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Trivia.

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There was always mischief in my round eyes,

but the curls in my hair

softened

the imbalance

when the big eyes dropped off

feeling

from the news on TV —

my mother no longer allowed me to watch.

With a flick of her wrist,

we’d watch trivia.

To my frown, she would say,

“I know that made you sad, but the best

way to get through it is to

fake it, till you make it.”

When I faked it, I felt it, and if I felt it,

it couldn’t be fake.

She built me with genuine bones,

and the adage translated to us as,

“Act it, and you shall feel it,”

and I held onto that belief

until my eyes were more proportionate

to the roundness in my face,

 

the curls soften the

edges

of a bad repair,

where the broken pieces didn’t quite fit

together

the same way

as they once did.

Maybe it’s the added

adhesive;

I’m allergic to artificial.

You can melt it with a small match,

but I’ll take Grand Gestures

for 1000 please.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


6 Comments

7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

 

1. Group Hug. When you put out positive energy, the universe conspires to give you a big group hug just when you need it (it seems). It may be in my head, but I’ve felt so much love from people all around me this past week, and just for no particular reason. For example, on Monday, I gave my first ballet lesson to my friend’s daughter. It was so much fun preparing for it, as it brought back so many fond memories. I’m using the dance room at my school for the lessons, though it was unavailable this past week, so we improvised using desks as our ballet bar. A female janitor, who was cleaning around us as we galloped around the room, asked me if I had children of my own. I told her I didn’t, and she said, “Well, you are going to make a really good mother one day. You are so good with her.” The warmth of what seemed like a genuine compliment from her made me feel pretty wonderful.

 

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2. Connected. In the same vein, my students were seemingly extra sweet this week. They were full of compliments (though of course, that could be because grade reports are around the corner — ha!), and they made my heart so happy. One of my classes and I had a Michael Jackson dance off. Now, I have a pretty smooth moonwalk, if I must say, but the fact that some of them were not afraid to show me up, made my day. I also thoroughly enjoyed an activity called “Me too!” where we learned about our connections with one another with a ball of yarn. My students were so open to learning about one another and celebrating each other’s connections as well as what made them unique.

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3. Gold Out.  Thursday was a full day and evening, as my coworker promoted her friend’s non-profit organization supporting pediatric cancer research. Her dear friend’s son recently lost his battle with cancer, and so this day meant a lot to my coworker, and she worked tirelessly to make it a huge success — and of course, it was. She sold over 200 t-shirts (profits going to this charity) at our school, and we all wore them on Thursday. Her friend’s organization raised over $30,000 from this event altogether. To say I am proud of my friend is a huge understatement. I am so lucky to have such a caring, warm, and selfless person in my life and to be able to call her my friend. As a part of the social committee at my school, I invited staff to come to her volleyball game after school that day and then out to dinner after the game. Even though she was exhausted from all of her work (not just at our school, but at other schools and places around the community as well), it was great celebrating with her on a day that meant so much to her. It was pretty incredible not only seeing the gold shirts all over our school, but also seeing the outpouring of support from so many people.

4. Friday HH.  Happy hours with my friends on Friday are always a weekly bonus.

5. Saturday Fun.  This Saturday, I spent a good chunk of the day and night at my friend’s apartment where we made brownies, played card games, and played a silly game of “never have I ever” with a few new friends. We took a night swim in our clothes, had meaningful conversations, and laughed enough to burn off our brownies. Honestly, I felt like a teenager again, but embracing that part of myself this weekend was exactly what I needed.

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6. A Trip to Dell Children’s Hospital.  My friend, who I mentioned organized Thursday’s Gold Out event, asked a couple of teachers, students, and I to go with her to the children’s hospital where her friend’s son went for his treatments. She wanted to deliver ribbons that her volleyball team signed with well-wishes to the children in the hospital. The ribbon posters were hanging around our school this week, but she felt that it was important for the children to see them hanging up in the hospital. After she thanked the nurses for everything they did for her friend’s son and snapped a few pictures with them, we went over to the Ronald McDonald House next door to deliver more of the ribbons. Though it was incredibly sad to see children suffering in any way, it was also moving to see how much they are cared for by the staff and by people like my sweet friend. Seeing things like I saw that day puts so much into perspective, makes me appreciate everything I have even more so than I did, and makes me want to act more selflessly every day.

