My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

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You meet somewhere ordinary; online, a friend’s birthday party or while browsing the sci-fi section at your favorite bookstore. It’s an ordinary Tuesday afternoon, or perhaps an ordinary Saturday night. The thing you will soon find out however is that this day, this moment, is anything but ordinary.

You stare at a picture of this person, or see them from across the room and suddenly feel your stomach is filled with just all of the butterflies pterodactyls. You take a deep breath, gather your courage, and decide to say hello. You wait with baited breath for a reply, a clue as to whether they are maybe feeling they same way you are, and when they do, you melt.

You start talking about anything and everything; your shared love of breakfast food, baseball and ridiculously amazing Will Ferrell movies and your equally shared hate of rude people, fish and having to wait for the next installment of a fave book series to come out. You talk a bit more, and you realize absurdly quick that you like this person.

You really like this person.

They’re funny and charming and incredibly sweet. The conversation was effortless, as if you were talking to a friend, someone whom you’ve known for most of your life. You feel like a bit of an idiot because you’re more giddy than you want to admit about the mere fact that you met someone, someone who has finally made you feel excited again. You just met them, after all. But yet you still can’t help but wonder if something will happen. Your heart had been badly broken, but you begin to think that maybe, just maybe, it could be put back together again.

Something does happen eventually. You exchange numbers, a tangible promise that this thing, whatever it is, is a possibility. For the next few days, weeks, you stay up way too late texting back and forth, telling each other about your day, creating inside jokes and slowly but surely sharing more and more tidbits about one another. You go to work some mornings five blocks past groggy and your daily coffee intake takes a dramatic upsurge, but you don’t care. You’re running on adrenaline–an infatuistic adrenaline.

And then it happens.

You go out on a first date—and it’s perfect.

No, it’s not a five-course dinner on a penthouse balcony or a private dance in front of an orchestra. There’s nothing involving masquerade balls of five thousand dollar ball gowns. It’s just you and a person who makes you smile and laugh until your stomach hurts, wearing jeans and walking around, ordering takeout or going to a casual dinner eating pizza and drinking a couple of beers together.

And then there’s another date, and another. You begin to count the days until you can see each other again, anticipating the next time you hear their voice, see their smile and feel their hugs. You begin to really get to know them. You understand what they were like in college and learn that there are some things that make them laugh that aren’t that funny. But this fact makes you laugh all the more. You begin to notice little things like how when they’re nervous, they cross their arms and you like when they wear their favorite sweatshirt.

You’re surprised at how quickly someone can show up in your life like this, someone so incredibly sweet and funny and cute in a they-don’t-know-they’re-cute-but-totally-are kind of way. Suddenly you’re this person who walks around smiling while perusing the cereal aisle in grocery store or while taking out the trash. It’s annoyingly amazing.

You start to wonder if and when you’re actually going to fall in love.

And then it happens.

On some regular, uneventful day, you realize they’re your person. There’s no courageous act or ridiculous announcement or some kind of proclamation on the top of the Eiffel Tower. You’re just looking at them, in the car on the way to dinner or marathoning Friends. You get goosebumps and you’re nauseous and out of breath. You’re completely terrified because you’re not sure if they feel it too. It’s a big risk, this love thing. Putting yourself out there, opening your heart to possible rejection is scary.

But then one of you blurts it out.

“I love you.”

Sometimes it comes out as a question, sometimes it’s barely audible because they swallowed their own spit out of panic. It’s never smooth or sexy. In fact, it’s usually the opposite and someone more often than not immediately laughs, sometimes it’s both of you.

But it’s regular and unaffected and simple and genuine and based on nothing else other than your legitimate, steady, honest and true feelings. It makes all of the worry and heartache worth it. It’s an ordinary love and it happened to you.

It’s your modern day fairytale.

