Category Archives: Uncategorized

Christmas Year-Round

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I’ll admit it.  I’m a Christmas lover just like everyone else…. From Thanksgiving until Christmas, I listen to Christmas music non-stop and do everything I can to feel the warm and fuzzies of the holiday season.  I decorate, light candles, donate money and gifts, find fun events to attend, watch Christmas movies, send out cards… you name it, I will find a way to make it happen.  But I had a thought the other day (and trust me, I know it is not an original thought)…. Why does the Season of Giving abruptly end on December 26?

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing more beautiful and inspiring than the outpouring of generosity that occurs in this November-December timeframe.  And some people already DO support total strangers and those they love year-round.  But if we are all honest with ourselves, our desire to DO is usually stronger during this time of year than any other.

Now, here’s the deal… I work at a non-profit and am on the board of another one… so I think what has happened here is that my life has started to revolve around encouraging others to be generous with their time and money.  But more importantly, as I work more closely with those we are serving, I am seeing that hardships and sadness do not end on December 26.  In fact, they are often more pronounced DURING the holiday season as the rest of us flutter about feeling in love with life.

This post is not here to make anyone feel bad about being happy – or to make anyone feel like the struggles they face each day are miniscule compared to the plight of others.  But here is what I would like to do: I would like to challenge each one of us this holiday season to find that person, that charity, that cause that we believe in and want to help and extend that care and concern throughout all of 2013 (and beyond).   Find those warm and fuzzy feelings from volunteering, donating or helping this holiday season and then let those feelings evolve into determination to make a difference going forward.

So here it is – today is the start of the new, year-round Season of Giving.  What each of us quietly chooses to do does not have to be grand or spectacular.  But maybe this year, instead of letting our New Year’s Resolution focus on our physical well-being (diets and the like), we focus on the well-being of our hearts and souls.  And if we all stick to taking just one little cause or person under our wing in whatever way we can, I assure you, the end result WILL be grand and spectacular.

Happy Holidays, friends 🙂Image

Fall Travels and Holiday Happenings

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For those of you who are wondering, yes I do still have a blog 🙂  The past two months have been event season at work – my explanation to everyone for falling off the face of the earth.  But I’m back and have lots to share!

After the Old Bags Luncheon and Homeward Bound’s Diaper Distribution Day, it was clearly time for some R& R.  So Chris and I decided to get back in touch with our roots and head up to Flagstaff for chilly weather and changing leaves.

We also decided to try out airbnb.com for the first time and ended up staying with an awesome family in their “contemporary mining camp” home.  We had our own room in their house, but spent a lot of time chatting with the family, having wine and cheese and laughing.  It was truly like staying with friends.  They were interesting, welcoming and all around nice people – I would highly recommend this for the adventurous at heart.  Not everyone is well-suited for an experience like this, but Chris and I are very open to new people and new friends as we move around.

Flagstaff was wonderful, as always… it was so much fun to bundle up and feel COLD for a change.  We went on a relaxing hike around Coconino National Forest/Buffalo Park, spent time window shopping downtown, ate yummy Cajun and Latin food, and found ourselves a few fun bars to explore.  The perfect way to end a very stressful week!

When we came back to Scottsdale, there were still two events between us and the start of the holiday season – the Singleton Moms’ Giving Hands Ball (such a wonderful event) and the Step Forward Breakfast.  And now, PHEW, it is time for the best season of all! 

Wednesday after work, Chris and I are off to California to spend Thanksgiving with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins – I am so grateful to them for having us so last minute!  It will be  a really wonderful way to meet a lot of his family members that I have not yet met and also to spend time with family without having to pay for an exorbitant flight somewhere!  We will even get a chance to see my cousin Amanda and her husband Jon – and meet the soon-to-be-born baby!  Then, a few weeks after that, Chris will be heading to Hawaii for Christmas and I will be heading to Maine!  Always a bummer to not be together on a holiday, but with both recognize how important it is to spend time with our individual families since we don’t get to see them often.  With families on the opposite coasts, it is certainly tricky to navigate the holiday season – but we’ve been doing it for three years and I think we’re getting a handle on it 🙂

To the start of a wonderful holiday season!  Hugs and love to you all!

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

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I love to travel.  There is nothing better than zipping away to an exciting destination.  But my favorite time to step foot on a plane is when I know my family is waiting on the other end.

