My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Inspirational’

To the Greatest, Most Amazing, Kick-Ass Woman I Know—HAPPIEST BURFFDAY ;)

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Hey mom. I know you didn’t want me to do anything special for your birthday (30! Again!), but there’s no way I could not do anything for you. IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY, SILLY! Of course I’m going to celebrate the awesome and amazing and beautiful and one-of-a-kind woman you are. So go grab those tissues from your coat pocket, dammit! I know you way too well, which is why I think you might most definitely will need them.

From the time I was born, there has always been one person who has been totally, completely, 110% invested in my (and Lindsay’s) happiness: you.

Evidenced by the fact that mini me never left your side (remember the tantrums I threw when the babysitter came?), you were truly my first and best friend.

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You kept me entertained when I was little by playing with toys decades too young for you to enjoy (Oh. Polly Pocket again? Sure, honey.) You picked me up from school everyday just to make sure you were the first to be updated on my life. And even now you demand to know every single detail. *Bee tee dubs, the cats are great, no word on any possible jobs yet, that date I had the other night was just all of the worst, and I have been eating my veggies–potato chips count, no?

All you have ever wished for in life was to provide for both Lindsay and I, to protect us and not forget to buy those juice packs that you know we loved so much the next time you went to the store. Your unconditional love is truly unmatched.

You appreciate my ridiculously nerdy and dad-joke humor, and remind me not to bite my nails. You do things for me–and for anyone else–without any benefit for yourself. You are one of the most selfless, genuinely kind, big-hearted, caring and most amazing person I know, and I am proud to not only call you my mom and best friend, but my hero.

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Here are just some of the ways you are just all of the best:

  1. You always come to my defense

When I was younger, this meant fighting my elementary school principal for not understanding my form of “advanced creative expression” during art class.Now, you even boldly offer to talk to my boss after I’ve had a bad day at work (which is something I would never actually consider). Regardless, your power to use your words in my defense has never failed me.

  1. You genuinely care about what I’m doing with my life

You: What do you want for dinner tonight, love?

Me: Geez Mom, I can’t think about my future right now!

You always dreamed big for me.

3. You’re the only one who cares if I wore a sweater

…Or brought an umbrella, or needed a tissue, or had a bad dream, or ate enough for dinner. You think about all the little stuff that has a big impact on my wellbeing. Without you, I’d probably still be wearing 5-year-old socks and surviving off stale cereal. Okay this week has been an exception, but to my defense, laundry and grocery shopping? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

4. You’ll always try to “get it,” even when you don’t

I can’t fault you for being older (30! Again!) and a little out-of-touch with my generation (despite your protests that you’re on Facebook and know how to text, badly. Just so bad).

In fact, your old school attitude is what keeps me grounded when I’m trying to explain Millennial-age practices, like why the boy I’ve been talking to for a month just ghosted me.

You might not fully understand me (What the heck is ghosting?!), but you still always try to give me the best advice (You don’t need him. You deserve better. Your “special one” is out there!)

5. You’ll always be the most fun person to get drunk with

Watching you get wasted is the parent-child equivalent of you watching me graduate from college or grad school — I’ve never felt prouder.

I kinda really love seeing you cut loose and then listening to you spill all the family secrets to me. Plus, I finally have a shared hobby that doesn’t involve watching “The Bachelor” or anything on the ID channel.

6. You’ll always give me the benefit of the doubt

You: Where did this crazy Barnes and Noble’s charge come from?

Me: It must have been that early birthday present you got me.

You: I am so thoughtful!

Yeahhh surrrre you betcha you are, mom!

7. You want to see me succeed without any reward to yourself

…Except maybe bragging rights at Bunko. There’s a reason you always made me do my homework — so that I would become a doctor/lawyer/CEO/kickass librarian and you could drive around the neighborhood with a bumper sticker.

8. You make me feel special

You’ll keep me on the phone for hours just to listen to the most trivial parts of my day (so Linda from Accounting brought tuna salad for lunch today and I’m still smelling it!) and take the time to stock up on my favorite foods (anything in the cookie/ice cream group, basically) when I’m come home.

You feel honored when I bring back my laundry for you to do and get weirdly excited when you get the chance to clean my apartment whenever you come out to visit me. I know I don’t say it enough, but thank you mom. These may seem like the littlest of things, but to me, they’re big. HUGE!