Friday Faves

Well hey there, guys! Happy TGIF! I woke up this morning with a spring (pun intended) in my step and a giant goofy grin on my face. It could be due to the fact that it is absolutely GOREGOUS out–have I mentioned how incredible springtime is here in Colorado? It also could be that I’m wearing my super cute summer dress, am rocking a good hair day (this happens on the rare so I be sure to take advantage of it when it does), it’s Friyay and that in just three days, my baby sis is MOVING TO COLORADO!!! Just so mannnnny goooood things!!! I’ve also got a pretty great weekend lined up, most of which involves enjoying this amazing weather.  Seeing as my mom is coming into town and will be staying with me next week (YAY!!), I should probably clean my apartment at some point as well, you know, make it seem as though I do that sort of thing on a regular basis. Before you get started on your weekend funness, be sure to check out my finds from the web and more in this week’s edition of my Friday Faves! Favorite furballs. BEST FWENDS FOREVER! Heart. Melted. dog-kitty-best-friends_mini Favorite treat: Butterscotch White Chocolate Wonderful Krispie Treats. Everybody’s favorite sweet treat, on ‘roids! Plus there’s only 3 ingredients! ButterscotchWhiteChocoateWonderfulBars_mini Favorite reminder: Have Fun! (Seriously). But seriously though. :) HavefunSeriously_mini Favorite h[APP]y: This app lets you send actual feelable feels via text. Virtual hugs are now a thing and they are amazing! Hugnow1-700x525c Favorite sweet: No-Bake Peanut Butter S’mores Bars. Clearly, very few words are needed to express my deep gratitude for this recipe, but I do just love the fact that these bars are no-bake (in addition to everything else!) NoBakePeanutButterSmoresBars_mini Favorite travel: Man-Made Structures that will Fry Your Brain. Must. Get. To. Petra. petra_mini Favorite funny: 18 Most Epic Dog Beards of All Time. This montage made me laugh uncontrollably in a way that usually only Jimmy Fallon can. dogbeards_mini Favorite jam: Honey I’m Good by Andy Grammar has got me ugly dancing in all the best possible ways. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go7gn6dugu0 Favorite lick: Oreo Pudding Pops. The love child of my favorite ice cream, Cookies ‘n’ Cream. and my favorite childhood treat, Jello Pudding Pops. YUM!! Oreo-Pudding-Pops_mini Favorite News: Did I mention that MY SISTER IS MOVING TO COLORADO NEXT WEEK?!?! Colorado better hold on to it’s tighty whities because the Hansen sisters are back, Jack! 10406373_10100486408886342_1599872745069254214_n Have a great weekend, everyone!

Most of you have all heard about the concept of having a ‘bucket list’ or, rather, a personal list of all the goals you want to achieve, dreams you want to fulfill and life-experiences you wish to have before you ‘kick the bucket’. I think that everyone should have some sort of list like this, whether it’s written down, emailed to your i-phone, or just simply in that noggin of yours somewhere. Having such a list allows us to be held accountable for what we want to achieve, see and do in our lives, helping us to maximize every moment we have and live life to the fullest.

                 What do you want to do before you die?

My bucket list is a mile and a half long, filled with things like “Write and publish a book” (check!), “Kiss somebody in the rain” (super cheesy, I know. I blame Nicholas Sparks), “See a baseball game at every stadium in America”, “Eat my way through Italy”, “See New York at Christmas time (double check!)”, “Run a marathon” (that’s run a marathon, not watch a marathon of Seinfeld because let’s face it, I do that every weekend), “Send a message in a bottle” and “Make a positive difference in someone’s life.” The thing about this bucket list is that each and every item is completely do-able and is a sort of stepping stone for me to go out and make these things actually come to fruition. Slowly but surely, I hope to cross off each and every item, bringing with them unbelievable experiences and incredible memories.

Along with my ‘bucket list’, I also have another list, one that I would like to call my “Stay in the bucket list.” This list is full of items that I hope I don’t ever have to do, see, hear or experience in my lifetime (again). After all, life is just too short to repeat  what didn’t work for you the first time, right?

