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Sunday, December 29, 2013

One year of marriage.

One Year.

52 Weeks.

365 Days.

Countless laughter and

a few tears and

big dreams and

big plans.

Adventures and

struggles and

trying our hardest to make our vows a reality.

Travels and

learning and

experiencing life together.

Loving every day and

loving life and

loving each other.

It's been a heck of a first year.  Here's to many, many more.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013, You Were Pretty Amazing.

2013 has been one crazy year.

I welcomed in 2013 in Jamaica, still on our honeymoon celebrating our new life.  When you start a year out like that, it has to be good, right?  2013 certainly has been.

2013 is the year I started blogging.
2013 is the year I found myself in a new town knowing no one but my husband, and you know what?  I survived.  And not only that, but made some pretty great friends along the way.
2013 is the year I decided to get serious about writing.  And while it would be pretty awesome to be ending the year with a book contract, the passion and determination I've discovered in myself is almost worth as much to me.
2013 is the year I figured out who I was...outside of college, outside of living at home, outside of being in the same town as my best friends.  It was a year of both finding who I was and finding who I wanted to be.
2013 is the year where I learned what being a wife means.  How it's so much more than cooking dinner and doing laundry.
2013 is the year I started building a life with my husband.
2013 is the year I traveled with Chris: to Jamaica, to Haiti, to New York, to the Bahamas.
2013 is the year Mr. Gatsby came into our lives.
2013 was a beautiful, incredibly full year.

This week, while you're making your resolutions and determining how much better 2014 will be than 2013 was, don't forget to take a minute to reflect on how good 2013 actually was.  Don't forget to be thankful for all the things you will have to think of when you think of 2013.

2014?  It's going to be amazing.  But 2013 has been pretty spectacular too.

                  The Lady Okie Blog

Monday, December 23, 2013

Two Years Ago Today.

On this day, two years ago, I was getting ready to celebrate Christmas with Christopher.

He came over to exchange gifts and was in such a rush that he didn't even look past page two of the scrapbook I made him...I'm sure you can imagine how that went over.

He gave me a Betsey Johnson cocktail dress and glitter shows--two of my favorite things in this world--and told me I should wear them to dinner.
Also, that said dinner was in 45 minutes.
Also, I had not even showered yet.
Also, my house was about 30 minutes from where we were having dinner.

Again, I'm sure you can imagine how that went over.

20 minutes later, with half-straight, half-wavy hair and severely damaged nail polish (why is is that every time I paint my nails, I think, oh, I'm sure they'll dry faster this time!") we got in the car and headed to dinner.

Except that Christ told me he felt bad for rushing me, so he had called and changed the reservations and now we had plenty of time.

It was one of those moments where you try to decide if silence or screaming is the best choice.  I settled for telling him to turn the car around and let me finish getting ready.  He said no.  So we went to watch the sunset at our favorite place where he had taken me on our first date two years before.

When we got there, he told me to close my eyes because he wanted to go ahead and give me a Christmas present.  Then he made me get out of the car as he handed me what I could tell was a stuffed animal.  I laughed, because if anyone was driving by they definitely saw me stumbling around clutching a stuffed animal.  They probably thought, Well someone celebrated Christmas a little too hard. 

And then I opened my eyes to find tiki torches and rose petals and a penguin with the words, "Will you marry me?" stitched on the scarf.

And right there, in front of the same swing on the river where we had watched the sunset on our very first date, Chris asked me to be his wife.

I hear a lot of girls explain their engagement as, "the biggest surprise of my life!"  Or, "I'm so shocked right now!"  And that wasn't true for me.  Yes, I was surprised.  My sneaky boyfriend had lied and told me he was losing his job to keep any thoughts of an engagement far from my mind.  But when it happened, I didn't feel shocked or overwhelmed or any of those crazy things.

I felt right.  I felt perfectly right.  Like, of course.  This is what should happen.  This is right.  This is the one for me.

And that feeling has never gone away.

Life has been easy and it has been hard.  Things have gone great and things have gone not so great.  I have had questions and I have stressed and I have worried, but I have never once thought, wait, this isn't right.  And that is something that I hope never stops overwhelming me with happiness.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 was funny.

