Do You Have A Song That Tells Your Story?

song tells our story

Are you a lyric person? I have and always will be one. I listen intently to the words of songs and see how they relate to my life. I think this is why I enjoy country music so much – the storytelling is so relatable and heartfelt. I can trace my lyric-obsession back to the days of AIM when you needed that perfect quote to describe how you were feeling in your profile and away messages. I used to look up song lyrics, print them out, study them, and make sure I had backups for the full spectrum of feelings.

I still do this, much to David’s dismay. He thinks it’s endearing, but I can admit that I may send him one too many songs each week asking him to “listen to the words.” Sometimes words just hit you, though.

I remember listening to “We Weren’t Crazy” by Josh Gracin back in 2010 when I met David. The song was released right around the time we started dating. The words were wonderful, but I couldn’t quite relate to them at that point in my life or our relationship. A year later, when we spontaneously moved across the country, the first verse started to make sense:

“We headed out to California.
Everybody tried to warn us –
said we wouldn’t make it any further
than that worn out Chevy would.
We broke down a time or two
Thought maybe we didn’t think it through
We were all we had to turn to
When it wasn’t lookin’ good
We’re looking back laughing
Cause they called us crazy
We were young, we were wild
We were restless
Had to go, had to fly
Had to get away
Took a chance on that feeling
We were loving blind
Borderline reckless
We were living for the minute
We were spinning in
Maybe we were a lot of things
But we weren’t crazy.”

Sure, we were headed to New Mexico in a Pontiac, but the sentiment stuck. We were met with a lot of questions about if that was the right move for us. We didn’t think much about finances or our future – we wanted an adventure, so we took it! Sure, it could’ve ended horribly wrong but instead, it made us stronger as a couple. I often think that if Finn tried to move across the country with a girlfriend of less than a year at that age, I would freakBut I’m glad David and I were able to be young, wild and a little reckless.

The next verse became relevant just recently:

“Just a couple kids
a couple years ago
Now we’ve got a couple
kids of our own.
We turned out right
and proved them wrong.
Look at us going strong.”

It feels as if, in a instant, our relationship matured and – look at us now! It’s been quite a journey, not without hard times. Which makes the bridge so good:

“We could’ve set it down
When things got tough
we could’ve walked away from this love
but that’d been crazy.”

I’m so grateful for music for being a constant reminder of how our stories and relationships change over time, but give us something to bring us back to remember all the moments along the way. I wonder – do you have a song that makes you reminisce on your own life?


Continue Reading

10 Easy Ways To Be Kind Today

spread kindness

This post is completely reactionary. I’ve been a witness to too many unkind things recently and I’ve had enough. I always walk away from these situations thinking, “geez, would it really kill them to just be nice?”. Being miserable, rude, or unfriendly takes way more energy than being kind – isn’t there a study out there that says that frowning uses more muscles than smiling?

Anyway, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is feeling fed up. Social media is the culprit, in my humble opinion. Nowadays, everyone uses their platforms to stand up for what they believe in – sure, a noble cause – but it’s usually at the cost of another person. Complete strangers attacking each other personally because they come from different backgrounds and have different foundational beliefs. These differences are what makes the world go round, people!

As a mother, my beliefs are stronger than ever. It was as if Finn was born, and my roots grew deeper into the soil in order to create a strong foundation for my family. What also grew is my need for understanding and educating myself on other people’s beliefs. I want to learn why so that I can have the answers to Finn’s questions one day. I want to know other people from the inside out. I want to understand what they’ve gone through. I want to ask all the questions and soak it all in. The worst thing I could do for Finn is to be unkind to other people. 

Perhaps people are scared to learn or even frightened to ask questions. However, everything worth doing happens outside of your comfort zone. I’ve created a list of ten things that you can do today to spread kindness. Little things go a long way, and by starting small, we all have the potential to change the world in really big ways.

