Coloring Books

The first image is from PostSecret,  sent in by someone anonymous.
The second image is by me, inspired by the first.

Too Hipster to Handle

This is my friend Paige (college roommate) and she is so awesome. 
She's graduating in a couple weeks with her Masters of Fine Arts in poetry which is so hip I can't even handle it. Today Brian and I ventured into Decatur to hear her reading. She's so cool I can't even believe it. 

If you wanna hear some of her stuff, here's a clip of her reading her work on NPR! 

Three Steps to a Good Day

Have you ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed? Couldn't bring yourself to perk up enough for school or work? Feel like things are out of control? Here are three things that consistently cheer me up, that you can have total control over. 

1. Find a new outfit. Even if you don't have any new clothes, this is totally possible. Take a fancy blouse you wore to a job interview once, and unbutton it with a cami and jeans. Or throw a sweater over something that's usually reserved for summer. Make it work and then work it! 
2. Give yourself a healthy treat for a meal or snack. Healthy treats are such a win-win. You love eating it and have no guilt. Ideas: grilled wrap from Chick Fil A, mix fruit and granola with low fat yogurt, fresh corn or fresh watermelon, splurge on your favorite salad dressing.  
3.  Change your sheets and shower before bed. I always feel so snugly and happy and clean. It's possibly the best feeling in the world. 

What works for you? Even when you've had an awful day, what little thing can out a smile on your face? 

Sick Day

I used to categorize myself as "one of those people who basically never gets sick."

Truth: I don't get sick very severely or for very long, which is an amazing blessing I should never take for granted. 
Another truth: I get little sick several times a year and ignore it or "power through it," which is a terrible idea. 

Today I actually had to stay home from work with a throbbing throat and low fever. Honestly I should have stayed home yesterday when my body was giving me the initial signs, but I had too much to do, tried to work through it, and ended up worse off this morning. Who was I kidding when I had a fever yesterday and I decided I could act like everything was cool, casual, normal, according to plan? Man was I a dummy.

In college I went to class and completed projects when I was "just a tiny bit sick" all the time. I probably most definitely should not have contaminated those classrooms with my germs. Only once was I sick enough to admit I had to miss class, and I felt like it was a dumb excuse for missing class. I'm learning to value my body more. It's communicating with me, not purposefully trying to hinder me. It's yelling at me what it needs: Advil, hot tea, soup, and bananas. I can listen and respond accordingly OR I can continue being a dummy and making myself worse. 

Hope Enough For the Both of Us

Maybe you're having a great week. Congrats. I'm genuinely happy for you. This Pep Talk Tuesday might not directly apply to you, but I invite you to keep reading anyway.

Maybe you're having a week in which you feel exhausted, helpless, and hopeless. That is really tough and I'm so sorry you're having a rough patch. This Beanie Baby is named Hope and she is in constant prayer for you:

Okay, so that's a little stupid, of course Beanie Babies can't pray. But the sentiment is there!I am confident that at every point in time there is someone praying for you. Someone is praying for all the college students in the world. Someone is praying for all the people stuck in traffic. Someone is praying for all the residents of Ohio. I'm pretty sure you and I are included in somebody's prayer right now.

Gentle, friendly reminder:
Even when you feel exhausted, you have friends and family who want to be there for you to recharge. Even when you feel helpless, there are tons of people who want to help you. Even when you feel hopeless, I have hope for you!

Think of a time when your friend felt miserable and hopeless, but since you were slightly removed from the situation you could see that everything would be okay in the end. Now reverse that for the current situation that's getting you down. Somebody out there understands you (and if nobody does, find someone to listen) and that somebody has got hope enough for the both of you.

Healthier Habits

Last week's goals:

1. Make a moving plan. (A-) I've made so many lists it's unreal. I've priced out the rental truck options and mapped our route. I know exactly which furniture we can take ahead of time in our cars, and which pieces will wait for the big moving day. I haven't started investigating utilities though. 
2. Figure out lunch. (B) The is was still in a rut for a few days, and I just made myself eat leftovers... but this week I'm so excited about lunch. I bought myself some large tortillas and I'll try to get creative with them. Today I ate a pepperoni, arugula, ranch wrap. I loved it and wished I'd packed it fuller. Tomorrow I'll use some leftover chicken, arugula, and honey mustard... the possibilities are endless!
3. Pay attention to the news. (B-) I kinda know what's going on now but I've already lost interest. It's basically the same headlines over and over.