9. You were with me every single time I did something stupid

…If only because you were my first phone call. I still don’t know how my car ended up in the neighbor’s backyard!

10. You’ve seen it all

From my most embarrassing moments (like the time I flashed my Strawberry Shortcake skivvies during my fifth grade Christmas recital) to taking care of me when I’m grossly sick, I can really do anything in front of you and you won’t love me any less.

11. You won’t judge me for wearing my pajamas outside the house

But you’ll make sure I wash them before I (Heaven forbid!) get back into bed with the same pair on. Because #Priorities.

12. You want to know the bad news, too

You’re like Columbo, or a really cool Angela Landsbury — you’ll figure out what’s wrong no matter how many times I tell you that “it’s nothing.” You know just what to say or do to make me feel better, even if it’s just the warmest and greatest of bear hugs.

13. You’re the only person who knows how to shop for me

You were the first celebrity in my eyes. And while your style hasn’t influenced my own all that much, yet (there’s still a few years before I start wearing teacher sweaters and spritzing on the White Diamonds), I’ve always looked up to you for your ability to just be yourself, to create your own style, no matter what everyone else is or was doing.

You’re probably one of the only people in my life who buys me exactly what I want (*cough BOOKS cough*) — even if it’s some extra toilet paper and plastic Tupperware.

14. You’ve got stories that rival my stories

I may think I’m a total badass, but you will be quick to remind me that you’re way bad-asser.  I’ll never, ever, never ever forget where I got that shining personality from (I got it from my momma! I got it from my momma!).

15. You feel the feels

You have probably the biggest heart of anyone I know. You continually put others before yourself, you give, you worry, you care, you love. You’ve shown me through example that feeling all the feels isn’t a weakness, but a sign of strength. And for that I’ll be forever grateful.

On this, the eve of your birthday (30! AGAIN!), I want you to know just how much you mean, not only to me, but to everyone who is lucky and blessed enough to know you, to call you a friend, sister, daughter, co-worker, confidant, mentor, mom.

Words will never be able to do justice just how much I care about you, appreciate you, respect you, am impressed by you, just love you so damn much!

Happy birthday, mama!

I can’t wait to celebrate with you in just a few short weeks! 🙂

 

 

 

 

I Believe

I believe there is good in everyone.

I believe dogs make life happier.

I believe that confident people are the most attractive people.

I believe that every. single. thing. happens for a reason.

I believe happiness is a choice, not a circumstance.

I believe that everyone deserves kindness and compassion.

I believe that ice cream has healing properties.

I believe in taking chances.

I believe that bear hugs from your favorite people are the best things ever.

I believe in the power of a new outfit.

I believe that one can never have too many books. Ever.

I believe that when it comes to siblings, you defend first and ask questions second.

I believe realistic expectations are the secret to maintaining sanity (and low blood pressure.)

I believe asking for help is a sign of strength.

I believe there is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone.

I believe moms have super powers.

I believe in following your dreams, not matter what.

I believe in soul mates.

I believe that life is as good as we make it.

One Little Thing

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I don’t know why I do it, but every day, at some point, I find myself going through my ongoing list of things I should be doing to improve myself. Relax more. Worry less. Eat healthy (ish). Call my parents. Pack my lunches. Journal. Go see things. Write. Quickly the list disintegrates from small improvements to impossibly large undertakings. Be a better person. Figure out what you’re going to do with your life. Reach financial stability. Be useful. Be happy. And as the list continues, my confidence wanes. How will I ever be all those things? The truth is I won’t, at least not tomorrow.

Lately I’ve been learning the value of one little thing, a unit of measure that is so often ignored. One little thing; why even bother? What good is one little thing when you’re trying to move mountains, make waves— change?

Change is a funny thing, it either happens all at once, some outside event forces you to be different, or it happens so subtly that you hardly even notice it’s happening. Until one day, for no reason at all, you step back to take a look at yourself and realize how far you come. They say as humans we overestimate what we can do in a day, and underestimate what we can do in ten years. And that’s why one little thing matters so much.

The truth is: what you’ll be able to do with your tomorrow probably isn’t much. You won’t visit all the places you been dying to cross off your bucket list. You won’t lose the extra twenty pounds you’ve been carting around. You won’t be the person you’ve always wanted to be, but there is something you can do. Yes, you guessed it, one little thing. You can do one little thing.