7. Blood Moon.  As cliché as it sounds, I find myself unable to escape the comfort that comes with the fact that I was watching the same moon with countless other people. We are never alone. As I do most nights, I went on my nightly walk last night, winding down the day, and listening to my ear buds on blast. I was memorizing a blues song (see why here). Only this time, I wasn’t quite as alone as I typically am on these walks. As I passed each house in the neighborhood, every other one had people planted in the front yard to watch the spectacle in the sky. The walk last night felt transformative. It’s not that I believe that the moon is magic; I just allowed it to be.  It felt oddly, yet wonderfully healing. The air was cool and crisp; the wind felt like an embrace, and the red fullness of the moon was strange and beautiful.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren


3 Comments

I’m getting there.

2015 is the year of accountability. Recently, I wrote out and published a plan that would help me to become more accountable for some of my personal goals. Albeit some may be strange to others, there are reasons beyond the surface that I want to do these things for myself. In general, personal growth is important to me, and it’s not about my writing; it’s not about my singing either — it’s about stepping outside of my box, being vulnerable, and putting myself out there, imperfect as I am.

I haven’t reached any three of my goals (I’m giving myself until the end of the year), but I wanted to show that I am taking steps toward them — hence the accountability part.

GOAL #1. Post a song of myself singing the blues on YouTube. So this isn’t YouTube; it’s a small snippet of audio, and it’s far from good (EEEEK!), but as a part of my growth, I want to be okay with not being perfect and loving my imperfections, while still sharing my imperfect self with others. I’m fairly certain I don’t even get the words right (but what’s new?). It’s about the process for me, and not where I end up. This is one of my favorite songs to sing (It Hurt So Bad by Susan Tedeschi), and it hurt so good. I’m currently memorizing the (real) lyrics, and working up the nerve to record the entire song. Get that guitar ready!

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GOAL #2. Read my poem(s) at an open mic night. This past week, I wrote and edited/revised the crap out of a three-minute poem, Papered Walls, until it became something I was proud of. My intention is to perform it as spoken word. Initially, I was going to post it here, but I’ve decided not to, at least for the time being. I’m not purposely hiding anything, but I think I’d rather people “see” it for the first time when I perform it, rather than reading it in a post. Now comes the memorization and choreography part of it. I decided this was the best way for me to merge two of my loves — poetry and performance. I also signed up to go to a local poetry slam next week to check out the performers, see what it’s all about, and sign up for a spot in a near-future slam. FYI, I might be forcing you to come watch me.

 


GOAL #3. Get ripped. I post so many post-workout selfies on my Facebook page that people are probably sick of this schweaty face. Follow me here.

I’ll continue keeping you posted on my progress. Here’s to making mistakes, owning them, loving them, and allowing them to nourish us!

xo,

Lauren


4 Comments

7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what we have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. Dinner Party. Tuesday night, a friend of mine had a dinner party at her beautiful new home. Even though I was exhausted from a couple of long, hard work weeks, I was happy I went because it was good to talk to someone who is just so genuinely kind, and the break during the work week — being forced to relax and unwind — was appreciated.

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2. School Victories. I had to laugh at my school administrator, though I was appreciative; he gave me a best picture award at a faculty meeting for the teacher video I made for curriculum night (I talked about it in last week’s post). He said it made him want to be in my classroom, so that made me smile, especially considering I felt my video lacked… skill. Ha! I was also evaluated this week, even though I didn’t expect it, and it went perfectly. Phew! Two victories in a row felt pretty good.

#WorldslargestMexicanmartini I swear I'm not a lush, I shared!

#WorldslargestMexicanmartini #IDontSnapchatIJustStealMyFriendsSnapchats I swear I’m not a lush; I shared!

