Friday, July 27, 2012

Incoming #2 + Postcrossing

Incoming letters two, three and four came this week!  Can you say exciting?!

Incoming letter two was from my lovely friend Lindsey...the first letter from a "real life" friend!  I was so excited and wrote her back already.  We won't be writing much longer though, since we'll be reunited in the same city in just a few weeks!

Lindsey's letter on the left and a letter from Lucas on the right!

Incoming letter three was from Lucas.  He's practically my neighbor, considering he lives just an hour and a half north of me and seemed very familiar with the town I'm living in this summer!  Maybe I'm easily impressed, but I thought it was so cool that he wrote his letter on a typewriter.  I wouldn't know what to do with a typewriter if somebody put it in front of me.  I'm really looking forward to keeping up with this new pen pal, though!

Incoming letter four was from Anna.  I saw on Anna's blog that she had an outgoing letter coming my way earlier this week, so I've been excitedly awaiting its arrival.  Today, as I stood at the edge of the driveway (promptly at 4:40 p.m.) waiting for my postie, I crossed my fingers that it would arrive...and it did--along with two postcards!  (See below.)  I loved the beachy envelope Anna decorated for me and am so excited to respond.

My second letter from Anna in between two Postcrossing cards.

Postcrossing update-- I got two postcards!  So far, five people have received my postcards and I have received two myself.  One of my postcards was from Rose in Canada (yay international mail!) and the other was from Susan in Philadelphia.   This might be the start of a beautiful hobby... 

One other thing- I began an email pen pal friendship this week.  It began as me sending my first Postcrossing card to a stranger in the Netherlands, and it has turned into a fast friendship!  After she emailed me thanking for my letter, I sent her a long response and our conversation started there.  We've found we have so much in common and I am so thrilled to get to know my new friend Henrike better!

letters 24, 25, 26 and 27

Letter twenty four was a birthday note!  I wrote it to Amy, who might very well be one of the sweetest people I know.  She is someone who puts a smile on your face every single time you see her, so I'm hoping that for once, I'll be the one putting a smile on her face as she reads her birthday card.  I made yet another attempt at going the handmade route, so hopefully Amy didn't laugh too much at my amateur effort.  :)

Letter twenty five was a reply letter!  Hooray!  My stunning friend Lindsey was the recipient of letter eleven (seen here) and I was lucky enough to get a wonderful response from her today.  It's so nice when my "real life" friends (as opposed to my pen pals/blog friends-- though you all are fabulous too) take the time to send snail mail.  As long as I get letters, I will always respond.  You hear me, Linds?  Although with going back to school in a few weeks, we'll get to communicate in person.  What a great day that will be!

Letter twenty six went to my amazingly intelligent, self-aware, hilarious law student of a friend, Ben.  Ben and I have had several phone chats throughout the summer and they have really been some of the highlights of my time.  That sounds a little pathetic, I realize, but I'm just being honest.  This guy can lift up a mood, make you laugh, talk seriously, give advice... you name it, Ben's the guy for it.  Clearly, he warrants receiving a letter of appreciation, so I sent him just that.  I probably owe him ten more letters if I were trying to adequately depict for him the gratitude I have for him in my life, but I'll stick with the one for now.  :)

Letter twenty seven... yet another birthday note!  I'm going to post her full name-- JOCELYN LONQUIST.  Why am I taking special care to share that?  Because this girl will be famous in approximately five years.  She's a musical theatre student currently who just finished getting paid for a summer of performances at a theatre in Virginia.  I've already made Joce promise me that when she makes it big on Broadway, she has to take me backstage and let me stay with her in the city... that is, if I'm not living there at that point (living in NYC at some point is on my bucket list).  Anyway, Jocelyn ended her teenage years and I sent her a card to celebrate!  It's not as good as being there in person, but it'll work!

Monday, July 23, 2012

letters 21, 22 and 23

Letter twenty one was a birthday card for a friend named Anthony.  The circumstances are slightly weird; I've interacted with him in person four times at the most.  However, I feel so utterly connected to him and wrote him what was quite possibly one of the best birthday messages I've written!  I didn't tell him about this project (mainly because I ran out of room on the card!) but I did let him know that a person as great as him deserved a truly stellar birthday, and I meant that.  In a time of Facebook wall posts and text messages, I think that a real, tangible birthday card is a great gesture and I'm hoping Anthony felt that way too.  Pay it forward!  Send someone (maybe even someone a little random) a birthday card to tell them you care.  :)

Letter twenty two went to my beloved Momma Bear!  By that, I don't mean my actual birth mother...  I mean my fabulous friend Erin!   She recently made her way up to Wisconsin (quite a contrast to Florida) and I thought she could use some snail mail love.  This letter was basically a profession of love for her, because she's responsible for a large portion of my life that means a whole lot to me.  (If you don't know me in real life, that seems vague, I know, and I apologize.)  EP... you are about to show Wisconsin what that state has been missing out on throughout the majority of its existence.  And they're never going to want you to leave.  I love and miss you!

