This photo was taken at Mauerpark, one of my favorite places on a Sunday afternoon. In the background is a strip of the former Berlin Wall that changes almost daily due to the frequent artists who paint and repaint murals and tags. Every time we go, it is different and there is always new artwork to be seen and if there’s an open swing, you better believe I’m going to snag it. Swing sets and sunsets. Two of my most favorite things.
Street Art and flea Markets
When it comes to street art, everything is a canvas. I love how creative people are and how much effort they put in to getting the perfect spot to showcase their talent. I mentioned that Mauerpark is a popular spot for this kind of display but it is most popular for its Sunday Flea Market. Anything your heart desires can be found at Mauerpark on a Sunday. And I do mean anything...a vintage jacket, a vinyl record, a coffee grinder, a bongo, some silverware, a duck lamp. (Like literally a lamp that is a duck.) You can take a picnic or get some grub from a food truck, day drink in public, lay on a blanket, play with a frisbee, people watch, dog watch. You might meet your next best friend. Did I mention they have a giant karaoke pit? Apparently that draws a huge crowd in the summer. Mauerpark is ridiculously awesome.
Botanischer Garten and cherry blossoms
A few weeks ago on Drew's first day of work, I took a solo field trip to the botanical garden. Greenhouses were filled with every species of plant you can imagine. The humidity and warmth inside was a great escape from the chill outside.
Lately, it has warmed up and everything is blooming. There is a gorgeous cherry blossom tree on our street. I had no idea that Berlin was such a hot spot for cherry blossoms but as it turns out, it is. 9,000 trees were planted in Berlin and Brandenburg in November 1990 - shortly after reunification and the fall of the Berlin Wall so now every spring, there are lovely pink trees throughout the city.
Last week was Games Week in Berlin. As you may know, Drew is a writer for video games which is what brought us to Berlin to begin with. This past weekend we went to Amaze, an international festival that focuses of the art and culture of indie games and media. We had fun acting goofy, playing super cool new games, dancing all night and drinking too much. Everyone needs a night like that once in a while.
This is us on the rooftop of Drew's workplace. It has a great view of the TV Tower and surrounding area. This kind of city life is very different from what we are both used to. Trains, subways, walking everywhere...it's just different. I average 3 miles a day on foot according to my phone tracker. All that said, I really do love it. I'm getting used to a different pace and while I still crave mountains and rivers, I know they aren't too far away.
I have more to share about my daily life, taking German classes and attending German yoga, but I'll save it for another day. Tomorrow we are taking a short trip for the long Easter weekend to Poland. Our first little getaway. I'll be sure to write about it.
Frohe Ostern! (Happy Easter!)
Now that we are settled in at home and I know my way around the grocery store, I decided it was time to lebe wie ein tourist (live like a tourist) this week. Drew is waiting on his work visa so we are taking advantage of his time off. This week was filled with some new adventures for us and it was quite fun to explore outside of our neighborhood.
markt on maybachufer
Every Tuesday and Friday on the bank of the Maybach, there is a popular Turkish Market. There are traditional street vendors, authentic food delicacies, fabrics galore and some of the prettiest displays of fruits and vegetables.
Walking through the narrow path of vendors is a delight for your senses. I was fascinated with one booth in particular, the Turkish Mokka tent. Traditionally, a cup of Turkish coffee is brewed using a pan filled with sand, heated over an open flame. The beverage is served in the most interesting little cup and while it didn't taste as delicious as I had hoped, the experience was a treat in itself anyway.
Oh, Tropical Island...Pretty sure you are my most favorite place.
A 40-minute train ride takes you out into the country to what was once an Airship hangar that has been turned into Europe’s biggest tropical holiday paradise. It is larger than 9 football fields and holds the largest indoor rain forest in the world surrounded by swimming lagoons, indoor beaches, sauna temples and Buddha statues. I was in heaven. You’re inside but it feels like you’re outside. No SPF for me. For those of you in the Dallas area, it was a cross between King's Spa and Dallas World Aquarium. I mean, really...can you get better than that?