Everyone loves their family but many people prefer theirs at a distance.  I love my family just as much from Arizona as I do snuggled head-toe on Christmas Eve in Maine…. But much prefer the latter.  The reason being is that they add such an incredible richness to my life.  I find myself laughing more than worrying when I’m with them… and caring more about love and happiness than how much I weigh or my finances.

I worry a lot… it’s in my nature.  I worry a lot about the future, my “timelines,” what my legs look like in my bathing suit, what I eat, if my boss notices how hard I work.  But my family – the whole extended kit and caboodle – pulls me back to reality and reminds me that the best moments in life are ones where we really relish in the PRESENT; moments that are often immeasurable and unplanned.

I’ve just gotten back from a 30-hour trip to Massachusetts.  I left Friday night on a red-eye to Logan to make it to Steve and Whitney’s wedding.  When my entire family pulled up curbside at 7:00 am – meaning they were up before 5 am – I hopped into the cramped little rental care and the laughter and chatter began immediately.  I ADORE morning people 🙂

After arguing over directions and almost being run off the road twice by the ever-loved “Massholes,” we settled into a booth at IHOP, filling our bellies with yummy breakfast and coffee – and I didn’t calculate calories in my head once.  After a three hour cat nap at the Homewood Suites in Peabody, 4 girls and 1 poor, poor man scrambled around, attempting to shower, flat iron, curl dress and make-up faces (with one bathroom) for a huge Buckley family wedding.

When we got to the beautiful stone manor venue, overlooking the rocky, Atlantic coast, I was engulfed in a fury of hugs and booming personalities.  It felt so good to feel that warmth and energy on a warm September afternoon.  If you are from a big, loud family, you know that this energy is always welcome and never overwhelming.  It feels more normal than anything else.  This is hard for people from quiet, more calm families to understand – I always think back to My Big Fat Greek Wedding as the perfect analogy.

When the ceremony began in a simple, outdoor setting, I couldn’t help but smile at how relaxed and happy the bride and groom looked.  They worked hard for their special day and the important piece (having found a soulmate in one another), was obvious.  This type of love always makes me happy to witness because it is so rare and beautiful; that kind of love that seems unencumbered by the unimportant things in life.  Everyone in the wedding party was stunning and when my sweet little cousins (ages 4 and 2) filed down the aisle as flower girl and ring bearer, so so excited to see their uncles and dad at the altar, it made me love even more how big and close my family is.

The reception was to die-for… no formal fussy dinner, but rather an open bar, beer trough, and stations set up with the likes of fried clams, scallops, french fries and sliders… even mini ice cream cones for dessert!  Truly the best wedding food EVER.  The venue was enchanting and frozen in time –stone walls, twinkle lights, crown molding, hardwood floors and rooms full of quintessential New England charm.  I love old houses, beautifully crafted wood details, rooms overlooking the ocean – so much more interesting than the Pottery Barn copycats you see today.

When the dancing began, no one could keep their feet still and though my toes are now completely numb from new heels, we never sat down once.  At one point (my favorite point), the skies opened up and it started to pour.  Most people would’ve been very distraught – what did my cousins and I do?  Immediately threw off our shoes and ran into the rain, laughing and dancing together, toes squishing in the warm mud.  And then a few uncles joined… and aunts… and my parents… and the bride (in her white dress!) and groom.  I’ll never forget that moment as long as I live.  I’ll never forget feeling more blessed and thankful to have been born into this big, amazing family where no one waits for the ideal conditions to kick up their heels and enjoy a moment.  That is truly a gift and an ability that many never develop.

The end of the 30 hours of fun took place at family brunch this morning at my aunt and uncle’s cozy house in the woods.  With plates filled with bacon, eggs, fruit and donuts, we all continued catching up, sharing stories, and giggling as sweet little William and Neila ran through the house playing make-believe, stopping now and then for an impromptu hug.

Getting back on the plane to Arizona is never easy for me, but this time, I tried to sit down on the plane and just let the joy I experienced this weekend wash over me from head to toe.  I hate with every fiber of my being living so far from family and always will (sorry, friends, this is something most people in my shoes simply don’t ever get used) but I do know that I have been given so much by being born into this family and no matter how far apart, we are always close in spirit.  No matter how long it has been, it’s like it was just yesterday.  And luckily for me, although the throes of adulthood have made it harder to see each other often, no one can take away the most magical childhood and incredible memories I have locked in my soul growing up with these people.

