Roots

If I could live anywhere I would without hesitation pick Greenwood, Virginia or at least somewhere in Albemarle County. Why? Well that's simple, it's home and always has been. It's in my blood, it's where I was raised and it's where previous family generations also were raised and lived. My best friend (also from Greenwood) said today, "you ARE Greenwood."

Greenwood is perfection. It's a small dot on a map in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are no stoplights. There are farms, beautiful farms. There are friendly people who know your name and who wave at you when they pass in their cars. There are breathtaking views as far as the eye can see. If anywhere deserved the title of "God's Country" it would be Greenwood. 

Maybe you can relate and maybe you can't but it's safe to say that I was born pretty damn lucky. Since my birth, my parents have lived in two homes, both happen to be in Greenwood. Needless to say, I've always had a since of place. I have a bond with the land that raised me. As I grew and spread my wings I lived in lots of different and diverse areas. I loved exploring and learning about life in new, exciting locations. I think I was able to do this because I knew wherever my journeys took me, Greenwood would always be there to welcome me back with open arms. I literally feel a physical change come over me when I turn onto Greenwood Station Road, maybe it's the beautiful scenery, maybe it's the wonderful memories, maybe it's all of that combined. I can't help but smile and Pippin who is a superb and mostly silent co-pilot begins to whine uncontrollably with anticipation, because she knows we're almost home. 

So, why am I sharing with you about my deep love for Greenwood? Because tonight, I'm feeling overwhelmingly sentimental. This weekend I spent packing at my parents home, the one that I moved to when I was nine. No big deal. They have spent the past year (maybe more) planning and building their dream home. Wonderful, right? Yes, it is wonderful and I am beyond thrilled for them. So what's the problem? The dream home isn't in Greenwood. It's actually nowhere near Greenwood. 

All of a sudden, as they wrap things up at their current home, in preparation for their move, I am struck with a since of grief. Yes, grief. Not for the home that they are leaving, although it is a special place. Grief, because I realize that the place that has been home my entire life and my family's before me, is about to be Peyton-less. Besides very dear friends, countless memories, and a dream to one day return, Greenwood is no longer home. It's not the house or the things, its the land, it's the feeling I get when I'm there, it's the pride of where I am from, it's all those things and more that have me reeling with the impending change. 

But I love change, what has gotten into me? I've always been such a cool cucumber but this one has sent me for a loop. I'm a cancer and if you know anything about my kind our homes/nests/shells are pretty important to us. I suppose that is contributing to my feelings. 

As I left my parents this afternoon, maybe for the last time, I was overcome with emotion. I feel uprooted and sad that my ties to that beautiful area are almost just a memory. At the same time, I think that it is helping me to realize that I should more fully embrace the life that I am building here, in my new home.

We have almost lived here for four years and I feel like, at best, I've only been giving it half of an effort. This is it, this is my life. Why am I wasting it away wishing I was somewhere else? That's absolutely absurd and I'm only just realizing this all to be true. We moved here for my husbands job and I always looked at his position as temporary. Last time I checked, four years isn't temporary. He has a wonderful job that he loves and is extremely good at. Why on earth have I not allowed myself to settle in here? 

Now that beautiful Greenwood is in the rearview but forever in my heart, I realize that it is the roots that I have from the place that nurtured and raised me that will help to set me free, wings, if you will, to more fully live in the present and to be so grateful for the time that I do have, no matter where it may be. 

State of Mind

Happiness is a state of mind.

Do you believe that? 

I do.

I can't seem to escape it. It's in the news, on the radio, it inundates social media, magazine covers and small talk. According to many, 2016 has been the worst year ever. EVER! According to the same many, magically it seems, on January 1, 2017, 12:01AM that all gets washed away. We get to start all over with a clean slate.

I understand that every year comes with it's challenges, that's life, right? And it seems 2016 was no different. 2016 seemed plagued. It took many great and notable people, there was this election, pipeline wars, world unrest is rampant, I could go on and on but we all just lived it, no sense in rehashing it all. It was a bit of a bitch.

Despite all the craziness, I urge everyone to explore all that they have to be grateful for. Every day is a new opportunity to be happy and to turn things around. Why wait till the beginning of the year or even tomorrow. No time like the present, as they say. I have forever been puzzled this time of year with the resolutions, promises and expectations. It's almost as though we are setting ourselves up. I understand that these things work for some but I would say that for most it's not the healthiest angle. So, whether you're setting weight loss goals, happiness benchmarks, business plans or anything else, maybe consider that today is the day. Make it happen. Don't wait until the calendar says a certain date or the clock hits a magic number.

Some shit certainly hit the fan this past year and I empathize with those that may have struggled or continue to. Life is no cake walk, but it is what we make of it. We are all strong, strong enough to rise above and I believe, with ever fiber of my being, that we are capable of creating our own happiness. Even amidst the chaos your light will always shine brighter than the darkness. Believe in your ability to be the change you wish to see.

Personally, 2016 was a bit of a rollercoaster but when I travel back and recall memories of the past year the happy stuff is all I see. Here are some highlights:

  • I became a yoga teacher, a "job" I absolutely love. It challenges me, pushes me and everyday leads me closer to home.
  • Me and my family have enjoyed good health.
  • One of my oldest friends gave birth to her first, a beautiful and healthy baby boy.
  • Another dear friend beat cancer like a goddamn superhero.
  • The City of Fredericksburg granted me permission to keep a miniature horse at my home. Still waiting for the husband to grant me permission to follow through. 
  • I laughed so much I almost have defined abs. I cried so much that it made the laughs even sweeter.
  • Sturgill Simpson got nominated for a Grammy.
  • I've watched friends and family reach personal and professional goals that far exceeded their wildest dreams. 

Happiness is a state of mind. Life isn't about what happens to you but how you choose to react to those things that do happen. I know that sometimes this is easier said than done but believe in yourself, work hard, set goals and trust the process. 2017 may be the best year to come (here's hoping) but give 2016 a break, it's just a number.

May quiet contentment find you. In all you have evolved in and in all you cannot change. For we know that gratitude for the past grants us permission to look ahead.

Search for ways that you’ve grown. Raise a glass to all that you’ve learned— both in challenge and in celebration. All of it purposeful.

In this new chapter— we wish you constant refinement. Let your days teach and transform you. Let them leave you differently than they found you.

And at the close of each day, we wish you a pause. One that allows you to recognize the greater narrative that ties you in and weaves you back together.

Here’s to the great that awaits.
— Artifact Uprising

Here's to 2017 and all of the possibility it brings with it! Wishing you health, happiness, all your wildest dreams and most of all, belief in yourself. 

Happy New Year!

