Vita di Speranza

"a life of hope"

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? As it is written: ‘how beautiful are the feet of those who being good news!’

— Romans 10: 14-15

paris may have the lourve

and new york may have broadway,

but only austin, texas has my heart.  

i look forward to the day that i live there again. it will happen, mark my words. (well, Lord willing that is…)

Be yourself in Austin. And celebrate all that makes you, well, you. Honor your heritage, embrace your uniqueness. Or weirdness. You’ll fit right in. Austin is made up of a diverse blend of cultures and lifestyles, and has a reputation for being an open, accepting city.

taken from austintexas.org

shut down the schools! close the stores! gather wood for the fire & lock up your doors! that’s right people, it has dropped below 40* in texas and that means one thing… sheer panic. 

sure- the roads are icy and there’s potential for busted pipes. your landscaping is probably now covered by a thin, “vintage” (read: old & nasty) sheet. and all extracurricular activities have undoubtedly been cancelled faster than michael phelp’s record breaking IM time… but what, you may ask yourself, is my real panic? well, it certainly doesn’t stem from any of these said issues and concerns.  it’s a beast all its own. and it’s serious. 

winter fashion. 

i mean, give me a break! what i am supposed to do with a wardrobe that’s chalk-full of sundresses and nike tempos?! i’m not a magician and i cannot create something out of nothing, people! with that being said, i have managed to find a flannel and some workout pants that are sufficing for now. and, don’t worry, i will strive not to leave the comforts of my own home. but while i’m locked up and chugging this morning’s leftover coffee, i can dream. i mean, c’mon, A GIRL CAN DREAM. with the help of my dear friend, the sartorialist, i will now take you on a brief jaunt through some of my favorite 2011 winter fashions from all around the world. please understand that i don’t claim to have the ability to rock any these looks. i completely grasp my humble and resourcefully-challenged reality… sigh. 

girl, gimme dat scarf. asap. 

loving. this. 

i need to get my grubby hands on camel colored blazer/jacket now. like literally right now. rolled up jeans, check. eggplant-colored scarf, check. neutral themed layering, check. that hat- i die! my only hesitation? the furry clog-wedges. yeeks, no grazie. 

kind of reminiscent of the previous photo, which means i need it. camel. blazer.

denim shirt tucked in- i think i can swing that. now i just need to find long, flowing brown wavy hair… 

well. that’s all i have for now. knowing my short attention span, disdain for cold precipitation and propensity to waste hours on the world wide web, i have a feeling this snowpacalypse may lead to a few more blog posts this week/weekend… stay tuned!

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.

— 2 Corinthians 5:1-3

alright, everybody. it’s time to get real. i have a sweet tooth the size of texas right now and the only thing i want is a french macaroon… or twelve. 

        

i love french macaroons. let me repeat that for emphasis, i LOVE french macaroons. the affair with the sweet treat started 3 years ago when i traveled through europe with my dear friend, L. the last leg of our trip was an entire week spent in paris, or the la ville-lumier, “city of lights.” it’s safe to say the city did not disappoint… we shopped the department store sale (great timing- lucky us), we did an extremely notable bike tour, we consumed a total of 8 blocks of brie and we spent an insane amount of time in art museum after art museum after art museum. but the thing i remember most about the trip? the macaroons. oh. my. word. they are to die for.

          

in the following years i found that macaroons, most unfortunately, were fading into a thing of my dreams and distant memories. where were these little macaroons hiding in america? what had i done to piss off the dessert gods that they would keep such magical things from me? did my happiness mean nothing to local pastry and confectionary bakers?? i mean… come on people!

it wasn’t until this thanksgiving, spent in the great city of manhattan, that i rediscovered my love. my undying, unconditional, time & distance shattering love for these treats. bless you dean + deluca for loving me enough to serve such happies! then, shortly after christmas, i took a trip to the big easy with my best friend, B, and i hit the jackpot again. we stumbled upon a heavenly place called sucre on magazine street that had an assortment of macaroons that, quite honestly, sent my head spinning. i do believe i kissed the ground of the establishment… if you find yourself in new orleans anytime soon, PLEASE for the love, go to sucre. we went every day that we were in the city and never got bored. it is truly magical.

                                    

so what’s the point here? well the point is that i love macaroons (have i made that clear?). i want all my friends and loved ones to understand and respect the fact that i will indeed have macaroons at my wedding. maybe even adorning the cake… you can’t stop me. and if, lord help us, you’ve never had one, please do… as SOON as possible. the catch? you may have to travel to paris, manhattan or new orleans to find some.

