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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.

My slow Internet in this small town truly hates WordPress, but I need my 7 for seven badly tonight, so I’m fighting the loading-wait-time-battle with a few short paragraphs. I’ve spent the better part of the last couple weeks packing boxes, imagining better classroom management for these nearly all-boy classes (I’ll spare you my nightmare stories – trust me, this dynamic is layered, tricky, and frustrating – only burdened more by the vitriol they are hearing/repeating on Fox News and from our very own president’s mouth – sigh – deep breath).

Nevertheless, I have good things in my life, and it’s enough that I can see the light at the end of this tunnel. I’ve got the love of my life by my side, with a fun new business, and a new home on the horizon. I can’t wait for Friday, but I can totally wait for Friday… the boxes!! Eek. I never realize just how much I can do without until I begin to pack.

And I appreciate what I do have. For example, my family came to visit for Easter weekend, and my ambitious mother planned a brunch with extended family in between all the furniture painting and updates getting ready for their permanent move to the greater Austin, TX area after my dad retires soon. As always, it was a nice break to see them and spend time with the people who I love.

I’ll be back next week with a regular 7 for seven (fingers crossed) with my new Internet!!!! Yep, I often say, it’s often the small things…

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. Home for the HolidaysAfter another short time away, my guy flew back to Austin late last Tuesday night. It’s the little things I miss sometimes — like how much he takes care of me in small ways. For example, he noticed I like a certain lotion from a sample I dropped in his wastebasket. He took it out to take to the grocery store so he could buy that exact kind and leave it at his house for me. And like just now — he came up from downstairs while working in his workshop to check on me. I told him my writing was slow-going because I was feeling a bit light-headed and lethargic, and he came back with more water, a bottle of kombucha, and almonds. These things are so little, but he does them all the time, and I can’t help but fall a little more in love with him each time. It’s hard when he’s away because these little ways he takes care of me become so much larger when they are farther away.

2. LaLa Land & Lick. The day after he returned, my guy and I went to see this musical movie that pays homage to all the great classics. This movie was so, so good, and surprisingly — for two people who enjoy movies so much, this was our first movie date since we’ve been together. Being the trained jazz brass man he is and the theatre nerd/dancer I am, it couldn’t have been a more perfect choice for us. We walked away from that movie feeling a bit lighter and joyful, and we pranced over to the nearby ice-cream parlor, Lick, and enjoyed ourselves a holiday inspired scoop.

3. Impromptu Shopping.  The next couple days before Christmas, we enjoyed some impromptu holiday shopping, despite the maddening crowds. We picked up a couple of holiday and jazz records at our favorite record store, some spirits to add to our booze library, and a couple good (and cheap!) finds at a thrift store to put away for our future together.

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4. Pre-Christmas Dinner.  My guy’s cousin had us over for dinner the day before she left for her family Christmas, and afterwards, we drove downtown to attend the annual Holiday Shopping Bazaar. Even though we didn’t find anything worthy at the Bazaar, we enjoyed spending time with his adorable cousin and friends.

5. Christmas Eve.  Even though I would have loved for my man to be able to spend time with his family over the holidays, selfishly, I was happy to keep him here and have him spend it with mine. We had a nice dinner together, opened a few gifts from the family, and then he and I stayed up after everyone went to sleep and had our own Christmas gift exchange with some holiday records playing in the background. I had previously mentioned to him that I once made signs for my family during every holiday, including birthdays and signed them “The (Insert Holiday Here) Fairy” and left them all over the house in sneaky places. He insisted we bring it back, so we had fun making signs and posting them around the house after everyone went to bed.

6. Hand-Made.  I WISH I HAD  TAKEN A PICTURE! I’ll have to do this when I’m back home, but I received the most beautiful hand-made gifts from my soul-mate. He is quite the talented craftsman. He carved me some gorgeous spoons and spatulas, as well as trays to go with this set of gold/ceramic dishes I had been coveting for a long time (I had mentioned it once around him), and they look so good together. He also bought me a couple of glass decanters and carved a wooden stopper for the top that match the spoons and trays he made. Unbelievable! I can’t believe he made them (I mean, I can), but I’m so happy to be the recipient of his labor of love!

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7. Christmas.  After my family had our traditional Christmas morning full of Scandinavian breakfast and opening presents, we went to my sister and brother-in-law’s new home to enjoy a nice Christmas dinner. Their new home is so beautiful and warm, and it was fun to spend it there this year as something new and special. Of course, it was great to spend time with my family as well, with my favorite guy by my side fitting in perfectly. I even got to FaceTime with his family a while and meet some more of his relatives over the phone and tell them I’m excited to finally meet them in person this summer. As the holiday season is coming to a close, I’m feeling so blessed and warm with all that I have to be grateful for this year — some of them unexpected, and some of them a renewed gratitude.