This week, someone came into my work, walked up to my desk and said, "You have such beautiful eyes..I bet you make the best biscuits!"  And then walked away.  I was trying to figure out how to work that into a blog when I realized that actually, there have been a lot of funny/awkward moments like that in 2013.  So here's a post on some of those moments.  You're welcome.

-I was walking my puppy yesterday next to a field.  The bushes started moving and there was a lot of what I thought was yelling, so I snatched Gatsby up and sprinted away from what I thought was a man yelling and running towards me...turns out, it was actually a bull.  With horns.  Still terrifying, but somehow better than the predator I made up in my head.

-In February, I was having a little photo adventure with Meg, who was taking some bridal pictures at a park.  I was in my wedding dress.  We were scouting good places and found this cute little porch with a walkway that looked like somewhere people would actually have weddings, so we started taking pictures there.  Then some music started playing and I thought, awh, it's wedding music, what a coincidence.  Then I notice these men lining up in suits that were looking at me a little funny.  Then I realized, this is a wedding, and I am standing at the front of the wedding.  In a wedding dress.

And then Megan and I ran away.  But we did get some really fun pictures. 

-I was at a stoplight by my house when the guy in the car next to me gets out of his car, pulls his pants down, and starts peeing everywhere.  Then he starts waving his ahem around, and pees on my car.  I was on the phone with my mom, and was screaming and laughing (because I laugh when I'm nervous.  A great quality, I know), and when the light turned green, he just got in his car and drove away like it was no big deal.  The best part was that when I got home, I realized my back windows were down, so he heard everything I was saying/screaming about him.

-I was at home sewing by myself and could hear someone walking down the hall knocking on every door and yelling, "maintenance!"  I called my mom and started freaking out because we always get a notice on our door if maintenance needs to come inside.  So they knock on my door, and I look out the peephole to see a man dressed in normal clothes who is definitely not maintenance at my apartment.  I start whisper screaming to my mom that it was not maintenance when the door opened.  I darted outside, in my pajamas, wielding weapons of a fork in one hand and a sewing needle in the other, just in time to see several fireman standing there.  They were there to check the fire extinguishers.  They laughed at me.  A lot.

Note:  My dad has since told me that I have to stop calling my mom when these things happen and I should call the police instead.  Noted. 

-I had a booth for my shop at a Christmas fair, when a man came up and stood next to me very nonchalantly, like the people in movies do when they have top secret information.  "I don't know a lot about Hollywood,"  he muttered from the corner of his mouth.  "But I'm pretty sure you're the gal who played in Spiderman."  I told him I wasn't, but thanks for the compliment.  He told me it wasn't a compliment and that he was pretty sure that's who I was.  He left me with a tip that I should get some big sunglasses to cover my face because that might help.  And then he went back to his tent across the street from mine and proceeded to wave and give me thumbs up all night as if he knew my big secret.

What about you?  What are some of the funniest moments you had in 2013?


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Friday, December 13, 2013

You Can Have Whatever You Like.

I was wondering when I would get to title a post with T.I. lyrics.  It looks like today is the day.

I've seen a lot of posts lately trying to define Christmas.  Trying to say what kind of Christmas you should or should not have.  Saying a commercialized Christmas is a big fat no and if you don't think so, you need to reevaluate your life.

Sometimes I can get lost in the place of perfect hair and sage wisdom also known as blogland.  And around a time like this, it can make me feel like I'm doing everything wrong.  Like I'm behind because I haven't baked any Christmas cookies yet.  Or that I'm missing out because we didn't send out a Christmas card this year.  Or I'm a bad person because I want to buy lots of presents.

And that's just not true.  It's not true about me, and it's not true about you.

This Christmas is your Christmas.  Do whatever makes you happy about Christmas.  If you feel like all the shopping and presents commercialize Christmas too much for you, then make your own gifts and focus on the non-commercial aspects.  If eating grilled cheese for a month so you can buy alllll the presents your heart desires for everyone you love is your jam, go for it.  Whatever makes Christmas mean the most to you and your husband//family//puppy//whoever you may live with, that is what you should do.  

Christmas comes once a year and it is much too short.  It's too short to not do what you love to do at Christmastime, and it's too short to waste your time sitting around judging others for how they spend their Christmas.

