462

There are few days that I wake up absolutely certain,

that I’m going to be my best self & make the most of that day.

I would LOVE for me waking up every day “carpe diem” to be the case,
but in my humanity I have yet to find the drive to do so.
Most days seem like one big tumble weed, 
a bunch of randomness being rolled into one & just calling it a day.
Not a bad day, not a good day, just a day.
Even in California,
which I embarrassingly enough glorified in my mind 
as the impossible for it to feel like “just a day” days,
experienced  them.

β€œThe major work of the world is not done by geniuses. It is done by ordinary people, with balance in their lives, who have learned to work in an extraordinary manner.” Gordon B. Hinckley

Of course I feel the need to clarify that I enjoy the ordinary and the extraordinary.
 It’s not the ordinary day that’s the issue
 I get ordinary,
 there’s a need for the ordinary to magnify the extraordinary.
likewise there’s the extraordinary in the ordinary.
 on the ordinary/extraordinary days alike I wanna wake up excited to do what makes me come alive.
today,
i woke.
that is extraordinary.
today, 
I decided to write a blog post about our trip in California,
that is ordinary.
yet waking up & being able to write 
makes for acquiescing my yearning to come alive, not simply existing just another day.
” to LIVE is the rarest thing in the world. Most people simply exist that is all” Oscar Wilde
one of the few things that inexplicably makes me come ALIVE.
when I write it  makes me feel most myself, like I’m really LIVING
 and however that may sound to you,I know I’m not alone in that sentiment
often I take time to study the greats
great writers that inspire me
They’re  are 
poetic,
 illustrative,  
philosophical, 
contemplative,
controversial,
 thought provoking
 writers who present feeling and thoughts and fears and joys transparently.

β€œI write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, 

what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” Joan Didion

These thoughts of mine – much like life- can get muddled and blurred oh so quickly,
 thus I write for clarity & for that incomparable feeling of doing something
 that makes you giddy to jump out of bed in the morning, and start any day.
Some days I am waking up in California to celebrate my birthday by going skydiving,
others we are laughing around a fire after watching Inside Out,
some are filled with dancing as we celebrate our friends getting married,
and others we are sitting at our moms house writing about how writing makes you come alive.
But if everyday, we can do the things that make us come alive,
 then there will be no more days that are ” just another day” 
but the  extraordinary will be the ordinary.
of all the things to do daily that fall under the extraordinary & ordinary
I’m finding more and more ,
the best days of our lives,
are the ones that consist of us doing that which makes us jump out of bed in the morning
{ which is no easy feet for this lover of late nights & sleeping in},
so GO find it.
get on it.
write your heart out,
or crunch numbers
or public speak
or advocate
or educate
or create
or plan
or dance
or serve
or organize.
It looks different for all of us,
not all of us are wired to write,
but I believe all of us are wired with the desire
 to wake up & go to bed with the mentality
that whether the day was a good day or a bad day,
we spent the day being our truest self doing what makes us come alive.
Instead of doing one thing every day that scares you,
lets do one thing everyday that awakens us to LIVE.

458

When life gives you lemons, what do you do?
For 2 weeks I was looking forward to hot air ballooning in Cali to celebrate my 24th year of life.
I was HYPE.
granted I’m generally excited about life, but I was ECSTATIC!
Since I was a little girl I dreamed about going hot air ballooning,
& I was actually getting to make this dream a reality
 ( thanks to the thoughtfulness of my husband and aunt )!
The day we arrived safely in Cali,
 we called the company that we were going to hot air balloon with,
and GET THIS ….
rides were CANCELLED for the week,
 due to what you’ll NEVER believe: 
RAIN!
RAIN IN CALIFORNIA
at first we thought it was a joke, but sure enough
a state experiencing  4 years of drought, cancelled because it rained the day before .
Leave it to the Pennsylvanians to bring the rain.
You’re welcome… I suppose.
I wish I could tell you because I was 24 now I handled it very maturely,
I regret to inform you that was not the case.
I was silent, pouty, and persistent.
Things were not working out the way I wanted them to,
but I wasn’t taking no for an answer.
“it’s okay , this is gonna happen, I’m gonna make this work”
well… I called every other company I could find in the area,
all canceled + unavailable because of rain in California.
go figure.
I’m positive + innovative + great at problem solving
but as irony would have it, I was no match for the rain in California.
Hours after trying & trying & trying
I finally accepted that it wasn’t gonna work out
and I trudged my feet as Greg convinced me to agree to brainstorming  plan B.
Lo & behold we went skydiving.
I know it reads off as pretty obnoxious of me,
but I’m a human and sometimes our human shows.
We get so wrapped up in things having to go our way,
that we forget how wonderful a change of plans can be 
how sometimes despite all our efforts some things don’t go as planned
how FUN it can be to make lemons out of lemonade,
& lets be honest sometimes what actually happens is far better than what we could’ve planned.

thank God that

” WE CAN MAKE OUR PLANS,
BUT THE LORD DETERMINES OUR STEPS” proverbs16:9

who looks this calm right before they’re about to jump out of a plane
being late stresses him out
but jumping out of a plane he’s CHILLIN’

