Love The Life That You Live

Some of my greatest passions are traveling and connecting with people. Stories about life should be cherished, shared, and learned from. Wanderlust designates a strong desire for or impulse to wander... in modern usage, to travel and to explore the world.

Not all those who wander are lost.

Monday, February 28, 2011


Things iLove and I'm thankful for.....

water fountains, neighbors, technology to keep in touch, espresso, dark chocolate, people who challenge my thoughts, the plaza lights, rooftop pools, Wednesday night church, festival, carnival, walks with my perrita, fair trade goods, spanglish, movies like Bella, sweet potatoes, massages, bachata, exotic flowers, my herb garden, my mamas green beans, two legs to run on, movies on airplanes, generous people, BBQs, nonprofits, volunteering, homemade corn tortillas y queso fresco, curbside recycling, bubbly baths and bubbly drinks, sunlight, moonlight, candlelight, songs with meaning, family gatherings, common ground in uncommon places, stella mccartney clothes, tacones, city markets, mercados centrales, shisha, iTunes, homemade cards, pedis, my front porch, mentors, continuing education, Italian accessories, besos, reading a good book, Mr. Big in the background, soft materials, soft skin, languages, heights, sporting events, rotisserie chickens, jerk chicken, that "going green" is cool, me time, nicknames, comedy shows, learning about different cultures, real pizzerias, corner cafes, cuban cigars, yerba maté, loyalty, giggling late night, "building", new friends meeting old friends and being friends, dancing, the quiet storm, original artwork, funny dichos, good flicks, international films, local goods, baking, yassa, Sundays, the fresh flowers in my house, hot sauce, cinnamon, thoughtfulness, and every day God blesses me with.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Back Home

Always a great column by Miss Jeneé!

Many reasons to love KC

It has been more than eight years since I first came to Kansas City, and I often hear the same two questions.

From people who live here: Why did you move here?

From people on the coasts: When are you getting out of there?

It’s not my hometown, that’s for sure. Virginia and the Washington, D.C., metro area will always be that. But I’ve come to appreciate Kansas City and love it as my home away from home. A place filled with self-starters, creative minds and great food.

I think when you’re living in this Midwest metro, a place too big to be a small town yet too little to compete with New York City and Los Angeles, it’s easy to take it for granted.

In the time I’ve lived here, I know of at least 50 people who have moved away for the bright lights of big cities. But for reasons that span beyond friends, family and fountains, a lot of them miss our overlooked little big city.

“So many people leave or want to leave Kansas City, but I definitely still love my hometown,” says Amanda Taylor, 31, who moved away six months ago to pursue her MBA at Arizona State University.

“I miss my favorite little gems like Glacé, the Tivoli, Manifesto and Eggtc. I miss hitting the park on a nice day. There are fewer in Kansas City than Arizona; people appreciate them more. And I miss the Chiefs and Royals games and the spirit of a town that loves their teams.”

Ebony Copeland lived in Kansas City as a med student at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She’s a traveler. Originally from Virginia, she likes to take spring breaks in Jamaica and winter cruises and to see the world. But even after she graduated last year and relocated to Chicago for her residency, there’s something unexpected about our city that she says goes unrivaled.

Happy hours.

“There is no other place that has the happy hour ring that KC does,” Ebony, 31, says. “If you work the circuit, you can eat and drink every day of the week for chump change.”

Crystal Ogo agrees with Ebony about the affordable lifestyle. She’d lived here her whole life before she joined the Army four years ago. She says the low cost of the downtown Kansas City loft she lived in is unrealistic in any other city.

Another thing she says we should appreciate in addition to the best barbecue, jazz and arts? No rush hours. In Kansas City, we don’t sit for hours on the highway hoping to make it home by dinner.

These days Crystal, 25, is a wife, mother and domestic engineer in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“No one appreciates the great things Kansas City has to offer because they believe everywhere else is better,” she says. “There are so many things I miss that I took for granted. I always felt like I could go away from Kansas City and find a better life, but I think I will always feel the tugs of the simple life calling me back home to Kansas City.”

Jeneé Osterheldt’s column runs in FYI on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. To reach her, call 816-234-4380 or send e-mail to

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year New Outlook

You attract what you are or what you see yourself as. Or so they say.

Someone who is patient, kind, and unselfish without being blind. Without love I have no happiness. Now that we are older all childish things end...

I may not do New Years resolutions, but Ms. Hill's song is my theme for 2011 and a sweet reminder that THIS is what I want to BE

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ambitious Girl

Sometimes i think, WOW i've been thru a lot. Even in my search for adventure, what's ahead could never compare to some of the things i've seen, done, or been thru. But then i realize that these extraordinary experiences were just pieces, preparations, for more to come.