This Week's Goals:

1. Eat more veggies. At the grocery store we went kinda wild with the produce section so I'm off to a great start. Hopefully we can eat a couple different greens daily, and lots of fruit.
2. Clean my car. Several weeks ago I tried to vacuum out my car, and I discovered that my floor mats were basically velcro and all the tiny leaves and hair and debris would not come out. Time to actually figure out a better way. Also I've had several boxes of stuff in my trunk for a month that needs to go to Goodwill. 
3. Write my posts ahead of time. I've accidentally made it a ritual to post on the blog sometime between dinner and bedtime. Even though that's usually fine, it does consistently stress me out a little. I want to get one day ahead of real-time posts so that I never have that nagging feeling, and get back to enjoying this here blog. 

Worst Haircut Ever

I went through a phase in high school and college when I would grow my hair to elbow-length and then get 10 inches cut to donate to Pantene. I think I did it about three or four times, and I guess I'll get to do it again in about a year.

When my hair was long, it was very long, would get caught in my elbows when I tried to brush it over my shoulders, and I could only wear it wavy or curly, because it takes literally over an hour to straighten. Also note how terrible dark and over-edited I made my pictures back in 2010:

When I would get haircuts (by the same lady who has cut my hair since I was ten) she would usually cut it just barely longer than my chin, so that when it curls up it's still chin-length. Here I am showing off my new haircut and my Running Bear pin. (Running Bear is my favorite goofy song we would sing/scream at Agnes Scott.)

This was usually the shortest it would ever get... until one fateful terrible cut.

 The worst haircut in the world! Who the heck would ever go to a hairdresser and ask for an ear-length haircut? You're welcome for this wonderful picture of my brief depression.

Anyway, if you're ever considering donating your hair, I'd totally recommend using Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Since it's a small part of Pantene, such an enormous company, they can use all the hair to make wigs for cancer patients. There are rumors that some other organizations have to sell some of the hair to take care of their overhead costs, which is totally understandable and I'm not mad about it, but I just like knowing that my own hair went to someone in need.

Just make sure you have enough hair to have a chin-length haircut leftover for yourself!


The first image is from 

The second image is by me, inspired by the first. 

Kindergarten Forever

Remember a few years ago when I wanted to be a high school math teacher?
Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol.

Anyway, now that we've all gotten some laughs out, let me talk about my love for Kindergarteners. 5 and 6 years old is the absolute best age. They're sweet, adorable, and cute. They still really want to make their friends and their teachers happy of them. They're developing a slightly more mature sense of humor than pre-schoolers, and finally not every joke is about poo-poo. They still fit in your lap, and they still love hugs. They lose their front teeth and hav'ent completely grown out of little speech impediments. They're old enough to not have major meltdowns over the tiniest things, but they still cry when their feelings are hurt and it's kinda cute actually. One day, if I ever don't work at a church anymore and I'm just a regular normal church member, I'm going to volunteer to teach Kindergarten Sunday School.

This past Wednesday, the youth group had their musical/play performance, and it was really great, but it was mostly serious with only a few funny parts, so the kids I was sitting with were antsy. I don't have favorites but.... I was sitting with my favorite Kindergarten kid and we were playing a game where I use my finger to draw letters on his back and he guesses what letter it was. It kept him quiet and entertained for a full hour and it kept him climbing over the balcony railing and falling 20 feet in the sanctuary. He was being good and quietly whispering... but he was cracking me up so badly that I couldn't stop laughing loudly at him. Whoops! Here's a peek into our conversations:

So for Foto Friday, here's this awesome kid:

Three Most Used Emojis

When emojis became available for iPhone I was instantly hooked. They're a complete new dimension to texting. They tell a more complete story. My top three emojis are totally predictable, not unique, and I'm sorry this post is not very interesting or surprising for you.

