Monday, November 26, 2018

travel diary: SHV to ATL.

I've always been an emotional person. As a nine year old, I recall watching The Secret Garden on repeat, crying at the end every time. I remember feeling overcome with emotion as I reflected on how far all of the characters had come, how much they all had grown. My parents always asked me, "Why do you watch that movie, if you know it makes you cry?" 

Excellent question. But I didn't know the answer then, and I still don't really know the answer now. 

Now, I am an overly-emotional pregnant person. Things like seeing my favorite Christmas decoration on display the day after Thanksgiving in my parents' home made me cry. So did multiple commercials that we viewed in between football games over the last few days. 

It's always been a part of who I am, and I am guessing that it always will be. The one thing that makes it hard? I get embarrassed. Our society isn't one that really accepts emotional outbursts of any kind, especially in public. So, what am I supposed to do? 

I've tried lots of different techniques to stop the water works, whether it be on the comfort of my own couch or standing in line at Chipotle. Looking up, biting my tongue, thinking of something funny. I'll be honest and say any combination of these techniques works roughly 25% of the time. Every other time, I'm left with watering eyes and a red nose, which gives me away immediately. 

Maybe, as humans, we're designed for public displays of emotion. Maybe it makes us all appear a little more relatable to our peers. Maybe it reminds us all that we're in this together, that things don't always have to be easy, that we don't always have to be strong and appear braver than we are. Maybe I'll stop trying to hide my tears and just let them flow. Maybe we all should. 

So, if you see a pregnant lady crying outwardly in public, just hand over a tissue and give reassuring nod. True, maybe something big is going on in their life, but maybe they just saw a puppy in a sweater and their hormonally-overloaded heart just can't take it. 

Or, you know, maybe they're just human. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

thankful.

Of course this week lends itself to the making of mental lists of things for which we are thankful. My list this year contains all of the usual suspects, including family, health, and safe travels down to Louisiana to celebrate. 

But this year, there's another item on my list. Something I have taken for granted in the past, though I always should have known better. It's something that has largely evaded me in recent months... well, years. It's something I've felt intermittently, sometimes unexpectedly, but haven't acted upon in quite a while. 

What is it? 

Inspiration. Simple, blessed, inspiration. 

I feel it most often when I return to Shreveport, to the Ontario House. Something about this house leads me right into the arms of waiting words. Maybe it's the proximity to so many loved ones. Maybe it's all the work and labors of love that have gone into making this house our family home of so many years. Maybe it's the memories of sitting at the dining room table with a steaming cup of coffee, creating blogging schedules, tapping things out on my beloved white MacBook, scheduling posts for months in advance. 

I don't know exactly what it is, but for reasons I can't adequately explain, I feel immense gratitude, overflowing thanks. 

Happy Thanksgiving to whomever may be out there, reading this. Thank you for being part of this story. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

on consistency & self discipline.

hastily tapped out in my phone notes while en route from Denver to Raleigh last week - 

I'll never understand why I stop doing things that I like.

Working out. Eating healthfully. Writing on this blog. 

Human nature seems to dictate this weird need to depart from routines and activities and tasks, even if those things are beloved to us. Do we need a break from the monotony? Do we secretly need to rebel? Are we all just that wishy washy? 

Maybe it's just me. But really, drawing from conversations with friends, I'm quite sure that it is not just me. Many of us seem to have to struggle inwardly against ourselves to make sure we are doing - consistently - the things that we love. 

I know people who don't seem to struggle in this way. And a character trait that I observe in them, alongside this faithful, relentless, and unfailing consistency? Self discipline. 

A long time ago, in what was probably 2006 or 2007, there was this feature you were able to install on Facebook that allowed individuals to write anonymous messages to you, that only you could view. I'll never forget one of the messages I got one night (in fact, it's the only message from that feature I even remember at all). It read, 

"I wish you weren't such a flake." 