Mala mala mala

Sitting quietly by myself, opening packages full of shiny, sparkly, colorful beads, running silk tassels through my dry winter hands and laying all of my treasure on the floor in front of me, wondering how I will join them together into beautiful creations... this is how I've been spending loads of time lately.

For obvious reasons, Pippin, my apprentice, favors the necklaces with antlers. 

For obvious reasons, Pippin, my apprentice, favors the necklaces with antlers. 

The last few months have been a wild ride filled with lots of highs and even some lows. Somehow, and despite being busier than ever, I've managed to fill what little spare time I do have with an incredible and fulfilling new hobby. I've always enjoyed craft projects, hobbies and anything that requires complete focus. It helps to check out or maybe I'm really just checking back in. I'm a textbook introvert but I usually enjoy filling alone time with some type of activity. It's essential in my reboot process. For me, alone time is on the same level as oxygen, it's just that important.  

It all started this past summer while chatting with one of my yoga soul sisters during our teacher training. We shared a love for neck adornment that had tassels! Go figure, me loving something shiny. She definitely planted the seed, "we should make our own" or something to the same effect. We were consumed with our training, summer and life. Earlier this Fall, I went to a local shop that was hosting a trunk show for a woman who designs and makes her own jewelry. While perusing her things, I instantly knew I could make my own. Her creations, although beautiful, were not what I envisioned making but she definitely inspired me to try. I couldn't resist and purchased a couple of her pieces and rushed home where I immediately started scouring the internet for beads, and other supplies. It was happening.

There is something undoubtedly powerful about creating something with your hands. I have completely fallen for the process. I can't say that it has hurt that others seem to be fond of my works either. I have been fortunate enough to have some necklaces on display at the studio, FLY Fitness Inspiration, where I teach yoga. I love that people think they're pretty and run their hands over the beads and smile. 

Is there a hobby or craft that you enjoy? I'm curious and would love to know what others do to "check back in." How did you get started and why do you continue? Is it the thrill of the process to create or maybe it's the finished product that keeps you going? Let me know!

Sugar Sweet Perspective

Last week I was blindsided by a complete ass kicking in the form of a sinus infection. Of course I was busy as hell and its timing, as they usually are, was bad in every sense of the word. In between binge watching "Island Hunters" and rereading the NyQuil dose directions I did a lot of contemplating, related specifically to the word perspective. So much so, that I looked up its actual definition. 

Here's what I found when I Googled it:

"a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view."

Okay, that's what I thought. Now what? 

As humans we have all formed opinions based on our upbringings, backgrounds, surroundings, schooling, interactions, etc, I could go on and on. But based on our life's experiences we have formed a point of view towards most everything. We all have a unique perspective on everything including; politics, religion, and all of the other "too hot for normal conversation" topics. What I was pondering most while curled up on my couch with my super cuddly hound was other people's points of view. Why are we so quick to judge others if their beliefs or points of view differ from our own? What if before lashing out in judgement of their differing beliefs we heard them out? What if we agreed to disagree? What if we showed some ever loving respect for others opinions i.e. their life as witness for their beliefs? What if we worked together, hand and hand, despite our differences and tried to make tomorrow better than today? I mean, call me naive, call me crazy, call me a dreamer but aren't we all capable of more than what social conflicts seem to result in today? From my perspective, through my rose colored lenses, I am certain that we are all capable of making a positive impact far beyond our own wildest imaginations. I am not certain of many things, but I am certain of this. 

Several months ago I was gifted a book from a friend, coach and someone I respect, a lot. It took me a little while to get around to reading it but last week when I was blindsided by a complete ass kicking in the form of a sinus infection I had some time to dive in. The book, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, is written by Cheryl Strayed. She had an anonymous advice column and people would write to her for advice, her perspective, on relationships, love, and life and this book is a compilation of a lot of these letters and her responses. It's a sort of rogue advice column, she's a ball busting, straight shooter who incorporates her own life experiences into her very thoughtful responses. Sometimes you want to cry, laugh or maybe even give her a high five. It's real life in all of it's messy goodness. She signed her responses in some form of "Yours, Sugar."

In reading Tiny Beautiful Things, I began my deep study of perspective. Strangers wrote to another stranger asking for advice on their lives. They needed someone else's perspective to get them through a challenging time, a joyful time, to move on with their lives or whatever but they actually reached out for a new insight. Wow. 

You see, we all need another perspective once in a while. Even if you believe yours to be correct having a different vantage point is sometimes essential for moving forward. You may not believe the alternate opinion to be right for you but it at least gets your wheels turning and maybe brings to surface questions about your circumstance that you hadn't thought about until you saw it in a different light. Sugar's readers respected her and reached out for her specific advice because of this respect. The most curious thing about this to me is that they don't even know her yet they have gone completely out of their way to seek her point of view on their situation. 

Is it easier to take advice from someone you don't know, someone who is completely foreign to your situation and life, someone whose face you don't recognize? I suppose my point in all this is to urge everyone to extend the same courtesy to people they do know, faces they do recognize, people who are already familiar to them. These people may have something to offer us that we have not explored yet, be open to that.

I would give credit if I knew where it came from but are you familiar with the saying that goes something like this: listen to understand not to respond?

Let's cultivate love and respect, even if we aren't seeing it in the papers or on the news. Let's rise above and live by a positive example. Let's be the change we want to see in the world. Lets's be the first ripple in the still water and watch the ripple of positivity spread. Let's be courageous enough to listen to understand not just to respond.

Here's to a brighter tomorrow filled with heated and respectful debate. As always, this is simply my rosy influenced perspective but I felt compelled to share.

 

Yours,

Obsessively Grateful

Today is my day to recharge, my day off. Today I woke up smiling. I had some quiet time for reflection, and all I could think about was how incredibly lucky I am. I guess on a regular basis when I'm all wrapped up in my routine, my day to day, it's not as easy to see it all through the lens of gratefulness. This morning, I did. I am obsessively grateful. 

Here's my Grateful Top 10 (in no particular order):

Quiet time: If you know me well than you are aware of my extreme introvertness. I love time with friends and family but afterwards requires a reboot time. It took me a long time to understand this about myself but once I did it all made sense. I love quiet time and I require it the same as I require air, it's that important. I am so grateful for time like this morning to put everything back into perspective, to reboot, to soak it all in. I will continue to relish in opportunities like this morning where I can take care of my soul.

My husbandYa'll, this man is a saint. He is my rock, my best friend, my support, my confidant, my amusement, he is my everything. He lets me have wings. I could say so much more but I think it muddies it all up. 

