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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. Personal Goal MET. Okay, so it’s not that big of a deal, but it is a BIG deal to me, and I’m owning it even though it makes me .5ish lame. I wrote about my personal goals here, and I posted myself accomplishing one of those goals here. I’m proud of myself; SUE ME. Smiley face.

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Excuse my ugly Uggs; THEY ARE COMFY OKAY.

2. Driving Ms. Wright. My mother visited her vacation home near Austin the weekend before Thanksgiving, and she offered to scoop me up on Tuesday to drive up to Dallas before heading to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving with our extended family. Breath. Sorry, I’m almost positive that was a (near) run-on, but I’m feeling too dreadful about returning to work today to fix it. It was fun spending time and catching up with my mother in the car, and it actually made the time pass super quickly. We stopped in Waco on the way to Dallas because my mother loves the HGTV show with Chip and Joanna, and she wanted to see their store. P.S. How endearing is it that my mother wanted a photo of the storefront and cut out the end of the signage (totally something I would do)?? — and ALSO those young lads lurking in the background make me giggle.

3. Baby, Baby.  Before arriving in Oklahoma, I stayed in Dallas for a couple of days and took advantage of the time to visit with a couple of my besties from Dallas, who both just so happened to have babies in tow. I had lunch with my beautiful and très pregnant friend at a cute little place in an old downtown square. Lots of adjectives. It always feels like we are able to pick right back up where we left off when we see each other, and I’m so grateful that she is still in my life even if we are miles apart. She is and always will be like another sister to me. She was glowing as a future mother and a month away from her due date. The next day, Thanksgiving, however, the baby decided to switch holidays and come out a bit early. Thank goodness for a healthy baby boy and mama!

After I had lunch with my friend, I visited the home of another one of my dear friends who had twin boys a month ago. I sat and held one of her lil’ munchkins for hours while I chatted with her and her husband, and they talked about how much their lives had changed in just one short lil’ month. I didn’t just listen to their words; I observed it on their faces. To say I am proud of them would be an understatement.

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My tall German speaking uncle — a selfie aficionado and my mother’s extended family at this year’s Thanksgiving — Seriously, who needs tripods anymore? So 2014.

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My aunt spread old family photos across all generations on the dinner tables as a part of the Thanksgiving decor. It was fun looking at all of them.

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History in the making. My aunt, the hostess of our family Thanksgiving, is a sentimental soul. This year, she handed us a book to sign along with all the things with which we are grateful. I decided the cousins and I would get a little creative with it and write a round-robin story to the tune of “The Night Before Christmas,” which included true moments from the day and family names. We decided to add to it each year as well. It’s pretty silly, but we couldn’t help but feel excited to see it in the future as our (possible) kids laughed at what we wrote years ago.

4. Thanksgiving.  After dinner, one of my aunts reflected aloud, “We sure do have some cute children in this family. It’s amazing that they all turned out well and that none of them were truly trouble.” Out of context, this may have seemed silly, but it was a genuine moment between my two aunts, and one that made me smile. Of course, there are always exceptions to this, so I say this without meaning to apply a general label to all people who don’t “turn out well,” but I can’t help but think it has a lot to do with the amount of love in my family. That is absolutely not to say that there is no love in families where kids get into any serious trouble (Have I mentioned I have a problem qualifying everything I say — I’m owning what I say, but I can’t help but to be sensitive to others because there is no blanket reason). Anyway, my point is, and every Thanksgiving I am reminded of this — I am so lucky to have such a warm and loving extended family. They raised us well. I noticed this also in my family members’ questions to each other. They don’t just ask surface questions; they ask the big questions, and we don’t shy away from answering them. We truly talk, and we truly listen — something I’ve always appreciated about my mother that I see in the rest of her family as well.  They aren’t afraid of vulnerability and showing their love. I grew up used to big hugs and consistent “I love you”s for what often may seem like no reason at all, and for that, I am pretty darn thankful. Can you imagine how much better the world would be if we were ALL like that?

5. Brooklyn.  This movie was so stupid sweet, and of course, it looked pretty too. After the movie, when asked what I liked most about it, for some reason my answer escaped me, but it was 100% how the guy looked at the ingénue and how he treated her. Also, I’m 100% sap.

6. Sunday Brunch.  My favorite meal of the day is brunch, and it’s even better when it’s someplace new where I feel the need to revisit and work my way through the menu — and trust me, I WILL. Sear Sucker was super cute, to boot.

