Giving Thanks

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The snow has started to fall, the pies are being prepped, and holiday tunes are playing. It’s officially my most favorite part of the year. 

This week it is obligatory for us to pause and say thanks. We put aside our stress, take big sighs and say thanks  while we help ourselves to seconds of pumpkin pie and think about Christmas shopping. It’s a nice tradition and I take pleasure in watching everyone’s faces soften a bit this week and bask in a little kindness.  And then riots happen. And mass confusion. And violence. And ugly consumerism. It’s so easy for our simple thank yous to get lost. For us to get lost. Buried under all of that weight. 

This time of year is my favorite. But like my stomach after stuffing and pie, it is also very full. So very full. Full of traditions, emotions, memories, hopes, loss, and joy. Remember that for everyone who is thankful for time with family there is someone without a family to create memories with. That for every person that is looking forward to old traditions there is someone who is experiencing a loss and no traditions this year. Not everything is merry and bright, this season holds darkness as well. 

So as this season of fullness begins I will pause to take it all in. I pause to remember all that I do have, not just the big things but all the small things as well.

Thank you for the big fluffy snowflakes that are falling outside. Thank you for a husband that knows when I need him to hold my hand. Thank you for that second cup of coffee in the AM. Thank you for friends that listen and make me laugh. Thank you for legs and lungs that let me run. Thank you for family that is always present. Thank you for puppy kisses and warm cuddles. Thank you for a safe neighborhood and long walks. Thank you for the man that listens to every silly thought and makes me feel like I belong. Thank you for forgiveness. Thank you for a job that fulfills me and a boss that is kind. Thank you for naps on clean, crisp sheets. Thank you for champagne and It’s A Wonderful Life on Thanksgiving night.

Thank you for allowing me to hope.

Thank you for the belief that most of the world is still good. 

 

 

Think Positive Monday: Gratitude Leads to Happiness

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(Think Positive Monday: sharing tips and keeping me in line to live a happier and more positive life)

If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?

What better week than the week of Thanksgiving to talk about gratitude?

There are countless studies showing that simply being grateful for what we have as well as showing gratitude towards others leads to overall happiness. 

This week and every week I try to pause and think about all the things I am grateful for. The big (a nice home, good health, a job, a loving family) and the small (flavored coffee, cheese, my best friend’s laugh, the way Maggie greets me when I come home). Sure, sometimes I forget and sometimes I’m just too stressed, upset, or plain selfish to be grateful every day. This needs to stop. 

By being grateful every day we are being more mindful, in the moment, lowering stress, connecting with others on a positive level, and generally leading a happier life. 

By looking for new things to be grateful for each day (even when things aren’t picture perfect) we are living a more full life, noticing how colorful and vibrant the little parts of each of our days really can be. Being thankful during hard times can help us move forward, adjust, or heal. By being grateful to our friends and family we showing them respect and love as well as encouraging them to continue acts of kindness to others. Both create a firm foundation for strong friendships. Grateful people are more inclined to do kind acts and give back to their community. Finally, it is hard to be negative when your mind is full of grateful thoughts. 

So after the last of the turkey leftovers are eaten and the scent of pumpkin is replaced by pine needles, I’m not going to stop being grateful. Some tips on fostering a grateful mind: pause a minute before you go to sleep to think of what you are grateful for today, start a gratitude journal, or tell a different friend each day why you are grateful for them. 

Don’t save gratitude for a special occasion or say something like, “I’ll be grateful once I get this promotion”. If you can’t be grateful for the present what kind of life are you living? Gratitude needs to happen consistently, like a vitamin you take daily. Try out an attitude of gratitude and see how your temperament and relationships change. What do you have to lose?

 

 

What’s New? Happy Hour Talk

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We’re starting to get into winter hibernation mood. Tons of blankets, Christmas music, and cuddles over here. 

Raise your hand if you’re glad it’s Friday. Dumb question. 

This has felt like a very long week. The last week before the Holiday season REALLY begins. I’m anxious for a three-day work week next week followed by Thanksgiving and then everything Christmas. I’m ready for everything merry and bright and eating and drinking everything. 

