Sunday, April 29, 2012

IPhone Post - Unexpected Affirmation

I have some exciting news! Blogger has an app now that lets you post from you phone!! I am typing this before I go to bed while laying in bed, and am promising not to let the controlling side of me take over and worry about the way it looks. I know the font will be different, the formatting will be off, and the justification will not match. However, I need to remember whats most important It just needs to reflect my heart, and that is what I will offer you now.

Last week held administrative professionals day. I just started a new job in a new office a month ago and did not expect much, but the gifts started Monday :) My new bosses really spoiled me by treating me to lunches, leaving me notes, and giving me small gifts.

Most significant was Wednesday when I received these beautiful flowers in the mail at the office. Feeling affirmed was such an amazing feeling. They both took time to thank me personally for all I do. It really was amazing to experience true gratitude and thankfulness for having me working with them.

If you are a boss, make sure to thank those around you consistently. Support comes with living in a way that makes people feel appreciated and valued. If you are not currently in a position of power, never forget how you feel now and always treat others well as you move up.

This really was such a wonderful surprise from some new women in my life who I intend to effect.

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Color Run - A Life Changing Experience

This post has been a long time coming!  Remember when I told you about this way back when I decided to do it?  Well, now that it has happened, and I feel such a huge sense of accomplishment.  Some people sign up to run a 5k, and it is no big deal.  For me, it was a very big deal.  I hadn’t attempted anything like this in a long time; and to say it was successful would be an understatement.

You guys, to get totally vulnerable with you for a moment, I truly did not believe I could do this.  I attempted to put my doubt aside, but it kept rising up as I was training.  I felt overwhelmed and like it should not be as hard for me as it was.  I worked so hard through the process, and when the day finally came, I knew if I set my mind to, I had the ability to accomplish my goal of running the whole race.  However, what I want to highlight to you is that it was as much a mental battle as a physical battle.  I had to push through the mental to get to the physical success!

The color gave me something to smile about as I ran, but it was my supportive friends that made all the difference.  I needed their encouraging words as I pushed myself to the rainbow of a finish line!  Each time I hit a new kilometer and another color was thrown at me, I could not help but realize that the color to me represented God’s blessings being poured out onto me – overflowing and joy producing!  I was blown away by the experience.  Not to over spiritualize, but it honestly changed me.  It produced in me a personal faith that transformed my spirit.  I know it’s silly to run 3 miles and feel like you can do anything, but it was more a lesson about dedication and perseverance than anything else.  I had to prove to myself I had it in me.

None of this took away from letting the experience wash over me.  This was one of the most fun events I have ever participated in!  The feeling at the end, the photographic proof, the life giving experience, and the people I ran with are literally seared in my mind forever.  Like… Forever! 

I want to tell you I am committing to a 10k next, but I have not made up my mind 100%.  I can tell you that this was not my last race.  I will absolutely try and make this a yearly event, and will probably run more than just this one.  I loved it, and I didn’t expect that J

Have a wonderful and colorful weekend friends!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Perfect Night - The Wedding of Some of My Favorite People

Ashley Wells is one of my dearest friends.  She has the most amazing soul.  I really do love her like she is my sister, and want everything for her in her life and love and dreams.

James Pierce is such a stud.  He asks amazing questions and see right through people in a gentle way.  He is like a brother to me and is someone I truly respect.

These two got married last week, and I introduced them.

Their wedding was the Perfect storm of everything the two of them represent.  Words that come to mind are: relaxing, community, economical, love, fresh air, bare feet, poetry, letters, and twinkle lights.  It was the perfect balance of it all.  They danced and laughed and drank wine and ate tacos.  Their smiles were ear to ear the entire time I was in their presence.  Her dress fit her like a glove, and he looked at her like she was the only girl in the world.  Good beer, good company, good food. 

I left feeling full, in lots of ways.

With Bill by my side, these two making promises, and dear friends all around, I welled up with tears in the car ride on the way home.  It was one of those nights that was so perfect, you did not want it to end.  It was everything I envisioned for this wonderful couple, and I know their marriage is only the start of their amazing journey through this life together.

Congratulations James and Ashley!  I love you both more than life itself!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things - My Recent West Elm Obsession

As always, I have developed a recent obsession with a new store.  I don’t even love shopping, I just love finding places that feel homey to me, and West Elm captures a part of my essence that is rare to find!  It is fun and colorful, while being calm and relaxing.  I really love that combination.

After discovering the store, I discovered many Pinterest pins, and I decided to compile a collection for you here.  I want you to enjoy them as much as I do.  They really bring me joy!  Isn’t it funny the kinds of things that make us happy? :) 

The closest West Elm to us is about 45 minutes away in Santa Monica, and I am hoping to take a trip up there before Bill and I get married and purchase a few things for our new home together.  I am so blessed to have found a man who loves this colorful side of me. 

Take time to peruse their website They have really wonderful bedding.  In fact, the comforter pictured above is the one Bill and I are leaning towards!  Thoughts?  We love it!  I also want some of their fun little kitchen accents.  I just love this store!

Enjoy your day friends. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Perfect Save The Date

There are many parts of my wedding I have been anticipating planning and designing and loving, but the Save the Date was something that took me by surprise.  I know I will love our vows, the tables will make me smile, I know that I adore my dress, I can completely picture the paper flowers, and I know I will our first dance will take my breath away.  However, as we get into the process, some things are surprising me, and this Save the Date is one of them.  I guess I never had a vision for our Save the Date.  It is kind of a new fad to go all out for it…

All I wanted was for it to match our personalities and show how much we care for the people in our life.  Kind of a tall order for one little slip of paper!  Well, we decided to make it a GIANT slip of paper, and to make it as personal as possible.  Every time I think about I honestly well up.  My twin brother Christian designed it, and he did such a phenomenal job.  He really made it perfect.  The front is fun, reflects our playfulness, shows our love for sports and being outside, and looks like a giant ticket!  The back is a paragraph to our family and friends that says the following:

“To Our Family and Friends,

As our friendship grows, so does our unconditional love for each other.  To this day we cannot separate the two.  We are best friends, and we know that no matter what happens in this life, we will always be growing deeper in that friendship and more in love each day.  As we approach the end of this season of engagement and move into marriage, we truly are working to become one.  We are learning daily to live selflessly with God first, each other second, and ourselves last.

And so, we cannot wait to celebrate our love for each other and our love for you on one magical day this fall.  You are the people who taught us to love, helped us grow, and made this day possible.  We couldn’t have made it here without you, so we can’t imagine taking the next step without you either.  Save the date and we will see you in Baltimore when we become Mr. and Mrs. Rogers.”

You guys, I read those words every day.  I have been meditating on what it all means.  I am so excited to marry my Bill, and with that comes a responsibility to love him forever and continuously work on growing deeper into that love.  It is a task I will gladly take on.  He is so wonderful, and spending the last 2+ years with him has been the beginning of such a wonderful life together. 

We are so excited for our special day, and I will keep you posted along our journey. 
I am excited to share it all with you here!

So much love in my heart today, I’m bursting!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Penny For Your Thoughts - Be Present

Simple Days. 

That is all I need.

These are pictures after church on Easter.

We spent the afternoon with Faith and Josh and took them to a new Boba place we discovered around the corner from Bill’s apartment.

We sat and talked and laughed about nothing in particular.  From the outside looking in, it was not a big deal kind of a day.  However, every day should be treated as though it matters, because it does.  And everyone should be treated that way as well. 

Sunshine and family.  What more could we ask for?  We are blessed beyond measure.  Don't take it for granted and treat people as though you will get to them tomorrow.

Everyone should take more afternoons like this. 
Put something off and relax. 
Every time it crosses your mind, push it away. 
It is important to just be present with people, and we were able to do that this day.  Soak up some time outside, it actually makes you feel better. 
Just be with others. 
Breathe in, breathe out. 
Sit still. 
Let your surroundings wash over you. 

I know I sound like a broken record, but I feel like everyone around me (including myself!) constantly needs the reminder to be present.

Put down your phone, turn off your tv, and engage in conversation.  Grow.  Learn.  Change.  Repeat.  You will grow closer to those around you and make your day to day more meaningful and by extension worthwhile. 

We all have things to get done, but when you are with those you love, try to focus on them.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...

Let this rest over you and try it out this weekend!
Enjoy the sunshine friends :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Little Loves - His Joy Comes In The Morning

Even though I have found consistency in my mornings, I have been struggling to smile as I head out the door to work.  I used to enjoy my mornings immensely, but since the switch over to earliness has occurred I have found it impossible to relax and enjoy those beginning hours of the day.  I only feel rushed and exhausted.  I have been praying that God would make “His Joy Come in the Morning,” but had no luck my first week out.  However, last week he really brought it home.

I love old VW Bugs.  So much.  And if they come in a bright color, they are even more awesome to me.  When I see them on the road, I cannot help but smile.  I love little things like that, and I think each person has different ones.  God knows this, and he knows what each individual persons simple love is.  I also love to be on time, I do not do it out of obligation, I do it because I enjoy being an on time person.  It translates to dependability to me.  I like hitting the same points in the road at the exact same time each morning.  It is a little OCD, but a tolerable amount…

Now to combine these loves… Tuesday morning, at 7:17am, this pink VW Bug merged onto the road next to me.  This in and of itself would be enough to make me smile, but when it happened for 4 days in a row, I felt blessed by it J  It is weird how God meets us.  I looked forward to seeing that little bug.  It’s pink exterior made a smile spread across my face and reminded me I was on time to work.  It was like doubling my joy in that moment.

What brings you joy friends? 
I have so many little loves J 
Tell me about yours!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Getting My Ducks in a Row...

