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Friday, October 20, 2017

The Bright Ones.


You know those days (or sometimes weeks, or sometimes months) where life just seems like it's dark? Like the bad news is never going to stop, like evil is always going to prevail? 

Yeah, me too. 



But then, do you know those other moments? The pure goodness, the genuine happiness, the special, little, simple, extraordinary moments that make you stop and breath and say thank you and be happy to be alive?

Yeah, me too.



May your life be so filled with bright spots that you can create enough light to see through the dark. And if you need some help with those bright spots, I suggest taking a babe to a pumpkin patch and setting them loose to pick out their own pumpkin.







The bright ones. 

I never want to stop looking at those. 

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Things I Believe in This Week.


Live music. I saw Mumford & Sons in September, and I saw LANY last week. Both were magical nights. Live music wakes something up inside of you. I always leave concerts so happy and full of life and ready to chase dreams. Anyone else?

Pumpkin spiced everything. Pumpkin anything. Pumpkin everything. All day, every day, from my morning coffee to dessert, I'm eating all. things. pumpkin. 

Drinking coffee outside, by a fire. I'm all about the everyday magic, and this is it.

Road trips. They are good for your soul. Take the trip. Eat ramen and subway if can't afford going out. Just go. See new things and make new friends and visit old ones and just go. 

Candles. I love candles all the time, but especially in the fall. I've currently got pumpkin pecan pie and warm apple pie candles all throughout the house. There's something so cozy about a house with candles in every room.

T-25. Two of my closest friends started this workout this month, and since I know one of the best motivators is some good, old-fashioned peer pressure, I joined them. It is kicking my butt, but I haven't felt this good in a long time. 

Friendship. I've been thanking God daily for the friends I have in my life. Some near, some far, all so precious. I believe in friendship. I believe it's necessary. I believe it's one of the best gifts we get in this life. I'm so thankful for mine. 

What do you believe in this week?
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Friday, October 13, 2017

Because That's What Friends Do.


A year ago, I met up with one of my college besties (Sam!) for dinner. We'd been so close in college, but life had taken us different ways. A lot had changed since we'd last hung out (I'd had a baby, for one), and we were both nervous that we wouldn't be close anymore, or that things would be weird.
 
They weren't. 

We met up at Target and by the time we got through the dollar spot, it was like nothing had changed. It made my heart so, so happy. While we were roaming Target, we ran into my new neighbor, (also named Sam) (yes, I have two friends here and they have the same name. It's confusing). She was having a bad day, so I invited her to join us for dinner. 

And we had the best time. 

We went to Chuy's for stuffed avocados and laughed and told stories and had a great night. I ended that night so happy to be reconnected to an old friend, so happy to have made a new one. 

I didn't know that it was about to be the hardest year of my life. I didn't know that in the next few weeks, my faith in everything I've always believed would begin to be shaken, and continue to be shaken like I'd never experienced. I didn't know that I was about to start walking through a horribly dark year. 

And neither did they. We were just eating stuffed avocados and drinking margaritas and laughing, because that's what friends do. 


Two weeks later, Sam (my neighbor) hadn't even known me for a month when she was over for dinner and I got a phone call with such bad news that it literally brought me to my knees. But that didn't stop her from getting on the floor with me and asking what she could do, who she could call, where she could take me. Because that's what friends do. 

Just a few days after that news, my grandma died. And even though it had only been a few weeks since Sam (my college friend) and I had been back in touch, when I called her crying, she got in her car and came to me. Because that's what friends do.

Neither one of them knew what they were signing up for when they became friends with me. I mean, I didn't know what they were signing up for. It was a bad year. Full of bad things. But that didn't stop them from diving headfirst into the bad with me, for better or for worse. 

Because that's what friends do. 


I've been thinking a lot about friendship. About how great of a gift it is. About how precious of a thing it is to find another human and think, "I'll help you through life. We'll do it together." About how, as we grow up and move and change and move again and change some more, so do our friendships. 

Honestly, it boils down to being there. 

Being there virtually, when you're not together in person. Sending texts when you have a second. FaceTime. Funny memes. 

Being there despite the mess. The mess that is my kitchen, my dirty dishes, my floors that are always a little sticky. 

Being there because of the mess. The mess that is life. 

Being there when it's hard and awkward and you don't know what to say. 

Being there even though they've canceled on you three weeks in a row because of family drama they don't want to talk about yet. 

Just being there. 

Because that's what friends do. 


We're all just people. And we all need our people. This year has blessed me with some of the best people. Some right down the street from me and some states away. But they've all been the best friends, because they've simply been there. 

Because that's what friends do.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

It's October, Let's Drink Coffee.


Guys, my coffee consumption is out of control right now. Partly because I'm just so tired, but partly because it's fall and pumpkin coffee is just my favorite. 

Anyway, I've been drinking all of the coffee. Allllll of it. But if you wanted to come over and catch up, I guess I could save you a cup. 

If we were having coffee...

...I'd ask you what fall TV shows you're happy to see back. This Is Us is killing me. I'm not emotionally stable enough for this show, but I can't quit it. It's so good. 

...I'd tell you that I saw Mumford & Sons in concert, and it was absolute magic. Seriously, a straight-up religious experience. Pure magic. There's no other way to explain it than that. There's something indescribable about being in a room with thousands of other people, all singing all the words to these songs being performed with so much heart. I'll never forget it. 

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...I'd tell you that I visited my best friend from college and we saw a band we've been listening to together for years and it was MAGICAL. A weekend with friends that just get you is the best, best medicine. I slept less than I have in forever, but left feeling more refreshed than I have in forever.
 