My Top Three Most Used Emojis:
1. Sunglasses Face

I love the sunglasses emoji because it is SO CHEESY and it says so much while saying so little. I usually implement it when a conversation is winding down, just to say, "Okay, cool, thanks, got it, bye, end of conversation."

2. Heart Eyes
This is really the most versatile emoji. You can use it when talking about food, vacation plans, your significant other, your pet, a baby, new clothes, really actually anything at all. Much like how our culture overuses the word "love" to replace the word "like," I think I have replaced a regular happy smiley with a heart eyes smiley. 

3. Weeping

I guess I like being dramatic sometimes. I use this one to wish people a happy birthday, to talk about being tired, to talk about looking forward to the future, to talk about weddings, to talk about literally anything that I have somewhat positive or somewhat negative feelings about. So... it gets used at least ten times a day.

Tell me your top three emojis! Any weird ones?

Church Supper

When I was a dummy I thought mass-prepped food was always gross no matter what. 

In grade school I never went through the lunch line because I was a grade-A brat. (Until high school when that had a McDonalds-ish option that cost a million dollars a meal, and it was like a social status to eat that crap.)

At summer camp I worked behind the scenes in the dining hall and when I saw 30 gallons of grits on the stove I suddenly had no appetite for grits. 

In college the dining hall only set out one tray of each food at a time but if you thought too hard about it you'd realize there were hundreds of pounds of fish filet in the warmer... Gross. 

Today I was proven wrong once and for all. Wednesday night supper is the most delicious Wednesday night supper I have ever seen. 

Forgive the styrofoam containers. Nothing can hold back this meal. I am so full but I want seconds. I will never judge Wednesday Supper again. 

Mind Your Own Mind

How amazing is it that your brain can do the following things:
  • make up new ideas
  • like and dislike things that are totally subjective
  • notice beauty

Your brain is incredible! It's totally yours. It's completely unique, original, and valuable. How the heck is it even possible that we each have different skills, interests, talents, preferences, and taste? HOW?

You are created (fearfully and wonderfully made) for purpose and reason and ALSO just to enjoy life and take in the beauty of the rest of creation. 

Becoming Mindful

Last Week's Goals:

1. Don't stress over going out to eat. (A) We ate out, we enjoyed, we didn't go crazy.
2. Leave work at 5pm every day. (A) Not hard to convince me to stick with that habit.
3. Invent a couple new outfits. (C) I tried once, I paired red corduroy pants with a chambray shirt, and it looked okay. But then we were meeting my parents for dinner and my mom wanted to eat outside to I layered on another sweater and it totally ruined the outfit and I did not take a picture.
4. Drink coffee whenever I feel like it. (A) I drank coffee on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. It was nice.

This Week's Goals:
I'm taking steps this week to be more mindful. I need to think deeply about our short term plan, my eating habits, and the world around me. 

1. Make a moving plan. We're moving out of our house soon and I want to think through the logistics enough to be confident we're doing things efficiently with our time, money, and effort. I'll pack a few boxes and figure out what I can take over early and what needs to wait for the rental truck.
2. Figure out lunch. Lately I've been in a total lunch slump. Sometimes I just take crackers and a banana to work. Without fail, I'm left feeling hungry and annoyed with myself. 
3. Pay attention to the news. Brian keeps CNN on constantly. It's on right now. I used to pay attention but over time I've started to completely tune it out. I just learned that Kasich hasn't dropped out yet. 

Disaster Not Averted

I do not keep my bathroom drawers organized. At all. That's why there's randomly a travel-size body wash with my toothbrush. 
Friday night I used that travel size body wash to wash my feet in the sink before bed. Don't judge me, we've all occasionally washed our feet in the sink when they gotta little extra sweaty, amiright? 

So apparently I left the lid open and it spilled in my drawer overnight. 

The next morning, luckily, my toothbrush was totally safe. Not soapy. Disaster averted!! Nope, not quite. I definitely still didn't notice the spill yet. So I threw my toothbrush in the drawer and slammed it shut. 

