Simple Loves, Volume 2

I’ve been planning on writing the second part of my Florida trip but decided to save the post for another day. I woke up this morning with such joy in my heart and wanted to share the simple (and not so simple) loves that are currently driving my life. 

Quiet Mornings

I have always been a morning person. For the most part, I don’t even need coffee, I just hop out of bed and I’m ready to go. Occasionally it’s hard for me to remember not everyone exists the way I do. I’d spend the eary hours getting increasingly irritated by how much time was wasted waiting for others to get up and get caffeinated.  Some weeks, I’d wake with self created stress, determined to cross as many things off my to-do list as possible, without even taking a moment to breathe. It was exhausting from the moment I leapt out of bed and it showed. An hour later, I’d give my husband a lackluster good morning as he smiled and mumbled he loved me, while half asleep and adorably rumpled. When he wanted to snuggle, I’d snap and say how much time we already wasted and there were things to do. It was unhealthy. So instead of getting frazzled and anxious at 6 am, I have been focusing my mornings on love and self discovery. There is something about being curled up with a cup of tea, enveloped in silence while the sun comes up. Even just 30 minutes alone in the mornings, whether I’m writing or simply sitting there, recharges my batteries and sets the mood for the day. I can appreciate how Kevin’s face lights up when he sees mine first thing in the morning. Instead of snapping at the little things, I spend more time being grateful for what I have in my life. I don’t always remember to focus on self-care and self-love, but these mornings inspire me to make myself a priority. No area of my life will thrive if I don’t allow myself to first. 

Bullet Journaling

I am surrounded by technology: my phone is normally within arms reach and there are tvs and radios in most rooms of my house, but I do my best to disconnect when I can. I still feel the need to write things down; to put pen to paper and let my thoughts tumble out, fast and free. My house is littered with notebooks overflowing with important dates, to do lists, and thoughts that have no where else to go. So when I heard of bullet journaling, I was intrigued but hesitant. I’m not artistic and I’m also a perfectionist. I’ve been known to throw out a to do list (or 20) just to recreate it neater and more organized. It could be a disaster. But since I will literally find any excuse for a new notebook, I decided to give it a chance. And I am so glad I did. It gives me a creative outlet that I crave, allows me to blow off steam, and have something functional to organize the sometimes chaotic life of mine. 

A Sample from my Bullet Journal

Labor Day Weekend 

Seven years ago, my husband, then boyfriend, told me he loved me for the first time. (I only remember the date because every year I get a reminder that X years ago I posted “ahhhh so happy this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” on twitter). A million “I love you’s” later and that memory still brings me such warmth. I woke up this morning, joyful, and spent my quiet morning reflecting on our relationship. This amazing man I share my life with has grown so much in the 7.5 years we’ve been together. We both have. And so has our relationship. I can barely recognize the girl who was so indescribably happy to finally say I love you back to the boy who made her heart race. There was so much we didn’t know and couldn’t possibly guess about our future. I didn’t realize how much my love for him could grow or what it would even mean to become equal partners on the good days and the bad. There has been dreadful fights and ugly, mascara stained tears but there has also been more laughter and love than I even thought possible in a single lifetime. I didn’t know where we were headed 7 years ago, but I’m so thankful it led here. 

Engagement Photos, 2014
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Simple Loves, Volume 1

Have you ever watched a child play? Like really play? It’s such an innocent and pure display of happiness. Their giggles shake their whole body and the laugh is always infectious. (If you’re ever having a rough day, Youtube baby giggles. You won’t be in a bad mood for long.) They can be entertained for hours from the simplest thing. It makes me envious. How many times have I let myself appreciate life like a kid? 

Today, I write this post aggravated. I’m annoyed at nothing in particular and just downright grumpy. I could sit here and complain about all the menial things that don’t really matter or I can act like a kid in the best possible sense. 

I choose to let the simple things I love in life make my day. Instead of complaining about work/men/life/insert-any-mundane-thing-here, I will focus on the simple loves that keep me going. So here we go; some of the summer things that I’m currently enjoying. 

Lake Days: Pontoons. Tubing. Floating. Beer. Friends. It really doesn’t need any more explanation. 

Pool Days: I’ve always been a little insecure at the pool. Mostly because of bathing suits. But this year I decided to embrace my body as it is and enjoy myself. And I realized reading at the edge of the pool will always beat reading in the house on a hot summer afternoon. This past weekend we went swimming with my nephews and I realized that the smallest things can create the biggest memories. Also – this face: 

Summer Salad: Is there really anything better than fresh vegetables in the summer? The one I currently can’t get enough of is from Shauna Niequist in the Magnolia Journal magazine. It has fresh cucumbers, raw corn, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, feta, dill and basil and if this salad doesn’t define summer, I don’t know what will. 


Grilling out with a house full of friends
: I’m an introvert. I’m happiest sitting in my home, braless and in yoga pants. But lately, I’ve been gathering family and friends around the table and couldn’t be happier. Especially since the gathering is usually around the said summer salad.


Puppy Snuggles
: I’m a cat person but we got an adorable puppy back in April and there is much to be said about coming home to a snuggly puppy after a long day of work. Also, my phone storage is gone because puppy pictures. 


Memoirs
: This year I made a resolution to read more nonfiction. Some of it is historical, some medical, but mostly I have been enjoying memoirs. The last one I read was “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” by Ishmael Beah. If you are ever looking for a book to put your problems into perspective, this is it. 

So that’s all for now, but I’ll leave you with one of my favorite videos of a laughing baby. Hopefully this will inspire you to laugh and enjoy the little things a little more today. 

Baby Laughing over Ripped Paper