Heres to 24 years of me & 458 days of  marriage

456

When I was just a little girl my momma used to – sorry to disappoint cheetah girls fans- 
say (in Portugese) that your friends will change,but your siblings are a constant.
Granted, it was often after a seemingly irreconcilable argument with my brothers,
 so I never really wanted to hear it…
but as I’ve been growing older, I’ve been growing wiser in heeding her sage advice.
& last night I cried.
because of the immense privilege 
of being a big + little sister, a wife, a daughter, & a friend.
don’t feel bad for me.
sometimes there’s nothing in this world like a good cry,
it reminds me that I’m human, that I am alive,that I feel.
I love & am loved, what a gift worth crying for.
because of love,
because of great weekends like this one , 
I found myself in tears, 
the emotional equivalent of culture shock/jetlag if you will,
from being so lathered in love& not knowing how to handle it all.
I found myself in tears,
 because I feel guilty for having this gift of loving + being loved, that so many don’t.
Birthdays growing up,
 though dressed up in streamers, guests, & extravagant themes
at the core 
were always about celebrating the privilege it is to be alive
& to reflect on what truly matters in this life.
In the day to day we forget.
we are consumed with personal, local, and international issues
(yes it’s crucial to take interest, be informed , & act in response to whats going on in our world) but
 worries.
 fears.
 pains.
 easily consume our
 thoughts.
time,.
and if we’re not careful lives.
when was the last time your thoughts, time, & lives were CONSUMED 
by the notion of how loved you are?

may it be today. 
may it be right now. 
(maybe not, that’s fine, may it be one day)
as you read each word, 
may you STOP the fears, worries,despair
 & may how loved you are OVERCOME you.
with tears,peace,laughter,joy & comfort.
for me it was last night.
so yes I find it refreshing 
 to STOP and CRY
to celebrate in weeping
 saying what did I do to deserve such gifts?
i am loved by these people & “every moment spent with them is a moment i treasure”
 so many  would love to have a fraction of this 
I cry + pray myself to sleep, because of being spoiled with love
of not wanting to close my eyes,
 not wanting to fall asleep
 cause in the words of Aerosmith again,
“I’ll miss you & I don’t wanna miss a thing”.
23 has been a year of the unexpected ( & i still officially have 2 days left)
Unexpected; moves, jobs, friends, dogs, & a church home.
As I approach this 24th year, I’m not sure what it will be a year of,
but one thing is for sure, this year my aim is to figure out;
 how am I gonna change lives because of how overcome with Love I am?

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449

A pair of ripped jeans is a staple in the wardrobe of many.

My tears came from the clothing company that designed them that way,
but I wish they were from prayer.
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I want to get on my knees and pray, as often as I breathe.
I want  my jeans to be worn and torn, from hours spent praying on my knees.
Not because Jesus needs me kneeling to pray,
but because the stance shouts surrender, You are worthy, & i am honored to pray.
Everybody’s hype for Christmas
chill.
get a grip people,
it’s November 1st.
I’m hype its November
I’m hype for today
I’m hype I can pray.
Can you treat life TODAY, like its Christmas day?
I’m no Scrooge, or Grinch
I’m just not in the mood
 to tinsel + red everything & get giddy,
when today I’m reminded of the struggle that so many people live, 
the nitty gritty.
I do enjoy Christmas, it’s beautiful but whats more breathtakingly beautiful to me?
What gets me HYPE?
 The sight of people praying & actively loving others the other 364 days of the year,
not building up some hype, some countdown, for one day of cheer…
then going back to treating every day like the ugly ducking.
when everyday is actually a glorious swan.
all this enthusiasm for Christmas & New Years,
but I’ll let you in on a little something
I consider the most wonderFALL time of the year to be November
(granted I was born in this month so that’s an automatic biase πŸ˜‰ )
 because that’s the month we’re in right now, today.
 I love today; it was filled with laughter & pain, but that doesn’t take away that I love today.
I love Thanksgiving.
not for the football and overeating its become 
I love it for the intentionally engaging in the attitude of gratitude 
for the family & friends gathered round your table sharing a meal laughing and being.
 content in the today, & not wishing our days away.
for time spent meditating giving thanks, seeing the need & acting on it.
I  love it for all the ways it challenges me to change the everyday 
of myself + of so many others, because I am so thankful.
I’m finding myself wishing more & more 
people would abide in ripped jeans,
torn from constantly kneeling before the throne
torn from actively caring about meeting the needs of others,
 more than actively countdown for Christmas
torn from giving praise because we’re not alone or forgotten.
torn from kneeling when we feel weak,scared, anxious, excited,tired,peaceful, overjoyed.
torn from kneeling when we ‘re foolish enough to think I GOT THIS even for a single moment,
because without God we would cease to be & wouldn’t stand a chance at living in the moment.
Today is November 1st, Tomorrow is November 2nd.
May anytime you see ripped jeans, get you thinking about this post, & get you HYPE for today.