It has been too long since I last blogged.  I literally find my fingers itching to run across the keyboard and type words to you precious people.  I hope no one lost hope in my blogging love.  I hope no one stopped reading who was faithfully doing so.  My life the last few weeks feels like a blur.  I have been up at 5 and in bed very early.  I have dear friends who got married, holidays have come and gone, and family remains dear to my heart.  Through it all, this blog has been in the back of my mind.  Planning posts and what to tell you, but the only words I have today seem to make me realize how important writing is to me.

All this goes to say I have missed you.  Desperately and completely.  This is something I love.  Writing my heart onto this blog has become a piece of me.  Maybe it is silly to love it, but I do all the same, and I hope you can enjoy it along with me.

Just a few updates for you to help you know what you missed, and you can bet on posts for some of these in the coming days!

My dear friends James and Ashley got married, and their wedding was so lovely.  She looked absolutely beautiful, and the words he spoke to her during the ceremony brought tears in my eyes.  What a wonderful couple they are!  Little birds, wonderful letters, pictures and lights and beautiful fabric.  It really was a perfect night!

You all would be so proud of me.  I am consistently running outside.  The fresh air is changing my life in a huge way.  I cannot run 3 miles straight, but I can come pretty close J  I hope to make it a part of my life and watch a few more pounds fall off of me.  The Color Run is this Sunday, and I cannot wait to report epic pictures and videos to all of you!

My commute is weighing on me a little, and I had a small breakdown this past weekend.  I will adjust, but as for right now, I am feeling constantly tired.  However, I signed up for this and I am learning to suck it up and work through the exhaustion.  It gets easier with each passing day.  There are small reminders in the morning that God provided this for me, and that consistency in staying in what I believe is his will for my path right now will be rewarding in the end.

Sorry there are no pictures or fun anecdotes on my first day back, I just had to tell you all of my love for you and that I missed you.  I am sure I will write again soon and hopefully even have one posted tomorrow.  Getting all your ducks in a row is tough huh?  I have decided to take it one day at a time.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

C'est La Vie - The Blessing of Commuting

I started the 45 min to 1 hour drive to work starting this past Monday, and I have to tell you I have had moments of peace and moments of regret already.

This may be the exhaustion talking, but I know it will just take time and getting used to. The drive into the sunrise is so wonderful! It has taken my breath away everyday thus far.

I am falling asleep at like 8 pm, and have almost no energy left when I get home at 5.  However, that is as close to complaining as I will allow myself to get.  I know I am blessed.  In order to get a raise at my full time job, I need to drive a little further in the morning.  Big deal, who cares.  Get over it Ryan.  There are worse things in life than driving towards the mountains every morning with the sun rising... 

I'm sucking it up and deciding to enjoy the drive - and coffee.

I hope to one day report not just grinning and bearing it, but enjoying it eventually.  Until then, this picture leaves you with a taste of my mornings :)  It just a bitter sweetness.  So mad at the hour of the day, so happy with that view.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Penny For Your Thoughts - Insecure As Ever

Do you remember being 16 and feeling self conscious all the time?  
I always felt unsure and uncomfortable.  
It was awful.
I never fully felt like myself... I was always just trying to fit in.

Well now, as I begin to discover my voice, I am realizing so many things about myself.  I am who I am, and I wish I could say it is unapologetically.  However, I often times find myself apologizing for just being me.  I STILL have trouble with needing acceptance.  I still have trouble wanting to validate everything I do.  I feel as though I have had flashbacks on my teenage years lately.  It is strange to put this in words, but I guess I have realized that I will always struggle with the need for acceptance.  I will always want to be validated.  I want to not need these things, but I often wonder if there is anything wrong with wanting them...

Is it alright to want people to understand and accept you?  
Is it only wrong if you need it versus just wanting it?

I do not see myself the way others see me, but I need to work on that.  I need to see beauty when I look in the mirror, not just the flaws that I wish would be gone.  I truly love myself, in a humble way.  I am proud of my convictions and of the person I have been working to become.  I LOVE being nice and I love that I can smile always.  I love knowing how blessed I am.

Why can't I focus on those things always?  
Why can't I look in the mirror and see those things?

God show me through the beauty of others the way you see me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things - Ally and Birthdays

You know those people that light up a room?  Just by being around them you feel more relaxed and like you can't wipe the smile off your face... Well that, my friends, is Ally Garvin for those of us lucky enough to know her.

All that Ally wanted her for her birthday was friends, a picnic, a park, sunshine, and time to just be together.  She definitely got it!  A bunch of people she loves gathered to sit on plaid blankets, drink sparkling water, and eat cheese and crackers.  Honestly, it was so lovely.  There is something special about making a plan to just be in the same place.  There was no agenda.  No schedule to follow.

I loved it and she loved it and it was the best!  It was truly a day for Ally, but one for me as well.  These items described are a few of my favorite things :)  Simplicity exemplified. 

What would be your ideal birthday celebration?

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