So get yourself a peppermint mocha and watch Elf and just be incredibly happy that it's Christmas.  Or, don't.  Do whatever makes you happy.  It's your Christmas. 

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Cheer + A Winner!

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
-Norman Vincent Peale

Fifteen days until Christmas, people!  I hope you're enjoying every moment.  I'm currently drinking coffee in front of my Christmas tree, watching my pup try to figure out if my new singing snowman is a friend or a foe.  If that's not a good way to start your morning, I don't know what is.  How have you celebrated so far? 

If your name is Rachel G. and you got an email from me this morning, then there's a package of Christmas cheer heading your way because you won the giveaway!  If your name is not Rachel G, don't cry.  All holiday hair accessories are now buy one get one free with code "CHEERS" until tomorrow at midnight! xo

Linking up with Karly and Niki today! xo

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Very Present Christmas

I usually hate the term "unplugged" when it's applied to technology.  Usually because the people who use it are the same people who can't make it through a conversation without looking at their phone and will throw their kid an iPad the second tears start, but they went a whole hour without their iPhone, and they're proud of it.  So they post on instagram to tell you about it. 

"Spent the whole morning #unplugged.  It felt so good to be without technology for awhile.
#unplugged #familytime #noiphone
(posted at 7:30 AM) 

It feels very hipstocritical.  (That's a mix between hipster and hypocritical.  You're welcome.)

A few days ago, I was sitting on the couch taking pictures of every single thing Gatsby did.  I got a good one so I sat there for a good ten minutes in search of the perfect filter to use to make sure his little face could be seen. 

And then I looked up.  And Gatsby was chasing Chris around the Christmas tree, and for a second, it felt like I was in a movie.  It was the cutest thing I've ever seen, and it felt like such a perfect moment.  And all I could think was, why in the world am I on instagram right now? 

I do realize the irony of talking about unplugging on a blog, but I don't mean a completely technology-free Christmas.  I'm so thankful for all things iPhone, especially around the holidays.  So I'm not talking about unplugging, I'm talking about being present. 

When I pick up my phone instead of just enjoying the moment, it's not that I'm choosing to not be present, it's simply a habit.  I'm so used to not going thirty seconds without doing something that if there's a break in busyness, I automatically pick up my phone.  I automatically check twitter.  Twitter isn't bad.  My phone isn't bad.  But this Christmas, I want my automatic response to
downtime to be to enjoy it.  To actually live in the moment rather than diving into social media and letting the moment zip right past me.

Being present is a gift I'm giving to myself this year. Because I don't want to miss these moments.  I don't want to miss the days leading up to my first married Christmas.  I don't want to miss fun nights with sweet friends.  I don't want to miss anything.  I want to be fully present for all of it.

And you just can't be fully present if your eyes are glued to your phone. 


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Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy Shopping!

'Tis the season to be jolly.  
And also to panic about Christmas gifts, frantically try to find sales, and hope you find personal gifts in time. 
Well, we've got you covered.  
This weekend is a weekend FULL of sales.  The Handmade Fair is back just in time for some Christmas shopping.  For one weekend only, these are some of the products that are going to be offered crazy on sale.  Didn't think you could afford handmade gifts for Christmas?  You can this year!  The shop will open until midnight, December 8th, and anything you order will be shipped to you in time to give as a gift!  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Giveaway.

Are you in the Christmas spirit yet?  I hope so.  My house has turned into a winter wonderland, Christmas music has been on 24/7, and we've already watched Elf.  I'm pretty excited that there's been that much celebrating and it's only December 4th.  I'm telling you, I'm soaking up every single day this year. 

Speaking of the winter wonderland, Gatsby keeps destroying all the decorations he can reach.  I want to be mad at him, but then I look at him..

...Okay, okay have whatever you want.  You want to eat the decorations you can't reach?  Here, let me get them for you. 

I swoon. 

Anyway, in case you just haven't made it into the Christmas spirit yet, here's a little giveaway to help you get started.  Because what says Christmas quite like decorating your hair for the season? 

Some Pretty Lovely Littles goodies!

Five Christmas bows
Four Christmas wire headbands.  

Which, PS, are my new favorite thing because they make it look like you tried to fix your hair when you definitely didn't. 

Can't wait for the giveaway?  I don't blame you.  Go shopping! Use code "CHRISTMASTIME" for 40% off your order.  Merry Christmas! 