                                           Yeah…that can just stay in there.

Here, in part, is my “Stay in the bucket list”…

1. Drive my manual VW Bug (or any stick shift vehicle for that matter) through the hella-hilly streets of San Francisco. My stick shift and hills are most definitely not on good speaking terms…nor do I think they will ever be.

2. See any “show on ice”.

3. Eat squid.

4. Wear apparel, cheer for or have any positive affiliations with the Chicago Cubs.

5. Sit through any movie starring Gerard De Pardieu. Ditto for Pauly Shore.

6. Attend a kiddo’s birthday party at Chucky Cheese. Oh who am I kidding. I totally would because pizza. And singing/dancing mice.

7. Attempt to curl my hair. Or cut my hair. Or straighten my hair without the help of a pro. No, it’s not rocket science but…well, for me, it kind of is.

8. Attempt actual rocket science.

9. Go ice fishing. Sorry dad, but I just don’t see the point of sitting in sub-zero temperatures for hours on end, freezing your hat off, just waiting for a fish that will most likely never even attempt to take your bait because they, unlike us, don’t want to risk getting frostbite and hypothermia. In fact, I bet they all get a good laugh, watching us from below wondering what in the world we’re thinking.

10. Eat said fish (because why would anyone want to eat anything that smelled so…fishy?!)

11. Go into a bookstore and leave without buying anything. It’s not that I don’t want to do this, but more like it’s physically impossible for me to do so.

12. Mistake sugar for salt on my Cheerios.

13.  Mistake salt for sugar on my spaghetti.

14. Go for a run in my new kicks through a dog park. The poo-to-shoe probabilities are just way too high.

15. Listen to country music.

16. Drive through Nebraska. Or Kansas. Or Oklahoma any time between March – October. I didn’t like the movie Twister and I certainly don’t want to be in a live-action version of it.

17. Not do something just because I’m afraid.

18. Or let the opinions of others cause me change who I am.

19. Ever doubt the positive power of a cookie.

20. AND FOR THE LOVE OF RUNAWAY CARS, I WILL NEVER, EVERRRRR FORGET TO PUT MY PARKING BREAK UP. AGAIN. EVERRRRR.

This was a just a snippet of some of the things I don’t want to do before I kick the bucket, and I’m sure that as I learn and experience new things, yet another item will be tacked on to this list. Although both lists can be beneficial, it’s important to balance both what’s in, and what isn’t, in your bucket to ensure that you have a great day and an even better tomorrow.

So what are you waiting for? Start crossing those items off (or keeping them on, especially if it involves eating fishy squid while listening to country music on your road trip through Oklahoma.

Question of the day: What are some of the things you want to do before you die? What are some of the things you don’t?

Life Lessons From My Dad (and a very happy birthday!!!)

In honor of my dad’s birthday today (HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDIO!!!!), I thought I would share just some things that I have learned from him over the years. As they say, with age comes wisdom….and he’s got a whole lot of it! ;)

No burrito is too big–or too cheesy.

Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means you stand alone.

Give of yourself. My dad always manages to find time to help others and in doing so has taught me, or rather shown me, what selflessness truly means.

Pee before you leave.

Don’t be afraid to throw like a boy.

Laugh at yourself. If my faja has taught be anything, it’s the importance of being goofy. He’s never afraid to be silly or laugh at himself. After all, it’s that sense of humor that makes life a lot more fun!

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The secret to grilling a good burger/steak/dog is all in the charcoal.

Be punny. One of my favorite things I’ve learned from my dad is the art of a well-placed pun. He taught me that no matter the situation, there’s always room for a joke — the cornier, the better.

Develop a good golf swing.

Have a little faith.

Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers. I’ve watched my dad make countless connections through casual, friendly chitchat throughout his life. As a teen I would cringe as he struck up conversations with complete strangers — something I was too shy to do. However, I saw time and time again how just a 5-minute talk could turn into new and valuable knowledge, an entertaining invitation, or even a lifelong friendship.