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 HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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. 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


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.

**NOTE: This week’s post was more challenging to write — not because last week wasn’t great, because it was, but because something has changed since that week that feels like it could be a betrayal of my trust and how I felt about last week. At times like this, I question if my perception is reality and sometimes I feel when I write this post, I’m not always telling the full truths because my focus is to only talk about the positives. Well, life isn’t always the good and the bad — sometimes there’s a grey area. For the sole purpose of sticking to the reason for this post and finding happiness with what we have, I will save the other side of life for another post — and for a time when things are a bit more clear because the truth is important to me, and it’s important for me to be authentic in all that I do, including my writing.

1. Gal Time. A gal-pal of mine asked me over for a much-needed pizza and summer cider night. That night, I was craving some vegging and banter time in the comfort of someone’s home, and it was as if she read my mind. A keeper, that one. She’s a friend I can always count on, and I’m so grateful for that.

2. Blood is Thicker Than Water. I met my sister and mother for lunch last week, as the rents were in town for a quick vacay. We caught up over tex-mex and then spent some time shopping for my sis’s house that’s in the process of renovation. Not only was it nice to catch up, but nothing beats shopping vicariously for someone else without emptying the ol’ pockets.

3. Paying it Forward.  Ten years ago, before I was a teacher, I was an actress. I performed in college and in a company in Dallas, TX — which may shock some people, as I tend to be more of a reserved person, but it was once a huge love of mine. My theatre professor in my first two years of college invited me to be a part of his theatre outreach class at the time, in which we discussed current events and the things that were most important to us. The purpose was to write, produce, and act in a play that promoted awareness and/or advocacy about one of the issues discussed. One morning, on September 11, I went to class, just after the second plane hit the World Trade Center, and we ended up being the only class in session at our college that day. What evolved from that experience were strong connections and a dialogue about the importance of understanding our interconnectedness at times like these. Our play became just that, and we performed it at various grade schools in our community. My professor pulled me aside one day and told me I should pursue writing, after that experience — which, now that I think of it, may have been his gentle way of nudging me away from an acting career – ha! He and my English professor wrote me a recommendation letter to SMU’s creative writing program, and from there, I fell in love with writing and the way my professors taught it. That’s one of the main reasons I decided to become a teacher, and I wanted to pass on my love of writing with other students and show them how it could promote social change. What I didn’t realize then was that my professor was exposing me to project-based learning, which is more than the new trend in teaching today — it is the best way to engage authentic learning experiences. Recently,  I was invited to attend a three-day course on how to teach this way and given an opportunity to work with someone above me on creating this type of experience next year for my students. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as after the recent Orlando mass shooting, it became excruciatingly urgent to me that I use education more as a means to advocate for accepting differences, pulling my students out of the little bubble of their community, and showing them that literature and writing can serve both as a mirror and a window to each other’s lives. I’m so excited about this new opportunity and the beginnings of what I’ve created for next year and see this a way to finally pay it forward to what my professors showed me years ago.

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4. 10K and Story-Time.  I’ve taken up a new love of running, and I’ve been slowly but surely graduating myself from walking to walking/running, and eventually I completed my first 10K while running the entire time. I was so proud of myself. Plus, I may be the only oddball on the planet that “kills two birds with one stone” and listens to podcasts while running instead of music. I may or may not have been that weird girl weeping and running at the same time, but I listened to this story that made me both stronger physically that day and also stronger mentally. In that podcast, a woman told a story of dating a man for a few months and the lessons she learned while with him. She was confused by this relationship because he didn’t fit any of the items on her list of what she desired in a life partner– she didn’t know why she was attracted to him, but she kept finding herself drawn back again and again. One morning, after apparently having the best orgasm of her life, she just wanted to get out of his bed. So they did, and on their hike that day, she climbed up a tree to avoid all the confusing thoughts in her head that were making her confused about whether or not she wanted to stay in the relationship. He was telling a joke, and while impatiently waiting for the punch-line, the tree-branch broke and she fell. In that moment, when she was given no choice, remarkably, she was finally able to surrender — something she had essentially tried to do all her life, but failed to do. This is something I could immediately relate to, so I was hooked. Long story short, it took a lot of work, but she finally let down her guard in the hospital room one day (her body had been paralyzed from that fall from the waist down), and allowed that man to visit her. Something hit her, and she didn’t want him to leave her side from that day forward. And he didn’t. Several years later, they are married and have children together. Although she could have grown bitter from the experience, she said she is just grateful she got to learn the lesson at all, and even if it took that terrible thing that happened to make her realize how to let go and allow herself to be loved by this man, she would do it all over again. One of the things she said, stuck with me, and I never want to forget it, “Everything you need to know about your life is happening right now, so pay attention.” And that day, while running, and even throughout the rest of my day – I noticed things I had never taken the time to digest before – the colors of the leaves, the way people’s faces moved while laughing, what people do when they are nervous, and how good it feels to be desired.

