Friday, October 16, 2009

A Different Kind of Follow Friday

I am currently seated at a local coffee shop just a few blocks from my apartment. It's small, and has local artists' work on the walls for purchase. A young man, most likely in high school, is playing an acoustic guitar and sharing a song list of cover, original, cover, original, cover.

I don't know if it's the two drinks I had at dinner, the euphoria of my best friend being here, or just simple talent: but I like him. He is strumming along, sharing his heart and his voice with a small crowd, and he looks like he is doing what matters- he looks as if THIS is what life is all about. His guitar, words like poetry flowing through the air and the auroma of espesso and hot cider surrounding. This is following some sort of path, some sort of idea, some sort of thought or feeling or knowing that this is happiness.

Today had been full of happiness.
Waking up to no alarm and remembering it was only friday and my weekend was one day longer.

Breakfast and daytime TV with one of my oldest friends, chit chatting about topics that barbara and whoopi and joy and the girls were discussing, and getting ready on my time for an afternoon of fun with my co-workers. Picking out a pumpkin and laughing with the people I spend each day with, and going to dinner with a few of my favorites. And now here, in this moment, with a Joshua Radin cover, soy pumpkin latte and Danielle.

And to think 3 months ago I was broken and scared and confused and sad, facing something I never thought happened in real life, but only in movies and television.

All this to say, if today is rough- know that the happiness is coming. Truth is, the happiness is OUT THERE, waiting for you to take ahold of the moment and seek it until you find it. In the small things. Because truly, that's what makes the happiness, things that seem small, but in truth are big.

The wonders of a small human growing inside of one of the most brillant, beautiful, and kind women you've ever met. And the fact that a friendship has lasted over a decade; despite distance. Reaching warmness thanks to steamed milk and hot espresso. And hearing people make music, not because they want more money or even to pay their bills, but because they truly love it and truly believe it can change the world. And maybe, just maybe it can. And knowing you are strong enough to survive the hard stuff, because you have before and you will again.

Today, I was going to point you to two of my very wonderful friends' blogs for follow friday- and although I think you SHOULD be reading them already, I'm going to save it for next week (sorry, ladies)because for all the blogs you could read, there is something else for you to follow. Happiness. And you should follow it to the core and to the death. Because it's out there for you, right this moment.

Trust that. And go find it.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Umm hi.

Guess what I did.
I told you all about my friend Laura, yesterday.
And she felt bad.
Because I sent you over to her blog, and she didn't even share the news with you.
so she did something about it and posted THIS BLOG for you to read.

Can you go give it a glance and tell her congrats?


What have you done lately to point your life in the direction of your dreams?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Soaring with the Greatest of Ease

A quick list of why my spirits are SOARING today.

1. My boss posted this note on my screen today to let me know how she feels about me :)

2.Caitlin posted some of my notes for my challenge on Operation Beautiful

Go see what else I posted.

3. Jessica wrote a post this morning sharing some memories and thoughts about when we first met. It was so encouraging to know our friendship has had lasting impact on her life :)

4. It seems like almost everyone in Blogland is on a path of following their dreams lately. Including my dear, dear friend Laura. She shared some VERY exciting news the past few days, and I am so stoked for her! (and PROUD of her!!!)

5. My best friend Danielle, will be here TOMORROW. Excited would be an understatement.

6. I was graced with a quick less than 2 minute phone call from my dear little Chelsea, a good friend back in Texas. I was sad that our conversation was so short: but hearing her voice made my whole day shine!

7. It's grocery shopping day. I LOVE grocery shopping day.

I'm in the mood to try something NEW! Do you have any suggestions for products/items I should try? I've been adding things to my grocery list ALL DAY LONG... What do you suggest?

Guest Post: Jessica of FMTW

Once upon a time, I shared an apartment with a girl named Jessica. 

Let me just tell you, I LOVE Jessica.  I love that she is bubbly and excited to try new things.  And I love that she knows how to handle serious situations.  I love that she is a friend to the core and would do anything for her best friends.  I love that she is bold and determined to find her way in this world.  I love that she is supportive and understanding and gentle and kind.  And she is sassy. [the good kind of sassy.]  I love that when we went to the fair and I got ill after that stupid gravitron thing, she took care of me and that she can’t help but want to save every homeless animal.  She has a heart of gold. And I am so thankful that we have stayed friends, even after my move to New York.

Jessica sent me a message a few weeks ago about Then Heather Said.  She told me she started her own blog ( ) and wanted me to read it.  When I saw that Jessica was touching on her having called off her wedding, a little light bulb appeared above my head. 

