My Race Is Not My Culture

Source: Families with Children From China – Greater NY Facebook page

I was adopted from China at a very young age.

At just over one year old, I never spoke or understood Chinese; I don’t remember China; I don’t know my biological parents. I returned to China once — about a decade ago — and honestly, I don’t feel the need to visit again.

I grew up in the greater Dallas area between two Caucasian brothers with my Caucasian parents. Naturally — or maybe unnaturally (I’m not quite sure) — most of my friends growing up were Caucasian. And I went to a predominantly Caucasian university (Sic’Em), where I joined a largely Caucasian sorority. Post-college, I got hooked on climbing, which historically is a mostly Caucasian sport.

Are you noticing a pattern, too?

I didn’t acknowledge my race and heritage for a very, very long time.

Though my parents enrolled me in Chinese class in elementary, I refused to cooperate and only lasted a few months. I didn’t want to be a weird Asian girl that spoke a foreign language and ate foreign foods, I just wanted to be normal. I just wanted to fit in. And to me, at the time, fitting in meant to embrace the white suburban culture I was adopted into.

During the height of the COVID-19 shutdown, I spent most of the month of May holed up in my apartment. Though I had never celebrated or acknowledged it before, I decided to honor the Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month for the first time ever.

I called my Chinese sisters — honorary sisters who are also adopted from China — and I researched. I learned why the AAPI community is honored in May of all months. I learned about Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese American author, activist, and feminist. I followed AAPI social media accounts. I meditated on and journaled about my adoption journey.

And for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel so ashamed and alienated from my heritage and ethnicity. For the first time in my life, I felt proud and in awe of my biological brothers and sisters, of my history, of where I came from.

My race is not my culture.

I am Chinese.

I have long, dark brown hair. I have almond-shaped eyes. I have tan skin.

I am also American.

I have a white family. I love football. Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays.

My race is not my culture.

I look and biologically am Chinese, but also simultaneously celebrate and embrace my white family and common white upbringing.

Perhaps the beauty of my adoption story is I don’t especially identify with either Chinese or American culture. If anything, I’ve almost created and even adopted my own: a culture built on kindness, understanding, and inclusivity; a culture that transcends race, language, and background; a culture where joy is infectious and struggles are embraced; a culture where no one is excluded or alone in their fight; a culture where you can come as you are.

My race is not my culture, and I love that about me.

Living With & Loving Someone With Mental Illness

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

I’m so delighted that 1) this month exists and 2) I have yet another reason to share mental health journey with you.

As someone who’s lived with bipolar for over half a decade (six years, to be exact), I have grown passionate about discussing mental illness, encouraging those who struggle, and educating those who don’t.

Mental health can be a sensitive subject for many people, but it doesn’t have to be. 1 out of 5 Americans struggle with some form of mental illness. The odds are, even if you don’t struggle yourself, you know someone — or several someone’s — who do.

Living with mental illness can be hard.

And I mean – really, really hard.

But I’m hoping this blog post can give you a glimpse into my life and struggles, my habits and hurts, and that you can use this glimpse to relate to someone in your life who struggles, as well.

Personally, my disorder has led me to struggle particularly with depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Thankfully, all three have been less extreme and fairly manageable in the most recent years. I credit this to my supportive community, my work, my therapist, and my psychiatric nurse. Let me break those down a little bit:

  • My community – it includes friends, family, baristas, climbers, creatives, and my church group. My community has built me up instead of torn me down, they’ve accepted me as I am, and they’ve embraced who I am since my diagnosis.
  • My work – working in the climbing industry has been amazingly rewarding. My specific job aside, having a work schedule, having discipline, having something to show up to every day has given me stability and something to look forward to.
  • My therapist – Chelsey has given me helpful tools when I catch myself feeling anxious, to feel out my feelings, and to express myself. Acknowledging my feelings and giving myself room to feel has been a huge part of my wellness journey.
  • My psychiatric nurse – Grant has found medication that works for me. It took time and several trials, but it’s worked wonders. Medication isn’t for everyone, but it certainly is for me.

Pre-diagnosis life is starkly different than post-diagnosis.

Pre-diagnosis, I struggled with insomnia and anxiety, but didn’t even realize it. I didn’t think about my needs or wants — physical, mental, or emotional. I struggled with feeling my emotions and allowing myself to feel. I struggled with perfectionism and people pleasing.

