Oh my goodness, I’m not sure if this has ever happened before–it’s double blog day! Yep, two blogs posted on the same day. Sorry, but what’s a girl to do after writing all through the night and then it turns out still owes the people their regular Thursday blog? Double blog day it is (just don’t get used to it).
1. Encouragement can come in all forms. I was at a monthly presentation/gathering of creatives this past week and met this sprightly 73-year-old cheerleader. A cancer survivor who decided she wanted to be a cheerleader when she “grew up” now goes around telling people how great it is to be alive. Once you hear her victory cheer, you can’t help but agree.
2. Football has found a place in our home. I know, what?! Yes, you do have the right people and my musician husband is fully on board with this new trend. For whatever reason this was the year we decided it was time to watch one game a week and root for “our” team. Lucky for us, the Carolina Panthers have managed to stay undefeated so far, even though this past week’s game was a total nail-biter. Go team!
3. Every Halloween we look the same. You know, that day when people dress up in ridiculous costumes and get all excited about who they will “be” on their day off of being themselves? Yeah, well, we wear the same thing every year. Perhaps it’s laziness or as the hubby says “it’s a classic!” Therefore, he’s always Floyd the Mechanic and I’m a rodeo girl (or someone who wears bedazzled wrangler shirts with boots and pigtails). If you look at the past few years of Halloween photos, we always look the same, but sometimes what looks the same on the outside is totally different on the inside. This year’s Halloween included a “meh” pumpkin, working in costume, walking to see the most decked out house in town, and shouting out our guesses of what people’s costumes were downtown with a few friends.
I have everything to say and nothing to tell you, so might as well ramble off three things for Thursday. Let’s do this.
1. Fall weather brings all the feels. The drizzly day that gives you an excuse to curl up on the couch, the crunchy leaves and colorful trees to break through the dark, the ability to eat outside but still require the warmth of the fire, and of course, the reintroduction of my collection of scarves back into my wardrobe. Fall has long been my favorite season, and I’m thankful it’s here.
2. There will be rest. Remember being in school and getting to the point in the semester when you realized a big break was coming up but the final exams and projects between now and that break seemed insurmountable? The break always came and somehow you managed to get through, no matter how many all-nighters, freak outs, and cups of coffee it took. That is where I’m at right now. I know that one day the break will come…maybe I’ll sleep in until lunch time or I’ll get so bored of having free time that I’ll have to pack my schedule all over again. (Okay, maybe this daydream is getting out of hand.) But this is the time of the struggle and the hard work and the effort. Not the fun part, but still important. Just like in my school days, I don’t totally know how I’ll get to a break from it all and a time of rest, but I’m confident that it will come.
3. You don’t have to be on social media every day. I realize half of you are reading this blog because it was posted there, but I really think pulling away from the nonstop feed is better. It’s such a force of habit for me and feels soothing for a minute…but I’ve also found myself feeling stung by a photo or post that frankly, doesn’t bear any actual weight on my life. That photo of a fun outing or declaration of success or request for attention just piles on until I feel less. Less interesting, less cared for, less accomplished, less informed, less fortunate, less engaged in my own life and community. The more I scroll, the less I feel I become. The good news is, we can turn off social media and just look up and talk to the people we most want to connect with instead.
Hey there. We made it to Thursday. Yes, it has been a rough week, but I have also found many sweet hidden joys within it. So let’s claim all the wins, shall we? Because no season, month, or week is all bad all the time, just like no winter is below zero degrees every day (unless you live somewhere like Antarctica, in which case, what the heck is wrong with you?) and no summer brings only sunshine. Take the good and the bad for what it is, but give yourself the opportunity to acknowledge both as it happens. Here’s a few of our wins for the week…
1. This guy is my absolute favorite. Okay, so maybe that’s not new information to anyone. But seriously. He’s awesome, and I’m so glad to spend my days with him. I won’t gush too much and risk making him blush in public, but he brings such strength, kindness, and a sense of humor to our relationship. (Not to mention, he’s super talented and dropped another free instrumental album online this week.) Here’s a snapshot from two weeks ago when we snuck in a day of sightseeing in San Francisco on our way back from visiting with family in Oregon.
2. When you’re a grown-up you get to eat cookies for breakfast. So, maybe I’ve eaten cookies for about 75% of my meals the past few days, but hey, that’s not exactly a bad thing. If we’re celebrating the wins, then let’s all cheer for chocolate chip cookies. Have no fear, this is not a long-term plan…because eventually, we’ll run out of cookies.
3. All that’s left to say is, thank you. We’ve been given so much care, concern, and compassion the past few days. While my intent was not to alarm anyone with my last post, I will admit to feeling very loved through these harder life moments lately. Writing a blog means you get to hear more of the good and the bad. My thoughts and feelings get to go somewhere, but the trick is conveying it in a way that tells the truth without getting too tripped up by the raw emotion. Thanks for all the love and support.
I’ve been gone and out and about. Here’s a quick summary of what has happened in the last two weeks.