These people with the likes of a groom who refills the beer at his own wedding to make sure his guests have fun, cousins who set off fireworks from the ocean for their brother during a reception, cousins in the military who are not always able to attend these events because they are fighting for their country, uncles who still meet at 6 am on Sundays to fish down river and can fix anything with their bare hands, and aunts who have brought up some of the kindest, most thoughtful, funny and interesting sons and daughters you will ever have the pleasure of knowing.

I hope my own kids are blessed like this someday.  I often worry that I will never be able to replicate the life I had growing up.  BUT, I’m going to try really hard – because it was from these people that I learned that there is nothing in the WORLD more important than family and love.  You can die with a million dollars in your bank account or $1, but if you do not have warm, beautiful memories in your heart of the people you love, none of it matters anyway.

Slainte, my big crazy Irish family… until we meet again ❤

An Aug Blog

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How sad and truly pathetic to be a writer by profession and go ONE FULL MONTH without updating your own blog.  Not that anyone else cares… not that I feel like I have forty million followers counting on me to shower them with literary bliss everyday… but much like any goal or any project that someone takes on of their own volition, it’s always a bit of shame to feel like you’ve let yourself get distracted and rusty.  And so, we’re back at it.

On the topic of “getting rusty”….three things to note:  one, I had the BEST Saturday the week before last.  I met up with Chris’s sweet former resident Barbie, a Puerto Rico native and fellow beach lover, to speak Spanish over coffee.    We worked on medical vocab for about an hour and then spent another hour just chatting and sipping chai lattes.  I had been itching to speak Spanish with someone (ironic given that I live in Arizona) and also a little nervous that I was going to have lost some of my fluency.  Not the case!  Much like riding a bike, even if you haven’t practiced in years, there is something in you that just remembers what to do.  Newfound confidence in Spanish speaking abilities = check!

Two – I am going to take the “rusty” and make it “rustic” – as in Jon and Shannon’s beautiful rustic wedding in New Hampshire three weeks ago.  Their celebration was incredibly beautiful… from the wildflower bouquets to twinkle light-filled barn to Mapple Pie (yes, you read that right), the whole thing was so genuinely THEM.  A lot of times, you go to weddings and can tell that a wedding planner handled everything or that the bride and groom didn’t put any of their own personal touches on the day.  This wedding was personal from beginning to end and given the crowded dance floor and after parties that followed, I would say they knew exactly what they were doing!  It was wonderful to see friends from near and far all gathered together, laughing, crying at points (ahem, I’ll raise my hand to that one) and just thrilled to be together.  Miss you all already!

And last (three) but certainly not least, the opposite of “rusty?”  Urban, city magic.  As in NYC.  Which is where Chris and I are headed next for a Labor Day weekend rendez-vous with his hilarious and adorable siblings and dad.  I am SO excited for this trip – New York City, to me, is such an invigorating place to visit.  It makes me want to walk for miles, see the sites as if it was the first time all over again, and witness the determination in the faces of everyone who is there to follow their dreams.  Plus, who doesn’t love bright lights, the occasional celebrity sighting and an amalgam of delicious restaurants featuring cuisine from around the world?  It’s going to be DYNAMITE. 

Well my little followers and friends…. It’s time for me to quiet my dreamer’s mind and get back to my homework. XO

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A sweet photo of the adorable bride and groom!

 

You Read My Mind

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I have had a love affair with books since the day I was born.  I still remember favorite childhood stories… I still remember scholastic book fairs… I still remember tucking novels in between the bars of my bottom bunk bed and reading long after everyone thought I was asleep.

And I was thinking today as I sat in Barnes and Noble that I LOVE bookstores more than any other kind of retail store there is.  Clothes have never interested me much (aside from the fact that I wear them)… I’m not horribly enthused by makeup.  And for a girl, I have a minimal amount of shoes.  But If I could have a library a la Beauty and the Beast (complete with the sliding ladder), my heart would sit contentedly for the rest of my life.

I think what I love about books is that they are timeless.  Unlike styles or fads, there is something beautiful and profound about the lessons and stories we take from them.  They capture the human spirit in its countless forms and can be just as meaningful twenty years from now as they are today.