3. Saturday in the Sun.  My week did not go as expected to say the least, but I joined my friends on Saturday for some fresh air and sat on a patio socializing all day and night. The company was much-needed, and I met a couple of kind new people as well, and that helped to occupy my busy mind. Although I didn’t expect to, I had quite a few tear inducing laughs as well. A waiter dropped glasses and/or plates on six separate occasions right in front of us (we counted — it’s no exaggeration) in the duration of our time there and each time used it as an opportunity to start up conversations that had my friends and I looking at each other as though we were in the twilight zone. At one point, he looked up from scooping up a shattered glass to say, “Hey, at least I’m attractive.” Being the intuitive person I am, I knew this was an awkward transition for a cheesy line because it made no sense, and then he validated my thoughts with, “You are all attractive, too.” Despite his fumbles and awkward segway, the compliment made me smile… and then laugh extremely hard. Thanks, kid. I needed that.

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4. Sister Sunday.  Sunday, I hung out with my sister, her hubs, and pup at their house, and then we decided to act on our sweet tooth (seriously, how do you pluralize an idiom?) and pick up some dessert at Sugar Mama’s, a cute little dessert shop in Austin. It hit the spot — both the sweets and the visit with my sister.

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5. Paper Doll Dress.  In my last seven for 7, I mentioned my sister’s new dress line. She is now promoting her line by making herself into a paper doll and overlaying the dresses she designed on top of her photograph. Isn’t she precious? So smart, that one. She named her second featured dress after me, so she posted the above picture. I know she loves and cares about me and that love couldn’t have manifested in her sweet post at a better time.

6. Epiphany 1.  Being true to oneself sometimes means allowing oneself to feel feelings even when they are not convenient, like fear and doubt. I can be a self-assured person and still react honestly to what’s in front of me, and should, without fear that the other person will reject it as inauthentic. People with open feelings allow themselves to be moved by the tides because they are affected by the people they love. That’s real, and I won’t allow anyone to make me believe otherwise.

7. Epiphany 2.  Fact is not feeling.

I can feel discomfort and anxiety when vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean my feeling is based on something factual or that anyone outside of myself is causing it. Sometimes with vulnerability and when feelings come into play, if I’m not careful, past relationships, experiences, trust issues, trauma, can all cloud my objective thinking, and it’s as equally important for me to remind myself that other people are not immune to doing this, too. However, all I can do is realize this for myself, and that has to be enough. I love well; I do a good job of showing my love. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

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8. And One to Grow On. Last night, I went on a night walk, or strut, as I prefer to call it, as the AC in my apartment went out and the circulation outside was much nicer. I always do my best thinking while strutting. Ha! A friend told me a good while back, “Lauren, don’t allow anyone to control your feelings. Only you have control over them.” That didn’t sink in as much as it did last night. No one can hurt me. No one. I am in complete control of my own emotions. I own them. That’s so freeing.

And dear reader, I hope that frees you, too.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren


6 Comments

7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

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1. Mister Wright. Excuse me for a moment while I #TwinBrag. My sister entered this world as a natural artist, and in her lifetime, this ability has taken on many forms including dance and choreography. I’ll be honest, I knew she always had an interest in fashion, but what I didn’t realize was that she also had a natural talent in creating fashion. She recently decided to take a risk and go for her dream of creating a dress line. In short, her dresses are inspired by the women in her life who have achieved a utilitarian yet aesthetically pleasing approach to dress. In order to fund her project, she has generated a Kickstarter page. Please check out her designs here — they are both simple and beautiful. I am so proud of not only her designs but also of her fearlessness in going for something that is new and maybe a little unknowing and scary.