My paintbrush: Yesterday a friend shared a blog post with me and it was perfection. Please read it here, seriously. It was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. Does that happen to anyone else? I love that. "Your life’s work is the love you give and receive — and your body is the instrument you use to accept and offer love on your soul’s behalf." I'm pretty impressed with everything my body can do but I certainly don't obsess over it. There are way more important things to focus on, like using it to paint your life's mural. 

Pippin: I couldn't have a grateful list without mentioning the other love of my life, my home slice, Pippin. We recently took her on a camping trip and it didn't go exactly as we had planned. We took her on the same trip last year and she appeared to have the time of her life so we were hoping for a repeat but ended up completely striking out. She was miserable. The. Entire. Time. Dog mom fail. It was hotter than hell and all around pretty uncomfortable. We all made the most of it and enjoyed our time basking in the glorious big outdoors but our sweet pup just couldn't. I'm pretty sure she spent the entire weekend dreaming of the plush pillows on our bed and air conditioning. It wasn't a complete wash as we were able to successfully distracted her with lots of fun, long hikes, boat rides, and shallow water thrashing. You could almost see her smile a few times. But this trip was the first time she seemed to show her age and it pretty much broke my heart. Point taken, Pip. She was saved by her grandparents (my parents) and was able to catch a ride back to civilization a day early, thank goodness. Despite her growing need for creature comforts, I am beyond grateful for this girl. For all of the adventures we've had and all the ones that are yet to come, I am grateful for her presence in them all.

Yoga Teacher Training: This past weekend I finished my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. Hallelujah! It was a long five months but I will be forever grateful for the process, the journey, my fellow teachers, my growth, the yoga and the opportunities that this training has opened up for me. (If you're in FXBG, please come check out my class at FLY Fitness Inspiration, every Wednesday morning at 9:00. I'd love to help you start your day off!)  YTT was literally life changing in the best way possible. I will forever hold this experience close to my heart. "Everything has changed and yet, I am more me than I've ever been." Iain Thomas

My Family: I am so grateful for my family for helping to mold me into the weirdo that I am and for always being so accepting of the weirdo that I am becoming. Seriously, my family is so amazing, supportive, crazy, fun and I wouldn't be who I am without all of them. 

My house: I tend to talk a lot of shit about my house. It's a project and probably always will be. It's a labor of love. I've gotten really good at pointing out all the things I want to change about it, all the things that annoy me about it, all the things I can't change about it but in the end it's ours and how unbelievably incredible is that?! It's weird, quirky, small, and old, but it's ours. I am so grateful for this roof over my head.

Travel: I have been so fortunate in my life to travel to some amazing places. It's been a while since I spread my wings last but just the anticipation of 'where to next?' is beyond exciting. I FINALLY did the paperwork and everything that is required to get my new passport with my new last name. It came in the mail last week and it felt like Christmas. I can't wait for all the places it will take me. I've got some big plans.

My friends: You know who you are, you're all scattered about, living beautiful lives but no one makes me smile bigger, laugh harder, or feel more grateful than all of you.

CrossFit: I'm usually pretty reserved when it comes to being involved with CrossFit but here's the bottom line, I'm so grateful for this sport in my life. Not only is it responsible for making me the strongest version of myself, it has introduced me to lifelong friends, a steadfast community of amazing people, it humbles me, grounds me, and always pushes me to new found limits. CrossFit is a gift. Recently, I have been blessed with the opportunity to coach at my gym and I am so excited. To be completely honest, I struggled for a while with whether or not I was ready for this role. I was scared (still am!) and still feel like I am lacking experience. I have been blessed with so many amazing coaches over my CrossFit journey, how could I possibly measure up? Everyone starts somewhere, right? I'm not going to motivate, help, coach or encourage anybody by remaining on the sidelines, I'm just not. So... Here goes nothing! 

There you have it, my top 10 for today! I hope that your take away is to give yourself some space. Soak it all in. Look around and embrace what's there. 

My (Dis)ability

To graduate from my private high school, I was required to have three passing years of one foreign language OR two years of two different foreign languages. Piece of cake, right? Well, for me, it was a lot of things but not even close to being a piece of cake. Maybe a piece of fruitcake. It was so incredibly hard for me. I had tutors, lots of after school sessions, countless misunderstandings with my parents (most had nothing to do with foreign language), tears, endless frustration and even with all this, my grades were still, at best, lousy.

Too make a long story short, I wasn’t successful at my third year of Español. And by not successful, I mean, I didn’t even complete my first trimester.

 And then, I tried French. Which lasted even less time. Four days to be exact. Four days.

Oppsie doopsie. 

I can’t remember who made the brilliant observation that maybe I was struggling with a learning disability. Smarty pants. I went through lots of comprehensive tests and tutoring and it was found, that, sure enough, I was struggling with learning disabilities. Trust me, every high school student wants to hear that they are an even bigger freak than they already believe themselves to be. But then, I heard the good news.

I was exempt from taking any further foreign language. What?!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

The shitty part about this “diagnosis” is that I straight up took it and ran with it. I most definitely used it as a crutch, for years!

So, why am I bringing this up, ten plus years after successfully graduating from high school, despite my lack of necessary foreign language credits? 

Sanskrit. 

Yep, fast forward to April 2016, when I started my journey into a yoga teacher training program. I had forgotten or possibly just trauma blocked the fact that, at one point in my life, many moons ago, someone told me I had learning disabilities. And then I was reminded. 

It’s funny because all these years later, I remembered, like I was sitting in that high school Spanish class just yesterday, all of those frustrating feelings I had experienced way back then came rushing back like flood waters. 

Fortunately, and some of you may argue this point, but in my older age and maybe just with more life experience, I understand better than ever, how I learn best. And considerably better than my seventeen year old self. I would also like to note that I enjoy learning more than ever. That may be due to the fact that I am finally able to learn and focus on the things that I want to know more about, and it’s worth noting, Spanish still hasn’t made the cut except if it means ordering tacos and margaritas. That’s pretty close to Spanish, right? 

Maybe one day. In Mexico. 

So, without even thinking about it, at thirty years old, I revisited some old wounds, while pursuing a newer passion, yoga. As I approach the end of my yoga training, I find myself reflecting, a lot. I wonder to myself if I would have even embarked on this journey had I known the things from my past that would bubble up? And believe me, scarier things than language barriers certainly came up, way scarier things. And, to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have. 

I’ve learned so much during the last five months but my biggest take away is that I should get out of my own way. As I sit here on my couch, Pippin cuddled up to my right, the Olympics playing in the background and I can’t help but think about how far I’ve come and what if everyone dared to push themselves past their comfort zones? I can guaran-damn-tee you that no Olympic medals have ever been won by people who didn’t push their limits just the same as I can guarantee you that you are capable beyond your own wildest dreams. Give yourself a chance and get the hell out of your way. 

