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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. Shopping with the MommaMy parents were in town this week and stayed with me throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, and it was so nice to have them around. On Monday, my mother and I went out to brave the busy grocery store together, and we dropped off a car full of donation bags to Goodwill on the way there. It was a relief to have the company along with me to do the things I often dread doing (not the donating part — but that never stops me from driving months with the same darn donation bags in the trunk of my car — whoops). Grocery shopping was made a lot easier with company, though, we had to laugh at the two of us combined, as we are both self-proclaimed terrible grocery shoppers. Our route through the store resembled that of a quickly deflating balloon, BUT we got it done!

2. He’s Back!! After his music tour and work travel, and what felt way too long, my soulmate is back in Austin. Even better — he surprised me by showing up a couple of hours earlier than expected. I brought him a homemade meal after his long drive back, and we enjoyed knowing that our time together would not be cut short for a while before he is off again on another adventure. My cheeks hurt that night from smiling so much.

3. Meeting the Family.  With my family and my boyfriend in town at the same time, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for them to meet. Typically, I feel a bit hesitant introducing someone new to them, as at the age of thirty-five, they have met their fair share of duds (as well as good guys who didn’t work out) ((my poor parents)). However, there was no hesitation here. There is no fear here when I say, he is the man I’ve been waiting my entire life to meet. And the love feels incredibly mutual — there’s no greater feeling. Okay, I’ll stop gushing for a bit to tell the rest. He met my family, even though they were busy preparing for Thanksgiving, and of course, it went smoothly (wasn’t expecting anything less). He fit right in and warmed the house with his genuine smile and demeanor. I’m so proud of him, and I cannot wait for my family and friends to continue getting to know how amazing this man is and how good he is to me (and all the people in his life). I’ve never met another man who is more compatible with me than him and who makes me look at him the way I do. I am in aw of him. Okay, I’ll stop. For now. 🙂

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4. Thanksgiving.  In a room fuller than even four sometimes, I tend to take a backseat. I’m not a person who talks freely about my life or feels that people are interested enough to give them details, so events like this often overwhelm me, though it doesn’t take away from how happy I am to see my family each time. It was nice to mix things up a bit this year with relatives on each side of my family — ones that tell wild stories, make me laugh till I’m near tears, and ones that warm my heart with their love and wisdom. I’m lucky to have been surrounded by so many amazing people who happen to be family.

5. Meeting the Family Part Deux.  This week turned out to be the perfect week for both my soulmate and I to meet the respective families. The day after Thanksgiving, I met the mother of my soulmate (we decided this is a much truer term-of-endearment than boyfriend/girlfriend, which is not dissimilar enough from “going steady” or other seemingly archaic terms from our youth). She was in town as well to have Thanksgiving with her son and niece. It’s not hard to see how he turned out so well. She came across as a strong, independent, smart, and loving woman, and I am so grateful that he was raised by a woman of her caliber. I told him, not too long after I met him, that I couldn’t wait to hug his mother for doing such a great job of raising him — truly. Luckily, he is my same brand of weird and didn’t think this comment was strange at all — and told his mother almost immediately after. 😉 Ha!

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6. It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas! The next day, my soulmate’s mother made four different kinds of cookies, while we sat around, talked, drank some whiskey, and did a terrible job of decorating those cookies. Luckily, she didn’t seem to mind too much. In fact, I enjoyed watching how much joy it seemed to bring her to bake for her son. It was quite precious. We finished  the night by watching A Christmas Story — and it is officially the season. Yaaaaasss.

 

7. Sunday Lunch.  Sunday, the soulmate took his mother, and cute-as-a-button cousin out to lunch to say farewell. We devoured a pizza and a pitcher of beer. It felt so good to spend time with them, and I look forward to getting to know them even better over time. They are good people. Oh my, am I lucky?! I must have done something right.

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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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. Christmas Shopping SleighedSee what I did there? It feels oh-so-good to be done, and I didn’t step one foot inside an actual store. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta. Plus, I like giving, too. This gangsta is a teddy bear on the inside.