Although we were both on opposite sides of a wedding being cancelled, we had so much in common in the wake of our relationships ending.  And so I asked her to write a guest post for Then Heather Said.  Jess has been making some big decisions in regards to her dreams the last few weeks [this seems to be quite popular in blog-land as of late.]

Then Heather Said, “Have you met Jessica?”

My name is Jessica and I have been blogging since the first time I read "Then Heather Said...".
This blog has changed my life. I used to vent in the unhealthiest of ways i.e., not eating, developing bad sleeping habits, turning all of my feelings inward, etc. This is my new outlet. It has made me realize that I can really do whatever I want, literally. And while that is probably not the aiming point Heather is pursuing, I am pretty sure that the outcome is just fine with her.

I live in a small, presumably boring town. All of the people have the same familiar personalities and the same expectations for me that I used to have:
-Graduate from high school with no babies.
-Possibly go after a degree at the local college.
-Find someone, and get married to him.
-Start a life here.

Like Heather, I have also recently become unengaged. And while the people of my town think I am taking a step backward, I see it very differently. My situation, while it different from Heather's, it is also very similar.

The differences:
-I called off my wedding because I got cold feet.
-Her wedding was called off because he got cold feet.
The similarities:
-Heather and I both want more out of life.
-I feel like I am meant to do more than stay in this small town.
-And I am using my blog to define my future.
Everything in life has repercussions. Everything serves a purpose. I broke off my engagement because it felt like once the date was set, the clock was counting down to when my life would end forever and our life would start. I was not ready for our life. Thankfully, I realized that it was not supposed to be like that earlier than the day I was to say "I do". Although, parts of me wish I could have realized it earlier than the day I, along with half of our families, spent more than a few hundred dollars.

But hey, you win some, you lose some. Right?
Breaking off my engagement was one of the smartest, most difficult, but also the most adult decision I have made in my short life. That decision has spurred on many other thoughts in my head. The main one being: "What should a single, twenty-year-old girl, who has nothing tying her down, do?"

My answer? "Whatever I want."
Now I am on a mission, to find out exactly what it is that I want to do. To try and decided if I want to pursue my crazy dream of moving to New York to become an accomplished writer, or not. It should be an easy decision. The answer to my dream seems clear.

This is going to be a series of small steps that turn into a sprint. I have a tendency of jumping into ideas with both feet, holding nothing back. The majority of the time I lack the support from the people close to me. My family does not genuinely support me when it comes to my ideas because it usually changes soon after deciding to follow through. But I can do this, and I will do this.

 I will pick a day, start putting money aside, and do some very careful planning. My dream is to spend New Years in a new place. I think I could reach that goal this year.

Steps to making this a success:
1. Find a place to live in New York.
2. Find a place to work in New York.
3. Save enough money between now and Christmas time to make this happen. (A second job may be in my near future.)
4. Breaking it to my parents that I really don't want to go back to school, not right now at least.
5. Going for it! 
I have a little over seven weeks to make this happen. Now, if only I could stick to this dream, and follow through.
Follow Jessica on her journey:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday

1. My best friend, Danielle, will be here to visit on Thursday. THAT IS SUPER SOON AND I AM SUPER EXCITED.

2. Also, as stated before, she is PREGGO. I am so excited about this. I have been doing my very best to keep this on the DL until she and her wonderful husband, Eric, were ready to announce to the general public. But let me tell you, there were many MANY trips to babygap in the past few months and I have been fighting the urge to BUY IT ALL. There were quite a few blackberry camera photos of the cutenss, but I knew posting to Twitter would be a bad idea. With my keeping my mouth shut until she gave the green light, I figured just posting this photo would lead to way too many rumors about my own life,

and I am just not ready for pregnant to be the next adjective people use to describe me. [I AM NOT PREGNANT.]

3. Sometime after the Badger game on Saturday, I remembered that my blackberry has a “Sprint TV” application which allows me to watch episodes of several tv shows. So I caught up on some ABC & NBC Shows throughout the weekend. I’m now READY for Grey’s on Thursday. [although I didn’t watch last season, I did see the season finale and have now caught up on this season as well.] I haven’t watched Grey’s with a girlfriend since season two, so I am stoked for Danielle and I to watch it together Thursday Night.

4. I also watched the first 3 episodes of Flash Forward on ABC. I had heard a lot of great things about this show, and it did not disappoint. If you haven’t watched it yet, get thyself over to ABC.COM and start. The storyline is fabulous.