Ps- because I know you were all wondering… Sanskrit is still proving to be challenging but flashcards are amazing and so is willpower. 

It ALL happens in MAY

It's Sunday, the day I usually use to look ahead at the upcoming week in preparation for what's to come. Today happens to be Mother's Day, the day before our first wedding anniversary, we are nine days away from the third anniversary of becoming homeowners AND twenty-one days away from the first anniversary of Pippin Points. It ALL happens in MAY! I'm overwhelmed but not just at my upcoming week, at the upcoming month!

Here's 420 the day we closed (5/17/2013). The outside is relatively similar but so much else has changed.. for the better!

Here's 420 the day we closed (5/17/2013). The outside is relatively similar but so much else has changed.. for the better!

I think moving forward, I will encourage future 'big deals' to happen in months other than May. Despite being slightly overwhelmed by all that is happening this month, I am so incredibly proud of all of our milestones that I feel compelled to share. 

This morning, while driving to Lowe's to shop for a project, we reminisced about a wacky 'moving in' story that I had somehow forgotten about or just trauma blocked. I feel distanced enough from it to share without wanting to move immediately.

We were living about an hour away from Fredericksburg when we purchased this home and my husband (then bf) was already working in the area. We had been looking for homes for a while, suffered multiple 'first time home buyer' issues, started working with our second realtor, and finally got a lead on this little gem. It had just been put on the market and our realtor shared that it would go fast. She wasn't kidding. My husband went to look at it that afternoon, and that same afternoon he put in an offer. I was onboard, obviously, but sight unseen. That's trust baby or maybe just stupidity, I'm still trying to figure that out. 

Needless to say, and long story short, it was ours. We bought it from an old lady who was colorblind (maybe), devoid of good taste and didn't believe in cleaning, bless her heart. It literally looked like an Easter egg inside, each room (and closet) was a different shade of horrible pastel. She was even so thoughtful as to leave cans of each color upstairs just in case we had any retouching to do. My mom and I spent a solid week and every minute of each of those seven days in it painting everything WHITE and cleaning.

We moved in and everything was great but I couldn't rid myself of this feeling. It wasn't a bad feeling or a good feeling but it was a feeling that wouldn't go away. The house was full of old house quarks and things to learn. We were settling in nicely but for whatever reason I couldn't shake this weird vibe. 

I tried my usual tricks; some house cleansing, feng shui, essential oils and I burned a shit ton of sage. I'm sure there were improvements from all of the above but I was not getting the result I was hoping for. I went to a local shop that sold essential oils to pick up some that I had read would help to clear and cleanse energy. I was super vague with the lady in the shop but she seemed to sense my mission. She started asking questions and quickly knew an abbreviated version of my story. After a brief conversation and some prodding she informed me that there was something in my attic, the far right hand corner of my attic, to be exact. She insisted it wasn't evil or bad but it was a dark energy that I needed to get rid of. Umm... What the hell?! I tried to keep my cool. She told me there was an object there (she didn't know what) that I needed to get rid of. Great. I left feeling disturbed. I mean, was this really happening? So much for wanting the charm that comes with an older home, I was ready to pack up and find a new build!

Looking back, almost three years later and I wish so badly we had documented this experience better, but unfortunately we didn't. We were so terrified that taking pictures wasn't even in our thought process. I remember calling my mom and several friends, I'm sure. Probably letting them know that if there was a freak accident and we both ended up dead, not to worry, it's just the 'dark' object in the far right corner of our attic. My husband was recruited for the dirty work, very reluctantly, I might add. 

The far right corner of our attic happens to be over our bedroom, perfect. It is an unusable attic space, without electricity, filled with duct work and insulation. Armed with flashlights and lots of positive juju we went to check it out. I'm pretty sure he was just cussing and I was spewing the positive juju. Exactly where she said 'it' would be we (he) found a nasty, balled up, old sweatshirt and a blue hood visor with airbrushed lettering that said 'A Country Boy Can Survive.'  Sweet lord... and good riddance. Now you know why I trauma blocked this. I don't even know how to elaborate on our findings. I'm sure there is a story behind each item but our story with them ended quickly with a run to the recycling center.

Today, almost three years later, as I type, I'm listening to my husband hammer away on an outside trellis project, and I am overcome with gratitude. I can't believe how far we've come. I'm beyond relieved that the weird vibe and energy left our home with the redneck hood visor. And that since eliminating that weird shit the only suspect energy we've encountered has been stuff we brought in, nothing lingering or leftover from Ms. Pastel. 

So... Here's to the month of May! I hope that this is the beginning of the best one yet! Thank you to all you beautiful souls out there that encourage us, laugh with us, laugh at us, and support us. We love you all and look forward to so many more stories, anniversaries, and memories together. 

#PeytonsLuckyCoiner

It's been one whole year (almost) and I can barely believe it. Time sure does fly by when you're having fun. Our wedding day was filled with our favorite people, our favorite places and of course, Pippin. I never shared wedding photos before (because I'm a weirdo) so it seemed fitting to celebrate our anniversary by revisiting the day. Enjoy!

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And they lived happily ever after.

She loved Seahorses

If you were to say that I am a sentimental person you would be making a severe understatement. For me, the trick to being sentimental is retaining the important memories without the stuff that may trigger them (I hate clutter). The memories remain without the shit, I promise. This is easier said than done, I know.

On Saturday evening, I returned home from my first full day of Yoga Teacher Training to find a cute little package on my porch tucked under my mailbox. I figured it must have been something my husband was expecting because I couldn't remember ordering anything, stranger things have happened though, I can assure you. You can imagine my delight as I discovered the package was addressed to me! Pure glee. I stumbled inside with arms full from my day. I settled myself and then quickly remember the package which I had left just inside the door on our catch all console table. It was addressed to me but this time I also noticed who it was from, my sweet, thoughtful and very dear cousin who lives in Santa Fe. Goodie (as Granny would say), I could barely wait. 

I unwrapped two beautiful turquoise dish towels with seahorses on them. My cousin had found them on a recent stay in one of my favorite places, Hawaii. She was obviously triggered by thoughts of our Granny. Trudy loved seahorses, like really LOVED them. And she was a collector so you can really only imagine the things she owned that paid homage to her beloved favorite fish. There were trinkets, China, dish towels (I'm sure), art, canvas bags, throw pillows, I could go on and on but the most memorable to me was a jeweled pin she wore on her lapel, daily. Her signature piece, well, one of them at least. Second, maybe, but only to her infamous jingling charm bracelet.

I was delighted with my new kitchen additions and wowed by the timing of the gift. Feeling extremely emotional from a long day of putting myself out there or at least contemplating it, I came home to a reminder of one of the best teachers I've ever had and quiet possibly the person I hope to emulate most. I cried. 

