Cheers | 7.28

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You made it. We’re here. I somehow managed to get to my favorite part of Friday this week and I am ready to break out the confetti.

I’ve missed you! Summer is the best for road trips, new ideas, and late nights, but maybe not-so-much for steady rhythms, staying in touch, and…ahem, consistent posts. So tell me, what’s new? What are you loving these days?

But first, I’d like to propose a toast to being reunited. (AND IT FEELING SO GOOD.)

To you, Texas, because it is taking every ounce of willpower to not move to this magical place. I visited Austin at the beginning of the month and seriously can’t quit grinning about how great it was. The city of dreams, you guys. Maybe one day I’ll write a complete gush post about all my favorites there, yeah? Yeah.

To you, dumb neck scarves and “table for one,” because I swore against both of you and here I am, eating alone while wearing a neck scarf. I honestly had the best time and will be doing both of these again.

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To you, Inner Light Yoga, for brainwashing me into a temporary yogi. I mean, who even am I? This is my latest #yearofbold adventure, and I am strangely obsessed. I am so bad at the poses it’s laughable, but for some reason I’m thrilled by the fact that I stay the whole class and try anyway. (Also if you’re in Nashville, this place is the best and plays music and has redeemed my experience with yoga, so get there and ignore the awkward girl in the corner.)

To you, friends who take cool road trips, because I am living vicariously through every moment. My friends Rebecca and Caleb are spending this month road tripping across the US with their five (five!!!) children. Not to mention Rebecca is my favorite writer of all time and she’s blogging about it — follow along here!

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(@Rebeccathefair‘s instagram photo from their trek in the Pacific Northwest! Isn’t it incredible?!)

To you, The Lipstick Gospel Devotional and Prayer Journal, for releasing into the hands of readers who love you! We were lucky enough to host Stephanie May Wilson on the blog a few weeks ago (click here if you missed it!), and order your copies! Mine arrived last week and I’ve been devouring them.

To you, creative nonfiction writing class, because, while my blog hasn’t seen any of it here (yet!), I’ve been writing some fun stuff that’s been rattling around in my brain for some time now. I’m in a night class of kind people who provide great feedback and I’m thrilled to spend time chasing my own creativity. (See also: phase 2 of #yearofbold is very fun.)

To you, gas station Icees, because WHY THE HECK NOT? I love you unapologetically.

To you, Where Am I Now?, my latest read. A memoir by Mara Wilson (You’ll remember her as the little girl in Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street, and Matilda), it’s charming and insightful and smart. She wanted to be a writer before she became an actress, and girl can tell a story.

To you, the Enneagram, for stomping on my soul over and over again. I’ve been against the hype for so long, but dang it, I’m jumping in head first. I’m a 7 with a 6 wing. If you don’t know what that means, just move along and consider yourself blessed.

To allllll of the joy that brought us here and sustains us. 

I’m headed to a baseball game tonight to indulge in all of the summery bucket list things, most of which include Dippin’ Dots. Happy weekend, my friends! Cheers!

Cheers | 6.30

Cheers is a weekly toast to celebrate the people, places and things that helped us make it to Friday.

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You guys! How did we let this many days slip away without hanging out?

And by *we* I of course mean *me*, and it just so happens that every text message thread in my phone reminds me of this very same theme. “I’m the worst!!!!!,” I reply to messages from weeks ago. Because it’s  much easier to throw a general, gray blanket over it all by saying “I’m the worst” than to admit “I’m having a hard time.” Yes?

So, for the sake of all that is real and good, I’ve been having a hard time and the aches of the world seem to be especially raw these days. I don’t know how to write about it yet. I don’t know if I will. But I am grateful to be back, reminded that celebration and hurt don’t have to negate the other. Just like a bouquet of flowers, we can bring our full selves unashamedly to both. So here we go, dear ones: A toast.

To you, spontaneous trip plans and plane tickets for this weekend. (!!!!!!!!!!) I mean. There’s not much that can cheer me up like being wheels-up on a plane, jet-setting to some new scenery. (Can you guess what my fight or flight response is?…Oops.)

To you, fourth of July, my absolute FAVORITE holiday of them all! Who doesn’t love a good popsicle-eating, firework-watching celebration? Fools, that’s who.

To you, full circle, for giving me the opportunity to show up for a grieving friend. Things I confirmed from the other side: a.) Seriously, JUST SHOW UP. b.) Of course, you will NOT know what to say. c.) They will remember it for sure. d.) So will you.

