Archive from July, 2014
Jul 30, 2014 - My Story    2 Comments

Feeling Celebrated

Nearly the only negative part of my cruise experience was the 30 hour trek back home.

5 cities, 4 states, three layovers, 2 minute naps and a partridge in a pear tree. That’s what it took me to get home.

But, bleary-eyed and not sure what time zone I lived in, I walked into this:

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The cruise theme (and the endless food!) continued! I have made it a point to celebrate this year. I even wrote a series of celebratory posts over the course of the spring. I’ve come to realize that we don’t celebrate enough. For me, this is a symptom of a deeper problem. I am driven; I love achievements and after accomplishing one goal, instead of stopping to reflect with gratitude, I immediately push forward to the next bigger, harder task. I need to celebrate. I need help to celebrate! I am thankful for roommates who celebrate well in thoughtful and simple ways. Decorations, cakes, and driving me to pick up my free birthday food. We took a moment together to reflect on my year and look forward to the one ahead.

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Even though my mind was not in the correct time zone, and can’t tell you everything that happened that day, I do remember feeling celebrated! That alone made it a wonderful birthday!

What do you need to take time to reflect upon? What makes you feel celebrated?

Jul 26, 2014 - travel    2 Comments

My Daring Escape

I escaped.

Left town.

Turned off my phone.

Didn’t look back.

I went on a cruise to Alaska.

As much joy as excitement as I experienced over the week, I did without some crucial things as well:

1. Cell Service/Wifi

To avoid surcharges from using the ship’s cell tower, I turned off my phone for five days, had no contact with anyone outside my traveling party and loved it. I didn’t miss checking Facebook incessantly or the seemingly constant ding of messages. I did have LOTS of emails to respond to when I returned and that process was somewhat arduous. But I enjoyed being present and not distracted as I spent time with friends who live in different states.

2. Soda

I enjoy Coke. It is a zero-calorie pleasure I at times allow myself. I get caffeine headaches so I was worried about doing without. But since soda was a upcharge on the ship, and I’d determined that I’d spent enough just to get myself on the ship, I wasn’t going to splurge on soda. I didn’t miss that either. I had delightful tea times with friends, sans cell phones!

3. Nighttime

We visited the land of the midnight sun. Literally. The further north we traveled the sun set around midnight and rose again at 3 am. Most of the time we were already in bed before midnight. So I actually was never conscious during the few nighttime hours we had. We barricaded the windows and lined towels around the cracks in the curtains, and slept soundly with bright sunshine outside.Alaska, sun, nighttime

This trip truly was a retreat. I had no idea how quickly ties with these three “essentials” could be cut when I was forced to do without. So often I think that the more things I own, the more they actually own me. I want upgrades or faster models or more options. But this week I learned that I can escape. Just take me away, put me on a ship with good friends, and blackout curtains and I will delightedly not look back.

 

What holds sway in your life? What would you like to practice doing without for a week?

Jul 23, 2014 - travel    4 Comments

My Alaskan Adventure

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”

John Muir

Last week I went on an Alaskan Adventure with two delightful friends, Lisa and Tracy.
Tracy and Lisa set sail

 

Although many posts could be dedicated to the wonder of this trip, these ladies, and such beautiful countryside, at this juncture you will have to be appeased with some of my favorite photographic capturings this week. May each photo be worth a thousand words to you!

Cruise ship setting sail

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MacGyverIf you can’t tell from these pictures, we had a delightful time. I highly recommend answering the call of the mountains!

 

Jul 8, 2014 - My Story    No Comments

House Warming

What makes a house warm?

What makes a house feel like a home?

I thought about this a good amount after being invited to my friend’s Housewarming party and I answered my own question in her gift. These are things I value in my own home and provided to my friend in her gift:

1. Clean

Life is messy. Most of that I cannot clean up, but I try to clean what I do have power over. You can tell when life is a bit overwhelming for me because I will start cleaning out closets, mopping floors, and doing laundry. There’s enough messiness out in the world, I want my home to feel warm, welcoming and put together.

2. Hospitable

Following from #1, when my house is clean I am less distracted and able to engage in relationship and conversation. Few things have the power to derail my attention like a pile of junk which cries out, “Kelly! Stop listening to your roommate tell you about her day and come clean me up!” I want my home and my life to be hospitable. I want to invite others into my home and my heart. I want to do things in service for others. I do not want my home to be a fortress where I block out everyone else, I want to do life together.

3. Happy!

Somethings in your home should be just for fun! No I don’t need a giant carved key in my bedroom, but it makes me smile. It reminds me of a memory and the friend who was with me when I bought it. It makes my house and my heart warm. Have a silly pillow or a funny picture on the wall, or crazy patterned towels. Do something that is totally you, even if it’s not the most functional thing ever!

That’s what I put together for my friend: things to clean, things to serve and welcome others into her house, and things to make her smile as she feathers her new nest.

house warming gift

What about you? What would you add to make your house warm or for a housewarming gift?

Jul 4, 2014 - Health, Humor, My Story    1 Comment

National Cartwheel Day

Today is National Cartwheel Day.

Because I declared it so.

Here’s the story:

When I was a young tyke, I took gymnastics. That was until I was so tall that I could hang from the upper uneven parallel bars and my toes touched the ground. I was 10.

It was a sad day when I had to change my athletic aspirations because no nearly six feet tall woman can contort herself enough to be an Olympic gymnast. Sorry Bela Karolyi, I won’t be joining you this summer.

Fast forward fifteen years, to envision me sitting with some friends celebrating July the 4th. For some reason our conservation made me think, “I wonder if I could still do a cartwheel.” So I tried. And it felt good. Like holding onto just a smidgen of my gymnastic Olympic hopefulness. I decided that day that I would attempt a cartwheel every year to prove to myself that I could still do it. Hence, July 4th is National Cartwheel Day.

It’s a way to be nostalgic and also prove to myself what I’m capable of. If you flip quickly you’ll get an idea of how it looks in person.

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I realize that one day my celebration of National Cartwheel Day may go horribly wrong. But until then I participate in my topsy turvy tumbling tradition with glee celebrating the joys and challenges of childhood.

Happy National Cartwheel Day!

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