That evening I got my toothbrush out and stuck it in my mouth and briefly thought I was dying. Soapy Toothbrush Disaster not averted. 

Prius Power

The first image is from PostSecret, sent in by someone anonymous. 
The second image is my own, inspired by the first. 

I have an unhealthy (bratty) amount of pride in the fact that I pay under $20 a month for gas. I will be devastated whenever we have to replace my sweet ride. 

Anna and Mousey

This is my friend Anna. We've been pals since May 2009 which feels like an entirely different lifetime. 
Happy Friday. We ate brunch and caught up like we've never been apart. 

Side note- Alon's Bakery is too delicious. When Brian and I move next month we're going to be about 8 minutes from Alon's and that will be bad news for my girlish figure. 

Three Things I'll Miss About This Home

Brian and I are moving! Only about ten miles from our current rental house, but I'm pretty sad about leaving our first-ever home together.

We seriously lucked out with this place. My parents were stuck with this house's lease (because they had to sign a 12 month lease when they really only needed the home for 5 months) and the timing was perfect for Brian and me to finish out the remaining 7 months of the lease together. Needless to say, the rental house is nicer and more spacious than we would be able to afford on out own, so my parents are helping us pay out the remainder of the lease.

But we're going to get an apartment in a few weeks that's 100% entirely on our own. I'm really excited for the move. We'll finally actually be financially independent. But there are three things I'll majorly miss about this home:

1. Its location. We're moving ten miles away so that it's more halfway between my office and Brian's office. Unfortunately my morning commute is going from 5 minutes to 25 minutes. I really shouldn't complain about a 25 minute commute since Brian has been commuting for 45 minutes every day for two years.
2. Our garage. Never before in my whole life have I gotten a parking spot in a garage. In the winter it was SO nice to park inside. I never had to scrape my windshield. I never had to sit in an ice-cold seat waiting for the car to warm up.
3. Two bathrooms. I know this is such a luxury. We definitely don't need two bathrooms. We don't deserve two bathroom. We don't need to pay rent for two bathrooms. We mostly use the same bathroom already anyways. But it's been so wonderful that we each have our own shower to keep our stuff in and we've never had to wait for the toilet.

So long, sweet house. I'll definitely miss you. 

The Best Four Years

When I Was A Dummy, I believed what adults said all the time: "College will be the best four years of your life."

Class rings are a really big deal, presented to sophomores at Agnes Scott.

Yeah I freaking loved college. I loved the traditions, camaraderie, challenges, triumphs, freedom, and safety. But also... life has gotten much better since then. I've had one year in grad school and two years in "the real world" and I've gotta say, life just gets better. It just really does. Even when I have ups and downs. Even when I have major stressors. Even when I have more responsibility and more bills due. I'm no longer running on a treadmill of coursework and jumping through hoops just for the sake of jumping through hoops.

The challenges I face at work are way more rewarding to overcome because the results matter a lot more than just a grade. When I do a good job, I see happy kids and parents, not just the possibility of getting recognized by my professors.

How sad would it be if college really were the best years of your life? It's all downhill from there? How awful, really! I'm here to debunk that myth. The best four years of your life are always ahead of you. Look forward to it.

You Have What You Feed

Happy Tuesday! Maybe you could use a pep talk...

There's a lot in you. Confidence, anxiety, compassion, laziness, curiosity... Every single one of those is appropriate in moderation at certain points in time. Each one of those can make you bonkers if you let it take the driver's seat in your life. The good news is, whether you believe it or not, you actually have complete control over how much time and attention you give to each of your emotions, and character traits.

You can be mindful of where your energy is spent. You can choose how to balance each awesome part of your personality. If you feed your anxiety with extra thoughts, time, energy, it'll grow big and strong. Let it starve for a little while. If you feed your curiosity with extra thoughts, time, and energy, it'll grow big and strong, which is totally awesome.

Sometimes you might feel like you really can't control your emotions or how you feel. Sometimes the simplest act like looking in the mirror can help you calm down and redirect your thoughts, dispensing your time and energy to whatever you decide is worthy of it.