God has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense.

— CS Lewis. The Problem of Pain

today, i am tired. i am really tired. but THIS… THIS looks magical. and that is worth being joyful for!

today, i am tired. i am really tired. but THIS… THIS looks magical. and that is worth being joyful for!

well, it appears that this texas winter rain is NOT joking around with us. and if you’re anything like me, you know what that means- it’s time to pull out the hunter rain boots.

i received the black original boots last year for my birthday (thanks belly) but have been jonesing ever since for another pair in the industrial green. check out nicole richie rocking the greens above… what a diva. i do wish i could pull off something like the yellow or the red, but i just don’t have the toothpick legs necessary. oh well- you win some you lose some i suppose.

so as i leave the cottage this morning, with my black rain boots and grey fleece socks in tow and my mumford and sons, head and the heart, bon iver and avett brother’s playlist on repeat, i wish you guys happy sunday puddle hopping! here’s to you. 

It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart, but the welcome I receive with the restart.

— Mumford and Sons. Roll Away Your Stone

down in the valley →

i am on my way, i am on my way

i am on my way back to where i started.

a gem of a song by the head and the heart, a seattle-bred, up-and-coming edgy sextet. with shades of the avett brothers and maybe even a little bon iver, this 5 guy.1 girl group has really made these cold winter days more livable for me.

many thanks to my music blogging friend, tini, for introducing me. if you’re up for a coveted peek into the music scene, check out her blog here.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

— Lamentations 3:22-23

I just wanna be your firecracker, maybe be your baby tonight.

— Ryan Adams. Firecracker

i die. pour la victoire’s irina suade pump. yes please. 
thanks mom. 

i die. pour la victoire’s irina suade pump. yes please. 

thanks mom. 

a tree of life. it’s not THE tree of life, but it’s my favorite tree and it makes me feel alive, thus to me, it’s a tree of life.

it can be spotted just outside of smithville on hwy 71… along the well-worn path between my favorite city in the world, austin, texas and my current home, houston. 

well. the day has finally come. i have spent far too many hours following other people’s blogs, some that i know and some that i don’t, and have decided it is time for my own. lord knows i have very little profound wisdom or advice to share, so i will probably stick to sharing things that i find- photos, verses, videos, quotes, etc that i deem interesting. i also see this as an avenue to share stories and observations that i find fascinating, confusing or just plain humorous- so if you’re not up for that, then seeeee ya later. 

as for the title, it comes from a mixture of sources that i will share with you now… vita di speranza means “life of hope” in italian. you may ask yourself, “self- why italian?” let me tell you…

my parents, r&p (pictured below in 1972), spent the first three years of their marriage in italy where my father was stationed in the army. when they moved from austin to italy, my mother didn’t speak the language and didn’t know a soul besides her husband of at that point, two weeks. now, it’s worth noting that my father, god love him, is terrible at speaking foreign languages… or domestic languages for that matter, but my mother has retained quite a bit of italian. (there is an interesting instance of him ordering fish “pesce” and ice cream instead of peaches “pesche” and ice cream- but that is a story for another time…)


in 1999, for their 25th wedding anniversary, my brother, j, and i were given the choice of going with them to either hawaii or italy to celebrate. psh, easy- we chose italy. since then, i’ve been fascinated. when the opportunity arose to study abroad in college, i was accepted into a program in Rome and gladly went for the summer of 2008. (more stories on that later, too) 

what have i learned through all of these italian romps? well first, that wine is permissible at every meal, and commonly, cheaper than water. but also, that italian is a beautiful language. no, i’m not fluent. nope, i couldn’t even proficiently order off a trattoria’s dinner menu. but i can fake it and i can certainly utilize the language in titling my first blog of so-called “adulthood.” 

now the content of the title is a different story. a life of hope. that comes from one of my favorite verses in ephesians…

"i keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. i pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you.”                              -Ephesians 1:17-18

i just love the way paul prays for ephesus here. he is praying that the Lord reveals Himself to them more clearly and that their eyes, souls and hearts are opened and enlightened by Him. but why? so that they can know, and in turn so that we can know that we are to live in the hope that the Father has called us to. so that’s my prayer. that my eyes can be opened, my heart can be enlightened and my life can be a life defined by hope, a viva di speranza. 

so there you have it folks… if you choose to follow me i can promise it will be an interesting journey. if you have just happened to come across this place, then you’re certainly in for a treat. regardless, enjoy a sneak peak into the strange, unusual and hysterical life of a twenty-something who is utterly captivated by our lord jesus christ.