chronic illness, depression, family, friendship, gifts, gratitude, journey, list, marriage, self care

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

Of all the sunshine goodness that began this month of May, there was a little balance struck with sore throat/chronic illness junk. I’m secretly wanting to lay in my bed and binge netflix with an abundance of throat lozenges and Coke Zero. With the husband away on business, and these two crazy dogs needing things like food, walks and playtime, this isn’t likely going to happen anytime soon…

With May upon us, there is a sense of hope around. Do you feel it too?

This week, I’m loving…

  • This mom t-shirt may be my very favorite thing EVER.
  • These sunnies are FABULOUS! My mother’s day will be shared with a red pair because, well, they are so fun! (and because, if Michigan cooperates, we will be spending the day in the sunshine!
  • My sister Jennie got me to watch this show when it first premiered, and I really liked it. But then, life happened and I stopped watching it 4 episodes in. I did dive back in last week, and wrapped it up last night. I really loved so much about it, and have developed some firm opinions about how I think the second season should unfold…
  • since I learned I can’t do Keto, I have also not been feeling the best. So, unfortunately I am apparently loving carbs. No links. I do not recommend loving things such as toast, Dave’s Killer Bagels and peanut butter sandwiches…
  • My husband put this on my dash last week. I am a pretty regular user of the Marco Polo app and this mount has made all the difference! (thanks, husband!)

Also, don’t forget The Collective has a new episode this week! It is my favorite, so far! Good stuff!

Go into your weekend with zest and a spirit of openness… Amazing things await!

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chronic illness, depression, family, friendship, gifts, gratitude, journey, marriage, self care

Miraculous miracles abound, can you see them?

There is something absolutely remarkable happening outside…

I can’t even believe how soul-stirring it is to hear voices carrying in the breeze, from somewhere outside. Birds are singing, the sunshine feels amazing and each instant of warmth on my skin and fresh air in my hair feels like a mini- miracle.

Sun tea. Another miracle. I have a gigantic tumbler of sun tea to my right. I tap- tap- tap a few words, and then sip- sip- sip its divine deliciousness.

Also, ice cream. We have made ice cream once, and gone out to ice cream once. Miracles, I tell you. Don’t get me wrong, I love ice cream and have been known to partake in its bliss-filled offerings even when it is blustery cold out, but this wasn’t the case. No, the evenings stretched longer than yesterday and the sun’s golden love fell all around. Plus, there was ice cream. See? Miracle…

Our lawn has already been cut once, and it smelled like summer and kindness all knotted up, and real.

Bare feet, freshly painted (red) toes atop plush, emerald-green blades of new growth. Miracle.

This morning, outside, A cardinal landed on a branch and watched us, as Elenor thoughtfully pondered catching and eating all of the birds nearby, and I stood soaking every ounce of it in. (important, though silly sidenote- his feathers matched my toes. We were totally twinning, that bird and I.)

Miracles, miracles, miracles. Every second of it.

I’m sick. It is most likely some form of a virus thing combined with a fibromyalgia thing, coupled with a stress thing. Stress doesn’t look good on me, as I DO NOT carry it well. Whatever. Additionally, it was two weeks ago today that I really injured my hip/back and have been pretty miserable. Even so, with the odds stacked so hard against me, I stood there, in that grass, and exchanged silent conversation with that beautifully red bird. I walked down stairs and out doors to soak up the rays of sun. And maybe today I’ve cried, and pity-partied my heart out. Maybe I’ve been so rollercoastered emotionally, but the miracles are everywhere.

I woke up.

I made and drank coffee.

I talked with friends.

I did my job.

I video chatted with my handsome husband, who is on a business trip.

I got a video of my son and his daughter, after he returned home from a military trip and they reconnected. So many miracles, because the truth us, I take things for granted. Most of us do.

I’m here today though… #miracle

entertainment, gifts, gratitude, home, journey, list, marriage, self care

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

Two years ago, this week, I embarked on a fast which changed my life forever.

I’ll agree, that sounds incredibly overdramatic, but it is also one hundred percent the truth. That time in my life was among the darkest and most hopeless. While I never (ever, ever, ever) want to go back there, I also maintain being proud of myself for coming through it and growing in the ways that I did to manage it. The fast was fourteen days long, intentionally, and turned out to be seventeen days total. It was not a dietary fast, but rather a heart/mind/self-control one.