...I'd tell you that having a nanny help out with Jack has been amazing. It gives me a few hours to breathe and get stuff done. And he adores her, which makes my heart so happy. Finding childcare was not fun, but I ended up with a perfect situation and it has been so great. 

...I'd tell you I chopped my hair. It's shorter than it's ever been, and while I'm happy I cut it (and actually like the length), it's a baaaaad haircut. Very chunky and uneven and just bad. I need to get it fixed, but I need it to grow out a little bit first, because I'm terrified of losing any more length. 
Your turn! What's new with you?
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Monday, October 9, 2017

Don't Apologize For Who You Are.


I say "sorry" entirely too often. It's something I'm working on, but I have a long way to go. A friend told me this summer that when you say "sorry" all the time, it cheapens your apologies, and that was really thought-provoking to me. I want my apologies to mean something, so I started looking at the types of things I apologize for. 

Wanna know what I found? I apologize a lot for who I am. 

Sorry, I shouldn't have gotten my feelings hurt over that. I'm too sensitive. 

Sorry, I'm a mom, so I can't go out with you tonight because I don't have a babysitter. 

Sorry, I'm a blogger, so I really want to go back there and take a picture of that so I can use it in a post. 

When you apologize for parts of who you are, it's like you're intentionally cutting yourself down. And it's really, really hard to love someone who is always cutting you down. And if anyone should be able to love you, it's you. 

I'm extremely imperfect. I'm very bad at making decisions, they take me forever. I get really emotionally invested in silly things, so I sometimes cry over stuff that is unimportant, in the grand scheme of things. I have hella anxiety that sometimes effects daily things. 

Do you know who I owe an apology to about these things? 

Not a single person. 

If you're like me and say "sorry" without even thinking about it, I want to challenge you to start paying attention to the things that get your apologies. And I want you to stop handing them out when it comes to who you are. 

You are amazing, flaws and all, and you should never apologize for who you are. 


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Friday, October 6, 2017

10 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Me.


1. I am insanely afraid of whales. Not like, "Oh I think whales are scary," but more like I get hot and clammy and anxious even talking about whales. Whenever I'm in the ocean, no matter how shallow the water is, every time my foot touches something (like, you know, the sand) my first thought is honestly always it's a whale and I'm going to die. 

I'm very rational. 

2. I write a to-do list every single day with every single thing I need to do on it.

3. I hate window shopping. I don't mind going shopping and not finding anything, but I hate shopping without the intention or option of buying things. 

4. When I was 22, I woke up one day covered in hives. Then really weird stuff started happening to me (like, my arms would randomly go numb and I would drop whatever I was holding, or my nose would randomly start gushing blood). Turns out, I developed severe allergies to basically everything overnight. To make a long story short, I had to do an extreme version of the elimination diet for about a year and a half, and was able to add most things back in. The allergies that have stuck around that suck the most are pineapple (because it's in every tropical drink ever) and cucumber (because it's in every sushi roll ever). 

5. Loyalty is insanely important to me. If we're friends and you're arguing with someone and I know you're wrong, I will still stand beside you and back you up until the cows come home. When we're alone, I'll tell you that you're an idiot, but I'll always have your back. 


6. When I started college, I was an elementary education major. I thought I wanted to be a teacher. Actually, I'm not even sure that's true...I think I just had to pick something and that sounded like something I'd be good at, so I picked it. I made it all the way to my student-teaching (horrid experience) before I realized I didn't want to spend every day doing this. I called my dad sobbing junior year and he calmly told me there was nothing stopping me from changing my mind, not even the thousands of dollars he'd paid for all those education classes and certifications. I hung up and marched right to the registrar's office and changed my major to English. 

7. My first memory is of being in my parent's wedding. I don't remember the actual wedding part, but I remember someone putting stick-on-earrings on me before pictures, and I remember playing with my Angelina ballerina set before the wedding with my cousin. 

8. I am an extremely laid back mom, which I did not see coming. Jack has never had a bedtime, I don't restrict screentime, and I let him eat anything. We're both happy, so I think it's working. The only thing I'm uptight about is who I'll leave him alone with...that's a very short list. 

9. I'm a Plexus lover. My friend started selling it awhile back, and I have a rule that if a good friend starts their own business/starts selling something, I'll buy from them at least once, because we should support each other! But plot twist, it seriously worked for me and I'm seriously obsessed with it. 

10. I passionately hated coconut until I was 17. Then I accidentally ordered pasta that had coconut in the sauce and now me and coconut are 8 years into our passionate love affair. 
Tell me something I don't know about you! 

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Love.


It is a freaking scary thing to be raising a child in a world where you wake up to news like Vegas. There is something so utterly painful about knowing I can't protect Jack from the evil in the world. I can't keep him from one day learning that people who want to bring terror exist.

But it's also the most motivating thing. Because no matter how bad things get, no matter how repetitive this narrative feels, I will never, ever stop trying to make the world a better place for him. 

Yes, there needs to be serious action. If you have money, donate it. If you're in the area and can donate blood, do it. If you're passionate about gun control, call your representatives. But also, ask yourself what you, in this little space where you live your life, can do, right now, amidst your normal day. While you're working, running errands, going to the gym, getting stuff done, what can you do? 

You can be good to others, and you can love. 

Be good to each other, because life is short, and all you have is right now. Love so loudly, so abundantly, so overwhelmingly, that people cannot leave an encounter with you without being so covered in love that they have to pass it on. 

Forgive way too easily. Love anyway. Love in spite of. Love even though. Love, love, love, love, love. 

I can't make the world a safe place for Jack. I can't shield him from the evil that exists in some people. But I can spend my days pouring out copious amounts of love into the world, and hope that it makes even the smallest difference. 

I'll never stop trying, and neither should you. 

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