To you, first recurring topic on “Cheers,” because I finally finished this book and loooveeed it. It’s the first grief book that made me say “me too,” and I’m so thrilled Sheryl’s words are brightening up this section of the book store. Find it here: Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy


To you, clean room and fresh sheets, because wow, after a huge clothing purse this weekend, I had to coax my legs to walk normally (no stepping over piles!!), and relieve my toes of fear (no hidden sharp objects!!), AKA IT WAS BAD, YOU GUYS.

To you, transition, for finally starting to feel a little more like normal. That February shift of new job/new home/new everythangggg was no joke. By the grace of listening ears and guacamole binges, I am still somehow here.

To you, Emily McDowell, for creating THE BEST empathy cards I’ve ever seen. There’s one that literally says “I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch. I didn’t know what to say.”And another gem is “I’m so sorry you’re sick. I promise I won’t try to sell you on some random treatment from the internet.” OH, and my fave?:em_gc266_died_of_lemons_empathy_2_1024x1024

To you, sweet blog friends, for being the best and most supportive after my last post on Kendall’s birthday. It was a bittersweet day, full of stories and sorrow and friends to share them with. I’m so thankful.

I hope you have the best Fourth of July weekend soaking up sun and patriotism and time with your people. I look forward to seeing you here again soon. (Maybe we’ll both return with tans! Who knows.)

Cheers | 6.2

Cheers is a weekly toast to celebrate the people, places and things that helped us make it to Friday.

priscilla-du-preez-228220I don’t know how we got here already, but I LOVE IT. All of the caps lock for today and always. Last night, a new Jeni’s ice cream store opened down the street (DREAMS) and it was like our whole side of town dropped what they were doing to form a line to watch summer roll in once more. We waited for over an hour for free scoops of wildberry lavender and brambleberry sorbet, but it was more than worth it to support the cause of ice creamery, one near and dear to my heart.

Speaking of, if you have a Jeni’s near you, I need you to stop right now to try their Cookies In Cream. Last night, I declared that it’s my favorite ice cream flavor of all time, so this is serious business.

And with that, I’d like to a propose a toast to waffle cones and summer nights and all the things that delivered a little more hope this week. Can I just tell you that this week was hard, but taking note of these little hopefuls really helped me make it through? I never want this practice to get old.

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First of all, to YOU, dad, because it’s your birthday! Happy, happy day!

To you, Big Little Lies, for consuming my whole dang life this week. I have a strict only-happy-shows-and-books rule currently, but it was worth breaking it for this. I finished the book on Monday and am now happily making it through the show. Don’t let me watch any more murder shows after this though, you guys. #accountability

To you, Option B, for being the perfect recovery book from Big Little Lies and helping me sort through the trauma. But really, I mentioned the On Being podcast with Sheryl Sandberg before, and I’m still captivated by her story in the pages of this book. So far, this is the kind of grief book I can get on board with.

To you, empty edamame shells and salt sprinkles, for reminding us to slow down and enjoy our tables and the people around them. Also for being the perfect healthy-ish appetizer.

img_5588To you, long road trips, for hours alone with my favorite podcasts and audiobooks. My little-known introvert heart is thriving.

To you, Erin Loechner, for the most brilliant idea of a resource party. (Basically? Pick a goal, announce it to your friends and raise your hand with simple ways you can support them in their goal while they support you in yours. Best.)

To you, Kendall Sky, for always showing up and never letting us down. (Okay but seriously, usually I have an eye for these things, but when other people notice the beauty, it’s my favorite. Last night, standing in line for Jeni’s, everyone stopped to notice and take pictures and it took everything in me to not say “THAT’S MY BROTHER. IT’S A KENDALL SKY.” But we will all discuss these things in heaven, I’m sure of it.)

To you, reader, if it’s been a long week. I SEE YOU, friend. Keeping you in my prayers and fist bumping in solidarity. Also, if you want to reach out for a virtual “you’ve got this,” I’d love to cheer you on. Shoot me an email!

Wishing you joy and rest x a million this weekend. And free scoops of ice cream, while we’re at it. LOVE YOU, DEAR ONES.

Cheers | 5.26

Cheers is a weekly toast to celebrate the people, places and things that helped us make it to Friday.

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HOLLA AT US, LONG WEEKEND. That just deserves all the cheers in itself, doesn’t it? All the toasts to Memorial Day. The end.

