Songs & Stories: In the Rain

Almost a decade ago, my dear friend Tayleranne and I were walking back to our dorm hall after class on our small town, brick and pine tree laden college campus. As we left class there was just a drizzle, but as we neared our building the downpour began. We were prepared with our rubber boots, Tayleranne took out her umbrella and we huddled under it. We'd had that experience several times that winter, as we walked shoulder to shoulder towards our building and I took my keys out of my pocket, she said "it's always me and you in the rain".
Though I was very single at that time, the sentiment of that phrase stuck with me, and when I got back to my room my imagination wrote a sweet love story with that saying in the center, and turned it into a song.
I wrote this song over nine years ago, but a rainy night to myself earlier this month inspired me to record it. Notice the real rain sounds at the beginning and conclusion. There's also a couple guitars and mandolin.


Rose Gold Dots for February

I think February is such a fun month! I love Valentine's Day, it's my sister's birthday, and my nephew's birthday, who together first made me an auntie. I love bringing out all the feminine details and pink hues this month. 


Believe in Kindness

Today one of my students left this note on the desk for whoever might happen to sit there next.

I loved seeing her heart.

I loved seeing that the message I've tried to send to my kids that they matter, they are valued, and they make a difference has set in and made my classroom a safe place for them to share their light.

But what I loved the most was that she left the note not knowing who would receive it.

I think so much of the time, especially these days, we are hesitant to give our love and care to those we don't know. We don't know their stories, their beliefs, or if we can trust them. But here's the thing: you don't have to trust someone in order to show them a small gesture of care or love. You can put that good will out into the world with no strings attached- just a little sprinkle of kindness you are sending out into the world.

We can share kindness without having to know if someone is on the same page as us politically and religiously. We can hold back our cynicism and give a stranger the benefit of the doubt, that they are striving just as hard as we are in a tough world. We can share hope and encouragement that applies to their story, no matter what it is, without knowing their story.

So here's an invitation: in our polarizing world, let go of trying to figure out what side someone is on and just see them as a human. A human who needs love, hope, and kindness no matter where they are at.

Believe in kindness. Believe that sharing care with a stranger can shake the world. What the light in you has to say matters.

linking up with:


Rockin' that ponytail

I'm a Jazzercise instructor, and every few years I'm required to video myself teaching a class and send it in for an assessment. I watched my video back after class, and one of my first takeaways was 'woah, my ponytail is powerful!'. 


Make a Sweatshirt a Statement

Does anyone else get in "I live in my sweatshirt" mode? I remember the first sweatshirt I lived in- I got it for my birthday in 6th grade. It was a sky blue zip up, and it was a little bit too big. I wore it to school almost daily, and there was usually a bit of chocolate ice cream on the sleeve. I wore that sweatshirt until the sleeves were threadbare. 
I still love a good sweatshirt (although I try to keep the ice cream sleeves to a minimum), especially this time of year. Sweatshirts really don't have to be boring, basic, and frumpy- there are so many different designs and fits out there this day so you can find a sweatshirt that really reflects your style and personality, and add some fun outfit elements to make it fresh. 


If you already failed your new years resolution, this is for you.

Many of us jump into January with that shiny, new feeling of fresh start. We head into the year wide-eyed and hopeful, full of a vision of the greatness we could achieve and how changed life could be... and then we mess up. We feel as if that vision of our best selves has slipped away, and we failed at our one opportunity.

Good news: that fresh start, that excitement over our potential, that hope that being our better selves is truly possible- Jesus has this for us every. single. day.

Despite our short comings, our failures to attain that perfect version of our selves, our truly ugly, nitty gritty sins- he gives us a new chance every day.

He holds that beautiful vision and that fresh start promise for you every moment. This promise is sprinkled all throughout his word. And his vision isn't a thinner you, or a you who exercises, or a you who saves money or is more present or doesn't eat dessert. His vision for you is greater than you could ever imagine.

A you designed for complete love. A you living fully who you were meant to be. A you full of the peace, joy, hope, freedom, and love only he can fill you with. A you who strives and messes up again and again, but is perfectly loved, seen, and known the entire time.