2. One Sweet Night. If your gag-reflexes are hyper-active when it comes to romance, stop reading now, but I’d like to think the world needs all the love it can get at a time when many people need comfort in togetherness. After all, it is the opposite of divisiveness, and divisiveness is for assholes. You don’t want to be an asshole, do you? I didn’t think so. My soulmate, man of my biggest dreams, came home for one night before taking off again the next day. He came home from his music tour last Thursday, and you wanna bet I was at his doorstep five minutes after he arrived. Our timing is good like that. We hugged for a ridiculously long time, wiped some things from our eyes (allergies, okay?), and then laughed at the allergies in our eyes. They’re so sneaky. Even though he was out the door again for another short trip, it was so dang good to see him after he was away for a long time.

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3. Day of Service.  Last year, my school embarked on a major project — busing 1200 kids and faculty to 40 different locations in the greater Austin community to give back with our services. This year, we did it again, and this time, I went with a fun group to Pace Bend Park to clean up ashes and help beautify the park. The park ranger was so grateful, as he said these were things they just didn’t have the time and resources to complete on their own. I had primarily a group of girls (which I can’t help but feel was a “gift” from my assistant principal, who –hats off– organized this whole ordeal, as I have 138 out of 150 boys this year — eek!). These girls were BOSSES. I was so proud of the labor of love they put into shoveling heavy rocks and ashes into double-up trash bags, lifting them up into wheelbarrows, and then heaving them into dumpsters. They didn’t mind getting their hands (and clothing) all dirty and were self-starters from the minute they stepped off the buses. My heart swelled with pride! After a long day, we bused the students back to the school, and the students got to celebrate in their generosity that day by watching a slide show of everyone’s day, so that they could see what their peers were doing at other locations, and then we went outside for a pep rally led by our amazing orchestra, choir, and band. It was a good day! To top it off, we had a forecast of heavy rain and a cold-front that day, but as you can see, we were greeted with a rainbow instead. I can’t help but think it was just for us.

4. And I’m Off!  I’m so grateful to have this entire week off (which is why I’m publishing this puppy at an odd hour). I can’t even begin to tell you how much I cherish this break during a stressful school year. I’ve had a challenging group — love them, but they’re honestly one of the toughest groups I’ve ever had (gulp). I’m looking forward to this week of spending time with my family, meeting my boyfriend’s mother (yes!! They’ll both be in town for Thanksgiving!), and reviving my life-force with the people I love most in my life.

5. Happy Hour.  But of course, before I went home last Friday, I had to throw back a couple brewskies with a few of my other favorite people. It felt good to fly out the door of my school, join some coworkers at a local dive, and breathe a sigh of relief as we said our farewell-for-nows and headed off on our break.

6. New House.  Not mine — my twin sis and her husband’s, which is the next best thing! I got to see a preview of their (almost) completed house for the first time this past Saturday, and I am so happy for their new beautiful home. It’s going to be gorgeous! Can’t wait to spend a Christmas dinner with them there soon.

 

7. ‘Rents in Town.  The parental unit has been in town since last Friday, and it’s nice to have company in this often-lonesome house. I also cannot wait to see my brother as he comes to town in the next couple days with his new dog! I’m going to squeeze the beejezuz  out of 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 and a Happy Thanksgiving!

xo,

Lauren


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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.

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my strong women role models

my strong women role models

1. The Light in the CracksWhile sordid politics have surely done a number on dividing the country, there is one thing we can agree on — Last week was rough. This was not a normal election. Policy preferences aside, we all let out a collective gasp (whether in aw or in disgust) at this major upset. And then we lose two great musical legends, feeling like an insult to injury. I’ve heard enough people say things on social media like, “How can people cry over this? Get over yourselves already. You lost; suck it up.” I can’t help but feel, however, that we’ve all lost. My tears weren’t about losing (although I can’t say I wasn’t profoundly disappointed); my tears were for my hispanic students, who I saw crying in the hallway saying they feared for their families; my tears were for my muslim friends; my tears were for the LGBT; my tears were for the strong women in my life who taught me to never give up on what I felt was right — I felt like giving up. I felt like my job as an educator was all for nought. But I’ve since picked myself up again. I allowed myself to cry (please allow everyone to feel what they feel — I respectfully ask everyone to give people the time to grieve what they feel is a loss for this country for as long as they need, even if you disagree — you can’t deny feelings). I’m ready to take action to continue to fight for what I believe in because that’s what the women in my life taught me. Join me. Whenever you are ready.