But really, you guys. Isn’t this just the best? Whether this weekend finds you working or playing, let’s all vow to squeeze every ounce of the joy from it and be thankful. I hope it’s one of those weekends that keeps you cheesin’ all the way through next week. That’s your assignment, ok?

Now to the good stuff:

To you, assorted delicious food items, because you’re about to be ALL UP IN this post. Primarily because it’s currently 5 pm on a Thursday and I’m ready for you.

To you, cinnamon almond milk macchiato from Starbucks, for brainwashing me with all the sugary sweetness into believing you’re a healthy choice. We all know the truth and continue to deny it anyway, don’t we?

To you, Salad Palette with Mango from Trader Joe’s, because are-you-freaking-kidding-me? Mango and watermelon and all the summer joy topped with goat cheese. You heard me.

To you, plantains, because I really wanted to stop the food list there but couldn’t because I love you so much.

To you, TURTLE, because #FavoriteAnimalCrossing this week! I’ve claimed the turtle as my favorite animal for so long that I cannot even admit how gross-looking this is.

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To you, new patio furniture, because I’m in love! I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!!!!!

To you, Hidden Brain podcast, primarily because when my mom recommended this to me, I thought she said “Kitten Brain.” Maybe you should rethink your branding. Expand your audience. Just saying. “Getting Unstuck” is my fave so far.

To you, Andrea Lucado, for writing English Lessons! I had the most fun guest posting on her site this week. (Here’s the link in case you missed it.)

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To you, “things I did” list, because you’re so much more fun than a to-do list. I created a list to list all of the bold things I’ve done in 2017 and it’s the perfect little “keep going.”

To you, seriousness, because you are absent in this post. SEE YA NEXT WEEK.

To you, my favorite readers, because some of you are starting your own end-of-week “Cheers” celebrations and I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. Heart eyes for days. Excited to follow along with you!

To you, weekend that’s going to last forever. It can’t hurt, right? #FingersCrossed

Happy Friday, friends! Cheers to you.

Cheers | 5.19

Cheers is a weekly toast to celebrate the people, places and things that helped us make it to Friday.
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My annual trip to the post office happened last week. Since I do not frequent it often, when I do, it’s with precisely nine oversized packages. That need to be overnighted. Yesterday.

“Nobody told me Mary Poppins was coming today!” the postmaster exclaimed, referring to my seemingly bottomless bag of boxes. I’ve resolved to try taking this as a compliment.

So if you’re feeling more procrastination than Poppins this week, I’M SO WITH YOU. But it’s Friday, so cheers, friends! Let’s do this.

To you, Garden Fresh Gourmet salsa, for rebranding. What does this say about my life that this is the top of the list? I don’t even care. This salsa. Is my favorite salsa. And it no longer looks like…well. It’s better. Just trust me on this one. Sweet Onion, I love you.

To you, friends with perfect porches and better hearts. Thanks for creating a mid-week happy.

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To you, On Being podcast, for bringing all the joy to my ears. How did I not listen to you until now? Smart, pleasant, approachable, and turning me into a nerd about All The Things. Which brings me to my next point:

To you, Sheryl Sandberg, for leaning in to another topic. Has anyone read her new book Option B yet? After listening to her On Being interview, I picked it up right away and am excited to get started. I’m allllll about listening to powerhouse women talk about grief.

To you, outtakes, for keeping us humble. And also for channeling the perfect “I need a weekend” vibes.

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To you, Fruit of the Loom tank top multipack from the men’s section at Target, for being my best fashion purchase in a while. And you guys wonder why I’m not a fashion blogger. #LiketoKnowIt

To you, Scott Sauls, for the sermon “Rescuing Our Souls From Digital Captivity.” 10/10 would recommend. Not cliche. A refreshing, truth-filled perspective. Do you have any soul tips for approaching technology? I’m listening!

To you, Nashville Predators, for doing a good job at sports. Hashtag bandwagon fan.

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To you, reader, for all of your pre and post-half-marathon encouragement. I was thinking about you guys while I was running and am just so thankful for your sweet support!

To you, Chuy’s, for creating creamy jalapeno dip and being the sole light at the end of the tunnel this Friday. (Started with salsa, ended with dip. Pro writer tip: bookend everything with Mexican food.)

To being Mary Poppins or totally rejecting it. In the most delightful way.

CHEERS, friends! Happy weekend. xoxo

Cheers | 3.24

Cheers is a weekly toast to celebrate the people, places and things that helped us make it to Friday.