Schweaty-accountability-photo #1000

Apparently, this is my “somebody help me” face. Schweaty-accountability-photo #1000

2. Exercise. This week was inundated with grading papers and projects, and often exercise was my only solace from staring at the same piece of paper with different names on them for too long and getting eye sores as a result. I don’t know that I have mentioned this beyond a single blog post over the summer, but beyond teaching, I am also a health and fitness coach. I started working for Beachbody this summer because I was already enjoying their products and participating in a challenge group, so I figured I might as well do something over my summer break that will not only hold me more accountable as a leader but also earn me some extra cash while doing so. As a side-note, it has also become something more than what I initially thought, as I am finding that just in doing what I need to do for myself, I am inspiring others to jump on board, and that has been rewarding. In return, others inspire me to keep moving forward, especially when I make the mistake of forgetting my lunch and going for a bag of Cheetos and a Snicker bar in the vending machine as if it were my only other option… but that didn’t happen at all. Although my stress eating has faltered a bit, I will say that it has helped me to continue to exercise on days that I may not have otherwise lifted a finger after a long day of work — so there’s that. And I’m working on the other part of it, not that I even have a Cheetos problem…

Looking a bit puffy and tired, but this is my be-a-ut of a team.

Looking a bit puffy and tired, but this is my be-a-ut of a team.

3. Curriculum Night.  This past week was full of long nights, and Wednesday was the longest with Curriculum Night, otherwise known as Meet the Teacher Night.  It went smoothly, but more so than that I was reminded of how great my team is (not that I need the reminding). This year, we tried things a bit differently, as my principal wanted his teachers to create videos about our individual classrooms and a bit about what makes us unique as our students’ teachers, and I have to appreciate his sneaky way of getting his staff to learn a new skill. Because of us doing some front-loading, that freed us up to be able to present something else on curriculum night, which was for the parents to go around to different workshops, e.g., to learn how to use our students’ school management system (kind of like Facebook but more useful – ha!), and to meet their students’ team of teachers all at the same time. Each member of my team prepared part of a speech for the parents when it came time for them to come around to our “workshop,” and it was intriguing to see the other teachers in action, talking about a job they love as much as I do.

4. Bye Felicia.  This is a bit of a silly thing, needless to say, but I can’t lie about how oddly happy I was to finally learn the meaning behind this trending ambiguous phrase (and okay, you got me, I’m stretching a bit — it was a busy week!). I knew solely that it was meant to shut someone down, but I had no clue of its origin and had been curious, so I was dorkily (#werd) excited when someone brought it up in conversation (if you are as wildly curious, I will only say that it is from the movie Friday – go look it up!). I could leave it at that, but where I learned it was also a good part of my week — though spending time with friends after a long week of work has now become a bit of cliché, I say it so frequently. Somebody stop me; I’m saying it again.

5. Work Companion. So this week was not all fun and games, but it’s nice sometimes just to have someone around to sit side-by-side and enjoy a little “work-date.”

6. United.  Growing up in a family that loves soccer, I suppose I’ve always been a bit of a fan through osmosis, but I’ve never felt loyalty towards any particular team. Cheering on Manchester United with a super fan has been a fun new routine, and Saturday’s game was pretty exciting as the newbie Anthony Martial, only 19 years-old, scored a goal against Liverpool in his first game. I found myself telling my sister all about the game on the phone the other day, and it wasn’t until then that I realized I was a bit hooked myself. Watch out, super fan; it’s kind of on.

Patio writing on a beautiful day.

Patio writing on a beautiful day.

7. Writing Poetry.  Since writing a post recently about setting some new goals for myself, I’ve enjoyed writing more about what I honestly care about and looking into spoken word poetry in Austin. It’s been both freeing and exciting, as I was once ignited by my fears instead of stifled by them, and I feel this is a time in my life when good, healthy fear is making a come-back.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren


10 Comments

Hold me accountable.

I’ve come to realize that the things I think I want to accomplish may be slightly different than the things I want to actualize. In an effort to make the two things seamless, I’m putting these new goals out there and asking that my friends and family hold me accountable to them. I’ve also realized I don’t need to validate these things to anyone or get validation from anyone as a result of accomplishing them, as the validation in the accomplishment will come from the pure satisfaction in the journey of reaching these goals and what that journey will bring to me if I’m honest about what I truly want.