This week, while I am not in a dark place, I am embarking on a pretty similar journey. While I would love to sit here, in this space, and tell you all about the reasons why- I can’t. Not only would that be in violation to my fast rules, it also wouldn’t be a great idea. Someday, I’m sure… But for now, as I get ready to share the top five things I loved the most about this past week, I’ll ask that you send me all of the good thoughts/energy and prayers you can muster. Not for the strength to fast (though I’ll take that too) but for the outcome.

This week!

  • My windows have been open almost every day, and most days (this past week) I have been able to snag at least a few minutes of real-life vitamin D!
  • I Feel Pretty… (begin rant: There is so much love/hate about this movie and honestly, it just baffles me. It is your average light-hearted rom com, at base. If that isn’t the sort of movie some people enjoy, then why are they going? If you can’t stand Amy Schumer then why are you going? Why do some people do things just to complain about it? Life is too short for that nonsense! end rant.) It is poignant and lovely and chock full of wisdom girls of all ages can benefit from. I remember early on, critics were so upset that AS was playing someone “overweight and ugly” when she is neither. The thing is, that is irrelevant! It doesn’t matter. That’s the whole, entire point of the movie! At the end of the day, I think the topic is way outside of the industry’s comfort zone, so the idea is to bash it instead.
  • On Monday we caught a show by Nancy & Beth. We laughed a lot, teared up more than expected and had the best time! It was so much fun! If you aren’t familiar, get yourself familiar. Megan and Stephanie are natural performers and gave the show so much heart. The very special added bonus, (aside from the INCREDIBLY talented musicians comprising their band) was Megan’s husband Nick Offerman. My husband worships at the shrine of all things Ron Swanson and so this was a special time for him! I loved experiencing it with him, and watching him. Seriously- FUN NIGHT!
  • Issue 23 of my favorite Flow Magazine <3. I love them all, in their own unique ways, and it is a happy day when, after hunting, I have the new one in hand. This one does NOT disappoint!
  • This story makes me tear up whenever I think of it. Heartwarming and beautiful! I hope that, beyond the in-the-moment-selfless-help, this man is able to get the help/hope he needs… For so many of us, suicide is a very sensitive subject, close to our hearts. It was also part of the discussion in this week’s episode of our Collective podcast. (If you haven’t listened yet, you should!)
friendship, gifts, gratitude, journey

Way BETTER than American Idol…

Hello Again!

 

So, we have a really exciting competition as part of our launch of The Collective podcast/community! As you are probably aware, our mission is to inspire women to bravely share their stories, (all stories, any stories) because it is through transparency that we can relate and begin to bridge gaps where society, our misconceptions and life’s heartaches have kept us in shame and isolation.

 

On Friday evening, with our launch, we would like to introduce our community to an amazing woman! (And let’s be clear- we are EACH Amazing women, none more than the other) This is where YOU come in!

 

We would love for you to nominate a woman! All you need to submit (via email or messenger) is a photo of that woman and a quick statement as to why you’re nominating her! Don’t worry; it is not a competition in any way… The winner will be selected at Random. The best part about that is that BOTH the selected nominee and the submitter will each receive a prize!

 

Submissions must be received by 11:59 EST on Thursday April 12th.

 

We hope you will take a step forward, towards building a safe and nurturing community that all women deserve! (the only requirements for submissions is that they are over the age of 18, have a US mailing address and would not be mortified by their photo being on our instagram account!)

 

We can not wait to meet your amazing women!

books, chronic illness, entertainment, food, gifts, gratitude, home, journey, marriage, self care, travel

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

It’s just not possible…

I look outside my large Michigan window and curse life as I know it. The warmth that was Tennessee this time last week, while here, today, it is snow and bitter cold.  Again. So over it…

I am also battling a cold, and intensely sore from wild and crazy things like caving beneath the Smokey Mountains and a new workout routine, back here in the land of frigid. I am achy and congested, frozen-finger typing while I am bundled up in an oversized sweatshirt, scarf and yoga pants. Emma, my seven year old Aussie, is corralled in the bathroom due to some sort of doggy sickness that I honestly feel like I cannot muster the energy for and I am nursing my second Coke zero of the day (yes, I do realize it is only ten in the morning) because my throat is swollen and on fire and it just feels better to drink that over razor sharp water… My box of tissues sits to my left, stack of books to my right. Atop the stack, naturally, is my Let Go journal…

I feel miserable and terrible, and really pretty awful too.