Post-diagnosis, over time and therapy and learning the hard way, I’ve learned to acknowledge what I need and how to voice those needs. I’ve learned to “sit in my feelings,” as Chelsey would say, and to not be afraid to feel. I’ve learned to say no, learned to put myself first, learned to even let others down at times.

Post-diagnosis, I’m actively monitoring my sleep, mood, and energy, and noticing how varying levels impact my wellness. I’m pursuing healthy relationships so I can feel healthy and happy, too. I’m learning and re-learning it’s okay to not be okay, that it’s not a bad thing to lean on people, and that being alone doesn’t mean I have to be lonely.

Loving someone with mental illness can be hard.

But it doesn’t have to be.

In the end, we all need love and kindness and acceptance. In the end, we all need someone to show up and show out for us. In the end, we all need a community to build us up and make us feel special.

Friends, I encourage you to reach out someone you love who struggles with mental illness today. Tell them you see them, you know them, and you love them. Tell them you’re here for them. It will mean the world to them.

6 Years Of Bipolar: On Gratitude

I was diagnosed with bipolar six year ago.

And what a wild ride it has been!

Since my diagnosis, I’ve worked in the PR, legal, and climbing industries. I’ve moved several times — including in, out, and back into my parents (currently I’m on my own). I’ve become a plant mom, dog mom, and car mom (in that order). I’ve gone through several major life changes, including starting and quitting law school.

The first couple of years of living with bipolar were hard — and I mean really, REALLY hard. I had two major manic episodes. I was hospitalized twice. I suffered from severe depression and anxiety. I lost some close friendships.

But the most recent years have been a gift. I found medicine that worked. I have hardly suffered with depression or anxiety. I’ve made wonderful, deep, lasting friendships.

And to sum it up in one word, I’m thankful.

I would never wish bipolar or depression/anxiety on anyone. And if I had the option, I certainly wouldn’t wish it on me.

But I’m thankful for my disorder. Before my disorder, I didn’t go to therapy and never thought I would need it. I neglected my feelings and emotions. I didn’t take care of my body, and certainly didn’t care for my mind.

Since my disorder, I’ve established an amazing relationship with my therapist. Therapy has taught me to acknowledge and embrace my feelings and emotions. And now I care for both my body and my mind by monitoring my sleep, mood, and energy.

I spend more time doing the things I love, things that fill me up and make me whole. I’m more present-minded, more grateful, and more self-aware. I’ve experienced the benefits of therapy and medicine. I’ve surrounded myself with an amazing community, with friends who care for me deeply and love me well.

It’s been a long six years.

It really, really has. But I’m thankful for my experience with this mood disorder, for what it’s taught me and how it’s shaped me. I’m thankful for this space to share my mental health journey. I’m thankful for readers and followers who support and encourage and cheer me on. I’m thankful for you!

A Little Grace: On Managing & Sustaining Creativity

I’m a creative.

I never really called myself that until the past couple of years, but it’s true. I have always felt called to create, whether that’s writing for myself or others, making music and singing songs, taking photos, or even making artwork. God instilled this creative bone in me that I can’t get rid of, nor do I wish to.

But sometimes creating can be hard. Sometimes I feel pressured to create, like producing weekly blog posts or keeping up with social media content. Sometimes I put that pressure on myself, sometimes I feel that pressure from others (that usually isn’t even there…hello, comparison!!).

Sometimes I whip out my laptop and can’t find the words I want to capture what I’d like to say. Or sometimes I don’t even know what to say at all. I end up staring at a blank screen for far too long, then I give up in frustration toward myself and toward my lack of creativity. I shut the laptop and huff off. Disappointed and let down.

Constant creativity can be hard, but I’m learning how to manage.

Whether I feel pressure or not, whether I want to or not, I am learning how to manage my creativity and establish structure in my life to keep that inspiration flowing. Let me share some things that have helped me stay creative:

  • Journaling— I didn’t journal much until quarantine, but I have noticed that when I journal daily or at least regularly, I am nourishing that creative mindset. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be for anyone else to see, just letting my thoughts flow onto paper is good for me.
  • Working ahead— when I do feel those extra creative juices flowing, I like to start as many blog posts as possible, save those drafts, and then revisit them later to complete them. Or, if I’m not near my computer, I make a note on my phone that includes the general idea and inspiration behind the post, then I can refer back to it later.
  • Surrounding myself with like-minded creatives— meeting and getting to know other bloggers, writers, and creatives has been so helpful to me. It is nice to share ideas and feed off those from others. It is a source of encouragement when creating can seem hard or burdensome.
  • Giving myself grace— when I do find myself lacking and can’t create at all, it is good for me to remember that I don’t always have to create, even if I want to. I need to give myself grace and remember I’m only human, and that instead of over-exhausting myself, I can take a breath, step away from the laptop, and come back another day.

