Mom’s Last Surgery

This morning my mom is going in for her final surgery. For those of you who don’t know, she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, at the age of 45 and has spent this year undergoing a series of doctor’s appointments and surgeries.
We are so thankful for the way everything has turned out, and pray that this cancer business is behind us. It was a reminder that life is too short so we must not waste a moment and that some things are just out of our hands so all we can do is pray.
Love you, Mom and I’ll see you in a week!

Life Lately

Life lately has been a bit interesting for me. And if I’m being honest, I’ve felt a bit uninspired over the past few weeks. A bit taken aback and disheartened. 
As many of you know, my friend, Kate & I launched our social media marketing company, The Social Avenue at the beginning of the month. Due to reasons that I will not go into, we have put a halt on that effort for the time being (as well as the foreseeable future). After months and months of work, to say that we are disappointed is a bit of an understatement, but on the positive side, this new change has shed some light on things previously hidden. 
I’ve learned many things about myself over the past couple of months, including:
A newfound love for branding. And I do mean love.
An ability to overcome fear & “go forth in the direction of my dreams”, whatever they may be.
The will to shut out self-doubt talk & thoughts.
A level of creativity I didn’t realize I possessed. 
The ability to truly not care what others may or may not think. 
The courage to fail, and sort of like it because it means I’m actually living.

Through everything I feel so blessed & truly lead to be on the path that I’m on. I’ve struggled, made mistakes & am coming out of it all with the knowledge of who I am and what I want from life. 

Saturday Morning Sweetness

I am overwhelmed with thankfulness this morning. 
Here’s a little list of what is making me so happy at the moment:
Last night’s BBQ at our place w/friends.
Sleeping in until after 9:30 a.m.
This gorgeous weather.
Pretty Flowers.
A soft black tank.
Blueberry Waffles – Eating them reminds me of mornings at my grandparents’ house when I was growing up.
Soft & Sweet Background Music.
This Cuddly Pup.
A Clean House.
Coffee.
God’s Hope & Grace.

Being Thankful For What We Have

I got the idea for this post yesterday morning as I approached the stoplight into Centerra,  a stoplight that I turn at every morning going to work. Except this morning there was a seemingly homeless man on the meridian. I rolled down my window & shouted (since my music was up way too loud) that I was sorry that I didn’t have more cash on me.

I handed him the $2 I had & he looked me in the eyes with sincerity and thanked me. And then I started crying.

You see, earlier that morning Cory & I had been going over our budget. We love to travel, dine out, go to concerts & the mountains, etc. We also have some financial goals that we would like to accomplish and therefore, we really need to begin making some sacrifices in our lifestyle.

As much as Cory tried to cheer me up, I still left the house in a bad mood. It’s no fun to limit the things that I love – traveling, shopping, eating out & drinks with friends, even if I know it’s for the greater good of our financial future & family.

And after seeing the homeless man’s gratitude for my $2.00, I felt so ashamed of my attitude.

Things can always, always be worse. And while many people have more than we do, many more have less. A reminder every now & then is a blessing from God.

Our Weekend at Copper

I love weekends that do exactly what they are suppose to: provide you with some fun + time to get caught up on life + leave you refreshed. 
We rented a Ski In/Ski Out condo at Copper Mountain with our friends from home, the Jones, their friends from Denver (who we met in January & are our friends now too!) & their parents. It was a great group & a great time. The conditions on the mountain were perfect – powdery on Friday & sunny on Saturday –  we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

This weekend just made me really thankful & I’ve listed a couple of the things that were top of mind for me on the mountains:

#1 – I am so blessed to have Cory as my husband. He is patient & kind & amazing. : ) I’m so, so thankful to be able to share our life & adventures together.
#2 – I’m thankful for the relationships I have as a 26 year old – no drama, no unruly expectations or pressure – just the ability to be who we are & share experiences with each other.
#3 – I’m grateful for the lessons learned along the way that helped get me where I am today. (That rhymed – not intentional!)
#4 – I am so thankful to live in Fort Collins, which is a short drive to the mountains where I can practice the sport I began enjoying almost 15 years ago.

I hope you had a great weekend too!