Let it go, Misty

And maybe it is possible. Possible to feel all of the sad, bad, sickly things and still be a ray of shining something inside. Let’s try that, anyway.

Sharing the love, with you-

  • The husband and I went to Tennessee to celebrate twenty-four years since we first said I Do. The trip was wonderful! It was so great to take adventures together, just focus on BE-ing, and make new memories while investing in Us. The only really unplanned inconvenience was the traffic down, where we crawled at a snail’s pace along with EVERY SINGLE PERSON heading to Florida for spring break. Never would’ve thought, but now we know for next time… Among the AMAZING things we did in Tennessee, my favorite things to list (without making this an entire Knoxville area edition of the standard Friday post) would all involve Market Square, in Knoxville. Not only is trendy and yet somehow timeless, but it has an adorable little dog park right in the middle, and we got to meet lots of great little dogs! (It is safe to say that this part is not going to make Chw’s BEST list.) My favorite shop in the Square was the Knoxville Chocolate Company, not for what seems like the obvious reasons, however. The chocolate parts were more  earning of my husband’s adoration. For me, it was the artwork and gifts. They were featuring works from local artist Milk Moon House, and I fell head over heals for several of the pieces displayed!  It was a sad reality that they were pretty far out of my budget, and so with deep sadness I walked away… (also, shout out to the Blue Coast Bar & Grill for miraculously making the best french toast I have ever put in my mouth!)
  • When we first decided on Knoxville being our destination, a friend recommended a visit to McKay’s books. (If you’ve never had the overwhelmingly sensory experience of visiting this entertainment haven, you might want to consider a trip to Knoxville.) Nothing I can say would ever do it justice, and the place itself isn’t my second item here anyway. It is something I discovered while digging through their Vinyl. This album/movie is so fundamental to my childhood. You would have thought I’d dug and found a trove filled with gold and diamonds, for all of the enthusiasm I still have over this record.

The dark side’s callin’ now, nothin’ is real
She’ll never know just how I feel
From out of the shadows she walks like a dream
Make me feel crazy, make me feel so mean…

Moving on…

  • Because we love them and it’s what we do- the husband and I caught a movie at the local cineplex our last night in town. Him, (quite eagerly), and me (significantly less so) nestled in with popcorn to see Ready Player One. We had spent a pretty big chunk of the day adventuring through underground caves and I was feeling pretty tired. On occasion my inner grandma has been known to come out and nap through movies, and I was pretty certain this would be one of those naps. It was not. By principal and taste I pride myself on not being much of a Sci-Fi lover, but this movie… So crazy good.
  • I love to read. I don’t always have the time, but I am trying to be more intentional about picking up books. One thing I cannot do is read in the car. I just can’t. And my husband loves to listen to audiobooks, but the one thing he cannot do is read physical books. Something about holding a book just inspires his inner grandpa to pop right out and drift to snoozeland. Neither one of us can justify the regular cost of purchasing Audio books because… well, they are ridiculous. (and yes, he listens through the library, but the wait list is often unbearable.) Enter Otto. Maybe you’ve seen it pop up in various social media ads, promising to be the Netflix of audio books. That’s how I first heard of it, and skeptically, I looked into it. You guys, it IS the Netflix of audiobooks! We listened to a couple of great books, on our trip. Our favorite was The Woman in Cabin 10. (sidenote: I am surprised the consumer reader reviews aren’t stronger because this book HAD IT ALL…) Feeling super crummy this week (as I mentioned), and not playing entirely by-the-book with my Dirty Keto life, I have been self caring by some more reading. (We all need some self nurturing…) Am absolutely loving listening to This Is Me and recommend it to every woman/girl/person.)
  • I don’t usually watch New, midseason TV shows. (They aren’t usually very good and they also stand a greater chance of getting cancelled, so why commit?) I am a major fan of Zach Braff though, and as an Office lover, also adore Jenna Fischer. Their new shows Alex Inc. and Splitting Up Together are actually really good. I don’t know that they will get renewed because these are pretty smart and not the normal trendy types that do well… Fingers crossed! (Plus Emily Kapnek is bringing us Splitting Up Together and she was the brilliance behind Selfie– a show I deeply loved, that was gruesomely cancelled even though the internet went to war to save it! So you could say I’m a little jaded.)

What have you been loving lately? PLEASE share- I need all the joy I can get right now!