1. Post a song of myself singing the blues on YouTube. This is scary for me because I’m shy about my singing voice, as it’s very different than my soft speaking voice of which people are more keenly aware, and if you know me, you also know I don’t know the lyrics to any song enough to save my own life. It’s not about becoming Internet famous, in fact, it couldn’t be farther from it. I’m not very vocal about this, perhaps because it’s always been my own little secret, but I LOVE singing the blues. It’s very possible that, you may be replaying, in your mind, the moment in Stepbrothers when Will Ferrell sings for someone else for the first time, and I have to be okay with that. Ha! My very own family may not even know about this about me because I’m so private about it. I sing to myself and rarely in front of anyone, but I find that when I do, it is the quickest way to soothe my worried mind (yep, realized that in and of itself sounded like a blues song), and I may not be the best singer, but it feels damn good because I’m unabashed about releasing the pain. Honesty in a voice always comes through no matter the skill level. I consider myself a Positive Polly, but when I’m in a funk about something, it’s often challenging for me to kick it because I care so deeply about the important things and people in my life. I recently watched one of my old theatre professors truly sing with full abandonment after going through a tough trial in her life, and it was one of the most pure and beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Doing this for myself would mean abandoning all the leftover self-doubt I’ve built up for myself over the years, loving myself in my nakedness (I don’t know any other way of saying that and can’t avoid the unavoidable connotation – stop that!), and as a result, making room in this heart to love others with pure abandon. And from a more selfish standpoint (because I’m allowed that, too), as an introvert, it is not often that I let others in to see my accomplishments and the things of which I should be proud. I need, just like the next person, not for others to validate me, but for others to openly receive the gift of sharing my true self with them.

2. Read my poem(s) at an open mic night. If you know me well, you may know that I am, or almost always have been, attempting to write my first novel without abandoning it half-way through the course. However, what I have come to realize, is that I may be more infatuated with the end idea rather than the act itself. I’m not quite fully comfortable with believing that whole-heartedly, as it may also be easier for me to release the idea of something overwhelming for fear of failing at this large task, but for now, I’m going to table it and continue to do the thing that I often do when I want to write but don’t want the loftiness of a novel to get in my way. My first love was writing poetry, and I will own that it is a skill I possess. It comes easy to me, which doesn’t mean that I don’t have a lot of room to improve, but it’s quite possibly my favorite form of expression. As an internal processor, writing has always been a more comforting way to say what I need to say without the fear of my verbal vomit getting in the way. Poetry allows me to mean more than one thing at a time, as I’ve never seen the world in black and white. Everything for me is grey because life is nuanced and I am more comfortable seeing big pictures, all sides of a story, and empathizing with all humans — because it helps me to better understand this confusing world. This can complicate things sometimes, but it’s simply the truth. I want to write more and share it with others because there is comfort in fraternizing with others who feel the same way.

3. Get ripped. It might be a little bit of a vanity thing if I’m completely honest, but mostly it’s about feeling my best even if, or especially since I’m getting older. I want to be able to say I’m in the best shape of my life and the healthiest I’ve ever been at the age thirty-four and then next year, at thirty-five, and so forth. I want to continue to kick hypertension’s sorry-as-k me no more questions without having to take medicine. The end result is just a tangible way to see that I have accomplished that goal.

I have other, more long-term goals, but these are ones I feel I can accomplish in a sort of reverse New Years resolution fashion. What do I mean by that? I want to give myself the timeline of accomplishing these things before the year is over. That’s both manageable enough and scary enough. I’ve heard this long enough and from a variety of sources over time for it to finally kick in — I should go back to a time in my life that I was at my happiest. I remember feeling scared, but instead of allowing that fear to stifle me, I allowed it to fuel me and to push me to do the things I really wanted to do. I no longer wanted to feel that I was less deserving of these things than other people, and I wanted to feel alive, and when I pushed past this fear, I received exactly what I wanted because I believed in it for myself. This was a time I was in theatre, and I was scared to death at first  of putting myself on stage in front of hundreds of people, at risk of failing, but realizing that I didn’t even care if I did because it felt so good. I was doing it for myself and no one else. It was a thing that I owned. I want that again, and I’m doing it again because I deserve it.

xo,

L


6 Comments

7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

 