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Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2nd.

Happy second day of the best month of the whole year!
I am going to strive to celebrate every single day this month.
While it would be nice to think that everyday will consist of a different, extravagant holiday activity, unfortunately there's a little thing called work that will ensure that will not be the case.  (Again, can someone please explain to me why the entire month of December is not considered a national holiday where we get off work?)

Just because real life must continue doesn't mean there's not room for celebrating.  I plan on celebrating every day of December, and I encourage you to do the same.  Don't get so caught up in your to-do list that you miss out on the magic of Christmas.  Listen to Christmas music on the way to work.  Throw on a Christmas movie while you clean the house.  Bake cookies.  Buy stockings at the dollar store.  Celebrating doesn't have to cost a lot of money or a lot of time.

One of the worst things ever is looking forward to Christmas all year long, only to have it rush past you before you have a chance to enjoy it because you were too busy.  Taking a little bit of time to celebrate each day is a good way to keep that from happening.

Merry Christmas, beautiful people!

[[Also, Happy Cyber Monday!  The Black Friday codes for my new shop are still good until midnight tonight!]]

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Saying Goodbye to November and Hello to something much cuter.

Say hello to the newest member of my tiny family:

His name is Gatsby, and he is perfect. 
I'm looking forward to every bit of December even more now that I know I get to spend it with this little guy. 

So, goodbye, November. 
Goodbye to Thanksgiving.
Goodbye to a perfect day of turkey and the Macy's Day Parade with my favorite people in the world.

Goodbye to watching anything other that Christmas movies. 
Goodbye to listening anything other than Christmas music. 
Goodbye to all my adorable fall decorations. 

Hello, December.
Hello to my first married Christmas season. 
Hello to lots of fun Christmas adventures with our new little family. 

Hello to decorations and turning the house into a winter wonderland. 

Hello to new adventures.
Hello to Christmas shopping and sneaking around buying presents. 
Hello to Christmas music and movies and desserts all day every day. 

It's the most wonderful time of the year! 

Happy December! What are your favorite things about this month? Say hello to December at Nestful of Love today!

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Exciting news and a Black Friday sale!

I hope everyone had an absolutely incredible Thanksgiving that included far too much food and being surrounded by those you love.

I am so thrilled to introduce my new website to you:

Pretty Lovely Littles is a handmade shop of accessories, decorations, and anything else that I think will make you happy when you see it.  The third Monday of every month I will be adding a new product, so there will always be new things to look at!

And since this is a grand opening happening on Black Friday, that can only mean one thing:  sales. 

Because I really want you guys to be able to see what I've been working on, get ten dollars off of any purchase of 20 dollars or more with code: BLACKFRIDAY2013.  If that's not enough to entice you, tweet anything about the shop and use code TWITTERPATED to receive 15% off your total purchase--just paste the link to your tweet in the comment section or tag me: @chelsjacobs_

Happy Holidays!  Throw on some Christmas music and get to shopping!  With sales like this, you can afford to buy stocking stuffers for others and something cute for yourself!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why I won't stop tweeting about Jesus.

Recently a friend of mine posted a status that had to do with her personal belief in God.  Because nothing can stir up unneeded controversy between people who don't know each other quite like a Christian Facebook status, it soon had many comments that all said some variation of "you're an idiot." However, one really stuck out to me: 

"You go ahead and tell all those starving kids in Africa how your God is so great, yet chooses to do nothing.  I'm sure they'll understand." 

I have a better idea.  How about we tell those starving kids in Africa about the stuck up dude sitting in his air conditioned house on his fancy computer who chooses to blame their circumstance on God rather than doing something about it...I'm sure they'll understand. 

I do not make my beliefs a secret.  They are a huge part of who I am. However, I do not (and will never) put down and berate others simply because they do not share my faith.  Considering the God I believe in says the greatest thing is love, that seems slightly counterproductive. 

It makes me incredibly upset how, when a Christian posts something about their faith that not everyone agrees with, they are:
trying to shove their beliefs down people's necks
being close minded
being a bully
being weak and idiotic.

But when someone openly shares their disagreement with that belief (which is also a belief) by being condescending, bullying the person publicly, and denouncing everything that person believes in, they are:
having an opinion.


