Tag Archives: New Year

Speaks To Me Sunday #74

15 Jan


Gratitude means letting go of what you thought you should have so that you can celebrate all you do have. 

I feel blessed to have so much to be thankful for! Sometimes I get caught up in “future thinking” and wishing I had more. But if I am honest, I have enough. And choosing to be grateful for what I have makes it mean infintely more.

2017 will officially be my year of gratitude. I want to focus my heart and mind on being thankful for all God has given me… for my family, friends, cats, community, health, home, belongings, jobs, dreams, experiences, opportunities, and all the other special things that make up my life.  I have so much more than enough!  So I will practice gratitude. And I do think it is a practice – sometimes it will take a little effort. Ultimately, I believe it will make me more positive and productive, less anxious, a better friend, and a happier person. 

Cheers to a grateful heart in 2017! What are you practicing this year?!

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. ūüėČ 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. ‚̧ 

#SpeaksToMeSunday 

Favorite Five Friday (131st Edition)

8 Jan

Hey y’all! I hope 2016 is off to spectacular start. I took a couple of weeks off Favorite Five Friday for the holidays, but it’s time to hop to it. Here’s what’s been going on since then…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1. Christmas! It came and went as it does every year. I always love that Christmas is never just a single day. It’s practically a month-long celebration (which is the perfect way to close out a year, if you ask me). This year we had to do things a little differently since we were going to be in Hollywood for the holidays, but we created some great memories. We continued some of our favorite traditions: Christmas Eve included a candlelight service, Denny’s (“It’s an American Institution!”), and new jammies from my mom and dad (Mine were Star Wars, Dan’s were Marvel). And while we had to head to work on Christmas, we still made the most of our morning with cinnamon rolls and a few gifts. We also got to watch out kitties go crazy for catnip. Okay, Lemon went crazy. Jack didn’t care so much. Work was fine. I’m so glad I work with people who I enjoy spending time with. It was sweet and very appreciated when people thanked us for working so that they got to come enjoy Christmas at Universal. After we clocked out, first things were first (I mean literally. We did this as soon as we got to the car).¬†It was time to jump into Aunt Jill’s Puzzle Box Competition. This is a big deal in our family. Every year she finds crazy boxes, and we have to solve the puzzle to get our gift. We are pretty competitive. It got a little scary for a few minutes, but we all still like each other. ūüėČ Then we were off to celebrate with an Italian feast, singing carols at the piano, and decorating ornaments with generous friends who opened their home to us. We ended the night by watching The Santa Claus while we finished opening gifts. It really was a lovely day with lot of phone calls, texts, and love from family and friends that we couldn’t be with. It was a different sort of Christmas, but it was ours.

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2. ¬†God With Us.¬†I already wrote a whole post about this, but this thought struck me so particularly this Christmas. Ultimately, it didn’t matter that I couldn’t do everything the way I wanted… It wasn’t about me. It was about the birth of my savior who came to earth for us. To be with us. It truly doesn’t matter where I am, He will meet me there. Christmas really is about the good news. God is with us.

3. We had super fun New Year’s Eve. We started off grabbing dinner in Burbank with the besties, and then we were off to L.A. Zoo Lights. They totally deck out the Zoo with gorgeous lights. Dan and I had never been, but we definitely want to go back. We had a really good time wandering around with our mittens and assortment of warm drinks. After the zoo, we went home to get fancy for a dressed up count down with a bunch of our friends. The hosts planned a great party, and we had a champagne toast and lots of confetti to ring in 2016.

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4. New Year, new start! I feel like 2016 may be the most exciting year yet, and I am fully planning on leaning into it. My theme, my focus for this year is JOY. To choose joy no matter the circumstances. There is just too much to be grateful for to spend a day without joy. What’s your theme?!

5. It has to be said. I just spent three and a half months immersed in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander¬†series. There are eight books so far, and, averaging them out, each book is about 1,200 pages. I adore these characters, I’m fascinated by their lives. To top it off, it’s a book that includes historical fiction, fantasy, and time travel… sign me up. This series has made itself a home on my list of favorites. Now, it’s time to watch the show and hope it lives up to my very snobbish and high expectations. ūüėČ

Happy Friday and Happy New Year!

 

Favorite Five Friday (96th Edition)

9 Jan

The first Friday of the New Year! It’s been a really lovely week…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1. I’m feeling pretty proud for sticking with my goals for 2015 thus far. It’s only a week in, but every day is a step forward. I feel confident in my choices, and I’m going to keep moving and growing. How are you doing with your resolutions? It’s never too late to make a change and you don’t have to wait for Monday (or a new year) to begin!

2. My favorite book of 2014 was a novel called Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I was drawn in by the similarities to books like Ender’s Game, The Hunger Games, and Lord of the Flies. I kept reading because of what made it different. I could not put it down. The story was intriguing and unique, the characters were multi-faceted and fascinating. I was immediately a fan, and excited that I had found the band wagon before it had even started rolling. For the last year I’ve been howling about this book to anyone who would listen. Well, I decided I had to reread it so it was fresh in my mind when the sequel, Golden Son, came out. I finished it this week, and it was equally as good as I remembered. I fell in love with the story and the characters all over again. If you haven’t read Red Rising, do it! Bonus? You won’t have to wait a year to read the second book!