Even now, I am not sure who of my friends wrote that message to me, though I have an idea or two that would certainly make sense*. At that time in my life, I will admit that I was flaky. I was flighty and anxious and always trying to fit in and please people and be viewed as fun. And now, I can recognize that life - and living a happy one at that - is not about pleasing everyone with what a lively and vivacious person you are, with how many stories you have to tell, with how new and exciting your life is - and remains - day after day. Your real friends and family will love you, even when you're dull, even when you don't know what to say, even when you're in a dark place. 

I wish I would have known that back then, so that I could have been the kind of friend to whomever wrote that message, that I try to emulate now. I wish I would have known how to look deep inside myself and recognize all that I truly love and hold dear. And I wish I would have had the courage then, to be true to myself. I wish I would have had more self discipline, to stick beside plans, to stick beside my friends, to stick beside myself. 

And now, I hope and pray for the kind of self discipline that yields consistency. Consistency with exercise, healthful eating, sharing by way of this blog, connecting with dear friends. 

I hope and pray for that magical, unyielding consistency. 

*If you wrote that message to me, and you are reading this, please know that I am truly sorry that I was not there for you. I sincerely wish I would have been. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

the sunday currently, volume 124.

beautiful flowers all around vail

reading Fierce, by Aly Raisman. A couple of weeks ago, I finally finished Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty, which I really enjoyed.
writing a lot in my bullet journal, including adding photos and keepsakes. It's been a while since I've done this kind of journaling, and it really is my favorite.
listening to the Office while typing out this blog post. Nothing makes me feel better like this show does.
thinking that I am really glad that Justin and I built in some trip recovery time on the back end of our trek to Colorado. It really does take some time to get re-acclimated to the time zone you've returned to. We've both been feeling so tired since we got back.
smelling coffee and donuts. The breakfast of champions.
wishing for some tortilla soup today. I had some at a place called Hacienda Colorado in Denver. It was so good, and I've been craving it ever since.
hoping for a productive and joyful week ahead.
wearing pajamas, just like I have been doing since we arrived home from Colorado.
loving the flowers we got to enjoy all around Vail (see photo above).
wanting tortilla soup. I'm telling you, I can't stop thinking about it.
needing a shower and a fresh perspective.
feeling sad for a dear friend and praying for healing and comfort for her and her family.

See all volumes of The Sunday Currently here.

What little pieces are making up the normal in your life today? Link up & share below. 


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

small kindnesses.



Last night, Luke and I met Justin for dinner at a little Italian restaurant around the corner from our house. We had only been there once before, but I had really loved it and had anticipated going back. 

When we walked in, I was struck again with the little joys of this place: green and white penny tile flooring, the glow of tea lights, and these white and pink roses, dotted with cranberries. 

As we sat down and got settled, I took my phone out and snapped a quick photo, as you see above. As I was doing so, the waitress swept over and greeted us, began asking what we would like to drink. Slightly embarrassed at being caught doing something so vaguely rude and touristy as photographing flowers in a restaurant, I quickly slipped my phone away and stammered an awkward hello (it's true - and I have the "live photo" evidence to prove it). 

Rather than be annoyed at yet another person tinkering with their phone at the dinner table, the waitress smiled and asked, "Are you taking photos of my flowers?" Relieved that I wasn't being quietly chided for this minor faux pas, I admitted that yes, I was, and that they were beautiful, launching us into a polite, light-hearted discussion about flowers. Frivolous? Yes. Refreshing? Also yes.

The night was punctuated by a lady who had been dining with her husband, approaching our table to tell us the following: "What a good baby. He was a delight to watch at dinner. Was that him singing?" 

Anyone who has dined out with a toddler knows that things aren't always predictable. Sometimes there's shrieking. Sometimes there's crying. Sometimes there are loud outbursts of talking. Sometimes there is the throwing of any number of table-top objects. Luke is, usually, relatively good at the dinner table, since he loves to eat and socialize. He hadn't been perfect at this dinner (really, what child ever is?), but I had counted it as a success, because he had devoured the manicotti, drunk plenty of water, and had, in fact, been singing (at a polite volume). 

