A dog’s purpose…

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You guys… I am so excited about this movie! I read the book, years ago, and loved it so much. As a dog lover, it is the sort of book that just stuck with me. The movie looks amazing, and emotional, and it seems like a healing balm for my sweet Paisley, whom I lost a few months ago. (She definitely served a purpose!)

I wanted to share the trailer with you, just in case you haven’t seen it, or are just wanting some Friday dog love!

Also, because this is super cool, if you click here, you can upload a photo of your dog and celebrate their purpose in your life! It is a wonderful, interactive way to brag on our furry loves a bit! In addition to bragging on our dogs, we can make a donation to Best Friends Animal society! Even better, for every donation, Universal is matching them up to $25,000! So not only is this a heart warming movie, but their using their film to make an awesome impact!

To move to…

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Early on, in 2016, I created a spotify playlist entitled To Move To… As anyone who knows me knows, I am one of the worst “namers” in the history of naming things. To me, at the time, it seemed a clever way to label my workout list. As the year progressed however, this playlist morphed into my motivation for many areas, not just fitness. It is pretty amazing that this long-ago list worked it’s way into birthing the only word which made any sense at all, for this year.

MOVE.

It is a powerful word. It means a vast degree of many things. It reaches into every area of my life, from health and fitness, to writing, to education, to parenting and marriage. MOVE. Stagnancy kills. MOVE. Even if it’s a step in the wrong direction, it is better than nothing at all. MOVE. Move. move…

My word for this glorious fresh and unwritten year is move.

This isn’t my image. It belongs to Vimeo actually. When I saw it though, I knew it fit my vision for this year, my heart for this year, in a thousand different little ways. Move. To move in such a way that the place where my feet were is left better after my time there…

I do not do resolutions. I commit to goals. Typically, but not always, these goals stem from my word. With a word as huge as this year’s, I don’t think there is a goal that would not apply, somehow.

Goals:

  • To read two books (minimum) per month.
  • To learn one new thing, every month.
  • To complete my passion project More.
  • To complete and self/indie publish my novel.
  • To lose those 50 last pounds I need to lose.
  • To literally move to a more conducive home for the next phase of my life.
  • To expand my freelancing/writing income.
  • To enjoy my family intentionally, in simple and life affirming ways.
  • To visit somewhere I have never been before.
  • Find my writer’s tribe and flourish within it.

Move.

Where are you seeing yourself, this year?

Dreams…

I am a bookish sort of girl. My daughters both love literature and reading, which is something that warms my heart immensely. As I have grown older, I find that I have less and less time to read, which makes me a little sad. I hope that this does not happen to either of them…

Being a lover of books, I have always had a deep appreciation for the classics. I also enjoy poetry. Ralph Waldo Emerson is the person I most quote and the one whose words deeply stir my soul. These random announcements paint the picture for you to better understand why visiting Concord Massachusetts has been on the top of my wish list since I was in late middle school. Several years ago I had the privilege of facilitating a Mother/Daughter book club, for a year, inspired by the Mother Daughter Book club series written by Heather Vogel Frederick.  It was while reading about these fiction girls that my youngest’s dream to one day visit Concord was born. Every year as the leaves have turned, we would dream up our someday, and then yesterday the day was finally here…

We have, in our family, this thing we call The Niagara Falls complex. We used to live in Niagara Falls, NY and every time someone visited, the FIRST thing they wanted to do was visit Niagara. Every single time that guest state Oh, I thought it would be much different. That’s really it? Both Chw and I totally understood because the very first time we saw it, we felt exactly the same way.

Concord was definitely just like that. In fact, there is serious consideration being taken in renaming it the Concord Complex all together. And the reality is, it wasn’t some romanticized disillusionment. No, it is truly just Concord. Granted, we had imagine quaint little tea and coffee shops, small book stores and boutiques, perhaps even a few literary themed restaurants. Have you ever looked up Concord on Yelp? I can tell you it is one hundred percent accurate. The 2-3 actual restaurants that it has, (for the record, I do not consider a food counter a restaurant) had insane waits because, well, they were the only restaurants… They also had less than wonderful reviews, which I guess is irrelevant when hoards of people wait to go in. And the people. So. Many. People. And here’s the interesting part, the volume of people were ALL centered around the shops and restaurants. The streets around the shops were jam-packed and every single bench, rock and many curbs were filled with people eating out of paper bags and styrofoam containers. We had saved lunch for Concord, thinking it would be a nice treat. Instead we stood in LINE at three counters, (because an actual restaurant was out of the question) only to admit we were losing precious time and wound up at a pizza counter with the only decent yelp rating we’d seen, on the other side of town. The parts of Concord we were interested in were pretty empty. The unfortunate reality about the parts of Concord we were anxious to see were the “attraction” ticket prices. Orchard House, Emerson’s home and Wayside were $10 EACH, per person. That is just under $100 to walk through three houses… Yeah. It’s a bit exploitive and super sad. We did end our Concord visit at Sleep Hollow Cemetery, which was really lovely…