It’s been awhile since I popped on here to tell you what’s new with me and what’s going on in my head. So if we were to get together for happy hour today this is what you’d hear from me:

  • Do you know why/how do women work out at the gym with their hair down? Seriously, I start sweating like crazy after jogging for 3 minutes and the woman next to me is smiling and has her hair blowing and bouncing behind her like she’s in a tampon commercial. 
  • How is it possible that my body forgets what the cold feels like. Every year? It’s been the coldest winter in my neck of the woods in 55 years. It felt like 9 degrees the other morning. It’s only November. I forget what it feels like to be hot now. 
  • Did you know that I’m secretly a 16-year old girl? Last week my best friend and I secured tickets to go to our third Taylor Swift concert this June and last night I attended the Hunger Games premiere. It was very very good, very intense. I’m glad they broke up into two parts to drag it out. 

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  • One of my dear friends is moving this weekend. So this past Tuesday we do what we do best, drank cosmos, champagne, and shots of tuaca, ate a bunch of comfort food and talked for hours. Bittersweet. It’s so hard to make new friends as an adult and she is one that I made only four years ago. New Jersey isn’t too far away though!
  • Speaking of champagne; when I went to the liquor store to pick up some regular old $7.99 Cooks champagne I  was very excited to see a basket up by the register displaying a $29.99 bottle of champagne for only $9.99. Of course I put the bottle of Cooks back on the shelf and came home with the more expensive option. I felt so fancy. But upon drinking it my friend and I both agreed we couldn’t taste a difference between the more expensive bottle and the budget friendly cheaper options like Cooks or Yellowtail. What is you experience?
  • I go through bouts where I want to get rid of everything in my closet except for my current favorites and most worn pieces. Simplify. But then a few days later I have the urge to buy buy buy. 
  • This weekend we are going to visit an Alpaca farm this is about 4 minutes from our house. I’m more excited than I should be. 
  • I’m almost all done Christmas shopping! I’m sorry if that sounds like a humble brag, but I’m proud of myself for spreading out the shopping this year, it really helped the budget, not having to buy everything in one month. 
  • I’ve been gradually going darker with my hair color. Since college I have been very very blonde and I’m starting to add in some more low lights and go a little bit darker. I like it!

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  • I’m so happy that legging and baggy sweaters are in style this year. It’s so easy to throw on and I can hide whatever I want under my sweater (like a few extra pounds from the holidays)
  • I need mascara recommendations. I used to wear Dior black out, but then didn’t feel like paying $25 for mascara anymore. I switched to Maybelline Rocket Volume Express and hate it. After a hour or two it just turns into black rubbery tubes that cover my lashes and glumps them all together. What mascara that is budget friendly ($15 or less) do you LOVE?

Well that’s all that is new with me. What about you? What have you been up to?

Think Positive Monday: When All You Feel Is Negative

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Two weeks ago was a rough week for me. No matter what I did I couldn’t get myself out of a negative mood. I lost myself in a fit of ugly crying almost every day. It seemed like whenever I tried to lift myself up I would end up feeling worse. Nothing seemed to be going my way. And then we turned back the clocks and the sun setting at 4:30 p.m. only made everything worse. I just couldn’t get myself out of the dumps.

During that week I was catching up with a friend. I was venting and ranting about everything in my life. It wasn’t until I paused and stepped outside of the conversation to realize how everything I had said was 100% negative.

I said to my friend, “I’m sorry all I’ve talked about is negative stuff.”

And she replied, “Don’t be sorry! That’s what is going on right now!”

And it’s true. Sometimes life is simply negative.

I think sometimes we’re afraid to admit that life is hard or that we are failing. Especially us women. We are afraid that we will sound weak or like we are not happy with our life. When that’s not usually the case. Sometimes we just hit bumps in the road or we are just having a bad day. But things will always get better. You simply have to push forward and find the good. No matter how annoying, silly, and impractical that sounds in the moment.

