Five on Friday this week is FIVE BABIES!!!!! Yes.
|Little Lillian as a newborn|
|Lills at a few months|
|Hailey still in Char’s belly!|
|Look at that beautiful girl!|
|Whoops we stole a baby…|
|Delicate little Maddie!|
|Holly at only one week!!|
|What a little nugget!|
As part of my 101 in 1001, I made a goal to sponsor some other wonderful blogs both to support their authors and help them grow, but also to teach me about posting and expose me to other readers. I want to grow too, of course. 🙂
|amanda / nicole / sarah|
This relationship of learning from and supporting others is one that still astounds me in the blog world. How wonderful that I can be exposed to three women this amazing. I love reading about their lives, their struggles, their faith, and their families. And while I don’t know them in person, I feel honored to be a sponsor on the side of their stories and to tell the world that I love what they write.
Trying to explain blogging relationships to those who don’t blog can be a little tricky. It doesn’t make intuitive sense that one would want to open up to a stranger or support an acquaintance’s work. But in my mind, these women are more than just tertiary friends. How? Through their blogs.
I blog because it is fun and it helps me be present in my life and remember all of the wonderful things for which I am grateful. But I also blog because I love being able to connect to people halfway across the world. Sometimes in life you become friends with someone because you take the same yoga class or go to the same school or work in the same city.
Sometimes you become friends with someone because you feel connected to their words, thoughts, and ideas.
That’s how it is in the blog world for me. I look forward to continuing to sponsor wonderful woman who I admire. I hope you all visit their blogs to learn just as much from them as I do. 🙂
|pumpkin blueberry protein muffins|
The hustle of the city mutes itself as I step into my apartment, close the door
behind me, and breathe a sigh of relief. I exhale, home.
The shoes come off first and I wiggle at the feeling of my bare feet on the
wood. Walking into my room, I strip off the other layers, discarding them as I
move barefooted, effortlessly.
my meal. I prepare myself for the dinner just as I prepare the dinner for
silently thinking what it is that I want. Aloneness gives me the chance to know
myself. What a blessing to cook for my own tastes and cravings.
pour a glass of red wine and take a lingering sip, hand on hip, staring blankly
into the refrigerator, and enjoying the gift of time and the peace of a
and tonight is no exception. I chop half an onion roughly between sips of wine
and throw it carelessly into a skillet with warmed olive oil. Rinsing
asparagus, I break off the ends and toss the remaining spears into the skillet
with the onion. I rinse my hands and the sound of the water and my breath are
the music of quietude – they calm my mind.
olive oil. More salt. More pepper. I throw in the seasonings with wild abandon
as the master of my own plate. I feel no responsibility, no pressure, no need
to please: feelings that consume my thoughts most days.
mess. With a refilled glass of wine, I sit and eat the meal I prepared for
myself, not even realizing that I am alone. I am in good company.
There is no better way to start the morning that with an everything bagel, toasted twice, and smothered in cream cheese. The end.
A few weeks ago when Josh and I were in Charlottesville, VA, we took Mark’s advice and headed out to hike up to the Humpback Rocks. While we love sitting around and watching movies, we also love hiking. Just to be outside and use your own body to climb a mountain is a miracle to me.
So after Josh surprised me with breakfast from Bodo’s Bagels, we headed out.
After a brief but very helpful stop at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitors Center at Humpback Rocks, we began our climb up the mountain. We don’t look as hot or sweaty as we were. This was a quick but difficult hike and we should have brought more than one water bottle each. You need it!
We sat at the top of the mountain on the rocks for about half an hour and it was just stunning. The way up was hard but well worth it!
I wanted a bike for a while – not so that I could race (laughable!) but so that I could ride around my neighborhood and feel free and fun (classic Maureen!). The problem was that I had NO IDEA what I was doing, what kind of bike I needed or what was appropriate.
I am the type of person who likes to be in control of my own destiny. I’m a Type A to the extreme. I love taking care of other people and it’s hard for me to accept help. It makes me feel uncomfortable and inferior and when it comes down to it vulnerable.
Well, in this case, I had no choice. Josh found this little gem of a bike on Craigslist, drove with me to get it, test rode it (before I even did because I was too scared), and helped me put it in my car. It was a STEAL for $85 and just what I needed. It’s in perfect working condition, has 21 gears, but it’s been loved (read: worn-in) so I don’t have to worry about messing it up!
As if me having no idea how to purchase the bike wasn’t enough, we then stored the bike in Josh’s house and he proceeded to buy me everything I needed for it. HE IS A WONDERFUL MAN and I can’t stress that enough. I love him so much for his generosity and kindness.
That being said, I instantly felt weird that he had purchased my waterbottle, waterbottle holder (and installed it!), bike lock, and helmet. My gut screamed, “You should be doing this on your own! Don’t let him help you!”
But why? Thank goodness my brain was sane enough to reply, “It’s ok. You do not know how to do everything. Just because you are uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s bad.”
That is I think the biggest lesson for me – just because I’m uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s bad.
Yes, I am reluctant to let someone else take care of me, but why? Because I’ve been hurt in the past, and because I don’t want to be hurt in the future, and because I feel like I should take care of myself to prove that I’m an independent woman, and because if I don’t rely on someone else I can’t get let down and…. a thousand other excuses.