Hands down, it was a fantastic way to spend an otherwise wintry day in Berlin.
st. patrick's festival: berlin
I couldn't let St. Patrick's weekend pass by without some celebration and a chance to wear my green mermaid scale leggings so we found Berlin's St. Patrick's Day party at Birgit & Bier, a dive bar that was reminiscent of Double Wide in Dallas and spent the day drinking beer, eating Irish stew & Guinness cake and mingling with some locals. The weather was rainy and cold and with Drew jokingly speaking with his best Irish accent, there was a truly authentic Ireland vibe. We met a guy in line for beer and ran into him again on our walk home which led to 2 more pints at a local bar. He was an interesting character to say the least and him and his crew were friendly. All in all, it was a lovely way to spend the day in celebration of Irish culture and spirit.
Those are the highlights of Week 2. We also spent some time sleeping in, staying up late, cooking and I even tackled the laundry. I guess that should be considered a highlight as well...The drying rack wasn't so bad but it does take 1 hour and 56 minutes to wash one load and then you hang your clothes to dry for a day or two. Not even kidding.
So...if you're spending your St. Patty's Day having a lazy Sunday and doing laundry, consider yourself "Lucky" that your clothes will be ready in about an hour!
"Möge das Glück der Iren mit Ihnen sein,"
"May the luck of the Irish be with you,"
One week ago, my ehemann (husband) and I arrived in Berlin, Germany.
Some of you may be familiar with the feeling of packing for a trip and it seeming like you are bringing the whole house with you. In our case, we actually were.
We had narrowed down our personal possessions to 10 boxes, 2 suitcases and 2 carry-on bags. Thursday morning, we cleaned the old apartment, loaded a truck with our belongings, turned in the keys and headed to the airport. The checking in process of 10 boxes on a international flight went surprisingly well. We had our last Tex-Mex meal (at least for a while) at Pappasito's in DFW and boarded our flight.
Upon landing Friday afternoon, we grabbed our boxes from baggage claim as well as our suitcases and made our way (after a somewhat awkward conversation) in a taxi-van to our studio apartment. Drew carried all 10 boxes up a flight of stairs and we settled in. After being awake for 30 hours, we fell asleep and woke up 13 hours later in our new home.
We are currently in a neighborhood called Prenzlaur Berg, a popular area of Berlin. Our apartment is located on a quaint brick street with the prominent Wasserturm (water tower) and a nice park just outside. It's a 10 minute walk for Drew to get to work and it's surrounded by shops and restaurants. There is a Ayurveda wellness studio as well as a spa and sauna on either side of our building. It's a dream for me. I haven't found the perfect yoga studio yet but I'm on the hunt.
The adjustment to life here feels a bit child-like. Everything is new. Ordinary errands and simple tasks have now turned into opportunities to explore and learn, You're forced to observe, listen and find the connections.
This first week has been very domesticated. Sights have been a Saturday morning Bauermarkt (Farmer's Market), a tour of a Lebensmittelmarkt (grocery store), the adventure of trying to get additional apartment Schlussel (keys) made when you don't speak Deutsch and a train trip to IKEA.
Our apartment is approximately 375 sq. ft. and I love every tiny inch of it. It may or may not be the size of your living room.
Some other obvious differences include:
1. Our fridge is similar to the one you likely had next to your bed in college.
2. We have a washing machine that supposedly takes 1.5 hours per wash cycle and a drying rack that all of your clothes air dry on. I haven't done laundry yet. I'll let you know how that goes.
3. Apartments do not have numbers or letters on them. You and your neighbors all have the same address and the postman simply figures out who's mail is who's based on your last name, and if you're not home, they leave bigger packages with a neighbor. We have already held 2 packages for other tenants, one of which is still in our hallway.
Also, today is March 8th. Berlin is the first German city to celebrate International Women's Day with a public holiday. Frauentag (Women's Day) Stores are closed, there is no work and the city enjoys a 3-day weekend.
We were recently given a book as a wedding/going away gift, Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.
Vagabonding: A deliberate way of living that makes freedom to travel possible, a privately meaningful manner of travel that emphasizes discovery, self-reliance and the growth of the spirit.
Vagabonding is an attitude-a friendly interest in people, places and things that makes a person an explorer in the truest sense of the word. This is us.
I hope you will enjoy following along as we embrace this vagabonding life as newlyweds. Learning a new language, new rules, a foreign place and how to live in harmony together in 375 square feet.
With Love From Berlin,
This is an excerpt from January 29, 2016.
"I am often torn between my desire to travel around like a gypsy and the familiar comforts of home.