Forgiveness

Everyone has someone in their life that has hurt them. Sometimes, we even have multiple someones. Just like we, ourselves have hurt one or many people over the course of our life, whether intentional or not. 
And while I think it’s important to fully process our anger, sadness and any other emotions that arise, I think the most important thing we can do for ourselves after being hurt is to forgive.
I went through a difficult time in 2010. Not only did the man who raised me as his daughter abandon me only months before my wedding, I was also dealing with the loss of my first job out of college, meeting my biological father and issue upon issue with the group of people Cory & I had called our friends since high school.
Now that three years have passed, I look back & see that this was all part of God’s plan for our life. Every single hardship Cory & I went through together that year made us stronger individuals. The problems that were in our life at that time made our marriage more solid than I could have hoped for & most importantly, gave us the courage to unapolegetically be ourselves.
What I learned from that year is that it may take years to process & forgive, and that’s okay. We may never get the apology we feel deserve, and that’s okay too. But for our souls, it’s important to forgive anyways.
A couple of months ago (gosh – maybe six now?) I heard through the grapevine about something new going on in a person’s life that had hurt me in the past. And you know what my first thought was? It was “good for her!” 
In shock, I tried to analyze why I had such a positive reaction to the good things happening in this person’s life. “Why am I happy for her?” I didn’t understand it at first because our friendship had ended & I truly was happier without her in my life. 
Then I realized that I had forgiven her. Not only that, but in my heart of hearts I wished well for her. And that felt really good.
On that note it’s important to know that just because you forgive does not mean that you are opening a door to let people who’ve hurt you back into your life. No, you’re actually doing the opposite. You’re taking a lesson from the relationship or situation & you’re moving on to be a better person, leaving your recurring thoughts of them behind.
I encourage you to try it. Forgive something that you’re holding on to and keep wittling it down until it’s gone, no matter how long it takes.  
I promise you, your life will be much fuller once you open up space by letting it go.

This Season of Life

Yesterday in church the pastor mentioned that he was in a full, happy, loud and crazy season of his life, raising four boys between the ages of 3-10 with his wife. This got me to thinking about the season of life that I am currently in, just having moved out of state with my husband of 2.5 years for a big adventure.
Those who know me well, know that I have always been a girl with a lot going on. Starting all the way back in elementary school and continuing to increase to a peak in high school, I was involved in multiple extra curricular activities at once. 
 Dance, girl scouts, cheerleading, youth group, gymnastics, soccer, tennis, competitive cheerleading, national honors society, student council, etc.

(Here I am in high school with some fellow Varsity Cheer Team members. I still keep in touch w/Julie, to the left of me, and consider her a very good friend!)

Being the little over-achiever that I was, burn out was inevitable. When I started college at KU, I joined a sorority & participated in intramural sports, but that was about it. The rest of my time was spent w/my friends & occasionally studying/going to class.  

(My freshman dorms roommate, Jayde & I at a football game. Still one of my best friends to this day, distance & all!)

When I transferred to Wichita State, I worked and went to school. Nothing more. Nothing less. I went through a stage where I didn’t put much effort into anything that I cared about, except for hanging out with my friends.

(Out for my 21st birthday w/Chelsey & Kate, friends from high school that I still adore.)

So post-college, I was eager to jump back in. And jump back in, I did. I jumped into anything & everything that peaked my interest or would help me further myself as a professional. The adult version of me sought balance for my life (instead of going through another burn out, like the college version of me did).

My recent move gave me an opportunity to step back and evaluate what is truly important to me. 

For me, busy is now a bad word. Is my life full? Yes, it is so full. Full of many things including new experiences, being active, cooking, spending time with my husband & puppies, my career, reading and blogging. It’s full of getting in touch w/myself, my goals & dreams. And of course my life is full of exploring my city that I love more & more each day.

But I have room too. Room to grow, room to meet new people & discover new activities. I’ve become protective of who I let in my life & have been even more protective of my time.

(In Denver last week after checking out a wine bar called Cru.)

One of these days Cory & I will have some little babies and life will get loud and crazy again. And while we both look forward to that time, we are also cherishing the slowness & sweetness of the life that we’re making for ourselves here in Fort Collins.