In this crazy life it is essential to be vulnerable. That is how we feel the truest love. And that is what I want. Brene Brown says it perfectly in her TED talk, where she explains that people who are happiest and feel the most connected fully embrace vulnerablity, “They talked about the ability to say ‘I love you’ first.” (Maybe I’m a little more vulnerable than I think… I actually did that with Josh… but that’s another story!)
I am constantly learning from my relationship with Josh as we grow together, but the most amazing thing is that he’s been patient enough to wait for me to let my walls down. That’s probably a huge part of creating a life together right? You have to trust and love enough to be willing to risk leaning on someone else. How beautiful really.
And all this from a little red Craigslist bike. I love that.
And just for the record, as I was panting up the hills on our bike trail during our first 7.1 mile ride together, I had to let Josh take care of me again as he taught me the right way to manage the gears. We look happy here but I was yelling at him that it was too hard about 10 minutes earlier. I have a feeling I have a lot of learning to do – what fun!
The highlight of New Mexico was a delicious chocolate shop. Oh my goodness. At Kakawa Chocolate House, hot chocolate is actually chocolate that is heated and put in your cup. I got the most delicious tiny cup of half Chili hot chocolate (with a bit of a kick!) and half American (to sweeten it up). It was so delicious. Honestly, if you are in Santa Fe and you don’t go to this delicious house of chocolate you are a crazy person. It’s that good.
See you later New Mexico!
I am going to do the following 101 things in the next 1001 days. Consider this my challenge list!
Thank you to Mackenzie at Design Darling for this awesome idea!
As I accomplish each thing on my list, I’m blogging about it and linking them here… click on any number that is crossed through!
Start 3.16.13 (No time like the present!)
End 12.12.15 (Oh my gosh – I will be 30.)
Each number will be linked and crossed off when I accomplish it! See below for my adventure…
1. Swim laps at the local pool
2. Join a book club
3. Go to a foreign country
4. Grow my blog to 1,000 readers
5. Cut my hair into a different style
6. Get a kitty or a puppy!
7. Start my own business
8. Research buying a house / condo
9. Go hiking
10. Host a dinner party with everything made from scratch
11. Start a blog movement
12. Write down one of Grandpa’s stories
13. Take a trip with my sister
14. Visit a city to which I’ve never been
15. Try Cross Fit at least once
16. Spend a whole day watching no TV
17. Bake a paleo cake
18. Do something that makes me uncomfortable
19. Hold a baby
20. Attend a blogging conference
21. Post a ‘what I wore” post that doesn’t have jankety pictures
22. Drink wine in the bath tub
23. Get a massage
24. Take a nap for no reason and enjoy it
25. Play matchmaker
26. Get a sponsor for my blog
27. Sponsor at least three other blogs to grow readership
28. Get a nice camera
29. Design a room
30. Have something of mine (room, blog, recipe) featured on The Everygirl
31. Host a D.C. bloggers Dinner
32. Get promoted
33. Ride a horse
34. Decorate a cake with fondant
35. Compile my favorite recipes into a personal cookbook
36. Send handwritten cards for a special holiday
37. Visit Celia in college
38. Write my own love story
39. Apply for reality tv
40. Film a video segment for my blog
41. Photograph a wedding
42. Water ski
43. Snow ski and again!
44. Bike around Arlington / D.C.
45. Take a cooking class
46. Spend a day alone
47. Get a manicure
48. Volunteer at a nursing home
49. Work with kids
50. Do a killer craft project
51. Decoupage something or lots of things
52. Build something
53. Try not wearing make-up for a day
54. Buy property
55. Take a road trip with no destination in mind
56. Movie theatre double-header
57. Try kickboxing
58. Take a trapeze class
59. Dinner with Mommy
60. Dinner with Dad
61. Dinner with Patti
62. Date with Grandpa
63. Get my t-shirts made into a quilt
64. Do a theatre workshop / performance with sick kids in the hospital
65. Be in a play or musical
66. Get an internship / volunteer position planning events this is part of my job now!
67. Get an article / freelance piece published
68. Submit an article to Kinfolk
69. Take pictures of a family in a proper photo shoot
70. Go on a weekend vacation all by myself
71. Get a pair of fake hipster glasses just to see if I can pull it off
72. Write a letter to myself at 40
73. Throw away / donate 13 things each month
74. Visit Kevin and Kathy in Brooklyn
75. Go to where they make Brooklyn Lager
76. Visit a state I’ve never been to
77. Advertise to make money on my blog
78. Give back to Northwestern
79. Give back to Alpha Phi
80. Plan a date night for Josh
81. Read 25 new books for fun
82. Spend a day accomplishing nothing
83. Play hooky from work
84. Eat at a food truck
85. Try 10 new foods
86. Make pasta from scratch
87. Try acupuncture
88. Go to a new baseball stadium
89. Organize my Pinterest boards
90. Get a facial
91. Do something about the circles under my eyes
92. Buy a bike of my very own
93. Put a basket on it!
94. Run a race
95. Go to E Street Cinema
96. Buy and frame an original piece of art
97. Purchase something for myself that is way too expensive
98. Exercise for 31 days in a row
99. Send someone flowers for no reason
100. Write 10 handwritten letters
101. Write a letter to myself for my 30th birthday
I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!