A you who is free in your striving because you rest in his perfect love.

This is the gospel: Despite our yuckiness, despite the fact that we fail to live up to the perfect vision we have for ourselves- Jesus loves us, picks us up, and gives us another chance. He gave himself for us so that he could cleanse us from our shortcomings and wrap us up in that redeeming, hope-filled, new year love.



18 Hours in Queenstown, New Zealand

We spent Christmas 2017 in New Zealand. During the past week I've found my mind repeatedly drifting to to that once-in-a-lifetime adventure, our epic road trip around the south island, and one especially memorable day in Queenstown. 


Scores from Old Navy's epic clearance event

 Boy oh boy do I love a good sale. I don't think I have ever justified buying anything full price at Old Navy, because sooner or later it will end up on the clearance rack for less than twenty bucks! Especially during their biannual Epic Clearance Event, which is on right now.
I managed to squeeze in an ON visit on Monday and made some major scores at crazy steals (We're talking 9 items for a total of $80.41). I just have to share that so my readers might be able to score some adorable items for knockout prices too!


Strength & Vulnerability

Vulnerability:  (noun): the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
I've recently come to the realization that it takes strength to be vulnerable. In putting yourself out there you have to accept that you are susceptible to things not working out. You have to step out into the unknown knowing that your weaknesses will be shown. It takes strength to step out in courage fully aware of the reality that stepping out makes us exposed.

What holds us back? Fear. It can seem like fear and love are opposites, that if our love is big enough it triumphs over fear. I've also recently realized that fear and love are deeply intertwined. If you love someone, you fear for them being hurt or losing them. If you don't care about something, you don't worry about it. When I search my heart, it's apparent that the main reason I fear is because I love.

Vulnerability. Fear. Strength. Love. I'm finding they are all so connected... and all such a crucial part of the human spirit. Of growth, of grief, of relationship. And this is the place we live, floating between our reservations of what could happen if we do step out, and the fact that we love too much to not step out.

It's worth it.


5 Steps to Take Today to make 2019 Amazing

Happy New Year! I find January so refreshing and inspiring. Here's some tiny things to do today to embrace this fresh start with a whole heart. 


Wearing Lately: December

Thinking about what I want to wear that day helps me get out of bed in the morning- no lie.
That being said, I've been wearing a lot of fun outfits lately but what with the craziness that is the month of December, I've not had enough time to get truly post-worthy photos. SO, this is my first ever major outfit dump, highlighting my favorite looks for December.


Cheers to Four Years of Blogging!

I started blogging in December 2014. Here was my first Instagram post spreading the word about my new project:
While the layout, design, and style of my blog has changed, my heart behind it is the same and I love the fun, creative, and challenging outlet blogging has become. I've learned so much (check out some of my oldest posts), and I know I have lots more to learn!

As this month is my blogiversary, I thought just for a fun I'd share some random facts about me so readers can get to know me better, or those who know me well might just learn something new! I appreciate my readers and the support and encouragement you've given me over the last four years. I love sharing my heart with you!


What to do when your beautiful Christmas tree is crawling with spiders

A week and a half ago, Daniel and I brought home the biggest Christmas tree I have ever had. It's about 10 feet tall and almost grazes our vaulted ceiling. It was quite the adventure getting it up three flights of stairs, but other than that things went smoothly and we've been loving our big beautiful tree.
That was, until Monday morning when I came out and found about seven spiders on the ceiling. I walked into the kitchen, there's three more. Oh, there's another one in the living room. Spiders. Everywhere.


Affordable Amazon Gifts for the Wellness Minded

Over the past year I've gotten some gifts from Amazon that I have absolutely loved and would highly recommend for your loved ones this holiday season. This list is for that busy, active, and inspired person on your list who you want to gift a moment of peace, mindfulness, beauty, and rest!
I've been planning this post for weeks and was freaking out earlier today thinking that it's too late and maybe these items wouldn't ship, but GOOD NEWS, I checked and they all still will arrive in time for Christmas!