Tomorrow I am going to try and do one little thing that I didn’t do today, and though I can’t guarantee that it will change everything, it might just change my tomorrow.

Happy Thursday, friends.

Ahh To Be a Kid Again…

Hey friends!

Today at work, I ran into THE cutie-pa-tutiest little girl that you ever did see. Her name was Emma (with two ‘Ms’ which she made sure to tell me) and she was four years old (which she showed me by sticking up three and a half fingers–her pinky was a little late to the party). As I was walking around the dining room at Panera, saying hi to the customers and making sure everyone was having a good time and had what they needed, little Emma caught my eye. She was busy eating a chocolate chip cookie, most of which ended up on her face and I just had to giggle. I walked over to the table where her and her mom were sitting and said hi. Emma looked up at me and said, “You are really tall. I think you can be my friend. Do want some cookie?”

Oh…couldn’t you just eat her up?!

I smiled and said, “Why thank you sweety. I am very tall and I would be honored to be your friend.”

She laughed and told her mom, “The tall girl is going to be my cookie friend!”

I wanted to scoop her up and take her home with me but I think that might be against company policy ;0)

SO CUTE!

My experience with little Emma earlier today got me thinking about how truly amazing children are.

Why are they so happy naturally and always down for a good time?

Why are they so accepting of everyone around them and why do they laugh 8 times more than adults every day?

1-They eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Food isn’t a drug for them or a way to COPE with life situations. It is there to be enjoyed and once they are done eating they do not feel guilt even if they ate two cookies 🙂

2-They run for fun. Not because they have to or because they are obsessed with burning calories but because they love the way it makes them feel.

3- They have not yet let the media tell them they are not good enough. They think they are beautiful and they are able to love others easily because they love themselves first.

4- They love candy almost as much as I do and of course that makes you happy right?

5- They serve others as much as they can with their limited resources.

Nothing like a child to make you remember what is really important in life. The light of Christ truly shines in their eyes. I think we could all take a cue from these youngsters. Ahh to be a kid again…

Question of the day: What is your favorite childhood characteristic?

 

Eat a Cookie and Smile. You’re Awesome!

Happy hump day friends!

I hope everbody’s Wednesday is going great so far! I just got home from 6 hours of baking like a mad person at Panera. A major perk of the job…two words for you: Quality Control. It is crutial that you make sure everything going out to the customers tastes good, after all 🙂

Another perk? Coming home smelling like butter and sugar, depsite making my dog look at me like he wants to eat me. But who could really blame him. I smell so yummy, I could eat me.

After a long day of muffin making, bread basting and souffle sifting, the last thing you would think I would want to do is come home and bake some more right?

Wrong.

In fact, I seem to have caught something. Not the cold or the flu, but the best kind of ‘something’…the baking bug.

I cannot get enough of it lately which is why when one of my co-workers gave me a recipe for No-bake cookies on Sunday night, I just had to do a little QC of my own. A lot of you probably have had no-bake cookies and have seen them a million times before, but these ones are different. I promise. And they are soooo darn easy to make! The only thing that is missing in chocolate. I know. I was a bit skeptical too and called miss Abigail a traitor for skimping out on the most important ingredient.

I took a bite and died. The BEST no-bake cookies I have ever had (Although I must confess, I think the next time I might have to stick in just a few a bunch of white chocolate chips). I really don’t know how I went 25 years without these little gems.

Don’t worry though. I made up for the lack of them in my life for downing more cookies than I care to admit.

I was actually too lazy to type up the recipe for y’all but here is a pic of the Pink Panter magic slip of goodness 🙂

Sometimes I wonder why it has become so easy for me to tell you EVERYTHING….I have no shame in opening up on This, That and the Other Thang because I have learned that 99% of you know EXACTLY what I am feeling and hopefully I help at least one person know they are NOT alone:)

My blog tends to be on the silly side, focusing on the goofy and all-around randomness of life and what goes on inside this wacky brain of mine, but every now and then I throw in things that actually mean something, things that you can take away and learn from, or at least think about.