This weekend, I was reminded at least 49 times that I am a terrible public speaker. I've never experienced anything else in life that triggers anxiety in me more than the possibility of speaking to a group. All eyes on me or even the possibility of it and I instantly feel my blood pressure skyrocket and my tongue twist. How is it even possible that the same person who can so easily and freely spill themselves in a blog post has trouble doing the same thing in person? One on one is my dream scenario, but much more than that and I'm toast, burnt toast. 

For whatever reason, I knew that this would come up for me in my training (duh!... 'teacher training) but I just didn't realize how profound my hang up was.

Because she spoke to me today, through my cousins sweet gift, I'm going to try my darnedest to channel my Granny. That lady could talk to anyone about anything. She was a remarkable person, an accomplished go getter, a born leader, a mover and a shaker, a doer, an advocate and a superb public speaker. I'm not entirely sure how this skilled skipped me but I intend to make it a learned one.

Granny, please keep talking to me. I clearly have so much more to learn from you. Thank you for setting an almost unattainable bar and for always expecting our best.

It's Electric

Have you ever been almost electrocuted? 

I hadn't. Well, except for maybe those times as kids, when my brother would make me grab the livestock electric fence to see if it was 'even on' and then all those times I was probably close to death and didn't even know about it. Besides those times, I had never been nearly electrocuted until yesterday, Easter Sunday.

My husband and dog almost witnessed my death (not really). I really am exaggerating but bare with me, it makes the story better. We were very innocently measuring our kitchen to have dimensions to take to a designer. I needed help holding one side of the tape measure and since Pippin isn't able, my husband was roped in. We were measuring the wall that goes behind our refrigerator. He had the end of it and I was holding the tape measure. He let go of his side and for whatever reason I let my hand drop from the actual tape and my other hand remained on the tape measure base.

POP!

'What the hell was that.' We both said in almost unison. I saw smoke and realized the tape measure, that was already retracted into itself, was all black. Holy shit.

My husbands eyes were as big as saucers. 'Are you OK?' 

The best part of this silly story is that I am completely fine. Unscathed. I might just be a little more zany and my hair may be a little frizzier.

If we tried to do it again we would never be able to. The metal part on the end of the tape caught a phone charger that was plugged into an outlet and bam, electricity.

My point in sharing my (almost) demise is about how powerful energy is. How powerful being in the right place at the right time is. And I'm not just talking about in weird freak almost accidents, I'm talking about in life. 

I believe with every fiber of my being that each moment, joy, struggle, thought, adventure and hardship that we've endured up until this point has brought us to the exact place that we are in right now, exactly where and how we are suppose to be. It's your journey, make it wonderfully grand.  

Keep believing in your passions because they are your calling. Embrace each step even if it doesn't amount to what you thought it may be. Like the waves of the ocean this journey keeps moving, make sure you're flexible enough to ride the waves of change. 

Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy, this is physics.
— Albert Einstein

All about that Broth

My husband spends loads of time in the car during his work week and consequently listens to hours of podcasts. I should probably know who or what they are but those details have been lost in translation. What I do know is, when he hears about something interesting, we don't rest until we've tried it. 

Things we do (most everyday) because of podcasts he's listened to: bulletproof coffee, green smoothies, specific supplements, and diet variations. He's not messing around.

So, what's the latest and greatest bee in his bonnet from a podcast? Bone Broth. Yep, after listening to a podcast about the benefits, he literally obsessed about it for 48 hours, until I finally succumbed to taking on the project. 

Needless to say, our weekend was busy spent tending the bathing marrow bones, in our bubbling cauldron of future life elixir. 

I. Hate. Recipes. Not really surprising, if you know me. I've never been one for rules and recipes are no different. Unless they are absolutely essential (think: risotto, or baking), I tend to study multiple recipes for the same thing and then take the parts I like from them all and end up creating my own. Apparently, this is frustrating for friends and family because I can never share recipes because they don't really exist. I'm trying to be better at this. I mean, I can always give the general idea but nothing is ever created the same way twice.  So naturally, my bone broth would be no different. 

I'm no stranger to making my own stock but here's what I did for my first ever specific 'bone' broth... basically:

  • 12 cups of water
  • just over 3lbs. of beef marrow and neck bones
  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 large carrots halved
  • 4 large celery stalks halved
  • 4 cups (packed) chopped kale
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 T black peppercorns
  • 2 T sea salt
  • 3 springs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 T unfiltered apple cider vinegar

I threw everything together in one big pot and then brought it to a rapid boil. Then, I reduced the heat to simmer and allowed it to cook for approximately 36 hours. Adding additional water when necessary, you'll know, I promise. After cooking, allow mixture to cool and then strain liquid into a refrigerator safe sealable container. Refrigerate overnight. Remove layer of congealed fat. Enjoy!

The finished product is delicious and reminds me of soup minus all the goodies. I'm excited to try a similar recipe with other meats, maybe chicken, turkey and deer. Pippin was enthralled by the whole process, lots of good smells for the pup. She was right there for the whole thing, always so eager to help, and even accompanied me to our local butcher. Our house literally smelled of meat for days (it might still smell and we've just gotten use to it), my husbands dream come true and definitely not mine. I don't dig lingering food smell, ever. My girl Pip, she's all about it. 

I know we're not the only ones that have gone down this path. I'd love to hear any special tips, tricks or ideas you have for improving my brew. According to my husband this experiment is a winner and definitely sticking around. Great. He's even looking at new stock pots that would allow us to easily make more broth per batch. Double great and an eye roll. Consider this your warning, if you stop by anytime soon our house will probably smell like soup but who knows, maybe we'll share a cup of broth!

Hey, Universe!

In preparation for an upcoming training (more on this soon), I've been reading a lot. It's been a while since I dove into so many books head first and it's been really fun. These books border on the 'self help' genre with an emphasis on personal development and I've noticed that they are all preaching a similar message just delivering it differently. I'll paraphrase, 'What you put out into the universe you get back.' I dig it. Karma, baby. So, these folks are suggesting that you share with the universe what you want in order for these things (desires/dreams) to more easily manifest in your life. I've never been big on homework but I figured I might as well give it a try since it seemed to be a repeating theme. Here are some of their exercise suggestions:

  • Make lists... the only lists I make are for the grocery store
  • Journaling exercises... ugh...
  • Desire mapping... even with instructions/directions I was confused
  • Etc...

OR

  • Make a VISION BOARD!... Ding ding DING!

Fun! A craft project that required looking through old magazines at pretty pictures and cutting them out. This is a dream come true. I surely would've excelled at homework if it had ever been anything like this. Funny too, because through my internet wanderings, it seems I've heard so many mentions recently of vision boards, on social media, in blogs and on Pinterest. AND to top it all off, these people confirm and endorse the positive effects of these pretty collages. 