Whatever you feed grows. Whatever you starve diminishes. Be mindful to keep a balance. You CAN find a balance.

Celebrate Good Times

This is my 103rd blog post! I got so wrapped up in the day-to-day that I didn't even realize when I rolled over the big 1-0-0. Happy hundred to me :)

Last week's goals:

1. Practice lettering every day. (A) I did it every day except yesterday, and I had a lot of fun, doodling and squiggling out letters. A very calming new hobby... maybe I'll keep it up.
2. Start packing and purging. (A+) We did so well. We took a packed carload of stuff to Goodwill, we threw away a bunch of stained and outworn junk, and re returned a bunch of stuff that actually belongs to my parents. I think we literally purged about 20% of the stuff in our whole home. 
3. Clean every floor. (B) I did pretty well, except the vacuum cleaner was giving me trouble and I never got to vacuum our bedroom. I think the rotating spinner-brush mechanism thingy is broken. Whatever. 

This week's goals:

Celebrate good times! Brian and I have a lot to be thankful for this week. We think we'll sign a lease to our new apartment, The Mindy Project comes back on TV, Kimmy Schmidt comes back on Netflix, I somehow managed to post every day for 103 days straight so far, it's my BFF's birthday, it's Brian's BFF's birthday, fresh corn is back in season, the list goes on. This week my goals are about enjoying this happy week:
1. Don't stress over going out to eat. We limit ourselves on eating out and we usually fret over how much we spend. But this is a week to celebrate our friends and celebrate our new home. We're going to dinner Friday at a new restaurant for my friend Paige's birthday and we're not going to care that it costs money because its fine. We're responsible and it's okay to spend a little extra on something extra special.
2. Leave work at 5pm every day. Usually about twice a week I get caught up at work and get sucked into a vortex of emails and lesson plans and crafts that lasts later than it should. Not this week. I'm going to make sure I come home to relax on time. 
3. Invent a couple new outfits. Isn't it always kind of satisfying when you look in your closet and put a few pieces together that you never before realized could go well together? It's the little things that give you a little extra reason to be happy in the morning.
4. Drink coffee whenever I feel like it. I usually only drink coffee once or maybe twice a week because I really don't want to get addicted. But I like the way it tastes and feels, even if I don't feel like I need it in order to wake up. I will not deny myself coffee this week.

Old Mrs.Young

My 9th grade English teacher was strange, distant, brilliant, and eye-opening.

Her name was Mrs. Young, but she was pretty old. Maybe 60. Her dishwater-blonde hair was dulled by her age, but not exactly completely gray. Her face was totally round, practically a circle, but she was thin and short. She wore turtlenecks a lot, not in a particularly stylish way, but a frumpy, faded, cable-knit, why-would-I-care-if-you-like-how-I-look way. She was married and would complain about her "stupid" husband occasionally and I was startled each time. I can't decide if she loved us unconditionally OR she cared so little for us she wouldn't bat and eye if we dropped dead in her presence. I think she's the first adult I ever met who unabashedly wore her stone-cold heart on her sleeve. Surprisingly I wasn't really scared of her, but fascinated by her. She was fierce. 

Her classroom was a portable trailer in front of the school, which she kept at a frigid 60 degrees year-round. At the time my school had some serious space issues and there were about 40 teachers in portable trailers- mostly the young hip teachers who liked to play loud music and let their kids be loud. Not Mrs. Young.  She kept her desks in regular traditional rows. She didn't bother to decorate her bulletin boards. She lectured from a single barstool up front with a rickety podium that fell over every once in a while. She didn't bother to print worksheets. She rolled her eyes when she had to give us quizzes and tests. She  made us read five Shakespearian plays aloud together that year, and she took great joy in explaining every euphemism and watching us blush. She would time us for twenty minutes and make us silently write seven-paragraph essays about any random topic she wanted. She  gave us grueling projects and returned them covered in red ink. 