I want coffee at sunrise on a cobblestone street and the view of a sunset from the balcony of a villa. I want to stare into a campfire surrounded by stars in the desert. I want a hot air balloon ride with picture perfect grassy hills below. I want to swim naked in the ocean if only for a few minutes just to say that I've done it. I want the smell of pine trees mixed with the odor of my hiking boots which haven't been used yet but one day they will be broken in and worn out and that's the scent I have in mind. I want the sound of chatter in an unfamiliar language followed by the sound of laughter. I want to kiss someone and dance in the rain like they do in the movies. I want to stay in a hostel. I want to see the view of an incredible city from the window of a helicopter.
Venice. Greece. Arizona. Ireland. Hawaii. Colorado. Spain. Oregon. Paris. Just for starters.
I don't know where this longing came from. As a child, I didn't travel that much so it's not that I was raised this way. I didn't pay much attention in my geography and history classes so it doesn't stem from the study of other places. We were constantly moving when I was kid so you would think that more than anything I'd want to create a life somewhere and stay put. Not the case at all. At least for now.
Ennis is my hometown. I basically grew up in my dad's restaurant. "B.J's Cafe. Best chicken fried steak in town". I learned to drive by cruising Ennis Avenue with my friends on Friday nights. I moved away after high school but I quickly returned to be with my high school boyfriend. I opened my own salon on my favorite brick paved street at the age of 24 which led to meeting my very best friend who came in as a new client for a haircut. I have created my life around this community.
When I talk of moving or traveling for extended periods of time, I know my clients get a knot in their stomach because there's nothing worse than the first time you put your hair in the hands of a stranger, cross your fingers and hope for the best. It's almost worse than a break up but there are plenty of talented hair stylists in the community so I'm sure they will find their rebound stylist.
The thought of completely disconnecting from Ennis is bittersweet."
3 years have past since I wrote that post. It wasn't time then. Apparently, The Universe had other plans.
This is a recent photograph of me taken at East Side Gallery in Berlin, Germany. I love trees as well as street art so I posed and Drew snapped the pic. I didn't know what the phrase said when I took the photo or how relevant it would be in the weeks to come.
Drew and I are moving to Berlin, Germany.
So stark und doch verletzbar.
Das Volk, der Mensch.
Der Wald, der Baum.
So strong and yet so vulnerable.
The crowd, the person.
The forest, the tree.
We are moving to Berlin and this is how I feel. Strong and vulnerable.
The thought of saying goodbye to everyone and the life I have grown so accustomed to is scary.
It's hard to imagine not having my family and friends nearby. Sure, technology will make it easier but when I want to chat at 9 am, it will be the middle of the night for my mom or my best friend! I know we will figure out what works and they will have a neat place to come visit, but letting go is hard.
I knew when I created The Studio that it was going to be temporary. 2 years. January 31st is my last day at work. It has been harder than I expected to prepare for this. As a hairdresser, I have been there for almost every occasion. As I hug my clients and they wish me well, it is mutually understood that in a simple way, we have shared our lives together. We've laughed. We've cried. We've laughed again and cried some more. We've inspired each other. Their loyalty has contributed to my overall success and it has truly been a pleasure.
Even though I will miss them dearly, those who know me well realize that this an absolute dream of mine and a wonderful opportunity to experience another part of the world. I am excited for this new adventure! I am also nervous, happy, curious, sad, hopeful, appreciative, anxious, strong and vulnerable. It's a roller coaster of emotions.
In the past year, Brene Brown has been brought to my attention on several different occasions by multiple people that I admire. She is a research professor at The University of Houston and a best selling author. Ironically, she is most well known for her TED talk: The Power of Vulnerability and the book titled Rising Strong.
Thank you to my family for always believing in me and encouraging me. Thank you to my friends for your unconditional love and support. Thank you to my clients for being a canvas to spread beauty into the world. Thank you to Drew for making my wanderlust dreams come true. And thanks Brene, for showing up at just the right time.
To be strong is to to be fierce. To be vulnerable is to be seen.
I'll embrace it all.
Stark und verletzbar.
Next week I leave for Pennsylvania. I have a one-way ticket and I haven't booked my flight home yet because I'm not exactly sure where I'll be in order to fly home. This is the most fly by the seat of my pants traveling I have ever done.