5. I also watched my first episode of The Office. Yes. I did. I started with the wedding. When I twittered that I hadn’t seen any episodes, many people replied that I should start at the beginning. But I just had to see the wedding after so many people were commenting and sparking my interest in quotes and videos and thoughts of the episode. [anyone who says that twitter is a bad form of advertising is just silly. It works.]

6. Last week, I got a fabulous new water bottle in the mail from my dear friend LAURA. ANDI LOVE IT. It is a Nathan bottle and it is wonderful. It has a straw- for some reason I’ve never used a water bottle with a straw- how FOOLISH of me! It’s so much easier for me to stay hydrated through out the day with this thing. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. THANK YOU, LAURA.

7. Last night I made 2 butternut squash sides for dinner. I kind of failed one and aced another. First the “fail”, I tried making Butternut Fries. These were so easy, and so good. But I wasn’t keeping a very close eye on the fries as they were in the oven, and so about one half of them were a little too browned & crispy [burned] for my liking. But the other half were really yummy. Like sweet potato fries, only better. Next time I will definitely ACE this.

It’s simple: Preheat to 425. Peel your butternut squash. Cut in half. De-Seed the squash. Cut into fry shaped pieces. Put on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until lightly brown. Yummers.

8. I also made mashed Butternut Squash. Again, so easy and so good. I roasted my squash first, rather than boiled it. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in a vegetable, fruit or even meat.

Here’s how: Preheat to 400. Peel your butternut squash. Cut in half. De-Seed. Place in baking dish (I used pyrex). Salt & Pepper. Dot with butter. Add water to the pan so there is about a quarter of an inch. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Put squash in dish and mash. Enjoy!

9. Every time I hear the song Hotel California I think about Rock Band. Yes, I’m serious.

10. There is still time: The Super Internet Soup Swap still needs entries. Send your favorite soup recipe to me at

You are Beautiful.

If you've been reading for a bit now, you've seen me mention Operation Beautiful a time or two.

Operation Beautiful is something I truly believe in. So much so that back in September I posted about my personal pledge to post at least one Operation Beautiful note a day throughout the remainder of 2009. I am loving the challenge, for many reasons. And I love Operation Beautiful, for so many reasons, as well. So much so, that if you look over there to the right, you will see that my first free advertisement I've added to Then Heather Said is the Operation Beautiful post-it link. :) HOORAY for Operation Beautiful!

You may remember my mentioning that Operation Beautiful is being turned into a book! [oh, the excitement!] I am so thrilled for Caitlin - she is following her dreams and reaching out to people to ban negative self-image and fat talk! By starting this movement, she is helping to empower women all over the world, to encourage them to believe in themselves and set them on a course to follow their own dreams. It all started with one little piece of paper; which may seem small- but in truth, it's HUGE. She is truly changing the world, one post-it note at a time.

And I truly believe that Operation Beautiful, the book, is going to take the world changing empowering movement to a whole new level.

And you have a chance to be a part of it! [and win some cool prizes along the way!]

Caitlin recently announced a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS for the Operation Beautiful book! She is looking for 125 notes and/or stories to be included in the book, which will be published in Fall 2010 by Gotham Books.

GET TO WORK, here's how (from the Operation Beautiful Website):

*Has Operation Beautiful changed the way you see yourself?
*Have you posted a note in a unique place?
*Do you have an amazing story to share with the world? Specifically, She's looking for stories about body image, family, friends, food, fitness, random acts of kindness, and faith.

If so, Caitlin wants to hear from YOU!
She is looking for:

Notes with unique messages.
Notes in unique places.
Stories of why YOU are truly beautiful.

She's looking for stories about body image, family, friends, food, fitness, random acts of kindness, and faith. She wants to hear your message!

Enter your note and story using this form.

[also - head here to see all of the swag you could win for entering!]

What are you waiting for? I'm not kidding here. GO. POST. A. NOTE.
Because you are Brillant & Beautiful & Deserve GOODNESS.
Share that Goodness.

Then Heather Said, "Go spread the beauty!"

Monday, October 12, 2009

quickest post ever

I just need to say this, quickly:

my best friend is preggo.
I've been waiting FOREVER to tell people. (or at least what seems like forever.)
and she finally gave me the green light.
(apparently I am more excited about her having a baby than any of my own exciting adventures.)

HOORAY! and much CONGRATS to Danielle & Eric :)

[I am going to spoil that baby, like woah.]

More to come on this soon. xoxox

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