On the first day of class she introduced herself and clarified, "Before you even ask, no, I don't have kids. I don't have pets. I never wanted kids or pets. I am not a nurturer. I don't even bother with plants. And I'm not going to bother much with you." She then went on to explain that she was angry she had to teach one class of 9th grade literature since she had 6 other classes of 11th graders. She was really good at not making us feel welcome. 

About four months into the school year she finally learned my name.

One time my friend Meredith and I walked into her class singing a Ciara song, and she told us to shut up.

I really really really didn't understand her.  

Honestly though, I still think about her weirdly often for someone so far in the past. At least once a month.

At the time we all thought she was a terrible heartless teacher but I now realize she was actually wonderful and had a brilliantly bigger plan in mind. Thanks to her, 9th grade literature class was the first time I was able to take criticism without beating myself up over it. I didn't care about her personal opinion of me. I didn't want to please her or befriend her or impress her. I just trusted that she was smart, and her red ink was inspired, and I know my writing improved dramatically that year. 

I never intend to be a schoolteacher again, and if I ever were I certainly wouldn't employ her stone-cold methods, but I totally see her point. I think I kind-of get her. 

Beauty and Height

The first image is from PostSecret, sent in by someone anonymous. 
The second image is my own, inspired by the first. 

An Actual Hobby

Until the past few months, my entire life has been swamped with either homework or wedding planning. Now that I have a job with pretty regular-ish hours, no homework, no wedding planning, no kids yet, not even a dog... I actually have free time and it's weird.

That's probably the only reason I can keep up with this blog. That's hobby #1. And now I'm actually really investing time in learning hand-lettering. That's hobby #2. What? I have two hobbies? That's insane. Who am I? Foto Friday is a little progress update for you:

Three Ways Marriage is Shocking

Today, Brian and I have been married five months. It's so great. Every once in a while, I'll be like, "He Brian, remember when we lived five hours apart for two years? Remember when we lived an hour apart for a year?" It's crazy to think back that there was ever a time we didn't get to come home to each other every day.

In our five months of being brand new roomies, we have shocked each other many times. It take s a lot to get used to a new roommate!

Three Ways Brian has Shocked Me:

  1. He drinks SO much coffee, every single day. I had no idea how much until I started paying attention to how he makes preps the coffee maker at night.mHe drinks an entire full pot of coffee every day.
  2.  He never thinks about being cold. I wear a sweatshirt, thick fleece pants, and wooly hiking socks to lounge around in the winter time. I'll say, "Brian aren't you cold?!" And he's like, "Oh, yeah, I guess, sorta." HOW does he not let the coldness bother him? I'm so jealous.
  3. His hair is dry within minutes after showering. It makes me red with envy. I guess I "knew" his hair would dry quickly because it's so short, but I am shocked every time I feel his hair and it is completely entirely bone-dry within ten minutes after his shower. 
Three Way's I've Shocked Brian:
  1. I haven't gotten a haircut in about 8 months. When Brian heard that, he was floored and confused. I think he assumed that in eight entire months, my hair would've grown to the floor. For reference, Brian gets his own hair cut every 6 weeks, so 8 months sounds drastic to him.
  2. I have to buy "women's stuff" that costs more. Like, I had a bunch of old undies I was still wearing from high school (embarrassing, I KNOW) and I asked Brian if I can toss them out and spend money on  new ones. I waited for a sale at Aerie and thought I was making a wise, reasonable purchase. And Brian was like, wait what? Why does it cost SO much? Same goes for shampoo and conditioner, bras, tights, lotion,... stuff that a man would never think about getting anything but the cheapest possible option.
  3.  My hair gets everywhere. Every time we vacuum, Brian is surprised by how much of my hair gets stuck in the vacuum cleaner. Every time a mini fluff ball of hair collects in the corner of our bathroom, he's surprised to see it there. I think he's found my hair in his food even two or three times. Oops. Not my proudest moment, but it really shouldn't be surprising at all. 

The Best Balance

Everybody wants "the best."

I am learning to no longer want/demand the best of everything (and fretting when it can't be found or achieved), but instead want/demand the best balance and compromise.