1. The halls are alive… with the sound of music! I’ve made a change this year in my classroom to help with classroom management and getting students ready before the bell, both physically and mentally. I’ve alternated finding poetic lyrics and posted the lyrics on the Smartboard for students to sing along to when they walk in, and playing upbeat music for students to move to as they get to their seats. They are told they can stand around, dance, sing, or socialize during the songs, so long as they are accomplishing all the tasks I had listed outside of the classroom door and get in their seats before the song is over. Not only does it reduce stress before class starts, but it has reduced the amount of students who are not ready for the start of class. It has been so much fun watching the students sing and dance, but what has amazed me is how they all push each other to sit down when they hear the music coming to an end. I haven’t had to tell a kid to sit down to start class, which allows us to start right away without interruption and with a positive feeling to boot. Music is pretty powerful stuff.

2. Friendship & A Lesson in Humbleness. Only because I am not skilled at hiding a preoccupied mind, a couple of my friends at work knew I was concerned about someone I care about in regards to health, despite my being told not to (my heart has a mind of its own, go figure). When they saw I was on the phone finally getting an update, they threw themselves in front of my classroom door and blocked my students from coming in after lunch for a couple of minutes so I could have a moment. I didn’t even say a word to them; they just did this on their own. True friends look out for each other and remind me of how important it is for me to be more mindful of protecting others as well. I’m often so protective of myself that I may be unintentionally ignoring the fact that in the process, I am forgetting to protect the important people in my life. This was a lesson of humbleness this week and in realizing that I am not a victim of circumstance. I will construct my own story and use that to realize what I have now so that I may make the most of whatever that might be. I want to be present for my friends and everyone who cares about me and allow them to feel that from me too, even if that means making myself more vulnerable or putting others first.

3. Looking Up.  I apologize for wishing to remain vague, but I do have to say one of the best things that happened this week is that this aforementioned person is okay, and I am hopeful will continue to be okay even through what could possibly be a bit of an uphill battle.

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4. Kind Notes.  What turned out to be a bit of a tough week, ended on a sweet note. Quite literally. In the matter of one day, I received the note above from a student who wrote about me in a class warm-up and an e-mail from a parent who wanted to share quotes from her child this week. When I can see tangible evidence that I am making any kind of difference in helping a child to have a positive experience at school, it makes me feel validated in knowing that I am doing what I am meant to do. I don’t often feel like I need the validation simply because I just love what I do, but feeling it more never hurts and knowing that someone cares enough to take the time to share that means so much.

5. The Happiest of Hours.  More coworkers than normal showed up this week at our fairly habitual happy hour, which either says a lot about how much our coworkers actually like each other, or how busy we were at work this week and needed to assuage the aftermath. Maybe it was the latter, but none-the-less, I am glad we haven’t gotten sick of one another. Ha! My brother also drove in from Dallas to celebrate his mother and sisters’ birthdays during this long weekend, so he stopped by to join us on his way in. It was great to see him of course, and it was the perfect way to top off the night after what felt like a long week.

The beautiful birthday girl.

The beautiful birthday girl.

My brother, missing.

My brother, missing.

6. Saturday With Family.  My family drove in from Dallas to celebrate our mother’s birthday, and my sister and I’s as well since ours was the previous weekend. We indulged in my mother’s famous chocolate pecan pie, Bluebell ice-cream (to non-Southerners, this is The Holy Grail of ice-cream!), and fish tacos. We enjoyed the finally-high-again lake levels, watched my brother Tyler miss his mark with a bow and arrow each and every time (I kid!), and sat around the living room catching up and laughing at each other like we do best. Unfortunately, our time was cut short due to the fan going out in the air-conditioning in our lake house, but we made the most of the short time we had together, and I’m looking forward to them coming back soon (fingers crossed!).

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7. Long Weekend.  I feel like this three-day weekend came at the perfect time, so that I could enjoy some family time, and simply some time just to do a little of nothing before another busy work week rolls around. On Saturday, I continued my daily regimen of working out (it feels so much better when the body is worn down after work), running some much-needed errands I had neglected, swimming at my pool, and then indulging at a new restaurant with my roommie and fellow coworker. I feel refreshed and …almost… ready for a new work week.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren