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Friday, July 19, 2019

Some Weekend Inspiration: Dance While You Can.

"To not dance when you had the health and could hear the music could be the biggest regret of your life."

I read that quote this week and it got me RIGHT in the feels. I think we should remember that this weekend. 

Don't get so bogged down with life that you forget to enjoy it. 

Some seasons feel like to-do list after to-do list after to-do list. I get it. If you watched my instagram stories yesterday, you know that I spent a good amount of the morning trying to dry off a ceiling my toddler soaked because he wanted it to rain in the house. So I get it. There wasn't a whole lot of room for dancing yesterday. 

But maybe there should have been. 

I get so caught up in the thought of day-to-day life having to be one or the other: It can be fun or it can be productive. It can be relaxing or it can be serious. It can be a dance party or it can be hard work. 

But honestly, I think it's about it being both. 

Chase the dream. Do the work. Eat the salad. Drink the water. Be disciplined. But enjoy life, too. 

Do the laundry (because someone has to), but also sit in the sunshine. Go to work (because, mortgage), but dance it out to your favorite song when you get home. Exercise (because, health), but eat some pizza if you want it. 

Life, after all, is meant to be lived. 

So dance if you want. Wear what you want. Laugh way too loud when you're happy. And don't, for one second, care what anyone else might be saying about it. 

Because you can hear the music, and there's life to be lived. 
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Who Would You be if You Cared a Little Less About What Other People Think?

Just wanna start out by saying this is one of my BIGGEST struggles in life, so I'm 10,000% preaching to the choir here. But this is something I've been thinking a lot about recently. 

Who would you be if you cared a little less about what other people think? 

I think we are all created to be these incredible people. I think we are built with the ability to accomplish amazing things. I also think there are certain things we do that can take away from that. 

It's kind of like this: My body was made to be functional. It can do all the things it was made to do. But if I actively choose to stop drinking water, things are going to go downhill fast. It's no longer going to do the things it was capable of. Not because it wasn't good enough, but because of something I did (or in this case, didn't do) to it. 

That's how worrying about what other people think is for me. It dehydrates me, to be cheesy and specific. It paralyzes me. I'm no longer able to do all the things I know I'm capable of doing. It dims whatever light I'm shining. It takes the amazing person I could be and cuts her in about half, because half of an amazing person seems safer, quieter, less likely to be gossiped about. 

...Isn't that a shame? 

And even though I know it's a shame, it's still a struggle for me. I can write this post and believe every word and I'm still going to wake up tomorrow and at least once worry about what someone else thinks of me. I'm working on it, but it's hard for me. 

So instead of trying to figure out ways to stop worrying about what other people think, I'm asking myself: Who would I be if I cared just a little bit less about it? 

Worrying about what other people think of me is probably never going to fully go away. But. What if I cared about the answer a tiny bit less? Who would that version of me be? 

Would she be braver? Would she post more? Write more? Would she be happier? Are there things she would stop doing because she doesn't love them? Would she be more of the person she was created to be? Would she accomplish more? I think so. 

That's the person I want to be. So I'm going to let that motivate me. I think you should do the same. 

Ask yourself, honestly: Who would you be if you cared a little less about what other people think?

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Happy Little Moments as of Late: July.

dress sold out, but similar one here.
I'm all about starting the week on a positive note. I'm a big believer that whatever kind of day you decide you're going to have, you will have. It's possible to have a good day in spite of bad things going on, and it's possible to have a terrible day in spite of good things going on. 

With that being said, it's Monday, a new week, and I think we should all decide to have a good day today. Start your day off by focusing on the happy little moments going on in your life right now. Here are mine: 

After dinner swims. || Does anything scream "summer" quite like a swim while the sun is going down? It stays light so late now that post-dinner swims can happen. I love taking Jack over there and letting him splash around while it's still light out but the heat has started to calm down. 

Face masks and peppermint tea. || I've got new a routine going and I'm OBSESSED. I know I keep raving about this face mask but I can't help it, it's legitimately the best one I've ever used. When I need a mini break, I put it on and make a cup of this tea. It's soothing, supposedly good for your stomach (I'm a sucker for anything that tells me it helps gut health haha). And there's something SO nice and relaxing about having peppermint tingling on my skin AND drinking something peppermint.  10/10 recommend. 

Pictures with Kristen. || On Wednesday, my best friend Kristen met up with me and took approximately seven thousand blog pictures for me. I love them, I love that I have a backlog of content to use, but more than that, I love that I told my friend what I was struggling with blog-wise and she hopped in her car to come help me. SUPPORT EACH OTHER, ALWAYS.

A fantastic library haul. || I've got some goooood books from my most recent library pick up. I can't wait to dive into them! 

Homemade iced chais. || Can't stop making these. They're delicious, have no sugar, and the entire jug costs less than one single iced chai at Starbucks. 

I truly believe that focusing on and making a big deal of happy little moments only leads to more of the same. Try it! What's something happy in your life right now?

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Five Things to Do When You Feel Like You're Not Enough.

Take stock of the things you are consuming. || If you want to be a professional speaker, and the mega successful professional speakers you follow online are making you feel not good enough instead of inspired, it may be time to unfollow for a little bit. If you're trying to make it as a blogger, and the giant bloggers you follow are making you look at everything that's wrong with you instead of propelling you forward, maybe a little less of looking at their pictures and a little more finding things to consume that are encouraging to you.

There are seasons when all the bikini models on instagram couldn't make me feel bad about myself, and there are seasons when seeing a stranger on instagram with a cute haircut can send me into tears over a bad hair day. Know your seasons. Pay attention to them. 

Reevaluate who you're spending the most time with. || Let me tell you something - your circle should make you feel like more than enough. They should hype you up way too much. You should leave any time spent with them feeling like you can take on the whole world.

If I believe the things my mom says, it's only a matter of time before I write a book that lands on the NYT bestseller list. If I believe my best friend, I'm the hottest person that ever walked the face of this earth every time I wear something cute. That's how it should be! So many things in this world are going to make you feel like you're not enough - the people you choose to do life with should not be one of them. 

Say it out loud! ||  Sometimes we have to say a doubt out loud in order to kill it. When you're feeling like you're not enough, speak the actual words out loud. Say it out loud to your friend: I feel like I'm not good enough for this. Talk it out. Make yourself talk out how you're feeling inadequate, and make yourself listen while they tell you how adequate you are. Say it out loud alone in your car: I feel like I'm not good enough for this. And then have a good laugh that you're worried over something so insignificant.

Ask yourself - Is this real? || This is something I've learned this year and is maybe the most powerful tool I've ever known about. Ask yourself: Is this real? 

Are you really not good enough? For example, lets say you're feeling not good enough at your job. Ask yourself and answer honestly: Are you not good enough for your job? 

Are you getting all your work done? Able to complete assignments without a problem? No complaints from your boss? Cool, you're good enough! Move on from that worry. Every time you come back to it, remind yourself of the reasons it's not real, and move on again.  

Are you not getting your work done on time? Really struggling with simple assignments? Your boss complaining about it? Okay, you might not be good enough for your job - YET. Get a plan to fix that! Take a class, meet with people who are good at what you're trying to become good at, and work. 

Every time the worry that you're not good enough pops up, acknowledge it, then remind yourself that you've got a plan to fix that and you're working on it. 

Do one thing that builds your confidence. || It feels good to do things we're good at. Are you good at writing? Write something. Baking? Bake your neighbors some cookies. Running? Lace on up. Do something you have confidence in to remind yourself how good enough you are. 

What do you when you feel like you're not enough?

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Coming in Live: All the Random Things.

Good morning! Sometimes, when I'm dealing with writer's block and have no idea what to write next (like after a deep and heavy post like Wednesday's), I like to sit down with a cup of coffee and just type out a post in live-time. Welcome!

Who else had a long weekend? Anyone else spend it feeling a little under the weather? My sinus infection has hung around and I am OVER IT. On the fourth, I took NyQuil and went to bed at six thirty and then proceeded to sleep eleven hours. ELEVEN. Safe to say I woke up feeling much better and like I've found the cure-all to anything in life: NyQuil, sleep, and some good books. 

Speaking of books, I read The Unhoneymooners and The Last Time I Lied this weekend, both books from the last time I asked for book recommendations. Every time I return library books, I post on instagram and ask everyone what the best book they've read recently is, then I put it on my library list no matter if I've heard of it or not. I've read some great ones that way! I'm heading there today, so if you've got any recommendations, let a girl know.

I read a quote on instagram this week that has stuck with me: "I no longer sit at tables where I will be the topic of conversation when I get up." HELLO. That's so good. 

I would like to pause here and tell you that I just got up to refill my coffee and realized I was out of almond milk. Today is just not a black coffee day so I mixed it with a splash of premiere protein and holy moly that is good! 

Moving on to more random things: Beautycounter is releasing an anti-aging skincare line tomorrow and I am SO EXCITED. Mine should be getting here today and I can't wait to try it! 

Happy Monday, ya babes. I hope today is great for you. Take a minute to remind yourself that today marks a brand new week and you can do whatever it is you want to do with that. That always feels empowering to me. 

You are strong, you are capable, you are loved, and you are totally going to OWN this Monday! xoxo

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Don't Look Away When Your Friends Are Drowning.

I've been a terrible friend for the last six months. 

Truly. In the general sense of the meaning of a friend, I've sucked. I've missed out on plans. I've put off responding to texts. I've avoided phone calls. I've canceled things last minute. 