Even if you don’t identify as a creative but would like to create more, these little tips and tricks are a great way to get you started. If you feel lost or alone in your desire to create, don’t hesitate to reach out to a creative friend (like me!) or creatives in your community to learn about the process.

And if you are a creative and you’re struggling, remember it is perfectly fine to take a breather and come back to a project another day. Give yourself a little grace, pick yourself back up, and keep on keeping on!!

Bipolar Disorder: Myths vs. Facts Pt. 2

I have bipolar disorder.

I was diagnosed in the spring of 2016 after a severe manic episode. And boy, has it been a long and enduring and wild journey since then.

Last week, I introduced a new series on myths vs. facts of bipolar disorder out of the hope to normalize discussing mental health and illness, sufferings that come along with bipolar, and the reality of someone who lives with it every day.

Today’s post focuses on communicating about mental health and wellness, and how we can create healthy, helpful conversations surrounding bipolar disorder (and other illnesses).

Myth: Talking about mental health is not necessary and just makes people feel uncomfortable.

Fact: Talking about mental health is extremely necessary. While it may make some uncomfortable, for others it can be beneficial, helpful, and life-giving.

When I was first diagnosed with bipolar, I felt this utter paradox of wanting to voice my struggles while simultaneously feeling shame and fear around it. I wanted to scream for help, but also crawl into a hole and hide forever.

At first, it seemed like no one was talking about it–not only my manic episode, but also mental health in general. It seemed like no one cared or felt confident enough to discuss my sufferings. Talking about mental health seemed like such a stigma, a conversation to avoid at all costs.

Thankfully, it does seem like society has improved some since then. Thanks to celebrities, mental health professionals, and Instagram (haha!), it seems like more people are discussing their hurt and healing. More people are being vulnerable, authentic, and transparent about their mental health struggles, and it’s an inspiring, incredible thing.

In America, one out of five adults struggle with a mental health disorder. It may be anxiety, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, borderline personality, or another disorder. The odds of you interacting with someone who has mental health struggles on a daily basis is high.

It’s important to talk about mental health because you never know what someone is going through, you never know who needs to feel hope. It’s important to talk about mental health for those who suffer so they can voice their hurt and journey. It’s equally important for someone who does not suffer to talk about so they can listen, sympathize, and perhaps gain more understanding of that individual’s sufferings.

If you feel uncomfortable talking about mental health, it may be because it’s a foreign subject to you. I encourage you to read and research ways to talk about it, ways people suffer, and ways you can help.

Myth: People who have mental health struggles are too sensitive and I don’t need to be careful with my words when speaking to them about their illness.

Fact: People who have mental health struggles can feel deeply about their hurt, and it’s important to be careful when creating a conversation surround their illness.

The other night I was driving from Austin to Dallas with my sweet friends. My dear friend Ashlynn, who is on her way to becoming an amazing counselor, asked me delicately, “Is it OK if I ask you about bipolar?”

I happily obliged, and we had a very healthy discussion surrounding my mental health journey, my ups and downs, my moods, ways I hold myself accountable to healing, and more. I thanked her for listening and I thanked her for talking about it with me.

Asking for permission to discussing someone’s mental health is extremely important and considerate of others. Not everyone wants to or is ready to discuss, so asking to hold that conversation is incredibly kind and thoughtful.

When someone who suffers wants to or is ready to discuss, sometimes they will tell you, but sometimes you have to ask. Sometimes it’s a matter of creating that mutual trust and understanding, and that individual will voluntarily participate in the conversation.

We shouldn’t push people into talking about mental health. We shouldn’t be harsh or impatient, but should be grace-giving and understanding. It’s a difficult topic because it may be triggering or hurtful, but ultimately those who suffer may come around and need a listening ear.

In summation, our words matter. Our conversations matter.

