

— pick up piano

— learn The Father of the Bride 09 by George Walks on piano

— buy fall candles (caramel should be included somehow)

— bring out beanies and jackets from storage

Fall clothes sorting; Back to studying


XO Annika

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To conclude, my first trip to Pittsburgh was lovely. We drove through the city at just about 5, when all the business people were walking out of their respective skyscrapers. We stopped at a red light where to my right two ladies dressed in pantsuits stepped out of a pinkish ten-story onto the sidewalk with boxy purses and coffee, exchanged a few words (probably “great day at the office, see you tomorrow”), and went their separate ways. That same scenario must repeat thousands of times around 5 pm in the city.

Highlight: Breakfast. The kind where you don’t leave one thing out (eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, pancakes, waffles, teas, coffees, coffee cakes, muffins, oatmeal, fruit, etc.). Embassy Suites, downtown Pittsburgh was among the best. What’s better than hotels that do free made-to-order omelettes?

Honorable mention: 📍Point State Park

To keep it real: I’ve honestly never been more happy for a hotel to shower my 3-days-unwashed-camp hair. Sometimes even the high messy bun + headband formula doesn’t quite hide it.

Flight 93 memorial on trip back. Worth the stop.

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Put simply - it was cold and damp. Yet there was sun.

It had leaks and was worn out. Yet filled with love (both our tent and our hearts).


Pt. 2 to come soon.

XO

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Because my old blogging platform doesn't support exporting to this platform, I'd like this first post to be a place to remember some of my favorite moments I wrote about there. It will be like an old file tucked away that I can look back on once in a while. Periodically I like to go upstairs to the attic to access those old files, those memories from older days. After all, it's important to remember where we come from.

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