Speaks To Me Sunday #73

1 Jan

#Hello2017 

I am a girl who maps out situations and stories. When I make plans about the future, I vividly imagine how things will turn out. What I will say, how others will respond, where we will be, how the whole scene plays out right down to the happy ending. It’s the way my mind works. It can be fun, but it can also be heartbreaking when things don’t go as planned. Especially when some of my plans are actually desires that I don’t have total control over. My stories get sunk, and I am left feeling disappointed, desperately trying to write a new one. 

January 1st, 2017 has not played out how I envisioned. I have spent some time today feeling defeated. I wanted a grand start to this new year! Wouldn’t that be a story to tell?! Well, it’s not my story today. 

And I felt bereft. Like something was taken from me. 

I was still feeling down when I got home from work, and I found a present from the sweetest husband in the world. (This is the second year in a row he has surprised me with a New Year gift… I’m liking this tradition. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you, Babe!) He reminded me that it’s not too late to start 2017 in the right way. (In fact, it’s never too late to start again, in my opinion.)

And truthfully… 

 Maybe the problem isn’t with the story. Maybe it’s me that needs a little change. Maybe I need to let go of my imaginary pen. Maybe I need to let the moments come as they may. Maybe I need to live in them. Maybe I need to trust that God, the most incredible author of all, will write my story… the same way he has for the last 28 years. Maybe I need to say YES to that. 

So, this year I am saying YES…

To living in the moment

To embracing the unexpected

To new adventures

To listening more completely

To releasing what I cannot control 

To loving others better

To being grateful for the wonderful story of my life, written by the creator of all things. 
What are you saying YES to this year?!

Side note: I have yet to read the book, but I’m feeling inspired by it already. I’ll let you know how it is! I love me some Shonda Rhimes. โค 

#SpeaksToMeSunday 

Speaks To Me Sunday #72

25 Dec

Merry Christmas to you! 

This holiday season I feel like my favorite Christmas hymns have been impacting me in big ways. The lyrics I’ve known since I was a child are striking me like I’ve never heard them before. Maybe I just wasn’t listening. Well, I am now. And my heart is not only full, but open.

I have always loved “O Holy Night,” and it’s also my husband’s favorite. That one especially has stuck with me the last few weeks… God appeared on this earth in the form of Jesus, and we knew then how much we were loved. The Almighty God sent His only Son just so he could be with us. “And the soul felt it’s worth.” My worth is not determined by what I do, but the truth that I am a beloved daughter of the King. That is certainly something to be celebrated! 

Remember that you have worth. You are so loved. That is the reason for this season – Love is here.

Merry Christmas!

Speaks To Me Sunday #71

4 Dec


Waiting.

I don’t know anyone who enjoys it. 

I feel like I am doing quite a bit of waiting these days, and to be honest, I am struggling. No one who knows me would call me patient anyway, but this particular waiting… It’s been hard. 

Today I read this and felt it right in my gut. “Enjoy the beauty of becoming.” I had never really thought about uncertainty also meaning possibility. Once a thing becomes certain, there’s no changing it. I’ve always liked the solidity of being certain, but it’s also incredibly final. Immovable. Now, I am realizing there is something undeniably beautiful about possibility, and so I guess… waiting, changing, becoming. I pray God helps me to trust the wait. It could be one of the most beautiful becomings of all. 

Speaks To Me Sunday #70

20 Nov


๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Right?! 

I don’t think I have to explain why this speaks to me. 

I have some big things going on in my life right now (more on that soon!), and mostly, I just needed a laugh. And some wine. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Cheers to all of you! 

Speaks To Me Sunday #69

6 Nov

That is something we can all be thankful for! 

My dreams are ever-changing. Constantly expanding and shifting as my experiences and desires affect my heart. It’s so exciting to look back on where I have been and the dreams that have brought me to where I am.

I am finding myself in another state of growing, changing, living where I am setting new goals and dreams. It can be scary, but honestly, I am mostly feeling  excited.

I plan to never forget how to pursue something new and thrilling. This is what makes life worth living. 

Favorite Five Friday (155th Edition)

28 Oct

Hello! Guys, October is my favorite month, and I’ve been having a blast. Here’s a few of my favs… (with an announcement at the end!)

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1. I’ve been dying to go to a Halloween event in LA for the last three years. It’s called DELUSION, and it’s a haunted play. Instead of the usual haunted house where people jump out and scare you, there is a story and you become a part of it. We finally got tickets and braved the spooky villa set up in Downtown LA. It was truly an incredible experience! The actors were so committed, and being involved was so exciting/terrifying. My favorite part was a section set up escape room style, but really… it was all done very well. We left totally exhilarated and impressed. I’m so glad I’ve got friends who are willing to get scared with me.