I recently got to a point in my recovery from my nasty, evil roommate ED where it became okay for me to start running again. I’m not logging miles upon miles every day and it’s not as far as I had been sneakering it before, but I’m beginning to see that that’s okay. That four month period of taking it easy and not working out, tough as it was, was actually a good thing. It helped get my body stronger, gave it time to repair itself and it also did wonders for my dome piece; I’m learning to celebrate the wonders of the human body. I think I often took it for granted, stretching it to lengths even I was surprised it was able to bounce back from, if it was even lucky enough to do that. I’m leaning to think of exercise as something to do to stay healthy, not to burn off that second bowl of Ben & Jerry’s.

That being said however, I still struggle a bit whenever I don’t get in a good run. What can I say. I’ve got running in my genes. My mom always teases me and says that I was born sporting the tiniest pair of Nikes she ever saw. With the lack of running, my self-esteem starts to suffer a little bit. My positivity about myself starts to fade a little bit; clearly I am addicted to those endorphins. Running gives me a sense of accomplishment, it is something that I can do that makes me feel special, it helps me to feel alive and like I am the bomb.com

So without it, I start feeling like I am not as ‘good’ of a person as I am when I am ran those many miles every day that I used to. I know it sounds ridiculous saying it out loud (or typing it) but I am just being honest. And maybe I will get to that point in my life when I am healthy enough to do that once again, but even so, I want to be able to feel great about myself regardless. Nor do I want you to feel this way about yourselves. Not at all.

My main point is that we can’t base our self-worth on things like Running, Exercise, Appearance, a New Outfit, grades or our Job. Sure those things make us feel good about ourselves but we can’t let them define us.

What happens if we get injured and can’t run or workout? How will we feel about ourselves when we get attacked with acne (yes, I am referring to myself right now)? Do we think we aren’t a good person when we don’t have enough mula for a cute new outfit/make-up/getting our hair did or if our muffin tops are a little bit more fluffy than they were last year at this time? What if our boss tells us to re-do a project we have worked on for months or we get a C on a test……..are we then worthless?

I have no idea if this makes any sense. I am not trying to lecture but more talk myself through figuring out where to truly base my self worth from. Basically, I am forcing you to follow my journey of growing up:)

I just want to say that how much we are worth does not depend on superficial things like how far we can run, ugly scrunched face photos, a silly number on a scale or what grade we get because all of that can CHANGE overnight and we have no way to prevent it.

What we can base our self-WORTH on:

1-How we treat others and our relationships with them, how we try to make OTHER’S lives BETTER than they were before they met us.

2-Faith. No matter what religion you are I think that believing in a Higher-Being and knowing that HE loves us unconditionally helps us to realize how much we are WORTH (okay, crying onto my keyboard as I type this during my lunch break…..I have issues).

3-Our Integrity and making good decisions that go along with our values and morals.

4-Accomplishments……if you can’t do what you ‘normally’ do to feel accomplishment than find something new that helps you feel like you are ridiculously awesome.

5-Deep down we know how awesome we are…….try to find that and spend time each day finding that inner peace.

So what do you say?

Smile. Have a cookie. You are awesome!

Questions of the day:

1. Do you ever find yourself basing your self-WORTH on things that are superficial (our weight, looks, what the media tells us we should be or how many miles we can run etc)?

2. Anything to add to my list of where to find true self-worth? Help a sister out:)

 

When God Winks at You

Hey y’all!

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 God or some higher power.

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 with him. 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.

A surprising answer to prayer comes at just the right moment. Could God be showing you that He cares about the details of your life? The author of this wonderful page-turner, author Squire Rushnell says these silent little miracles are ‘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.

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. I really believe that there are truly no coincidences, just God taking care of us, carrying us in times of difficulty and confirmation when we need answers. This book was just confirmation of that fact. 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 occurences that held a special meaning, a deep impact or a pivital turning point in these people’s lives.

I have been fortunate enough to have had many similiar 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 devestated. My world had come to a screeching stop, sending me into a whirwind. 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 toilet. 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 posibilities for me.

A Godwink.