It reminds me of my best friend when we were growing up. Her family nickname is Pip, so she's obviously a winner. She was a professional collage maker, like, I'm talking a real deal pro. She made cards, bulletin boards and all sorts of artistic variations. Her work was so inspiring but mine always seemed to look like the kindergarten version. She wanted to be a model (which she totally could have) and dye her hair blonde and I just wanted to get my braces off and find a cure for blackheads. I think the idea of creating an adult version of our childhood and teenage masterpieces was what sealed the deal! 

Pip (the dog) and I dove into our craft project, full steam ahead. I loved gathering the pictures that spoke to me and spent waaaay too much time getting sucked back into the articles of my favorite magazines. I realized shortly after starting that I didn't have all the necessary supplies to successfully complete this project in a day. At first, I was frustrated but then as it sank in, I was totally alright with it. I wanted to do this well. If I'm going to spend so much time with this masterpiece, it better be gorgeous. If I'm selling my dreams to the universe, I'm going to take the time to get it right. I can't wait for you to see the porch on my beach house! 

My husband arrived home and surveyed the scene. I think he rolled his eyes and laughed and then wanted to know what the hell I was doing. Basically, a similar occurance happens on the regular at our house. He's such a lucky duck.

I'm jumping the gun slightly on this post because, days later, and even with all necessary supplies my vision board is still not complete. I've toyed with several variations and I still haven't arrived on one that I'm 100% committed to gluing down. When I have reached my final product and am satisfied with my completed board, ya'll will be the first to know it and see it!

Have you ever made a vision board? I'd love to hear about your journey with asking the universe for everything your heart desires. Tell me about it!

Namesake's Birthday

Yesterday, February 15, 2016, my GSP, Pippin, turned 8. Holy hell, I've successfully kept another living thing alive (besides my jade plant) for close to a decade, not a small miracle. My mom friends joke, especially while their children are still in infancy, that it's a miracle they were able to keep them alive. I think it's natural to feel this way particularly for first time parents. Everyone knows that parenting can be overwhelming. Well, I'm not a parent to any humans but Pippin is definitely my child and the beginning of our journey together was far from easy, it's a good thing she's resilient. 

Pippin was gifted to me by my parents the spring after I graduated from school. I moved back to Charlottesville shortly before Christmas in 2007 with grand plans to move into the ghetto with one of my childhood besties. Everything was in place and we planned to move in after the first of the year. It had been our plan to live together for many years and it was finally happening. You can only imagine our excitement. My homecoming was a booze filled holiday bash that lasted into the new year. The party came to an abrupt halt when I came down with a brutal case of Mono. Needless to say, I was bed ridden at my parents for over a month. Oppsie. I finally recovered and eventually was well enough for my big move to the slums (at that time) of Charlottesville. My parents were thrilled. Side note, today, said ghetto is the place to be. Again, we were just ahead of our time, naturally. 

I had a job, a thriving social life and loads of bad habits. Something was missing. 

Enter Pippin Rose, a whiny, tiny, needy puppy. 

I could barely take care of myself at this point so obviously the addition of a mini, spotted dog was exactly what was missing. We grew up together, literally. Fortunately, she was able to expedite this act. Who knew that eight years later we'd be getting gray hair together? The stories are endless but in order to keep this tribute short, I'll spare you.

My parents were probably just taking a stab in the dark when they gave her to me. 'Maybe this will straighten her out...' I imagine them stressing over my circumstances while drinking their morning coffee. Little did they know they were giving me the friend of a lifetime, a sharer of all my adventures, an endless love, a forgiving teacher, a purpose, and the glimmer in my eye. Who knew, that a puppy was capable of so much. 

Pippin, thank you for loving me so well. Here's to you and many more adventures and years together.  

An Introvert does SuperFit

I've been doing CrossFit for just over 2.5 years and I still don't consider myself one of them. That's weird considering some weeks I spend hours in my gym. I think that CrossFit is literally the opposite of me. However, I've never experienced anything else quite like it. I would even go so far as to say that sometimes, I love it. It pushes you, stretches you, calms you, builds you, humbles you, teaches you, and beats the shit out of you. I like that on a daily basis it takes me out of my comfort zone. CrossFit embodies lots of things that make me uncomfortable- people, testosterone, other peoples sweat, competition, weights, gym selfies, workouts, yelling, etc. and delivers it to me in a package that I can't seem to live without. For whatever reason, I keep showing up. The only give away to the outside world that I CrossFit are the callus' on my hands and when you see my traps in a dress. 

Yesterday, I competed in my first ever (and probably last) CrossFit competition. Yes, there are actually events held for people to compete at working out. It is loud, crowded, intimidating, uncomfortable, nerve wrecking, and people are not there to just show off their six packs (they do this too) but they are there to WIN. The people watching is maybe the best I've ever seen, I'm not kidding. I just wish I had been able to experience it all with Harry Potters invisibility cloak. This particular event is held at a convention center so picture an enormous room with a dj, not kidding (my ears are still ringing) full of peacocks and every single one of them is displaying their tail feathers. It's pretty much my kryptonite. 

Sweet relief! Posing with some of the amazing CrossFit Rappahannock ladies I shared my SuperFit experience with. 

Sweet relief! Posing with some of the amazing CrossFit Rappahannock ladies I shared my SuperFit experience with. 

The CrossFit world is a special beast. My gym (or box as 'they' refer to them), CrossFit Rappahannock, is an amazing community of hardworking, genuine, and fun people. I feel very supported by them and I'm pretty sure that has a lot to do with why I actually signed up for this competition even though every fiber of my being told me not to. That and the fact that my ego is an asshole and apparently needs to be able to say that I've done this. I'm hoping that yesterday was enough to shut it up for a while. 

I realized a lot of things yesterday. And maybe the most important thing was that I should listen to my inner voice. I am definitely competitive by nature but I'm certain that yesterday was the first time, in my life, that I competed in something that I wasn't 100% confident in. I had an amazing and capable partner and I don't, even for a second, want to discredit her hard work. I wasn't prepared like I should have been and therefore didn't enter this competition in the best position. In retrospect, I should have put more emphasis on the experience part and less on the actual competing part. 

To be crystal clear, I didn't expect to be walking away with any trophies yesterday, but I did set goals and standards for myself and our team. We did our best, unfortunately our best left me with a bruised ego. Out of 60 teams in our division we finished in 28th. Dang, just made the top half! 