Not because I don't love my friends. No, nothing like that. 

Because I've been drowning. 

Let me tell you something about drowning: When it happens, you notice real fast who you've surrounded yourself with. Because there are only two, painfully obvious choices when your friends are drowning: You can look away uncomfortably, or you can fling yourself over the side of the boat and cling onto their hands for dear life. 

There was a horrible, horrible day in November. 24 hours later, there were flowers on my doorstep with a note from my best friend. "Just a little reminder I'm in your corner!" The days that followed were awful. And those days were full of phone calls and texts from my people. Full of babysitting Jack for free, sending prayers and checking in hourly, even though they were on vacation. Day after day of them saying, in words and action, that they were there and weren't going anywhere.

They didn't avoid the hard subjects. They didn't take it personally when it took five or six days of texting to get a response out of me. They didn't get mad when I forgot to mention that giant thing going on in their life. They didn't stop texting back when I was constantly bringing a gloomy vibe to the group chat.

And most of all, they didn't look away when I was drowning. They sat next to me, as hard and exhausting and as difficult as it was for them, and they held their hands out, holding me up for as long as it took. 

On Mother's Day, my best friend lost her mother-in-law. Unexpectedly. Out of nowhere. She was young, she was vibrant, she was healthy, she was gone. My friend, who has spent the last six months sitting above choppy waters, clinging onto my arms to make sure my head didn't go under, went tumbling into the water herself. 

It's not fun when your best friend is drowning. It's not fun when daily memes get replaced with daily asking, "How's it going? What can I do?" Knowing good and well the answer will be "nothing" every time, because nothing can take pain like that away. But as heartbreaking as it was, with every facebook post and text I saw exchanged between us, it brought my heart joy, because I thought, "THIS. This is what friendship is. It's being there in the good times, but even more so, the bad. It's holding each other up. It's refusing to look away when the other person is drowning."

Seeing it firsthand lift her up so much, it painted a picture for me of what my friends wonderful, selfless, relentless in loving me friends...they refused to look away while I was drowning. And I will never, ever be able to say thank you enough for that. 

Shortly after I drafted this blog post, my best friend in the entire world, the one who's been by my side for 23 years, faced the most heartbreaking tragedy that I cannot even wrap my mind around. And as I got in my car to go be with him the next day, over and over in my mind was: "He is drowning, but you won't let him. You can hold him up. You will hold him up until he can swim again. THAT'S what we do." 

Don't look away when your friends are drowning. Don't ignore the hard stuff. Don't suddenly become busy when their life gets tough. Don't avoid checking in because you don't know what to say. 

While a good portion the first half of this year was extremely painful to survive, I did survive it. I cried myself to sleep LOTS of nights honestly thinking life was never going to be okay again, but here we are, happy and okay. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt the the reason I got through those hard things was because my circle refused to look away when I was drowning. 

I know it sucks. I know it's no fun. I know your arms get exhausted. I know the waves beating you up suck. I know you just want to take a break and go work on your tan instead. But hold on. It's worth it. I think it's the closest you can be to being Jesus in the flesh for your people.

Don't look away. Hold them up. 
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Monday, July 1, 2019

Happy July!

Happy July! The epitome of all summer month starts today, and I just wanted to pop in and say: Hi, I think we should make it the best ever. 

Today is the first day of a brand new month, AND it's a Monday. Fresh month, fresh week. If you were looking for a sign that a fresh start is okay, this is probably it. 

So, fresh starts all around! Let's choose to make the best of those and have the best July ever. 


Choose to have the best July ever, regardless of the circumstances. 

Choose to have the best July ever, regardless of if your life looks like you'd hoped it would this month. 

Choose to have the best July ever, regardless of how crappy June was to you. 

Choose to have the best July ever because you deserve an amazing month. 

Side note, I want you to know that I'm writing this in sweatpants, having woken up with a sore throat and no voice thanks to some kind of sinus junk Jack passed on to me. I've got a lot of work that has to get done today, a very messy house that desperately needs to get cleaned, and I was up all night because I couldn't breathe through my nose. 

All of that to say, I'm not writing about choosing to have the best July ever while I'm in a bikini on the beach without a care in the world. I mean, yes, I do think that would be the best. But whatever your July looks like...whatever it honestly looks like, not what it looks like through a highlight reel on instagram, or what it looks like on the weekends, or what it looks like when you have company...but what your July actually, honestly looks like...that can be the best ever too. You just have to choose it. 

Choose to work hard at what you need to work hard at this month. Choose to take care of yourself in the ways you need to. Choose to do the things that make you happy, no matter what anyone else thinks. Read a book, sit in the sun, get in your pajamas early because they make you happy, meet your work quota because you're a freaking boss, celebrate your achievements big and small. 

31 fresh, new, sunshiny summer days. Let's make them the best ever. 

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