Perfectly robotic card for Josie

Letter twenty three was a birthday card for my enemy Josie.  Did I say enemy?  I clearly meant friend.  This birthday card was perfectly fitting because it had robots on it and Josie is indeed a robot.  I actually bought it in June and have been holding on to it this long so that I could send it in a relatively close proximity to the day of celebration of the birth of Josefina.  Do you see how I'm talking kind of strangely?  That's what Robot Josie does to people.  Anyways, Josie, if you're reading this, you should know that I wish you all the best for your twenty first anniversary of life.  Feel free to make any semi-poor decisions because I'm pretty sure that your body has the Ctrl + Z function as a part of your non-humanity.  Also, I'm excited to embrace you next month.  Prepare yourself accordingly. Or, in your native tongue, "G3t r3@dY $$~~~~~."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

letters 17, 18, 19 and 20

Letter seventeen is going somewhere I've never been: Ann Arbor, MI!  My friend Orlando is the lucky recipient of this card.  Orlando is currently interning at GOOGLE!  Yes, GOOGLE!  He is one of those people who is outrageously successful and brilliant yet still totally cool and down-to-earth.  Hence, I like having him as a friend.  I've found that in life I am drawn to having a bunch of girlfriends and a few key guy friends.  (Are you like this?  I'm always awed by the "guy's girls" of the world.)  Orlando is definitely shaping up to be one of these key guy friends!  Aside from the fact that we'll be working together constantly this year for our campus's ambassador program, we're also going be friends who hang out and eat good food and enjoy each other's company.  I can feel it.

Letter eighteen turned out cute!  I returned some spray paint to JoAnn's (Pinterest project aborted) and instead bought some paper crafting supplies.  Great move, Mallory.  I stayed up the better part of the night yesterday working on some cards and envelopes and I think Morgan's came out pretty cute!

Morgan's envelope... yay new supplies!

Morgan is working in her post-grad "big girl job" back at my school.  She regularly acts as my mother, therapist, friend, confidante, motivator, and everything in between during the school year.  A letter does not satisfy how much I owe her, but it's a start right?  I think everyone deserves to know how much you miss and love them, so I told Morgan in writing.  Side note-- Morgan has a highly-entertaining, non-mail blog called Gradually Ginger.  You should check it out.

The back of the envelope with a precious zebra

Letter nineteen is in the hands of my dear friend Hayley.  She started out as my R.A. in my dorm for my freshman year of college.  At first, I thought she would be the intimidating rule-enforcer at the end of the hallway to beavoided at all costs.  I learned quickly though that Hayley was a friend first and foremost, and I grew to love this girl!  I wish that I could be with her to celebrate her 21st birthday but a letter had to work in my place this time.  However, Hayley, if you're reading this, we are having a celebratory lunch/dinner/outing/something in your honor when we return to school next month!  Happiest of birthdays, pretty girl.  I miss you!

Letter twenty, written on the same day as letter nineteen (I'm getting way out of hand), went to a stranger named Lucas.  I found his blog, Lucas Writes, and decided I should most definitely correspond with him.  So, I sat down and made a sea-themed card (I guess I'm missing living so close to the beach) and then set about writing to him.

I love this saying!  It's so true.

Writing to a stranger is bizarre yet invigorating.  There's a sort of anonymity that is quite liberating; you can say anything at all and not have to see the look on the reader's face as he or she processes it.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't say anything all that weird, but the option was nice.  I am hopeful that Lucas will become another pen pal.  After all, my "real life" friends are wonderful but very few of you love snail mail enough to correspond repeatedly over time!

A P.O. box means no concealed address!  Yay unedited image!

That's all for now.  To my very few loyal readers, thanks for caring and keeping up.  :)  Happy snail mailing!