7. Curveball.  I read this yesterday in Elephant Journal (who knows why I read that stuff??), and it resonated, “Sometimes things go wrong. We all make bad choices, we all get broken hearts and in these moments it is all too easy to play the victim and close our hearts in defiance of life’s pain. I am consistently inspired by the women who can stay open even when it hurts, even when it feels like the whole world is ending. Transformation is often accompanied by discomfort. By opening into, even counter-intuitively moving towards this discomfort, an awakening woman will grow no matter what.” Life is sometimes unpredictable, but I’m also in a time of my life that I feel pretty fucking resilient and able to just go with the flow of that unpredictability and wherever it may take me. Feels pretty fantastic.

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


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I said I would, so I did.

In a previous post, for various reasons (read here), I said I would brave up and post a YouTube video of me singing. I’m not, by any means, claiming to be a singer, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to sing the blues. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that fear has become a way of living for me, and I certainly don’t want to live the rest of my life that way, so I’m posting something that I’m not great at but love doing anyway. #VulnerabilityConquerer

I also decided against pairing up with a guitar because this felt like a personal goal I should conquer on my own without any security blankets — which doesn’t mean I won’t do this in the future. I also shot the video myself with my iPhone.  Did I mention it’s super professionally done? Anyway, I’m stalling. Here it is:

Eek.

 


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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. Late Monday PostI’m currently wearing sweatpants and laying across my couch. It is nearly 10 AM. The perks of being a teacher — guaranteed holidays. I’m off the entire week for Thanksgiving break, which allowed me to sleep in and type this edition of 7 for seven well-rested and stress-free… except for those essays I have to grade…

2. Alone Time. Don’t get me wrong, I love my roommate. If you are reading this, roommate, I love you! BUT, I also cherish my alone time. This past weekend, I relished in no-pants Saturday and eating a slice of pie for a late dinner. She leaves again today, and I have a whole two days in this apartment by my lonesome (it only sounds like a sad word) before I’m off to see family and friends in Dallas and then off to Oklahoma for our family Thanksgiving. There’s plenty more pie in the fridge.

3. Sex & The City.  Every once in a while, that DVD set comes in reaaaaal handy. Nothing says, “let’s start anew” like a good ol’ fashioned Sex and the City marathon. Oh, Sarah Jessica Parker, how I love thee.

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4. Workin’ It Out.  In my new health and fitness challenge group, I’ve taken to a sweaty selfie a day for true accountability’s sake. I may not meet my goal of being “ripped” by the end of the year, but I haven’t given up just yet.

5. Pie Day!  How else do you think I got that pie?? (I know, not helping my case for becoming “ripped”). It’s one of my favorite days of the year (I’m not even lying — I realize, I’d be so much cooler if I was though). The Parent Teacher Organization at my school brings over a hundred pies to the school every Thursday before we are let out for Thanksgiving break, and we each get to take home our very own. It’s delightful.

I'm sharing my friend and colleague's post because I am so proud to be a part of a school in which its faculty consistently raises the bar and challenges each other to keep doing MORE for our students and community. In a time that seems to be overwhelmed with tragedy, it feels good to celebrate the kinds and generosity of humanity.

I’m sharing my friend and colleague’s post because I am so proud to be a part of a school in which its faculty consistently raises the bar and challenges each other to keep doing MORE for our students and community. In a time that seems to be overwhelmed with tragedy, it feels good to celebrate the kinds and generosity of humanity.

6. Day of Service.  I can’t rave about this day enough. If you follow me on any form of social media, chances are, I have annoyed you with my pictures and sugar-coated words about my students and coworkers. So, I won’t do it anymore… just read the captions on the above pictures. 😉

7. Friday Night.  Most Friday nights are the same, but it never fails to start the weekend out right. I spent the happiest of hours with some of my favorite coworkers looking over the lake with our favorite beverages.  Later that night, a coworker pal and I went to another favorite local spot and hung out on the patio where we ran into quite a few of our students. Each time, they would stop and say hi, and it was surprisingly nice to be greeted so pleasantly and excitedly every time — made us feel loved!

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


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A thousand hands.

Photo by Andy Davidhazy

Sometimes I think cleaning out my closet

would help —

tossing everything with pattern —

anything that has gone

untouched

for at least

a year —

that’s what the experts say,

but the experts are only

flawed humans

just like me.

I’d get rid of anything

that ever reminded me of something;

and my life will be made of only

solids

from now on.

My closet is full of clothing

always begging me to get rid of the few

colorful pieces

remaining that go untouched,

yet I have difficulty stuffing them into bags

made by people

who make

mistakes, too.

It would look so

tidy —

perfect.

There are too many piles of

maybe

taking up space.

