Well, this little space has been neglected for quite some time. I wish I could say my absence was due to pure busyness and lots of exciting things happening in my life, but unfortunately the opposite is true.
2017 has been – for lack of a better word – heavy. Life smacked me and some of my loved ones in the face not just once, but several times in the course of a few short months, and now I’m doing my best to get back on track and move forward. I’ve never been one to spill my guts on the internet, but I do hope that someday when the dust settles I’ll be in a place where I’m less vague and more comfortable sharing, because what good is it if we can’t be open with each other about life’s struggles? (The fact that I’m even admitting to any of this is so uncharacteristic of me. I guess it shows that facing adversity can change you for the better.)
To any of you out there going through hard things right now, please know that I’m sending love and prayers your way. Being a grown-up is certainly not for the faint of heart. You’ve got this, and more importantly, so does the big guy upstairs.
On a happier note, I’m thrilled to bring back a feature that adds a little joy to the end of a week. Here are ten things putting some pep in my step. Be sure you read through everything – there’s a pretty fun site-related announcement included. Happy Friday!
- Starbucks Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato. I know everyone is losing their minds over the new Unicorn Frappuccino, but skip that sugar bomb and go for the Macchiato (still sugary no doubt, but just less so). It’s life-changing.
- Speaking of being vulnerable and sharing struggles, Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly is rocking my world. I’m listening to the audiobook version narrated by the author herself, and it’s one of those gems where you find yourself nodding and shouting “yes!” about one million times throughout. It’s all about the shame/vulnerability/courage cycle we find ourselves in at every stage of life.
- Hoda Kotb’s adoption story. I’ve been a longtime fan of Hoda and Kathie Lee’s segment on the Today Show, so I was moved to tears when they first revealed the big news about Hoda’s baby girl Haley Joy (how sweet is that name?) in February. It’s such a beautiful example of how anyone can start a family and be so deeply impacted despite age or circumstance.
- 27 Random Thoughts You Have in HomeGoods. Lots of hilarious truths here that I feel also apply to stores like Target and Gordman’s. #takeallmymoney
- Things that won’t damage your child. This woman is my spirit animal. And the fitted sheet folding tutorial is the best thing ever.
- BBQ Pork Cornbread Stacks from my friend Meghan. How creative and delicious does this look?
- This new purse. In recent months I’d been carrying around a giant totebag style, and I decided it was time to downsize. So far this is a good in-between solution. While I was at Target, I also saw the new Victoria Beckham clothing line they’re carrying. I don’t love it (or in the words of my toddler “it’s not my favorite”), but it’s probably because I’m not cool enough to wear it.
- 93-year-old prepares for his upcoming birthday piano recital. Some of you who know me in “real life” know I come from a long line of family musicians, and it’s something I’m really proud of. This man reminds me of my own grandmother who still amazes the local community with her talents at age 87. They are both living proof that the power of music knows no limits.
- That time Jen Hatmaker wrote a soul-piercing piece on Good Friday. She endured a lot of criticism and hate-filled backlash after a controversial interview preceding the election last year. No matter where you stand on what happened, her blog post goes to show that public figures are real people with feelings and a heart. On the lighter side of things, you should not delay in following Jen on Instagram to catch her thoughts in the middle of her Whole 30 journey. She’s a hoot.
- My latest project coming soon…The Informed and Inspired Podcast! With that whole “life is short” business really kicking in this year, I’ve decided to finally proceed with a dream that’s been occupying a place in my head and heart for over a year now. I’m in the process of booking the first few guests, but I want to know which author/expert/fascinating person you’d love to hear from! Let me know in the comments. I’ll let you know the launch date for the first episode when it gets closer!