This may seem out of place and a bit “rambly” for a blog that is focused on travels, change and adventure, but the reason I bring it up is that books often offer that adventure and escape to me when the funds in my bank account scream “DON’T BUY THAT PLANE TICKET!”  For example, during the hot summer months in Phoenix, I have LOVED reading Elin Hildebrand books.  The second I set my eyes on page one of any of her novels, I am immediately whisked to the sandy beaches of Nantucket.  I can picture the screen door of a family cottage creaking open and feel the sand between my toes.  I can imagine sitting in a white Adirondack chair, bundled in a sweatshirt, sipping wine as the sun sets.  I can imagine shell-paved roads, jeeps with no doors, and babies with flop hats shrieking as their piggy toes touch the cold Atlantic Ocean.  The best part?  I’ve never even been to Nantucket.  But the words paint such a vivid image in my mind that I don’t need to be there to relish in its beauty.  Because when I read those words, they take me there and I could be surrounded by desert and palms and not even notice.

Nantucket

As if my brain knows that I’ve been feeling the itch to see new places, it also conjured up an amazing dream last night where I traveled between Spain and France, switching between both languages (though the French was a bit subpar compared to the Spanish for obvious reasons) and I have to say, it was a pretty spectacular escape in and of itself.   What I remember in greatest detail (oddly enough) were the bathrooms in Spain.  Don’t ask me why.  But they were beautiful.  And hopefully someday, I’ll get there and see for myself how exciting of a place it is outside of where the commode is stored.

Which then begs the question, if you could list your top ten travel goals, what would they be?

After great thought, here are mine (in no particular order but all outside of the U.S.):

  1. Ireland
  2. Spain
  3. Peru
  4. Switzerland
  5. England
  6. Thailand
  7. Bora Bora or Tahiti (I’ll take either one)
  8. France
  9. Chile
  10. Hong Kong (to see where Chris lived for two years!)
  11. I cheated… I’m putting in South Africa to see Lauren as well!

Feeling like I’ve left out the U.S.?  Ok, ok, I’ll pick my top ten places here too (again, in no particular order):

  1. Nantucket, Massachusetts
  2. New Orleans, Louisiana
  3. Las Vegas, Nevada
  4. San Diego, California
  5. Seattle, Washington
  6. Stowe, Vermont
  7. Colorado (Breckenridge)
  8. Portland, Oregon
  9. Charleston, South Carolina
  10. PURE MICHIGAN.

Anyway, I would love love love to hear yours…. And especially with all our upcoming East Coast travel (yay for weddings and family trips!) dreaming of planes, trains and automobiles is on my mind more than ever.  Thank you to my friends who share incredible stories about these places and thanks to the fabulous authors who depict them in ways that make me want to save my pennies and see them for myself.

XO.

Brick Walls.

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I love this quote… a good friend reminded me of it the other day right when I needed it most.  And I think there is incredible value to realizing that sometimes fighting for what we want or need makes us appreciate it all the more in the end.   Though it can sometimes feel exhausting to encounter obstacles and challenges – especially when others appear to skip right by – the reward is that much greater when we can look back at the work we put in on the journey.

Now that is certainly easier said than done – it’s nice to read philosophical quotes or vent to a friend and feel inflated for four seconds… but putting those thoughts into action and really, TRULY believing them?  That can be tough.

Sometimes these words play out in my mind when I think of friends and family who have battled illnesses.  It can be amazing to see what those people can overcome and how often times, their positive spirit and desire to fight has enriched their lives in the end by making them stop and live in the moment and be happy and grateful when life is good.  Not many of us are awesome at doing that.  Which I think is why, even though it’s odd to hear someone who has beaten cancer say something about how it was a blessing in disguise, what they are really saying is not that the journey was fun or easy (CERTAINLY not), but that the depth of their living has increased substantially and that the perspective they have on what matters is far more mature than most of ours.  And that IS a blessing.

I guess the long and (never) short of it is, our passions and our perspectives are largely driven by the fight within us and our determination to live with purpose and with love.  To be selfless, sensitive beings who value the happiness of others and intend to live a life that leaves the world a bit more beautiful than when we arrived. When I have my own kids someday, the last thing I want to share with them is that my life was always a breeze and that I never had to work for anything… because the minute I am able to set that expectation for them, I have set them up for failure.  But to be able to grow from each experience, to take pride in my decisions and fight for my dreams?  Those are the lessons I will be able to pass on to my own kids when the  journey feels daunting.