Lately I’ve been thinking it would

also make it so much easier

for me to leave what’s left

behind

and fall in love with

places and things that don’t have beating

hearts,

but for some reason

those neglected

keep risking their lives for me

jumping out of moving cars again,

laughing at things like they are nothing —

arachnid threads gripping webs

making new homes in the corners of my

apartment —

and also —

wearing my hair up makes me feel light —

simple —

nothing on my shoulders.

I’ll tame those wild

hairs;

they only get me into trouble

anyway.

Men tell me

my hair reminds them that they’ve just made me brunch

and sent me on my way

with blushed, full cheeks

from their fear of vulnerability

that escaped them momentarily,

and for some reason,

they like it

momentarily,

and I like it

momentarily.

If I got rid of everything I wanted

and kept only the

necessities

and kept my hair held tight

in rubber

bands,

life would feel much lighter

and romance would fit inside a

plastic bag,

too.

There are only a few colorful remaining pieces left;

there’s plenty of room,

make yourself

at home,

Love.

 

However, Love might not feel comfortable doing that

because feeling is only a guest,

and

speaking of — I won’t carry

through with any curation

of my closet

because a thousand hands

have molded my shedding skin.

Whomever wants the unedited version

gets all of me

instead of just

the vessels that

feed

you smiles

and happy times —

lakes full again after long droughts that went unseen

and kind, handwritten letters

(No one ever writes those anymore; I’ll hold on to those for us),

and vibrant untouched

plates at fancy

yet unpretentious restaurants —

Untouched

except for the

filtered.

Though, I’ve been touched by a thousand

hands

with affection

tightened

slipping thumbs

pushed

holding my face

in my hair

dragging my ankles

holding my shoulders still

small of my back

scratching my skin

waving goodbye —

not all of them

are holding hands in a multi-

cultural

photogenic

opportunity to show

the world a pretense

of perfection that makes us only

seem unobtainable,

not relatable,

but for some reason

desired by so many

who forget

to protect the few pieces remaining

in their closet

with color

and remind us

of the waves goodbye

that led to pressing into

that part of my chest that makes me feel so

protected

and loved fully

for the first time

each time

over

and

over again

until

those same hands wave

goodbye

again or

until they don’t.

 

 

I’ve learned it’s hard

to trust someone

in black and white

crisp clean

feeds.

I prefer a life

where

clutter

is colorful foliage

raked into

the dirt

because it’s there too.

What do you think the foliage will turn into

when it’s decomposed?

It was once beautiful,

but when it disappears,

it’s only

turning

into something else that still loves

you,

that still laughs at itself,

that still confidently self-depricates, never crossing the fine line,

to make you think adorable thoughts

and watch idealistic rom-coms,

and still places ice cubes into her lover’s waist band —

but you know what?

Those ice-cubes turned into something else, too.

Things melt,

and someday I’ll smile at you again

like I did that day,

like nothing ever changes.

Happiness isn’t a condition set

to the day we realize

comfort comes in waves.

Understanding someone fully —

crisp and clean

with a few colorful,

lingering

pieces

in between the darks,

are desire,

fear, discomfort

and love in a meeting

that end in a successful merge.

Happiness sits in the molecules

shifting

into solids and liquids,

never disappearing but

moving on.

 

 

 


8 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. Just Doing Me. This past year is coming to a close with a couple of heartbreaks under my belt. It’s time for a regroup. I’m focusing on myself, and I’m feelin’ good. Therefore, this edition of 7 for seven will not focus on the events of this week, but rather on lil’ old me.

2. Mind. Lately, I’ve been seeing a therapist, which I’m not at all ashamed to be open about (bye-bye cruel, unjustified stigma!). Not only have I learned a lot about myself, but I’ve also been able to face a far-too-long-pushed-back trauma, and I will soon be able to completely reshape the way my body responds to certain triggers. I’m excited about all of life’s new possibilities, as I am facing and kicking fears’ ass!

3. Body.  As I’ve mentioned in the recent past, I’m a Beachbody coach, but this past month, it’s fair to say I’ve been wildly inconsistent with my workouts and my eating habits. In my healing and adjusting to losing what I considered a good friend and someone I loved, I turned to serial dating and emotional eating. Luckily, it didn’t get too far out of hand, and I was able to bounce back quickly. This week, I’ve killed it in my workouts (at LEAST once a day), and I’m eating clean. I couldn’t do it alone, and I am so grateful to my fellow Beachbody coaches and customers in this month’s challenge group who inspire me and have pushed me along in this journey. I’m feeling so strong!