My normal schedule used to be a 4 day work week with long hours in order to enjoy a 3 day weekend. I realized that I was working approximately 16 days with 12 days off each month. Why not consolidate the work time and combine the days off? It's ultimately still the same amount of work, the same amount of clients, just on a slightly different schedule.
To test it out, I've done 3 weeks of work with 10 days of play. Gradually moving back to 16 days of work with 12 days of play. Eventually, I'd like to shift to 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off.
My boyfriend, who I refer to in my writing as The Drifter, is a writer and works remote allowing for full time travel across the U.S. in a Casita travel trailer. My time off is perfect for lengthy trips to fly out and meet him. Work. Travel. Repeat.
In my last blog post, we were road tripping for my birthday. Dallas to New Orleans to Memphis to Hot Springs and back to Dallas. An awesome loop if you have the time to enjoy it. After the birthday loop, we paused for a few weeks and then took off for Nashville, Tennessee. Since then, we've spent time in North and South Carolina as well as Georgia.
Lately, I feel like I need to explain myself to others for the life style I have chosen. The amount of time I dedicate to my life in Texas versus the amount of time I choose to spend exploring other places with The Drifter. I realize this is not the norm for most people but when have I ever done anything normal?
I want to write about the places I've been but not in the traditional sense of a travel blogger. (Where to eat, sleep, shop.) I want to write about my favorite unexpected events and the simple pleasures that can only be experienced in those areas. Like the way the jasmine smells in Savannah in May and the way the cool air feels on your skin while laying on a blanket at Crater Lake in Oregon while a blanket of stars covers you from above. Sensory memories. That's the good stuff.
This past March marked my 15th year as a cosmetologist. To the fellow stylists that inspire me and the clients and friends that I have met over the years, you contribute to this life of mine in more ways than you know. I am grateful for the route my career has lead me on. I am absolutely in love with the space I have created at The Studio but I won't allow it to limit me. I am grateful for the connection that I have with The Drifter and nothing has made me happier than getting to travel across the country with him.
Everyone has their own idea of what success looks like. This is mine.
Seven years ago, I took a solo trip out to San Francisco, California to meet up with my best friend as way of getting over my fear of flying in an airplane. My flight left on Easter Sunday. A day for me that symbolizes new beginnings. It was definitely the start of something. I can honestly say that trip played a huge role in where I am for many reasons.
One of the days I was there we drove out to Muir Woods. While we were circling the visitor parking lot, I noticed a young couple towards the back.
I will never forget the sight. The young woman was cutting the guys hair right there in the parking lot.
It was clear that they were road tripping out of their van. From what I could tell they were loaded down with everything you could possibly need to live on the road. I knew nothing of vanlife back then.
I remember thinking "How awesome is that? I wanna be that girl."
They could have been in college enjoying their Spring Break or classic hippies living out of a van. It didn't matter to me. They looked happy and free and in love and that's what I wanted.
Fast forward seven years and here I am with The Drifter. Happy. Free. In love. We don't quite live out of a van. Our setup is a bit more accommodating for our needs.
We are currently in Memphis, Tennessee. We spent the first part of this trip in New Orleans, Louisiana. Two extraordinary cities for a music lover like me.
The last day we were in New Orleans, I noticed that someone was looking a little shaggy. The Drifter's cousin camped next to us and he happened to have a set of hair clippers...
I thought of the couple in Muir Woods. I never even spoke to them. It's interesting to think of the affects we have on those around us. I hope that wherever they are now, they are still as happy and free as they appeared that day.
It's funny how things play out. I am now officially that girl.
My word for 2016 was Clarity. The quality of being clear. I wanted to get clear about my goals and what was truly important to me. I wanted to communicate clearly. I wanted to clear out physical and emotional clutter in order to simplify.
I haven't written a blog post in months...
In August there was a mold issue in my apartment that led to an immediate relocation to my aunts house in Rice, Texas while my belongings took up residence at Public Storage until I could figure out a new plan.
I've spent the last 4 months living out of my suitcase/storage unit/guest bedroom of my aunts home.
I have also spent the last 4 months in Oregon, Montana, Yellowstone, Utah and California with The Drifter.
In this time period I was also waiting for completion of the final stages of construction for The Studio.