If you happen to pass wind, blame it on the dog.

There is no secret to success. When I was 18, I asked my dad, “What’s the secret to success?” His answer was far simpler than I expected. “There is no secret,” he said. “Success is equal parts hard work and accountability.” Now that I’m an adult, I understand how he truly embodied this ideology. He was always a blood, sweat, and tears sort of man who could always be counted on. There are no secret paths or easy roads to success, but hard work and accountability are helping me become the woman I want to be.

Be kind.

Enjoy the ride. I think the most important thing that I’ve learned from my dad was not to take myself too seriously. No matter what he and I are talking about or what we are doing, laughter is always involved. So many people spend so much time focused on trying to be perfect instead of just relaxing and enjoying the little moments that make life so special. He also taught me how to ignore the “what ifs”. What’s the point of life if you can’t have a little fun?

Never let go of the clutch too soon.

Never, ever give up. My Dad taught me not to quit when it gets tough, and that even if people say you can’t do something, the only one who decides that is you!

Love with your whole heart.

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To the best daddio I know….HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Thank you for passing on your wisdom and valuable life lessons, for always being there for me, for believing in me, for cheering me on, for making me laugh and for making me the person I am today.

I love you oh so much!

Choose Yes!

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Happy Friday, guys! And happy first day of spring!!

So question for you all…

Have you ever not tried something because you were scared of failing, scared of what you would look like, or scared you might not fit in?

Sometimes we put so much stress on ourselves to fit certain perceived expectations that we don’t even give ourselves the opportunity to try something new and different and potentially amazing. We cap our possibility right from the very beginning and choose failure even before we are given the chance to succeed.

How many things do we steer away from in our lives because we are scared of what other people are going to think? How many opportunities do we say no to out of fear?

We discover our passions through proactively seeking out and trying things that we find intriguing. But where do you get if you never branch out, take the leap and try? Be mindful of what you say no to and understand the why behind your decision. Where are you rooted? In fear? Or in possibility to what the unknown can bring? By saying yes to what our hearts call to we open up to so much new territory to play around in.

You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them. Grab fear by the hand and go dive in! You never know where it could lead you.

This weekend I invite you to choose yes.

Pick yes.

Go say yes to something new and different.

Live a **fuck yes life!

Right now!

**(pardon my French)

When God Winks at You

Faith.

Aptly defined, it means a confidence or trust in a person or thing.

It is belief that is not based on proof.

It is a belief in something that you may not see or hear, but something that you feel.

It is also what fills my heart and soul, gives me courage, and guides me in my every days and every nights. I have talked about how important my faith to me is before, how that unyielding and never-wavering belief in the big man upstairs and His infinitive love has gotten me through some of the most difficult times in my life. I may not understand all of His motives, His decisions or plans. I may get frustrated and even upset at times. But it is that very faith that lets me know my life is in the best hands possible. That all of ours is.

I recently read an amazing book called When God Winks at You.

The author of this wonderful page-turner Squire Rushnell says that there are silent little miracles called ‘godwinks’ – messages of assurance that no matter what is happening in your life or how uncertain things may seem at the moment, God is with you and will help you move toward certainty.

I like that. :)

When God Winks at You is an amazing array of real-life stories that really help you (And you. And yes…even you.) begin to recognize the godwinks in your own life and attain an unshakable confidence that you are never alone…and never have been. Written as a compilation of real-life stories submitted from people just like you and me, it sheds light on moments in life, personal experiences or occurrences that held a special meaning, a deep impact or a pivotal turning point in these people’s lives.

I have been fortunate enough to have had many similar experiences and moments in my life compared to those found in this inspiring book.