But for a stranger to approach your dinner table, simply to sing your child's well-mannered praises? Well, that is something very special indeed. A small act of kindness, which definitely does not go unnoticed. 

And as the lady walked away, I smiled and said to Justin, "Really, there is no higher praise than that." I am thankful for the kind of dinner we had last night, because to me, it's the small kindnesses that sometimes make the biggest difference.  

Sunday, February 18, 2018

the sunday currently, volume 123.



reading nothing at the moment. A little under a year ago, I started reading Big Little Lies, following watching - and loving - the show. I need to pick my iPad back up and re-start, and finish this book.
writing daily pages in my pocket traveler's notebook from Chic Sparrow. I have the pocket Maverick, and I love it. Other things I write in my TN? Blog post drafts! I've also been writing in my new bullet journal - my second one ever. I finished my first one a couple of months ago, and dropped the practice for a little while. I'm so glad I picked it back up - I really believe it's the best planner/journaling/memory keeping system for me. My first bullet journal was a large, black, squared Moleskine. My second one is a blue, dotted Artists' Loft notebook from Michael's. I'm hoping to try the Leuchtturm 1917 next.
listening to a playlist that I made in anticipation of my 30th birthday. The songs remind me of the wait for Luke to arrive, wondering if we were going to share a birthday. Little did I know, I'd have to wait until September to meet the little guy.
thinking that Luke and I are ready for Justin to get home. He has been in Austin since Thursday, so Luke and I have been holding down the fort since then. We've enjoyed our Mama-Luke time, but we're definitely ready to be a household of three again.
smelling like Sensual Amber from Bath and Body Works, a year-round favorite, despite its silly name.
wishing for an end to the violence that's been going on in our country. That's all I'm going to say on the matter.
hoping for a productive week. Luke and I need to get some stuff done around the house, run some errands, and I am beginning a 10-day health and fitness challenge tomorrow. Time to get in shape!
wearing one of my favorite necklaces lately. It's a gold bar from Stella & Dot, and it has the coordinates of the hospital where Luke was born etched into it. It was a gift from Justin when Luke was born.
loving being back in the blogosphere. There's nothing quite like it. I've missed it. And I'm loving starting again with The Sunday Currently!
wanting to eat sushi every single day. Hibachi is a close second.
needing to clean out my email accounts.
feeling ready to get in shape. And thankful. And hopeful.

See all volumes of The Sunday Currently here.

What little pieces are making up the normal in your life today? Link up & share below.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

blogging in twenty-eighteen.



Back in December, this kind girl right here commented on one of my Instagram posts (see above). 

She asked if I planned to start writing again in 2018, and to be completely honest, I hadn't even given it much of a thought until her question. And believe me - I'm glad, so glad, that she asked. 

Sometimes, I find, even when I love to do something, miss doing something - it takes an extra external push to have the courage to jump in with both feet. It is often at the prompting of friends, the asking of family, that I press on, keep at it, remember to make time for writing. And when other external forces inadvertently work to quell that desire to write, it becomes more difficult to put energy into it.

First, OT school happened, which took almost all of my mental energy. Then, I became a mom - one of the biggest changes and challenges and joys in my life - and that took all of my mental, physical, and emotional energy. Then, I graduated OT school, and a few months later, started working, and that took up quite a bit of all of those energies also.

It's no wonder that I was absent from one of my most loved hobbies - even though I continually missed it. In addition to the things I mentioned above, I was also happily trucking along with everyday life, keeping up with family, friends, figuring out how to manage my household (still working on that one)... etc. I've been settling into myself, and it has taken some time.

All of this to say... I hope to write more here this year. I've been thinking up some series to start doing, possibly falling back on some older series, and really, just planning on opening up my browser and typing more often, whatever it may be about.

Here's to the joy of blogging, of sharing. Thank you, Emily. 

the sunday currently, volume 125.

reading a mish-mash of things right now. I don't usually like to read more than one book at a time, but I am in a reading rut... and I...