  1. Pay It Forward. Plan on going through the drive thru to grab a coffee or lunch today? Give an extra five to the attendant and have it go towards the person’s order in line behind you. I love the anonymity of this! They will never know who paid for their meal, but there’s no way they won’t be grateful. And hopefully it inspires them to pay it forward, too!
  2. Leave a tip! As a former waitress, I love being able to tip way more than 20% on meals nowadays! David and I will debate the tip after a meal, and he will always add a few bucks to the number. We love to do it even more when we have a waiter who seems frazzled or upset. Hopefully we can turn his night around! You can add a little extra to anyone you tip today – your hairdresser, the barista, the dogwalker! Throw in a little extra and know you’ve made someone’s day.
  3. Compliment a mom or dad on their parenting. Mom-shaming is the worst kind of bullying. As a first-time mom, I’m the first one to admit that I have no idea what I’m doing. I question every decision I make and I’m usually exhausted by the constant decision-making. Today, instead of being critical of someone’s parenting, try complimenting them. Or even commiserating with them. Nothing means more to me these days than someone telling me I’m doing a good job with Finn.
  4. Reach out to a friend and just say hi! The best days are when I get a random text from someone I haven’t heard from in a while. It let’s me know they are thinking about me and it’s such a easy way to make someone smile.
  5. Compliment someone’s look. I was in line at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and I saw the girl in front of me wearing a pair of shoes that I had been eyeing for months. They looked adorable on her and I kept staring! I stood there for minute contemplating if I should say something or not and finally I blurted out “I love your shoes!” She was so excited to tell me that she had just bought them and was so happy with her purchase. We chatted a bit about fashion for a minute while waiting in line and I left feeling like I had made her day. I don’t know what compelled me to finally say something, but it was worth fighting through the awkwardness.
  6. Write a card for no reason. I’m a huge fan of quote cards. An easy way to make someone’s day is to write them a nice note on a quote card for no reason other than to let them know you were thinking of them. Plus, they make for great reminders on days where they may be feeling a little down.
  7. Offer your help. Whether it’s helping someone with a heavy bag, or taking on an extra task at work, for those of us whose Love Language is Acts of Service, this one will go a long way.
  8. Share a happy song. Nothing can change someone’s mood better than a happy, upbeat song. I challenge you to post your favorite happy song on your social media today in hopes that someone will hear it and it will change their mood.
  9. Give a shout out for an every day expecation. I love the idea of giving credit to folks for doing well at what they are supposed to do. Isn’t it so easy to just have expectations and then criticize when those expectations aren’t met? Well, what if they are always met? What do we do to recognize that? Is it too much to say ‘thank you’ for being consistent and dependable? Today, give someone credit for doing something that you expect from them. It will show them you appreciate them and don’t take them for granted.
  10. Smile. Nothing, and I mean nothing, spreads kindness more than a happy face.

 

Continue Reading

One Second Every Day

Finn at 11 Months

 

Like any mom, I take way too many photos of my kid! I started a Dropbox folder for Finn right around the time he turned six months old and my phone wouldn’t take any more pictures. I even save the bad photos, and every one from the series of 14 it took to get the best picture. I can’t erase them!

Right around the time Finn was born I discovered the app called “1 Second Every Day”. The premise was simple – capture one second of your life every day for a year. I downloaded it and quickly started adding photos and videos. Like any project that lasts an entire year, my focus turned elsewhere and my “1 Second Every Day” became a few seconds a week. After a while, I forgot about it completely.

However, the best part of the app is that you can go back and fill in the gaps when you have them! I decided better late than never and spent the last few days doing just that. The final video isn’t a complete year, but it’s pretty close. And I couldn’t have started it at a better time. Finn grew so much in his first year and to be transported back to when he was a few months old and watch our journey over the first year is so fun! Maybe I’ll do it for his second year as well – and at this rate I’ll post it on the blog right around his fourth birthday. HA!

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Life Lately – February 5, 2018

Happy Monday! Coming at you today trying to battle a little cold that snuck up on me this weekend. Thinking I might pop out and grab a Medicine Ball from Starbucks. I’ve heard good things! Apparently it helps fight the sniffles and sore throat, which is exactly what I’m feeling today. Yikes! I better fight this quick, cause that’s no way to ring in my 30th year.

Turning 30

Yep, my 30th birthday is right around the corner. I’m already feeling pretty spoiled after this weekend. My girlfriends took me out to C&O Restaurant in Downtown Charlottesville. We had way too much wine, the best scallops in the world and just awesome, hilarious conversation. They certainly surprised me and I’m so grateful for their friendship!

In addition, David surprised me with an exciting trip! More on that coming this week, but let’s just say I am counting down the days until sunshine and warm weather.