Example 1:
There are two Mexican restaurants reasonably close to our house. One of them is always insanely crowded, but they have the best guacamole in the world. The other one is a little further away, less crowded, and the servers are super friendly, but their guacamole is average. I cannot keep wishing there was a mythical "best" Mexican restaurant with amazing location, no crowds, low prices, and delicious guac. But I can choose the best compromise based on time of day, how rushed we are, and just how we're feeling overall. 

Example 2:
We're in the thick of searching for apartments. I think we've narrowed it down to four options. There really truly is no "best" apartment complex with the best price, most spacious rooms, AND fanciest amenities. It just doesn't happen that way. Brian and I are learning to lean in the balance- searching for what we value most and what gives us our best compromise. 

Example 3:
There is no best haircut for me. Something stylish takes more upkeep. Something low-maintenance turns into a giant mane on humid days. Short hair is too much of  a commitment. Long hair is too much of a hassle. I just have to deal wth whatever time and effort I'm prepared to put in. These days the best balance for me is plain long layers with no bangs, so I rarely have to get a trim. One day if I have a more professional work environment, I'll have to trade back to a shorter, more polished look. There is not "best," there's just a best balance.

When I Was A Dummy, I thought I could find the best of everything; all I had to do was search hard enough. Now, I realize "perfect" and "best" are never the goal- but balance, compromise, and finding a choice you can be confident in.

Watch Me WIP

Happy Birthday Kyla! (My sister Kyla is awesome and she is one of like four people who consistently read this blog.) Now for the actual scheduled themed blog post:

Hello, I am a WIP. 
I hope that WIP does't secretly stand for something dirty. When I say it, I mean I'm a Work In Progress. Today's Pep Talk Tuesday is about cutting yourself some slack, and concentrating on your progress more than your product.  

Lately I've been annoyed at myself that I'm not perfect at everything I attempt. Can you relate? It's so dumb! The thing is, you're not ever going to get to be perfect, or even very close. And everyone's definition of perfect is different anyway, so that makes it even more impossible to achieve. 

I try hand lettering, and it always turns out bumpy or imbalanced. I try talking on the phone and emailing strangers for work, and I always end the conversation relieved for the awkwardness to finally stop. I try to clean the kitchen, only for Brian to find crumbs and spills I forgot. I have to cut off another driver to get out of a busy intersection. I overcooked the asparagus. 

These aren't really failures, they're just part of my progress. I really am getting better at lettering, conversing with strangers, cleaning, driving, and cooking. 

Whatever you see as your weakness is really just the area of your life in which you can and will most rapidly improves, if you let yourself. It only feels like a failure when you compare yourself to someone else who is doing better. But they're struggling, learning, improving, and growing too. They're just good at hiding the screwed up parts. 

Like I used my awesome beautiful hand lettering as the title image. But here's some behind the scenes for you: 

Yes. I write like a young child learning cursive. And then repeat the same short phrase fifteen times. And then I have something sort-of presentable.

Same goes for everything else. I've made a few disgusting meals but thankfully I only serve my friends stuff I know tastes good. I'm improving. You're improving.  The process is growth not failure.  

Slow and Steady

Last weeks goals went pretty okay, if you ask me to judge for myself:

1. Spend under $30 on groceries, and no other money at all. (B)
I could have made this goal an A+ if I was into being a stickler for the rules. On Monday I spent $22 measly dollars in groceries, and those groceries lasted us through Saturday morning. I could have used those last 8 dollars to make a trip to the grocery just make a casserole that would last us Saturday and Sunday... but I decided it'd be a waste of time to go to the grocery and not do our "real shopping," so I already spent our whole grocery budget for the next week. 
2. Edit a bunch of footage I shot last weekend. (B) I am SO close to being done. It's a lot of footage of us giggling at nothing really. Chiseling away, will upload this week. 
3. Start registration for my summer camp. (A+) Registration opened, sign-ups hit me like a truck, and my camp is already halfway full. I'm getting excited. I put on this camp last year, not knowing very many kids or parents since I was new to the job. This year I feel much more prepared, confident, and excited since I know the kiddos already. 