5. Man-Date.  See what I did there, eh? Such a word-play nerd. The man in my life asked me to a dinner date Friday night, so I was excited to get some margs after a long run that day. Before dinner, he suggested going on a swim first, as his afternoon meeting was cancelled — even better after a long run in the heat, so I gratefully obliged. The sun was brutal, but the cold beers, soothing water, and good company eased my sore muscles and worked together to put my spirits in a really good place. We shared several small plates at dinner that night and continued at a dive bar near by and laughed at the strange people around us (terrible – but let’s admit, behind closed doors, it’s a bit fun to do at times). It had been a while since we shared whiskey and danced cheek-to-cheek in his living room, and it just felt right later that night. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad time with that man.

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6. Father’s Day.  Saturday morning, I met my fam for a quick Father’s Day greeting, as my parents were headed back to Dallas Sunday morning and my sis could only spare a couple of hours that day due to her hectic schedule. Granted, my funny dad was working on the exterior of the house the entire visit (go figure — always the busy one, that man), it was still, as always, nice to visit with them. My dad is such a great example of love in my life, and I’m so grateful to him for having set the bar so high that I will never allow myself to settle for the man in my life.

7. B-day Shin-Dig.  Later that same day/evening, a friend of mine’s husband had his big 3-0 birthday celebration at their house complete with beer, pizza, corn-hole, a dirty board game (ha!), and really great company.

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


Leave a 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.STAAR Party” HH. If you don’t live in Texas, then you may not understand the stress of the 7th grade state testing in Language Arts, as students test this year in both reading and writing — or you do, as you live in one of the many states that does the same, just under a different label. Chances are, you have an inkling for just how stressful this test is on both the students and their teachers, and needless to say, we needed a Tuesday HH like no other… Friday. It satiated our needs, for the time being. 🙂

2. Farewell. My boyfriend and I planned on spending Wednesday together, as Thursday is his regular night for soccer practice and we were both leaving town for different reasons this weekend. We watched The Big Short, and man did that a movie fire me up! It’s not that I didn’t know what happened, but it didn’t make it any less painful to watch. It was just that it was hard to watch people from the big banks, the corporate world, and Wall Street act so terribly — it was actually more so that I feel like what happened was so terrible, but also that I dislike it when movies dehumanize people (even on the wrong end of things) and paint them as pure evil. It was a great movie — wonderfully acted, but I think politics needs to be painted with softer brush, if that makes any sense. I say this all the time, and I risk making people gag, but I was so grateful to see more sides to my boyfriend that night, as he came across not only as a person of comfort when I got all riled up by the movie, but he didn’t diminish what I was feeling. Instead, he humored this sensitive gal and helped me to understand things on a deeper level — which is all I ever want. I absolutely hate not understanding where people are coming from and why people do what they do, especially when it seems to be coming from a bad place. I’ve always been this way, and he got that without questioning my sanity. Ha! Isn’t there a saying something like, “We’re all a little crazy; we just need to find someone to match our brand of crazy?” Le sigh.

3. Unexpected Farewell Part Deux.  After oversleeping on his nap, my boyfriend missed the first couple minutes of his soccer practice and invited me over instead. I was happy to see him again when I thought I wouldn’t see him again until next week. This time we watched a scary movie, “The Visit,” and it was surprisingly good after not seeing anything good from M. Night Shymalan in a while. It seems the older I get, the more of a wimp I am when it comes to scary movies, which is why it’s way more fun to watch them next to a man with good arms. Ha!

4. Friday HH.  After a long week of state testing and rallying the students back to their regular routine, this HH with a couple of coworkers was another much-needed escape.