Everyone recognizes when someone speaks kindly, thoughtfully to them. Likewise, those who suffer with mental illness recognize when someone speaks kindly, thoughtfully to them.

When we are careful and considerate with our words, when we create healthy conversations around mental health, it is seen, heard, respected, and cherished.

If you love someone with a mental disorder, I encourage you to ask if it’s OK to talk about their struggles, and I encourage you to listen with an open heart and mind.

We Did It! 2021 Highlight Reel

2021 was a big year.

I wound up not returning to law school, was promoted to working at Summit full-time, started and ended a relationship, and more. Let me walk you through this year’s highlights by month:

January

  • I didn’t return to law school after my first and only semester. It was a life-changing moment, but one I do not regret.
  • The same week, I found out I was promoted to Assistant GM at my beloved climbing gym where I work and play. It’s been such a thrill leading the Summit Dallas staff since.
  • I went to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, a very well-known climbing crag in Arkansas, with friends. And I visited a close friend who lives in Arizona.

February

  • My sweet girl gang and I escaped DFW and spent the weekend at my uncle’s cabin outside of Tyler. It was dreamy and exactly what my heart & soul needed.
  • I had both a therapy and psychiatric appointment this month–my therapist and psychiatric nurse have literally changed my life, and any time I get to talk to them, I am left off better.

March

  • I celebrated my sweet nephew Westin’s first birthday. Knowing and loving little Wes has been such a delight.
  • I moved out of my parents’ house! Praise! Jack and I moved to my old neighborhood in Old East Dallas in the cutest one-bed. We have loved our cozy pad since Day 1.

April

  • On April 1, I celebrated one year of knowing and loving Jack! He’s my bestest little bud and the goodest boy around.
  • My friend Emily had a baby shower for her daughter Skylar–who’s unreal cute by the way. Emily is like a sister to me so it was fun to celebrate her & her sweet, growing family.
  • I volunteered with Mosaic (a nonprofit that serves refugees and immigrants in crisis) by helping organize a clothes closet for them. It felt good to give back and be apart of something greater than myself.

May

  • Some of my Chinese sisters and I had a mini-reunion in Chicago. I met my sister Shelby’s now-fiance Austin for the first time and gave my official stamp of approval. It was also great spending time with Paulina and her husband Martin, and introducing my friend Leo to them. Worlds colliding!
  • I launched a little side hustle as a virtual assistant and landed my first client. We had an intro call and it went great!

June

  • We celebrated my other nephew Mason’s third birthday. This little man is the one who made me an aunt and our relationship has been such a gift.
  • I visited my college friend Zach in Houston. We hopped around the city, ate good food, and went to the beach. It was an amazing few days off!

July

  • I welcomed a new baby into this world — my car baby Eileen! This 2019 Rav4 is everything I hoped and dreamed of.
  • I attended one of my first Dallas Blogger Brunch meetups in a long time. We were gifted Fabletics outfits, worked out, and munched on some power bowls. It was so much fun connecting with other bloggers in the DFW community.

August

  • I turned 27 this month! Another year older and wiser, I suppose?
  • My gal pal Lauren and I went to Utah for a long weekend. We had an absolute blast. For the full weekend recap, click here.

September

  • My sweet family and I did a day trip to my college town Waco. We hopped and bopped and ate and drank. It was the best time!

October

  • I went to my first concert in a long, long time and saw an artist I’d never seen before! Julien Baker is incredibly talented, highly recommend seeing her in-person.
  • One of my oldest friends Madyson and I camped with our pups at a property in Waco the last weekend of October. We had so much fun catching up, doing nothing, and introducing our fur babies. Mine might have tried to run away at one point–still trying to forget that. Lol!

November

  • I went to the Mavs game with the guy I was seeing at the time. I hadn’t been to one in years, and it was so much fun being back in the stadium, cheering the guys on, and ultimately watching them win.
  • My climbing crew and I went to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas for several days. It was freezing at night, but the climbing and community was well worth it.

December

  • My girl gang and I went to Reimers Ranch outside of Austin for a climbing day trip. We had the best time projecting, laughing, climbing, and falling.
  • My pup Jack and I stayed at an Airbnb in the middle of nowhere, Texas, for a couple days last week. It was completely blissful. We had a wonderful time doing nothing and everything all at once.

Please note: these are just the highlights. There were plenty of lows and moments in the valley this year. Unfortunately I’m rounding out this year with a heavy heart and some lingering hurt. But I’m grateful for all of these moments: the good, the bad, and the in-between.