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Without fail, my high school biology teacher would begin the last class of the week with the same greeting: “Congratulations, you made it to Friday.” And while he’d probably hope that my takeaways from his class were more about plant cells and punnett squares, I’ve hopped out of bed on Fridays ready to throw confetti ever since.

This week has brought a welcome change of pace, full of slow mornings that allow me to work in my PJS and simmer my favorite oatmeal. I think I’ve been able to enjoy it even more knowing that it won’t last forever and I’ll be back to my daily commute and afterthought granola bars very soon. So for now, I’m toasting allll of the cheer from this week and counting it as fuel for next.

To you, GAMECOCKS, FOR BEATING DUKE. (!!!!) I’m usually a football girl through and through, but now that USC’s still in, times are a-changin’.

I’m also 1 million percent proud of the social media interactions that were happening during this game. USC brought it, and even People magazine thinks so. #ForeverToTweetscreen-shot-2017-03-24-at-10-16-13-am

To you, “end of March 2017”, for finally arriving and bringing with you the launch of the She Reads Truth Bible. You guys, this project perfectly captures the beauty, goodness and truth of the gospel, and I’m so honored to have been a contributing writer. It releases on April 15, but it’s now available for preorder at SheReadsTruthBible.comimg_4349

To you, spring, for springing! Sprunging? I don’t know, but THANKS FOR SHOWING UP AND BRINGING THAT DAYLIGHT. Holler.

To you, Jon Acuff, for reminding us of this:

We’ve always believed “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence,” but now social media shows us 10 million backyards. Ignore them.

To you, Harvey Dent, for making your first Nashville appearance and not getting carsick on the way. This is a serious accomplishment. You guys don’t even know.img_4278

 

To you, dental hygienist, for picking up what I was throwing down and not asking me any questions during my 7:00 am cleaning. I have a strict “No talking before 8:30 am” rule, and you played along quite well. Bravo.

To you, spell check, for teaching me how to spell hygienist.

To you, Isaiah, for still being my favorite hardest book of the Bible to read. I always need the reminder that God is our only help. (Read my post for SRT this week here.)

To you, self, for getting back out there in your workout routine after a discouraging week.

To you, reader, for always making me feel less alone in my crazy and my celebrations. You are the actual best.

I’d like to thank all of the clickety-clicks of your mouse and tippity-taps of my keyboard that got me to this point: You!

Oh, and one more thing: Congratulations, you made it to Friday.  

Cheers | 3.17

Cheers is a weekly toast to celebrate the people, places and things that helped us make it to Friday.

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Well, this post started with, as many of them do, a potato. A sweet one.

Last Monday, I decided I would make mashed sweet potatoes for the first time. (I know. I know.) And now, I can proudly declare that the past 25 YEARS WERE NULL AND VOID AND EMPTY UNTIL THIS: the savory sweet potato.

You guys. They were delicious. They were also Paleo, which may be some kind of cult I don’t subscribe to, but could also mean that this is healthy. This is a big deal. I’m trying really hard to be cool and not type all of this in caps-lock. Either get the recipe here or just boil then blend peeled sweet potatoes together with coconut milk and ginger. And now, I’d like to propose a toast:

To you, savory sweet potato.

To you, kick-in-the-pants quote from Hannah Brencher:

“Be the person you imagined you would be before fear gave you other agendas.”

To you, guy who replaced his sister’s fish tank with carrots to see if she noticed.

To you, friends who go running with me, even when we can’t feel our faces.

To you, hope, for always showing up when I least expect you. Like in this little Italian snapshot Facebook reminded me of:  (See the full story on Instagram.)

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To you, kids who set leprechaun traps last night. (To you, parents, for teaching us to do this growing up and helping us catch leprechaun shoes and chocolate coins 😉 )

To you, Chobani, for sending me free coupons and swift customer service after this hangry tweet:fullsizerender-jpg

To you, Oxford comma, for making it in the New York Times this week, and winning the hearts of nerds, editors and writers everywhere. (But I don’t think you should comma-round more often and won’t be using you here. #sorrynotsorry)

To you, self, for going to that get-together alone and meeting new people (and having a really great time!!), when it would have been easy to make up an excuse or check in to the Introvert Oasis. (aka my couch)

To you, reader, for making it to Friday. Congratulations—we did it! Also, green is your color. Remember this. Happy St. Patty’s!

I’d like to thank all of the clickety-clicks of your mouse and tippity-taps of my keyboard that got me to this point: You!

Cheers!