5. Gal’s Night.  My sister and I drove to Dallas this weekend to attend a baby shower for my sweet cousin. My aunts and most of my girl cousins (we missed you, Kelsey!) were there to celebrate. We hung out the night before the shower in my parents’ living room drinking wine, eating my aunt’s delicious fettuccine alfredo (what my cousin was craving), and laughing at the aunts’ crazy coming-of-age-stories. My dad is a huge story-teller, so it was so nice to hear my mother tell some more stories about her youth for a change. We laughed until tears were streaming down our faces at times, and it felt so good to spend time with such a caring and fun group of people — even luckier to be able to call them my family.

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6. Family Baby Shower.  My mother, aunts, and cousin Aly are seriously the best party planners, and I need to remember this when it’s finally time for me to have one. 🙂 The decor my mom made for my cousin was adorable, and everyone pitched in to make some delicious brunch. We had a great time celebrating the soon-to-be mom, and spending time with one another. I’m so excited for my (multiple) cousins to have their babies around soon, and I can’t wait to see what great mothers they will make. There’s no doubt in my mind.

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7. Misterwright.  My twin sis has started getting some of her prototype dresses before she starts production on her new dress line, and I was excited I got to wear one this past Sunday and keep it! She’s such a talent. Pay no mind to my unphotogenicness (word?), and look instead at the cute chambray dress. Check her out at www.shopmisterwright.com.

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


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. Embracing the UnexpectedI’ve talked about this in a previous post, and it’s happened more times than I’ve expected in my lifetime that I’ve started to embrace this as truth, and it helps me to stay open-minded. Staying open-minded means thinking equal parts with my brain and my heart and truly seeing all sides sans judgement. This truth is that whenever I prepare myself for scenario A or scenario B to play out, it’s nearly always scenario C that I face. Embracing this has helped this “control freak” find some peace in a life full of unpredictabilities and to realize that sometimes when I remain open to this, amazing things can happen — things I couldn’t have even conjured with this overactive brain and heart of mine. Today, I feel blessed.

2. Mondays Aren’t So Bad. Monday was a tough day back to work after spring break, but things turned out better than I could have expected Monday evening. Thank goodness for turn-arounds and pick-me-ups, especially when they come at times least expected. I cannot possibly describe how much of a relief it was to have such a great evening that turned the bad into good. It just goes to show that if we keep moving forward, things always get better. I needed a strong hug and a good ear, and my boyfriend was there with both. I’ve learned to speak my mind and not be afraid to ask for things, which has been tough for me in the past, and thank goodness I can do that again because I know I deserve it. If expressed to the right people, they’ll appreciate me all the more for it, even if it’s not presented in a nice, shiny package. I’ve never felt closer to him than I did on this day, and I couldn’t wipe the stupid grin of relief and comfort off my face all night.

3. Clothing Swap.  One of the perks of dating a good man is getting to know his friends that come along with the package. His best friend’s wife invited me to a clothing swap and cocktail night this past Wednesday. It was a perfect opportunity for me to get rid of the three bags of clothes I’ve had sitting in the trunk of my car for about four months that I’ve meant to drop off at the Goodwill. Oops! I didn’t think I was going to come away with so many great pieces, but I did. Not only did I get to spend time with a great group of girls, but shopping for free is gal’s wet dream. Ha! Afterwards, I went to dinner with my sweet new friend, and I feel so grateful for this budding friendship. Even though she is younger than me, she is full of strength, wisdom, and has enough integrity to speak bluntly though not without a heart of gold.

4. Good Friday.  Having Friday off, the week after going back to work from spring break, is a nice bonus and helped ease me back into the swing of things. I woke up feeling refreshed, went on a nice long run in my neighborhood, did some much-needed laundry, cleaned my apartment, and got some work done for my side-fitness/health coaching business I have too-long neglected. It felt good to make the most of it and to be so productive on my day off, so that I didn’t feel like I had lost an entire extra day on my three-day weekend.

5. Friday Night Vibes.  Friday night, I met my boyfriend for a delicious dinner downtown (how’s that for alliteration!?). We were both craving a nice fire after dinner, so we brought up a glass of whiskey, and sat for a bit at his condo’s rooftop fireplace. We played some pool in the clubhouse and enjoyed a much-needed quiet evening together.

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6. Dog-Sitting.  My sister and her husband went on a day-trip Saturday, so they asked me to watch my favorite “nephew” while they were away. I spent the day playing with their cute beagle, walking in the beautiful weather to get my favorite breakfast tacos in their neighborhood, and writing at their cute Eastside home. Sometimes, it’s the little things.

7. Sunday Funday.  Alas, we meet again. My boyfriend and I dined on a beautiful rooftop patio, and all was right with my Sunday.

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