Finn

I can’t accurately put into words my love for that little boy. Every week, I countdown until the weekend when I get to spend quality time with him, and then the weekend goes by too fast. I’m pretty anxious about leaving him for an extended period of time, but he will get some spoiling of his own with his grandparents.

Finn is learning more words by the day. This weekend we taught him the colors, and he does pretty well with them. I’m so impressed at how much little kids know! Despite his tantrums, I could spend every minute with that kid and never get sick of him.

We took Finn to get his first haircut a few weeks back and he did so good! He didn’t want to sit in the big chair by himself, so I sat with him, but once we figured that out, he was an old pro. Once he was all cleaned up he looked like such a little boy. All of his baby curls were gone! Being the sentimental type, I saved one curl for his baby book. I cannot believe he will be two in just a few short months.

Other Big News

In other news, David is doing fine. He hasn’t had to travel much lately, although once we get back from our trip, he will have to leave again for work. He is training for another jiu jitsu competition, and was recently promoted with two stripes on his belt!

Juneau is still my favorite fur baby. He doesn’t get as much attention on the blog as his brother does, but he is still the best friend I could ever ask for.

We’ve made some progress in the house hunting journey, but more on that to come. It’s been a long journey, but things are looking up. I can’t wait to be able to share all of the ins and outs from our house hunt, some tips I’ve learned as a first time home buyer, and just more decor posts. All in good time… patience is everything right now!

Our Life In iPhone Photos

a snap from my husband who is determined not to get sick before vacation
david’s white belt, now with two stripes
bath time!
snuggling with my main man
brave little boy getting his hair cut for the first time
these two <3
Continue Reading

5 Ways to Battle Seasonal Depression

This weekend was unseasonably warm and the sun was shiny for most of it! The warm-up arrived at the perfect time. The previous few weeks had been freezing. The type of weather where the snot in your nose freezes and you throw an extra blanket or two on your bed. Just downright cold.

January is always a tough month. The holidays are over, there’s a lot of pressure to start the new year with a fresh perspective, the days are short it starts getting dark as soon as you leave work, and the weather just adds another layer of miserable. It’s not in your head. Science shows that seasonal depression or the winter blues are real. The lack of sunshine can affect your mood and get you feeling down in the dumps. It’s been an issue for me since college. I used to associate feeling down this time of year with my birthday and thinking I was just stressed out about turning a year older. Nowadays, I realize that it’s truly a chemical thing and that I have to make every effort to actively fight the winter blues.

I’ve put together a list of things that are helpful for me. I’ve also found that simply being intentional about doing things is helpful. Instead of thinking something is a chore, look at it as an opportunity. For instance, walking the dog in this weather is painful, but I’ve started to bundle up, turn on a podcast and track my steps. Juneau deserves to get outside whether it’s freezing or not, so I’ve started using that time as ‘me time’. Here are some other tricks I use to fight the winter blues:

1. Get up and get dressed.

Cozy days on the couch are the best, but overdoing it can get to you. I’ve found that there is no better medicine than a shower and some makeup. Feeling like a human being goes a long way! So, sure, take it easy and relax on those snowy mornings. But make sure you get yourself put together before too long. Even if you just throw on yoga pants, it’ll do wonders for your mind.

2. Talk to someone about it.

I’m an open book about my depression because not only does it help me to talk about it, but I want you to know that it’s totally normal and others are feeling it, too. Habitually, I like to hibernate and be alone when I’m feeling down, but the moment I talk about it I start feeling better.

 3. Book a vacation!

Give yourself something to look forward to! There’s nothing better than getting out of town and changing the scenery when you’re feeling down. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant – a day trip or a weekend getaway will do the trick just fine.

4. Exercise.

There’s literally nothing better than a good sweat session when you’re feeling down. The hardest part is getting to the gym, but once you’re there, you won’t regret it. I’ve started taking a pre-workout before my gym time and it’s made all the difference in the world. I like to workout in the evening, and it’s tough to find the energy some days. A few swigs of the pre-workout and I’m ready to go! Exercise makes you happy, it’s science.

5. Take advantage. In a few months you’ll be so busy you;ll be wanting some down time.

Just remember, in a few months, your summer evenings and weekends will be filled up with endless plans. Take advantage of the downtime now, you’re gonna miss it!

What do you do to fight the winter blues?

Continue Reading
1 2 3 16