There was a lot going on. No wonder I didn't write a blog post.
I was in transition.
This was my vision board for 2016. Now here I am in Rice, Texas on the eve of New Years Eve reflecting on everything Clarity has meant to me.
Earlier this year, I had surgery to remove a cyst on my ovary. They took the entire ovary out instead. "Cleared" that up, alright!
I've simplified everything from my wardrobe to my finances by clearing out unnecessariness.
As far as goals, it is clear to me now that I want a life that includes The Studio so that I can dedicate myself to the business I have created balanced with adventuring across the country with The Drifter on his travels.
It is also clear to me that having my own space is as essential to my being as traveling is. (Maybe some day an Airstream or a tiny house will provide both for me.) Home to me is a place of restoration and grounding. It is a place of self care. Sleeping in your own bed. Preparing your own food. Your favorite coffee mug. Your favorite spot to snuggle up. It is these simple pleasures that most people take for granted.
I recently found an apartment in the downtown area of Ennis available in February. This will allow me to have all of the perks of urban living right near The Studio. I can walk to work, to meditation class or yoga class, the bank, the post office and a few local restaurants. It is the perfect home base for me when I'm in Texas.
Once again, I have been shown that when I get clear about what I want and when I make decisions based in alignment with my goals, what I need shows up for me so clearly it practically slaps me in the face.
I heard Rob Thomas's, "Little Wonders" for the first time in a long time and was reminded of how much I love that song.
"...let your clarity define you in the end..." is one of my favorite lyrics.
In 2015, my word was Drift and it brought me The Drifter. 2016 brought me Clarity for sure. I haven't chosen my word for 2017. I still have one more day to decide...
Happy New Year and Cheers to another journey around the sun!
According to Facebook, on this day last year I created and posted my first blog.
One year ago.
I started this blog sitting in the living room of my apartment in Dallas, Texas. As I write this, I am sitting in a coffee shop in Florence, Oregon. It is August and I am chilly. Such a strange thing for a Texan to say.
In the last year, I have experienced more clarity than I believe I have ever had in my entire life. I am opening my own salon and gallery, The Studio. I have designed the logo to look like a travel stamp because my intention is to create a life balanced with the two things I adore the most. The art of hair dressing and exploring the world.
I have arranged my work schedule so that I am in Texas working in the salon for 3 busy weeks and then I take off for 10 days to travel with The Drifter. I then come back and repeat. I have become the master of finding cheap airfare. (Tip: Get a Southwest Airlines credit card so you can earn free flights and download the Kayak app: Traveled to Belize for $68 round trip. Boston $11 round trip. Denver $99 round trip. It's crazy right?!)
When I created this blog it was because I wanted to document and share all the interesting sychronicities that I can't help but notice. I have a fascination with mermaids and I had pink hair at the time. Life on Land: Tales of a Mermaid. Made sense. I have enjoyed sharing my experiences and travel stories as well.
It has been a lovely trip around the sun inspired by the places I have been and the people I have encountered.
I never would have imagined that this would be my life. I am beyond grateful for my friends, my family, my clients and the opportunities that have presented themselves along the way.
It's no secret that I love to travel. I have fantasized about sharing my experiences with someone that I adore. My dreams have now become a reality thanks to The Drifter.
He is currently traveling the western part of the country in his Casita trailer for an undetermined amount of time. We spent last week exploring Colorado.
The Drifter is all about being off the grid and finding remote camping spots. I would say he succeeded with our first stop. Let me set the scene.
We were somewhere west of Boulder and the road we were on gradually changed from pavement to gravel to a rugged dirt path while climbing up a mountain. It was a slow climb up and even though the view was totally worth it, the sweat from my palms made my grip on the door handle a little slippery to say the least. This was going to be home for the next 2 days. There were actually signs that warned you that you were in fact in bear country and to be aware of mountain lions.
I was as far from my comfort zone as we were from civilization.
"How would I get down from here if something happened to him?"
"What if a bear can smell our peanut butter and claws it's way through the windows while we sleep?"
"What if the trailer slips off the road on our way down and pulls the truck down with it?"
I felt extremely vulnerable on the side of that mountain. I absolutely enjoy solitude but up there, I did not want to be left alone. I found it hard to truly relax because I like control and that was something I had very little of. We had no cell service and I have no knowledge of how to drive a vehicle down a mountain, much less one that has a travel trailer attached to it.