Monday, July 16, 2012

letters 14, 15 and 16

Letter fourteen was a first for me-- I made the stationery!  I went to a local store called Rubber Stamp Fantasy last week and bought shimmery black envelopes, gold and silver stickers, metallic pens and cream-colored card stock.  Lauren's was kind of a guinea pig test but I was so happy with how it turned out.  Lauren is someone who I really admire and respect but with whom I have never really spent very much time... Why on earth is that the case?!  Our school is lucky enough to have her around another year as she gets her Master's degree, so I'm going to jump on the opportunity and spend more time with this amazing individual.  I hope that she's okay with this, because I'm pretty persistent.  :)

An attempt at nice lettering on LV's envelope

Letter fifteen was written on the same day as letter fourteen!  That's right-- two letters in one day!  I have lost my mind!  It was an exciting one for me because it was my first letter to a "stranger."  Anna at  The Lettering sent me the letter from the post below and I was thrilled to respond!  She is what I hope I'll be in a few months: a mail art master, letter writing extraordinaire.  Anna, your letter got put in the mail today so it should arrive soon!  Yay for finding others who love snail mail like I do!

Letter sixteen just got picked up by my postie!  It is in transit to bright, beautiful New York City to be with my lovely friend Sara.  Sara lives in this fabulous area of Brooklyn called Park Slope and she was sweet enough to host me at her apartment this past February!  I envy and admire this girl so much.  She moved up to NYC to follow her dreams-- she got a great apartment, two jobs, settled into a fabulous social life and now she's working for NBC!  Yes, NB-freaking-C!  Less than a year after arriving in New York!  I get a little excited when I think about it because I just know that I'm going to see Sara on the Oscars someday.  :)  Anyways, a girl this wonderful (and a great friend and listener on top of all that!) is fully deserving of a letter, so she got just that today.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Incoming #1

Incoming letter one came in the mail on Saturday!  I was so excited when I saw a lovely envelope addressed to me in the stack of mail for the day.  It took every ounce of self control not to rip open the envelope before taking pictures!

Adorable letter from Anna!

This letter came from my fellow snail mail lover Anna who blogs at The Lettering.  She is a letter writing fiend.  

Even the back was precious!

I enjoyed reading her long letter which included a hilarious story about a misadventure in a German airport... love it!  

Thumbs up for long letters

You should know that I'm one of those people who doesn't use the expression "lol" often because I'm usually not actually laughing out loud.  In this instance though, I totally was!  Anna was sweet enough to even include a little gift bag of stickers and mail decorations!  

Gift bag with stickers and goodies inside-- love the chevron!

All in all, I was ecstatic to have my first piece of incoming mail.  I wrote Anna back today (check tomorrow's blog post for that) and will be sending it out bright and early in the morning!  I'm so excited for my new mail friend in Portland, OR.

Friday, July 13, 2012

letters 11, 12 and 13

Letter eleven was so pretty.  I'm bummed I didn't take a picture of it!  I sent it to my lovely friend Lindsey Creahan.  The thing about Linds and I is that we go to the same school but are so bad about seeing each other regularly.  She's an engineering major and I'm extremely involved on campus, so our schedules clash a lot.  However, we both agree that we're going to do better this year and I took it a step further by putting it in writing!  :)  Lindsey, if you're reading this, just know that... I CANNOT WAIT TO REUNITE!

Letter twelve was a birthday card for my great friend Joe.  He took me under his wing last year and has been such a good addition to my life!  He is always honest and straightforward with me, and I really appreciate that in a society where so many try to say what you want to hear!  Also, he knows more about medical topics than I could ever dream of, so it's good to have him around for that ;)

A cute envelope for my cute friend Kendall

Letter thirteen went to one of my oldest girlfriends, Kendall.  We've been buds for as long as I can remember.  Her mom was my preschool teacher and we've been in the same church together our whole lives.  Kendall is someone who has always understood me (especially my outlook on my love life) and has been there for me through a lot.  She's one of the special kinds of friends who I can be apart from for any amount of time and then reunite and everything is right back to normal.  I love this about her, I cherish her, and I will definitely be sending her more letters throughout this project!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I joined Postcrossing last night and am already addicted.  Now, I have never been a postcard person.  I don't collect them and I rarely send (or receive) them.  However, all that is about to change with Postcrossing.

The premise is that you submit your address to the site and it's entered into their private database.  You then request an address (or five, if you're me) to send postcards to.  Here comes the cool part: this is an international website!  The addresses I got were for Russia, the USA, Germany, the Netherlands and even the Republic of Belarus! 

Today, I bought five local Marietta, GA postcards and wrote nice messages on them to send out to my new international friends.  I'm going to the post office to mail them and I'm praying that it won't be too expensive.  (I haven't sent international mail in recent years so I'm slightly terrified.  I am a broke college student after all.)