It hurts my heart when people feel the need to lash out at someone simply because they have chosen to put their faith in something greater than themselves. It infuriates me when someone judges me and my ability to do certain things because of my beliefs.  I mean, obviously, because I believe in God, in being faithful to just my husband, in reading the Bible, and in not frying my brain with drugs, I am probably zero fun to hang out with.


I have plenty of friends who don't share my belief. And do you know what I do about it?

I love them.  We hang out.  We have fun.  And we respect each other.  Why does that seem so rare?  It shouldn't. 

The Internet gives people a sense of courage, but rarely ever in a good way. It gives them privacy to say things that should never be said, especially about other people's faith. 

It is easier to blame the things that are wrong in this world on a God that you don't believe in than it is to actually get up and do something about it.  It is easier to pretend that everything that comes out of someone's mouth is total crap than it is to respect it, because to respect it you must actually think about it.  And dang, that can be hard when you like being right all the time.  So yeah, it's easier to be a self righteous, all knowing, condescending being hiding behind a computer screen (I'm looking at you, Facebook commenter.  Rude.) than it is to be a real life thinker who actually listens to things they may not agree with and thinks before they respond.  It's easier to sit at home and talk about what you disagree with than it is to get up and change what you don't like about the world.  But that doesn't mean it's right. 

I will always respect the freedom of religion, no matter what you believe. I will always respect the freedom of being able to think and say whatever you want, even though so many people abuse it. 

 I will continue to talk about my faith because when things are important to you, you talk about them.  You write about them and put them on Instagram and twitter. So I tweet about Jesus. 

To the lovely commenter who suggested that I would have more followers if I didnt come off as so religious on social media: I also tweet about macaroni and cheese and Netflix and other wonderful things. Hey, I like to talk about the good things in life. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Because Fridays sometimes turn into Sundays.

Thankful Friday was going to be Thankful Saturday, but now it's Sunday and neither have happened.  Oh well.  Sometimes it's okay to trade an on-time blog post for a really fantastic weekend.

This week, I'm thankful for:

1.  Book Signings.

Friday was one of the best days in a long time.  One of my favorite authors was  in town having a book signing.  It was the first signing I've ever been to, and it was so cool to be able to meet her in person.  She was incredibly inspiring to talk to, and it made me want to chase after being published more than ever before.

2.  Catching Fire.

To go along with why Friday was the best day ever, my brother met me and Chris and we all saw Catching Fire.  SO MANY EMOTIONS.  I know a lot of people are complaining about how the movie skipped things that were in the book, so do me a favor:  go get the book and time yourself reading it out loud.  Yeah.  Eight hour movies just can't exist.

3.  Instagram sales!

Tomorrow night I'm teaming up with Megan and we're having a closet sale!  It's like Black Friday shopping early, and you don't even have to leave your couch.  Follow @happylittleclothes and we will post some goodies tomorrow at 8!

4.  Having family and friends who believe in me.

I am so incredibly blessed to have people in my life who believe in me and encourage me to follow my dreams.  And let me tell you, it makes me feel like I can do anything in the whole wide world.  If you want to do something good with your life, be that for someone else. It truly makes all the difference.

5.  New adventures.

Speaking of following dreams, I'm embarking on a new adventure that I am so incredibly excited about!  If all goes well, I'll be sharing it with you sometime this week!

Happy Sunday!  What are you thankful for this week?

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Even though Thanksgiving is in 8 days, which is technically longer than a week, I'm insanely excited and feel like it's tomorrow.  Just go with it.

My favorite things about Thanksgiving:

Let's just go ahead and put this one out there.  Thanksgiving food is the best.  For me, it's a combination of amazing foods that we don't really eat any time other than the holidays.  Every year my family always talks about how we should really eat this type of food more, and every year we never do.  I love it because it makes the day even more exciting.

It's so nice to have a day where you are constantly thinking about all you have in life to be thankful for.  If you're not thankful about on Thanksgiving, there is no hope for you.

This is my first Thanksgiving being married, so I cherish being able to sit around the table with family even more so.
{Side note: last year at thanksgiving my dad made me cry at dinner because since I was getting married the next month, I was probably never having thanksgiving with my family ever ever again and this was the last one ever and I should enjoy it because it was never happening again.  Yes, I was incredibly rational, I know.}

The Macy's Day Parade.
Because Christmas can't start until Santa and Mrs. Claus come riding in on their sleigh.