This week I just want to take it slow and steady:
1. Practice lettering every day. I recently followed a bunch of calligraphers on Instagram for no reason other than their mesmerizing little videos of beautiful letters practically falling out of their brush pens. I've tried, and I'm getting better, but I haven't invested enough time to feel very proud of what I can produce.
2. Start packing and purging. Brian and I have to move in about six weeks. There's plenty of stuff I can pack up that we won't miss in the next few weeks (like, everything christmas, our yearbooks, board games, my collection of vases, etc). I also want to take a few loads of stuff to Goodwill. Better now than later.
3. Clean every floor. We keep our house very tidy, so it never "feels" dirty, which allows me to go weeks between vacuuming. Gross, I know, okay, stop it. This week I'll do a few rooms every day, and then the whole house will have been swept, mopped, or vacuumed. 

Sara's Visit Last Week

March 25 was the goofiest day I've had in a long time. My friend Sara visited me all the way from Nashville, and we couldn't stop laughing the entire day.

I filmed a lot of our day, "selfie style," using my phone. It's not great video or audio quality, but it's just fun and entertaining for us. I'm currently working on piecing together the videos into a vlog format. I was planning to post the vlog here today as my "Storytime Sunday," but I need more time. So I'm just gonna buy myself a little more time and post a less interesting post: writing about our day.

We got up and went to get coffee at the cutest coffee shop in Alpharetta. We both ordered lattes, and I tried to be "healthy" and ordered mine with skim milk and sugar free vanilla syrup. We also ate biscuits. Then we went to the grocery store and picked up some goods for making lunch and some stuff I needed for Brian so he could make him mom her birthday pie.

We sat at home doing nothing for a couple hours. We are really good at wasting time at home doing nothing. Brian came home from work after just a half day. Sara and I baked enchiladas and the three of us ate while we watched Chopped on TV. Then the three of us loaded in the car to go to TopGolf.
We arrived at TopGolf and everything was trendy and shiny and high-tech and confusing and loud. The wait time was an hour and a half and the hostess suggested we wait in the bar to entertain ourselves. It was 2:00 in the afternoon. We left and went to Barnes & Noble instead. We messed around, looked at books and games, and Sara got another coffee. It's very easy to stay occupied in a book store. Then we left and went back to TopGolf.

TopGolf was kind of amazingly fun and also incredibly boring and also pretty frustrating. It felt very futuristic, but also golf feels very weirdly old-fashioned. As you can tell, I still don't entirely know how I feel about it. I probably will not go back, since it was expensive. But Brian had been there before and he likes it and we were very glad he was there to explain everything to us. I was terrible at it, and after every swing, I complained, "ow." So that probably means theres something very wrong with my swing.

We went home to wind down for an hour, then we went out for barbecue. It was a restaurant I'd been meaning to try and it was really great. My only regret is ordering vegetables as my side. The menu said "grilled vegetables" but they were gross and mushy and clearly overly-steamed.  But the barbeque was amazing, and I stole some of Brian's french fries, which were top-notch. Our friend Avery joined us for barbeque and then he came over for game night.

We played Hoopla and Jenga. For some reason, Jenga was completely hilarious and we couldn't stop laughing the entire time. We were getting fiercely competitive with one another, which obviously makes any game more fun. It was a blast. Then Avery went home, and we all went to sleep. The end.

The next day (not filmed) we went to a donut shop and ate some delicious delectable delicacies. After that Sara helped me "chaperone" a bunch of preteens from my church going to watch Zootopia at the movie theatre. We freaking loved it. Laugh-out-loud funny. Then Sara hit the road. The Brian and I made a pie for his mom's birthday.

Comic Sans Bully

The first image is from PostSecret, sent in by someone anonymous.
The second image is by me, inspired by the first.

A Series of Unfortunate Accidental Selfies

This past weekend Sara visited from Nashville. We have a weird tradition of vlogging everything we do together, just using the phone's selfie camera. 

This results is a LOT of accidental selfies, when I thought the camera would start taking video but I accidentally snapped a photo.