2. Kate McKinnon. Just when I thought I had cried all the tears I had left… What a gift this woman gave us just when we needed it most.

3. What He Said.  I can’t share with you what my boyfriend told me on the phone the day after the election because he told me it was a secret, but when I thought there were no words that would comfort me, I was wrong. With as much dark that this election has brought us, he is the light for me that has helped me to channel this grief into positive action. To say I am grateful for him would be a profound understatement.

4. Call Me.  I feel like I’m in high school again. The last time I talked on the phone for hours on end was with my best friend DJ, as we talked on the phone for hours, sometimes falling asleep with our cheeks pressed against the phone. And although I’d much rather have my boyfriend around in person, it’s been such a treat to be able to talk to my boyfriend for hours at a time each day while he’s way on a music tour. Neither of us particularly enjoy talking on the phone, but somehow it’s different with each other. It’s the best part of my day.

5. Happy For You.  Happiness often comes in the form of being happy for other people — I am happy for the smile I can hear through the phone on my boyfriend’s face while he is touring with his band. He is doing what he loves, and even though he is far away from me, I can’t help but to share in his joy. In other news, my twin sister and her husband got back their house that was completely renovated. It’ll be a long time before I’m ever able to own a home (poor ol’ teach!), but in the meantime, I can live vicariously through my sister’s beautiful new home. I can’t wait to see it and spend family time in a house they made very much a lovely home for themselves.

(Don't judge the typo -- I found this on the Interwebs!)

(Don’t judge the typo — I found this on the Interwebs!)

6. Project Girl.  The following is a post I shared on Facebook last week: If you need your faith in humanity restored, read this. It’s long, so bear with me; I felt compelled to share!
I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days that I’ve come home and felt like a horrible teacher. This year, more often than not, I’ve come home feeling like I’ve failed — like it’s likely my students are going home having learned absolutely nothing but not without simultaneously feeling like I’ve fought a hard battle. I’d also be lying if I said I haven’t seen the divisive politics in the media taking its toll on my students hearts and minds. The combination of these two things has left me feeling discouraged lately — BUT my faith in our future and in the immediate impact teachers can have on their students and them on us was present today, and there is so much hope.
I run a club, Project Girl (actually my students run it), which I put together primarily to give girls a space to feel comfortable talking about issues important to them, give them a voice, work on self-confidence at a time in their lives when it can be the most challenging, and allow them to lead projects that spread positivity at their school. Today, I prefaced the time by saying, “What I’m about to show is not about politics; it is about her message to you, and I want to know what you think about it.” I showed them a clip of Clinton’s concession speech where she says what is in the attached photo. The girls had differing views on who should have been their president, but they never once disrespected one another. It was one of the most respectful debates/discussions I have ever heard. In fact, their focus was on the message and on how important it was to them to continue to aim to break that glass ceiling. I said nothing, but I sat back and listened to their compassion, their constructive criticisms, and their hopes for the future. Here are some of the things they mentioned that are important to them as twelve-year-old girls. I thought you should know them.
1. They want to be taken seriously. “Our thoughts are not silly.”
2. Some of them expressed people laughing at them for being in this club, and they want people to know that it’s more than what they think. “It’s actually really cool.”
3. They want to feel understood.
4. They want less pressure on them to feel perfect. Many of them talked about social media filters and comments on them making them feel like they need to look perfect, but they don’t want to have to care about that so much.
5. They want to “break the glass ceiling.”
6. They care about things beyond boys (Some of them said, “Wait, I love boys!” or “Eeeew, boys” but they all agreed they cared about so much more than that).
7. They don’t want people thinking they are princesses looking for a prince to save them. They want people to see their “inner princess” (actual quote! 😉 ).
8. They want movies and commercials to start depicting how girls really are. They said often it feels unrealistic.
9. They want people to stop arguing about politics, respect each other, and come together.
10. They want a woman to be President of the United States. Some of them want to BE that President.
There is SO much hope for our future.