After I send them out, the boring, waiting part happens.  Once my recipients get their postcards in the mail, they go on the Postcrossing website and "register" their postcard.  Basically, I write a unique code on the postcard and they enter that code on the site once they receive their mail.  Once that code has been registered, my name is given out to a new, entirely different person so that I am now the recipient of a random postcard! 

The whole thing is simply magical and a great reminder that although the world is big, we're all connected in one way or another.  What are you doing?  Go join Postcrossing already!
Note: I'm not including postcards sent/received in my 365 letter count.  The messages are too brief to justify!  However, I will be keeping track of them here separately.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

letters 8, 9 and 10

Letter eight got sent to what might possibly be my youngest pen pal in this whole project.  At just 11 years old, my friend Lexi is not exactly one of my peers.  The story of how I met her is kind of interesting, though.

We were on the same cruise (Carnival Freedom) in July 2009 and I met she and her mom on the first night at the show.  We struck up a quick friendship and the next night, my family was saving seats for them at the next show.  (Little did I know, Lexi had an older brother traveling with her who I later hung out with!  And he was super cute...)  We only got to know each other over the course of a few days before parting ways; Lexi was headed home to Pennsylvania and I went back to Florida to get ready for senior year of high school.

Flash forward to now, three years later, and Lexi and I still keep in touch!  We text periodically and catch up on Facebook.  I don't know if or when I'll get to see her again, but I certainly hope that I do.  It is so special that we still keep in touch, so of course I had to send her a letter!

Letter nine is in a city I've never had the pleasure of visiting, beautiful, sunny Miami!  It is, hopefully, safe and sound in the hands of my good bud JC.  I met JC. at the University of Florida last spring and was so bummed when he graduated and left me behind that same semester!  He's now off conquering law school at UM while I continue in undergrad at Florida.  We haven't kept in the best of touch (law school will do that) but when we do catch up it is so wonderful!  I sent JC a letter basically just to remind him that although we don't necessarily talk that often, I still miss and care for him tons!  Like I've said before, I think a letter does a better job of illustrating that you care than a phone call, email or text message ever could.

The letter written by candlelight to Andrea

Letter ten got mailed to my beloved college town of Gainesville, FL!  I sent it to the one and only, fabulous, amazing human being that is Andrea Clavijo.  If you're reading this and you don't know her, I apologize because you're missing out in a big way.  As much as Andrea knows that I am a huge fan of her, I wanted to send her a letter to remind her of that.  She is one of the busiest people that I know so I'm hoping that my letter gave her two minutes to relax, smile and know that she is sooo wonderful!  The letter was kind of interesting because I had to write it only by candlelight-- literally!  There was a massive thunderstorm at my house that knocked out our power for a whole night.  I lit candles and used the time to write a letter before hitting the hay early.  I felt so primitive, but it was actually kind of nice!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

letters 5, 6 and 7

Letter five was one that made me nervous.  I'll explain.  I've been reading blogs for the last five years or so.  In the last two years, checking my Google Reader has become a part of my daily routine.  I have accordingly grown attached to certain blogs/bloggers.  The one who inspires me the most and whose posts I always anxiously await is Indiana Adams from  I feel like I know her (not in a creepy way, I swear) and I love her style and outlook on life.  No, I don't live in Texas, and her blog is titled for its capital city, but that doesn't stop me from devouring her blog posts as fast as she can write them!  So you see, my letter to her was a fan letter of sorts.  I felt like such a dork, gushing onto this card, my writing spilling over into the margins.  I sent it, though, and am just hoping that it brought a smile to my favorite blogger's face, however goofy it may have been!

Letter six needed to have nice handwriting, definitely.  I sent it to my mentor, Jordan Andreu, after all and she is one of the craftiest/most perfect people I know!  I used nautical stationery (two of my favorite things come together!) and squeezed as much writing into the tiny card as possible.  I know Jordan will appreciate my project and blog because she herself blogged when she was abroad in London and I was one of her most loyal followers!  :)  Ments, if you're reading this, I cannot WAIT to see you in a month-ish!

Letter seven traveled all the way up the East Coast from Florida (I was home for a weekend visit) to New York City, where my fashionable friend Michaela Trimble is interning this summer!  Michaela loves mail too; she got super excited when I asked for her address!  I used my new favorite nautical stationery again (I'm going to have to force myself to use something different for letter eight).  I wrote a sentiment in my letter that is so completely true-- that I was jealous of it!  Not only was this piece of mail in the wonderful, magical place that is NYC, but it was in the company of my fabulous friend!  If letters had feelings, this one had better be feeling appreciative for the amazing opportunity it has!