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3. Golden Son came out this week! To celebrate the debut Book Soup put on a release party and book signing with the author. Pierce Brown read us the preface, thoughtfully answered questions, and spent a little time with everyone getting their books signed. Hearing his references and mannerisms made me sure that he and Dan could seriously be BFFs. Such a cool guy. We had never been to a book signing before. It was a really fun new experience, and I think it has officially made us certified book nerds. Proud of it.

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4. Of course, I have to talk about Golden Son itself. Whoa. Seriously. I am still reeling from the journey this book took me on. I’m pretty sure it might be even more dynamic than Red Rising. One of the things I loved about reading Golden Son was that it felt like getting together with your old friends and catching up. Then, you get to learn more about your favorites and meet new faces that completely change the game. Character entrances that had me laughing out loud, reveals that made me cry, plot twists that smacked me in the face… This story leaps off the pages to become a full on experience. Guys, I can’t even break it down to talk about it yet. I am already thinking of rereading it. Bravo, Pierce Brown. You are kind of brilliant. I am counting down the days until the final installment, Morning Star, is released. Ya know… next year. **sigh** Do yourself a favor and read this book.

5. First Disney trip of 2015! 60 years of Disney, y’all! How cool is that?! We got to spend the day with our besties – laughing too loud, being ridiculous, and riding all our favorites. It was a pretty prefect Disney day. And it certainly won’t be the last!

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Happy Friday, Friends!

Have a great weekend!

Favorite Five Friday (18th Edition)

4 Jan

So, I missed posting last week… the holidays, ya know? ¬†It was busy! ¬†But fun! ¬†So, here’s my faves for this week:

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1. ¬†New Year’s Eve! ¬†It’s a time for new beginnings and reflection… two things I really enjoy. ¬†It’s exciting, right?! ¬†Well, this year was a little strange. ¬†Dan had to work and I don’t really have any friends out here. ¬†It was looking to be a bit of a lonely New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles for this lady. ¬†Luckily, Dan’s Aunt and Uncle came to visit us for a couple of days. I got to go have dinner with them at the fancy pants restaurant where Dan works. ¬†I had a wonderful meal, great company, and the occasional moment with my husband. ¬†It was fantastic. After dinner, ¬†I had to take the train to head home, and (If you know me, this next part won’t be surprising at all) I took the wrong one. ¬†It took me a few stops to realize what I had done. ¬†I kept calm, inspected the map, and figured out what I needed to do to fix it like a big girl. ¬†I was pretty proud of myself. ¬†It sort of made me realize that I am an adult, and ultimately, I am responsible for myself. (Whoa, right?) ¬†So, I made it home safe and sound. ¬†Then, I tried to wait up for my husband and for midnight… Sadly, we don’t have cable so I couldn’t even watch the ball drop! ¬†So, I snuggled up in bed (bad idea) and watched (okay, okay, fell asleep to) Grey’s Anatomy. Then, in an awesome turn of events, my husband showed up several minutes before 2012 ended. ¬†We snuggled, talked about what we wanted to happen in 2013, and waited for midnight. ¬†I got my New Year’s kiss and promptly went back to sleep feeling thankful for a new start and that I got to greet 2013 with my best friend.

2. ¬†We have a fireplace in our apartment. I love it. ¬†I just like the look and feel of them in a room. ¬†Well, this week I found out I love my fireplace even more. ¬†All this time I thought it was just for show… turns out it actually works! ¬†We got the staff to come turn on our pilot light, and now we have a warm, cozy, working fireplace. ¬†(It’s on right now, by the way).

3. ¬†This week we’ve been having Winter Camp at My Gym. ¬†It’s a three-hour drop off with tons of fun games and activities. ¬†We get pretty silly with the kids, and it’s been a lot of fun. ¬†These are some of my favorite things the kids told me this week:

  • 6-year-old girl: (After playing with me for five minutes) “Hey, I really love you.”
  • 4-year-old boy: ¬†“You are the strongest girl ever!”
  • 4-year-old girl: (One of my regular students… she brought her new dress to camp just to show it to me) “I had to show you my new dress. I just missed you when it was Christmas.”

How awesome are they? Kids say the best things.

4. ¬†So, I’ve mentioned before that Dan and I seem to be settling into our apartment a little more… we put up shelves, we’ve been doing new things with our bedding, etc. ¬†This week we got matching bedside lamps. I think this is a huge step in our relationship (haha!). And… not only did we decide we wanted to paint an accent wall in our room, it actually got painted this week. Dan did it while I was working, and it looks awesome! ¬†I didn’t get any good pictures today, but I’ll post some when I do! ¬†I love our new wall.

5. ¬†One of my goals for 2013 is to really start pursuing my career as an actor. ¬†I really desperately need to be taking classes. ¬†There is just so much to continue learning, stories to tell, people to meet, relationships to build. ¬†I miss the community of actors I had in Nashville, and I need that again. ¬†I need to feel ready to dive into auditioning and seeking representation. ¬†This week, I got to audit an incredible acting class and I can’t tell you just how amazing it felt. ¬†I left feeling more like myself than I have in months. I am a student. I am an actor. I need community. I need an outlet. ¬†I think I may have found exactly what I was looking for. ¬†Yes.