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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


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.

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Despite that unhappy face, those chubby cheeks put up with a lot of his older sisters’ antics. We doted on him, and he LOVED it (That’s the story we tell ourselves).

1. Peanut & The Norwegian Viking’s Birthday. We are not short on nicknames in this family nor on love. It was my sweet brother’s birthday this week, as well as my brother from another mother’s birthday (brother-in-law — duh), and I am so grateful to have these two outstanding gentlemen in my life and more-so to call them my family.

2. Turn That Monday Frown Upside-down. My fellow 7th grade writing teacher cohorts and I had to put on a presentation on Monday in front of our reluctant staff. In an effort to bring our writing scores up, we had to ask our staff to get on board and teach writing with us in their content area. I was a tad nervous about it, considering that we all have enough on our plates as is, without adding something else to the mix, but it was a relief to find that they met us with less contempt than we thought. Ha! That was a relief, and in fact, they expressed to us that it made a lot more sense this time and were happy to step in and help. Phew! And as a bonus, I looked forward to meeting someone for coffee after work. We pretty much shared stories and laughed the entire night, and I so needed that energy to start my week. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you do a Monday.

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3. Hump Day.  In more ways than one, Wednesday was a hump day — not in that way — get your head out of the gutter! My roommate and I met a new friend out for dinner Wednesday night, and somehow found ourselves talking about the TedTalk (below) that he shared with us. Take a moment to watch it — it’s totally worth your time. Do it. Stop reading, and do it now. GO. But come back!

Alright, now that you are back… We decided to ask each other the 36 questions mentioned in the video that are suppose to bring people closer together, and truth be told, it changed us. I felt like I knew my roommate on a deeper level and our new friend suddenly felt like someone we’d known for eternity. I woke up that next morning feeling so light, grateful, and fulfilled. To know people fully is one of the greatest gifts we can give each other. To give ourselves freely and vulnerably (okay, I see you red squiggly line, but I refuse to not make this a word) is incredibly freeing when the fear is taken out of the equation. Did anyone fall in love in this scenario? I’m willing to bet something will come out of it (I was a grateful observer). And… I realized something about myself that night in combination with recent therapy (not afraid to say it!), I AM NOT AFRAID OF VULNERABILITY!! I am rightly guarded because of events that have happened to me, but that’s okay — it’s healthy. Learning how to not allow those experiences to control us is key but we should gently allow experience to shape us. That’s natural. What’s not natural is fighting against that. I look forward to and actually seek opportunities to be vulnerable, when others are willing to take the journey with me. All three of us were willing, and we gave each other some of the best compliments I have ever heard. At one point, my new friend said, “If I were to enjoy a beautiful sunset with someone or just take in the joy of something, of all people, I would want to share that moment with you because you also see the world through rose-colored glasses and would see the beauty in things the way I do.” Wow, I love that so much, that I will remember that forever. I think the best feeling in the world is just feeling understood, and he understood how much that part of myself seeked to be acknowledged and admired. I want more of this feeling in my life, and I will seek it out every day and get to know people with intention. Life is too short not to do that.

4. Blues Happy Hour.  Friday night, someone invited me to check out a blues happy hour at a hidden gem of a venue in Austin. Being the blues fanatic I am, I am shocked at myself for not having done this in Austin before this past week. We went to Skylark Lounge and saw the cutest senior citizen belt out the blues. Her range was pretty impressive. Although I lost a couple of  self-generated bets (I should never do this! — I’m not known for my luck), I think I still came out a winner with good company, music, and beverages.

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5. Oddball Festival.  My roommate and I went to The Oddball Festival in Austin on Saturday and saw Amy Schumer and Aziz Ansari. Not only were they hilarious (Schumer rules my world), but their social commentary was also on point. Nothing beats spreading progressive thought with a sense of humor to boot.

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6. Elephant Room.  After the comedy festival, we met up with a few people at The Elephant Room downtown — an underground, divvy jazz bar. It was swanky, soulful, and I felt like I was in a time warp with the most interesting people in Austin. People with blues and/or jazz in their veins cannot lack a good story. I’m convinced this is a strange truth. I’m such a dork, but with a glass of whisky in my hand, saxophone and drums filling my ears, and a vibration in the room that induced a chair shimmy, I felt like I had finally found my people.

7. Sunday Funday/Workday.  Sunday, I was up to my eyeballs grading papers, but my roommate and I had a couple of visitors throughout the day to break things up and keep me from going completely insane. And the good news is… It’s Monday, and I’m still alive. Papers up to my eyeballs… Let’s do this, Monday.

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

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. Coupling. They may be in young-love that won’t last, but they know how to do it. Monday morning, a boy student brought his girlfriend flowers and balloons to ask her out to homecoming. When I was on morning duty, a crowd was forming around this boy who wasn’t afraid of a lil’ vulnerability at his young/awkward age. He had the whole school around him, and his confidence was still soaring. It permeated the hallways. Students peaked their head around the corner, waiting for his girlfriend to show up with their cameras prepped and ready.  Precious, I tell you! Later in the week, another boy took a cue, and did the same to ask a girl out. I called it that they would say ‘yes’ but then immediately walk away, soaking in the warm attention and blushing embarrassment all at the same time. Ah, middle school.

2. Love me if you dare. I love it when someone suggests a movie that I’ve never even heard of, and then I adore it. Watch it, if you dare. You can rent it on Amazon. I’m a sucker for a good quirky romantic movie.

  
3. Twin Brag.  My sister’s dress project was over-funded. Wahoo! See it and like it here. I am so proud of her (as always), and I can’t wait to see her wow Austin with her talents.

I did NOT eat this...

I did NOT eat this…

4. Catching Up.  I skipped my weekly happy hour to catch up with a dear friend at the first brick and mortar of a popular pizza truck in Austin, Via 313 Pizza. She is always my voice of reason, and I am so grateful to have her as a friend. She is the ultimate listener, and always has my best interests at heart, sans judgement. Thank you, friend, for always showing me love, no matter what.

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5. Poetry.  After my sister broke out old family photographs to promote her dress line, I’ve been inspired to take another look at some of my own. I’ve always been fascinated by them, but recently I’ve been interested in writing poetry inspired by the photographs of my past and tying them into who I am today.

6. Co-Ed Baby Shower. I have to admit, I am not a fan of baby showers, or any showers for that matter. There is something about the silly games and oohing and awing over gifts that make me cringe. Ouch, I know, that may be harsh, but it’s just the truth. However, my friend  had a co-ed shower Saturday night with drinks and good food, and the good company didn’t hurt either. I survived. I also may have oohed once.

7. Sunday Games.  I have a huge affinity for the movie, Wet Hot American Summer. My roommate and I decided to start watching the new Netflix series, but before that, she had to watch the original movie. We decided after our long week, we deserved a little champagne for making it through it alive — so we looked up drinking games for the movie (which, yes, they were readily available) to enjoy our champs. Good times.

8. (Cause why not one to grow on again?) Soul.  I have jammed so much to soul and blues this week, that I feel renewed. I’ve embraced the fact that I was born with so much soul, and I’ve realized that I need people in my life that match my affinity for unabashedly emoting.

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