Don't forget to live

Saturday


I’m having trouble getting motivated. There is still a lot to do in preparation for school (which starts Monday), balancing schedules, keeping up with responsibilities and …I’ve done jack. I’ve got the post vacation blues.

I got back, on Tuesday, from a beautiful and adventurous weekend with my Honey, and I’ve got one hell of a hangover. It was indulgent, exhilarating, oh so erotic and I didn’t want to come back from it. But the reality is, I had to get home so I could make it to work…I had laundry to do, littles to babysit, school to prepare for and, as I reluctantly count down the hours to the much needed structure, I am listless.

Because I'm kinda cheesy sometimes... and I do what I want.

Wednesday



This week has been a little off for me. I can't find anything specific to blame it on... so I think it's just me. Sometimes, things just don't click. I also haven't taken my vitamins on the reg for about 4 days and I have spent as many days off my diet. When will I learn? I'm a stubborn woman, so... it's going to be a hot minute. It's been 2 weeks since I shared with you my secret struggle and I have to say, the response was completely unexpected. So much support and understanding has flowed through my inbox and social media accounts. It was humbling and something I totally needed... but didn't realize.

Playing tour guide downtown Chicago with my little sis.
11 years ago, I left my family and friends to move to this big, scary, magical city - Chicago... where the only people I knew were the admin assistant decoding my college application experience and my husband, at the time. Since then, I've divorced and left a small handful of tumultuous relationships, each time leaving my sparse tribe with whittled numbers. Due to some of the best decisions I've ever made, one of them being stepping away from the negative and intentionally accepting the things and people that support and encourage me, I had removed all but 1 close girlfriend from my circle of support.

It's easy to get locked into the feeling that you can and even have to do it all alone. It's exhausting feeling like you are starting over every couple of years and regrowing your support network... especially when you happen to be a wee bit of an introvert. Monday, Dano introduced you to a little more background on this 21 Day Challenge that we Back Porch gals are participating in. And I have to say, it's erupting a lot of positive within me. Thoughts, creativity, intentionality, focus, gratitude. Rachel Brathen, aka yoga_girl, really is a force to be reckoned with. If you have yet to check her out, do it. It's rare to find such vulnerability and truth in a social media "celebrity", but she makes you think... every day. And I love that about her.

Yesterday's challenge was gratitude. Let me share with you Rachel's instructional post for Day 7: Thank You.
#yogagirlchallenge Day 7 is tomorrow! The theme is Thank You and I couldn't be happier to get to share it with you all. If you've been following me for a while you know how often I express gratitude via social media and in my day and the reason I do so is because it's the absolute most important thing when it comes to finding happiness. To be able to receive the things we want in our lives we must first appreciate all the things we already have. Gratitude creates a positive, welcoming vibration in your day and makes it easier to have more good things come your way. Want to manifest the life of your dreams? Say thank you! All the time! Being utterly grateful humbles us and let's the world know we appreciate it - even if we don't always say it out loud. For the challenge tomorrow I want you to do three things. 1: Express gratitude to people around you - out loud! Tell your friends, your family, strangers about what they have enriched in your life and that you are grateful for their presence. 2: Be grateful for the world. The big things. Your very existence. Your ability to breathe and love and feel. Nature, Mother Earth and the very ground you walk upon. Send your gratitude out into the world via meditation or good vibes or both. Or make it physical and go hug a tree! Seriously! Hug it long enough and it will hug you back, I promise. 3: Tell yourself. Write it down. What are you grateful for when it comes to your own qualities and abilities? Give yourself some love. Let the words Thank You become your most important mantra. Repeat it. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you. Tomorrow, share a picture related to your feelings of thankfulness and don't forget to tag @yoga_girl and #yogagirlchallenge emojiemoji Stay grateful! #love#yoga #yogagirlchallenge #life #handstand #tb #beach #happy #inspiration
 I knew exactly what I wanted to post about, but I still haven't posted it. Why? Because I couldn't get the words right, or the text short enough, to fully verbalize my point and question. Question? Yeah.. question. ;) And don't even get me started on choosing the right picture. So, I'm using this medium instead... because I can be wordy, snarky, emotional, and pretend it weaves together beautifully a lot easier here.

I've been thinking a lot about the supportive texts, comments and conversations I've had with people known and new a lot lately... not just over the past two weeks, but over the past two years. And it's really given me the opportunity to look at those closest to me and understand just how much more special my life is because of them. This 21 Day Challenge is just reinforcing those internal dialogues.  And... add to it the amazing proposal from last week... reflection is inevitable.

Don't shoot me...
but this was the most recent pic I could find of you two. ;) 
Two years ago, the two ladies I blog with, Dano and The Dominant Jean, were more or less strangers to me. I knew them by name and face, and outside of a few hurried departures and a hilarious conversation about dancing Samoan men, all I knew of these ladies was that they were some of the most important people to Dale (and he was, unbeknownst to him, one of the most important people to me), that they had known each other for nearly half their lives, and that they took their coffee black. (hey... that's important shit, man.) I have since come to know exactly why they are loved so much and to not only understand who they are as women, but to understand why. There is so much love and support within this community of friends and family. While totally foreign to me, it's exactly the way it should be.

Today, I could not imagine a day without their presence. Dano & Jean, you have become some of the most important women in my life. You've been amazing support and have provided some of the best laughs, talked through some ridiculous and some tough conversations. I love your sense of adventure, your confidence, your vulnerability and most importantly, presence in my life. So, THANK YOU for being there, for being honest, for being patient, for being great friends.

And... now the question part... :)


Because the reality is... I could not picture this day without you two up there with Dale and I. I promise not to go Bridezilla on your ass, if you promise to hold my dress while I pee and make sure I don't ugly cry (but if you say no... I will totes ugly cry right now).

I love you ladies and I am so thankful to be a part of your tribe.  

Text Messages, Instagram and Gratitude

Monday

The ladies and I are participating in the Rachel Brathen Yoga Girl 21 day challenge this month. I’m sure most of you know who yoga_girl is on Instagram, but for those that don’t, here’s the scoop. She is an Instagram phenomenon. She has nearly 100k followers and her pictures and videos are pretty much nothing but her balancing on her head in exotic locations, defying gravity and making you think bones are optional in your body package. I mean, she is amazing. She never lectures about how to do the yoga poses or expects you to be some type of yogi master. Her comments are generally riffs about where her practice takes her and what she discovers about herself through her yoga. Honestly, it’s beautiful stuff. So clearly I follow her to help deepen my own yoga practice. 

Bullshit.

Originally I started following her to see pictures of all the amazing locales she was scurrying off to and well, honestly to make my Instagram following feed seem more well rounded.To make it seem less like a directory of Game of Thrones and Walking Dead actor accounts (But I will never unfollow those. Dragons?! Zombies?! Yup. I’m in). So here I am. An Instagram account full of family, friends, Peter Dinklage and yoga_girl.