2. My family came to visit! It’s always nice have loved ones in town. It was a quick trip, but we squeezed in a lot of fun – Delicious food, Universal, manicures with my niece, Griffith Observatory, and Hocus Pocus at the El Capitan! Such a blast with some of my favorite people. I miss you already!


3. All the Halloween movies! We usually reserve this time of year to watch all our favorite scary movies. Honestly, we haven’t had as much time to watch them this year, but we definitely watched our favorites – we love all the Scream movies, Cabin in the Woods, and (of course) Hocus Pocus. If you haven’t seen them, do yourself a favor and check them out. It’s the perfect time of year after all!

4. My birthday was this week! If you know me, you know I love my birthday. And birthdays in general. ๐Ÿ™‚ There is just something special about reflecting on the last year of your life and dreaming about the next. I am doing a lotย of dreaming these days, and I can’t wait to see what year 28 will hold!

We did some super fun celebrating for my big day! We started the morning with a walk to my favorite bagel shop and kitty snuggles. I treated myself to a face mask and a bath while I read a good book. Then Dan took me to get a massage – totally wonderful. Birthday donuts were also acquired, duh. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Once we were good and relaxed, we met up with friends at one of my favorite restaurants – birthday candle and all. We finished the night by making our own s’more desserts that looked like the spell book (boooooOOOoooook!) from Hocus Pocus (gosh, you’d think I like that movie)ย and watching a scary movie. It was relaxing and special. Add in all the sweet messages, posts, and phone calls in between and it was totally perfect. I am so thankful for the wonderful people in my life. I can’t wait for another year with all of you.


5. I need to share that this is going to be my last Favorite Five Friday post. #155! It sounds like a good time to retire it. FFF was exactly what I needed when I moved to Los Angeles, and man, it has been a joy to share in this way. My life has changed so much in this time. Thanks for traveling it with me! I am ready to move forward, expand, and grow. I’m hoping my blog can do the same. The Art of Acting Up isn’t going anywhere. I will continue to write, but I haven’t decided what as of yet! For now, I will continue with Speaks To Me Sunday, and then we will just see what happens next. I hope you stick around to find out. ๐Ÿ™‚


As always, Happy Friday!!!ย 

Speaks To Me Sunday #68

16 Oct


I don’t even know what to say. 

I am so thankful for the love of my mom and dad. I am so grateful God gave me two amazing humans who have dedicated so much of their lives to my wellbeing and happiness. Even now when I’m so many miles away – they are still ere for me. When I really stop and think of it, I am overwhelmed. And completely humbled. I am so loved. 

Hey Mom and Dad, thank you. From the bottom of my heart,  I love you too! 

(Also, aren’t handwritten cards the best?)

#SpeaksToMeSunday 

Speaks To Me Sunday #67

2 Oct


I’ve been having some bad days lately… Upsetting moments happen, and I can’t seem to shake it.

Honestly? Sometimes I don’t want to. (Oh, how hard that is to say.) I am choosing to sit in it… Simmering and seething in my anger, sadness, worry, shame… Whatever emotion brought about by a single instance. I want to wallow in it. Total pity party.

Why? 

My ego. My ego feels so good when I am right… And I don’t mean my ego like a place of self confidence or worth. I’m talking about that small, but clear voice in my head that says “you are right.” My ego wants me to be right no matter the cost – even if that means my actions end up hurting me… Or even sometimes others. 

I am right to be angry because this person did me wrong, I am right to be sad because that didn’t work out how I wanted, I am right to be ashamed because no one else would have made that mistake. 

It’s so easy to listen to my ego. But my ego is also a liar capable of robbing me of happiness for an entire day. Who wants to live like that? Who would choose that. The price of “being right” is far too high. Truth? My life is not made better by listening to my ego and sinking into negativity. My life is made better when I tell that voice to shut up, when I shrug off that bad moment, when I offer my burdens to God, when I talk out my feelings with someone who cares for me, when I choose to be happy instead.

Bad moments may happen. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad day. From here on out, I am going to work on choosing happy. 

Who’s with me?!

Speaks To Me Sunday #66

25 Sep

Right?!

Man, I love to travel. Experiencing new places is my favorite. 

I just want to see the world!