Bipolar Disorder: Myths vs. Facts Pt. 1

I have bipolar disorder.

I was diagnosed in the spring of 2016 after a severe manic episode. And boy, has it been a long and enduring and wild journey since then.

Today, I’m introducing a new series on myths vs. facts of bipolar disorder out of the hope to normalize discussing mental health and illness, sufferings that come along with bipolar, and the reality of someone who lives with it every day.

Today’s post focuses on defining bipolar disorder, what it means and looks like, and the reality of suffering from this disorder.

Myth: Bipolar disorder is just being moody. All people with bipolar disorder are rude and short-tempered.

Fact: Bipolar disorder is defined as a mental condition marked by alternating periods of elation and depression. There is no one-size-fits-all for bipolar disorder.

Sometimes when I tell people I have bipolar — especially strangers — they are shocked. “But you don’t act like you have bipolar. You are so nice and happy!”

And while some may consider this a compliment, really it’s a microaggression.* This statement is aggressive because it alludes that all people with bipolar are the opposite: mean and temperamental. It hints that all people with bipolar are moody and short-tempered and difficult.

In reality, the people I know with bipolar are some of the kindest, most patient, most giving friends I have. In reality, out of the several friends I have with bipolar disorder, zero of them have the exact same struggles or mental health journey. Zero of them have the exact same personality, experiences, and sufferings.

After living with bipolar for half a decade, I realize the deep truth of this quick Google search definition: I’m elated or depressed. I’m mostly elated or mostly depressed. I’m semi-elated and semi-depressed. I’m a bit of nothing and everything in-between.

Since my manic episode and diagnosis, I’ve experienced mania and psychosis, hypomania (a slightly less elevated form of mania), stability, depression, and severe depression. I’ve been all across the spectrum, sometimes changing within a matter of hours or days, sometimes alternating phases and moods over a span of months.

Bipolar disorder is cruel and brutal and unforgiving. Experiencing bipolar elation is thrilling and unreal and wild. Experiencing bipolar depression is hard and debilitating and extreme.

Next time you speak or interact with someone who struggles with bipolar, please be patient and considerate of their struggles. Please watch your mouth (more to come on that) and be forgiving. And as always, remember it’s OK to not be OK and we should all treat others who face suffering with kindness.

*A microaggression is a subtle, off-handed remark discriminating against members of a people group

Self-Care Series pt. 4: On Connecting With Others

When I’m depressed, I tend to isolate.

I feel ashamed of my depressed feelings and apathy, I feel insecure and anxious, and I don’t want anyone to see me in this state. Unfortunately the impact of self-isolating is cyclical: I isolate to avoid others, avoiding others makes me feel isolated, and it repeats and repeats and repeats.

One of the best pieces of advice my therapist Chelsey has ever given me is to connect with others when I’m feeling down, even if my mood begs otherwise. When I am down and isolate, I just feel even more crummy and anxious and devastated. But when I’m down and surround myself with my community, my spirit is lifted (even if only just a little bit) and I feel less alone in this battle with my mood disorder.

It can be tough and hard to balance. I do think there’s a fine line between pursuing community in a healthy manner and forcing myself to be around others in an unhealthy way. But what it comes down to is trusting myself to make decisions that are best for me. It definitely helps to seek wisdom in prayer and advice from mental health professionals, to be aware of my sleep, mood, and energy, and how I am feeling.

It’s important to be self-aware.

When we can identify our thoughts and feelings, when we can identify when we are experiencing a dip or feeling down, we know better what we need and how to meet those needs.

I talk a lot about sleep, mood, and energy checks, because I think they are very effective. I look at my rest and sleep patterns, what my mood has been lately, and the energy I’m giving off.

When I realize I have had a crummy amount of sleep, my mood and energy are low, I recognize I may start wanting to isolate. But then I can say no to my mind and body and seek out the community my mental health needs.

It certainly isn’t easy or natural to seek out community when I’m feeling down and numb and apathetic. But it certainly is good for my soul to do so: I feel more connected, more at ease, and more supported when I do. Sometimes it’s a matter of having a healthy, honest conversation with friends that I’m feeling low. And they usually respond with grace, kindness, and encouragement.

