My Best Friend’s Wedding

View More: http://lissaadamsphotography.pass.us/passThere she is, friends! Isn’t she beautiful?! That person there, is MY best friend, not Julia Roberts’. In June, I was fortunate enough to be able to go home, spend some time with this lovely lady, AND* attend her wedding! I know! Couldn’t be better right, well sprinkle that with some wonderful family time and you could say that I had an AMAZING TRIP!View More: http://lissaadamsphotography.pass.us/passMe and this girl go wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back- est. in 1994!! Crazy, I know! I bet she is at least a little thankful that I currently don’t have access to all of our pictures from the past. We’ve had some good times together over the years…. birthday parties, sleepovers, trips to the mall, tennis,  trips to starbucks, etc. etc. etc.  Her friendship is like the white center to my oreo cookie… the deliciousness would not be complete without both. I am so proud to say that our friendship has navigated many many paths from living across the country from each other (several times) to living across the world from each other. She is someone who inspires me (because she is a rock star) and as a best friend should, compliments my loud personality with being witty, intelligent and amazing and most of all- she makes me a better person just by being herself.

Here is the PICourney (picture journey) of the wonderful and amazing weekend of celebrating her and her amazing husband (who is also a complete rock star!).

View More: http://lissaadamsphotography.pass.us/pass

View More: http://lissaadamsphotography.pass.us/passView More: http://lissaadamsphotography.pass.us/passView More: http://lissaadamsphotography.pass.us/pass

View More: http://lissaadamsphotography.pass.us/passIMG_2663whoops! A little blurry!

IMG_2655IMG_2665IMG_2671

IMG_2711

And last but not least… one of the best pictures that I have had the honor of taking!

IMG_2673

Congratulations best friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You just had your two month anniversary!!!! CRAZY!!!!

Love you like a high school girl LOVES her prada backpack…. and if she doesn’t have one, like she LOVES her sketchers!

**an extra special THANK YOU to my sister who took some pictures at the Bachelorette party- without her this picture post would not be possible!!!!!

Today….

Some people have these kinds of days….. some people are lucky enough to not have them…. then there are even those who, God love them, have more than one. These kinds of days are the hardest, the hardest to remember -as all of the memories scroll through like an old home movie. These days are also the hardest to forget – it can sit as a reminder for all that should have been done. The times I forgot to call back or was “too busy”, the times I didn’t tell him how much I appreciated him, the times when I gave him a hug and I should have squeezed a little bit tighter.

Its important though…. on days like these to remember all that they did, to remember all of the happy times (and WHOA* did he know how to have a good time!) and to know most importantly- they wouldn’t want the lives of those they loved to be lived in regret or remorse.

Two years ago, I woke up in disbelief. That one of the most inspirational and loving people that I have ever known would be taken from this world. Today, I woke up in the same disbelief. However, I was reminded that he still inspires me to this day- he left behind a legacy, a legacy that lives on through his family and friends.  2332_50572956796_1640_n

59338_437800761796_4194874_n   IM000127.JPG

If I were to go through all that he taught me, I would need about 1000s of blog pages.

He taught me the importance of family…. how precious they are and how essential it is to show love not just say it.

10235_528602564697_4003568_n

2627_1104601982276_7803969_n

100_4028He taught me the importance of laughter… that there is always a funny side of life and all meals should be served with a BIG helping of laughter

IM000033.JPG100_4023He taught me sacrifice. Its not a surprise, he definitely spoiled me and my sister. But times such as these, GOING ON THE DUCK TOUR, regardless of whether he wanted to actually* go, can never be replaced. Although, I am sure I didn’t always deserve to be spoiled – it means so much to know how he much he cared

61610_552331990386_4246270_n58032_554822809117_6761378_n1921_46436441796_3338_n 41087_552192934056_6342715_n

He and my aunt set an incredible example of marriage. Through all times, good/bad, stressful, happy, fun, sad…. it is important to be there for your spouse no matter what.

bostonfam 005UDandAmber3-2006313585_600489293117_705574472_nHe taught me to drive, most important how to do U-turns

He inspired my love of tea, rhubarb pie, granola, dried apricots, coffee, movies, television shows…. anything to be like UD!

He taught me to be calm when you get pulled over or your car has been totaled

He taught me to listen…. to be there for others

He taught that when Celine Dion comes out with a new cd, stick your hands out the sun roof and enjoy the ride!!!!!!

He (and many others) assured me that one day- my sister and I would get along!

He taught me the right way to do long road trips- lots of good snacks!

He taught me to be flexible and to stay positive, that everything works out in the end.

He taught me how to have a good party, with delicious drinks and loved ones

Although this is still such a raw and painful day, it is yet another reminder of all those lessons that people in life teach. It is a reminder to show people love and kindness. It is a reminder to heed all of these lessons, especially when it is most difficult.