We had an absolute blast in Orlando, and I am still trying to find “normal” after returning home. But sometimes travel just changes what “normal” looks like… Your experiences can change you. I hope that every time I travel I take away something new – that I bring home thoughts, practices, or memories that change my life for the better. That’s the whole point, right?! 

Already looking forward to our next adventure, wherever and whenever that might be. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Do you love to travel? Favorite place? Best story? Most life-changing trip? Let’s hear it! 

#SpeaksToMeSunday

Favorite Five Friday (154th Edition)

23 Sep

There is nothing like an awesome and much-needed vacation! We are recovering from a really wonderful week in Orlando. Here are the highlights…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  We started off our trip at Universal Studios Orlando, and it was so exciting to be there for the first time! I loved seeing a sort of parallel universe Universal, and there was so much to see. It was definitely a good time of year to go because the park wasn’t too crowded. We basically got to hop on all the rides we wanted. I liked seeing some of Universal Studios Hollywood rides with a bit of a different spin – Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and, my favorite, Revenge of the Mummy. There were lots of others I had never experienced before like ET, The Hulk, Rip Ride Rocket, Dragon Challenge, and Reign of Kong. It was really neat to explore something so familiar but also brand new at the same time. Universal will always have a soft spot in my heart.


2. The absolute best part of Universal Studios Orlando was Diagon Alley. I can’t even count how many times I teared up while we explored the realization of J.K. Rowling’s creation. It was just so stunning. Every bit of it. From having to find the entrance and hearing the bricks opening up to the dragon that literally breathes fire. We ran around like children exploring every nook and cranny, reading every single sign, finding every spell on the map (and not on the map), and inspecting every item in each shop. We especially loved the shows they put on. Watching WADA (the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts) perform the tales of Beedle the Bard was completely amazing and so well done. I totally want their job. Escape From Gringotts was an excellent ride – we went on it three times. Honestly, we spent the majority of our time in Diagon Alley, and I wouldn’t change that for anything. It might sound crazy, but it was such an emotional experience for me. I love these stories and these characters. Being immersed in this Wizarding World is like finally getting my Hogwarts letter. And it was every bit as magical as I’d dreamed. 

3. Relaxation is certainly a key component in any worthwhile vacation. People thought we were crazy for spending our trip at two theme parks because you know… We work at one. Believe me, I wondered the same thing. But we gave ourselves time to relax. We didn’t bother rushing from place to place because we knew we had time. We stopped to look in stores, we saw shows, we went to the pool, we had long, delicious meals. For us, it was a perfect mix of adventure and unwind.

4. Dan had a birthday while we were away! It was strange not to be with other friends and family, but also exciting to be at Walt Disney World! I tried to make it special by bringing candles (that I couldn’t light) for our meals – I ended up making him blow out candles through an app on my phone! Haha. We spent the day at Epcot enjoying their Food & Wine festival. The day was so hot, but we trekked through all the different countries eating and drinking as we went. I think Dan enjoyed South Korea and Poland the most, but Belgium was my favorite. It was a lot of fun trying so many different things. 35 will always be the year we traveled the world to celebrate Dan’s birthday. Oh, and we finished off with reservations at Coral Reef for dinner. Dining in the aquarium was really cool. And for the grand finale – The Mainstreet Electrical Parade! There was a lot of nostalgia there for both of us. A perfect way to end the day celebrating my favorite person. โค๏ธ

5. If you are ever at Walt Disney World, do yourself a favor and take one their guided tours! They have several fantastic options that explore the history of Walt, Mickey, and their kingdom. We took the Marceline tour (named for an influential and inspirational place Walt lived in his childhood), and learned so much about Walt Disney – his life, his dreams, his failures, his successes. He was clearly a man ahead of his time and truly a world changer. On the tour we got to explore my favorite ride – the Haunted Mansion! Our guide, Michael, gave us tons of great info while we are on the ride (man, their headsets are awesome), and then we got to go into the attraction to see how it works. I was literally underneath the doom buggies as they rolled through the ballroom scene. It was so cool! That alone was worth the price of the tour. I loved every minute, and couldn’t recommend it more.

Those were my favorites, but I didn’t even get to touch on other amazing things like delicious food, how much we loved staying at Cabana Bay, drinks by the pool, bowling and mini golf, super cool magic bands, fast passes, picking out gifts, breakfast with our favorite characters from the Hundred Acre Woods, and so much more. I certainly have many memories to treasure for years to come. 

We are already having vacation withdrawals. Mostly we need another vacation where we can just sleep. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Orlando, thanks for being awesome! Can’t wait to pick our next adventure!

Happy Friday!