 

7. Getting Sh*t Done.  One of the best ways to channel fear and upset is to get shit done. And while I can’t say it was for a good cause, I blasted records, cleaned out my closets, and put together bags upon bags of clothes I no longer wanted. Sometimes it’s just awfully therapeutic to toss stuff out. I’ll take them to Goodwill later this week, so okay, I guess it wasn’t an entirely selfish action!

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 …and get shit done!

xo,

Lauren


1 Comment

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. Small Confession. If you didn’t catch my not-so-subtle shy hints in my latest posts — I’ve said “new friend” a few obnoxious times — I’m now calling myself out. A part of why I’ve stalled from writing my 7 for seven for such a long while is because I’ve been dating someone for several months now. I’d be lying if I left him out of my weekly posts, but I wasn’t ready to share him just yet. I’m a little gun-shy, but more-so, I’ve been rightfully, and I think deservedly, a bit selfish. Before this moment, he’s been mine. And only mine! Ha! But if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know how much of an open book I am, despite having had to tell you about multiple heartbreaks over the years. It’s difficult, to say the least, to be vulnerable for 3, 000+ readers (albeit that’s a generous number — I’m sure most are robots — and the rest of you are lovely human beings!) let alone on my own — especially at the age of thirty-five, and especially having been through the gauntlet. Gulp. But I’m a lover; that’s who I am. I’m an empath, and I’m a romantic. I believe in love, wholeheartedly. However, one thing I had sadly forgotten I believed in after wrong relationship, after wrong relationship is soul-mates. And to be completely honest, it took a while for me to see one was right in front of me — luckily enough for me, it hit me smack dab in the middle of the forehead  (heart) before it was too late. He was patient with me, and I’m the lucky recipient of his patience. But I’ve been patient enough myself. I’ve waited 35 years. And I have a soulmate. He exists. I’m keeping the rest of it to myself though. 😉 For now.

2. Dinner for Two. And just like that, my soulmate is gone — for about a month. Le tear. Le big tear. He’s off in another state installing string art in a showroom and then on tour with his band promoting a new album (have I mentioned he’s talented and good at everything he does?) Well, he is.

We had dinner together the night before he left, and I drove him to the airport in the morning as we said our woeful goodbye-for-nows. I’m counting the days till he returns, but luckily every day is a little bit better just knowing he’s in my life if even just in a phone call-for now.

3. Birthday Happy Hour.  One of my favorite co-workers had his birthday mid-week, and we all went out for dinner and drinks Wednesday night. Good people, good food – mid-week should always be that way.

4. Clean Eating.  Besides indulging just a bit for a couple of b-day celebrations this week, I started eating clean again this week. After stress eating and not exercising for too long, my angry gut had had enough of it. It’s crazy how quickly I feel better after just a few days of eating right and moving more. If only I could always remember this…

5. Dance Party.  One of my favorite people (which makes sense — she’s the wife of the aforementioned co-worker), had her big 5-0 birthday this Saturday, and celebrated with a house full of fun people, a dance party-spinny-wheel, a ton of records from which to choose, smoked chickens, booze, and delicious cake. I hope I’m as cool as her when I’m 50 — heck, when, tomorrow.

After the storm

After the storm

6. Stormy Weather Sunday.  Sometimes stormy weather is everything, especially on a lazy Sunday spent indoors. After collecting items at the grocery store with the sun out and the perfect breeze, I returned home to a rain-storm. I spent the day slow-cooking spaghetti sauce, making lasagna, listening to feel-good sixties music and the sound of hard rain on the tin-roof, lounging around in my soul-mates tee I stole, and donning my favorite pair of sweatpants. Sometimes it truly is the little things.

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7. #NerdAlert.  Some things are too good not to share. Okay, just a little glimpse. He’s kind of my hero.

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