My mom said something incredibly insightful to me today… and something that I’m sure we’ve all read or heard in books, movies, etc. She said, “You know what?  I know you don’t understand why things have happened a certain way for you right now… why you are not exactly where you imagined you would be at this point.  But never wish to trade places with anyone else because your life is GOOD and the universe has amazing plans for you, even if you don’t understand them right now.  Just hang in there and be glad that you have the person you do beside you on this journey.”

Mom always knows best 🙂

Revolving Doors.

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Well, after a week in Maine, a week with Mimi visiting, a few fun evenings with Erika, Mitchell and Taylor and four days with Ashley, I think our revolving door has stopped (if only for a moment).  It has been so wonderful to have so much time with friends and family over the past month – it certainly helps to bridge the distance between Arizona and Maine/Massachusetts!  And Chris has been a real sport – it isn’t easy to have other people’s friends and family in your space constantly but he has done a wonderful job helping to clean and re-clean the house, act as a tour guide and host and patiently sit through hours of the Bachelorette.  For that I am grateful 🙂

Another thing that I am grateful for is the chance to show other people where we live and introduce them to our favorite places and spaces. We have been loyal patrons at 5th and Wine, Jade Bar, Kazimierz, the Mission and most recently, Praying Monk (YUM!) … we have also enjoyed trying new bars like Distrito and Old Town Whiskey!  I even got up to North Scottsdale with Ashley to see Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Arizona home.  I’d post pictures and links, but I think Ashley’s blog will do all of this much better justice than mine will.  The bottom line is, the more you are able to bring friends and family into your new space, the more it feels familiar and that is a definite step in the right direction when it comes to adjusting to a new place. 

In my mind, this is how we celebrate an almost one year anniversary of a Maine girl in AZ.

Now that we are moving into the second half of the summer, I am excited about Jon and Shannon’s upcoming New Hampshire nuptials, getting to know the rest of the Board of Directors at Singleton Moms during our July happy hour and board meetings, diving into some fun event planning and AZ Vocal Project rehearsals (this group seriously gets more fun every week) and maybe even sneaking into the lazy river at the Westin Kierland!  So sad it was closed when we were visiting Erika & co….

Oh, oh and before I forget, Chris and I did find a fun way to ring in the fourth – at Tempe Beach Park!  We watched the fireworks, listened to live music and had some late night beer and apps on Mill Avenue afterward.  Very happy we were able to find some great festivities.  I would certainly recommend it to Arizonans – especially ones who are not intimidated by a fairly overwhelming crowd of people in the dead of summer in the valley.

Though life has been wild and fun lately, I’ve still been wrestling on and off with feelings of homesickness BUT I will say that between the great family and friends around me and some wise words of wisdom I received recently, things are looking up. 

One last quick question for anyone who cares – where in the world are Ice and Coco?  I’ve been scheming on how to run into them since we moved out here and so far, no dice.  If any of you have been keeping tabs on their show and can give me any leads, I’d love it!

XO – stay cool!

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Writing.

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Today I am working hard at counting my blessings…. But it’s tricky for me when I feel like 95% of my blessings live in New England.  I want to take a moment to be honest about something here – that for me, living away from home is something that, while apparently adult and “necessary” at times, totally sucks.  I’m feeling a lot of anger at the economy making it tough for people to be where they want to be… and that the world has become so global that you can never just stay in one place long enough to re-create the life you grew up having and expecting.  Because let’s face it – you can plop yourself into the most fabulous place on the planet, but it doesn’t ever measure up to a snuggle on the couch with your siblings while you watch some hilarious movie and talk 9,000 miles a minute.

I know a lot of people probably think, “Ohhh that’s the sound of someone who isn’t dealing with the day to day monotony of home…. Someone who has home pegged in their head as a fantasy, not a reality.”  And to that, I respond:  monotony and the daily grind follow you everywhere, that’s for sure.  But what makes the difference between an OK day and a great day is having a support system around to meet up for a glass of wine on a rough Tuesday or parents to chat with on beach chairs at Pine Point on a sunny weekend afternoon (for example).

I’m not trying to downplay the wonderful support system I have in Chris– trust me on this.  He is truly wonderful and makes me laugh and encourages me every day.  But it wouldn’t matter if I was in Arizona with just him, just my mom, or just my best friend.  It still wouldn’t be that same feeling of community that you have in the place where you grow up.