4. Spirit.  The combination of my nightly meditative walks and avid writing time every day, have helped bring my spirits high, and I’m feeling more creative and inspired than probably EVER in my life. This post may come across as one big brag-fest, but honestly, I feel like I’m entering the best phase of my life and only good things are about to happen. Intention + Action = Manifestation
5. Past.  Anything that happens in the past happens for a reason, and if we look hard enough for that reason, we might just come out on top of it all. Every time I go through what may feel like a loss, I realize later that I’ve actually gained something. I learn something new every time because I’m an open and feeling person. I have Soul (with a capital ‘S’), and I’m proud of that.

 

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Snapchat taken by my lovely friend and roommie during our Sunday brunch this week.

6. Present. I’m loving today. I have great friends, family, beau coups of love, talent, and I’m grateful for all of it. My cup is full, and I don’t Need (with a capital ‘N’) anything else.

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7. Future.  I’m looking forward to the future. My wonderful hair dresser, Kristin Yarmer, gave me a new do to go with my new ‘tude. Ha! Back to my “roots,” I’m open to the future — wiser, stronger, and resistant against all cynicism. Bring it ALL on.

{And P.S. about Kristin — After going to her about four years ago, I will never let ANYONE else touch my hair. She’s the tits. If you live in or around Austin, she’s the one.}

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


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What I want.

image1

For some

reason

I daydream

when my hair flies

and my pores raise

— he pulls up

because he knows

my routine.

Breathing out,

I close my eyes,

I breathe in,

and I’m pulled back

— houses full of laundry

pushing their smells

clean, fresh

chemicals

on the lawn in front of me.

But what do I want?

I want to eat less

red meat

drink less

but more

whiskey

sit at tables

vibrating from

jazz

sit among poets

converse with people whose answer is

“No, I don’t care to be famous —

but I care to be remembered

well.”

I want to dye my hair to match my

childhood

roots

someone to love

me for my foul mouth

and laugh at my jokes

dance in the kitchen with my

socks on

that I don’t wear anywhere else (because I can’t

slide).

I want to sniff library books and

hear the cellophane binding crinkle

in my hands

while I highlight my favorite

words,

flag pages

and number them to match their doppelgängers.


3 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. Award Party. The past couple of weeks were super busy, as I was grading essays and projects until I never wanted to look at another word for the rest of my life. Students got to celebrate being on the honor roll by taking a time-out and an ice-cream sandwich. The teachers joined in, and I couldn’t not reward myself, too, for helping that many students accomplish success in the first quarter. AMIRIGHT?

2. Hump Day. The middle of the week is a good time to have someone make you dinner, watch a movie, and just veg.

3. Girls’ Night. After what seemed like a long week, before the countdown till my week off for Thanksgiving, my roommate and I made martinis and watched Scandal on a rainy Friday night — the ultimate in girls’ nights.

4. Shorts.  I love a good short film — it’s a different art form altogether than a feature film (just as short stories are to novels), and I missed catching them at The Alamo (Austin theatre) this year, so I was happy to watch a few with good company after my girl’s night.

5. Lazy Saturday.  On another dreary day, I spent it with company watching movies, laughing over silly videos, moving things around in the apartment to trick my roommate (she hasn’t noticed until — well, if you are reading this, just ask – ha!), making breakfast at home, and eating a delicious lunch at a restaurant I hadn’t yet checked out in Austin.

6. In Good Company.  I hung out at my friends’ lovely home Saturday night and enjoyed drinking, eating, and laughing with them around their patio. It’s always nice to share time with like-minded people who value intellect, wit, and kindness. It would seem like that would be the norm with people, but of course, it’s not. Fortunately, I know of a few of the rare ones. 😉 As a bonus, they were around that night when I heard some disturbing news and kept my mind on the positive. I’m thankful for good people who keep me from leaning into cynicism — it would be much easier, but as they remind me that they appreciate my relentless romanticism of the world around me, I am encouraged to lean into what though may be more difficult but is ultimately more me.

7. Not Duped.  I hesitated to add a few things in this 7 for seven, knowing now what I didn’t know then, but I can’t do that. I wasn’t duped into believing something I shouldn’t — I interpreted what was given to me, as I should. Everything I mentioned here was fun, and just because things have shifted in my thinking about those things since they happened, doesn’t take away from what I should value out of this week’s experiences. I know that is vague, but I simply want to focus on the positive — after all, that’s what my 7 for seven is all about. I’m okay seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, and one of these days, I will meet someone who sees through the same sweet lenses.

Repeat personal manifesto: Being scared is not a good excuse for not going after what you want. Possible rejection is not a good excuse either. Own yourself. Own your feelings. Act on them.

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