Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Things better left in 2012

It's funny how when a new year rolls around, it feels like a new beginning.  Everyone is ready to change something in their lives and start fresh.  It's a comforting feeling to think we may get a second chance to do better or be better.

But let's get serious.  At the end of the day, January 1 is still just the day after December 31 and unfortunately, a lot of the negative things from 2012 ended up right alongside us on January 1.

So, without further ado, here are a few of the things I wish had stayed in 2012...

That 8 lbs I gained August - December

Psy, Justin Beiber, Ke$ha, One Direction, Lindsay Lohan, etc...

Student Loans (...all bills actually)

Dog hair & paw prints that make it impossible to keep the floor clean

Weather under 30 degrees without possibility of snow

My unhealthy need to eat the Oreo cookies my coworker has stashed in his bottom desk drawer

My fear of the future

My fear of not being a good enough person, friend, employee, wife, etc...

My husbands' old, stained yellow GA Tech sweatshirt

5 day work weeks...(they should be no more than 4 tops)

Negative social media posts tearing others down for having different personal/political beliefs

Anonymous blog comment spam 

Dog slobber (anyone who has a lab will get this)

Distance that separates me from my favorite people in the world

Sadness (yes, I have this from time to time)

Envy (this happens too)...

What would you like to leave in 2012??

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Comforting Words

I guess you could call me a "runner".  I don't run marathons (yet) and I don't run a 7 minute mile...but, I run.  I run mostly to burn calories and because it's easy to do without driving myself all the way to the gym and back.  Sometimes I run because I ate something really bad for me and it makes me feel like I can cancel it out.  Sometimes a run is just a way to enjoy a beautiful day outside.  

But every once in a while, I run because I need healing.  Running is good for the soul.  I do my best thinking when I run because it's the only place where I am not distracted by anything else.  I can stick my ear buds in and tune out the world and concentrate only on putting on foot in front of the other.

About a month ago, I set my iPod onto shuffle and took off for a cold, snowy "clear-my-head" run.  It was a low place for me at the time I knew that 35 minutes of clarity and exercise was what I needed in that moment.  I feel like sometimes even though my iPod is on shuffle, it can read my mind and know EXACTLY what I need to hear.  That was what happened on this day.  

Regrets collect like old friendsHere to relive your darkest momentsI can see no way, I can see no wayAnd all of the ghouls come out to playAnd every demon wants his pound of fleshBut I like to keep some things to myselfI like to keep my issues drawnIt's always darkest before the dawn

And I've been a fool and I've been blindI can never leave the past behindI can see no way, I can see no wayI'm always dragging that horse aroundAnd our love is pastured such a mournful soundTonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the groundSo I like to keep my issues drawnBut it's always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah!Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaaah!And it's hard to dance with a devil on your backSo shake him off, oh woah!

I am done with my graceless heartSo tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restartCause I like to keep my issues drawnIt's always darkest before the dawn
I ran that day to one of my favorite Florence + the Machine songs and felt happy and sad at the same time.  At that dark moment, it struck a chord with me and the song took on new meaning.  I love how music can do that to us.  
When I finished my run, I felt comforted.  I did something good for my body, mind and soul.  

I heard this song again on my way home from the gym the other day (ironically, from a run at the gym) and instead of tearing up like I did weeks ago, I felt very hopeful for the first time in a while.  

I'm ready to suffer, I'm ready to hope...

I guess maybe what I needed was a simple reminder of a dark time, and that good things lie ahead for me.    There's comfort in remembering that it's always darkest before the dawn.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Advice for my younger self

"If you could do it over again, would you?"

This question was posed to me by my husband on Saturday night over a delicious sushi dinner.  He was referring to my college years...if I could do them over, would I?  Of course, my initial answer was a resounding "Fuck no."  But upon further reflection, I edited myself.  If I could do college over, knowing what I know now, I would not.  I'm too happy with how my life is going to worry too much about mistakes I made when I was younger.  What I would do, if I could, would be to have a conversation with my younger self and impart some words of advice.