I’m envious that Chris sees the world differently from me a lot of the time… he doesn’t mind moving or changing, at least he doesn’t say so.  I truly wish I could be more adventurous and more accepting of the curveballs life throws my way – and I do think I make a valiant effort each day to be positive, get involved and make the best out of life.  But today it’s hard.  And so I apologize for the “wah wah” tone of this post… and I apologize if someone who has anxiety about their own upcoming move just read this and is now breathing into a paper bag.  That was never my intent.  I guess my point is, enjoy home when you have it.  Make the best out of those far and few vacations between.  And maybe take better advantage of Skype, because man oh man, it was a great invention.

But also – try your best to learn from the mistakes of people like me who spend way too much time on Facebook seething with jealousy at photos of the ocean, boats and lakes when it was 110 degrees and dusty where you are.   I guess, maybe, work harder to enjoy where you are at and view things with pleasure, not with dread.  Because tomorrow, when my attitude has shifted and I am happy about my surroundings, I will probably read this and shudder.  But for now, I’m dumping on whoever will listen.  Please do not think I’m pathetic.  But as a writer (and that’s exactly what I am by profession), the release of emotions on paper is cathartic and truly the only way I know how to handle all the thoughts swimming inside.

 

There… I feel better already 🙂

Aside

Some days I would love nothing more than to escape.  And in my mind, I am escaping to a hammock on the beach with a cold drink, a good book and the sound of waves lapping on the sand in the background. Image

But I guess, for now, I will settle for exercise, a long shower, glass of wine and my kindle on the couch.  Makeshift joy, I call it.

What do you do to combat stress, worries and fear of the unknown?  Tips for happiness at home welcome on this hot, hot Monday!

 Oh and maybe this, just to make you smile 🙂

XO.

Escape.

Saltwater.

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It’s a hot one today in Phoenix/Scottsdale – we are talking 105+ degrees.  Strangely, I feel like I am more used to this heat now than I was last year… never thought THAT would happen.  It’s sort of like having your own personal sauna – just step right outside!  *Friends and family visiting this summer, forget that you read that*

All heat aside, we’ve done an A-OK job of crossing a few fun things off the Arizona bucket list.  The first one being our glass blowing class at Circle 6 Studios.  We had a chance to make these awesome glass flowers during our intro session and I would definitely go back again.  See below – we’re such pros already!

We were ALSO able to go to the last NHL playoff game that the Coyotes played… I mean, the Kings won, but who cares?  It was fun to be there and feel like we actually have a team to root for out here!   Plus, I have this sweet towel hanging in my office now –

In other interesting, more personal news, I started to have a moment the other day where I felt like the whole world was jetting past me, accomplishing goals and moving forward… and luckily, I have a wonderful boyfriend and friends who are able to help me see the forest for trees.  I have to say, though, that even when you look at your life and think, “hey, this isn’t so bad.  I have a job,  a great family,  a guy who loves me and a fun new place to live,” it can be easy to get caught up in comparisons.  I think that might be because your 20s are full of so many changes and big life moments. Friends around you get promoted, go back to school, graduate, get engaged, get married, have babies, buy their first home, etc.  And even if you are not ready for all of those things or even if your life path is shaping out a little differently because that’s what works best for YOU, it can be hard not to feel a sense of urgency to “catch up.”

The good news is, I am starting to realize a few things – namely that slow and steady wins the race.  Not that life is a race, but when I think back to times that I made rash, poorly thought through decisions, it doesn’t seem like being “ahead” was actually that great of a spot to be in.  And honestly, it’s kind of fun to still have so much to anticipate or dream about.  I still get to wait for that exciting proposal… I still get to dream about going back to school and wonder when I will be called off that waitlist and head down a totally new career path.  I still get to wonder about what it would be like to have a great promotion and have more money to feel comfortable and to able to travel more or maybe buy myself my dream bike 🙂  And so even though it can be frustrating when I see those things happening for other people, I know that firsts are just that – they are not repeatable.  So I’m going to let life unfold the way it needs to and do by best to be a little more grateful and a little less anxious.

And when that doesn’t work, I am going to remember this simple phrase:

This summer, I am going to do my best to live by this and when life gets crazy, I’m going to break a sweat and get my endorphins going…. drive to the closest beach (even if it’s four hours away… which it is, though MAINE is almost here, yay!) or, hey, shed a few tears and get it out of my system.  But if I shed a few tears, they aren’t going to be sad – they are going to be because I am laughing SO hard or because I’ve seen something really beautiful.  That’s my vow to myself.

And on that note, off to take on this gorgeous, sunny Sunday!

Lots of love from the Southwest corner.

XO