Happy Birthday, Porter!

The Birthday Boy

The Birthday Boy

This weekend was Porter's birthday, and we did nothing if not celebrate in style. 

The day started out with lots of cuddles and hugs, but that's not different than waking up with Porter any other morning. Other than the fact that I kept saying, "It's your Happy Birthday day!" about a million times. He loved the attention.

I then filled Brandon in on the day's agenda, which I had planned as soon as I realized it was the pup's birthday.  Brandon wasn't convinced that we needed to celebrate, figuring that Porter wouldn't be able to tell that it was unlike any other day. 

I obviously knew otherwise. 

Our first birthday mission was to get him a new toy -- a grey elephant with stretchy legs that the birthday pup is madly in love with. The bouncy legs are funny to tease him with. He thinks he has a good tug-of-war grip on the appendage, but the real sneak attack comes when we blindside him with the stretchy limbs and throw the attack off-balance. Hours of entertainment, people. 

The other thing that was an absolute necessity for Porter's birthday was a puppuccino from Starbucks. I've known about this wonder on the Starbucks menu for a while, but have never quite had the perfect occasion to take him for the treat. His birthday seemed like just the right opportunity. 

 

He. Loved It. 

 

He's a small pup, so we didn't let him have the whole thing, but he loved his birthday treat. He was covered in puppuccino and licked his lips like we've never seen. The look of despair he gave me when I took the treat away was right out of the pitiful puppy playbook. 

It was such a fun day with extra reason to love on the cutest dog of all time. According to my online dog-age sources, he is 40 in dog years! That makes him a senior dog! His energy and spunk make that so hard to believe. It may seem silly to some to give a pup special birthday treatment, but it made for a really amusing afternoon with the sassy love of both of our lives, Porter. 

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Capable & Brave & Significant

Photo from here.

Photo from here.

If you're reading this, you've made it through the week. Happy Long Weekend. 

Give yourself a pat on the back for championing through everything your week entailed and making it here. 

This week, for me, was just a lot. I felt like I was running full throttle all week, which has left me looking forward to the extended weekend (shouldn't every weekend be extended?). 

During some weeks, like this one, where I am constantly scurrying to check something else off of my to-do list it is easy for me to feel overwhelmed or to feel as though I'm not doing a good enough job. Part of me felt that way this week. 

It is in those times when I have a long talk with myself in the mirror and remind myself that I am doing the best I can, when I can, with what I have. I remind myself that I am enough. 

I think we all need to practice being more gentle with ourselves. Yes, we should hold ourselves to high standards, but we should recognize the worthiness of our best efforts as well. 

My challenge for myself this week is to remember to be more gentle with myself as I seek to rise to the expectations myself and others have for me. I'm hoping to find more patience and more joy along my path. 

I hope you'll join me. 

Courage

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Taking risks and having courage isn't easy. But sometimes those are the exact experiences that we need. As my girl Alicia Keys likes to say, "And the day came where the risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom." (Which is actually a Anaïs Nin quote, sorry Alicia.)

Lately this is exactly how I have felt. I have felt crippled by my anxiety and terrified to step out on to the limbs that life has presented me. I have felt hounded by the "what-ifs" and the possibility of failure. More than once I have tried to convince myself that "it" isn't worth the heartache or to "wait a little longer," but I know that both of those messages come from fear, and what I need is courage.

There are a few things that give me courage. I like to call these my billets as I limb-walk my way though the choppy waters that are "life goals." My partner and family give me courage. My aspirations to build and achieve a beautiful life for my family give me courage. My goals and refusal to settle on to a life path that offers me no growth give me courage. My determination to not stay in the same place -- physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. -- give me courage. 

These are the things I remember when I am staring into the maw of fear or self doubt. These are the things I carry with me each day as I set one foot in front of another, reaching for the things of my hopes and dreams. I remember the people I have around me, put on my best lion vibes, and I don't let it back me down. Sometimes it feels like a facade, and sometimes it is a facade, but the more I work my courage-muscles, the more they can do for me and the farther they can take me. 

To me, that is so worth any moment of anxiety or fear. The things we can accomplish when we refuse to give fear the driver's seat are immeasurable and incomprehensible until we do just that. 

So, give me your best lion roar, and let's get after those hopes and dreams. 

The Sweet Life

Photo from here.

Photo from here.

I couldn't have asked for a better start to my week. I feel so much joy and positivity in my life and I couldn't be more thankful for it. 

This week started my first full week at work with everyone back from Summer vacation. After working a lot of days without seeing anyone, working from home, or working by myself, it is a nice change to see friendly faces and talk with real humans over my lunch break. 