Yes, I am sharing this embarrassing photo of my college graduation with you for purposes of this post...please ignore chubby cheeks!

My first piece of advice...Don't wait to start taking care of yourself - body and soul.  I spent too many days with too little sunscreen, falling asleep in make-up, drinking soda, and tricking myself into thinking I was making healthy choices.  

Now, I wised up on sunscreen pretty quickly, but not before slathering tanning oil all over my body for a week straight in Ft. Lauderdale on spring break.  It's been years since I went outside for a sporting event or a day at the pool without SPF on my face and body, but signs of my days as a sun goddess are definitely noticeable on my face.  

Making healthy choices...well that took me a lot longer.  Even though I grew up active in sports and eating healthy (we were a "no soda, no junk food" house growing up), I spent a considerable amount of time trying undo poor food and exercise decisions through many of my college years.  For as much as I enjoy working out and running, I wish more than anything I hadn't waited so long to really push myself  to be more active.  Now if I go even a day without some type of exercise, I feel terrible.  It's sad thinking about all the time I wasted not feeling really good about myself, and enjoying the effects of the endorphins (and self-confidence) I have now!

Some guys won't be interested in you.  Don't sweat it, and move on.  I repeat, DON'T SWEAT IT and MOVE ON.  I really wish I had taken this advice more seriously as a young adult.  Now, don't get my wrong, I was not a crazy stalker or a stage 5 clinger or anything like that when it came to men.  But I will admit that I spent far too much time trying to de-code text messages and conversations with boys who I was dating.  I can remember times sitting with my girlfriends going over dates and conversations trying to get insight into whether a guy was interested.  I definitely spent too much time feeling sad over relationships that, if I was honest with myself, I did not get much out of anyways.

The older I got the more I adapted the "He's just not that into you" mindset.  It was incredibly liberating (as illustrated by Miranda Hobbs), and I hate that I didn't spend more time focusing on the next guy instead of the last guy.  Live and learn, I suppose.

Don't be afraid to put yourself out there.  You have nothing to lose.  This is a big one for me.  I know now that there is nothing to lose by walking up to that guy you've been eye-flirting with the whole night and introducing yourself.  I wish I had done that so much more.  For starters, confidence is sexy.  In my head, I was a pretty confident, kick ass gal, but when it came to putting it out there...not so much in the early days.  I mean, took me 3 years of pissing around before I put myself out there enough to get my now husband to get it together and get serious about me!  

It's not just about men either.  When you think about it, how many opportunities for friendships have also passed me by just for fear of rejection or temporary discomfort?  How much could I have learned early on by simply asking for what I wanted?  Wouldn't it have been nice to have that nugget of advice from an older, wiser me when I was 18?  

Get off your ass and do something.  Had I known how helpful getting involved in groups and organizations would have been for my career, I wouldn't have been sitting on my ass watching Friends re-runs in my spare time.  Silly me.

I know it sounds like I may have a lot of regrets, but I really don't.  Doing what I did then got me where I am now and for that I am grateful.  But I'm not gonna lie, I think had I known then what I know now, I would have gotten to this place in my life a lot sooner.  

What about you?  Any words for your younger self??

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's Tuesday and I'm a Nerd

Greetings!  Welcome to my's pretty random.

First things first....I think it's important for you to know that I am a HUGE loser.  Why, you ask?  Well, aside from the obvious - I feel it's important to tell you that I have read 5...FIVE....books in the last 7 days.  We are not talking about kids books or ones with only pictures.  We are talking about actual full-length novels.  This means that not only am I a giant nerd, I have been neglecting everything in my silly  life.  That includes meals, cleaning house, this blog, and unfortunately my husband as well.

Alternatively, my husband is now on the 3rd chapter of the book he began in mid-November.  He reads exactly seven sentences a night before falling asleep face down on his pillow. Clearly we are cut from 2 different cloths.