Another major moment that completely changed my life was this past christmas. I was in Gulf Shores, Bamalama with the whole crazy Hansen crew, celebrating the Holidays, beach style. It was a time when I should have been having the time of live life, having fun and enjoying spending time with my family whom I love so darn much. Sure I had a blast. I did have fun. But I was half-assing it. I was probably sicker than I had ever been, ED controlling the steering wheel and loving every minute of it. I was smiling on the outside, but on the inside, I was hurting. I hated how I felt, I hated how much I was not living, and most of all, I hated that I felt too weak, too powerless, too afraid to do anything about it. I had been praying to God every day, asking for the strength to kick ED out the door for good. But I had yet to receive an answer, not even a text. Christmas night, I got the call I had been waiting for. The wink of all winks. That night, I broke down to my mom and sister. I simply had had enough. I had reached my breaking point, my rock bottom. I had been living under ED’s demands and controls for nearly half of my life. I was sick, I was sad, and I was pissed. All of which make for the perfect ingredients to either a) turn into the Hulk or b) turn into the Hulk and go all-ape-shit on ED. Which I did 🙂

I can’t quite describe what happened, but I truly think that God came to me that night and said, “Okay girl, it is time. You are ready. I have been training you and giving you practice. Let’s do this thang!”

That moment signaled to me what would become my Mission 2012. My saving grace. My Chuck Norris, karate chop, high-kick, good ‘ol ass whoopin’ of one Miss ED. That wink saved my life.

Whether you believe in God or not. We’re all protected by a greater force. I think each one of us experience subtle “winks from god” all the time, but often deem them as coincidences or luck. You’re free to believe that, but I think my “luck” is something more. I find so much comfort in knowing that no matter how difficult of an obstacle that I’m faced with, I’ll always be okay. Because God is in control, and he loves me unconditional. How wonderful is that?!

Sorry for getting all sentimental on you today, but this afternoon I couldn’t help but think of how happy I’ve been over the past few months and how far I’ve come since this time last year. I’m so blessed!

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

 

Friday Fav’s

Happy Friday friends!

I’ve got a big weekend planned, full of food, fun and shenanigans. My mom is coming up to visit and I am oh so excited!! We’re planning on doing a little shopping, a little cinema-hopping (Is anyone else geeking out about the new Avengers movie?! Action-packed, superheros running around in tight superhero uniforms and the Chris’s–Hemsworth AND Evans–I mean! I am telling you, I think I would purposefully get kidnapped by an evil alien genius just to get rescued by one of those cutie-pa-tuties!), and of course a little margarita sipping and taco eating–it is Cinco de mayo after all 🙂

Before I get the party started, I wanted to be sure to share some of my favorite finds from around the web this week with y’all.

1. Favorite flashback: Cassette i-phone cover. Good golly, I can’t even tell you how many cassette tapes I have in boxes at my parent’s house. I used to dub like a pro!

2. Favorite place: Elan Valley, Wales. Which is the sky and which is the water?

3. Favorite OMG-have-to-make-now dessert: Chocolate chip cookie dough cake. There is just something about cookie dough studded icing stuffed between two layers of cake, then frosted and stuck with even more cookies on the side that really does it for me.

4. Favorite time waster: Food On My Dog Blog. Now that is impressive. I don’t even think I could have that kind of self-restraint, especially when ice cream is in question.

5. Favorite reading nook: This is a lot what I imagine my heaven to be like.

6. Favorite funky find: Book-ified rug. A perfect accent to go in my little reading nook 😉

7. Favorite transformation: Pizza monkey bread. I was introduced to the amazingness that is monkey bread just a few weeks ago by my friend Arlyne–I know! How did I go 24 years without this perfect mix of cinnamon, sugar, butter, dough and nuts in my life?! Now that I am fully on the monkey bread bandwagon, this savory version sounds delicious and a definite make in my kitchen!

8. Favorite Nuh-uh: Tetris Building. I know. I am a nerd. But HOW COOL IS THIS!!

9. Favorite song to ugly cry to: This Year’s Love by David Gray. Definitely a Kleenex tune. SO good!

10. Favorite ‘cutest thing ever’: A young man took his soon-to-be girlfriend’s iPhone, changed the contact name and placed it back next to her. He called. She Answered.” How adorbale is that?!?! High five and a fist bump for that, buddy!

11. Favorite literary quote: Winnie the Pooh. Pooh may have been rumbly and tumbly but he sure was wise. Maybe it was all that honey he ate 😉

12. Favorite Pooch: PUP-lo Picaso. A master pooper, I mean painter.

13. Favorite punishment: When I have kids…

14.Favorite ‘Slap yo momma good’: Cake batter ice cream cupcakes. I. Die.

15. Favorite funny: Gosh I hate when that happens!I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and an even better weekend guys!

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