One of these key moments was getting fired from my first ‘big-girl’ post-college and what had seemed to me, my ‘ultimate dream job’. At the time, I was absolutely crushed and devastated. My world had come to a screeching stop, sending me into a whirlwind. I felt like a failure. That I simply wasn’t good enough. Having been always on the top of my game, always liked by all, and never really even having had the words “FIRE”, TERMINATE”, and/or “LET GO” in my vocab before then, my self-worth and esteem seemed to go down the drain. I didn’t know who I was anymore. What I was. In a lot of ways, I felt lost and confused. Like someone had totally reprogrammed my GPS and left me willy-nilly to fend for myself.

In the midst of this confusion, this heartache and loss, God winked at me. He took off that blindfold that was preventing me from seeing what was really in front of me, what even greater opportunities laid before me and gave me the kick in the bum I needed to go after what I really wanted. He knew that I wasn’t destined to stay at the company, in that position. That sneaky little wink of his made me realize how strong I really was, that I could get back up after a fall and come back even better than I was. He made me see that I cannot be defined by my work, by my need to be perfect all the time. He opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me.

A Godwink.

Another example of a wink I received was when I made the big move to Colorado just a little over a year ago (it’s been a year already?! Craziness!) I decided to take one giant leap of faith, so to speak, got into my little VW bug, traveled clear across the country and began a crazy but pretty amazing adventure. I didn’t have a job, a place to live or really any idea what was waiting for me when I got there, but something just felt…right. At the time, all I could do was pray that the decision I made was a good one and hope for a sign, for a wink, that everything would work out. I think every once in a while we all need a good kick in the ass to do things, to take a chance and be fearless. This wink did just that! Moving to Colorado has been the best decision I’ve made in my life thus far and I couldn’t be more excited to see what the next year brings.

Touché, God. Touché.

I think each one of us experience subtle “winks” all the time, it’s just that we aren’t paying attention. Or maybe we pas them off as a coincidence or luck. I have been prone to this thinking myself, however I’m beginning to realize that maybe there are no coincidences, that we make out own luck.

Whether you believe in God or not, I think that faith is a universal feeling, a feeling that gives you something to believe in, something to hope for.

Be open to the winks that occur in your life.

You never know what they might bring! ;)

Question of the day: Do you have any stories of “god winking at you”. If you think really hard I know you do :)

Happy Wednesday, guys! How’s everyone doing? Anyone feeling the effects of a little too much St. Patrick’s Day fun last night? The only thing I was fighting this morning was a sugar hangover…but that’s kind of an everyday thing for me. The good thing is that we’re almost over the hump. Friday is right around the corner and to the left!

So I have some really, really, REALLY exciting news to share with all of you. My baby sister/partner-in-crime/best friend Lindsay IS MOVING OUT TO COLORADO IN T-MINUS 11 DAYS (but who’s counting, really?)!!!! She has worked so incredibly hard to make her dream of beginning a life out here a reality for quite some time and I could NOT be more proud of her for getting to this point! I can’t tell you how excited I am to have her out here with me! Colorado…brace yourself. The Hansen sisters are officially back together again!

In honor of her big move, I decided to highlight just some of the reasons why she, and anyone else should never, ever, never ever make the big move to Colorado. ;)

1. If you’re looking for a unique, quirky and amazing bookstore, good luck!

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2. The people. Ugh. They are really just all of the worst.

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3. And don’t even get me started on the food.

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Succulent chicken enchiladas w_ spicy, smokey and sweet chili Colorado sauce_ Say what say what!_! It all sounds good_

4. Weather? What weather?

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5. You may find yourself sleeping outside.

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6. And waking up early…willingly…on weekends to sweat it out.

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7. You will get lost. A lot.

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8. The music venues are terrible.

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9. And so are the views.

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10. You will learn how small you actually are.

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If you move to Colorado, you will make incredible memories, meet some pretty awesome people, get to experience this beautiful country in a completely new and different way…

…and you will never want to leave.

I may be a bit biased, but I am so very lucky and blessed that I was given the opportunity to live in such an amazing place. They say home is where your heart is, and my heart is definitely in Colorado.

Now if only I could get the Milwaukee Brewers to move out here too… ;)

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