I'm going to put this experience in my back pocket (if only my yoga pants had them) and get back to what I love about this sport, improving and pushing myself. What an experience. I laughed, pushed hard, shook with fear, drank too much pre-workout, lifted more than my body weight (multiple times), sweated profusely, cried, and did my best. I'm proud of myself for trying and learning but I don't think I've ever been more excited for something to be over. 

The home stretch and the BIG chill

It's Day 19 of this round of the Whole30 and I'm pretty ready for this to be over. Having the impending doom aka winter storm Jonas upon us at any moment hasn't helped much. All I want to do is eat mac and cheese and drink wine. Not an option but I've played out the scenario at least 193 times in my head. It would be glorious. But alas, that won't be happening for at least 11 more days. And, if I did happen to gorge myself on mac it would obviously and almost immediately negate all my 30 days of hard work. Not gonna happen!

CLICK on the image to check out the Whole30 website!

CLICK on the image to check out the Whole30 website!

As you can see, the saying is true, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. So, I find it helpful to continually remind myself of the benefits:

Better sleep, feeling better, clearer skin, endless motivation, actually eating yummy food (not starving), weight loss, more pull-ups and overall strength, elevated moods, less mood swings, more focused, etc.

This list pretty much speaks for itself and the first one would be reason enough for me to do this several times a year. Each one of those items (besides the pull-up one) also probably has a popular prescription drug that claims to take control of said issue, not to mention it's mile long length of terrifying side effects. Newsflash people: All we need to do is take care of ourselves! It isn't rocket science. Just think about what you're eating. You can do this. And feel free to reach out for help. My arsenal of tips is growing with each Whole30 I complete. It's easier to have support and their website is a fantastic tool. 

I've started You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. There's a reason it's a bestseller. Do yourself a favor and read it asap!

I've started You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. There's a reason it's a bestseller. Do yourself a favor and read it asap!

Back to the Virginia winter that decided to show up, hello. I'd like to say I'm prepared, I mean we have food, water, shovels, ice scrappers, heat, candles, batteries, etc. but I'm not so sure I'm ready mentally. Yesterday I was in a tizzy when I realized my only 'snow' boots aren't even snow boots or waterproof for that matter and they aren't even tall enough to save me from the foot + of snow that's expected. I called my local Monkee's when I remembered that they sold Hunter boots. And because they're awesome they had my size in stock AND they also carry the cozy fleece lining. I need to hurry and go pick those up! I'm totally a warm weather girl and I'll probably be over this whole mess after I see the first flake. My man is on call for the city all weekend, so my outlook for Netflix and puppy cuddles is looking highly probable. Also skipping my Friday workout to rest these muscles for allllllllll the shoveling in my future. Ha. Skipping my Friday workout, you know it was a mental struggle that lasted all of a nano second. I've also got a hell of a reading list lined up, so that's a dream come true. 

Speaking of warm weather girls, Pippin isn't pumped about what's about to happen either. I mean she totally comes by it honestly, German Shorthair Pointer. It isn't her fault that God decided to give her natures permanent buzz cut. It sure is cute but it definitely isn't much on warmth. She is a pathetic sight when she's cold. She literally shakes all over and her teeth chatter. It's adorable and hilarious. Because investing in a doggie coat is something I'm just not in to I usually sacrifice one of my four hundred hoodies. I don't even know if it's helpful because it just gets soaking wet leaving her freezing and wet. But holy shit, let me tell you, Pip in a hoodie, is a sight to behold. Pictures to come. 

Stay warm! Hope you're all stocked up on the essentials and that you all fair well. 

The Diving Board

It is the end of the second full week of the new year and despite my resistance to resolutions I have been doing a lot of self reflection, meditating, soul searching and desire mapping as we settle in to 2016. It's pretty neat to be able to give yourself an opportunity to find out what's really deep inside and maybe a little scary too. I'm learning a lot. 

There has been a reoccurring theme in my life... An interest in something is sparked and I pursue the hell out of it like there is no tomorrow. Feeling invincible, I immerse myself in every sence of the word and then once I'm satisfied, I'm usually done forever. What? Yep, done. Had all I needed. Onto the the next thing. This has moved me several times, across an ocean and state lines. All for the love of adventure and learning. Or was I just running? Who knows, but it was always fun and I wouldn't change any of my experiences. I only wish I had been more thorough. While pursuing these things I usually feel and seem all in. Like, this is it, I've finally found MY thing. And then they always ended up being MY temporary things. 

I have no special talents, I am just passionately curious.
— Albert Einstein

This used to bug the hell out of me. Do I really have Attention Deficit Disorder? Why can't I be normal (ha!) and pick something permanent? Well, I still don't know the answers to those questions but I'm learning to be easier on myself. I'm so grateful to be in a position where I can explore these whims, hobbies, interests and be settled enough to know that it's alright to move on to whatever is next. I'm sometimes envious of people as fortunate as my sweet husband and brother who knew from what seems like day one what their life works would be. Only sometimes envious because, not everybody is like that and I know I'm certainly not. Isn't there an old saying? Jack of all trades, master of none. I feel like that suites me, at least I'm good at the things I try. So there's that. 

A wave of change may be upon me. I would say in the last several years I've stuck with more things than ever before! And I've probably tried more new things too. I'm growing, maturing, something is happening and it's sticking. I could probably credit numerous things for this quarter life growth spurt but number one would probably be the unconditional support from my husband. It's amazing to know that someone (other than my family- because duh, they just have to!) supports and believes in you 100%. Talk about feeling invincible. Despite whatever may be the cause or causes of 'things sticking' I'm really excited.

Recently, while exploring one of my favorite hobbies I stumbled on what could be an amazing new journey. I quickly boohooed it and moved on as it seemed too time consuming, too much of a commitment and too expensive. But for whatever reason it has been relentless in not letting me forget about it. It's even been so bold as to become an option for me within a couple miles of my house, say what?! Oh yea, like I could walk, ride my bike or even skip there! All signs point to this definitely not being a coincidence. 

So what's the problem and why is this post called 'The diving board'? In the beginning, and I'm working hard on this, I was overwhelmed with self doubt. It was a combination of excitement and self sabotage and I was frozen somewhere in between. I had found this amazing possibility/opportunity but I couldn't help asking questions like, 'would this just be another one of my temporary things?' I feel like I'm definitely on the diving board and I'm just not sure if I'll dive in or not. Who am I kidding? If I jump, it will probably be a cannonball. I'm at least 85% sure I want to do this but I'm being held back by my past experiences. 

It is never too late to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
— C.S. Lewis

Have you ever been in a similar position? Are there opportunities in your life that you talked yourself out of but wish you had explored? 

It's HERE! And Winter Shakedown

New year, new you?!

Bullshit... Well, at least I hope not. But don't say it unless you mean it. Hope it's going well, really!