I’m so grateful for this weekly series because if forces me to continue to be positive, even when I just want to have a pity party and complain about every little thing. Last week I couldn’t help but feel a bit hypocritical, writing my sunshiny post when meanwhile I could barely pull myself out of bed. But it helped. It’s a reminder that you have to try.

It’s like working out. You don’t really love going but you do it to improve your health. You have to practice the positivity exercises even when you don’t feel like it. Give yourself an hour or day to be upset and then try to move forward with practicing positivity. 

We all know the saying, “misery loves company” don’t let your thoughts duplicate to the point that they are the only thoughts habitating your mind.

Step out of the situation and give yourself a minute or to and practice a positivity exercise. Things aren’t going to get magically better, but I bet over time you will begin to learn to deal with the negative occurences in your life in a much healthier way. 

Love Letter of Gratitude

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November: A month of thankfulness. I don’t think any of us really thank our partners enough. As this month reminds us to be extra thankful, I thought I’d pause and write a letter of gratitude to Ryan.

Dear Ryan,

These past few months have taught me that love is always changing and always growing. But most importantly they have taught me that love is always there, even when I can’t always see it.

Last month I was feeling lonely in marriage. I mean that in the best of ways. Let me explain. There were nights when I was home alone and feeling the pressure to hold it all together. To not let you show how hard it was to be apart.  There were times when I took on the weight of all your anxieties and fears. The ones that sometimes crush your spirit. My heart felt the need to pick them all up for you, to help lighten the load on your heart, to make you happy. Without thinking twice I picked up all your anxieites and worries as if they were my own. “Isn’t that what marriage is about?” I thought to myself.

I catologed all those worries and lined them up side by side like books on a bookshelf. Thinking they were all organized and like I had a plan. They were all nicely lined up on that shelf in my heart, leaning against my own anxieties, my own fears. The ones I kept to myself because I didn’t want to overflow your already full plate. The ones I was afraid would distract you from focussing in school and your dreams. I thought that by being strong for you, by taking on your burdens, I was showing you how much I love you. 

But that shelf in my soul was getting so very heavy. It began to break with the weight of all those burdens. And then came that Sunday when despite by attempts of bravery, they all came tumbling down on top of me. Suffocating me. Making it hard to breathe. 

That day I showed you a part of me I usually keep hidden away. I felt so unhinged yet heavy at the same time. Yet you read my tears like the words to your favorite song. You knew. With no doubt you understood my fears and my worries. How could I forget that you know me so well? How could I forget that we were a team? How could I forget that you’d never expect me to carry all that weight? You held me close and whispered, “We can be strong together.”

So Ryan, I need to thank you for reminding me that I am not alone. I’ll never be alone. That sometimes I can get lost but that I will always be found. 

 I need to thank you for always making “us” a priority even when you are running on zero sleep, are working on 3 different projects for school, are prepping cases for work, and dealing with family crises. Thank you for putting us first. Thank you for pancake breakfasts, for always bring me coffee in bed on the weekends, for listening to Taylor Swift’s 1989 on repeat in the car for the past 3 weeks. Thank you for putting up with my moods. Thank you for cleaning the whole house when you had a vacation day on Veteran’s Day. You could have slept or watched TV but you chose to scrub the kitchen and bathrooms. Thanks for always making me laugh. And thank you for sharing my dreams.

I’m one lucky lady. Thank you for loving me and thank you for letting me love you. 

 

 

 

My Identity as a Blogger

I love this blog. I love the therapeutic effect of writing and I love connecting with all of you. I’ve made so many unexpected friendships out of blogging and have received support from women all over the country. That’s pretty special, right? It’s amazing to connect with other women about every day issues as well as the big stuff. 

I’m not an awesome blogger. I struggle with writing consistently. I struggle with keeping things current. I don’t have an amazing design. Some days I fall flat with my writing. Some days I write “easy” posts just to feel accomplished. Some days I feel like it’s all been said and I have nothing new to add. Other days I spend a few hours with a pen and paper crafting out ideas that never make it to a post while other times I finally get those ideas into a published post and get a less than desired response. It can be exhausting. No one warns you how exhausting blogging is. 