Black Friday Shopping.  
I've only done this for the past few years, but I love it.  I like to go with nothing specific in mind so I can just enjoy the craziness of it all.

And I love love love going to sleep way too late, full of happiness and way too much food, knowing that the morning will bring Christmas music and decorations and peppermint mochas.  Knowing I get to wake up on that day with my husband this year is almost more than I can stand.  Holidays are the BEST.

What are your favorite things about Thanksgiving?

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

If you don't like your life, change it.

"If you don't like your life, change it."

I know that can be a controversial statement.  I know there are some things in life that just can't be changed.  But I also know there are some that can.

Life is too short to be miserable.  And if you wake up every morning complaining and dreading the day, that's a pretty good preview of how your day is going to go.  While "don't complain" would be the easiest (and also maybe the hardest) step to take, take it a little bit further.  What is it that you're complaining about?  Whatever it is, change it. 

You're bored?  Do something.  Don't like your job?  If you can afford to take the plunge into finding a job you love, do it.  If not, change some other things.  If you don't like your job because you don't get to shine in an area you're good at, find another place in your life to shine in that area.  If you don't like your job because you don't get to be creative, be creative somewhere else.  Start an etsy shop.  It cost me a whopping six dollars to start my etsy shop, and it has provided a really great creative outlet in otherwise very uncreative day-to-day work.  If you don't get to interact with people as much as you'd like with your job, make an effort to do so outside of work.  Write letters.  Set up coffee dates.

Most of the things we complain about in life could be changed if we tried even just a little.  I have friends who complain about never getting to spend time with their family, yet the first thing they do when they get a break is catch up on instagram or meet up with their friends.

Everyone has free time, it's just sometimes hidden in the form of time spent on social media or those extra hours spent in bed.  It's there in your life, and how you spend it is completely up to you.  But if you're unhappy with your life, use that free time to do something about it.

If at the end of the day, you honestly feel like there is absolutely nothing you can change in your life, then you just have to find a way to be thankful for the things that are already there.  Being thankful is a huge step in the direction of being happy.

Be happy this week.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Thankful Project: November 9th

November 9th:  A photo.

This one was easy.  This is one of my favorite photos of all time.  It's the last photo taken on my wedding day, and it sums up the happiness of the whole day.  I'm about to get in a limo to go spend a week in Jamaica with my brand new husband, I've just spent the whole night dancing with my favorite people in the world, my parents look so happy, I'm hugging my brother, and there's confetti. 


Friday, November 8, 2013

The Thankful Project: November 8th.

November 8th:  Words

My blog is no stranger to this subject!  {here. here. and here.}

I love words.  So freaking much.  That's why I started blogging, because I wanted an excuse to add more words to my life.  They are a beautiful thing, whether they are written, printed, spoken. . .they are powerful.  I'm thankful for pretty much everything about words.  I'm thankful that I live in a place where I have the freedom to use my words however I want to without having to be afraid.  I'm thankful for the feeling I get when I write words down, putting them in such an order that they tell a story.  I'm thankful for words shared over coffee as new friendships build.  I'm thankful for three words whispered late at night when my husband comes to bed and thinks I'm asleep.  I'm thankful for words that can help others when they are going through a hard time.

And I am thankful for words that make up books.

More than a lot of things in life, I am thankful for the words that make up good books.  There's nothing better than losing yourself in a story.

What kind of words are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Thankful Project: November 7th

November 7th:  A job.

I feel like it's always a risk to write about your job on your blog, so for today's prompt I'm just going to write some things that my current job has taught me, because I'm thankful for the things I am learning. 

Sometimes it's okay to say no. 

One of the best and worst things about my personality is that I always want anyone I am working for or working with to think I am a great worker with a really great work ethic.  Sometimes this translates into saying yes to every single thing anyone asks me to do.  What I've learned recently (and am still learning) is that if you say yes to everything, then nothing gets done as well as it should.  You've got to know your priorities and focus on those.  

There are going to be stages of life where the work you are doing has nothing to do with where you thought you would be.  Do your best anyway. 

I had this beautiful idea that I was going to graduate college and move to Orlando and land myself an incredible writing job.  Sadly, that has remained a beautiful idea.  My three best friends from college have all landed incredible jobs or gotten into whatever program they wanted, so it's been really easy to be incredibly jealous discouraged when thinking about that, because while my job is wonderful, it's not in the area of work I wanted to be in.  It has been a really good season of learning to be so thankful and reminding myself that no matter what I am doing, I should always do my absolute best.  Whether it's in an area I love or not. 

If you don't plan it, it will not happen.

I currently commute to my job, and am blessed enough to be able to work from home two days a week.  That has taught me so much about planning my day out.  At first, I thought I would be able to wake up with an idea of what needed to get done that day, and it would get done.  I quickly learned how very wrong I was when it would be seven o' clock and I would still be working without having crossed an entire thing off my list, just a bunch of half things.  Plan, plan, plan.  To-do lists are lifesavers. 

Sometimes the best thing you can do is go to bed and try again tomorrow. 

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I'm still learning it.  There are going to be days where no matter how stressed out you are about how much you need to do, sometimes you just have to call it a day and try to make tomorrow better.  A good night's sleep and a cup of coffee the next morning tend to work wonders. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Thankful Project: November 5th.

November 5th: A talent you have. 


I only have two talents that I know of:  I can write and I'm crafty.  Everything else I have to work at, but being creative is my thing.

I've always loved writing.   Growing up I wrote poems and a lot of stories that began with the words, it was a dark and stormy night, which my mom always read out loud at the dinner table.  In college, it took me about two months to realize I should change my major from an education one to a writing one. When I made the switch, the chair of the English department e-mailed me and said. "Welcome home."  I cried when I read that because it felt true.

Writing has always felt like home to me.  I love the outlet it provides, love the feeling of creating something new.  I love the feeling of waking up in the middle of the night with a thought that will spend the next few hours rolling around my brain, turning itself into a story.  I love stringing words together and making them somehow evoke emotion from the page.  There are few things that excite me more than having a cup of coffee, a pen, and a blank notebook.

I had to write a paper once describe why I wanted to be a writer.  It, like this post, was surprisingly hard to explain for someone who claims to love writing so much.  I just found that paper and I think the closing paragraph of it sums up how I feel:

"It's like my soul is dancing.  When I write, I'm free.  Not tied down by anything else, just free.  Something clicks right into the place it was meant to, my soul starts dancing in some other place--with the characters and words I've created, maybe--and I experience moments of true joy, all because I am doing what I was created to do.  If nothing else ever comes of my writing, I will still write, because that feeling of freedom and and rightness and joy is enough for me.  It always will be." 

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4th: The thankful Project.

November 4th: An experience. 

Teaching a college class. 

I was always insanely paranoid that I was not going to graduate college.  I went to see my advisor way more than I should have, saw a second advisor, went to the registrar's office, and did everything else I could to make sure I was on the page I was supposed to be when it came to understanding graduation requirements, because for some reason I just had this gut feeling that something was going to come up.

Turns out, my gut was right.

My very last semester, I had been to see my advisor, who had told me I was on track to graduate in May.  I took the form to the registrars office.  They approved it.  I received a letter saying I was graduating, I ordered my cap and gown, I filled out the way I wanted my name to appear on my degree, and then I took a breath.  It was happening.

And then. 

Two days after registration for any new classes had closed, I received another letter.  Informing me that a mistake had been made, and I was one credit short of graduation requirements, therefore would have to graduate in December.  Not one class, one freaking credit.

I panicked.  I'm talking full on crazy here.  I was so angry that I had been so careful and gone to see so many different people and not one of them had noticed the mistake.  I had been approved, for goodness sake.  I blamed the school, they said no. I blamed my advisor, they said no.  I asked to be let into a class, they said no.  I asked to be given a credit, they said no.

So I did the next logical thing.  I called my dad.

Sobbing, yelling, ranting, I told him I was not going to graduate and would probably end up homeless in the woods with no degree.

He, in the calmest possible manner, replied with something that I will not write here just in case his character is ever questioned.  You can use your imagination, but the moral of the conversation was "Oh, you are graduating that college even if we have to sneak you into graduation." except he didn't say sneak you into graduation and he said something else.   

Days of begging, crying, threatening, blackmailing (just kidding) (kind of) later, I had my solution.  A teacher I had at one point took pity on my situation and offered me help--I could be a teacher's assistant for an adult class he was teaching.  My best friend was also his TA for the class, so while I was not thrilled, I was relieved.  Work for free and get a credit.  Cool.

Fast forward to the first day of said class.  When this teacher says, "hey, I know you're only supposed to be TA's, but I'm going to need you to actually teach this class.  Actually, I'm not even going to be in there."  Surprise!

So that's how me and one of my best friends taught an adult Com I class at the age of 19.

I'm thankful for it because it taught me a few things.  The seven adult students made it clear right away that they were not going to respect anything that we said, nor did they feel like they needed to do their homework since we were so young that we couldn't possibly know anything they didn't know.

It taught me to stand up for myself.  That when someone starts walking all over you, you say no thank you and move on with what you were doing.  It taught me to always act like I know what I'm talking about, even if I don't.  It taught me that sometimes the answer is going to be, "I don't know, let me look that up for you."  And it taught me that sometimes, no matter how hard you work or what you do, people just aren't going to respect you because you're young.  The first night of class a woman came in, took her shoes off, and put her feet up on the table.  I asked her if she would mind taking them down, and her response was, "Do you think you're old enough to tell me what to do with my feet?"  Every single week, she would come into class ten minutes late, take her shoes off, and put her feet up on the table.  Making eye contact with me the entire time she did it.   I learned I could let stuff like that eat at me, or I could ignore it and keep on doing what I needed to do.  I helped that woman every week, and the last week of class, she said thank you.  And she even kept her shoes on.

Linking up with The Thankful Project!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Thankful Project.

So yesterday I woke up and had coffee and was wondering why in the world I felt so relaxed and not behind in my life at all. 

And then I realized it was because my iphone is broken, so I'm not constantly being made aware of the bajillion emails I have received or the amount of blogs I am behind on or the things I have forgotten to do.   I have to admit, it was a nice little break of feeling on top of things, even if it was totally not real.

Anyway, I blame my lack of technology--I really didn't realize how much I did on my phone instead of the computer--for me not hearing about The Thankful Project from Chasing Happy.  We all know I love a chance to talk about being thankful, so 28 days of thankful prompts is way too good to pass up.  Since it's the third already, I had to squeeze the first three into one post.

November 1st.  A person. 

My husband.

I am so incredibly thankful for my husband.  This past month has been a little rough, and there is no one I would rather have been beside during it all than him.  There are still days when I wake up and cannot believe that we actually got married and live together, even though it's been ten months already. I've had a lot of people tell me that getting married young was a mistake [side note: if this is your opinion, you should probably only tell it to people who aren't married yet.  Otherwise it just gets a little awkward] but when I'm sitting next to the love of my life, drinking coffee and dreaming about the future, I just want to show all of those people my prettiest finger [the one with my wedding ring on it, duh.  What were you thinking?] and tell them they are wrong.  There is nothing better than being partners with someone who loves you and supports your dreams.  There is nothing better than waking up with that person and dreaming out loud about where you'll live next year and when you'll get your first Christmas tree and how you can't wait to get a little puppy.  It's the best.  Just the best.

November 2nd.  A role you've played. 

A big sister.  

I love my little brother more than words could convey.  We've always been best friends and partners in crime.  When we were little, we'd get in trouble together and then talk through the air vents that connected our rooms until whatever storm we had created had blown over.

Though a lot has changed since our air vent days, a lot hasn't.  He is still the funniest person I know.  I still have more fun with him than I have with most people that I know.  I still always want to protect him from everything bad.  And I will still take you down in two seconds flat if you hurt him.  Hell hath no fury.

I am lucky enough to be bff with my little brother, and will always be so, so thankful that I was blessed with the role of being a big sister.

November 3rd.  A place.


This may seem silly, but I am legitimately thankful for Universal.  My dad bought my family season passes four or five years ago for Christmas, and when I moved to Orlando Chris got a pass too.  It's so nice to have somewhere so fun that close that we can go to for free (if you don't count the corn dog that you know I'm gonna get).  It's seriously one of my favorite places in the world.  Especially at Christmas--they do Christmas right. 

I'm so excited for a month to celebrate thankfulness!