Sunday, October 24, 2010

A New Southern Love.

As most of you know, my best friend in Georgia gave birth to Baby Jake this week.  A very healthy 8 pounds 3 ounces, this little man has a head full of dark hair and pink cheeks.  I am so excited to meet him the first weekend in November.

Officially, this is his first blog mention.  At not quite a week old, he is doing pretty well!  My first time as "Aunt Danika" and I could not be more excited.

And yes, I fully intend on spoiling this handsome little guy (it has already begun). Pictures to come, I promise :)

XOXO (all the way from Minnesota),

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Faith. Hope. Courage. Love.

My baby sister began her freshman year of college this September.

If you've met my sisters, I would not have to tell you that they each encompass a little bit of who I am and a lot of our mother, including her warm heart.  Katy (Scooter, as nicknamed by our Auntie Karen due to her ability to scoot rather than crawl), at the age of 22, is blissful beyond her years.  She has my sense of compassion. Hannah (Buns, as nicknamed by me due to her cute little bottom), at the age of 18, is intelligent beyond her means.  She has my stubborn ways and strong drive for perfection.  Both of them are incredible young women.  At the end of the day, before I fall asleep, I know the world is a better place because each of them exists and if they had nothing but the shirts on their back, they would give those up to someone in need.

 Tonight my focus is Buns.

This week marked her first official big life decision.  As a homesick freshman, this little Princess was not sure if her choice of college was right nor if she even knew where right was for her. Needless to say, by tonight, I assure you that she has reassured herself that she indeed did make the right decision.  Thankfully, she is staying!

During my conversations with her, I was reminded of four very important parts of life:  faith, hope, courage and love.  I hope that someday, she will remember the first grown up conversation we had about life and she will remember these things:
  • Faith.  Always remember to have faith in yourself and God.  No matter where your road of life may lead you, having faith in your ability to adapt and grow and learn will keep you traveling all the years of your life.  
  • Hope.  Never ever, under any circumstances, give up hope.  Not for anyone.  Not because anyone tells you to.  Not for any reason at all.  Hope is an ocean, sometimes we just have to adjust the sails.
  • Courage.  Courage comes in many different forms.  If you ever feel that you have lost your courage, remember I am here to stand behind you.  Never shall you walk alone in the dark.  
  • Love.  Love is the cure all for life.  It is the spoonful of sugar.  It is what gives the world such vibrant color.  The beat of a heart that loves is the most beautiful sound.  Watching a heartbeat manifest itself on the world is a masterpiece.  Use your paintbrush to create your own for this is truly how the world will remember you.
Life is what you make of it.  Live your dreams.  Never let anyone tell you that your dream world is different from reality. Fall in love. Cry. Let your heart break, heal and then break again. Be proud of who you are.  Although where you came from does not define the person you are, it is a part of you.  Embrace change. Love growing older and wiser. Listen to what your older sister says because 10 years down the road you will understand that she was right. Just love being you and never, ever, forget how proud I am to be your big sister.


P.S. Remember that more candles on your birthday cake means saving on electricity for like 1-2 minutes each year.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My 10 Favorite Things About Me.

Every time I spend an afternoon with my mother (usually when we are shopping) I find something out about the world that makes me more happy with life.  Today, I discovered a collection of cookbooks at a thrift store.  I had a moment of utter and complete bliss and as I told my mother I could not leave without the cookbooks because someday in the house I intend on making a home, there will be a large walk-in pantry with two walls of bookshelves filled with cookbooks, (nevermind that her response was "well honey, you can't have that many cookbooks" to which I of course responded "oh yes I can") I realized that I may just be the most unique young woman I have ever met and I kind of like being her.

We are constantly trying to improve ourselves, to somehow change and make ourselves better, which I happen to think is wonderful.  But today, I am taking a moment to remind myself of the things I love the most about being me.  Here we go....
  1. My soul. It is what defines who I am.
  2. My family. They have helped to shape who I am. 
  3. Being the young lady that loves being in a dress, pearls and a great pair of heels. 
  4. My ambition and drive.  There is nothing I cannot do. has taught me to embrace this about myself. 
  5. My imagination and ability to dream.  Thank goodness my mother instilled in me the determination to chase after my dreams and to follow my imagination.
  6. Hallmark commercials and romantic movies make me cry. 
  7. Being the girl that loves having her hand held.  
  8. My morals and values. 
  9. I am not afraid to scuff my heels, get dirt on my dress or spill my coffee.  Life is full of oops, laugh, learn from it and just go with it. 
  10. My love of the kitchen. As I sit here and type, there is an edition of Southern Living sitting next to me with the recipes section open....
Take a moment, a step back from self doubt and being your own worst critic.  Look in the mirror and love what you see. 

XOXO (all the way from Minnesota),

Prince Charming + Cinderella

Prince Charming never gave up on Cinderella, even though the odds were stacked against them after midnight.  Cinderella was one smart young lady, she followed the rules and let fate take the reigns.  Prince Charming and his determined self knew that somewhere in the kingdom his heart's match was dreaming of the day he found her.  The Fairy Godmother was right when she told Cinderella that anything was possible. 

There are times in life when we come across people that change us, who we are - they change our very being by finding a place within us. I don't mean in a sense of opening a door or letting you cut in line at the grocery store because you are in a hurry.  These people come in, open us up to new ideas and emotions, sometimes they stay and sometimes they leave.  They are the occasional soul mate to a certain period of our lives.  We love them, we lose them and we move on as better individuals knowing that the world is full of really great people or in this modern day Cinderella's case...Prince Charming.

As I write (or rewrite) this post, there is a certain someone in the back of my mind.  The most rare encounter I have experienced brought him into my life.  His character, very big heart, stubborn ways, gentle and ever so loving approach to life found this young man a place in my heart.  He instilled in me a belief that Prince Charming does exist and I will never forget him.  The woman who gets to spend the rest of her life with him is a very lucky woman.