I had to talk myself out of fearful thoughts and remind myself that I was in an incredible place with a wonderful guy and I was perfectly fine. The sunsets were magnificent enough to calm my nerves but your mind can really mess with you in situations like that.
There were a few other brave campers that made their way up but for the most part we were on our own. We cooked meals, kayaked and enjoyed our time together. I never saw a bear or a mountain lion. Some birds and chipmunks were the only wildlife around.
I have written before about how I haven't always been as adventurous and I used to get very anxious in unfamiliar situations. I surprise myself sometimes at how much that has changed. There were literally times during this trip when I would tear up out of pure happiness because there were moments that seemed unreal to me.
The rest of the stops on the trip weren't nearly as remote and I loved checking out different areas. Golden, Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Buena Vista.
One of my favorite little towns was Salida, CO. We roamed the streets and checked out a local bar with live music. I spotted a wall mural and had to take advantage of the perfect photo op. The word DRIFT. (For those of you who know the story of us, this will make sense. If not, go back and read The Mermaid and The Drifter.)
I knew then I was exactly where I needed to be with exactly who I needed to be with.
The Drifter encourages me, inspires me, supports me and I admire him so much. He says you're only afraid of what you don't know.
"Do one thing everyday that scares you." -Eleanor Roosevelt
The lesson: Keep on drifting and avoid feeding the fears.
I spent the past weekend at Retreat In The Pines in East Texas. My mom is the massage therapist for the retreat center so I could tag along and spend some time with her as well as participate in the weekends events.
It was right up my alley. Delicious homemade meals, wine, dark chocolate, journaling, yoga and meditation, all in the company of like-minded women in the middle of the woods in a log cabin. To say it was amazing is an understatement.
There were 11 women total from all different areas. Dallas, Tulsa, Austin, Houston, Galveston. There was even a traveling nurse from New Hampshire. Our ages ranged somewhere between 25 and 65. It was like adult summer camp.
I love getting to know other women. That's probably why I love my career so much. (I connect with men too but it's different.) It doesn't matter your age, your history, your marital status, your job...we are all the same. We ultimately have the same worries, fears and insecurities. The more I am around other women, the more I realize how connected we truly are.
On Friday evening at our first yoga class, I found my spot on a pink yoga mat next to a girl around my age. (I'll call her Al because it's kind of weird to write about people you've just met.)
The next morning after breakfast and my 2nd yoga class next to Al, my mom walked up to me and said "Guess what I just found out?" To which she didn't give me a chance to respond. "Al knows Drew!!!" (Drew is The Drifter, the guy I'm currently dating.)
Turns out that Al lives in McKinney and works with Drew's best girl friend from college in Dallas. Her mom lives in the same neighborhood as Drew's bestie and they had all hung out a few times and she knew that he had been dating a girl named Stephenie who was a hair stylist in Ennis. Al attended the yoga retreat with her grandmother who happens to have 3 other grandchildren who graduated from Ennis High School.
In case you're not following this, there were only 11 women who attended this retreat, one of which was my mom. It's not like there were hundreds of women from all over the DFW metroplex attending the same retreat center on the same weekend and most people are not familiar with Ennis, Texas. Is it not odd that of all the weekends I could have attended this retreat that I would pick the one that Al would be at with her grandmother? And did I mention that she does not practice yoga? She had attended 1 yoga class before coming to the retreat. What compelled her to book a yoga retreat and bring her grandmother is still a mystery to me.
I have no idea yet why I met her but I have no doubt that there is a reason. For the rest of the weekend, we got to know each other and talked about meeting up after work sometime. She had an adventurous spirit just like me.
I started this blog because I found a quote that said "Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." So that is what I have done. Coincidences. Connections. I see them. I am aware of them. I can't help but find deeper meaning and symbolism in them. I can't always make sense of these things but it doesn't make them of any less importance.
I recently broke out my old school CD case and have been listening to some 90's jams. Alanis Morissette is still a rock star to me. She said it best..."Isn't it ironic? Don't ya think?"
The lesson: I have said before that maybe I just over analyze everything and some may agree but I have made peace with this and I find comfort in the daily sychronicities that show me there is a higher power at work that perfectly orchestrates the events that occur in my life. This weekend was no exception.