1. Goodbyes are hard when it feels like you just said hello. A good friend of mine from college and her husband came to live in our fine state but then sadly were relocated a few months later. As much as I hated to see them go, I was so glad for the short time we had together to reunite and be a part of regular life for a time again.
2. Lots of work makes for lots of long days. That sums it up, right? Jobs, freelance work, side projects, additional work commitments–you name it. It’s not super awesome to blog about, but it’s what life has looked lately in our house…which means our actual house looks like a disaster, and we’re just hanging on one day at a time. So, if it’s been in awhile, I’m sorry. Everything feels hard to keep up with right now. I’m tired of that being the case (and tired of being tired), but it’s the reality. The little time we have in between we try to, you know, see each other and talk but even that we seem to be behind on lately. It all feels like too much, but work things seem to be the hardest things let go thanks to a desire to do good work, to provide financially, and to achieve our potential.
3. Faraway family is better in person. As much as we’re grateful for Skype, you can’t hold a baby, hug a niece, or play catch with a nephew over the internet. While it’s definitely time to be done with traveling for awhile, it was good to see these relatives on the West Coast this past week.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming after a brief week of no blogging because it was all a bit too much. So, let’s go ahead and make this a two-week round up of what’s been happening around here.
1. I attended Influence Conference. There may be a bigger recap at a later date as three days can hardly be summed up in a few sentences, but I was so glad to have the chance to go for the final year of this event. After buying my ticket a year in advance, in some ways it was different than I expected but that might be because I’m in a different place and have done a lot of different things since last year. I spent my time listening to some powerhouse speakers, writing my thoughts in cursive, and meeting some incredible women.
2. I got a new logo! I know you thought something looked different, but no, I didn’t get a hair cut (ha!) so it’s a good thing that wasn’t your guess. My friend Jordie did a wonderful job helping me out with a design so I could have business cards for my blog in time for the conference. We’re still working out some of the details for the layout of the blog and how it all works together, but I am so pleased to have this. She was incredibly kind and gracious to me, and I am so grateful for all of her hard work.
3. We snuck in one last trip to the beach. Going in the off-season means it’s cheaper…but you run the risk of it being cold and rainy, which was exactly what happened this time. We still managed to find a few good hours of beach time and played in the rain before returning to Raleigh for another day of exploring. Nevertheless, we had a great time on our 4th annual trip with this fun family we just so happen to be related to.
Hey there! For this week’s three, I started writing this from a cute little coffee shop in Indianapolis (and then finished it several hours later). What?
1. I’m on the road again. Because I don’t go out of town enough or something. It’s been a crazy few weeks, and I feel I’m in a new place every few days lately…probably because that would be accurate. I told you this was a full season, didn’t I? This adventure is in the name of the Influence Conference, where a whole bunch of women get together to talk about blogging and influence and faith…or at least that’s what I’ve been told. Sessions officially start tomorrow so I’ll be sure to give you more details about it in the days to come!
2. Having priorities means making sacrifices. I don’t think we can have it all. That’s maybe not a popular opinion, but I think it helps us to realize that we must focus our priorities on what we really want to achieve.
3. I’m more of an introvert than I thought. Being surrounded by people or being “on” for a certain amount of time tires me more than it used to. I find more peace in the quiet by myself, but I don’t think anyone is extroverted or introverted all the time. I think it’s more about striking a balance between the two in a given day or week. So maybe your extroverted job means you need more introverted personal time or vice versa. Maybe your introverted self loves a party every once in a while to change things up or your extroverted self loves reading a book. Finding what your preferences and needs are allows you to seek out the people and/or the extra space when needed, and I think that is such a valuable lesson.
p.s. That picture? Yeah…it had nothing to do with any of these three. Just a picture from this week with my favorite guy.
It’s been an entire week! How? How?! The week has gone fast but the days have been long and tiring. I hate the overuse of the word “busy”, so recently I’ve taken to saying that we are in a very full season in life right now. It’s a good season with a lot of great things, but full can be overwhelming and stressful just the same.
1. Prep work doesn’t look flashy. A lot of my days and weeks recently have been preparing for the long-term–whether in writing, working, blogging, or relationships. There’s a reason you don’t often buy tickets to watch sports teams practice or attend musical rehearsals. I’m in that hard work behind-the-scenes phase, but don’t have much to show for it.
2. Birthdays are the best(when they aren’t yours). I think most people feel a little weird on their birthdays past the age of 13. There’s a mix of expectation and disappointment and introspective thinking that hit you all at once. Lucky for me, it was the hubby’s birthday so I had a grand ‘ole time inviting people over for a surprise ice cream get-together to celebrate another year of his life.
3. Summer is for side trips. Most years it seems we take our week-long trips in the fall or spring (it’s so much cheaper that way), but we try to squeeze in a day or two of exploring or rest throughout the summer. After spending one weekend near the mountains and this past weekend at the beach, we’re grateful for the many opportunities to see some natural beauty in our state and glad we got to spend some time with family.