Stamp update-- My mom donated five Forever stamps to me yesterday.  Hooray for saving money on postage!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

letters 3 and 4

Letter three would have been written even if I hadn't begun this project.  I sent it to someone who regularly talks me through the most difficult of things and also listens while I jabber about nothing at all.  He was my saving grace on the day I was moving from Gainesville to Pensacola--a day full of emotional breakdown after emotional breakdown.  (When he arrived at my building, I was crying my eyes out and couldn't get the door open to go outside and meet him.  He not only got me out, but handled my uncontrollable and ridiculous emotions better than just about anyone ever has.)  Chase, if you're reading this, I still owe you.  A letter doesn't equal out to what you've done for me.

A very loving envelope for Kate and a 4th of July greeting for Chase

Letter four was time sensitive because the recipient is leaving the country in just over a week!  Kate Kesselring and I don't appear to have much in common from the outside.  She is this sporty, talented, hilarious girl who can be one of the boys or have any boy she wants.  I am... none of those things.  :)  Yet somehow, we get along beautifully and have developed a friendship that I cherish so much!  While I stay here in an Atlanta suburb, writing letters and hanging out with my grandparents, Kate will be wandering around Greece!  I am so jealous but hoping she has the most amazing of times.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

letters 1 and 2

Letter one was one that I've been wanting to send for more than a month.  I sent it to someone who I'm not particularly close to but who has nonetheless been on my mind all summer.  He went on a mission trip to Russia and I thought about him just about every day he was there, and still think about him a lot even though he's back in the U.S.

So, without telling him about this project, I sent him a letter.  David Williams then became the start and I guess, the inspiration, to this project.  My first recipient.

It sounds so great, but there's a problem.  I sent the letter to David's home address, but I think he might be in Gainesville.  This would foil letter number one and not start my project off very well... but I don't want to ask him where he is because I don't want to let on that he has a surprise letter coming!

These are the dilemmas of my day, people.  I'd say I'm leading a pretty relaxed and blissful existence if this is currently my biggest problem.  :)  Stay tuned for whether or not David receives his letter!

Letter two was sent to someone near and dear to my heart: my mentee Mary Grace Ake!  Her birthday is at the end of this week, so I sent her a birthday/missing you/love note.  Of course I'll text her on her special day and post on her Facebook wall, but I'm hoping an actual letter in the mail will bring a smile to her face.  Mentee, if you're reading this, I love you and I hope you had an amazing day!

The post office is closed tomorrow, which puts yet another kink in my plan.  However, I'm going to write a letter tomorrow as planned and simply mail it out on Thursday (with that day's letter).  I have no rules to go off of on this project; I'm making them up as I go along.  I will not be brought down!  These letters will also help me work on my patience and adaptability, it seems.

Monday, July 2, 2012

the letters

One letter every day for 365 days.

That is my goal for myself, and it will be documented on this blog.


My entire life, I've loved receiving mail.  I would check the mail when I got off the bus in elementary and middle school, praying that something in that box would be for me.

Occasionally, I'd get magazines or catalogs-- American Girl catalogs were always a treat.  Sometimes, I'd get Delta airlines offers for sky miles or credit cards-- that made me feel very adult.  But every now and then, I'd open the mailbox and find inside a letter addressed to me.  The feeling this brought me, and continues to bring me to this day, is pure joy.

You see, when I get a letter, I know that someone took time out of their busy day to write to me.  They used their fancy stationery or bought me a card.  They found a good pen and wrote a message meant only for me.  Then, they found a stamp (which, if you're like me, means a special trip to the post office every single time you want to send something).  Last, they put it in the mail and some wonderful mail carriers saw that it got from their hands to mine.

The whole process is relatively simple, and has been around seemingly forever, but the outcome is just so magical.  The initial moment when you see that a letter has come to you is so thrilling, then you read the letter and you feel sentimental and touched, then you save it somewhere special and smile every time you come across it.  Like I said before: pure joy.

So, I have now embarked on a mission to share this wonderful feeling with friends, family and even strangers by writing a letter a day for an entire year.  It will be tough, of course.  I'll go on vacations, deal with school and exams, get busy, and be positive that I simply can't fit a letter into my day.  But, I'm going to try my hardest to do it and hope that along the way I can spread a little joy through letters from Mallory.