Brandon started his next semester at school. I couldn't be more proud of him. He is so meticulous in his studies and works so hard in all of his classes. I dropped him off at trax and watched him walk off with his cute satchel and laptop. Seriously, could that moment have been better? I vote 'no'. 

I had my favorite Orange Theory trainer for my class on Monday, and that was a great way to start my week. It may sound like a small thing, but it makes such a huge difference in my Mondays! And after a long day at work, it was exactly what I needed. 

On Saturday I downloaded a new Daily Devotional application for my phone, and I have been loving the positive messages. While my relationship with religion may feel unique to some, my spirituality is something that I love about myself. It doesn't have to look like yours, and that's okay, but who couldn't use a little dose of positivity during their day? I think we all could. 

So, while it may be only Tuesday, this week is off to a pretty sweet start. Our week isn't without commitments and stressors, but the people in my life make all of it worth it. To me, that makes it all sweet from here.

Small Moments, Beautiful Life

Photo from (here).

Photo from (here).

So many things have happened in this past week that have made me grateful for the life that I live. 

It isn't any of the major things in my life, but in the small moments that I become so aware of how beautiful my life is and how fortunate I am. 

Here are just a few of this week's beautiful moments: 

The Sixth Love Language

Have you ever heard of the Five Love Languages? It is a pretty popular series of books about connecting with people in our lives. Well, I am pretty sure that those who put it hours and years of research to these books left a huge gaping hole, a hole that I like to call the Sixth love language. 

Food. 

There is nothing that makes this girl happier than food. There is nothing that stresses me out more than thinking about what food I need to prepare. There is no worse time to be around me than when I am hangry. 

Enter my eternally patient spouse. Each week for the last five or six weeks he has spent his Sunday evenings preparing my lunches for the week. I've been eating especially healthily, so he has measured and bagged and container-ed all of the parts of my lunch for the whole week. I can't tell you what that does to my heart. He serves me always and I couldn't love him more for it. 

Failed FaceTime

I FaceTime my parents every day before work. Sometimes it is only for a few minutes and sometimes we dive into the really emotional stuff, but it offers me time to connect with them every day. 

This past week, for whatever strange reason, we had a few FaceTime attempts where I could hear them, but they couldn't hear me. Or they could hear me, but I couldn't hear them. We couldn't talk and it threw off the mojo of my mornings. We used hand and arm signals and worked on reaching each other until our connections finally came through. 

The failed FaceTimes weren't the sweet part of my day, but just knowing that both of us were working to be able to communicate. We wanted to be able to talk to each other and be a part of each other's lives. I know this, of course, but sometimes small things remind me of that reality and I can't help but feel thankful for the people in my life. 

Time For Friends

With how busy we've been lately (see previous post), I have been really worried that I would feel isolated from all of my friends. I don't live in a neighborhood near to all of them and our schedules are varied. However, in the last week, I have had a chance to see more than one of my friends and still other have reached out with phone calls or messages. That isn't a typical week for me, we all lead busy lives, but I felt so lucky to have all of them in my life. They rock. They seriously rock. 

 

With the stress of work and with everything going on right now, these moments that organically manifested themselves this week were so precious to me. I'm not sure what good karma I have put out into the world, but I promise to keep doing whatever that is in order to not lose these moments. (Not to mention I couldn't handle myself if Brandon didn't make my lunch.) Every day is beautiful, and made more beautiful by the people in it. These may be small moments, but they make a beautiful life. 

Independence Day 2016

Independence Day is always one of the highlights of summertime. I love the fireworks and patriotism and feeling of community that go along with the 4th of July. 

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I started the day with a sweat session at my favorite Orange Theory. It was a great, high energy way to start the day. Everyone was decked out in their red, white, and blue and we had a great class.

During the day we took the time to relax and enjoy our holiday. We napped, watched a movie, and stayed cool inside. In the evening we visited family and friends and again loved seeing everyone in patriotic regalia. 

Brandon and I aren't "crowd" people, so we always love figuring out ways around traffic and/org large groups. Knowing both would be inevitable at the local fireworks, we took advantage of the mountains we live in. We walked to our local library with a blanket and sat with on the lawn. Our view let us see out across the entire valley. It was quiet and we didn't have to fight a sea of people. The valley was bursting with pops of color for miles in every direction. After about a half an hour of watching the sky light up, we walked home and listened to the sound of fireworks from our open window.

Our day couldn't have been better or more relaxing. As always, I remain so grateful for the freedoms I enjoy as an American citizen. Our country isn't perfect, but we have a voice, checks, balances, and procedures that let us evaluate and readjust as is necessary. In this especially important election year, I am proud to exercise my  voice and stand up for the future of our nation. Please, research and do the same! Exercise your right to vote! 

Happy 4th of July!


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Past Independence Days:

2015

2014

2013

2011