Even now, having just finished my most recent book choice, I am wondering what to read next.  I think I may have seen smoke coming off of my Kindle after that last download.  It's begging for rest.  But sadly, I am an addict.  And I am counting on some of my fellow bloggers to help feed my addiction.  How?  Book recommendations.  I need them.  I promise after this last one, I'll quit.  Maybe.

Moving on....

I've had a hankering lately to make a big purchase.  What kind of purchase?  I'm not sure.  I have this itch to by myself something expensive, and have to remind myself daily, "Self, just bought a car and need nothing else."  My Self is right.  I don't need anything.  But I want.  I want an expensive pair of sunglasses, a purse, a watch, new clothes, and to lose 10 lbs.

Okay, that last thing isn't a purchase, but I still want it.

Have I come into money?  No.  Did I have a blow out commission in December?  Not so much.  The only explanation is that I've lost my mind.  Buying expensive things like that is so. not. me.  It's like I woke up on January 1 with an urge to set all my money on fire and read a bunch of crap.  Who am I?

Lastly, now that it is January and I am setting nicely into my seasonal affective disorder, I am hankering for a vacation to somewhere warm.  I need vitamin D in my life!  But alas we've come full circle because if I book a vacation, I'm going to want to buy expensive things to take on said vacation where I will ultimately lay on a lounge chair and read my books.  Clearly there is no helping me.

That's pretty much all I got today.  I'm really sorry if you read this whole post.  It's was weird and random.  I blame it on the Novocaine from the cavity I had filled earlier.  I always ask for extra shots!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It's time to begin, isn't it?

Happy new year, dear readers.  I am writing to you from my brand new MacBook Air my husband gifted to me for Christmas (lucky gal, I know :-))!  After spending the last 7 days in 4 different homes and 4 different beds, I am grateful for a quiet moment to collect my thoughts on the new year ahead of me.

2012 will always have a special place in my heart because it is the year I was lucky enough to marry my best friend.  I know that sounds utterly cliche, but at the end of the day, despite the struggles, the fallouts, the tears, and even all the joyous moments that occurred this past year, I will first think about my wedding and the happiness I felt on that day when I reflect on 2012.

Maybe you noticed, and maybe you did not, but I took a little blogger break for most of December.  It was a tough month for me, personally.  I believe a lot in timing, and I think God knew that I needed the break to really be grateful this Christmas - so that's what I focused my time and energy on.  And I am....truly grateful.

I am grateful for this man who I get to wake up next to everyday...and incidentally enough, I love more each day I wake up with him.
On Christmas Morning :)

I am grateful for my parents who want great things for me and for my mom who will drop everything and come take care of me when I'm sick.

Holding their gift from my sister and me on Christmas morning.

I am grateful for hard work and budgeting that allowed me to buy my first new car EVER a few days after Christmas!  (and most definitely happy that my husband can fit comfortably in this car!)
Getting ready to drive off the lot with my 2013 Mazda CX-5!

I am blessed beyond belief to have this little guy in my life this past year, and to celebrate as he turned 1-year-old on December 28!

Mason loves his Uncle Keith...he's like a giant pillow!

Even though we had planned to come home from Atlanta on Monday night, we ended up staying for New Years Eve and I am so happy I got to spend a quiet evening with my sister and our husbands reading on my Kindle and watching Jenny McCarthy act like and idiot on New Year's Rockin' Eve.  When the ball dropped, my husband gave me a kiss and we went to bed.  It was just as it should be.

I have had many moments in the last few weeks of reflection on my life and how blessed I am.  No matter what I allow myself to think in my moments of weakness and my moments of selfishness, I always come back to that.  I am ready for 2013.  I am ready to drive my new car and blog on this computer.  I am ready to put away my Christmas decorations and watch the snow fall.  I am ready to try out recipes from my new cookbooks and FaceTime with my nephews.  I am ready for new episodes of all my shows and for NFL Playoffs!  I am ready to celebrate my last birthday in my 20's (in March) and long for summer.  Mostly I am ready for a new year and a fresh start, and a chance to be a better person, better wife, better daughter, better sister and better co-worker than last year.

It's time to begin, isn't it?

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