622476_4523401970139_1544400263_o2627_1104612382536_904928_n“Love is stronger than death even though it can’t stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can’t separate people from love. It can’t take our memories away either. In the end, life is stronger than death”

Love you always, UD

Home is where the heart is….

Lately, I have mentioned (rather discreetly) that I have begun feel a little more than appreciation for Morocco. It is something I hesitate too loud, JUST* in case, something frustrating happens and then I can say… “See, I didn’t like it here anyway”. But of course, that is really no way to live.

As I try to put my feelings into words, I can’t help but notice that I feel like I have been through a terrible breakup and am starting anew in Morocco, and by breakup I mean, with America. Over the past year, I have been filled with feelings of loss, remorse and even heartbreak about leaving America and coming to live in Morocco…. these are some ways in which I have felt the “breakup”:

*The relationship was severed, cut off completely… one day there, the next day gone
* Many wonderful memories of the “good ole” days…. eating ice cream, running, going to see movies… OOF! Better stop there or I might have to rethink* the theme of this post!
*mutual friends that we used to see together (me and America) that we no longer see/hang out with; now I am trying to forage how to maintain those important relationships
*the bond that we shared…. vanished* with no explanation then followed by intense feelings of mourning and loss
*even at the slight mention of the beloved, the heart wrenches and breaks a little each time
*when the holiday time comes around, there is no holding it in…. it is sad and lonely and the wish that you were spending it with America won’t go away
*maybe* there are some self-help books laying around for those desperate times where a pick me up is needed
*a song comes on and you remember the exact details of that song when you were with America….

these moments can be downright heartbreaking.…..

However, being here for almost a year (ALMOST A YEAR!!!!!) is sort of like finding someone new….

*still unsure what to do/say/how to go about things
*you still have memories of your old “relationship” and sometimes it is REALLY difficult not to compare
*you can be REALLY happy when you are with them, but when you are by yourself… sometimes the sadness can still take over
*the newness of the relationship can be REALLY EXCITING!!!!!

and slowly but surely…. time begins to heal and the vivid memories of what WAS fade and the appreciation for what IS comes into focus, BUT*  there is still hesitation to admit that it is love.

This is my crossroads.… the difficulty is that I know I will see the lovely America again and as with a breakup sometimes it is hard to see the future with the past glaring in, but my love for Morocco is still blooming. I even find myself going through the “anger stage” of a breakup, remembering certain aspects about America and finding them appalling……

“Why is is that American produce is NOT cheap!!!!” It really makes me angry to think that sometimes we can pay up to $2/3 for as many as THREE tomatoes and I can buy TWO POUNDS here for FIFTY CENTS!!!!!!!!!!!! Its insane!

Or… “Why is there SO much pressure to own a car?”. I know that many people get by in America without having a car but here it really is TREMENDOUSLY easy… sometimes it takes a bit more time, but if there isn’t one kind of bus- you can try another! Or, if you don’t want to take a bus, you can take a taxi from city to city! Or, if you are in the North, you can take the train! Obviously, there are pros and cons to both and all of these may not be available (depending on the area of Morocco) but… it is much easier than I assume it would be in the states!!!

Anywho, back on track……I think that after this past week… I am ready to admit that I sort of love Morocco. There were three specific instances where I felt myself fill with warmth and happiness which when combined with many of my other feelings over the past 11 months can be attributed to love. Before I tell you about these instances, I want to preface the explanations with the idea of personal space. Here in Morocco, there really isn’t much in public areas… in a taxi between cities there are as many as seven people in the car, often times when you pass someone on the street – there is rarely much notice let alone an “I’m sorry”- and of course, you kiss almost everyone you meet (sometimes this is only women) anywhere from 3-7 times on the cheeks. However, I have found that within these routine actions… even though you are touching someone, there usually isn’t care or meaning behind the action. Which made me realize, I really miss hugging my friends and family or just being close with them!!!! So when first, a friend hooked her arm through mine as we were walking down the street, I was filled with warmth and belonging. Then, when I was feeling a little sick, our assistant mudir immediately took notice and reached over to feel my head to see if I had a fever. Even at 25 years old, this makes me feel cared for and I genuinely appreciated his concern. Lastly, this morning when I arrived to workout in my women’s class, one women put her arm around me and gave me a little squeeze. It may not sound like much, but these three actions all made me GLOW with happiness, belonging, and well… if I have to admit it…. love. Specifically love for Larache and the people that I have come to know, but also with deep appreciation for Morocco and its natural beauty.

So, although I wouldn’t say I am completely OVER America…but each new relationship helps you grow and learn, to be better and more well-rounded person for the future. And Morocco and I, of course, will have problems in the future- but what good relationship doesn’t? The important aspect is that you stick with it… work through it…. and have the good times to look back on.