I try to be as open as I can be on this here blog. I share my heart openly over the internet, and that’s a pretty scary thing. I write from my soul and attempt to allow you to get a peek into my world. Transparency and vulnerability are goals I always aim for.

But let’s be honest, you don’t really “know” me. And that fact is something I often forget when writing blog posts. 

No matter how hard I try to share myself with you the true me will never be 100% transparent. This blog only reflects about 25% of my real self and my real world. That may seem pretty obvious. But it’s a good reminder that we are all much more complex than what a few stories and opinions shared online say about us. 

My blogging goes in ebbs and flows. There are weeks when I have so much to say and to share that the words can’t get out fast enough. Others I feel more content to keep to myself, occupying my time with other hobbies. While at other times my life is moving at 100 mph and I’m beyond overwhelmed with everything that is going on to come here and write.

Right now is one of those times when I simply don’t feel right sharing every detail about my life, and therefore I think this blog is suffering.  At this present moment I’ve written more drafts of posts that I’ll keep to myself than those that I will eventually hit “publish” on. My mind is so focussed on those topics that I’m not ready to share about yet, that It’s hard for me to think, let alone, write about anything else.  

All of this rambling is leading somewhere. I promise.

All these thoughts have made me ask, “What DO you know about me? What is my identity on the internet?”

I believe that what you know about me can be summed up in a few words: Bubbly and positive blogger. married to a law school student, wife who whines about the stress of law school schedule, loves to talk about sentimental and mushy topics, avid reader, dog mom to Maggie.

Is that how you perceive my blogger identity?  I’m more than honored to be viewed as a beacon of positivity and fun but there is so much more.

I never intend to design a specific image of myself.  I want to make that identity a little more well-rounded and a better representation of my true self. 

I want you to be part of this journey. Because blogging is about connection. Otherwise I would just write in my private journal. 

So help me broaden my identity as a blogger!

Let’s pretend it’s just you and me sitting over a glass of cheap wine in my living room. Maggie is curled up on my lap and looking at you with distrust. My kitchen sink is full of dirty dishes that I don’t have any plans on cleaning. I’m wearing my fleece sweatpants that are covered in Polar bears and a baggy t-shirt. I haven’t washed my hair for 3 days. I’m tired. I’m always tired these days. Do you get the picture? Life is far from pinterest perfect no matter what type of world bloggers try to paint. 

Are you here with me? 

I’m open to answering any of your questions. Pop some down below in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them all as honestly as I can in another post! 

Ask away! 

 

 

 

 

Think Positive Monday: Do What You Love Everyday

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(Think Positive Monday: sharing tips and keeping me in line to live a happier and more positive life)

It’s a phrase we hear often, “Do What You Love”. We are told that if we love our work, then work won’t feel like work. But working in a profession that makes us feel happy and fulfilled every single day is not a reality for most of us. 

What I think we often forget though, is that work is not our whole life. In order to have that serene feeling we all search for we must find a way to squeeze in doing one thing that we love to do each and every day. 

What is the one activity that you do that makes you feel the most relaxed, happy, fulfilled, or simply like yourself? Perhaps you love cooking or crafting. Maybe you love volunteering or running. For me, it’s reading. I try to fit in at least 30 minutes of private distraction free reading time each day. 

By fitting in one activity you love everyday you are feeding and refreshing your spirit. That energy should spread over to other elements of your life. More importantly you’ll be reminding yourself that you and your needs are a priority. You will learn to respect yourself more and encourage you to not let others treat your poorly. 

Are you too busy or too stressed out to fit in doing something that you love? Then you need to cut out something out of your schedule to make time for that one activity. Business is generally a perspective problem. We are all “busy”. Wake up earlier. Put off cleaning for one more day. Shorten a dinner date to a coffee date. Put down your phone. Life is too short to not being filling it up your time doing things you love.

Carve out a few extra minutes each day to do something that nurtures your soul and makes you feel alive. Those few extra minutes of happiness will fill up your spirit for hours after they have passed. This is your life, live it the best way you can.