I guess that’s the thing about building up anticipation, dreams or what have you… You run the risk of disappointment when the real world does not quite meet up to those standards. In the Concord of my imagination it is peaceful and kind, poetic and spending an afternoon there is best when connecting with others, and leisurely. One thing I can admit, New England in the fall is absolutely not part of the Niagara Falls/Concord Complex. It is breathtaking and inspiring and I could happily stay here forever.

Hello, August…

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I’ve been back in Michigan for a little over two months and after moving, and moving, and sitting on the brink of moving again, I’m finally starting to find a normal feeling. Everything still feels fragile and a bit surreal, but I’m attempting to move forward-one foot in front of the other- and here’s my hopes for this month we call August.

Home~

upcycling a serving tray

Being inside less and outside more

downsizing to a capsule wardrobe

experimenting more with essential oils

 

Health~

get back to a good work-out routine

swim, swim, swim

yoga, at least once a week

bike rides

Savor~

quality time with my husband and kids (when possible)

me time

evening walks

reading, poolside

Connect~

counseling

handwritten letters

remembering birthdays

attending a book club

going on a photography adventure

Kitchen~

focussing on fresh & locally sourced meals

loads & loads of sun tea

grilled fish with fresh herbs

scones with lemon curd & Devonshire cream

homemade ice cream

Read~

Present Over Perfect

Kisses from Katie

Where’d you go, Bernadette

The Jesus Centered Life

Watching~

Season 7 of the Good Wife

Season 3 of Parks & Rec

Suicide Squad

Ben Hur

Only the lonely…

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At my husband’s request, I took down my last two blog posts. While they were not meant to reflect him in a negative light, and I was coming from the place of emotional exhaustion and honesty, he felt they painted him badly…

The irony of all of that is not lost on me, I promise.

I’m stuck in such an uncomfortable place where my feeling don’t matter. Where I’m not meant to be considered. Where maybe the other person didn’t intentionally mean to hurt me so it shouldn’t matter, and where I am tired, convicted and crucified every single time.

I read the other day that I probably didn’t have depression last summer/fall, but instead suffered from loneliness. The entire chapter about this rang so true that I had to sit afterwards and admit that this was entirely possible.

Life is funny. I find myself looking at photos of kayaking, skydiving and all around adventuring and my soul literally yearns to take off on an adventure. I was supposed to be away for the weekend, feet dipping in the icy ocean simply so my soul could exhale and then reset itself, but that didn’t work out and now I honestly feel restless. I long to go, to do something significant. I’m itching to engage with nature. In reality, I’d likely be mauled by a bear and drown in the ocean, so it’s probably better I stay here and engage in the daily practice of feeling like an alien in a land I recognize but do not belong…

Tomorrow is Lent. Every year I give up three things that somehow help me engage with my WofY. {reminder: my word for 2016 is connect.} Every other year, giving up Facebook somehow seems to fit right in with my word. Whenever I’ve done it in the past, it’s fallen over my birthday and so I missed all the birthday love. This year Lent will end the day BEFORE my birthday… So that’s ironically fitting. :) So it’s Facebook, soda (because without intending to, I’ve found I am partaking in fountain soda much more regularly than I wanted) and sleeping past 6 in the morning. If nothing else, I guess I’ll be sleeping through my entire birthday, which is fine by me. I hate them anyway, and this year is bound to take the cake on horrible birthdays… I’m also vowing, this year, to do three things every day, for those 40 days: pray intentionally for my husband and our marriage, do something intentionally selfless, generous and kind for someone else, write for one hour (non-blogging or freelance) every day. If that day’s schedule means I have to wake up at 4:30 to fit it in, I guess that’s what I’ll have to do. I also want to have one real adventure and learn one new thing… Lofty, I know.

We have today, and that’s it. I KNOW I am supposed to make the most of it, but quite often I don’t pay attention to how significant the gift is… It’s a real gift. It’s the best gift, and I don’t want to be that girl on the couch wasting it, because I might emotionally feel like being that girl. I’ll regret it if I go through my life doing what I feel like, because these days what I feel like isn’t going to lead anywhere good…

Wish me luck on my intentional Lent, and journeying boldly and bravely through the 40 day countdown to my 40th birthday, or better yet- join me. :)