Dear friend,

If you have been feeling down or depressed lately, know that you are not alone. Identify what you need, seek those needs out, and lean on your community. That’s what they’re there for. That’s what I’m here for.

With kindness & love,

Mae

Self-Care Series pt. 3: Find What Fuels You

Self-care is important.

And part of self-care is just finding out what fuels you — what gives you energy, life, and rejuvenation. In the first two parts of this series on self-care, I walked you through the importance of rest, and then exercising & eating well.

Today we are talking about the things that not only bring you peace, but also joy. Things that not only make you feel rested, but also make you feel motivated.

A few things that give me life are spending time outside, meditating on scripture, and connecting with others (more on the last in a post-to-come).

Opt outside

I love to be outside. Whether it’s a hike or a bike ride, a climb or a picnic, I love to soak up the sun and breathe fresh air. There is something about spending time outside that makes my soul sing.

Unfortunately, the greater Dallas area does not have much (or really anything) to offer in terms of mountains. But when I am able to escape the 214 and hop on a plane to Colorado, or most recently Utah, it’s always time well spent.

While I prefer mountains, I’m not too picky — I also appreciate the piney woods of East Texas, or the simple parks in DFW. Thankfully, being a happy dog mom means going on a minimum of two walks a day. At times they are short and sweet, but I always treasure these times in the morning and evening.

Meditating on scripture

Spending time alone with My Heavenly Father also fuels me. It both brings me peace and lifts my spirit. I will admit I am not the most disciplined at my daily quiet time, but when I prioritize a slow morning with God, I notice a tangible positive difference in my energy and attitude the rest of the day.

I have found that having a designated devotional helps me be more dedicated when reading scripture. It gives me direction and focus, and it overall helps me have deeper, more intentional time spent with The Lord.

Find what fuels you

Maybe you’re not like me. Maybe the great outdoors or a spiritual relationship don’t speak to you. Maybe instead you’re fueled by alone time, volunteer service, or long car rides. We are all different and that’s okay! We can all like different things and have different environments, activities, or relationships that fuel us.

During times of apathy or lack of inspiration, I encourage you (and myself) to find things that motivate you. I encourage you to find what speaks to you, what gives you life. Find what gives you joy and pursue it!

Getaway Recap: Utah

I went to Utah for my birthday weekend — back in August.

Obviously this is a long overdue getaway recap, so I’m just going to dive into the good stuff. I’ve divided the recap into two parts based on the two cities my friend Lauren and I spent time in: Salt Lake & Moab. Here we go!

SLC

  • My favorite brunch was at Millcreek Cafe & Eggworks. Fresh off the plane, Lauren and I were starving. We found Millcreek where I had one of the best eggs benedicts meals of my life. No lie.
  • My favorite activity was bouldering at Momentum Climbing — you didn’t think I would go a weekend without climbing, right? Momentum is a great gym with plenty to do. The sets felt hard but were all very fun.
  • My favorite dinner was at Saffron Valley, where I pigged out on butter chicken and naan. I practically rolled back to our Airbnb.
  • My favorite alcoholic drink was at Water Witch, a neat little bar near our Airbnb. I can’t remember exactly what was in the cocktail, but I know wine and tea were involved.
  • My favorite non-alcoholic drink was a hot lavender latte from La Barba. The location we went to at the Gateway was kind of eerily calm, but the coffee itself was super yummy.

Moab

  • My favorite national park was hands-down Arches. Lauren and I opted to do a year-long pass instead of paying daily, as it was a better deal in the long-run. Arches has amazing hikes, views, and arches (duh). My favorite hike was to/from Landscape Arch.
  • My favorite view was at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park. The hike is super easy and the view is absolutely gorgeous. The world looks so tiny and delicate from up above.
  • My favorite coffee was at Moab Coffee Roasters. We went there a couple of times. I got my usual iced almond milk latte, and it was great!
  • My favorite meal was my mac & cheese at The Spoke on Center because I am really just an overgrown 5-year-old. But honestly, it was delicious and we also had ice cream for dessert which was just as good.
  • My favorite moment was sitting outside Bike Fiend (a bike and coffeeshop) with our coffee-in-hand, only to watch a sweet pup named Zeke wait in line for a donut at the shop next door. It was the cutest thing in the whole wide world.

Overall we had an amazing trip and it really made turning 27 special. I am so grateful to get to travel and experience new things with wonderful people. Can’t wait to see what next year’s birthday trip holds!