In the last month in church before i left KC, pastor spoke on feeling alone based on your experiences. But then i think about how many transformations i've been thru and witnessed. There's a common bond in that even tho all of our experiences and pains are different. God cannot be explained. He has to be revealed. Pastor reminded us that our pain is a measure of the amount of power in our lives. In these times we find direction and clearer purpose. All the other BS falls back.

So, i was accepted to Thunderbird Global School of Management last summer. A dream of mine. It's so interesting to see the progression. I deferred a year because of the promotion at one of my jobs at the time. The plan was to attend in Fall '10 and hopefully finish my degree before Isaac got his visa to come home. Well, we all know that our plans never go quite as planned.

An earthquake and a series, nothing short of, miraculous events brought my babyboy to me. No more frequent trips to Haiti. Sad. But days filled with absolute happiness i didn't know existed before. His ways were revealed. People often imply my life is SO different or ask if it's been hard. Honestly, no. The sacrifices i've made for him don't even compare to the rewards. EVERYthing comes with an opportunity cost.

So as 2010 progressed, i became closer (and further) from many friends. Trying times bring out how much people really care. At some point i felt that if i could survive an earthquake and devastation of that magnitude, i could conquer a new city, school, job, etc. with a toddler. On my own. And i still know that i can.

But in the mix of it all i fell in love. Yeah. Ha. The kind that i've only felt twice before. And after the last one, i seriously doubted even HE would bless me with that deep of a feeling again. Maybe i don't need it. You know, i have it all. The house, the car, the travel, wonderful relationships, the freedom, and now a beautiful boy. I could be my own pop song about the independent woman. As a matter of fact, i've had numerous songs come out that people say actually make them think of me.

Where am i going with this? Well i understand there's great power in a strong woman. A strong human being for that matter. How many women are superwoman these days and doing it all, only to sacrifice real contentment and purpose? Or settle for a man not even going half as hard as she is? Life is about balance. So many of life's greatest romances were those who celebrated each others differences and realized that two can do better than one.

Love is funny. And so illogical at times. But we are often reminded to be "rational" or use our "common sense". Common sense only leads to common people. And "being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity" - Will Smith

I've often wrote about my heart residing somewhere far away. It was in Italy, then Haiti. As i write this, Isaac is in KC and i won't see him for two more days. There are those i love in all different places. As i packed up my home in KC i thought about so many memories, but it isn't my home, it's my HOUSE. And i really love that house. The molding, the character, the porch. But I also love Arizona. Something about being somewhere new thrills me. Getting out of my own comfort zone is tough, yet gratifying.

I almost didn't come to Arizona. I planned, in my head, to move to be with my love. Don't get me wrong, i didn't plant that idea. It was brought to my attention over the last month or so. But as i drove cross country, with my music, God's scenery, and so many conversations with my dearest friends, i searched to find where my heart really lies. My priorities are GOD and family, whatever my family is meant to look like. I aspire to do great things, but not at the cost of missing out on too much time with those i love. Being an independent woman has taught me that sometimes the hardest thing is to sacrifice or compromise your plans and desires for someone else. And in the midst of all this thinking and praying i realized that my dreams and desires had changed.

So here i am in AZ. I've withdrawn from the Thunderbird program. It was an honor to be accepted in the first place. I'm thinking i will apply to ASU's online MBA program starting in the spring. It's nowhere near the prestige. But it's highly accredited and so much more flexible for me to support people in my life. And i plan to explore other job options as well.

Life is nothing without love. In whatever form that it comes in. My desire is to be genuine with what i give. And to take time for myself. I look forward to the possibility of seeing family for more holidays, still traveling some, spending time with my good friends here in Phoenix, taking Isaac to new places, spending more time with him and teaching him, and supporting other loves in my life. The possibilities are endless. "Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor" - Proverbs 21:21

When i went to Focus on the Family in the Springs years ago, i read a book called Margin. When we learn to let there be space between our goals and aspirations we realize we cannot do everything we want to do. We don't try. But it allows us to figure out what we really want most out of life. And when you sacrifice for something the reward is oh so much sweeter.

So that is my story of an ambitious girl. Aspirations to be the highest i can be. With hopes that someone else is preparing the same way as me. Inshallah.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Moving West

Continental divide! Route 66! I feel like a settler movin west. Cept in the Infiniti w iPhone n tunes;)

Friday, August 27, 2010


Beautiful double rainbow in Denver, CO

And an unforgettable day at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs