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Monday, October 30, 2017

What October Taught Me.

That going somewhere new will always shift my perspective. I can't decide if I think that travel changes you or that it makes you more yourself. Either way, it shifts your perspective. My brother recently moved to Colorado and I visited him a few weeks ago, and let me tell you, when you're outside, surrounded by mountains and the overall grandness of nature, it's hard to think that your problems are a big deal in the grand scheme of things. 

That fighting against evil will always be exhausting, but it means you are alive and you have a voice, and that is a gift. This has truly been an exhausting month in terms of heartbreaking events. The horrific shooting in Vegas, the whole utterly devastating #metoo movement, just so much evil. I have felt, on more than one occasion, an overwhelming sense of, "How are we still here, still fighting against these awful things? It's never going to get any better."

A friend sent me a screenshot of Glennon Doyle's Instagram post last week, and one line in her caption read, "Listen-hope is everywhere. Hopelessness is a lazy choice." YES. And so we keep choosing hope, no matter how much darkness creeps in. We keep opening our mouths to say "this is not okay" no matter how repetitive it seems, no matter how quiet our voices sound. Because to be alive and to have a voice is a privilege. 

To respect and honor the season I'm in. I love being Jack's mom, and he is a fairly easy kid. That being said, the age he is right now is exhausting. Always running, always curious, always getting into things. So save for a few things on the porch, my house did not get decorated for fall this year, because he can reach everything. And while that probably would have broken two-years-ago-me's heart, it's totally okay! Because that's the season I'm in, and I respect that. 
You know how people say to listen to your body when it's craving something, because it's trying to tell you something? (I don't think this applies to me, because all I ever crave is queso and Chinese food, but that's another topic). Well, I think your soul craves things too. And right now, in this season, my soul has been craving connection with my people. Sometimes that means skipping cleaning the house during Jack's naptime to have a facetime date. Sometimes it means not spending money at the mall, and saving that money to go visit friends instead. That's the season I'm in, and I honor that. 
Whatever season you're in, respect it. Don't compare it to the season other's around you are in. Don't feel guilt that it doesn't look the same, or that it doesn't look like you think it should. Honor yourself and this part of your life. Embrace it. All seasons come and go, soak this one up while it's here. 

What has this month taught you?

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Friday, October 27, 2017

There is Literally No One Else Like You.

One of my closest friends has had a tough week, and I was sending her some pictures I thought would cheer her up. I put Parks & Rec quotes as the captions, because she loves and watches Parks & Rec more than anyone I know. In fact, if someone asked me to describe her, that would probably come up in conversation. "Loves Parks & Rec more than most things in life and can quote every episode." And I love that about her!  

If you asked her, though, she'd probably laugh it off. Say, "Yeah, I love that show way too much. Isn't that funny?" She probably wouldn't tell you it was something she loved about herself. 

I have another friend who can handle confrontation better than anyone I've ever met. She is clear and concise and kind and firm in a way I can only dream of being, and I love that about her. If you asked her, though, she probably wouldn't list that as something that set her apart, or that she loved about herself. 

It's so easy for me to look at my friends and name off the things that set them apart, that make them unique, that make them them. It's easy for me to give a list of qualities that I love about them.
I really wish we could learn to view ourselves the way our best friends view us. I wish we could look at ourselves in the mirror and instantly rattle off our best qualities that make us amazing and different. 
If I asked your best friend what she loved most about you, what would she say? If I asked your best friend what your best qualities were, what kind of list would he give me? 

Do you love those things about yourself? 

Because you should. 

I don't need to hunt down your bff or your romantic partner to know that you are amazing. To know that you have a long list of things that make you unique. I don't need to question the people around you to know that there is literally no one else exactly like you. 

You should celebrate that. You should accept that with open arms. Your so-called flaws and imperfections, your quirks, your traits...all of it. It makes you you. And you're the only one of those! 

That's amazing, yeah? 

Yeah. It is. 

Tell me something that makes you the one-of-a-kind, amazing, you who you are. 
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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Letters to Jack: Your Second October.


This is the second October I've gotten to spend with you, and it's crazy how big the difference between the two is: Carrying you versus chasing you, up all night teething versus sleeping through the night (PRAISES), not getting to go to church versus....oh wait, you still won't go to the nursery. 
But both Octobers have had you, so both have been imperfectly perfect. Both have been the best Octobers of my life just because you've been in them. 

I'm still learning how to be a mom, and you're learning how to be a human. We're learning together. I wing it most of the time, but you don't mind, because you don't know anything different. 

You're learning so much, and it's teaching me so much. For example: Expressing your emotions. You are NOT afraid of letting it be known when you're unhappy. I think adults could actually benefit from this...throw a fit, then get over it and move on. 

It's been a dark month on the news. A lot of violence, a lot of evil. A lot of things I long to be able to protect you from forever, but know that isn't possible. But having you motivates me to never, ever give up. No matter how dark it gets, I will never stop trying to make the world a better place, a brighter place, for you. 

A few things about you, right now: 
  • I've been taking you running in the mornings when you wake up, and you've started to expect that. So much so that you stand up in your crib and say "Go?" when I come get you in the mornings. 
  • If you want to go outside, you will bring me my shoes and point to my feet until I put them on. 
  • Your favorite thing is to pretend to talk on the phone. You hold your hand up to your ear and say, "Hello? Hello?" Until someone answers your phone call and says hello back to you, and then you immediately cut them off and say, "Bye-bye" and throw your hand down. It's hilarious. 
You still manage to be the best surprise of my life and the brightest bright spot. 

You are the best thing that's ever been mine. 
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

3 Things You Need to Know About.

Dirty John Podcast. This LA Times true-crime podcast is fascinating. If you're like me and you miss S-Town, give this one a listen. 

Printic. It's an app to print your photos, but I love it because you can print out polaroid style prints with captions, which is so nostalgic feeling. It's only 49 cents a print, and I think it's the easiest and cutest gift. Just pick the pictures straight from your phone, type your notes in, and ship them straight to your friends. Such a fun mail surprise, right? 
Bonus: If you use my code 299F8E you get $7 off. Which is a lot of prints. Have fun!

This lipstick. It's called unicorn fur. I'm wearing it in this picture: 

It's also worth noting that I put this on, went for tacos and margaritas, went to a concert, and at the end of the night, it still looked like this. That's a win. 
Tell me something I need to know about! 
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Monday, October 23, 2017


I've taken a lot of trips this year, but this one was one of my favorites. I got to go see my random-college-roommate-turned-best-friend in Atlanta, and we got to see a band we'd wanted to see live forever now.

We ate all of the food and walked all over Atlanta and took all of the pictures, ever.

You know those times where you aren't really expecting anything big to happen, but somehow your perspective changes, your heart gets filled up? Like when you see a movie you're not expecting to touch you so much, or you have lunch with a friend and you're not expecting to open up and talk about everything? Unexpectedly, you leave feeling different. This was one of those times for me. 

I'm so thankful for weekends like this. Weekends where you can eat the unhealthy food, just for today. Where you can lay in bed and talk about everything and nothing and be reminded of how precious of a gift human connection is. Weekends where life seems to wave at you, saying, "hey, remember me? I'm actually kind of beautiful."

Life is short, and sometimes hard. But it's also just so beautiful and full of things like friendships and ramen, sunsets and rainstorms, live music and late nights. Cheers to more of the beautiful.

Happy Monday, friends!  
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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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