Feeling... *Excited* Something about a new year that gets me pumped up! Fresh start, clean slate, you get it, shiny and new! Get some! 

Wishing... It would stay this warm! It's January in Virginia and it was 60 degrees today. Yes please. 

Playing... Nothing. I need some games in my life. Open to suggestions!

Eating... All the clean things. Started the Whole30 about a week ago and it feels good. Definitely getting positive reinforcement from my body that it was about damn time for this again!

Drinking... Coffee, tea, and so so so so much water.

Doing... This ridiculously loooooong list... 

Watching... Netflix, 'Making a Murderer.' But duh, everyone is, right? We finished it in record time and I'm still reeling. You should also check out another Netflix docu series 'High Profits' based in Breckenridge, Colorado. It follows the towns challenges with the legalization of recreational marijuana and it's fascinating. 

Listening... My husband rocks and tried to acquire Adele tickets for a Christmas gift, unfortunately he failed. However, in my stocking was a copy of her '25' cd. It's epic and every track is magic. I already od'd on 'Hello' so I just skip it and pretend I know all the words to the other tracks. A hidden cam in my car would make for a good laugh, I'm sure. Oh and also... Chris Stapleton's album 'Traveler' it, also, is awesome and every single track is smooth as butter. Country western crooner butter.

Admiring... My friend Jennifer. She's the epitome of awesome.

Wearing... My new Kale sweatshirt. You've seen them, it says Kale instead of Yale. Sweatshirt perfection. Don't be jealous. It's cozy and rad!

Dreaming... About a beach, palm trees, and tan lines. I don't care that we've been having record breaking temps, it's still January and I miss the beach! Who the hell am I kidding? I'm always, like forever always, dreaming of the ocean. It's good for the soul.

Loving... My new Apple watch!!! Dude, Santa outdid himself this year. I have no idea, and I mean NO idea how to use it to it's full potential but it's still awesome and looks cool. 

Loathing... Nothing. How cool is that? No rants necessary, you're spared.

Cooking... Tonight, for the first time, I'm cooking a spagetti squash. I hope it tastes just like the real thing. Ha. It won't, I'm sure but I made a yummy sauce with turkey meatballz, all Paleo, of course. I'll let you know, sure smells delicious.

Baking... Giving my love handles (wink, wink) the month off while on the Whole30, they frown upon the whole baking thing :( Oh well... Me and my handles will be back with vengeance soon enough.

Purchasing... Well.. Besides the new car!!!!!!!! Just groceries. Moving forward, I've implemented 'no spend' January. 

Wanting... Cheese, bread and maybe a big ol' glass of red wine. 

Observing... Today it rained for a few minutes but the sky was bright blue and there didn't seem to be a cloud in the sky. I'm sure there was a rainbow somewhere but I missed it. It was crazy, random and really beautiful. Pip thought differently as it disrupted her afternoon deck lounge session. Oh, my little hounds life of leisure. 

Reading... 'Five Sisters The Langhornes of Virginia' by James Fox. It's older, published in 2000 but I just rediscovered it in my parents basement. I'm having a hard time getting really into it but to it's credit it has been competing with the likes of 'Making a Murderer.' It's a fascinating story about some remarkable people that I've got some family ties too and it's based at a farm in Greenwood, Mirador, right next door to the farm where I was raised. 

Rearranging... Nothing, unless you count putting away all the Christmas stuff. 

Accepting... The aging process or at least trying too. I never went back to the esthetician who told me I needed Botox not because it was her fault but because I just wasn't there yet. I mean shit, really? It's not even like I'm opposed, there's a time and a place, right? I guess I was just a little taken aback by her forwardness. Regardless of said Botox pushing, I'm working on loving my Botox free face more deeply. 

Enjoying... Getting back to a more 'normal' schedule and routine after the holidays. They were fun and all but it feels great to get back to it! 

Planning... A kitchen and bath remodel. Seriously y'all, it's overdue, we're living several decades behind. I have no idea when this will happen but I'm hoping sometime this year. I know it will help us to love our space more and make us feel more comfortable in our home. If you follow me on Pinterest you're probably sick of my all white kitchen and bath dreams.

Crying in Public

It's the last day of 2015... Woah!

Last night I reluctantly dragged myself to my favorite yoga class (the one I could barely make it through before, yep, favorite!). Only reluctantly because it's almost impossible to be motivated at the end of day when it's dark, drizzly and your pup is being extra cuddly. I managed to tear myself away and boy am I glad that I did. 

Duh, who doesn't feel great following a wonderful workout. I would bet it all that no one, ever, has finished a tough workout and then wished they hadn't. It doesn't happen and if it does you're doing life wrong.

Something new happened last night. I cried... Yep, I lost it. 

Let me explain.

I successfully made it through the entire class, sweaty as hell, but still tearless. We were in Savasana aka Corpse Pose to finish out the class. The teacher usually reads something motivating, inspiring, thought provoking, etc. Last night, she read this.

Hopefully now, you've read it too. It's not earth shattering and who even knows if it's true. But regardless, it spoke to me. Without going into detail (because it doesn't matter) life has been really heavy lately and this was the perfect reminder, small things can matter the most. I've been ultra sensitive lately and this seemed to be my tipping point. For the record, me saying that I've been 'ultra sensitive' is nuts because I usually am. So for kicks, take 'ultra sensitive' and multiple it by at least a thousand, hellllloooo. And don't read sensitive, like crying everyday, read it like, feeling more deeply, being more internal, being more easily affected. 

We've only got today. Who will you positively affect? What kind of difference can you make? And please don't think that to make a legitimate impact you need a 'thank you,' an applause or even recognition. You actually don't need any of that. Treat others and the world how you would like to be treated and do it all just because it feels good!

After class, the teacher, who noticed the tears, was sweet and offered an understanding hug. I blubbered and asked if she would send me the link for the story. She readily agreed and shared that it had just been something she saw on Facebook and felt like she should share. Neat, right! She had no idea that it would impact any of us, but it did! It made me cry, in public, unheard of! 

My wishes for the new year, less public tears, lots more yoga, loads of good vibes, laughter, good health, self growth, adventure and hopefully, the sensitive meter is easing it's way back down to my normal ultra sensitive level.

Best wishes to you all for a happy and most of all, healthy New Year! Spread love and light wherever you go and remember, it's the little things!

Soul Suck #2

***Update to original 'Soul Suck' posted September 9th***

I can't believe that it's taken me so long to add this update. You've waited long enough. Hopefully, you react similarly to me, and have a hard time not laughing out loud when you see this. 

This is what a five year difference looks like...

This is what a five year difference looks like...

There are literally too many things I could say about this so in order to keep this short and sweet, you're welcome.

As always but now more than ever, comments strongly encouraged.